APWU Retirees Still Fighting for Justice

Nancy Olumekor

November 15, 2023

Share this article

Thank you to all veterans and active military personnel for their service, and for continuing to support me in the true spirit of unionism. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the membership of the APWU Retirees Department, I cannot do this work without your support!

2024 COLA Increase for Retirees

In January, federal retirees and other beneficiaries will see another cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) added to their Social Security benefits. The 2024 COLA will be 3.2 percent, the Social Security Administration announced. Federal retirees in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) receive the full 2024 COLA of 3.2 percent, while those in the

Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) receive 2.2 percent. When the CSRS COLA increases more than 3 percent, FERS retirees receive 1 percent less than the full 2024 COLA.

Reminder!!! Retirement Planning Seminar on ZOOM

The Retirees Department will continue to hold retirement planning seminars on Zoom at least three times each year. The information will be available on the APWU Event page. On Nov. 18, 2023, we will host a Retirement Planning seminar on ZOOM which will be followed by Disability Retirement on ZOOM Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

2023 Retirees Educational Conference

There were over 200 retiree members in attendance for the 2023 Retirees Educational Conference from Oct. 2 – 4, 2023. Retirees attended workshops and a general session, with presentations from national officers, and discussions and debates on various issues by the retiree members.

The general session presentation by Judy Beard, APWU Political and Legislative Director, and Rich Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, focused on our legislative priorities, since retirees will play an important role in the 2024 elections. We were also encouraged to keep the pressure on our congressional representatives to pass legislation that will protect retiree benefits and benefits for working people everywhere. Our APWU Retirees Still Fighting for Justice entire session called congressional representatives to ask for their vote and support for the Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82.

President Dimondstein encouraged us to establish relationships with young workers because the APWU has over 35,000 of them, many with little or no knowledge of the labor movement and history. Mentoring is a great opportunity for retirees to share union experiences and achievements. President Dimondstein and Secretary-Treasurer Powell presented the charter to the Magic City Retiree Chapter#2 from Birmingham AL Area Local.

During the second day of the general session, we honored deceased retiree activists and retiree members. Pittsburgh PA Retiree Chapter president Charlotte Richards was presented with memorial keepsakes in honor of her deceased husband, former local president Pittsburgh, PA Area Local John Richards. We recognized deceased retirees Al Fouche, former Detroit District Retiree Chapter president; Phyllis “PK” Woods, president of the John R Smith (Dayton, Ohio) Retiree Chapter; Gary Kloepfer, Greater Cincinnati Retiree Chapter; and James Malone who served 50 years as local president of the South Suburban Area Local and 50 years in the USPS prior to retirement.

We discussed the importance of preparing a record of our wishes for our family members when we are no longer able to speak for ourselves. The “Workers & Retirees Record Organizer Vital Papers” booklet is available to all members at the APWU Store on the website. In closing, I wish each of you Happy holidays, and good health and happiness in the New Year. In Solidarity.■

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.