Category Archives: Latest News

Latest News and Articles relevant to the APWU Retirees.

Coronavirus Update from the Florida Alliance for Retired Americans

Sisters and Brothers,

As the coronavirus, also called COVID-19, continues to spread in the United States, we want to share specific  information for older Americans about how to stay safe and healthy.

Please read this material and forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives. Older Americans and people with pre-existing health conditions are at particular risk from this virus.

We hope you find the information below from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) helpful. Of course, please contact your health care provider or local health department for more specific information.

What is the coronavirus?

The “Coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19) is a new (also called “novel”) respiratory illness that makes it harder to breath. The name comes from how the virus appears under a microscope, as it appears to have “crowns” and corona is the Latin word for crown.

How does the coronavirus spread?

The virus is mainly spread between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

As of March 12, the CDC says “COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illnesses it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States,” so all of this information may evolve as we learn more.

Can I get the virus from somebody who doesn’t know they are sick?

YES! The disease can be spread by infected people without — or prior to showing — any symptoms. This is why it is important to follow the public health guidelines before knowing of an outbreak in your community.

Why are older adults at greater risk for the effects of the coronavirus?

Viruses are not equal opportunity. Early data suggest older people are at least twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness.

This may be because people’s immune systems change as they age, making it harder for their body to fight off diseases and infection.

Older adults are also more likely to have underlying health conditions (including diabetes and heart/lung/kidney diseases) that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.

If you are at increased risk for COVID-19 complications due to age or because you have a severe underlying medical condition, it is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.

How can I protect myself?

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with simple preventive actions.

Avoid crowded places and steer clear of close contact with people who are sick. This entails avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially not embarking on cruise ships. We are seeing sports leagues, colleges, businesses and churches shut down large gatherings to avoid the spread. You should think before going to any gathering of more than a few people.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

What extra steps can I take if I am in a vulnerable population?

Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand. If you cannot get to the pharmacy, consider using mail-order for medications.

Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms in case you become ill.

Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.

Avoid crowds as much as possible. If you are in a crowded area take precautions to keep space between you and others.

Stay home as much as possible. Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.

What to do if you are sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread.

Where can I find more information about the coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page on “People at Risk” specifically addresses concerns older Americans might have.

The World Health Organization also has an incredible amount of information on the situation around the world.

In Solidarity,

Bill Sauers

Miami-Dade County Weekly News – 02/28/20

Miami-Dade County Weekly News heaader graphic

coronavirus

Miami-Dade County monitoring COVID-19

Miami-Dade County officials continue to work with local, state and federal agencies in monitoring COVID-19, part of the coronavirus family. Read helpful tips and resources to avoid potentially spreading the disease.


2020 elections

Early voting for presidential primary starts Monday

Early voting for the Presidential Preference Primary Election starts Monday, March 2 and runs through Sunday, March 15. Visit one of the 23 locations to cast your vote. In addition, the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the primary, which can be done online, is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 7.


property taxes

Pay property taxes online and save

The last day to get a discount for paying your property tax bill early is Monday, March 2. Get 1 percent off your bill and avoid phone wait times by making your payment online. In addition, the deadline to apply for property tax exemptions is Sunday, March 1.


riding bikes

Join the ride on Bike to Work Day

Try a healthier way to get to your job on Bike to Work Day Friday, March 6. Ride along a police-escorted trail from University Metrorail Station to Downtown Miami. The opening ceremony starts at 8 a.m. but arrive early for free gifts. Read about more bike events happening this month.


community clean up

Help our County stay clean and thrive

Roll up your sleeves and help clean up the Florida City Pineland Preserve on Saturday, March 7. Volunteering in the Environmentally Endangered Lands program is a great way to get involved and make a positive impact in our community.

free tax preparation help

Stop the Postal Sell-off: Say NO to a Privatizer as the Postmaster General

The public service mission of the Postal Service has made it the most popular federal agency. However, this public good is at risk if we don’t all act soon.

In June 2018 the White House announced proposals to privatize the Postal Service. Now Postmaster General Megan Brennan has announced her departure as Postmaster General in January 2020.

The Postmaster General has wide powers to shape the mission of USPS and there is a real risk that Brennan’s successor could hand over parts of the service to private, profit-making corporations and prepare it for a wholesale sell-off.

The people will rightly expect a new Postmaster General who will uphold the Postal Service’s public mission and will work to preserve and enhance our national treasure.

