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New York Alliance for Retired Americans WNY Chapter of NYSARA
Stephen Muscarella, President
NYS PEF Retirees


With More Than 500,000 Retired Union Members Living Across New York State Today, Including More Than 100,000 Right Here in Western New York, is Proud to be Working With the Representatives of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans (NYSARA) in Order to Provide Union Retirees With a Variety of Labor News and Information They Need and Just Won’t Find Anywhere Else.

The Western New York Chapter of the New York Alliance For Retired Americans Serves as the Base for Providing Union Retirees a Voice that Can Be Heard.

Stephen Muscarella is NYSARA’s President Here in Western New York and Also Serves as President of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF).

For More Information on the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans and How You Can Get Involved, Contact Stephen Muscarella Directly Via E-Mail at

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Union Retiree News From The Alliance For Retired Americans: Alliance Salutes Veterans All Across The Country

Also: Ways & Means Committee Misleads On Chained CPI; Sherrod Brown Co-Sponsors The Strengthening Social Security Act; & AFSCME Video Personalizes The Potential Detroit Bankruptcy

Published Monday, November 11, 2013 11:00 am
by Alliance For Retired Americans

Alliance Salutes Veterans All Across The Country

The Alliance and its Coalition Partners are Holding Several Events this Veterans Day 2013 to Honor and Thank All Who Served in the United States Armed Forces.  The events Also Draw Attention to the Fact Veterans are Affected in Multiple Ways by the Chained CPI/Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA), a Cut to Earned Benefits.  Late Last Week, Seniors Joined Veterans at Events in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Facebook Photos at; Appleton, Wisconsin; Champaign, Illinois (Video at; and Dayton, Ohio (Story at  The Events are Taking Place Before a December 13th Deadline when a House-Senate Conference Committee is Charged with Reaching a Budget Compromise.  There’s Danger the Compromise Will Contain a Grand Bargain that Would Cut Seniors’ Social Security and Medicare Benefits, As Well As Veterans’ Benefits.  “The Chained CPI is a Benefit Cut that Affects Social Security Beneficiaries, As Well As Those Who Receive Veterans’ Disability Benefits and Military Pensions.   Because of the Number of Programs that Would Be Subject to the Chained CPI, Veterans Would Receive Double, Triple or More Hits from the Chained CPI, Alliance For Retired Americans President Barbara Easterling said.  At the Appleton Event, 45 Activists Rallied in Front of U.S. Representative Reid Ribble's (Republican-Wisconsin) Office to Oppose the Social Security Benefit Cuts that He and 50 Other Republican Representatives Proposed in a Letter to House Speaker John Boehner (  The Protesters also Delivered Petitions from Constituents Opposing Cuts in the Name of Deficit Reduction and Called Attention To a New Report Exposing How the Chained CPI Will Harm Veterans and Social Security Beneficiaries in Wisconsin (  Representative Ribble is an Outspoken Advocate for Raising the Retirement Age, Adjusting the COLA Formula, Means-Testing Social Security Benefits and Other Benefit Cuts.  More Events Across the U.S. are Taking Place This Week.  “The Greatest Part of Veterans Day Is That It Is About Honoring and Thanking Veterans Among Us.  So If You Know a Veteran Family Member, a Co-Worker or a Neighbor, Just Take a Moment To Say, ‘Thank You For Your Service,’” National AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council Director Jimmy Gilbert said. “On Behalf of the National AFL-CIO's Union Veterans Council officers and Staff, I Would Like To Say No Matter When and Where You Served Our Country, ‘Welcome Home and Thank You.’”


Ways & Means Committee Misleads On Chained CPI

Social Security Beneficiaries Will Get a 1.5% Increase In Their Monthly Payments in 2014, the Social Security Administration has announced. However, the Program’s COLA Will Be Below 2% for the Fourth Time in the Last Five Years.  Following that News, House Ways and Means Committee Republicans Were Misleading When They Released a Statement Last Week, saying: If the More Accurate Chained CPI Was Used To Determine the 2014 Cost of Living Increase, Seniors Would See a 1.7% Increase As Opposed to This Year’s Increase of 1.5%.  “Any Economist Will Tell You, to Use an Earlier Estimate for a Figure – As They Did – When An Adjusted, More Accurate Number Is Available, Is Not Sound Analysis,” Alliance Executive Director Edward Coyle said. “The Ways and Means Committee is Intentionally Trying to Mislead Us.  The Chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) Would Be a Cut In Benefits – That’s Why Conservatives Support It.  It’s a Cumulative Cut Over Time.”  In fact, an Average Earner Retiring in 2011 at Age 65 Would Lose More Than $6,000 over 15 years If the Chained CPI Were Adopted.  Experts Won't Know For Sure What a Hypothetical Chained CPI/COLA Would Have Been for 2014 Until January 2016, because the Chained CPI is Based on Surveys of Consumer Substitution That Are Not Completed Until Up To Two Years After the Fact.  This is One of the Implementation Problems a Chained CPI/COLA Would Face.  Over the Medium and Long Term, Social Security’s Actuaries Predict Substantial Differences Across Three Possible COLAs: CPI for the Elderly (CPI-E): CPI for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W); and the Chained CPI.  It’s Long-Term Trends that Matter When It Comes to the Impact of COLAs on Benefits, since the Effect of COLAs Compounds Greatly Over Time.  Last Week, the Alliance Sent a Letter ( to Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (Republican-Michigan) Insisting the Misinformation Be Removed From the Committee’s Web Site.  Go to to read a Huffington Post Piece on the issue.


Sherrod Brown Co-Sponsors The Strengthening Social Security Act

In Youngstown, Ohio Last Week, Ohio Alliance President Norm Wernet Shared the Stage with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (Democrat-Ohio) as the Senator announced his Co-Sponsorship of S.567 - the Strengthening Social Security Act.  “In Times Like These, People Need More Economic Security, Not Less.  By Phasing Out the Earnings Cap on Contributions, this Legislation Extends the Life of the Trust Fund and Increases Average Benefits by about ($800) Per Year,” Wernet said.  If You Haven’t As Yet Contacted Your Senators About S.567, click

AFSCME Video Personalizes The Potential Detroit Bankruptcy

The Potential Bankruptcy in Detroit is Not Only a Detroit Crisis, it’s Also An American Crisis. Bankruptcy Will Increase Economic Hardship for Broad Portions of the Middle Class in Michigan, Including Retirees on Fixed Incomes Whose Pensions Could Be Cut.  To View Detroit Matters, an American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union Video of Real Stories on the Subject and Sign a Petition, Go To


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