NARFE - West Virginia Federation
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July Newsletter

WEST VIRGINIA FEDERATION OF CHAPTERS

NEWSLETTER

JULY2017

 

 

REGION X VICE PRESIDENT

William “Bill” Shackelford

Region X Vice President

The 2017 Region X Conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn located at 65 Priority Drive (I-81 Exit 12) in Martinsburg, West Virginia. (Use 14328 Apple Harvest Drive; Martinsburg West Virginia for your GPS). Hotel is .7 miles from exit ramp. The conference dates are Tuesday, October 10 through Thursday, October 12, 2017. Travel days for the conference are Monday, October 9 and Friday, October 13. The theme for the Conference is “NARFE – A Vision For The Future And You”.

At this time, the agenda is still being finalized, the new NARFE Executive Director Barbara Sido has agreed to attend and hold a “Meet and Greet – Getting To Know Barb” session for all attendees. In addition, the plans are to have a Q & A Forum Discussion to include NARFE Federal Benefits Service Director David Snell, as well as representatives from both the Office of Personnel Management and the Social Security Administration.

The conference registration form can be found on the Region X website at www.narferx.org.  To make your hotel reservation by telephone, you can call the Hilton Garden Inn at (304) 263-0101 and mention that you are with the NARFE Region X Conference.

If you wish to make your reservations online, you can use the following link to make your reservations.

www.hgimartinsburg.hgi.com.

After opening this link, at the top of the page put in your reservation dates. Below the dates you will see “Best Price Guarantee / More Options”.

Click on “More Options” and to the right will appear “Add Special Rate Codes”.

Click on “Add Special Rate Codes” and enter “NARFE” as the Group Code.

Click on "Check Room & Rates"

Join fellow NARFE members from Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Agenda discussions will include Membership – Leadership – Legislation – Strategic Planning.

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PAST PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Robert Hardesty

Immediate Past President

WV Federation of Chapters

I think most of us take NARFE for granted.  Yes, we know that NARFE is the ONLY organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of our earned benefits.  And most of us know that NARFE has been protecting us since its establishment in 1921.  But how often do we consider that WE are NARFE?  When was the last time you actively recruited a new member?  When did you last write to your Congressman or visit a Congressional office?  NARFE is us, and can be successful only if we give it our full support. 

Let’s take a quick peek at the president’s fiscal 2018 budget plan.  This budget proposes an increase in federal employee contributions of one percent per year to FERS over the next six years (without any increase in benefits); an elimination of cost of living adjustments for employees and retirees under FERS; a 0.5 percent reduction in COLAs for CSRS participants; and eliminating the subsidy for FERS employees who retire before Social Security kicks in at age 62. 

The House has already passed a bill eliminating the Affordable Care Act, and the substitute provisions could spell the end of the FEHBP program.  Some estimates are that insurance premiums under this proposal could increase by 850% for older persons (that’s correct—by eight and one-half times!), effectively making it impossible for seniors to afford health insurance.  While there is some question that this budget proposal will pass, we need to ask ourselves how much of it will pass, and who will be paying for it?  Past history has shown that federal employees and retirees have paid a disproportional share of these attempts to reduce government spending. 

If you still have friends or relatives working for the federal government, they need to be aware of these threats—now is a great time to join NARFE.  It’s also a time to start calling or writing or visiting the offices of your Congressional representatives as members of NARFE.  And there has never been a more important time to support NARFE-PAC.

 

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FIRST VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Dan Duckwall

First Vice President (Membership)

WV Federation of Chapters

District V VP

First, I want to congratulate Dave Nicholson, District II Vice President as chairman and his crew of dedicated NARFE members who successfully organized the 51st Annual Convention of the West Virginia State Federation of Chapters.   I know from past experience that amount of travel, expenses, time and headaches that is involved in pulling off an activity of this size.  I personally enjoyed the facility and the programs.  Again, Thanks to all who made this possible.

As everyone probably knows by this time, and will probably be mentioned in other articles in this Newsletter, Steve Sosson was again elected WV Federation President to lead the Federation for the next three years.   Also elected to serve along with Steve was myself as First Vice President; Barbara Kuennecke - Second Vice President; Judy Cross - Secretary; Shirley Campbell - Treasurer; Larry Lilly - Chaplain; Bill O’Field - Public Relations; and Gary Bailey, - Sgt-at-Arms.  Also elected by Districts to serve as Vice Presidents were:  District I - Jeff Merz; District II - Dave Nicholson; District III - Bob Hardesty; District IV - Shirley Miller; and District V - Dan Duckwall.

Two resolutions were adopted as proposed.  Resolution (R2017-2) realigned the rotation of Districts hosting the conventions to consecutive order:  District I, District II, District III, District IV and District V. 

Resolution (R2017-1) would realign our WV Federation Convention to occur the same year as the National Convention.  In order to accomplish this, the WV Federation Convention that would have been held in May of 2019 would be moved to May 2018 as an extended Board Annual Meeting and the next full-fledged WV Federation Convention will be held May 2020 with District III as the host.