Add your voice. Protect our public Postal Service. [ CLICK HERE to Sign the Petition ]

US Mail Not for Sale petition talking points

Alliance for Retired Americans 2019 Winter Legislative Toolkit

Dear Alliance State Presidents, Regional and CAN Board Members and Field Team,

Last week, we sent you the 2019 Winter Legislative Toolkit to support your efforts lobbying the members of your state’s federal delegation on retiree issues.

Today, as promised, we are happy to resend the toolkit with two additional fact sheets – one on Drug Price Competitiveness and another on the Health Benefits Tax. Both fact sheets are already in the 2019 Winter Legislative Toolkit google folder. They are also attached to this email as stand alones and included in the attached, updated version of the full toolkit.

Remember, please keep us in the loop about the district lobby visits you plan to schedule as well as the results of your visits.

Next week, the Congress is on recess. Now is the time to make the requests and schedule your district lobby visits.


We are excited to share with you the Alliance for Retired Americans 2019 Winter Legislative Toolkit for the 116th Congress. The full document is attached to this email along with a corresponding PowerPoint presentation, which covers the material and which you should feel comfortable delivering to your board and members.

The product of this toolkit are the in-district legislative lobby visits it prepares you to schedule and complete.To this end, you will find Alliance fact sheets that each correspond to specific asks to be made during lobby visits and listed on the Lobby Report Back Form.

Listed below are three important links for using this toolkit:

1) Follow and share this link to a google folder with each individual part of the toolkit available for download.

2) Follow and share this link, which is a form for those planning or coordinating lobby visits. As soon as this form is completed, we will follow up with the lobby visit leader to ensure they have materials as well as accurate membership counts for the legislative district in which they are lobbying.

3) Follow and share this link to a form for use after legislative visits to record the responses on our issues of the members of Congress. These answers are critical moving forward as we track and advocate on our issues.

This toolkit also contains ancillary resources valuable for your organizing. You will find a Storytelling Minikit, a memo on best practices of Photography for Activism, a petition page and a state banner request form. Maximizing the potential of these documents will contribute to stronger State Alliances.

Thank you as always for the work you do building a retiree movement. Your enduring activism advances our progress.

—–

Brendan S. Kelly, Director, Field Mobilization
Alliance for Retired Americans | 815 16th Street, NW, 4th Floor North | Washington, DC 20006

E-mail: bkelly@retiredamericans.org | www.retiredamericans.org
Phone: 202-637-5272
Cell: 732-762-2465

We need you October 8th

Save our service
Eddie Caldwell APWU Miami Area Local President & Charlene Butler Miami APWU Retirees President

Privatizers–those who want to sell the public postal service to private corporations–are hard at work. But together we can stop them in their tracks.

The four postal unions are holding a national day of action to Save Our Service on Monday, October 8th, with events around the country.

See if there is an event near you this Monday, October 8th, to Save Our Service!

Here’s what we’re up against:

In April, President Trump created a task force on the United States Postal Service, and gave the it four months to create recommendations for the future of the USPS1.

But the White House tipped their hand when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released their reorganization plan in June. Among many sweeping changes to the federal government, that proposal called for the privatization of the USPS–and OMB is one of the three partners leading the Task Force.

After the OMB plan met bipartisan opposition in Congress–and facing difficult midterms in November–the White House decided to hide the recommendations until after Election Day. They’re already on their heels. Now, let’s come together to send a message – The U.S. Mail is Not for Sale

If there isn’t a rally in your area, you can still participate by calling your members of Congress and telling them to co-sponsor H.Res. 993 and S.Res 633. You can learn more about the Resolutions and contact your member of Congress here.

I hope you’ll join us Monday–either at a rally in your community or by calling your member of Congress.

In unity,
Mark Dimondstein, APWU President

Tell Congress: Protect the PUBLIC Postal Service

APWU newsletter

Last month, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service.

Thankfully, a bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives quickly introduced a measure—House Resolution 993 (H.Res.993) —to support the people’s Postal Service and oppose its privatization. Now we need to make sure every member of Congress joins the coalition.

holding a cellphoneWill you make a quick call and urge your representative to oppose privatization of the Postal Service by becoming a co-sponsor of the resolution? Dial 1-844-402-1001 to be patched through to your member of Congress.

Privatizing the Postal Service would be a disaster for our members, the USPS, and the entire nation. This is yet another attempt by the Wall Street robber barons to pad their pockets and rob the public of affordable and universal mail delivery.

Please CALL NOW and urge your representative to cosponsor H.Res.993 and protect the Postal Service from privatization. Dial 1-844-402-1001 to be patched through to your member of Congress.

