A Message From Our President
From The Brooklyn Beat - Fall 2006
Does the title of this article sound foreign or unfamiliar? Let's try COLCPE; I knew that you would recognize that. Yes once again it is the subject of yet another article. I am sure that you have read about it in the Postal Record and this publication on more than one occasion. I am sure that many of you have attended a "Beer Bust" or two to help raise funds for COLCPE. I have no doubt that the steward or the branch officer in your station has approached you about donations to COLCPE. There are many good reasons for the constant reminders of how important it is to contribute to COLCPE, and all the reasons deal with our future as letter carriers and our benefits.
Many of our benefits are due to legislation, we must be able to support the law makers that are going to support our issues, and we need COLCPE so that we can support their campaigns.
A good deal of our benefits are negotiated through collective bargaining and yet this process may be threatened by those elected officials who are less than friendly to working men and women, especially union members. Listen, big business contributes millions and millions of dollars to political campaigns of candidates that will protect their interests. We are no different in the sense that we need to elect the candidate that will protect our interests. We are different in the sense that we as individuals cannot donate millions; however together with other letter carriers we can donate a substantial amount. Other employees represented by unions face a similar battle and they too donate to political action programs through their respective unions.
The NALC fought long and hard to provide a means for carriers to contribute to COLCPE through payroll deductions and we should all take advantage of this. By signing up for payroll deduction, a carrier can designate a specific amount each pay period.
For those who cannot donate through payroll deductions, a system is set up for the carrier to provide the NALC with a voided check and a deduction can be made directly from an individual account. Whichever method is used serves the same purpose, to help fund the campaigns of worker friendly candidates. I cannot over emphasize the importance of COLCPE and what it means to letter carriers, a contribution is an investment in our future.
We addressed this issue in Brooklyn by mailing COLCPE information to every member of Branch 41, active and retired and I visited the stations and gave a stand up talk on the subject. The members of the Executive Board all signed up automatic deductions, almost all the shop stewards have signed on as well. I wish to thank the carriers in Williamsburg for more than ninety percent participation in the automatic deduction. A couple of dollars each pay period will go a long way if everybody signs up. Retired carriers can participate by automatic deductions from their annuity checks each month. I know that you have heard all this before, however this is an important issue as far as letter carriers and federal employees are concerned. We must protect what we have today and for the future.