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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: Low Income Home Energy Assistance Down Despite The Extreme Cold

Also: Tell AT&T Corporation To Respect Retirees & Extension Of Federal Benefits For The Long-Term Unemployed Clears One Hurdle

Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014 1:00 pm
by Alliance For Retired Americans

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Down Despite The Extreme Cold

The Huffington Post Reports Sequestration's Budget Cuts Last Year Have Left Thousands of Families In The Cold This Winter. Congress Cut Funding For the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program by $155 Million, and Total Funding Has Decreased From $5.1 Billion to $3.32 Billion Since 2010 (Http://Tinyurl.Com/Lxkp369). Large Sections of the United States Have Recently Been Frozen by the Grip of Winter, with a Weather System Known As a Polar Vortex Bringing Subzero Temperatures and Blizzard Conditions. Temperatures Reached as Low as 50 or 60 Degrees Below Zero in Some Parts of the Nation – Meaning That Staying Warm Has Become Harder Than Ever for Many Americans.  “Sequestration Cuts Are Not Just ‘Words,’” Alliance For Retired Americans President Barbara Easterling said.  “They Affect ‘Real’ People In ‘Real’ Ways. That Is Why the Sequestration Cuts to Services Need To Be Repealed Altogether, Rather Than Reduced and Repackaged, as Congress Has Done So Far.”

Tell AT&T Corporation To Respect Retirees

AT&T Retirees Were Surprised When the Company Recently Sent Information Related to Open Enrollment for Retiree Medical Benefits.  Retirees Under the Age of 65, Who Are Not Eligible for Medicare, Saw Premium Increases of Hundreds of Dollars a Month For Coverage Under the Standard PPO Plan.  Retirees on Medicare Saw a Jump in Premiums of 500% For Supplemental Insurance. CWA and the Alliance Believe the Company Should Have Done More For Retirees, as AT&T Enjoys Healthy Profits and Significant Dividends For Shareholders. “Corporate Executives Should Do More to Assure Former Employees Who ‘Built’ the Company Have Quality, Affordable Health Care, and Don’t Flounder in Unilateral, Drastic and Unprecedented Increases,” Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta said.  Some in the Company Told Retirees the Reason For the Extraordinary Increases is the Affordable Care ActNothing Could Be Further Than the Truth.  In Fact, there are Two Provisions of the Affordable Care Act that Would Impact AT&T’s Retiree Health Plan.  First, It Improves Medicare by Including Full Coverage of Preventive Care and Recapturing Overpayments to Medicare Advantage Plans.  Second, the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program Set Aside Funds For Employers Who Offer Retiree Health Benefits, Rebating $213.8 Million to AT&T Between 2011 and 2012 to Offset the Cost of Claims From Early Retirees. Both These Provisions Eased the Company’s Cost Burden, but AT&T Has Chosen Not to Share That Cost Relief With Retirees.  In 2012, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson Earned $22.23 Million, 642 Times the Average Worker's Pay ($34,645). Please Take Action and Tell Him That Passing Down Increases to the Tune Of 500% In Monthly Premiums For Supplemental Health Care Is Uncalled For. Send Him An E-Mail By Using This Link: [Http://Bit.Ly/1ckhz3m] or Send Him a Letter: Randall L. Stephenson/Chairman-Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Corporation, 208 South Akard Street, Dallas, Texas - 75202-4206.



Extension Of Federal Benefits For The Long-Term Unemployed Clears One Hurdle

The Democratic Effort to Extend Federal Benefits For the Long-Term Unemployed Has Gotten a Surprise Boost, as the Senate Recently Voted to Allow the Proposal to Advance. The Bill Would Reinstate For Three Months Unemployment Benefits That Expired on December 28th and Affect 1.3 Million Americans. Six Republican Senators Voted With 54 Members of the Democratic Caucus to Approve a Motion Allowing the Measure to Move Ahead, But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada) Will Need to Clear a Second 60-Vote Hurdle to Bring It to a Final Vote. Of The Six Republicans - Susan Collins (Maine), Rob Portman (Ohio), Dean Heller (Nevada), Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), Dan Coats (Indiana) and Lisa Murkowski (Arkansas) - Five Said Their Support Is Not Guaranteed On the Final Bill. For A Tally of the Vote, Go To  The Measure Faces Not Only Big Hurdles in the Senate, But Also Longer Odds of Passing the House. Senate Democrats Made Another Offer To Extend Jobless Benefits For The Long-Term Unemployed Through Mid-November. Republicans, However, Did Not Leap to Embrace It. More Unemployed Americans Are Losing Their Benefits as the Year Progresses and They Surpass Their States’ Normal Timelines.  The Procedural Vote In The Senate Came as the Two Parties Jockeyed Over the Political Issue of Rising Income Inequality, With Democrats Pushing More Aid For the Jobless and an Increased Minimum Wage. The Crux of the Negotiations Is the GOP Demand For Offsetting Savings From Other Portions of the Budget. According to The Washington Post, GOP Leaders are Increasingly Concerned About Public Perceptions That They Are Insensitive to Those Who are Still Struggling in the Slow Economic Recovery. More At  “Wednesday Marked the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Beginning of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s ‘War On Poverty,’” Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said. “Perhaps the Anniversary Is the ‘Reminder’ Some Elected Officials Need that ‘The War’ Has Not Yet Been Won.”




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