NARFE seal imagelogo-narfelogo-Chapter 65


California State Federation Convention 2007

DAY 3 - SUNDAY - MAY 20, 2007

(The following email was sent by NARFENET coordinator Carl Bailey to all California chapters...)

Helen Zajac, CSFC President, called the convention to order at 9:05 AM by introducing a Moment of Silent Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance by Richard Millington, Chico Chapter 1245 Region VIII Past National Field Vice President. Singing of God Bless America was led by Fil Fong, Mt. Diablo Chapter 531 and accompanied by Mildred Fong on piano.

Helen Zajac, CSFC President, announced yesterday’s drawing offered by Premier Federal Credit Union was delayed until today. Winner of $500 was Octavio Chavez. Also state legislation rosters available from Joanna Selby. New recruiting banners and magnetic signs are available for any chapter to use, and will be made available from Andy Morgan. Helen encouraged all to submit questions in writing for open forum, and to fill out convention evaluation forms.

Forney Lundy, Salinas Chapter 1496, Region VIII Vice President gave the Region VIII Annual Report.

The region VIII VP is our conduit to National. He can present our issues, but he only has one vote on the National Executive Board.

He recommends all sign up for GEMS under Membership Services.

Although membership is declining, now about 331,000. Many CFEs, many on dues withholding. Losses in 2005, net loss was 17,993. In 2006, net loss was 6,707. Should concentrate on retention. Starts at chapter, day they join. OPM does blind mailing, about 8% return, which is good. Losing CFE when their dues go up, should be given heads up. Greeting card and calendar program makes $750,000 – non-dues revenue, keeps dues low. Silver Circle another non-dues voluntary program coming. NARFE is financially sound.

$77,000 spent on renewal notices. Work on dues withholding. We need to “Stop the Drops”. FEEA is one tax deductible. Alzheimer's close to $7 Mil.

NARFEPAC – contributions given to key legislators, need to continue efforts. $147,000 donated by California.

NARFE is mature but has become complacent. Need to focus on retaining benefits.

Changing dues structure to single dues is important.

Pre-Retirement Seminar Program. Conducted 67 last year, may get GSA approval. Have 4 presenters in California, have blanket provision with one government agency. Forney presented a plaque to Ken Boffin as first PRS presenter.

Lea Zajac, Chair, National Legislation Committee, gave a report. Much of what he had to say was given by Judy. He recommended using NARFE toll free number, 1-866-220-0044, to contact legislators. Just call and ask for appropriate legislator, identify yourself as a California resident and member of NARFE, and tell them what legislation you want them to support.

Visit your congressman in person, make them aware of NARFE. Personal visits have resulted in previous non-sponsors becoming sponsors and actually joining NARFE. A number of members reported similar success.

Vivian Nathanson, Chair Credentials Committee, gave the Final report.

249 delegates registered
26 delegates at large
4 alternate delegates
2 national officers
13 visitors/guests
-6 delegates at large serving as chapter delegates
69 of 96 chapters represented by delegates
27 chapters represented by proxy
15 members of Executive Board
12 Past Presidents
1,177 potential votes present

Helen Zajac, CSFC President, recognized Convention secretary Ann McGraw and host Cliff McGraw for service to the Federation. Helen also recognized recording secretary Coleen Clarke .

Election Results for District Vice-Presidents were announced by Delphine Tobias, Nominating Committee Chair

I Robert Davidson
II Frank Impinna
III Lenore Manak
IV Fil Fong
V Judy Lynn
VI Dottie Schmidt
VII Lea Zajac
VIII Norm McCracken
IX Judy Mayora
X Jane Crognale

Louis Burgelin, Chair, National Bylaws Committee, gave his report.

Committee recommended adoption in a block of NBL-01, drop honorary life memberships, and NBL-06, National Convention rules, but was not accepted.

NBL-01, drop honorary life membership, recommended by committee for adoption. Amendment proposed to change honorary requirement to age 90 and 25 years of membership. Amendment defeated. Another amendment proposed to ensure resolved statement includes grand fathering existing honorary life members. Accepted. Another amendment proposed to maintain honorary membership but not waiver of dues. Amendment adopted. Resolution as amended adopted.

NBL-02, change dues to half price for spouses, not recommended by committee for adoption because of cost. Amendment proposed to state that spousal members will not receive NARFE magazine. Amendment defeated. Resolution not adopted

NBL-03, establish single dues, not recommended by committee for adoption, Amendment proposed to change distribution of dues. Amendment defeated. Resolution not adopted.

Instruction for Voting was given by Ann McCraw, Ballot & Tellers Committee Chair.
Recessed at 12:00 PM until 1:30 PM for lunch and voting. The convention resumed with a deviation from the schedule to hear a presentation.

Linda Alexander of Human Resources at VA, West Los Angeles, delivered a presentation on Federal Employee's Retirement System (FERS).

FERS has 3 parts, FERS, Social Security, and TSP. No cost of living until 62. Social Security does not come into effect until 62 years old. Big penalty of 5% for each year under age 65. Employees need to have TSP if they expect to make it. Best to wait longer to retire.
FERS annuity is 1% of high three, 1.1% if older than 62 and have at least 20 years service.

