Retirees Say: ‘Break the Chained CPI!’

September 2, 2013

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(This article appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

Judy Beard, Director  Retirees Department

APWU retirees across the country turned out in huge numbers on July 2 to protest the “Chained CPI,” a proposal to change the way cost-of-living adjustments are calculated that will result in lower COLAs for seniors. The event was sponsored by the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), which has a membership over 4 million retired union members, seniors and community activists. The APWU Retirees Department is one of its affiliates.

We heard from many readers who were unable to attend the event, but reported that they took the time to educate friends, family members, and neighbors about the importance of strengthening Social Security and Medicare — not cutting these vital programs.

ARA’s fact sheet on Social Security says, “Social Security, according to its Trustees, has a $2.7 trillion surplus, enough to fully meet the demands of a growing retiree cohort through 2033 — the same as last year. With no action from Congress, it would cover most benefits through 2087. The Trustees report for Medicare noted that its Trust Fund, which covers hospital care, can fully pay benefits through 2026 — two years later than forecast     last year.” This is good news for us! It supports our position that those who want to cut our benefits have little ground to stand on.

We must encourage our congressional representatives to protect and strengthen these programs for seniors and to support legislation such as the Strengthen Social Security Act (S. 567).

I encourage all members to make sure they are informed about the voting records and positions candidates have taken on issues affecting seniors, working families, veterans, the USPS, and jobs, prior to voting in the 2014 elections.

Retirees Conference

It’s not too late to register for the National Retirees Educational Conference in Las Vegas, which begins on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. and ends on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, at 4 p.m.

Classes for retirees include Hands-On Computer & Cell Phone Training; Chapter Newsletters & Developing Chapter Websites; Advanced Technology: Webinars, Conference Calls, & Group Email; Staying Connected: Community, Union, & Aging Organizations; Safety & Identity Theft; CPR Training; Eating for Optimal Aging & Cooking Demonstration; Heart Disease & Diabetes, and Alzheimer’s & Care Giving.

General Sessions include presentations on legislative issues, the APWU Health Plan, and other subjects that are important to retirees.

Participants in the conference are invited to attend the 2013 Installation of Officers on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 7.

In past years, retiree members reported that they found programs and activities at the conference to be enjoyable and informative.

The cost for the National Retirees Educational Conference is $25; for those who register after Sept. 30, the cost is $40.

You also can call 1-877-279-8669 and leave your name, address, and phone number, and we will send you a registration form.

We look forward to seeing you in November!

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