President's Report

Carl E Blassingame, Jr.

 

Michigan State Association of Letter Carriers

As some of you may know, we lost a union Brother, Matthew Little, President of Branch# 187 of Bay City, Mi. On October 11, 2023, Brother Little was in a head on collision with another vehicle which took both drivers lives. I ask that we continue to keep both families lifted up in prayer.

 

Brothers & Sisters, we have work to do with the election next year.

It is too early to predict what issues will be at stake in the upcoming elections. However, here are some issues that could potentially shape the election:

 

Social Security and Medicare: These are two programs critical for millions of Americans. There is talk about raising the retirement age to 70 years old which would cut Social Security benefits for tens of millions of seniors who have been paying into the system for years.

 

Health Care: Healthcare has been a continuous issue for politicians for decades and is likely to remain so in the up-coming election.

 

Climate Change: With increasing concerns and climate change I expect the candidates will address this in their campaign.

 

Immigration: immigration has been a hot topic in every election for years, yet with no solution.

 

At a time of uncertainty, we have to be ready to make a decision that will change this country for the better, even abroad.

 

It is also important that we stay informed of the House Resolutions and Bills in Washington DC. Some of these include:

 

Social Security Fairness Act H.R. 82, Introduced by Rep. Garrett (R-LA) and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), which would eliminate the Government Pension Offset (GPO), and the Windfall Benefit Reduction (WEP). This will change the current law that reduces Social Security benefits for those who receive other benefits. As of today, there are (298) co-sponsors (201) Democratics and (97) Republicans. All (6) Democratics here in Michigan have signed.

 

Federal Retirement Fairness Act H.R. 5995, Introduced by Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), and Don Bacon (R-NE). This bill would allow certain federal employees to make catch-up contributions for time spent as a non-career employee after Dec. 31, 1988, making that non-career time creditable service under the Federal Employees Retirement System. (FERS). There are (7) co-sponsors, (4) Democratics and (3) Republicans.

 

These are some of the Bills that are in Congress that are important to us and could affect our retirement benefits. I urge everyone to read your Michigan State Newsletter, Postal Record and NALC website to get updates on these bills and others.

 

Finally, as we approach the Holiday Season, let’s take the time to think about those who lost a loved one and may be suffering with their loss especially during this time, keep them in your prayers. May God keep you and your families safe through this Holiday Season.

 

 

-- Carl E Blassingame, Jr.

President

 

 

December 2023