A Note From the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The Branch has just been notified that management has invoked the implementation of Article 12, withholding. There is only one impacted regular who works out of the Absecon Post Office. The sending area for this employee is within 100 miles of the losing installation. This obviously impacts all of our offices who have residual vacancies. Having said that, I urge all Stewards who have vacancies to contact me immediately. With only one vacancy District wide, there are many ways to protect the rights of our PTFs while balancing the intent of Article 12.
For the last few years I have been kicking around the idea of creating the position of an Area Shop Steward. This job would combine all of the offices that do not have an in-house Steward under one Steward. When offices loose a Steward, then the Area Steward would take command until an in-house Steward is elected. The funding for this position would come from the Steward's salary for each of the vacant offices. I will be bringing this proposal to the Board of Officers, the Executive Board and the general membership for their opinion and advice. If anyone has any other ideas on the subject, please drop me a line.
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - April 21

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 8 PM, at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the third Wednesday of each month, 8 pm, except during the months of July and August.

Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings April 14

The Branch Board of Officers and Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers at 7:30 p.m., and the Executive Board at 8 p.m. The next meeting of the Board of Officers and Executive Board will be on Wednesday, April 14, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $250

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on March 17, D. B. Mike Fitzgerald out of the Deptford/Woodbury office would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize. The prize will continue to stand at $250, the maximum, until a member in good standing and present at a regular monthly meeting of the Branch name is drawn.

Supervisors Retiring Early

According to the latest issue of the Federal Times the USPS has completed cutbacks in the supervisor ranks, with 13,000 of the agency's 35,000 supervisors taking early retirements. Early retirements and attrition have left some facilities with about 1 supervisor for every 22 employees.

Have a Joyous & Happy Easter

Barnett Re-elected Branch Treasurer

Tom Barnett was re-elected to the position of Branch Treasurer by a vote of 257 to 165 subsequent to a challenge of his initial election by his opponent, who felt that his candidacy was put at a disadvantage because he was not formally notified of when the election ballots were going to be mailed out. Out of the 714 members eligible to vote, 433 returned their ballots, 11 of which were declared ineligible by the Election Committee.

100th Centennial Celebration & Annual Retirees and Branch Awards Brunch
Sunday May 2, 2004

This year's Annual Retirees and Branch Awards Brunch will be consolidated with the 100th year celebration of the Branch's founding. The celebration will be held at the Colonial Manor Fire Hall, 611 Academy Ave., (Academy Ave., just off of Hessian Ave.), West Deptford. The celebration will be held between the hours of 2 and 6 pm, Sunday, May 2. The cost will be $10 pp. As in the past, those Branch members who have retired since our last Brunch and/or those receiving a Branch Award are invited free of charge with their significant other. Other Branch retirees are invited free of charge, but must pay for any guests they bring with them. Children 5 and under will be admitted free of charge. The cost includes the Brunch, catered by Party Perfect Catering, refreshments, including beer, wine, soda and set-ups, BYOB, and a DJ for your dancing pleasure. In order to make the necessary arrangements, all those who plan to be with us on Sunday, May 2, must complete and forward the following reservation by Sunday, April 24.

This Year's Retirees Thus Far

J. J. Wilson - Blackwood B.G. Menchhofer - Sewell
A. Worrell, Jr. - Swedesboro H. Z. Hill - Paulsboro
A. N. Hulme - Voorhees W. T. Ward - Williamstown
G. R. Williams - Voorhees V. T. Catroppa - Blackwood
N. J. Seher - Dept/Woodbury T. Hrynyshyn - Runnemede
J. F. Serock - Dept/Woodbury D. P. Bernstein - Marlton
B. R. Carr - Glassboro

Name: ___________________________
                         Please Print
Check one: This year Retiree:____, Branch Retiree:____, Branch member:____, Others:_____.
Number who will be attending with you free of charge:_____.
Number who will be attending with you at cost: (Adult:____ Children: ___.)
Total number of attendees:________.
Amount of remittance enclosed:______________.

Send reservations to PO Box 385, Woodbury, NJ 08096 by April 24

Branch Memorabilia

The Branch is looking for any Branch 908 memorabilia for display at the 100th Centennial Celebration of the Branch, such as pictures, convention badges, media items, etc. If you have anything that you would like to donate to the affair, call the Branch at 856-468-4746.

Branch Scholarship Notice

Applications are now being accepted for the annual Branch Scholarship Award of $500 per year for 4 years, $2000. The drawing will be held at the regular meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, May 19. Applicants must be the children, grandchildren, stepchildren (living with a member), or an adopted child of an active or retired member of the Branch in good standing. Applications are available on our website, www.nalcbranch908.com, or by contacting Steve Rutkowski at 36 Long Bow Dr., Sewell, NJ, 08080.

