This past Saturday, November 2, 2019 the MEMBERS met in
Conference in Daytona Beach, Florida to hear from OUR National Officers and
five SPEAKERS, consisting of the RRB, UNITED HEALTHCARE, RAILROAD MEDICARE (Palmetto
GBA), ID/LEGAL SHIELD and the law firm of JONES-GRANGER. YOUR Conference was attended by FIFTY (50)
people dedicated to PROTECT, PRESERVE and PROMOTE the BENEFITS now enjoyed by all
Railroad Retirees, not only the almost 29,000 in Florida, but the hundreds of
thousands across the country.
This past summer I asked for YOUR help, as the Leg. Rep Unit
70 Daytona in preparing for this meeting and appreciate all those who stepped
forward to make this meeting a rousing success!
In Sept., it was my pleasure to accept an appointment from Natl. Pres.
Dwyer as the Asst. Director Area 1, subsequently, as a result of the 2019 FSA
meeting, I humbly and eagerly accept the duly elected position of FSA PRESIDENT
This 2019 FSA Conference adopted BYLAWS, which were passed
by a vote of 5 to 0. Digital copies of
the BYLAWS will be sent to each MEMBER and Unit Officer having email. Please copy them and present to each member
at YOUR coming meetings. These BYLAWS
generally follow the NATL. BYLAWS and previous FSA bylaws and amendments issued
in the 90’s and early 2000’s. The main
difference is in ARTICLE 5-Election of State Officers which now allows
nominations from the floor for all offices.
The NEW FSA Officers for the coming 2 years are:
- President: George Boatwright, Unit 70
- 1st Vice President: Thomas (Tommy) Young, Unit 001
- Secretary/Treasurer: Franklin (Frank) Johnson, Unit 001
Mailing addresses for above are:
3900 Yorktowne Blvd. Apt 4301,
Port Orange, Fl. 32129
1374 Hollywood Ave.,
Jacksonville, Fl. 32205
10817 Old Gainesville Road,
Jacksonville, Fl. 32221
The following offices were not filled and any member in good standing is encouraged to step up and place themselves in nomination:
- 2nd Vice President and
- Legislative Chairman.
Another item of business unresolved was a HOST for the November 2021 meeting. A registration and meal fee was not charged for this year’s meeting, but a HOST Unit may, as in past years, charge a reasonable Conference fee. This will offset the cost of holding a meeting and enhance the $200 appropriated by the FSA. The use of raffles and 50/50 plus contributions from local businesses may result in income to the Host Unit. PLEASE give this consideration in YOUR future Unit meetings and advise the FSA.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME IN READING THIS MESSAGE. My wife, Lois and I, HOPE that each of you
HAVE A SAFE AND JOYFUL HOLIDAY SEASON!
NARVRE-FLORIDA President and Asst. Dir. Area 1
In the September newsletter our National President Tom Dwyer wrote about NARVRE being asked to partner with the RRB to participate in a survey. This was done in as an effort to provide data for the improvement of RRB’s online services provided for Railroad employees, annuitants, and beneficiaries.
We are happy to report that 400 responses were needed for a valid sample and 819 NARVRE members participated by taking the RRB Survey! RRB officials were more than pleased with our response!
Thank you again for your consideration and interest in this important initiative!
The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board has asked for NARVRE members’ help in making sure railroad retirees’ views are represented in RRB’s survey on the Board’s current and future online services.
The survey will be sent to randomly selected members for completion. If selected please do take advantage of this opportunity to have your voice heard as the Railroad Retirement Board plans for the future on line services. The survey should take less than 25 minutes to complete and all responses are voluntary and anonymous.
If you are on our email list and did not receive a survey check your spam folder.
At this point no paper copies of the survey are available.
October 24, 2019, 1 pm – 4 pm
The Library Center,
4653 Campbell Ave,
Springfield MO 65810.
For more information call Alfonso Mondragon, Unit 166 President, 417-379-9247 or Steve Counts, NARVRE Speakers Bureau, 417- 298-7661.
