RMC February 2014 Eagle Article
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope all had a wonderful holiday because it looks like 2014 is shaping up to be another very busy year for us politically speaking.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership which up until quite recently no one in congress or in the media knew much about has finally seen the light of day. I am convinced this is due in no small part to the efforts of CWA along with our coalition partners who have been working to get our representatives to “VOTE NO” on fast tracking this insidious and highly destructive trade agreement.
Many email blasts and Face book postings have gone out to keep our members aware of this horrendous agreement and I do hope many if not all of you have made those calls to your representatives. We need them to keep getting calls. It’s easy to do just dial 888-966-9836 and enter your zip code when asked. You will be directed to your representative. Ask them to “VOTE NO ON FAST TRACKING THE TPP”. These calls can be made day or night. We can make a difference but we have to make the effort to make those calls!
On the home front there will be two candidates running for state government that CWA 1103 supported last year; Justin Wagner for the NY State 40th Senate District which encompasses Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties and Andrew Falk for the NYS 94th Assembly District which covers Somers, Yorktown, Carmel, Patterson, Putnam Valley and Southeast.
I am looking forward to working on their campaigns and hopefully this year will be the year we will get the political representation we need and deserve. I am quite sure that both Justin and Andy will be excellent advocates on our behalf.
The Verizon shareholders meeting will be coming up and as always we ask that any retirees who hold Verizon shares to sign and send in their proxies to the hall so they can be presented at the meeting.
On a lighter note we held our annual Holiday Luncheon at the Travelers Rest in Millwood this past January. It had been rescheduled due to snow and icy conditions back in December.
As always Travelers Rest did a fabulous job and we all had a great time.
Following is a list of all our winners and donors of the door prizes and 50/50 drawing:
Frank Forte, $25 Gift Certificate donated by Marvin Anderman
Bob Dejano, Ed Roman, Mary Maher and Billy O’Mara each won a $25 gift certificate donated by 1103 RMC.
Joan Visceglia, Kathie Lawrence, Don Pagels and Pete Upton each won a $25 gift certificate donated by Travelers’ Rest.
Patrick Welsh, Marco Visceglia and Mary Savage each won a bottle of wine donated by Scotty’s Putnam Lake Wines and Liquors.
Adam Seifts, Bill Hensler and John Durkins each won a bottle of wine donated by Bill Tegmier.
Flo Wonsor won $130 from the 50/50 raffle.
Fran Gottron won the chocolate Santa Claus which was donated by Travelers Rest. I’m sure his daughter will be very excited about that!
Congratulations to all our winners!
A special thank you to Debbie DeMatteo of 10-15 Associates and to Angelo “Butch” Mamone of Merrill Lynch who made monetary donations to our chapter to help towards the costs of the luncheon.
A very special and heartfelt Thank You to the officers and staff of Local 1103 for their support and assistance throughout the year and to their counterparts at District 1 and the International. We may be retired but we are still “Proud to be CWA”!
Thank You to all the members who have sent in their 2014 dues and bought Evening Draw tickets. Because of your financial support we are able to continue to advocate for retirees whether it be on a political level or with Verizon protecting our benefits.
Yes, there is still plenty of time to get your yearly dues in if you haven’t sent them in yet and to buy a ticket or two for the Evening Drawing. Please make the checks out to CWA1103RMC and mail to the hall.
And finally a bit of “Joie de Vive”!
I will be traveling in Florida this month and next and would like the opportunity to meet up with some of our 1103 retirees who have relocated permanently or who just spend winters down there. I will be in North Florida and am also thinking of traveling down to the Ft. Meyers area. If you would like to get together for a bit of socializing and camaraderie please let me know by emailing me at [email protected] I will post the location I will be at along with the time and place to meet up on the website http://www.cwalocal1103rmc.org and on our Face book page at “CWA LOCAL 1103 RMC” and through email blasts.
Hope to see you there!
Proud to be CWA 1103 RMC
President – CWA 1103 Retired Members Chapter
RMC Article for June 2013 Eagle
RMC Article for June 2013 Eagle
I hope all of you have been enjoying a wonderful spring and of course we are all looking forward to the warmer months ahead and perhaps some travel.