On concluding this report as Federation First Vice President of Membership, I would like to offer a challenge and goal for each one of us as a NARFE member to recruit just one (That’s just one) active or retired federal employee to become a NARFE member.   Remember, we are at the mercy of our politicians and we need the number of members to endeavor the protection of our earned benefits.  So let’s everyone strive to recruit at least one new member; but you don’t have to stop there.  If you can get two, three or four, that improves our overall numbers even more.

I would like to wish everyone a very enjoyable and safe summer.

 

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SECRETARY’S REPORT

Judith Cross

WV Federation Secretary

WVFC Executive Board Meeting:  The next WV Federation Executive Meeting will be held on July 27th at the Eat N Park in Bridgeport beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Bylaws Revision:  The updated Bylaws have been sent to National. I will bring copies to the Board meeting.

Checking Account Certification: All NARFE funds should be held in a separately designated NARFE bank account with at least two individuals from different households authorized access.  NARFE funds should never be co-mingled with a personal account (in case of death it becomes part of the individual’s estate and lost to NARFE). Reminder that all District Vice Presidents need to provide President Sosson with a certification by June 30th that all chapters are in compliance.

WV Web Site: Remember to review your Chapter’s web site monthly—and provide me updates! NARFE Headquarters IT folks are going to be doing periodic reviews of Federation and Chapter web sites.  Help me keep ours current and a place members/potential members will like to visit!

 

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TREASURER’S REPORT

Shirley Campbell

WV Federation Treasurer

 

Beginning Balance from May 20, 2015

$11,994.35

Income

     Rebates/Dues

$9,825.20

     National Matching Funds-Membership

$400.00

     Per Capita

$7,182.00

     Dividends

$341.23

     Lic. Plates

$10.00

     Return of 2015 Convention Funds

$1,238.34

     Received from Huntington Account Closure

$422.75

Total Income through May 15, 2017

$19,419.52

Disbursements

     Mileage/Tolls

$10,196.60

     Per Diem

$4,132.99

     Postage

$202.21

    Office Supplies

$273.65

    Web

$176.94

    Copies

$51.30

     Matching Funds (Inc. carryover 2014)

$840.00

     Funeral Flowers

$159.00

     Officer Badges

$85.49

     Board Members Reg. Fee - Region 10 Meeting

$480.00

     2017 Convention Advance

$300.00

     Donation - Reg. 10

$50.00

     President's Meeting

$338.00

     National Conv. Regist Fee

$99.00

     Leg. Meeting (other than listed in travel)

$175.00

     Ad for 2017 Convention Booklet

$200.00

     Huntington Closure (Transfer of Acct to Chapters)

$345.00

Total Disbursements through May 15, 2017

$18,105.18

Balance as of May 15, 2017

$13,308.69

 

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SERVICE OFFICER REPORT

John Sheely

WV Federation Service Officer

Service Officers you may have seen this but I want to make sure you pass this information on to your chapter members.    Medicare is finally making a change to the Medicare card that should, in my opinion, never been started in the first place.  By April 2019, all Medicare cards will be replaced with one that no longer shows the participants Social Security number (SSN).

The SSN was never meant for any kind of identification accept for Social Security benefits.  No one, including doctors or hospitals, can legally ask you for your SSN.  However, if you are a Medicare participant you must disclose your Medicare card which has your SSN.  If they don't have the SSN doctors nor hospitals can apply for your Medicare benefits.

Medicare's new card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier that will be used for billing and checking your eligibility and claim status.  The best part, Medicare participants will not need to do anything, it will all happen automatically.   You don't have to apply for it or pay any fee (NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE TELLS YOU). 

Having your Social Security number removed from your Medicare card helps fight medical identity theft and protect your medical and financial information.  But even with these changes, scammers will still look for ways to take what doesn't belong to them.  Here are some ways to avoid Medicare scams:

-  If someone telephones, claiming to be from Medicare, asking for your Social Security Number or bank information, HANG UP.  First, Medicare won't call you.  Second, Medicare will never ask for your SSN or bank information. 

-  If someone telephones or in any way ask you to pay for a new Medicare card or, threatens to cancel your benefits if you don't pay or give up you SSN or bank information, that's a scam.  The new card will come to you in the mail at the address Medicare has on file for you at no cost to you and without you divulging any information.

If you need more information on the new changes to the Medicare card, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit the following website: https://www.cms.gov/medicare/ssnri/index.html

You can report scams to the FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit the following website:  https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

 

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ALZHEIMER’S REPORT

Robert Hardesty

WV Federation Alzheimer’s Chair

The West Virginia Federation Convention is over, and the Alzheimer’s Raffle is complete.  The winner of this 50/50 raffle was a lady in Clarksburg, WV who received $483.50.  The other $483.50 will be sent to NARFE Alzheimer’s Disease Research in Chicago.  With one more report due for this year (contributions are measured July 1-June 30), the West Virginia Federation has contributed nearly $9,000.00 so far. 

