NARFE - West Virginia Federation
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WV Federation Newsletter February 2019

NARFE West Virginia Federation 

NEWSLETTER

February 2019

 

WV NARFE Annual Federation Meeting

The WV NARFE Annual Federation Meeting is scheduled for May 21-22, 2019 at the Best Western Plus Inn at 100 Lodgeville Road, Bridgeport, WV 26330.

The meeting will start at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 and end on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 12 noon.

A block of 15 rooms will be held until May 1, 2019 at a cost of $79.00 per person plus 12% state and local taxes. Reservations will be made on Individual Call in and Pay basis. For reservations call 304-842-5411 and ask for a room held under the name of National Active and Retired Federal Employees. If you have any problems with making your reservation, call Rhonda Moyer at 304-842-5411 Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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William “Bill” Shackelford

Region X Vice President

The first meeting for the 2018-2020 National Executive Board (NEB) was held at NARFE Headquarters (HQ) from November 28 through 30, 2018. Following the NARFE election in June and the subsequent run-off in September, six new individuals joined the NEB for the first time.

The meeting opened with three presentations: 1) Presentation by NARFE Attorney Eileen Johnson on the responsibilities of the National Executive Board and the importance of Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreements; 2) Presentation by NARFE Parliamentarian Collette Trohan on the proper use of Robert’s Rules of Order and establishment of Special and Standing Committees; and 3) presentation by Federal Employee Education And Assistance (FEEA) Executive Director Joyce Warner on the status of the FEEA Scholarship and Disaster Fund and the future relationship between NARFE and FEEA.

Many associations' bylaws state that the "current" edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall serve as the parliamentary authority for the association. There have been eleven editions produced. The intent of the word "current" is to supersede all previous editions. This wording is not recommended because any organization should not be bound by rules they haven't even had the chance to read. If this is in your bylaws, the rules changed on September 6, 2011, when the newest edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised was released and you may have no idea what changed. This "current" edition is the 11th edition of the work.

What should you do if your bylaws already contain the "current" reference? Consider amending your bylaws to insert the numbered edition, so that all members can be certain they are referencing the correct manual. If your bylaws include a reference to the earlier title and you want to adopt the new book, your bylaws will have to be amended.

Staff Vice President (SVP) Jessica Klement provided an update on the efforts of the Advocacy Department with emphasis on NARFE’s lobbying efforts which are focused on three key areas: 1) A pay raise for federal employees in 2019 is still languishing in conference committee. The two parties are dealing with areas of disagreements on parts of the legislation unrelated to the pay raise; 2) NARFE expects a push to include postal reform in year-end bills and the Advocacy Department is reiterating our opposition to the committees with jurisdiction over Medicare as they would have to sign off on postal reform in its current form; and 3) Working to introduce legislation to provide FERS retirees with the same COLA as CSRS retirees when the COLA is over 2 percent.

As we approach the NARFE National Legislative Training Conference in March, which is now known as LEGcon19, everyone is reminded that NARFE-PAC contributions help us build strong relationships with lawmakers. These relationships are critical to NARFE’s success to preserve and protect your earned pay and benefits against unfair congressional attacks. These attacks must be stopped, and it cannot be done without your help. If we want to stop playing defense and start playing more offense, it’s critical we have a strong and viable NARFE-PAC.

If you have not sent in a contribution yet, I strongly urge you to do so today.

The NARFE LEGcon19 will be held March 10–13, 2019. Register now and make your reservations at the Mark Center Hilton Hotel, Alexandria VA. Conference cost is $225.00, and Federations should give strong consideration to using a portion of the 10% funding provided by NARFE HQ. Don’t forget Wednesday, March 13 is a day on Capitol Hill followed by a closing reception at the U. S. Capitol.

Note: For a complete copy of the Region X Vice President’s report presented at the January 23, 2019 WV Federation Board meeting, Click here for Region X Winter Report..

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Dan Duckwall

1st Vice President

Membership

As everyone knows, the NARFE membership has become a sorry situation. Not to be a pessimist, but figures prove if the decline in membership continues, NARFE will become a history organization.

