Retirees Chapter

Retirees Chapter

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CWA Local 3607 – Update


From *Friday Alert

Feb 10, 2017

Administration Attacks Federal Employee Retirement and Health Benefits.

Last month as he discussed a government-wide hiring freeze, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that federal healthcare and retirement benefits are too generous. He made the statement as President Trump threw his support behind dramatic cuts to federal employees’ retirement and health benefits, calling the current system “unsustainable.”

The president has an eager partner in Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Chaffetz has announced plans to work on “reforms” such as moving new federal hires from a defined benefit pension plan to only a defined-contribution plan, such as the Thrift Savings Plan. The chairman spoke with Trump on Tuesday about these issues and he has also spoken to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) about his plans.

“Just as we fight for Social Security and Medicare, we will fight to protect a secure retirement for federal employees,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “Republicans must stop singling out these employees who work hard on all of our behalf. We will be carefully watching for specific legislative proposals that aim to take away benefits that these employees have earned through years of negotiations.”

Republicans Considering Health Care Changes that Shift More Costs to Older Americans.

Trump is considering abolishing part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that keeps costs down for seniors and other changes that would reduce coverage. Draft documents show the Trump administration may loosen an Obamacare provision barring insurers from charging older customers more than three times as much as younger enrollees. He may allow health plans to expand this “age rating” ratio from 3:1 to 3.49:1; such a move would let insurers boost prices for older customers, who tend to be more expensive to cover. In a recent interview Trump further extended the timeline to expect an ACA replacement plan into 2018, breaking with Congressional Republicans.

Not all Republicans have pivoted towards this more pragmatic approach, as Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and the House Freedom Caucus said they will introduce their own replacement plan this week. Sanford and other more radical members have taken issue with delaying the repeal into 2018, when many members of Congress would have more immediate election concerns.

“The reason Republicans are having such a hard time repealing the ACA is that it works,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Reforming the age rating and protecting pre-existing conditions has made a tremendous difference and walking that back will not be easy.”

As the public has become more vocal about the life saving benefits of Obamacare, some Republicans have softened their rhetoric. The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is now calling for Congress to “repair it so that nobody else is hurt.” Alexander’s message underscores the disruptive nature of repealing a law that has helped over 20 million Americans gain health insurance and is increasingly popular as it comes to be understood more fully.

“Repair is a less partisan but no less action-oriented phrase that Americans overwhelmingly embrace” compared to repeal, Republican strategist Frank Luntz told lawmakers recently at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia.

Meeting with PBGC Officials Focuses on Early Warnings, Funding to Insure Pensions

On Tuesday President Roach, Mr. Fiesta, and Alliance Legislative Representative Eva Dominguez met with top leaders of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), an independent agency that insures workers’ and retirees’ private sector defined benefit plans. They discussed the early warning program for defined benefit plans and efforts to identify and correct problems with single employer plans. They also discussed the need for funding multi-employer plans.

“If the government can build a $15 billion wall on the Mexican border, we should be able to fund the government insurance program that protects our pensions,” said President Roach.

Court’s Ruling makes it Harder to Roll Back Fiduciary Rule

A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday upheld an Obama-era rule designed to avoid conflicts of interest when brokers give retirement advice, in a possible setback for President Trump’s efforts to scale back government regulation. The ruling makes it harder to give financial advice that benefits the broker at the expense of clients.

The Labor Department’s “fiduciary” rule requires brokers to put their clients’ best interests first when advising them about individual retirement accounts or 401(k) retirement plans.

For a printable or pdf version of this document, click here.

For the Alliance’s Spanish language page, which includes last week’s Friday Alert in Spanish, go to www.retiredamericans.org/en-espanol


 Caregivers Need Care Too. 

Are you providing care, either at home or long distance, for a spouse, elderly parent, or other family member? It’s important to know where to find the assistance you may need. One excellent resource is the Family Caregiver Alliance, whose website features state-by-state lists of caregiver support programs, including training, counseling, legal, and respite services. Several webinars for family caregivers are available at no charge, and you can sign up for free newsletters. These programs and services are designed for you and the loved one you care for – so be sure to take advantage of support that can benefit you both.


 Important information about your Health Insurance….