TSP - the government securities are safe, other options have some risk.

When leaving government service if you withdraw retirement money you cannot redeposit to get back the service time if reemployed.

Mary Venerable, Chair, Service Committee, gave her report.

Has trained many service officers, provided service officer newsletters. She encourages all NARFENET coordinators and chapter presidents to get the newsletters to the service officers. Newsletters are on the Federation web site.

She will have training sessions just for service officers.

Biggest problem is recruitment; service officers can be walking advertisements for NARFE.

Service officer’s job is very gratifying.

A presentation about Little Known Facts and Details about "A Day in the Life"
of a Capitol Hill Lobbyist and NARFE-PAC was given by Judy Park, NARFE National Legislation Director

There is no typical day. There are almost 35,000 registered lobbyists. 5 from NARFE. To be a lobbyist you just have to register, but you better be credible.

Judy gets to the office around 7, after reading the paper at home, then reads other Washington government specific papers to know what’s going on in general. You have to be aware of the big picture as well as your own issues. Also information is gleaned from online sources about government happenings.

Legislative staff attends many meetings on “The Hill”, usually with members of congress’ staff. Ongoing effort to get our message out and received favorably.

You need to be credible if talking to a legislator – give the facts, don’t exaggerate or you will no longer be heard. Be persistent but not annoying, recognize that “no” is only for now, be flexible. Recognize realities of the entire nation. We’re not the only ones talking to the legislators.

NARFEPAC – don’t talk about PAC in a members office, they and we cannot talk about contributions when talking issues. They must call for PAC support from other than their offices. Must be handled at National headquarters to ensure rules are followed.

Requests for PAC money comes into the office, confirmed via state PAC coordinator, approved by National president and NEB members.

$5000 per member per election is our limit.

The NARFE-PAC Report was given by Vaudis Pennell, San Bernardino Chapter 73, CSFC NARFE-PAC Coordinator

Is available late if National has not available

Sold 65 congressional directories, 60 NARFEPAC pins at the convention.

The Ballot & Tellers Committee Report was given by Ann McCraw, Chair

The result of the voting for 2009 convention site: 1019 for Concord, 25 for Sparks, Nevada.

At 2:40 PM, an OPEN FORUM was moderated by Lea Zajac, CSFC Past President. The panel consisted of the following NARFE Leaders:
Margaret Baptiste, NARFE National President Forney A. Lundy, NARFE Region VIII Vice President Judy Park, NARFE National Legislation Director
Linda Alexander, Human Resources, VA West Los Angeles
Helen Zajac, CSFC President

They addressed these questions:

Margaret Baptist – How to save chapters in trouble? Has 850 members, only 20 attend meetings. Ans.– One way was to divvy up the membership list among a number of officers and call everyone, fid out the problems and generate interest. Mentoring and personal contact necessary to keep interest up.

Judy Park – why GPO/WEP? They evolved as a means keep social security solvent? Ans.– Dual entitlement in SS not allowed, applied offset to government pensions.

WEP caused by concerns about “double dipping”? SS under pressure to do something, so WEP happened. It did not apply to those within 5 years of service, so they didn’t care at the time. Impact came later.

Forney Lundy – (1) why does join date on M114 change when dues withholding stars? (2) why not archive M114 on web site? Ans. (2) – take too much computer resource Ans.– (1) usually doesn’t mean anything.

Linda Alexander – what is the ideal way for FERS person to retire? Ans – cannot set aside more than 1% in FERS account. Best to save money

Judy – believes private sector has similar to Premium Conversion. IRS stopped for retirees. Ans.– True, employees have it, retires don’t.

Margaret – NARFE info to fed agencies. Some activities provide retirement seminars via video limiting our presence. Ans.– NARFE actively expanding PRS activity.

Margaret – how to avoid what happened at Nat’l when you ran? Ans. Went to electronic voting. After Greensboro went back to S.C. to work for NARFE until now.

Forney – what is the cost of serving the membership? Ans.– cost of magazine, overhead comes to $26. Staff of 57 must be paid. Advertising costs. NEB and National Officers must be paid. $26 is good value.

Is there info like PowerPoint avail to chapters to explain changes in health insurances?
Judy, Ans.– Plenty of info is in magazine.

Helen – what are dates of 2009 convention? Ans.– will be between April and June.

Ray Harrington – use of nominating committee does not inspire candidates to run. Ans.– chapters should make good candidates known to nominating committee.

Judy – Is NARFEPAC money ever given to more that 1 candidates? Ans.– we give to who we think will give us the best support.

Judy – what are the chances for Premium Conversion now that Bill Thomas is gone? Ans.– probably no different. Cost of repeal is the problem with so few people affected.
Rangle no different position than Thomas.

Linda – any chance of sell back of sick leave? Ans.– No unless law changes.

Forney – what need to be done for CFEs to have dues withholding? Ans.– OPM will not allow.

Margaret – why does Nat’l need $26? Ans.– actually needs $6, non-dues money helps.

