2004 NATL APWU CONVENTION IN LOS ANGELES, CA.

L.A. CONVENTION DELEGATES APPROVE
NEW NATIONAL APWU RETIREE MEMBERSHIP OPTION

Resolution No. 1 on Retention of Membership which was submitted by the APWU of Florida was overwhelmingly adopted by the 2865 voting delegates at the 17th Biennial National APWU Convention in Los Angeles, Calif. on Wed., August 25, 2004 at 12:25 p.m. Retirees have won the right to vote for national officers in National APWU elections, by paying full per capita National APWU union dues, plus $24.00 year Retiree union dues to the National APWU Retirees Department.

The Constitutional Resolution as amended from the floor which passed on a voice vote is now inserted in Article 3, Section 4 (D) and renumbers present Section 4 (D) to 4 (E). The new language is as follows: “As an alternative, such retirees shall have an option to choose to maintain full National membership with the National APWU only, by paying full National per capita taxes to the APWU plus Twenty-four ($24.00) Dollars to the APWU Retirees Department, and should be afforded full voting rights in the election of officers in accordance with existing provisions of the Constitution.”

While the national APWU dues paying members have dropped from 291,000 in the 90’s to 223,000 in August, 2004, a decrease of 68,000 members or about 23%, APWU Retirees now have the chance to reverse the downward trend by joining the new option to increase the revenue of the National APWU and the Retirees Department. If membership continues to drop in the current trend, it will be down to 218,000 by December, 2005 according to reliable sources. When it reaches 205,000 to 210,000, we will be in red ink again.

We believe President Bill Burrus will seize upon this golden opportunity to really organize our retirees to HELP SAVE THE UNION from USPS continued downsizing, retirements, and lack of new hiring. He must inspire and combine the talents of the APWU National Executive Board officers and all the APWU Department Directors at National Headquarters, including Retirees, Organization, Research and Education, Human Relations, Health Plan, and the Secretary-Treasurer Office. Naturally, he will ask for a creative approach to launching this new membership program to get it off the ground and running at full speed.

Kay Coles James, Director of OPM, has stated in 2002 that over 50% of the Federal Employees workforce, including Postal employees, will retire by 2010, only 6 years away. An innovative new approach to organizing retirees by the National APWU should include letters and E-mails to all active and retiree APWU local and state presidents, asking them to set up pre-retirement APWU membership meetings and pre-retirement counseling sessions urging prospective retirees to sign up in the new full National APWU dues and $24.00 year Retiree Department dues option to SAVE OUR UNION!

We understand that only about 340 APWU members pay full dues to the National APWU at this time, and there are over 40,000 APWU Retirees paying $24.00 year to the APWU Retirees Department currently. Terry Stapleton, National Secretary-Treasurer, states that 10,000 new full dues members (4% growth rate) would add $1 Million Dollars year to the National APWU treasury and $2 Million Dollars to state and local treasuries.

Bill Kaczor, APWU Health Plan Director, revealed that there are presently 79,536 members overall enrolled in the APWU Health Plan, but only about 14,000 are active APWU members (17%). There are 54,712 retiree annuitants (69%) and 24,824 employees (31%) enrolled in the APWU Health Plan, based on March, 2004 data from Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Only 5,000 new APWU Health Plan members would add $247,000 year revenue to the National APWU that sponsors the Health Plan which is owned by the APWU membership.

If a retiree wants to be involved at the national level in the new retiree membership option and have the right to vote for APWU national officers in national elections, as well as retaining the APWU Health Plan, and belong to the APWU Retirees Department paying $24.00 year, then contact Terry Stapleton, National APWU Secretary-Treasurer, by phone at 202-842-4215 or John R. Smith, National APWU Retiree Director, at 202-842-8585.

This new program will be most attractive to APWU members in the future, as APWU members retire they may choose one of three (3) retiree member options: (1) Pay full per capita dues to National and $24.00 year to Retirees Dept. with full voting rights to elect National Officers; (2) Pay full per capita dues to National and Local union to get involved in the local; (3) Pay $24.00 year to Retirees Dept. to continue involvement with APWU.

All APWU active and retiree National, State, and Area Local/Local Officers, Stewards, Members, Auxiliary Officers and members, and family members HAVE A DOG IN THIS FIGHT to stop the membership downward spiral. It is your duty to not only organize the 70,000 non-members by signing them up on Form 1187, but equally important is your obligation to organize the current and future APWU retirees by signing them up in the new option of paying Full Dues National Per Capita to the National and $24.00 year dues to the APWU Retirees Department.

President Burrus reported at the 2004 National APWU Convention that the number of APWU-represented employees will decrease from the current 300,000 to fewer than 250,000 by 2011. All hands on board the good ship APWU must concentrate on Priority One to increase the National APWU revenue by doubling our APWU Retirees membership from 40,000 to 80,000 to KEEP APWU ALIVE!

Once the door had been opened by adoption of Resolution No. 1, Convention Delegates overwhelmingly voted for concurrence on Resolution No. 16 submitted by Michigan State APWU to establish position of Director, APWU Retirees Department, as an elected position beginning with the election of National APWU officers in 2007. Thanks to all the Delegates who went to one of the nine microphones on the Convention floor in support of the Retirees issues and a special thanks to the APWU of Florida Delegates who manned mikes and spoke in favor of democracy.

APWU OF FLORIDA RETIREES LUNCHEON SET FOR OCT. 21

The first twenty (20) APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter union dues paying members and spouse or family member who sign in and attend the Retirees luncheon scheduled to be held on Thursday, October 21, 2004, the first day of classes for the APWU of Florida State Educational Seminar from October 21-23, 2004 at the Fall Seminar hotel located in West Palm Beach, will be awarded a free luncheon, limited to two (2) free luncheons per Retiree family. We are working with Pete Trunzo, newly elected Director of Education, on new ideas he and I share for retirement classes at some future state seminar. We have contacted John R. Smith, National Retirees Director, and hope to schedule him to teach an APWU retirement counselor class before he retires from the National APWU Retirees Dept.

The Retirees luncheon is scheduled from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the hotel restaurant at the Fall Seminar. An APWU invited guest speaker will inform all of us at the Retirees luncheon about the latest news from National APWU headquarters in Washington, D.C. and the National APWU Convention recently held in Los Angeles, Calif. Free APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Happy Folders will be given out to each luncheon attendee.

See you in West Palm Beach! Contact Jack Gose, President, at 727-343-2998 home phone or by E-mail at
jak.gose@excite.com if you need more info or have any questions. Better yet, visit the website of www.apwuflorida.org and click on Retiree in the side bar link to surf the world of retiree information!

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