APWU "Jack Gose" State of Florida Retiree Chapter
 WELCOME TO DAVE’S RETIREE’S CORNER:  By David Bernstein, President APWU “Jack Gose” State of Florida Retiree Chapter. Your Retiree Exec Board would like to wish you and yours a very Healthy & Happy Holiday Season & a Joyous New Year!

Attention all APWU Retirees...both MALs and Chapter Members!
     As per our Constitution and ByLaws, Article 6 - Election: Section 1, 2, 3, 4.
We will be holding an Election of ALL Officers on April 18, 2016 at the Doubletree Hotel 13400 W. Sunrise Blvd, Sunrise, Florida 33323 at the APWU State Convention.  Retiree's Convention will convene at 9:30 a.m.  All nominations will be taken on the Convention Floor.  Any proposed Resolutions and Bylaw changes to be considered, must be received by me no later than the 19th of March 2016 @ 2616 S. Toronto Ave., Tampa, Florida 33629.

REPORT ON THE NATIONAL RETIREES CONFERENCE HELD IN CONJUCTION WITH THE “ALL CRAFTS CONFERENCE”... October 11-14 at Bally's in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the actual conference started on Monday the 12th...there was a very informative and interactive day of “exchange of information” by Presidents and other officers which took place on Sunday the 11th. There was a good representation from around the country with over 120 Retirees in attendance. We now have 66 retiree chapters along with a membership of over 40,000. The number of organizations that our retirees are involved with have also grown...with many more becoming members of the Alliance for Retired Americans, NARFE, Social Security Works, AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils, State Federations, The Grand Alliance, etc. Our retirees have worked in unison with these organizations, combining activities in order to address the needs of their communities and support the labor movement. And while we were working to help the Active Members in their quest to get a better contract...the retirees have been “rewarded” by negotiations giving them 1st preference to go back to work at the Post Office for the Holiday Season...a 21 day period...with no reduction to their annuity... to recent retirees (if you retired in 2013, 2014 or 2015) who are current Retired Union Members in Good Standing. This will allow recent retirees to earn a little extra for the holidays...without any penalty. Actually by the time you read this, you should have already received an “invitation”. If you qualify and did not receive a letter then it means that the Union and/or OPM does NOT have your proper address. In order to correct that you can call 202-842-8584...the Retiree's Department in Washington, D.C...and ask them to correct your contact information. Another item that the Union has been working on for us is to help in grieving a “Letter of Demand” that the Post Office might send to you after you have retired. While retirees currently have a 14 day window to file a grievance (bargained for in our last contract), it usually takes more than 14 days before said retiree receives the notification. Meanwhile if this has happened to you, call our National Retirees APWU.
Anyone who is having trouble with reference to the “Data Breach” can contact a company called WINVALE. They are now handling the problems for OPM and our Union on line. The gentleman in charge is a Mr. Dombo. He can be reached a MDombo@winvale.com or call 202-997-8858.
We were honored with an appearance and speech from U.S. Presidential Candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders at the General Session on Tuesday Morning. He was very well received..as he is very PRO UNION...and is 100% for keeping the Postal Service intact.
Some helpful tips we learned from our speakers...Did you know that EQUIFAX SELLS our information (unless there is a “freeze” on the account...Thieves are usually no longer looking to STEAL your checkbook, they just take a picture (from their I-Phone) and take it from there...so be careful how you handle your checkbook in public...even at the bank. If you have WIRELESS in your home, thieves can sit outside in a car by your home with a laptop and capture things that you have on your computer. We were told NOT to put up our MAILBOX FLAGS as it attracts mail thieves.
INSURANCE CONSUMER ADVOCATE'S FORUM: Held in Tallahassee on the 15th of October. As per a request from our APWU Retiree Department in Washington, for us to have a representative at the Forum, Mr.Lenvard Hall, a retiree member from the “Gone but not Forgotten: Chapter attended. “Thank You Lenvard”... The following is brief summary of his report. The entire report will be posted on the State Retiree Web Site. “The issues which the forum addressed related to unexpected medical expenses that many Floridians are experiencing even though they have insurance. It was pointed out that 30 years ago 8% of all bankruptcies were due to medical expenses. In 2014 that rose to 52%. In 75% of those 2014 bankruptcies, the consumers had health insurance. Most agreed that these unexpected expenses are the result of patients receiving services outside of their insurance network.
FLARA: On September 25th I attended a one day conference/quarterly E-Board meeting in Lakeland, Florida with FLARA (Florida Alliance for Retired Americans). Their problems are basically the same as the APWU Retiree's problems. Hopefully, working together we may prevail in the stopping of using retirees & their pension monies as the government's open bank account.
FUTURE CONVENTIONS and CONFERENCES: Last issue I gave a “HEADS UP NOTICE” about our 2016 National APWU Convention. It will be held in Florida at the Disney World Swan/Dauphin Hotel and Convention Center Complex – Rate is supposed to be $129.00 + tax. Pre workshops will be held Friday, August 19th with the regular Retiree Convention occurring on August 20th and 21st. The Parade of States is scheduled to be held on Sunday evening August 21. Please try to budget to send some of your members to our Retirees Conference...its in our own Home State...Hope to see both lots of old friends and new faces.
But even before our National Convention, Florida will be holding their STATE CONVENTION. Sooo,  let this serve as an OFFICIAL ELECTION NOTICE FOR THE APWU “JACK GOSE” STATE OF FLORIDARETIREE'S CHAPTER. As per our Constitution and By Laws, Article 6 – Elections; Section 1, 2, 3, 4. We will be holding an Election of ALL Officers on April 18, 2016 at the Doubletree Hotel 13400 W. Sunrise Blvd, Sunrise, Fl. 33323 at the APWU State Convention. Retiree's Convention will convene at 9:30 a.m. All nominations will be taken on the Convention Floor. Any proposed Resolutions and Bylaw changes to be considered must be received by me no later than the 18th of March 2016 @ 2616 S. Toronto Ave. Tampa, Florida 33629.

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