Now, let’s everyone look on the optimistic side. We all as Federal Employees or Retirees need this organization to protect our earned benefits. And believe me numbers count when it comes time to talk to the individuals who are in charge of our future. It is imperative that our NARFE organization grows in numbers rather than decline.

As I have stated many times in the past, if each NARFE member would recruit one new member, NARFE membership would almost double. Now, more than ever, NARFE needs the members to increase the numbers.

RECRUIT - RECRUIT - RECRUIT

Our Future is at Stake.

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Barbara Kuennecke

2nd Vice President

Legislation

The government shutdown had an impact on many in West Virginia. Senator Joe Manchin held a roundtable in Martinsburg on January 18 that was attended by about 100 federal employees and retirees. His frustration with the budget process was clear, and he called federal employees the hostages of the impasse. He also provided a handout listing many sources of help for those furloughed. In addition to the meeting in Martinsburg, he held similar meetings in Fairmont and Parkersburg and visited the prison in Hazelton. As I write this, the shutdown is over – at least until mid-February.

The January issue of the NARFE magazine included a lengthy article on all the pending legislation that is of concern to NARFE. After you review that article, please sign on to the NARFE Legislative Action Center to let your representative and both senators know how you feel about the budget and other legislative proposals and how they will impact you.

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Bill O’Field

Senate Liaison

I continue keep in touch with the staff of both Senators Capito and Manchin. Their mobile office hours provide excellent opportunities for their constituents - like us - to have a meeting to share NARFE information and get messages to the senators. To find out when they will be holding mobile hours, contact one of their District offices nearest to you. The link to Sen. Capito District office locations and contact information is https://www.narfe.org/legislation/index.cfm?fa=voterVoice and Sen. Manchin’s is https://www.manchin.senate.gov/contact-joe/office-locations.

Also, please continue to use the NARFE Legislative Action Center to send them your messages as they relate to NARFE issues. It is a very helpful and easy place to get your concerns and needs transmitted to our senators.

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Robert Hardesty

Congressional Liaison

Contacts have been made recently with the offices of Representative Carol Miller and Representative Alex Mooney.

After several failed attempts to meet with the office of Rep. Evan Jenkins over the three months prior to the November election, I was able to meet with personnel in the office of his successor, Carol Miller, on January 23, in Huntington. This was during the partial Federal shutdown, and I was able to convey the concerns of both active and retired Federal employees and contractors to her staff. I was promised that my concerns, as well as several other NARFE issues, would be forwarded directly to Ms. Miller.

On February 2, I met with a representative from the office of Rep. Mooney in Charleston. With the government shutdown temporarily over, but with the threat of another shutdown facing us on February 15, I again conveyed our concerns over the frustration faced by 800,000 Federal employees and an untold number of Federal contractors. Once again, I was promised that NARFE concerns would be communicated to Mr. Mooney. I also expressed frustration with never being able to meet personally with Rep. Mooney. I received an astounding response on this issue.

I was told that Mr. Mooney generally will not meet with more than three individuals at a time in most settings, because he is afraid he will be attacked! I made assurances that NARFE members generally do not bite.

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Bill O’Field

Public Relations Officer

During the partial government shutdown, Mountaineer Food Bank (MFB) distributed food to Federal employees and contract workers in West Virginia. Headquartered in Gassaway in Braxton County, MFB selected the Beckley VA Medical Center in Raleigh County as one of the sites. The other two sites were in Harrison County at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center and the Harrison County Senior Center both of which are in Clarksburg.

They also included a Government Shutdown 2019-Resources page at https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/bf0cde_742f623c4e634d30a972b1dff3d91f2f.pdf for a list of agencies and contact information providing food in several counties throughout the state.  

I participated in the food distribution at the Harrison County Senior Center. While there I was interviewed by two of our local media outlets The Exponent Telegram newspaper and WBOY Channel 12 television station. The link to the newspaper coverage is https://www.wvnews.com/theet/news/federal-furloughed-employees-benefit-by-harrison-county-senior-center-food/article_2f0451ea-5e19-58d6-a6dd-40b73f8ea6ba.html and to the television coverage is https://www.wboy.com/top-stories/food-box-give-away-for-federal-employees-held-at-harrison-county-senior-center/1729442517.