Hosted by Unit 070 Daytona Beach.
Saturday, November 2, 2019,
At: Hampton Inn,
1715 W. International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Lunch will be provided at no charge)
R.S.V.P. by September 25, 2019 to George Boatwright, Unit #70 Leg. Representative, at 386-589-6777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 10, 2018, a bill titled “Know The Lowest Price Act of 2018”, (S.2553) was passed and signed into law. This legislation stops private insurers from using so-called gag orders that “restricts” pharmacies from offering customers the same drug but at a lower price if they paid out-of-pocket. Turns out the insurance prescription drug plans prohibited the pharmacies from alerting the customer about the difference in price, and customers have been overpaying at the pharmacy counter more than 20 percent of the time. As example, an Rx for high blood pressure medication could be $20 with insurance coverage, but only $8.00 out-of-pocket (if the pharmacy were allowed to inform the customer). It should be noted that 25 states had already made these practices illegal. So, while this practice has been stopped, there are other provisions in other contracts that restrict our government from working to obtain the lower price of drugs for seniors, such as the Medicare Part D agreement with the healthcare industry. After the implementation of Medicare Pt D in 2006, seniors have argued that the provision restricting Medicare from negotiating the costs of drugs with the industry should be repealed, as pricing rates for industry drugs are private and not transparent, and billions in profits are made off of seniors enrolled in their Part D plans. Most seniors will remember the bus trips into Canada in years gone by, in order to save money. On that subject, we need new hearings to pass the “Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act”, and effectively demand that the pharmaceutical industry lower the costs of drugs here in the U.S. We look forward to a change in leadership on November 6th, but seniors must continue to pressure Congress, no matter who holds the Majority in 2019. NARVRE will be working with other senior organizations, like the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), as we urge our members and retirees to contact Congress and insist they begin to work for their constituents, and not their political party. We continue to encourage all members to introduce yourselves to your Members in Congress, especially if you have a new, fresh face elected to the House or Senate. Let them know you are an active NARVRE member and expect them to protect our earned benefits, such as railroad retirement and Medicare.
Gary Faley, Legislative Director
The bill (HR 6147) that would preserve Amtrak service over the entire current Southwest Chief route has passed out of the Senate and is now headed for a conference committee in the House to reconcile the differences in spending bills from both chambers. If you haven’t called your Representatives in the House, please do so. We need to protect the Amtrak network and the rail jobs that could be adversely affected.
Over the years, we continue to receive different inquiries as to how NARVRE members might assist in our efforts to inform Congress on the existence and operation of the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). It is unfortunate that to many Congressional offices, for whatever reasons, are confused and/or ignorant to the facts regarding railroads and their employees, and the governing mandates of the Railroad Retirement Act. While it is necessary for NARVRE members to contact Congress on a variety of issues immediately affecting railroad retirees, it is also necessary that we continue to furnish information to our elected officials as they have an inherent responsibility to their railroad constituents back home in their Districts. The point of being involved in NARVRE is to inform Congress as to who we are and what we expect them to protect. We want them to understand some critical facts on the history and structure of the Railroad Retirement System. We want them to know us as active and voting constituents, and also as members of our national retiree association. The work we do as individual constituents is a tool that binds us together as one voice speaking on behalf of all railroad retirees. As NARVRE members, we have our own special interests in protecting our earned retirement benefits which include Medicare and Medicaid, and Social Security where applicable. Hence, the communication with our Representatives in Congress can be a valuable tool and asset in protecting our railroad retirement system and our annuities. The following example is for your review and use. The best advice is to keep it concise and to the point. I have tried to do both in the following example. You might receive a response from an aide in your representative’s office. Tell them to add your name to their email updates from Capitol Hill, and give them any other information on your history as an active constituent and railroad retiree. They need to know you.
Gary Faley, Legis. Dir.
The Honorable John A. Doe United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Rep. Doe,
I am a constituent of yours and reside in City & State. I am a railroad retiree with XX years of service on the XXX Railroad. I am covered under the Railroad Retirement Act and receive my benefits and my retirement annuity through the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).