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George has been notifying former works employees about things that are of importance to them for a number of years now.  We will try to keep the most current things that affect us here as a reference for those to refer to.  Our benefits and legislation actions are of the most important to us right now.

                      Three Items of Interest to Avaya Retirees

Here is the site that you can track the progress of the Avaya bankruptcy filing in court. This will provide information about the case, including access to court documents.
Pension Service number is 1-844-868-6236


As required by a public company, Avaya filed two 8K's with the SEC when they announced their quarterly results. One was covering their results and one was covering the bankruptcy. You can find them here:
SEC filings are available on Avaya’s Investor Relations site at this link:

If you have not signed up or know any others that have not yet joined our NRLN Avaya Chapter send them this link and ask them do so here:


The Avaya forum has received a new topic, "Represented retirees HRA agreement (non-mgt)".
The text of the post is :
"I just received a call from CWA regarding an agreement the company reached regarding our covered medical.
A letter went out on 1/18/17 to the CWA locals stating the HRA's would be funded as follows:
2017 - $6400
2018 - $6400
I do not have a copy of the letter. Contact your local for more information.

Vern Larson, President – Avaya Retirees Chapter of the NRLN

                                        NRLN, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 900, South Building, Washington, D.C. 20004-2601

Message for Retirees from Bill Kadereit, NRLN President


Click To View Documents: Facebook Action Alert Stop the Effort to Privatize Medicare.pdf (594KB);

NRLN Action Alert
Stop the Effort to Privatize Medicare

Click here to access the NRLN Action Alert to Stop Effort to Privatize Medicare.
For years, the NRLN has opposed the efforts of Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-01), now the Speaker of the House, to replace Medicare with a voucher plan (premium support) for seniors to use to purchase their health care coverage from private insurance companies.  If Rep. Tom Price (GA-06), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, is confirmed by the Senate, Speaker Ryan will have a powerful partner. Representative Price has long supported privatizing Medicare with taxpayer dollars going to insurance companies who make big contributions to members of Congress. Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08), Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, has pledged to support the proposed changes to Medicare.
Speaker Ryan has received $845,239 in campaign and leadership PAC (Political Action Committee) contributions from the insurance industry during the 2015 and 2016 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.Org, the Center for Responsive Politics. Rep, Price, currently Chairman of the House Budget Committee, has received $184,600, and Rep. Brady has received $397,500 in campaign and leadership PAC contributions from the insurance industry during the same period. Could their desire to privatize Medicare be overly influenced by the big contributions they receive from the insurance industry? 
You are the NRLN.  If Medicare is important to you as part of the NRLN, then stand with the other members to tell Congress not to support turning Medicare over to insurance companies that will certainly lead to seniors paying more for health care. Please email the NRLN’s sample letter to your Representative and Senators to urge them to prevent the privatization of Medicare. 
Bill Kadereit, President                                    Bob Martina, Vice President – Grassroots
National Retiree Legislative Network             National Retiree Legislative Network
Here are the easy steps to follow:

  1. If the “Click here” link in the first paragraph above doesn’t work for you, go to: http://nrln.org/congress.html#/48 to access the NRLN’s sample letters.. The NRLN Action Network system will identify for you the letter to be sent to your U.S. Representative and your two U.S. Senators. If you have a problem with this link, go to www.nrln.org and click on the “Take Action Now” near the top of the NRLN website home page.
  2. When you have accessed the NRLN sample letters, to the left of the letters are windows to type in your contact information required by members of Congress so they know they are receiving an email from a constituent. If you have sent previous NRLN emails to your members of Congress your contact information may be automatically displayed.
  3. Personalize the letters by editing in your own comments.
  4. Click on the "Preview" button and the letters addressed to your Representative and two Senators will appear. Their names will be automatically added in the letter’s greeting.  Check to make sure the letters to your members of Congress appear correct and then click "Send".

 Please consider using these additional tools:

  1. After you have emailed your letter to your members of Congress, you will have the option to select a number of publications from a news media list to send a message to the editor.  With regard to the present Action Alert, the composed message asks the editors to write an editorial to urge members of Congress not to support the premium support plan for Medicare.
  2. You have the option, if you have a Facebook page, to click on a Facebook icon to post a link to the NRLN's Action Alert on your Facebook page.  After you click on the Facebook icon the link to the Action Alert will appear and the option to "Write Something" is proved.  You may want to type in something like Email the NRLN's sample letter to your members of Congress. Click the "Share" icon to post your comment and the Action Alert link.
  3. You also have the option, if you have a Facebook account, to post the NRLN’s message on your Representative’s or Senator’s Facebook page.  Most members of Congress have a Facebook page. Click on the attachment to this email for the steps to follow to post on your legislator’s Facebook page.
  4. Also after emailing your letter there is an option to post to your Twitter account if you have one. Scroll down to "Send a Tweet" and click on the "Submit" buttons to send the short message to each of your members of Congress.
  5. Scroll down further to "Tell a Friend" and you will have the option to quickly email a message to your friends to ask them to access the NRLN Action Alert.  Simply type or paste in their email addresses into a window.
  6. Further down the webpage is "Share on your Web Site". That is only for the use of Webmasters.

