I’m a current APWU member & USPS retiree. As such, I feel that the APWU & other unions have let us retirees down in the worst way.
I worked my entire careers being told I’ll have the very best health care -the same FEHP used by all federal employees at all levels. Yet, now that I’m retired, I’m told that as a Postal retiree I’m now a second-class government retiree & only eligible for the newly established lower tier program-the PSHP. As such I, and other postal employees, past & present, will have lesser benefits at higher costs. This comes at the very worst time—during my retirement when I have less money & more medical costs. Also, this out of control inflation had hurt as well. I’m sure thousands of other postal retirees are in the same boat. I feel as if we all are victims of an unfair ‘bait & switch’. Why in the world did the Unions support throwing us, and our health care, under the bus? Why in the world did they agree to making postal employees second-class employees ineligible for the first-class health care provided all other government employees?
Also, even though the Union is calling for a day of phone calls for the WEP-GPO, I know that over the entire length of my career & retirement to date the Union failed to push on full repeal of these unfair laws that make paupers of so many widows. As a former local President (#1040), I was told by regional & national Union reps that it was a ‘touchy issue’ as those in the FEP system felt it was ‘unfair’ to them if the WEP/GPO was repealed for those in the CSRS—there was a lot of jealousy by the FEP workers concerning those in the CSRS. Therefore, nothing much has ever been done, other than minor lip service periodic actions, by the Unions to get the WEP/GPO fully repealed—especially the GPO as this is the one that makes many virtual paupers. Postal Widows can’t even collect their non-postal spouses SS even though their spouses worked & paid SS their working lives. For the 1% of (mainly widows although some widowers) that get hit by the WEP AND the GPO they are left in poverty if they are were a level 4 to level 7 postal employee.
I feel the APWU has failed me after paying dues my entire career & into my retirement. I’ve supported the Union but the Union has NOT supported me as a retiree. This is true for all of my Union brothers & sisters.
As an advocate for retirees, please let the Union know how I, and thousands of other retirees, feel. We feel betrayed—by our Unions & our government—as if the guarantees made to us during our working careers mean nothing. As if we all, as postal workers, are now considered 2nd class government employees with the Unions full compliance. And as if the Unions aren’t actively putting focus & effort into protecting retirees -that we don’t matter—especially the CSRS retirees. When the Law’s were passed, we were told, by the Unions, the WEP & the GPO were simply temporary & they’d be repealed eventually. My entire career the Unions promised repeal. I’ve been retired well over a decade & they are still just promising repeal. Full-on action is needed now for full repeal of both, particularly the GPO, not just revision of these extremely unfair laws. Sure, we’ll again make the phone calls the Union tells us to every few years, but a whole lot more needs to be done DAILY & at all levels until these are both fully repealed.
PS: President Biden made WEP/GPO Repeal part of his presidential election platform; yet, here we are—still no repeal. Biden hasn’t fulfilled his election campaign promises to repeal the WEP/GPO. Worse, he signed the PSHP into effect. He’s proven he doesn’t support Postal workers.
First Name: Joanie
Last Name: Nations
Union/Local: Danville VA APWU Local #1040
Office held if any: Former Local President