Friday, April 27, 2012

New Social Security, Medicare Projections No Excuse for Radical Changes

Reacting to new reports on the health of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, Alliance Executive Director Edward F. Coyle warns retirees to be wary of politicians who would use these reports as, “political cover for radical changes that would put seniors at risk while enriching Wall Street and the big health insurance companies.” 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. With no action from Congress, it would cover most benefits through 2086. The Alliance supports an effort by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to significantly boost the Social Security Trust Fund by requiring the nation’s highest wage earners to pay Social Security taxes at the same rate as middle class workers.

The Trustees report for Medicare noted that its Trust Fund, which covers hospital care, can fully pay benefits through 2024, and cover most benefits through 2085. Coyle noted that the 2010 Affordable Care Act set in motion several bold steps to lower Medicare costs through greater emphasis on preventive care and eliminating subsidies to private insurance companies. These approaches, Coyle said, are in stark contrast to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s proposals to raise the eligibility age, reduce benefits, and radically change Medicare in a way that generates even greater profits for health insurance companies. To learn more, visit

Source: Alliance for Retired Americans

May 8 Primary Voter Guide

With the May 8 recall primary elections less than two weeks away, we wanted to be sure that you had the necessary information to cast an informed ballot at your local polling location.


You can look up your polling placeVote May 8 1 and check to see if you are a registered voter by visiting Early voting is now underway in all six recall primary races. You can cast an in-person absentee ballot until the close of business on May 4 at your local municipal clerks’ offices.

Remember, you do NOT need a state issued ID to vote and can register to vote in-person on the day of the election. For more information on how to register to vote visit

Vote May 8 2There are two statewide primary elections being held on May 8. One for the office of Governor and one for Lieutenant Governor. There are also primaries in four Senate Districts. Republicans are running fake Democrats in all six primary races so it is important to know the facts about the candidates before heading to the polls.

The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO has made the following endorsements:

• Lori Compas - Senate District 13
• John Lehman - Senate District 21
• Kristen Dexter - Senate District 23
• Donna Seidel - Senate District 29
• Mahlon Mitchell – Lieutenant Governor
• Kathleen Falk – Governor

The above candidates are committed to fighting for worker rights, education, health care and a fair economy. They will work to advance the needs of working class and middle class Wisconsinites – not out-of-state millionaires and billionaires.

Cast your ballot on Tuesday, May 8 and mark your calendars for the general election which will be held on Tuesday, June 5.

Source: Wisconsin State AFL-CO Blog

COPA Money Comes Back to Wisconsin

APWU of Wisconsin receives COPA Funds from National for distribution in upcoming elections.

La Crosse, WI -  APWU of Wisconsin (APWUWI) State President Steve Lord announced at the APWUWI Executive Board meeting recently that the State has received checks from your COPA contributions for distribution to “Labor-Friendly” candidates in the upcoming elections.

Checks were received for Wisconsin Legislators as follows:

  • Rob Zerban – Candidate for First District Congressional District $1,000.00
  • Gwen Moore – Congresswoman 4th District $5,000.00
  • Jamie Wall – Candidate for 8th District Congressional District $2,500.00
  • Pat Kreitlow – Candidate State Senator District #23  $2,500.00
  • Tammy Baldwin – Candidate for U.S. Senate (Herb Kohl vacant position) $5,000.00
  • AFL-CIO Recall Effort – $10,000.00

Pictured Below:


Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Phil Neuenfeldt (right) accepts a check for $10,000.00 for the upcoming Recall Efforts in Wisconsin. The COPA check was presented to Neuenfeldt by APWUWI President Steve Lord and APWU Central Region Coordinator Sharyn M. Stone.

Photo by: John E. Durben

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

BREAKING NEWS! Senate Vote on Postal Bill

(Note: Received in a recent e-mail.)

The United States Senate has Passed the United States Postal Service Bill "21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012" (S1789) by a vote of 62-37.

The Amendment voting results (as I have it) are recorded as either withdrawn, passed, or failed, are posted below.