Peter J. McGuire Scholarships Available

Qualifications: The scholarships are limited to four area colleges: Camden and Gloucester County colleges and Rowan, Rutgers Universities.
Below are the names and contact numbers to all if interested:
Maralyn Mason, Camden County - 856-227-7200, ext 5088
Anna Leder, Gloucester County - 856-415-2174
Marguerite Stubbs, Rowan - 856-256-4040
Richard Woodland, Rutgers - 856-225-6039

Burlington County AFL-CIO Scholarships Available

Must be a senior in High School, and apply by May 9. Contact Donna Villec, Branch Trustee, for further details and applications.

Andrews Introduces Bill To Fly Flag At Half-Staff On Workers' Memorial Day, April 28th

Thanks to the substantial efforts of our Branch Financial Secretary and legislative liaison, John Vito, Congressman Rob Andrews has introduced a bill in Congress to require the display at half-staff of the flag of the United States on National Workers Memorial Day.

NALC NJ State Association 11th Biennial Seminar

The New Jersey State Association, NALC, has served notice that its 11th Biennial Seminar will be held at the Hilton Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, June 6 through 8th, 2004. Various workshops will be available for all delegates. National Officers will be present to answer questions during the general session on Monday, June 7th. Workshops are held after the general session on Monday and on Tuesday, half a day.

New Branch Members

Egar Dizon - Glendora
J. D. Hicks - Mantua
T. M. Ambrosias - Clayton
L. D. McMaster - Williamstown
J. G. Guerra - Haddon Hts

Branch Retiree Retains NALC Membership

Thomas Hrynyshyn - Runnemede

March of Dimes WalkAmerica - Sunday, April 25

Join Donna Villec and other Branch members in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica on Sunday, April 25, 2004. Contact Donna for further details, to volunteer for the march, or make a contribution to the March of Dimes. When you participate in WalkAmerica, you're helping the March of Dimes fight a national crisis--premature birth. Today, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely. Many die; others face lifelong disability. The money you raise in Walk America supports March of Dimes research and programs to find answers to what causes premature birth and what can be done to prevent it. Until we have more answers, anyone's baby could be next.

Voter Registration Deadline

You must be registered by May 10, 2004 to vote in the primary election. Voter registrations forms are available trough the Branch website at www.nalcbranch908.com, at the Branch office, or by contacting John Vito.

Voluntary Schedule Changes

In order to qualify for a voluntary schedule change, the request must meet all three of the following criteria:
  1. The requested schedule change must be for personal convenience of the employee - not for the convenience of management.
  2. The employee must sign Form 3189, Request for Temporary Schedule Change for Personal Convenience.
  3. Management and the Union's representative (normally the certified steward in the employee's work location) must agree to the change and both must sign the Form 3189.

Bumping Of PTF Off Hold Down Assignments

Full-time employees when on limited duty as a result of a job-related illness or injury, may "bump" a PTF on a "hold down" assignment (or portion of hold down assignment) only if the duties on the "hold down" assignment are included in the written/verbal (see ELM 545.32) limited duty assignment and there is no other work available to satisfy the terms of the limited duty assignment. Consistent with page 41-13 of the JCAM the opt is not terminated the PTF is "bumped" on a day-to-day basis. (Re: H98N-4H-C 1216386, St. Petersburg, FL).

Convention Resolutions

Now is the time to submit resolutions for consideration of the delegates at the National Convention in Hawaii this summer. If there is something pertaining to the Contract, the National Constitution and By-laws, etc., that you would like to see addressed, you can submit a resolution through the general membership at a Branch meeting. Each resolution so submitted must be in duplicate on a separate piece of paper and signed by the person submitting same. If possible, the resolution should identify the Article and Section of the Contract, Constitution and By-laws that it pertains to. Once it is brought up on the floor and approved by the general Branch membership, it will be forwarded to the NALC Executive Council for their consideration, appropriate action, and report to the National Convention. All such resolutions must be submitted to the National by May 20, 2004.

New Carrier Pickup Program

On November 26th the Post Office piloted a program called "Carrier Pickup" in six districts. The pilot was successful and Carrier Pickup will roll out nationally on February 1, 2004, to all offices with city delivery routes only that have access to "My Post Office." The Carrier Pickup program allows customers to notify the local Post Office of prepaid packages for carrier pickup at the time of delivery. The customer submits the notification through USPS.com and the local Post Office receives the information through My Post Office. There is no charge for Carrier Pickup because prepaid packages are available for the carrier at the time of delivery.

Branch Grievance Settlement - Runnemede

Due to the failure of the Plant to provide mail to the Runnemede Post Office on February 16, 2004, and the failure of management to provide timely notice to three PTF carriers not to come to work for five hours as scheduled, two PTFs were paid five hours at the straight time rate and one was provided five hours sick leave usage. (Grievance # 21604).

Branch Arbitration Schedule

Clayton - April 15, 2004. Notice of Removal for alleged violation of Joint Statement of Violence in the Workplace.
Hammonton - May 13, 2004. Alleged failure of management to provide Reasonable Accommodation by no longer Allowing the injured grievant to case all mail.