The months of May and June allow us to remember and pay our respects to those individuals who have influenced our lives in a special way.
Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June gives us the opportunity to show our thanks to our parents. Did you know that more telephone calls are made on Mother’s Day than on any other holiday including Thanksgiving!
Speaking of mother’s, remember when the telephone company was referred to as “Ma Bell”? Somehow she hasn’t turned out to be what most of us would consider to being a good and caring mother!
Every year since 1963, May has been designated the month to appreciate and celebrate the vitality and aspirations of older Americans and their contributions and achievements in society. What better time is there to also thank all those union members who went before us and fought the hard fight and won so many of the benefits we have today!
This year Memorial Day fell on May 27. Most consider this the unofficial first day of summer but actually this day was set aside to remember those Americans who died while serving in the Armed Services. I hope all our members took a few moments to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so we can celebrate all the special days we celebrate and enjoy the fruits of our labors!
In April, Bob Ferguson, our Treasurer, and I attended the 2013 bi-annual National CWA Convention which was held in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh is the home of the United Steelworkers (USW) which is the largest industrial labor union in North America.
As always the National Retired Members Council meets the Saturday before the National CWA Convention convenes on Monday. The meeting was chaired by Council President Ray Kramer, of District 6 and he did a fine job. Among the many items covered were 2 by-laws amendment changes to the RMC Council By-Laws. One of the amendments was put forth by me at the last meeting in 2011; both amendments were passed. We met many new friends and contacts which should help us in the months ahead in our mutual fight to preserve our benefits.
Over the last few months we have received several inquiries in regard to different aspects of the new health care benefits. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you must open, read and keep every piece of mail you receive from Verizon in regard to your benefits. Many retirees call us with problems that could have been answered simply by checking the mail they have received.
Please keep in touch with us via our website: http://www.cwalocal1103rmc.org/
We have posted information that will be most helpful to retirees in regard to their benefits. Of particular interest to many retirees who qualify is the “Verizon Sickness Death Benefit for employees hired before 12/31/1986.”
Also, make note that the correct reach number for Donna Chiffriller, VP Benefits, Verizon, is 908-559-3200 not 909 as was listed in the January RMC article.
Finally, the 1103 RMC executive board thanks Helen Gibson, CWA Staff Liaison for the RMC Council, for all her work and efforts over the years on behalf of CWA retirees. We wish her a wonderful retirement!
President CWA 1103 RMC
Friend us on Facebook at:
CWA LOCAL 1103 RMC (our page) and CWA 1103 RMC (our group)
RMC Article for the April 2013 Eagle
RMC Article for the April 2013 Eagle
As a retired baby boomer, I finally became eligible this past February to collect Social Security. Here are a few facts I thought you might like to know about the Social Security program that we have all paid into our entire working career.
Q: When did Social Security start?
A: The Social Security Act was signed by FDR on 8/14/35. Taxes were collected for the first time in January 1937 and the first one-time, lump-sum payments were made that same month. Regular ongoing monthly benefits started in January 1940.
Q: Who was the first person to get Social Security benefits?
A: A fellow named Ernest Ackerman got a payment for 17 cents in January 1937. This was a one-time, lump-sum pay-out--which was the only form of benefits paid during the start-up period January 1937 through December 1939.
Q: If Ernest Ackerman only received a single lump-sum payment, who was the first person to received ongoing monthly benefits?
A: A woman named Ida May Fuller , from Ludlow, Vermont was the first recipient of monthly Social Security benefits.
Q: How many Social Security numbers have been issued since the program started?
A: Social Security numbers were first issued in November 1936. To date, 453.7 million different numbers have been issued.
I found the answers to the above questions at: http://www.ssa.gov/history/hfaq.html
I hope you will take a look at this website to remind yourselves why this government program was started and how we all benefit from it. It never hurts to re-educate ourselves as to why we need to be vigilant and steadfast in keeping out congressional representatives and senators aware that we do not want this government “entitlement” program dismantled or altered in any way shape or form and especially not privatized! It works; it works so well that our government borrows from it and has never had to bail it out like it did with Wall Street.
