By Mark Hennessy
February 2005 newsletter

To follow up on my article concerning keeping up with the airline industry problems - a recent article on the pension debate is stirring up within the various airline industry unions that represent other than the pilots union. The PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) puts United Airline pilots failed pension to the tune of 1.4 billion dollars. As an example for what this means for a United pilot with 26 years of service and 56 years of age who retires would get about $2200 a month in PBGC pension insurance payment rather than the $8200 expected under his existing plan. Now, put this in perspective to the importance of where is the USPS headed with Mr. Bush and his plans for postal reform or will it be postal revolution? We cannot stress enough to our members the importance to be involved, keep up to date, read your union magazine, newsletter, bulletin board and follow-up with whatever you can afford in a contribution to COPA, to call, write your congressman and senators in opposition to the new Bush attempts to privatize or change our collective bargaining rights. Right along with this, is get that NON-MEMBER SIGNED UP. The old saying: Safety in Numbers is a Strength, WE NEED ALL.


Information for high school seniors is available through the Union Office for APWU, Pennsylvania Postal Workers Union (PPWU), and AFL-CIO scholarships. We will send out upon request all needed information about this benefit offered by your Union.


It is important to realize we must keep on top of each office's complement, especially with as many retirements as we have had. The Postmaster must notify in writing any intent to revert a position when one becomes vacant. Once posted for bidding to the craft members and no bids, it becomes a residual vacancy, subject to filling with unencumbered clerks or held under Article 12 Excessing if at the time the District is under this mode. Immediately file a grievance once the initial 28 days has passed when a "vacant" position is not acted upon; at that point, they have no choice but to post and bid and go through the contractual language promoting the senior PTF to regular under the PTF preference in Article 37. Notify either your Step 3 appealing Officer or the President ASAP when management says they will revert, which means they are being told to downgrade their complement by deleting this position.