APWU Retirees Still Fighting for Justice

Nancy Olumekor

July 25, 2019

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

The APWU Retirees Department is mourning the sudden loss of Elizabeth “Beth” Bobo (Cramer), Southern APWU Retiree Delegate to the National Convention.

Beth served as the Southern Region Retiree Delegate to the APWU National Convention since 1999. Beth, a Navy veteran, retired on disability from the USPS over 20 years ago at the age of 40. For many years, Beth worked at the Schaumburg, IL Post Office before relocating to Florida. In Florida, Beth was an officer and active member of the Southwest Florida Area Local for many years.

On April 16 and 17, Beth attended the Florida State Retirees Spring Seminar, where she shared her stories of leafletting during the 2019 National Tax Day of Action and encouraged her neighbors to support postal worker issues. She requested additional tax day flyers to continue spreading the word.

Beth could be seen and heard at every APWU National Convention speaking at the microphones. She loved the APWU and she loved being a voice for retirees and anyone who needed a voice.

Beth’s many years of hard work and dedication to APWU and the APWU Retirees Department is recognized, acknowledged and appreciated by all who knew her. We will miss her voice, and evidence of her work and her spirit will be remembered by all whom she touched.

Her family has requested that if you wish to make any donation, please make it to the American Heart Association in memory of Elizabeth “Beth” Bobo.

Tell Congress to Pass the Social Security Fairness Act and Social Security Expansion Act NOW!

During this 116th session of Congress, The Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 141 and S. 521), along with the Social Security Expansion Act (S. 478 and H.R. 1170) must be passed by both houses of Congress.

The Social Security Fairness Act would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provisions (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) adversely affects those receiving a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) pension while also qualifying for Social Security benefits from other employment. The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces Social Security benefits to our dependents, including spouses or widows, by two-thirds if they are currently receiving a retirement or disability pension based on our prior government employment, during which we did not pay into Social Security.

There are still millions of CSRS annuitants watching and waiting for Congress to pass legislation to repeal the WEP and GPO in order to provide us with a fair return on our investment in the Social Security system. Many CSRS annuitants worked other jobs in order to increase their Social Security benefits.

The Social Security Expansion Act, S. 478 and H.R. 1170, as reported by the Legislative Department, would lift the earnings cap on Social Security taxes currently in place for all incomes over $250,000. Lifting the cap would result in extending the solvency of Social Security. In addition, low-income earners would see an increase in their Social Security benefits by $1,300/year.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) would be calculated by using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPIE), which would yield a fairer cost of living increase than the current way of calculation.

Continue to write letters or postcards and call Capitol Hill at 1-202-224-3121 to speak to your member of Congress!

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