John Sardin, Jr., age 83, son Philip Sardin, spouse Mary Sardin, and President Jack Gose, Florida Suncoast Retiree Chapter, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, are shown smiling on the porch outside Buddy Freddys Buffet Restaurant, 1150 U.S. Highway 19, Holiday, FL 34691 after an enjoyable Chapter membership luncheon and business meeting on Tue., Sept. 20, 2005. John has been the Treasurer of the Local Chapter #1228 since creation in 1998 and Sec.-Treasurer of the APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter since formation in 2002.

Jack Gose, President, APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter, AFL-CIO, has appointed John Sardin, Jr. to the newly created post of Historian, which position was unanimously approved by the Chapter Executive Board meeting on Wed., Oct. 25, 2006 in Fort Myers, FL. John was born in 1922, and he is enjoying his 64 years of labor union involvement. He is a highly respected individual serving as the first APWU Vice President at Large on the Florida AFL-CIO Executive Board for several years, and is currently the Treasurer of the Florida Suncoast Retiree Chapter, Suncoast Area Local #1228 covering 337 and 346 zip code areas of Florida.

The CHAPTER HISTORIAN shall maintain an accurate historical record of the APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter, AFL-CIO, prior to and after the issuance of a founding charter granted by the American Postal Workers Union on March 15, 2002, and to keep up with the historical facts of all National APWU, National AFL-CIO, APWU of Florida State, Florida AFL-CIO, National Alliance for Retired Americans, and Florida Alliance for Retired Americans labor related events. He will share with APWU Active and Retiree dues paying officers, stewards, members, and their families by timely distribution and publication of informative, interesting historical articles in the Florida Postal Worker and at conventions, conferences, and seminars.

Elizabeth Cramer, APWU Southern Region Retiree National Convention Delegate, Steve Cramer, Dave and Phyllis Bernstein, Richard and Arlene Lambrigger, and Jack Gose participated in an open luncheon and business meeting at Holiday Inn Select in Ft. Myers. Beth Cramer wants everyone to know she attended all the active and retiree meetings at the National APWU Convention in Philadelphia in August. A motion was unanimously passed for the Chapter to send up to two (2) Chapter Officer/Delegates to the National APWU Retiree Conference and Clerk Craft Conference to be held in Las Vegas, NV at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel from Mon., Nov. 5 thru Thur., Nov. 8, 2007 to ensure having two Delegates with voice and vote at both events.

Jack Gose, Dave and Phyllis Bernstein joined over 100 other Postal Workers on Thur., Oct. 26, 2006 to picket the Main Post Office in downtown Ft. Myers, opposing the consolidation plans for 139 post offices of the U.S. Postal Service, which actions will slow down the service and eliminate postmarks on local mailings, including St. Petersburg, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Ft. Myers. The message was delivered by APWU active and retiree marchers loud and clear, “DON’T LET OUR MAIL SERVICE FALL APART,” as TV, Cable, Radio, and Newspaper Media on the scene recorded APWU History for the Ages!

The Chapter encourages all active APWU Area Local/Local Executive Boards and active membership to affiliate with Florida Alliance for Retired Americans (FLARA) at 25 cents per member, per year, with a minimum of twenty (20) members or $5.00 year dues to receive a charter from FLARA. Jack Gose distributed a Happy Folder containing an APPLICATION FOR AFFILIATION WITH FLARA to each of the APWU Area Local/Local Presidents attending the Local Presidents Conference all day meeting on Wed., Oct. 25, 2006. The APWU leaders of today need to get involved in politics and progressive legislation to protect and preserve our jobs, active and retiree benefit programs!

The 3-hour Retirement Class at the APWU of Florida Fall Seminar on Sat., Oct. 28, 2006 in Ft. Myers had a Wonderful Surprise Turnout with thirty (30) signing in, about half coming from Southwest Florida Area Local and the rest hailing from ten (10) other local unions. The expected retirement years offered by the attendees ranged from 2007 to 2040. Linda Springer, Director of Office of Personnel Management, informed us that sixty percent (60%) of the Federal Employee workforce will become eligible to retire within the next ten (10) years, and forty percent (40 %) will actually retire as soon as they become eligible. Doug Holbrook, National APWU Retiree Director, who taught the retirement seminar, states that 137,000 APWU craft members will become eligible to retire by 2016. My advice is for everyone to sign up for the next APWU OF FLORIDA SPRING 3-DAY RETIREMENT COUNSELOR SEMINAR to be taught in April, 2007. Early Outs are always an Option!

Federal retirees covered by Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and regular military retirees will receive a 3.3 percent COST OF LIVING (COLA) increase in 2007. Employees who retired under the new Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and are 62 or older will receive 2.3 percent COLA. There are about 2.4 million federal retirees worldwide. Social Security checks for nearly l49 million retirees are going up 3.3 percent in 2007, an average of $33.00 per month. The 3.3 percent hike compares to 4.1 percent benefit rise in 2006, the biggest increase in 15 years. One-third (1/3) of retirees rely on Social Security for ninety (90) percent or more of their total income. Part of the gain will be eaten up by a $5.00 jump in Medicare Part B Health Insurance from $88.50 to $93.50 monthly, a rise of 5.6 percent.

Our entire APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Executive Board members wish everyone smooth sailing, HAPPY HOLIDAYS in 2006, and HAPPY NEW YEAR in 2007!

Jack Gose, President, APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter

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