The APWU 480-481 Area Local

Joe Gordon



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Roscoe Woods

Steve Wood
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Gary Thomas
  Vice President

Stan Porter
  Clerk Craft Director

Joe Wrobel
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John Diem
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Joe Gordon

Elaine Dunlap

John P. Smeekens
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*Director Position Vacant*
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Civil Service Retirement Seminar

We have scheduled our next Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retirement planning seminar for 4:00 PM Sunday, April 14, 2019. The seminar will follow our regular scheduled general membership meeting at the American Legion Hall located at 2079 W 12 Mile Rd, Berkley Michigan. Please contact the Union office to reserve a seat. Remember this is exclusively for the “old-timers” in CSRS.

Piggy Bank

The folks in this group are almost certainly eligible to retire, so if you are considering retirement feel free to contact me at the Union office before the seminar. If you do plan on attending the April 14th session, it would be beneficial to bring along a pay stub, social security information (if you have any), TSP information (If you have TSP) and a benefit estimate from LiteBlue.

We will be covering all the aspects of CSRS including but not limited to service year credits, calculation of pension benefits, spousal benefits, health care benefits, TSP, Social Security in conjunction with CSRS and more. Hopefully, we will be able to cover everything in two hours.

In the meantime, take a look at what your budget will be after retirement. Consider the following: Is the house paid off? If not, when will it be? What is the status of credit card debt? What benefit do I need to provide my spouse upon my death? What do I intend to do in retirement?

Knowing the answers to the above questions will help in the decision as to when to retire. I look forward to seeing everyone in April.

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon

Legislative Priorities

Joe Gordon

Every member should be concerned about the potential regressive actions targeting our retirement benefits as well as any legislative action that may well effect us as postal workers. The National APWU has put together a list of "Legislative Priorities". I encourage you to take the time to read the linked pages. I also encourage you to contribute to COPA.

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon

View/download a copy of the APWU's 2018 Legislative Priorities.


Proposed Constitutional Change


Midwestern Dental Premiums Increased

Those members carrying Midwestern Dental Plans will experience a small increase in your dues withholding that we reflect the increase in dental premiums. The increases are as follows: Single will increase 35 cents; Double will increase 66 cents and Family will increase 97 cents. These increases will appear on (or about) your Pay Period 16-17 pay stub.

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon


480-481 Constitution Changes

Please review these proposed Constitution Changes to be discussed at the January 2017 General Membership Meeting.

These were read into the minutes at the November 2016 meeting in accordance with the 480-481 Area Local Constitution.

The attached changes posted online include Secretary Treasurer Joe Gordon's analysis of their impact to our finances and our constitution.

If you have any questions or concerns please come to the January meeting where these proposed changes will be discussed and voted on.

Download a copy of the proposed changes as a PDF.


Sign Up That Non-Member

We are obviously in a critical situation these days with our current National Agreement in mediation and eventually arbitration. Thus, we should have all hands on board, by this I mean every APWU represented employee should be paying their fair share. Unfortunately there is still a small minority that are nonmembers yet they reap the same “contractual” benefits that the rest of us pay for.

Well, this is where you, the member, can step in and take an active role in reducing the number of nonmembers in our jurisdiction and by doing so you will be rewarded in more ways than one. First, you will get the undying gratitude from the membership and secondly you will be eligible for a $25 “bounty” for your efforts.

The Local Constitution under Article XIV states: “Any member who signs up a new member on dues withholding form shall receive a minimum of $25.00 per application that results in a new member for this Local…”. It has been the practice of the Local that Officers and Stewards are not eligible for the award as organizing is part of their standard duties. However, that does not preclude any member in good standing to go on a personal organizing drive and make some pocket money in the process.

I have added the nonmember list to the website for easy access from any office under our jurisdiction. Simply go to and then to the documents page. The list is sorted first by Post Office in alphabetical order and then by last name of the nonmember. If someone finds their name on this list in error please let me know. We have experienced on occasion that one of our members is listed on another Local’s membership list. This will make it appear that they are not members of our Local.

Midwest Dental Increase

There will be a small dental premium increase for those folks enrolled in the Midwestern Dental Plan. The increase will be effective in Pay Period 18-15. The increase will be 13 cents for Single; 36 cents for double; and 38 cents for family coverage.

I encourage everyone to have a safe, healthy and happy summertime. Stay tuned to the website and the Communicator for the various Union activities that have been planned.

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon


Contractual Pay Raise
and Automatic Dues Increase

The last Contractual raise of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement will take effect on November 15, 2014. Career employees shall receive a 1% raise and PSEs will receive a 1.5% raise. This will result in approximately 35 cents/hr increase for a Level 6 Step O Clerk. A PSE Level 5 will receive 34 cents/hr. Thus these base salary increases will result in raises of approximately $27 per Pay Period.

