Robert Furbush for APWU Health Plan Director

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Robert Furbush

Currently, I am a Bulk Mail Clerk at the Bellaire, TX post office and a proud member of the Houston Area Local with over 31 years of union involvement. I have the experience, before Hurricane Katrina, I served as the Health Plan Representative of the New Orleans Local for over 16 years and Director, Human Relations for the Louisiana State APWU AFL-CIO (representing the membership with OWCP, EEO, and health plan issues) for over 8 years. I was recognized by the Health Plan for maintaining a highpercentage of my local’s membership in our health plan. I am a disabled Vietnam veteran having served 17 years in the United States Coast Guard prior to joining the Postal Service. Education includes an Associate Degree in Business Management (Marketing major with a minor in Postal Management) and an Occupational Associate Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management.

My PLATFORM: I believe that it is vital that we secure a health plan that will increase future benefits for current and retired postal workers as well as needed income for our union. In 2016, I ran for this position on the fact that our members do not support our plan and our health plan has not come up with a way to market our plan to them. I have since come up with a new plan that would suit out union well and allow us to use our most valuable access, our retirees. I am still holding conversations with members concerning the health plan and why they do not belong to it. Through these conversations I have come to realize that our members do not know how great our benefits are nor understand the value of our health plan is to this union. But one person can’t do it alone. We must supply our local health plan representatives with “boots on the ground”. This is why I created this plan, one in which will help our health plan representatives when they are talking to our members about our plan. They shouldn’t have to stand alone when explaining our benefits and other concerns to the membership. As a loyal health plan member, joined the plan while still in origination, I have been saying for years that we must come up with a way to bring back our members because the percentage that support our plan is unacceptable.

As Health Plan Director, I will continue our efforts in getting members to participate in our wellness programs (diabetes, smoking concession, and weight loss) which will slow down the rising cost of our premiums. I believe that we can come up with more incentives, processes and innovations that will encourage our members to take advantage of these programs. We will seek legislation that will call for actions to reduce premiums for our active and retiree members, by strengthening the federal oversight of the prescription drug benefits. It will also be our commitment to continue to provide the most appropriate medications to our members to enhance their safety. It will be my commitment, with the assistance of the health plan staff, to develop a proposal for the Office of Personal Management (OPM) to increase benefits for our members to include discount membership in fitness gyms, at home weight loss programs and home exercise products/equipment.

The health plan membership goes hand and hand with the organizational structure of our union. I will partner with our Organization Director to formulate an aggressive plan to sign up APWU members not only in the health plan but in our union also. In addition, I believe that through political action we can obtain better benefits for our membership from the Office of Personal Management. It will be my commitment to work closely with our Legislative Director, as political action is a top priority for our union, to assist them in lobbing for better medical, dental, and vision care benefits. I am a hardworking, energetic, and motivated union brother who has the necessary experience and qualities to be the next Health Plan Director. This is not just a position to me, being in this plan for over 31 years, I have watched it grow into what it is now and I am proud to be a member. I will seek to do whatever it takes, morally, to ensure that our health plan continues to improve because I believe it is time that it takes a more active part in getting our membership to become a part of it.

(To download Robert Furbush’s Health Plan Flyer click here)