Our Current Fights and Ways to Stay Engaged

Judy Beard

July 18, 2023

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As we head into the August recess on Capitol Hill, we should reflect on the progress we have made on advancing our legislative priorities this Congress. We are currently working to gain congressional support to bring fairness and expansion to Social Security, to allow PSEs to buy back time toward their retirement, to create parity between Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retiree Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs), to strengthen the right to organize, to extend vote-by-mail, to improve USPS Service Standards, and to protect the USPS from privatization.

Our Legislative Priorities

Potential Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) Reform

I have received a number of questions from members regarding a potential reform to how CSRS benefits are funded. The CSRS funding reforms being discussed, sometimes referred to as the “Segal Study,” would not impact our earned benefits. However, if these reforms were adopted, they would save the USPS billions of dollars by more accurately allocating pension costs between the USPS and other federal agencies/accounts that pay into the fund. We believe this reform could be undertaken without congressional action, but through the authority of the presidential executive order.

Attend Our Legislative Conference in Las Vegas

A day prior to the start of the All-Craft Conference in Las Vegas, mandated by a national convention resolution, the Legislative Department will be hosting the 2023 Legislative Conference entitled “Building Grassroots Power.” Information on the workshops is listed below:

  1. Legislative Advocacy & Lobbying: In this workshop, attendees will learn effective lobbying techniques to build support for APWU’s legislative priorities on the “Hill.” They will learn how to secure the meeting, how to prepare, and how to effectively educate lawmakers and their staff on our issues. APWU members will also learn how to build and maintain a productive relationship with their members of Congress.
  2. Knowledge is Power: Understanding Basic Operations of USPS: It is important that APWU members expand their understanding of the basic operations of the Postal Service. They will leave the workshop with a solid foundational knowledge of Postal Service finances and operations that will help them in their advocacy.
  3. Reshaping Democracy at the State and Local Level: Workshop attendees will find strategies to advance our core issues at the state and local level through referendums, initiatives, and propositions. They will explore ways to help get out the vote, increase awareness, and create relationships with their state and local representatives.
  4. The Building Blocks of COPA: This workshop will take a deep dive into our Committee on Political Action (COPA) program and its importance in building support for the APWU's legislative priorities. We will examine how best to convey the importance of the program to the APWU membership in order to garner contributions. This workshop is ideal for COPA Captains and those who are interested in helping build our program.
  5. Strategic Communication for Action: The APWU communications team will train attendees on how to communicate for social change. They will learn how to craft a message, communicate with the media/ membership, and how to involve their member of Congress or state representatives to draw media attention. The goal is for APWU members to come away with practical lessons on how to communicate effectively as a trade unionist.
  6. The History of the Labor Movement: In this workshop, attendees will receive a historical overview of the American labor movement. They will look at the economic, political, and workplace issues facing working people, why and how workers join unions, how unions are structured and function, and how unions and management bargain a contract. Attendees will explore the role of labor unions in American society by discussing their part in initiating actions on social issues that impact the U.S. working class, the economy, public policy, and politics.

Visit apwu.org/events/2023-legislative-political-conference to register now. 


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