The following comes from National Secretary Treasurer Liz Powell: In accordance with article 16, Section 2(a) of the APWU Constitution and Bylaws, please be advised that there will be an automatic dues increase effective November 15, 2014, Pay Period 25-14. The automatic dues increase is the result of the salary increase negotiated as part of the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

This rule was put into the APWU Constitution through a Convention mandate a long time ago to simplify the difficult process of increasing revenues to meet the demands of providing representation. It also tied the financial wellbeing of the Union to that of its’ members. In other words the Union treasury gets a raise only if and when the individual member gets one.

Thus, career employees shall see a dues increase of 60 cents, with 20 cents going to the National APWU and 40 cents going to the Local, for a total of $28.13/PP. If you have dental and/or vision your dues will be a higher amount based on your coverage.

Postal Support Employees (PSE) will see an 88 cent increase with 29 cents going to the National and 59 cents going to the Local. This will bring PSE dues to a total of $14.59/PP. This amount also does not reflect any optional dental or vision coverage one might have.

In the final analysis, APWU represented employees will see their pay checks increase by $27 while paying a dues increase of less than one dollar. Once again the old adage “It pays to belong” is proven true.

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon


An Honor and a Privilege

The past one and a half years has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Local Secretary Treasurer. That’s not to say that it hasn’t been a challenge, as the job has proved to be less boring and more tedious than I expected. After having spent some 35 years representing members through the use of the grievance procedure I had to make the dramatic metamorphic transition into some kind of an accountant.

It has been my profound primary purpose to ensure that every penny of the membership’s dues be spent in a justifiable manner. Actually there have been some surprises as to just how much nondiscretionary expense there is to running a Local the size of ours. Payroll taxes, required insurances, professional fees, computer expenses, etc, all required, does in fact amount to a significant portion of our annual budget. However, the biggest single component remains – as it should be – representation in the form of lost time for officers and stewards to perform on your behalf.

The current dues structure is set at $26.64/PP for career members and $12.85/PP for PSEs. The Local retains about ⅔rds with about ⅓rd going to the National APWU for the career folks; with approximately a 50-50 split on the PSE amount. If your dues withholding varies from these numbers it is due to the fact that you have optional benefit premiums (Dental, Vision, ABA, etc.) also being withheld. It is this income that allows us to function.

The Postal Service is facing great economic challenges, which has translated into difficult times for the APWU and Locals across the Country. Membership numbers have dropped dramatically due to the cut backs the Service has made over the past ten years. The 480-481 Area Local has probably been more fortunate than most APWU Locals due to the presence of the Metroplex and the Customer Care Call Center, but that’s not to say we haven’t taken our hits. Thus, it is incumbent upon the Secretary Treasurer to provide the necessary guidance to allow the Executive Board, and ultimately the membership, to make the right decisions on how our dues money should be spent.

I have served the Local and the National APWU in many capacities over the past 37 years and have taken the oath of office probably a dozen times. As I approach the twilight years of my career I would like to take this opportunity to once again pledge to the membership that I will fulfill the duties of my office to the best of my abilities. That is not to say that I am infallible, I’m not, but you can be assured that I will perform the duties of the office of Secretary Treasurer on an honorable and conscientious manner.

Once again, it has been an honor and a privilege to serve you.

Joe Gordon
Joe Gordon


E-Mail links are intended for questions of a general nature and are not for formal administration of the grievance procedure. Individuals with specific questions and or problems must contact their steward within 14 days in order to protect grievance time limits.

The 480-481 Area Local maintains offices at 810 Livernois in Ferndale, Michigan 48220 and represents all APWU members in the following USPS installations: Almont, Allen Park, Anchorville, Belleville, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Brighton, Carleton, Chelsea, Clarkston, Clawson, Davisburg, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Fair Haven, Flat Rock, Garden City, Grosse Ile, Hartland, Hazel Park, Highland, Keego Harbor, Lake Orion, Marine City, Marysville, Michigan Call Center, Michigan Metroplex, Milan, Milford, Mt. Clemens, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Haven, New Hudson, Novi, Oxford, Pinckney, Plymouth, Pontiac, Port Huron, Richmond, Rochester, Rockwood, Romeo, Romulus, Royal Oak, South Lyon, South Rockwood, St. Clair, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Troy, Troy Customer Care Center, Union Lake, Utica, Walled Lake, Warren, Washington, Waterford, Wayne, Westland, Willis, Wixom, Wyandotte and Yale.

The Union office is normally open from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday and the telephone numbers are (248) 543-3262/3263/3264. The 24 hour number is (248) 543-3262. FAX: (248) 543-2750.