 NRLN, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 900, South Building, Washington, D.C. 20004-2601

Message for Omaha Works IBEW Retirees from Bill Kadereit, NRLN President
Although I have been gone for 45 years from the Omaha Works where I began my Western Electric career I still hold a kinship with Omaha.  Rose and I still have family and friends in Omaha and we regularly drive there for visits from the Dallas area where we have lived near our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren since I retired in 1995.  I’m still an avid Huskers fan.
After I left Omaha I worked at eight company locations and two of them were also IBEW locations at factories in Indianapolis and Columbus. I note this because this message is being sent to Omaha Works IBEW retirees. Based on these years at IBEW locations and having served on the Lucent Retirees Organization’s Board for three years before the LRO encouraged me to become the President of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) in 2008, I think I have a pretty good idea of what concerns retirees, including IBEW retirees. I continue this retiree work because I feel I owe a little pay-back to people I had the privilege of working with over the years, who certainly don’t deserve benefit losses incurred or might be lost.
For those of you who did not accept Alcatel-Lucent’s pension buyout offer or were not eligible for the offer, you want your pension protected. You might not be aware there is a new form of financial reengineering by companies which is the merging of pension plans as part of a strategy to benefit the plan sponsor by combining plans with very different levels of plan assets and liabilities. Defined-benefit pension plan mergers can also be very damaging to the vested rights of plan participants when a well-funded plan (as your plan currently is) is merged with one or more not as well-funded plans. Your plan is well funded, and we don’t know that Nokia has any current intensions to change that. You may want to follow updates on LRO’s website at www.lucentretirees.com.

In December 2015, NRLN and Retiree Association leaders met with officials of the Department of Treasury and the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation in an effort to protect retirees from pension losses due to pension plan mergers where a well-funded plan’s assets are confiscated and added to at-risk plans to create one plan that is poorly funded. While the Treasury and PBGC officials now understand retirees’ concerns about pension plan administrators’ having unilateral authority to merge plans, it is generally believed that legislation would be needed to protect retirees. The NRLN will be urging members of Congress and their staffs to introduce and pass legislation to provide specific protections for pension plan participants during the NRLN Annual Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, February 8-10.

The new Speaker of the House of Representatives has stated Medicare and Social Security will be there “when you need them” but also has suggested a revamp of the programs.  We know for sure that a growing number of policy makers want to “privatize” Medicare 100% into insurance company hands. The NRLN is a strong voice for the more than 2 million retirees it represents to protect Medicare and Social Security if Congress attempts to damage these programs you rely on for your retirement.
In 2015 there were 13 bills introduced in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate that the NRLN supports that, if passed, would result in prescription drug cost savings to Americans and in some cases also to Medicare. We will be advocating the passage of these bills next week in Washington, DC during the NRN’s annual conference. We advocate letting Medicare get competitive bids, allowing FDA approved safe drugs from Canada to be imported and we want legislation to prevent drug companies from paying off others to keep generic products off the market (so called pay-for-delay).
Now that your email address is in the NRLN’s secure database you will only receive messages from the NRLN — never any spam. When you receive an NRLN Action Alert on a legislative issue important to retirees, I encourage you to send the NRLN’s sample letter (or letters) to you U.S. Representative and Senators. 

Actually, sample letters are currently available for you to send to your members of Congress to urge them to pass bills the NRLN is supporting to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Go to: http://www.congressweb.com/NRLN/38 to access the letters. Enter your contact information next to the letters that members of Congress require in order to know they are receiving the letter from an actual constituent. Then click on the “Preview” button to see that your Representative and Senators names are automatically entered on the letter and click send.  We always encourage our “grassroots advocates” to edit their personal comments into the letters.
If the link above should happen to not work for you, go to www.nrln.org the NRLN’s website and click on the “Take Action Now!” headline to access the Action Alert then click on the “Write Your Legislators” button under the Action Alert. You may want to explore the www.nrln.org website to learn more about the NRLN.
I hope you will want to continue to receive emails from me.  I suggest you enter contact@nrln.org in your email address book to reduce the potential for emails from the NRLN to be trapped in your spam filter.  If you decide you do not want to receive NRLN emails, you may click the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of this email or any future NRLN email.
I want to invite you to become an Individual Member of the NRLN by making an annual financial contribution of $25, $50, $75 or more. Any amount you can contribute will be appreciated.  You may make your check or money order payable to NRLN, Inc. and mail it with the Contribution Form below.  Or, make your contribution with your credit card on the NRLN website at www.nrln.org.  Click on the "Join Us" tab near the top of the home page and select “Support the NRLN”.
Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network
Email: president@nrln.org


                                                                                  Omaha Works / IBEW Retirees
The NRLN is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Contributions are not tax deductible.

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I get my retirement benefits from______________________________(name of company)
Mail with your check or money order (no cash) for $25, $50, $75 or more (any amount will
be appreciated) payable to NRLN, Inc., P.O. Box 18757, Washington, D.C. 20036-8757  
NRLN, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. Suite 900, South Building, Washington, D.C. 20004-2601

February 1, 2016

The Honorable Deb Fischer
The Honorable Ben Sasse
United States Senate
386A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Fisher and Sasse:

The hearing conducted by the Senate's Special Committee on Aging in December into soaring drug prices was a positive action. Now it is time for all Senators to get serious about reducing the cost of prescription drugs for Americans, especially seniors living on fixed income.

The following bills are pending in Senate committees and if passed would results in savings to Americans and in some cases also to Medicare. The bills with an asterisk have a companion bill in the House. I urge you to examine these bills and let me know which ones you support and will work for their passage.

S. 31* - The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2015
S. 122* - The Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act of 2015
S. 131 - The Fair and Immediate Release of Generic Drugs Act of 2015
S. 648 - The Medicare Formulary Improvement Act of 2015 of 2015
S. 1790 - The Safe and Affordable Prescription Drugs Act of 2015
S. 1884* - The Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2015
S. 2023* - The Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015
S. 2019 - The Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act of 2015

Too many Americans are having to choose between paying for food, housing and other necessities, or try to stretch out their drug supply by cutting the prescribed dose or worse, simply going without their medicines. Senators need to come together and form a consensus on which bills to pass to best address skyrocketing drug costs.