(R) McCain #2001 Management substitute amendment WITHDRAWN

(D) Tester #2056 Amendment to modify the process of closing or consolidating Post Offices and Postal Facilities. PASSED

**(R) Coburn #2060 Amendment to provide transparency, accountability, and limitations of government sponsored conferences. (not germane to bill) PASSED

(R) McCain #2033 Amendment to establish the Commission on Postal Reorganization (in HR 2309) FAILED

**(D) Wyden-(D) Feinstein #2020 Amendment to require the Postal Service to consider the effect of closing or consolidating a postal facility on the ability of the affected community to vote by mail and to provide Post Offices and Postal Facilities to protect the ability to vote by mail. PASSED

**(R) Coburn #2058 Amendment to alternatives to Post Offices. PASSED

(R) MaCaskill-(D) Merkley #2031 Amendment to prohibit the closing of a rural Post Office unless certain conditions are met and to establish a 2 year moratorium on the closing of rural Post Offices. PASSED

(R) Coburn #2061 Amendment to require retirement eligible employees of the Postal Service to retire. FAILED

(R) Snowe #2080 Amendment to improve, sustain, and transform the United States Postal Service (closures) PASSED

(D) Udall #2043 Amendment to strike the limitations on changes to mail delivery schedule, with an offset. FAILED

**(D) Durbin #2082 Amendment to improve, sustain, and transform the United States Postal Service (closures) PASSED

(D) Akaka #2034 Amendment to replace provisions that would be financially devastating to thousands of Postal workers and Federal employees who were injured on the job and who receive compensation from the OWCP. FAILED

**(D) Bennet-(R) Blunt #2047 Amendment to establish citizen's service protection advocates in each state with respect to facility closures. PASSED

(R) Corker #2083 Amendment negatively impacts six day delivery and Collective Bargaining FAILED

**(D) Mikulski #2003 Amendment to prohibit the USPS from closing any postal facility without certification from the Governor of the state in which the Postal facility is located. WITHDRAWN

(D) Akaka #2049 Amendment to clarify consultative rights of Postmasters and Supervisors FAILED

(R) Paul #2025 Amendment to end the mailbox use monopoly FAILED

(D) Manchin #2079 Amendment to improve, sustain, and transform the USPS (closures) FAILED

**(R) Paul #2026 Amendment to provide merit pay for the PMG and limit the authority of the USPS to award bonuses WITHDRAWN

**(D) Bingamin #2076 Amendment to require that state liaisons for states without a district office are located within their respective states. PASSED

(R) Paul #2027 Amendment to close Post Offices in the Capitol complex PASSED

**(D) Cardin #2040 Amendment to prohibit the closing of a Postal Processing Plant if the nearest Postal facility is more than 50 miles away. WITHDRAWN

(R) Paul #2028 Amendment to establish a pilot program to test alternative methods for the delivery of Postal Services. FAILED

(D) Carper #2065 Amendment to provide for temporary authority to adjust the first class mail stamp rate. WITHDRAWN

**(R) Paul #2029 Amendment to require the USPS to take in consideration the impact of regulations when developing a profitability plan. PASSED

(D) Carper #2066 Amendment to limit the compensation of executives of the Postal Service PASSED

(R) Paul #2039 Amendment to eliminate Collective Bargaining FAILED

(D) Casey #2042 Amendment to maintain current delivery time for market dominated products for 4 years. FAILED

(R) Paul #2038 Amendment to end the Postal Service monopoly on First Class Mail and mailbox use WITHDRAWN

**(D) Landrieu #2072 Amendment to determine the impact of certain Postal Facility closures or consolidations on small businesses PASSED

(R) DeMint #2046 Amendment to cut union income FAILED

**(R) McCaskill #2030 Amendment to improve FECA PASSED

(R) Coburn #2059 Amendment to allow the USPS to close unprofitable Post Office Facilities. WITHDRAWN

**(D) Pryor #2036 Amendment to express the sense of the senate to place a moratorium on Postal Facility closures and consolidations until enactment. PASSED

**(D) Rockefeller #2073 Amendment to clarify retirees cannot be required to enroll in Medicare. PASSED

**(D) Rockefeller #2074 Amendment to ensure the Postal Service Health Benefits Program be comparable to the FEHBP PASSED

(D) Schumer #2050 Amendment to maintain door to door delivery point services PASSED

**(D) Tester #2032 Amendment to limit the pay of Postal Service Executives. PASSED

(D) Warner #2071 Amendment to require reporting regarding retirement processing and modernization. PASSED

I hope the above information has been helpful.

Sam Wood

President - Southwest Florida Area Local / APWU

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


On Monday April 9, 2012 the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO COPE committee met to conduct interviews with candidates for governor, Kathleen Falk, Tom Barrett and Kathleen Vinhout.

After the interviews the COPE Committee passed a motion to endorse Kathleen Falk for Governor in the May 8, recall primary. The endorsement represents the required two-thirds vote of committee members voting. In addition the Committee passed a motion to endorse the Democratic winner of the primary for the June 5th general election.

Tony Vanderbloemen
Greater Green Bay Labor Council