While I was disappointed that so few chapter Alzheimer’s chairpersons attended the convention, there was excellent participation from those who were able to participate on the Alzheimer’s Committee round table.  I also want to express my appreciation to all those who sold tickets for the raffle, those who purchased these chances, and for the excellent work of the convention committee who made everything about this year’s convention a success.

 

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FROM ACROSS THE STATE

DISTRICT REPORTS

 

DISTRICT I

Jeffrey Merz

District I VP

No report

 

DISTRICT II

David Nicholson

District II VP

Districts I and II hosted the 51st NARFE West Virginia Federation of Chapters Convention on May 16 and 17, 2017 at the Best Western Plus Inn in Bridgeport, West Virginia.  Attendance was good with 49 members attending the convention and 63 members, spouses and friends attending the Banquet Wednesday evening.  Don Hamilton, a local musician provided the entertainment by playing a selection of music from the forties, fifties and sixties.

Federation President Steve Sosson called the Convention to order at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16.

The Harrison County Honor Guard presented the Colors and the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance were given.

Chaplain Larry Lilly conducted the memorial service for 80 deceased members who had passed from April 2015 to March 31, 2017.

Phil Gardner, Senior Human Resource Specialist, from the office of Personnel gave a Power Point Presentation on the services provided by OPM which included phone numbers and e-mail addresses on how to reach OPM for needed information.  Phil was available through Wednesday to answer additional questions.

Region Vice President William Shackleford talked on the status of Region X and the loss of membership.  He stated that the Webinar had brought in 800 new members.  Bill challenged the WV NARFE –PAC to raise $400.00 one time cash contributions and two monthly Sustainer Contributions. 

District Vice Presidents were elected at the Chapter caucuses.  District 1 elected Jeffrey Merz; District II elected David Nicholson, District III elected Robert Hardesty, District IV elected Shirley Miller and District V elected Dan Duckwall.

Donna Shackelford, Region X Alzheimer Chair stated that the Alzheimer Association hoped to have a cure for Alzheimer’s by 2025 and that the disease was the sixth cause of death in the United States.

Molly Checksfield – Grass Roots Program Manager from the National office gave a Power Point Presentation on the concerns of NARFE and the actions needed by NARFE members.  She encouraged each member to become familiar with legislation that affects the federal community and take the appropriate action.

NARFE PAC co-chairs Judy Crum and Rusty Beckman collected $ 525.00 one time cash contributions and 3 monthly sustainer contributions.  (This exceeded the challenge of $ 400.00 cash contributions and 2 monthly sustainer contributions.)

I would like to thank the following members for serving on the Convention Committee.

Sue Haddix, Susan Hale, Jeffrey Merz, Judy Crum, Rosalind Baker, Charlotte Trent, Shirley Masto, Brenda Gill, Patricia Rummel, Rusty Beckman, Allen Stiles and Dorothy Wamsley.

A review of the Evaluation Sheets showed that the participants were satisfied with the facilities and information received.

Members of Chapter 1579 Central WV (Clarksburg) met with Senator Manchin’s Regional Coordinator Justin Ray at a Commonsense Week event held at the Harrison County Senior Center on Thursday, May 25.

NARFE’s concerns were discussed and copies of the concerns were given to Justin Ray who agreed to send them to Senator Manchin in Washington.

Chapter members attending were David Nicholson, President; Charlotte Trent, Vice President; Shirley Masto, Treasurer; Brenda Gill, Publicity Chair; Bill O’Field, Legislative Chair, and Janice Nicholson, Chapter Member.

 

DISTRICT III

Robert Hardesty

District III VP 

I am the newly elected Vice President for District III.  Actually, this was an easy vote, since District III consisted of only 3 chapters; with the Huntington chapter just closed and the Point Pleasant chapter in the act of closing, this left only the Charleston chapter to respond.  Having recently received the list of the transfers from the Huntington chapter, most of those members (58) will be transferring to the Charleston chapter, with most of the remainder (12) becoming National members.  We are sending a letter from the Charleston chapter inviting them to attend our next meeting on June 9 to discuss where and when to meet.  We are also moving this meeting location to the Putnam County Library, which is more centrally located for both chapters, in order to make them feel more welcome.  At this meeting, we will discuss the possible permanent change of meeting location and meeting date in order to better accommodate these new members of the Charleston chapter.

Shirley Campbell and I plan to attend the final meeting of the Point Pleasant chapter on June 21 to assist in the closing of that chapter.  They have provided a great deal of assistance to the West Virginia Federation over the years, as have the members of the Huntington chapter.  Both chapters will be sorely missed.

 

DISTRICT IV

Shirley Miller

District IV VP

No Report.

 

DISTRICT V

Dan Duckwall

District V VP

See report above.