If you have Medicare and AT&T/Bellsouth Retirees insurance, please be advised that once you reach the age of  65, you will no longer be able to use AT&T/Bellsouth insurance as a secondary provider. Please call the AT&T Benefits center to confirm that you will be transitioned to Aon Retiree Health Exchange’. The time frame for the transition will depend on when you retired from the company, which part of the company you worked for and the Union contract you had. That number is 1-877-722-0020.


 

Retirees Chapter

Need a place to go, make it your own, be active and productive? We have what you want. Local 3607 is starting a Retirees Chapter so you can hang out here, get together with friends and former co-workers and stay active in the Solidarity process, process. Give us a call if you’re interested in joining the group @ 336.230.1211 

FOR MEMBERS

Take The Survey

The Central Carolina Workers center is in the process of gathering information from working people in North Carolina. Your input along with other workers in the state, will offer a wealth of information that can be used to set goals and parameters for the workers center. With this input, the center will be able to effectively offer what is needed and/or necessary to get people to a place of empowerment.

Mission Statement – “We envision the Worker’s Center as a place where low-wage Workers can build the power they need to take collective action led by those directly affected to achieve racial and economic justice in Central Carolina communities.”

Click on the line, http://tinyurl.com/CCWCsurvey to complete the survey. Send as many people to the link as possible, the more information they have, the better the results. Thank you for your support.


 Education for members

As CWA cwa logo members, we have the opportunity to take classes from an accredited college that are reimbursed through AT&T Tuition Reimbursement Program. These classes are being offered by APT College, A Global Leader in Technology Education. Click the link below to see what is available.

Register for Class Here

Image result for apt college images


 

Union Plus Scholarships

The Union Plus scholarships support our overall mission to help support union member and union leader higher education goals.

Over the past 22 years, union members and their children have received over 3.5 million Union Plus scholarship dollars.

SCHOLARSHIP LINKS 


Auto Savings and Tips For Union Families

Union families can save time and money with a range of Union Plus benefits and advice whether you have a car or are looking for one.

When you’re researching your next auto purchase – why not support unions and buy cars that are union-made?

And did you know you can get this information conveniently on your mobile phone? Send a text to 22555 with the message CARS and you’ll receive a list of union-made cars.

Check out these Union Plus Auto programs:

–$40 in free gas vouchers — when you enroll for 1 year — just $69 covers your whole household — in the Union Plus Motor Club.

–Save an average of $559 on car insurance — carry auto insurance with union advantages

–5-10% coupon for Goodyear tires and services – and buy union-made tires at a discount!

–No hassle auto buying service and up to $300 in rebates when you buy a qualifying union-made vehicle.

And be sure to read these gas-saving tips to reduce your car costs everyday. Find more auto tips here.

In solidarity,

Union Plus Benefits
Brought to you by Union Privilege
www.UnionPlus.org


 Implementation of the CWA Mobility NM and District 6 Wireline NM Transfer Process


Non-management employees covered by the Mobility CWA Districts 1, 2-13, 4, 7, and 9 (Orange), Mobility CWA District 3 (Black), Mobility CWA District 6 (Purple), and CWA District 6 (Wireline Southwest) contracts and their supervisors.
Implementation of the CWA Mobility (Orange, Black and Purple) and CWA District 6 (Wireline Southwest) transfer process.

 What This Means for Employees:

  • Non-management employees covered by the Mobility CWA Districts 1,2-13,4,7, and 9 (Orange), Mobility CWA District 3 (Black) and Mobility CWA District 6 (Purple) contracts will now be able to view available CWA District 6 (Wireline Southwest) job openings and create/update their CareerPath profile and nominate on advertised positions.
  • Non-management employees covered by the CWA District 6 (Wireline Southwest) contracts will now be able to view available Mobility CWA Districts 1,2-13,4,7, and 9 (Orange), Mobility CWA District 3 (Black) and Mobility CWA District 6 (Purple) job openings and create/update their CareerPath profile and nominate on advertised job openings.
  • CareerPath will be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Effective April 29, 2013 CWA represented employees outlined above will be able to access available Wireline and Mobility bargained job postings in CareerPath.