APWU will fight back against any attempt to privatize the Postal Service, and we need your help to ensure our members of Congress are on board to stop this terrible plan. This is the first of many actions Postal Workers can take to fight back against privatization.

In unity,

Judy Beard
APWU Legislative and Political Director

1300 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 | www.apwu.org

Message from the AFL-CIO: Reject Supreme Court Nominee Judge Kavanaugh

Working people expect the Supreme Court to be the most fair and independent branch of government in America, yet recent decisions have protected the privileged and powerful at the expense of working people. Decisions by the Court, often by the narrowest of margins, have a dramatic impact on our lives as we recently saw in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 and reinforce the importance of choosing who sits on the Court.

Share this graphic and reject Judge Brett Kavanaugh because we simply cannot have another Justice on the Court who sides with corporations over America’s working families.

We have thoroughly reviewed the record of Judge Kavanaugh on cases of importance to working families and are compelled to oppose his nomination.

Judge Kavanaugh routinely rules against working families, regularly rejects the right of employees to receive employer-provided health care in the workplace, too often sides with employers in denying employees relief from discrimination in the workplace and promotes overturning well-established U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

Any Supreme Court nominee must be fair, independent and committed to protecting the rights, freedoms and legal safeguards that protect every one of us. Judge Kavanaugh does not meet this standard.The next justice confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the Court will play a pivotal role in new cases addressing health care, worker safety issues and collective bargaining rights for generations to come.

This current Supreme Court has shown that it will side with greedy corporations over working people whenever given the chance, and this nominee will only skew that further. The Senate should reject this nomination and demand a nominee who will protect the rights of working people and uphold our constitutional values of liberty, equality and justice for all.

Across the country, working people are organizing and taking collective action as we haven’t seen in years and won’t stand for any politician who supports justices who put our rights at risk.

Share this graphic and reject Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Our fight for better wages and benefits and a voice on the job will continue on. The rich and powerful won’t dictate the American story. We will pave our own path, populate the halls of power with allies of working people and secure a brighter economic future.

In Solidarity,

Rich
——
Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

Casey’s Spotlight: The BENES Act – Bipartisan Solution To Medicare Enrollment Issues

Casey's spotlight

Dear Friends:

In an effort to simplify the complex Medicare enrollment process, I recently introduced the bipartisan Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification Act (BENES Act).  The BENES Act would increase education and outreach to individuals nearing Medicare eligibility and eliminate coverage gaps during Medicare enrollment periods.

This legislation responds to calls and letters I have received from older Pennsylvanians who inadvertently miss the deadline for signing up for Medicare.  Many explain that they made the financial decision to delay retirement and defer their Social Security benefits.  They were unaware that by making this decision they would not be automatically enrolled in Medicare, and as a result, face a lifetime of Medicare penalties and higher out of pocket health care costs.

The BENES Act is common sense legislation that would provide the millions of Americans approaching Medicare eligibility with simple advice about their coverage options.  The legislation has already received support from over 70 organizations.  If you or the organization you represent would like to voice your support for the BENES Act, please respond to this e-mail.

Sincerely,

Bob Casey signature
Bob Casey
United States Senator
Ranking Member, Senate Special Committee on Aging

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Affordable Care Act Repeal is Back!

APWU e-Team News Update

The APWU is committed to fighting so that all Americans have access to the highest quality and most cost-effective health care services available, regardless of their employment, income, or health care status.

There is much work still to be done, but the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which our friends, families, and communities rely on, is in danger once again. We have to hold the line. The ACA has helped insure tens of millions of Americans.

While we must continue to work towards affordable and quality health care as a right for all, any attempt to repeal ACA takes us in the wrong direction.

Unfortunately, this week, the United States Senate is working on their newest attempt to repeal the ACA. The Graham-Cassidy Affordable Care Act repeal bill is gaining steam and could pass through Congress next week!

This bill, like other repeal attempts, is riddled with catastrophic measures, including:

  • Dropping an estimated 32 million people from their coverage;
  • Ending Medicaid expansion, currently covering 11 million low-income adults;
  • Ending federal protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

This is just the tip of the iceberg – there are many other detrimental provisions of this bill. We need to take this seriously and fight back once again. Please join your union brothers and sisters from around the country in urging your Senator to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy Affordable Care Act repeal bill.

Call 1-888-865-8089 TODAY to urge your Senator to vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy Affordable Care Act repeal bill!