FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT (April, 2002)
received many comments from members and Managers regarding
in cost for health insurance premiums. Paul Cegla from Benefits shared this fact
with me–in the same period I referenced in last month’s
article-1989 to present-the County’s share of family
coverage increased from $115.00 per month to $517.00 per
course, the result of that information is that my history
major side has taken over so now I will have to contact the MHP and Health Partners
to find out what the changes in their costs have been over
the same vein, this topic came up in several discussions
that I had with members from other Locals and with
legislators during Day on the Hill activities on March 7th.
We are not alone in seeing our costs consistently
climb. It seems
as if we are on train with the brakes wearing very thin.
I had such high hopes when President Clinton first
assumed office and one of his first items of business was to
hold hearings around the country on the issue of national
health insurance. What
I find unfortunate is that all of the affected groups of
people seemed to have their own agendas that were not in
alignment with others. We
should have been smart and formed a coalition of progressive
legislators, employers, employees, unions, health care
providers, HMO’s, etc. to offset the power base of the
pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies.
It isn’t too late to do this.
Our combined forces could affect a positive change.
have received a request from our sisters and brothers from
AFSCME Council 6 (the State employees), to contact
your legislators and let them know how you feel about the
state budget. Since this budget will
have a impact on our jobs (called the trickle-down theory
– sort of like that of the Reagan administration?), it
would serve all of us well to make sure that we become
educated and stay on top of the situation.
Let your elected officials know how the cuts will
affect your jobs and your ability to provide quality
you do not know what the proposed cuts are, ask your
Managers, as this is one fight we share. If you do not know
who your legislators are, visit the Legislative Web Site
and get those names. This is going to be an important year
for many of us in our bargaining unit because many of our
clients will come to the end of their term on MFIP.
State will grant an extension to clients so that they can
continue their job search, but if the jobs are not out there
for them to find, or if the jobs that do exist do not pay
enough to support their families, we will see more clients
in crisis and possibly no funding to address their needs.
if you would like to see an outline of the impact of the
first budget bill passed by the veto override, here is a
is that time of the year again for me to ask for volunteers
to do the work of the Local. Yes,
it is Committee Time!
All members of the Local’s Standing Committees are
appointed by the President, and those appointments are
approved by the membership. Members
of any currently active Ad Hoc committees are also
reappointed at this time. If
you are interested in serving on a committee or would like
more information about what the committee does and the
possible time involvement, please give me a call at
I am more than happy to answer your questions.
The Standing Committees, by Constitution, are:
will most likely not meet until the end of this year, as we
just finished our cycle last fall
· Constitution Committee –
meets as needed to review requests for changes in the
language or content of an article of the Constitution
and Finance Committee
– generally has the major work required prior to the
beginning of October when the budget for the following year
– meets as needed
(Political Action) Committee
– this committee should be extremely active this year due
to the redistricting so that most seats will be up for election
and Welfare Committee
– deals with the requests from our members for cards,
Newsletter Committee –
meets as needed
· Investment Committee – meets as needed
· Health and Safety Committee – meets as needed
work done by these committees form the foundation for our
ability to operate a functional unit.
For those of you who have asked me how to start
becoming involved in the Local, here is your golden
in mind that the 10th Annual Letter Carriers’
Food Drive will be held on Saturday, May 11th. Start
your bag now to have ready by your mailbox for pickup on
I leave you with this quote from Carl Sagan, “Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it is yours.”
This is my reality check! Jean Diederich