Employees are encouraged to view the OneStop web pages and review the FAQs prior to nominating on advertised positions.  Information on OneStop includes:

  • Employees covered by the Mobility CWA Districts 1, 2-13, 4, 7, and 9 (Orange), Mobility CWA District 3 (Black) and Mobility CWA District 6 (Purple) contracts may access the CWA Mobility to CWA District 3, CWA District 4, CWA District 6 and CWA Legacy T Wireline Career Section (Available – April 29, 2013)
  • Employees covered by the CWA District 6 (Wireline Southwest) contracts may access the CWA District 3, CWA District 4, CWA District 6 and CWA Legacy T Wireline to CWA Mobility Career Section

Union Plus

Save $495 on closing costs with a Union Plus Mortgage! With special union hardship protection, if you become unemployed, disabled, on strike or lock-out, you can take advantage of interest-free loans to cover your expenses.
Save $495 on closing costs with a Union Plus Mortgage
Union PlusUnion Plus was created by the AFL-CIO in 1986 to help unions recruit and retain members and to provide union members and their families with high-quality consumer benefits and services.Each program is carefully researched and developed by a team of experts. They do all the homework and negotiate the best deals using the financial clout of the more than 13 million members represented by AFL-CIO unions. Through this affiliation, Union Privilege is able to offer benefits of much greater value and quality than members can generally get on their own. Because Union Privilege carefully monitors each program, members get prompt, courteous service and high-quality benefits – as well as help in resolving any problems.Visit the Union Plus Benefits page for detailed summary of some great union negotiated discounts on a wide variety of goods and services.

CWA Pensions and Trusts

CWA members and locals can participate in one or more of the benefit trusts offered through CWA. Click on the link below to read more about each plan or trust.


CWA/ITU NEGOTIATED PENSION PLAN (NPP)

The CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan (NPP) is a multi-employer, defined benefit pension plan that is available to any CWA bargaining unit. It is funded by employer contributions negotiated in the contract. The Plan was started in 1968 and has paid over $1 billion in benefits. For more information about NPP on our Web site, click here.

Contact Information:
CWA/ITU Negotiated Pension Plan
831 S. Nevada Ave., Ste. 120
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Toll-free (877) 429-2488


IUE-CWA PENSION FUND

The IUE-CWA Pension Fund site provides plan information for participants and their beneficiaries about the IUE-CWA Pension Fund and 401(k) Plan. The IUE-CWA Pension Fund and 401(k) Plan are union sponsored multi-employer retirement plans provided for the members of IUE-CWA and other unions members affiliated with the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Click here to go to their site.

IUE-CWA Pension Fund
400 W. 7th Street, Suite 233
Bloomington, IN  47404
Toll-free (800) 521-5822


CWA SAVINGS AND RETIREMENT TRUST

The CWA Savings and Retirement Trust is a Taft-Hartley, multi-employer savings plan available to collectively bargained employers as well as to Local officers and employees. Depending upon the bargaining agreement, the plan allows participants to save money on a pre-tax or post-tax basis and invest it among a broad array of mutual funds. The plan features 20 different no-load mutual funds and 6 pre-allocated lifestyle portfolios. The plan features 24-hour telephone access as well as a fully functioning Internet Web site, that offers account management as well as educational tools. You can find out more about the CWA Savings and Retirement Trust by visiting www.cwasrt.com or by calling the Trust offices at 1-800-987-0721.


CWA NATIONAL EDUCATION & TRAINING TRUST

This Trust coordinates our apprenticeship and employment center referral projects. Certification and training update programs will also be provided through the Trust. We recently opened our first center in Fremont, California; and we expect to open the Cleveland, Ohio center this fall. Other CWA training sites will be considered based on the interest of employers and local representatives, provided methods can be put in place to fund our efforts. We currently have approximately 150 apprentices working for US West, and about 40 working through a multi-employer arrangement in Northern California.


AFL-CIO HOUSING INVESTMENT TRUST: HIT HOME

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (the Trust), is an investment company for Taft-Hartley and public pension plans. It manages assets of over $3.6 billion. The Trust finances the development of multi- and single-family residential real estate projects around the country, principally through the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. It has financed the construction of more than 70,000 housing units and provided over $4 billion of financing for housing projects nationwide.

The Trust sees its close relationship with cities as key to achieving important labor investment goals, which include identifying prudent investment opportunities and making investments that fund affordable housing developments, foster community development, and create union jobs. The Trust works closely with mayors, local and state housing finance agencies, city housing authorities and public and private development organizations to address critical urban housing and community development needs.