MFB’s mission to feed West Virginia’s hungry through a network of member feeding programs and engage our state in the fight to end hunger is laudable. They supported our Federal workers and contractors when they needed help at a time of uncertainty and insecurity brought upon them by no actions of their own. I am asking that all WV NARFE members join me and make a financial donation to the MFB to support their mission to help all West Virginians.

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Robert Hardesty

Alzheimer’s Chair

The donor year for NARFE donations to NARFE Alzheimer’s Disease Research begins on July 1 of each year and ends on June 30. With the donor year more than half over for 2018-2019, only six chapters within the Federation have made contributions so far, with a total contribution of less than $500.00. I know we can do better than this!

If you have been holding donations, please send them in through me. I plan to have Alzheimer’s materials available at the West Virginia Federation Annual Meeting in May. Also, it is not too early to begin to plan for chapter involvement in Alzheimer’s Walks in the fall.

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Barbara Kuennecke

District 1 Vice President

Chapter 1236, Eastern Panhandle, held its regularly scheduled meetings on the first Wednesday of November, December and January. The November meeting featured a presentation by Dr. Robert Bowen on using low-level laser light to heal and ease pain or photo-biomodulation. In December, a representative from Blue Cross-Blue shield described the changes in plans for 2019. And January was the month for the chapter members to do their annual gift exchange.

Chapter 2263, Morgan County, held its meetings on the third Tuesday of the same months. In November, CPA Ken Apple provided helpful information on the changes in tax laws and answered numerous questions from the attendees. December was the annual chapter Christmas party and gift exchange. The January meeting was a business meeting and the annual chapter audit.

Chapter 2288, Potomac Highlands, is now closed.

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Jeffrey Merz

District II Co-Vice President

Fairmont Chapter 1023 had a speaker from Alzheimer’s at the November meeting. In December, the regular meeting was held early, because of Christmas, and had a small gift exchange. For the January meeting a speaker from Fairmont General Hospital talked about making advance directories. There are usually ten to twelve people at our meetings.

Morgantown Chapter 1614 showed the webinar “Health Plans: What’s New and How to Choose” in November. There was a viewing at a lunch meeting and at a dinner time meeting for active Federal employees. In December, Christina Beck of the Alzheimer’s Association spoke about current research and new treatments for this disease. Seven members attended. In January, we showed the recent webinar about the Federal government shutdown and discussed legislation in Congress. Six members attended.

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David Nicholson

District II Co-Vice President

Parkersburg Chapter 0174 met on October 16 meeting at Colombo’s Restaurant in Parkersburg. A representative of Blue Cross/Blue Shield discussed the health insurance for 2019. Present officers were elected to remain in office for 2019 and were installed by the District II Co-Vice President. The next meeting will be held on March 26, 2019.

Central WV (Clarksburg) Chapter 1579 continues to have a monthly luncheon meeting with speakers at the Eat ‘n Park Restaurant in Bridgeport on the second Tuesday of each month. Seven members attended the FBI Health Fair on November 7 at the CJIS Division and the Biometric Technology Center to pass out and discuss the NARFE Program. An M-2 card raffle was held in each division and two new members were obtained. Officers were elected at the November meeting and remain the same for 2019. The annual Christmas luncheon was held at the December meeting with 30 members and guests attending. Members brought an appetizer or dessert. Officers for 2019 were installed. Mary Beth Anderson, volunteer coordinator for People’s Hospice gave a presentation on the Hospice Program at the January Meeting. Twenty-seven members attended the meeting.

Tygart Valley (Elkins) Chapter 2287 meets quarterly with the last meeting in 2018 held on October 25. A representative of Blue Cross/Blue Shield discussed the health insurance for 2019. Five new members have been recruited and other prospects are being contacted. The next meeting will be held on February 28, 2019.

Each Chapter has agreed to submit the F-7 Report to National and Judy Cross, WV Federation Secretary.