2005 BETH CRAMER APPTD AS BENEFITS DIRECTOR!

ELIZABETH “BETH” CRAMER APPOINTED TO APWU OF FLORIDA STATE RETIREE CHAPTER NEW POSITION OF BENEFITS DIRECTOR

Elizabeth “Beth” Cramer has been appointed to the newly created position of Benefits Director of APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter, effective May 7, 2005 by Chapter President Jack Gose. Beth will provide a service to the APWU active and retiree dues paying members and families who have questions concerning Federal Employee and Postal Retiree Benefit Plans and program coverage.

Any APWU active or retiree member/spouse/family member who has questions about postal retirement should not hesitate to call the toll-free number for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in Boyers, Pa. 16017 at 1-888-767-6738 Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm or the National APWU Retirees Department in Washington, D.C. at 202-842-8584 Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to get answers from professional specialists concerning your retirement.

Beth is a longtime elected National APWU Retiree National Convention Delegate for the Southern Region and Delegate to many APWU State and National Conventions, as well as Florida AFL-CIO Convention. Beth and Steve, her energetic husband, live in Cape Coral, Florida and they can be reached at home 239-242-9133 or write her at 1305 S.W. 9th Court, Cape Coral, FL 33991 with your congratulations. She retired from the USPS a few years ago, and she is looking forward to hearing from any APWU members who have questions about the current National APWU or USPS Federal Employee Benefit Plans, Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), or Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) Benefit Plans, or suggestions for improvements in Benefit Plan programs.

In response to the growing need for a knowledgeable APWU Retiree Chapter member to fill this critically important position, the APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Executive Board approved a motion at the Chapter Executive Board meeting at the Hilton Hotel in St. Petersburg, FL on April 28, 2005 to create a Chapter Retiree Benefits Director. The Chapter Benefits Director shall be responsible to set up and promote programs in the areas of Retirement, Consumer Affairs, and Social and Economic fields which affect the membership. She shall be responsible for new APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter orientation of Retirees, Human Relations, Education, Organization, Membership Sign-up Incentives, Recruitment, Union Label Awareness, and Inter-Union/Labor Movement activities and programs for the State Retiree Chapter membership.

We have asked Beth to write articles in the Florida Postal Worker and other publications concerning news about the various Benefit Plans, and we welcome her aboard the good ship APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter, AFL-CIO. Beth is a fighter and has spoken eloquently and forcefully as our elected Southern Regional Retiree Delegate at many National APWU Conventions on important and paramount issues that affect the APWU active and retiree membership. Remember, the general rule is that you must have been a member of one of the FEHB health plans for the five (5) years of service immediately preceding your retirement annuity commencing date to continue your health plan coverage after retirement.

The Medicare Part B premium increases 14.1% on Jan. 1, 2006 from $78.20 to $89.20 monthly, an increase of $11.00 monthly, according to Mark McClellan, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He stated that the increase was caused primarily by lengthier office visits, more complex imaging such as MRI scanning and doctors administering more lab tests and treatments in their offices instead of at the hospital. Retirees should always budget prudently to keep up with the rising health care costs!

NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE SET FOR WASHINGTON, D.C. ON SEPTEMBER 7-9, 2005

A National Legislative Conference has been scheduled by the National Alliance for Retired Americans (NARA), to be held Wednesday, Sept. 7 thru Friday, Sept. 9, 2005 at the Hilton Washington and Towers Union Hotel , 1919 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20009. Hotel room rates $142.00 night plus 14.5 % taxes, and are guaranteed until July 20, 2005. Check-in time is 3 pm, and check-out time is 12 noon. Hotel reservations should be made by calling the Hilton Washington and Towers directly toll-free at 1-888-324-4586.
I have attended the first annual NARA National Legislative Conferences held in Washington, D.C. in 2002 and 2003, and the NARA Southern Region Leadership Conference held in Jacksonville, FL in 2004. This is your opportunity to step up to the plate, and become active in legislative lobbying at the highest levels!

The Conference registration early bird fee is $75.00, if received by July 20, 2005. After that date, the registration fee is $90.00. A Banquet featuring a noted personality is set for Thurs., Sept. 8 at 6 pm. Banquet tickets are $65.00 person and should be ordered with the registration form. Tickets will be issued on a first come, first serve basis. You will receive your tickets when you arrive at the Conference. To register, phone toll-free 1-888-373-6497 and ask for Joni Jones at Registration Desk, or E-mail to
jjones@retiredamericans.org or visit our ARA national website at www.retiredamericans.org for more information.
The opening session is to begin at 1 pm on Wed., Sept. 7, and the last event will conclude by 3 pm on Fri., Sept. 9, 2005. You will be in Washington, D.C. only 2 nights!

If you need more information, phone Jack Gose at 727-343-2998 or E-mail
jak.gose@excite.com for a prompt reply. Hope to see you in Washington Sep. 7-9, 2005!

DISPLAY OF APWU HISTORY A SHOW STOPPER IN ST. PETE, FL.

A unique set up of APWU local, state, and national historical magazines, newsletters, photographs, posters, documents and clothing on twelve 6-foot wide tables lined the main corridor leading to the conference and seminar meeting rooms on the first floor of the Hilton Hotel in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida from Sunday, April 24 thru Saturday, April 30, 2005 to display the History of the APWU since merger in 1971. Hundreds of items were donated by Jack Gose and given away free to 107 attending Natl. APWU Sec.-Treas. Seminar and 135 registered at APWU of Florida Spring Seminar!

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