Forney - why not give free membership to all eligible employees? Ans.– not feasible

Judy – another question about GPO/WEP. Ans.– may be unfair, but is a money issue.

Judy – gov’t pay by locality, why not retirement pay? Ans.– related where you have to work, retirees not forced to live anywhere, not held there by job.

Forney - Dues withholding – how can we assure will not mess up annuity? Ans.– never heard of problem. They mess with check every Jan and Feb, so do it once.

Judy – are congressmen cynical about sponsoring bill? Ans.– maybe some are, not many

Judy – what is next step with GPO/WEP? Ans.– complete reject cannot pass, compromise necessary.

Judy – made point that change back to high 5 would be detrimental. Always looking at.

Judy commented that rumors about excessive congressional benefits was refuted by NARFE, made friends of many.

Judy – why are costs about GPO/WEP stated for multiple years? Ans.– that’s how the budget process works.

Helen – (1) why did you run for president ?(2) what is best moment of presidency? Ans.– Saw that chapters had mostly older members, what few younger members were there were neglected. As a baby boomer considered as one who didn’t get involved, I wanted to get involved, I had something to offer. (2) When invited to speak to Federal Executive Board with Linda Springer, head of OPM, she asked why wasn’t I a retired annuitant? Also working with Postal Coalition and speaking before them.

Someone said you can research Open Season with at or Margaret said the NARFE magazine is the most comprehensive

Someone thanked Dave Dorado for updating records accurately.

Linda – are new congresspersons under FERS? Ans.– Yes

Margaret – when will there be a dues increase? Ans.– We are OK as long as we are careful with spending. It will be best to have single dues.

Judy – why give SS benefits to full time workers? Ans.– Don’t know, should be repealed.

Linda – FERS not affected by GPO/WEP. Would FERS be better for a widow? Ans.– it all depends what system one was under when retired, can’t choose.

At 3:40, Louis Burgelin, Chair, National Bylaws Committee, resumed discussion of resolutions

NBL-04, single dues, life membership, not recommended by committee for adoption. Withdrawn by submitter.

NBL-05, hire Chief Operating Officer, not recommended by committee for adoption. Withdrawn by submitter.

NBL-06, National Convention rules for convention to stay in effect until changed by convention, recommended by committee for adoption. Resolution adopted.

The General Resolutions Committee Report was given by Gordon Triemert, Chair

GEN-01, reformat CSFC directory. Recommended rejection. Resolution not adopted.

GEN-02, authorize Service Officer to speak to OPM for a member. Recommended rejection. Resolution not adopted.

GEN-03, Abolish F-9 Notification of Death. Recommended amending resolution to delete email choice. Amendment defeated. Resolution Accepted.

GEN-04, Revise F-7 to provide spacing for typewriter use. Recommended rejection. Resolution not adopted.

GEN-05, offer free membership as recruiting tool. Recommended rejection. Resolution not adopted.

GEN-06, seek dues withholding for CFEs from OPM. Recommended rejection. Resolution not adopted.

Forney Lundy, Salinas Chapter 1496, Region VIII Vice President, presented Helen Zajac with a plaque recognizing her 3 years of service as president.

Good of the Federation

Certificate awarded to Walter Shirley, oldest member present, age 94, for his service to chapter and federation.

A member pointed out that someone died, if your bank is sold, check that your government check is getting there

If you have a trust make sure your banks have it.

Hall of Fame Presentations by Helen Zajac, CSFC President

Three past presidents selected six charter inductees. Helen recommended forming chapter halls of fame.

Plaques were awarded to: Thomas C. Brown, Iris M. Hippert, Chester H. Olsen, Rose Ratting, Joyce E. Ross, and Mary Venerable.

Courtesy Resolutions, by Vivian Nathanson, CSFC Secretary

Resolved convention appreciate Margaret Baptiste and all other special guests and speakers. Resolutions approved.

Helen Zajac, Recognition of Special Assistants.
The federation expressed Appreciation for Convention Host Committee Chairs, Chief & Sergeant-At-Arms, Hotel Staff, and all who worked on the convention.

Closing Remarks, by Helen Zajac, CSFC President – Helen thanked Lea, her logistics manager, and the many chapters who hosted her at their meetings over the years. Reminded us that we haven’t lost any benefits in the last 13 years. It takes everyone working together to continue the legacy of NARFE and to retain our benefits.

Retiring of the Colors was performed by the Marine Corps Color Guard from HQ Company, Camp Pendelton.

At 4:50 PM Helen Zajac, CSFC President, Adjourned the Convention, sine die (The final adjournment of a legislative session, without adjourning to a specific time or date)

Andy Morgen, Ways and Means Chair conducted the Drawing of Convention Prizes

The following prizes were awarded:
1st - $2007, Vince Specht, Chapter 2031 (Nevada); 2nd - $507, Claudia Gardiner, Chapter16; 3rd - $257, Art Crognale, Chapter 352; 4th - $107, Marjorie Morris, Chapter 456; 5th - $107, Violet Quist, Chapter 1266; 6th - $57, Fred Loring, Chapter 45


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