This past March I attended the CWA District 1 Political Action Retreat held in New Brunswick, NJ. This retreat which has been held over the last several years is designed and organized specifically to facilitate the ability of CWA LPAT (local political action team) members from all over the District 1 footprint to step back from their day-to-day demands and activities for an extended period of concentrated discussion, dialogue, and strategic thinking about CWA’s future or about specific issues.
As an LPAT member I along with other retirees have participated in several LPAT activities over the last year. One of these activities also involves membership in a coalition group called “The Hudson Valley Coalition for a Fair Economy,” which meets monthly at the 1103 hall. This alliance with local Hudson Valley groups allows us to work together for a common cause or causes that would benefit all. For example I attended a Town Hall meeting on A Decent Minimum Wage Law @the Caputo Community Center, at 95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562 on March 28. You might not think that this would affect you as a retiree but if every working person could earn a decent wage and pay into Social Security this wonderful program would continue far beyond the date all the so called experts say that this program will run out of money. As a long time contributor to this government program this is very important to me as well as to my fellow coalition members!
Over the coming weeks and months we will be asking retirees to make calls and write letters and yes attend rallies and/or meetings. Verizon has a few more bombshells they are lobbing our way. Of particular interest is the expansion of the H1-B visa program (Senate Bill 169). H1-B visas are issued to foreign workers with high tech skills. This bill would cap the number of visas at 65,000. It would also provide for the workers to be paid at the prevailing wage rates. Corporations, Verizon being one of them, is pushing to have the cap raised so they can hire many more foreign workers at lower wages than they pay American workers.
Verizon is also one of many corporations who are backing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which in a nutshell is NAFTA on steroids. It’s the biggest and most destructive trade agreement we’ve never heard of! This corporate deal has been shrouded in secrecy so much so that most of our Congressional representatives are not aware of it. A detailed description of this and the visa program can be found on our website.
On the national level, the NLRB (National Labor Review Board) for all intent and purpose has become impotent to enforce labor law because of recent court rulings. For years the NLRB has only had 2 members serving on it. Recently President Obama appointed 3 more members. Unfortunately these appointments were overturned by the US Court of Appeals. This has seriously undermined the labor board’s abilities to protect the rights of working people.
Another tool we have at our disposal to fight for and protect our standard of living and to help keep the good jobs that our brothers and sisters currently have is by contributing to the CWA Political Action Fund (PAF) formerly known as COPE.
Under new Federal election laws, big corporations are now considered individuals and they are able to give millions of dollars to politicians who if elected will support big corporations agenda to dismantle unions, curtail decent wages, reduce if not eliminate health care to all workers, not just union workers. By making contributions to PAF we can help to get elected, political leaders who are sympatric to our concerns and needs. The onslaught against union jobs, decent wages, healthcare benefits, Social Security, Medicare is ongoing and relentless. We all can make real difference by making a small $8 donation every month to the union’s PAF fund.
PAF contribution forms can be found on our website: http://www.cwalocal1103rmc.org/
For those interested, the Verizon Shareholder Meeting will be May 2, 2013. But what is most important is that we need all shareholders to send their proxies to the Hall before that date.
Finally, Phyllis Cole-Hollis stepped down as chapter secretary at the end of the year. The board extends our thanks and appreciation for her service to our members and we wish her well. Due to her departure a few changes have been made to the board per our chapter by-laws. Carol Schmitz (formerly Finley) will now be serving as Secretary and Ed Caperna has been appointed to serve as Vice President. Welcome aboard Ed!
Please friend us on our Facebook page at: CWA LOCAL 1103 RMC. If you are not receiving email blasts from the Chapter and would like to, please email us at [email protected] and we will add your e-mail to our list. To all retirees who haven’t as of yet joined the retired member’s chapter please contact us at the above e-mail address for membership information. Members who haven’t sent in their 2013 yearly dues as of yet, please remember to do so. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.