|By the time that you read this the Open Season Health Fairs should all be completed and I want to thank all of you who volunteered to work at many of these. At this time I do not have all the reports back on the health fairs where members worked but there were 113 health fairs scheduled in Arizona. Thank you everyone that participated!
Open Season ends December 8th. Individuals interested in updating their health care, dental and vision coverage have until December 8th to make changes.
A recent OPM regulation that modifies coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will include certain temporary, seasonal, and intermittent employees who are identified as full-time employees. Under this final regulation, employees on temporary appointments, employees on seasonal schedules who will be working a schedule of less than six months per year, and intermittent employees who are expected to work 130 hours per month or more for at least 90 days will be eligible to enroll in an FEHB plan. These newly eligible employees will receive the same government contribution as full-time permanent employees. This will further the goal of providing affordable health insurance to Federal employees.
Reminder: One of the following chapter members (President, Secretary, or Membership Chair) needs to go to the NARFE website and login to the OAM (Online Activities Module) and click on “Enter Chapter Activities”, sign in and click on “F-7 Update”, whether or not you have any changes in your officers. This must be done annually in December each year.
Chris Farrell has been named as Senior Analyst to primarily assist NARFE federations as they advocate at the state-level. With this enhanced focus on state legislative issues, it is imperative that each Chapter designate a State Legislative Officer as well as a National Legislative Officer on the F-7 so that your chapter can benefit in receiving the information being sent out to those designated State Legislative Officers from Chris Farrell. This information may include state issues important to NARFE members or seniors.
The Federation as well as Chapters continue to look for additional members to “step up” and volunteer for various leadership positions. At the federation level, we need a membership chair, service officer, health fair coordinator and a public relations chair. The membership position could be a shared position with one person focusing on recruiting and the other on retaining them. In the past the health fairs have been coordinated by either the membership chair or service officer but this could be done separately. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, feel free to contact me. If you are interested in volunteering for a chapter position, speak to the chapter president or your DVP.
Mentioning membership – membership continues to drop but it appears that it has slowed. From January to the end of October 2013, Arizona had lost 444 members compared to 346 lost members in 2014.
The Fall 2014 Membership Recruitment Drive continues through December 31, 2014. NARFE is offering a $10 incentive for ALL recruits delivered to Headquarters with a postmark no later than December 31, 2014 or your recruits may call 800-456-8410 or join via the NARFE website www.narfe.org. Our Federation is also offering a $10 incentive. So there is no better time to reap some monetary reward for recruiting new members.
NARFE is a legislative advocate for all current and retired federal employees. It exists solely to protect the benefits and rights you have earned during your working career and for those still working. NARFE’s strength is in its membership.
Regardless of our individual opinions regarding the outcome of the elections, NARFE members and federal worker/retirees have the same problems with legislation as we had before the elections. We still have chained CPI, postal reorganization, and a congress that regardless of party affiliation freely uses the federal employee/retiree as their target for balancing the budget for which they (congress) bear the blame not those of us who do and did the work of keeping this country going.
To keep NARFE members up to date on what is happening legislatively, the Legislative Department holds monthly PAH Regional Conference Calls and webinars. The December 3rd and 4th PAH Regional Conference Call schedule is as follows: (times are Arizona time)
Wednesday, December 3 at 7:30 am—Regions 1 & 2
Wednesday, December 3 at 1:00 pm—Regions 7, 8 & 9
Thursday, December 4 at 7:30 am—Regions 3 & 10
Thursday, December 4, at 8:30 am—Regions 4, 5 & 6
If you cannot join the call scheduled for your region, please feel free to join another call. If you would like to receive reminders and recaps directly from the Legislative Department, you can email Sarah Weissman at email@example.com to be added to the distribution list.
The December Call will include an update on the Lame Duck, a preview of the 114th Congress, and an update on Grassroots Advocacy. These calls are meant for anybody in any chapter or federation who has an interest in legislation and NARFE’s Grassroots Advocacy. To join the call, dial 1 (888) 550-5602 or 1 (212) 812-2800 and enter 3562 2858 (please remember that you save NARFE money when you use the 212 number). To see who is on the call, you can go to https://ccc.spiderphone.com/35622858. These calls usually only last about a half hour. If anyone is interested in future dates, please let me know as I have the schedule for January through April and would be happy to email it to you. Remember, anyone can join in on these calls.
The Federation and Sierra Vista Chapter 1400 (Host Chapter) are now working on the upcoming 2015 Federation Convention to be held at the Windemere Hotel & Conference Center in Sierra Vista on May 3-5, 2015. Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend. Information on the convention will be emailed to each Chapter President and Chapter Secretary around February 1, 2015.
Recently I emailed information to the Chapter Presidents regarding the Service Officer Nominations and each chapter president should have received information from David Snell on how to nominate your chapter service officer. This position is a very important position and often unrecognized. So consider nominating your service officer today. I need to receive your documentation by no later than January 16, 2015.
Chapter Presidents please remember to check your email on a regular basis so that you do not miss some important information both from the National Office and from me, your Federation President.
: This will be the last Arizona Federation news “letter” to be published by your Federation. Your Federation has contracted with MD & Associates to publish a quarterly news “paper” entitled “Arizona NARFE News”. This will not cost either the Federation or the chapters any money to publish. MD & Associates has sales people in Arizona selling ad space in our newspaper right now. We have a lot of space to fill up with articles from the Federation and from EVERY chapter in Arizona. Bob Elgines will be coordinating all the articles and photographs and he has recently sent every Chapter President some guidelines. Our first due date is February 2, 2015, for submitting information to him. This newspaper will be mailed (not emailed) to every Arizona member that belongs to NARFE including the eNARFE members, Voting members and Non-Voting members.
This newspaper is NOT to replace chapter newsletters unless your chapter wants to discontinue your newsletter but I feel that there is some information that chapters may not want to publish in a state-wide newspaper and thus can put in your chapter newsletter. The Federation newspaper is to replace this Federation newsletter only and not chapter newsletters.
Information that you can submit is information about your chapter, photographs, history of your chapter, candidate statements for those that chose to run for the Federation elected offices (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and DVPs). I would like to challenge EVERY chapter in Arizona to submit some information for this our first newspaper. Each chapter should appoint one person to coordinate the submission of information to Bob Elgines. This member can email Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
I wish each and every one of you a great holiday season!
UPDATED: December 5, 2014