NATIONAL AFL-CIO WEBSITE RECOGNIZES RETIREE PARADISE, NEW WEBSITE ONLINE

NATIONAL AFL-CIO WEBPAGE RECOGNIZES NEW “RETIREE PARADISE” WEBSITE!

An innovative Retiree Website online publication named Retiree Paradise was created for the APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter, APWU, AFL-CIO and launched on November 15, 2006 at
www.retireeparadise.blogspot.com to serve over 3,000 APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter ACTIVE AND RETIREE dues paying members and their families residing in the State of Florida zip code 320 thru 349 and wherever they move out of state.
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The National AFL-CIO website recognized the new APWU Retiree website in an article on Jan. 3, 2007, and Postal Reporter.com and 21st Century Postal Worker.com provided links from their sites to the Retiree Paradise website.

New policies grandfathered in from the National APWU Retirees Department implemented in October, 2006 require that any APWU Retiree member paying $24.00 year or $2.00 month to the National APWU Retirees Department in Washington, D.C. must be listed as a Chapter member from the APWU Local Union they were a member of prior to retirement from the U.S. Postal Service, NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE IN THE WORLD!
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The only exception would be if they requested in writing to be transferred to a Retiree Chapter in the state where they have moved to, such as Florida!

Jack Gose, President of the State Retiree Chapter, is the first Editor of the new Retiree Newsletter Website Online named “RETIREE PARADISE.” The State Retiree Chapter Constitution & By-Laws address the need for a Retiree Editor to communicate and share information with APWU active and retiree members and their families, and the website was created FREE using Blogger Beta by Jack Gose online at
www.retireeparadise.blogspot.com for the benefit of everyone to access and share info.

Our APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter Online Newsletter leads the nation in new ideas, and is a Proud member of the APWU National Postal Press Association, Florida Postal Press Association, and Florida Alliance for Retired Americans. The State Retiree Chapter was chartered in March, 2002 and this fantastic original Retiree website is a Work in Progress for anyone who expresses a Labor of Love, which is what Unionism is All About. No State APWU Retiree union dues to pay!

You will find many interesting Retiree articles and photos on this new website to titillate your imagination. If you have any questions or comments concerning RETIREE PARADISE, contact Jack Gose, President and Editor, at my home phone 727-343-2998 or E-mail me at
www.jak.gose@excite.com with your articles, suggestions, or comments.

JOHN SARDIN, JR. APPOINTED AS CHAPTER HISTORIAN

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.

REVIEW OF 2006 EVENTS AND PREVIEW OF 2007 ACTION

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.
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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.
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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.
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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!

National APWU officer elections are to be held in 2007, and over 40,000 APWU Retiree dues paying members will get to vote for their National APWU Retiree Director for the first time as a result of Delegate Convention action. Several Retirees will be running for the coveted top spot, and we are already getting feelers from potential candidates who are jockeying for position to win the $90,000. salary annually plus benefits and travel expenses.
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The National APWU Southern Region Convention Delegate elected spot is going to attract several notable candidates as well we hear. We wish all the candidates the best, and hope the winners will lead us to greater progress in 2007.

OPM ANNUITY, SOCIAL SECURITY COLA, AND MEDICARE INCREASES IN 2007

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.
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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.
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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, and a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR in 2007!

Jack Gose, President, APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter.
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(POST SCRIPT: The below news was received after the above article was submitted unedited to the Florida Postal Worker for publication.)
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Our thanks to the National APWU Communications Department managed by Sally Davidow and National APWU Retirees Department directed by Douglas Cowan Holbrook, for providing a link from the National APWU website "State and Local Links" webpage and a link from the National APWU Retiree Dept. website "State and Local Retiree Chapters webpage to the "Retiree Paradise" website of the APWU of Florida State Retiree Chapter at www.retireeparadise.blogspot.com to access and share late breaking retiree news.
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We give our thanks also to the Suncoast Area Local #1228 of Florida Office Manager Diane McDaniel for setting up a link from their Area Local Union Retiree webpage to the new Florida State Retiree website "Retiree Paradise," and we welcome any other APWU, AFL-CIO, union local or state organization in the world, including active or retiree union dues paying members or their family members who wish to link up with our innovative "Retiree Paradise" internet online website to go to www.retireeparadise.blogspot.com and feel free to do so for access and sharing of up to date retirement information hot off the wires!
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Jack Gose, Editor and Webmaster

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