Presidents Report

I must say, this district has to get an “E” for effort, even if their reasoning for doing things is not proper. The latest gimmick the brain trust in the South Jersey District is trying is with our non-scheduled days. How many of you have been approached by your manager asking you to switch your day off? I am sure you were wondering why they were asking this question, right. It appears the “king” has instructed his peeps to be creative in dealing with vacancies in offices to try to avoid bringing in carriers on overtime. They must have been told on days you have high leave usage try to get carriers who are non-scheduled on these days to come in and switch to another day where leave is not taken. This is how desperate they are to avoid bringing in SDO carriers.
We had a situation where a carrier was brought in on overtime and when the POOM found out they instructed the manager to go out on the street and get the employee to change his schedule or face the consequences! The carrier felt pressured to do this but we got the issue resolved and the carrier was made whole for the day. This just shows how pathetic the upper management in this district has gotten. They are continuing to violate the agreement on a daily basis, but I can tell you one thing, that is, their reign of incompetence will be costing them a lot of money in the near future.
It also appears our stewards are being denied time to file and adjust grievances and local management is negligent in their obligation under Article 17. We just received a Step B decision on this issue and I have instructed all stewards to document all time denied for the processing of grievances and begin moving them along, regardless of the delay to get time on the clock. If the “boys” think by stone-walling us with delays will slow us down, they have another thing coming.
On another front, we still are waiting to hear from the National about where we are heading with the MIARAP process. There are obviously a lot of problems with the management teams on this process, since they have not lived up to their side of this agreement when routes are needed to be put back into offices. I always believed they could not be trusted in trying to do an honest evaluation. I just hope in the future our leaders are not in such a hurry to want to help these people, because they are not our friends, and I believe they are the ones trying to put us out of business! Just listen to Potter, does he sound like someone who wants us to survive?
Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention the date of March 17, 1970. This is the 40th anniversary of the postal strike that led to the reorganization of today’s postal service. I was not around when this occurred but many of our retired members have shared their stories of the events of this day and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for their heroics back then. If you go on the national’s website you can listen to former National President Sombrotto give a 30-minute talk about the events leading up to the strike. I highly recommend this to everyone so you can really understand what it means to be a union member. Once again, thank you to all of you who were there, because without your courage we would not be here today.
Do not forget to mark your calendar for our 3rd Annual Branch Banquet on April 17th at Nicolosi’s. This is a great time at a reasonable cost where we can honor our retirees’ and have a nice time with family and friends. Hope to see everyone there.
Gary DiGiacomo

Vice President’s Report

It was reported at our regular meeting that an email from management was sent out ordering management to interrogate all carriers for extending their projected DOIS street times, even if it is 5 minutes over. It’s been obvious to this branch from the onset of MIARAP that this was management’s ulterior motive with this program. They want to be able to count all the mail with their magic ruler and then dictate to the carrier how long it will take, to the minute! It will not work! There is little chance now for a future of working “together” with current management in this district. We can only hope that our union leaders in Philadelphia and Washington realize that our district management people are doing more to bring down the United States Postal Service than all the carriers in Branch 908 combined! Blatant violations of rules and regulations that both sides have already invested thousands of dollars to settle, through grievance decisions, are being ignored. The price of doing business they say but consider how many hours it cost the Postal Service for one Article 8 grievance for a 30 minute violation. It’s the price of doing bad business by bad management!
THE FLAT SORTING MACHINES ARE COMING!?!?!
A while back some offices were getting DPS with more than one other town mixed in. The Postal Service was receiving complaints from customers asking why they keep getting mail from other TOWNS! Turned out that new hires (TE’s) and offices with questionable management were telling carriers to read the first address in their hand, find the last address that matches and stick the whole pile in the mailbox. No matter how Postal management wants to prepare the mail for delivery we should remember it is our job to read every piece of mail and properly identify that it goes in the address we are delivering, presorted or not!
MIARAP doesn’t give you any credit for the time it takes you on the street for parcels or accountable mail. I personally think this is good and hope it stays that way. We would be better off stating we need the 2 to 5 minutes it takes for each piece daily and add it to their DOIS projection. Example – If DOIS says you’re 30 minutes under and you have 10 parcels and 5 accountable; you might be late.
It has been ruled in arbitration that mail volume does affect street time and you must be able to see how much DPS volume you have in order to give an estimate (C-18612).
Steve Rutkowski

Next Meeting – April 21

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, April 21, 8 p.m., 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 at 8 p.m.
The Branch Board of Officers and Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7:30 p.m. and the Executive Board meet 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 p.m. respectively.

Dates to Remember

April 17 Retiree Banquet
May 23-25 NJ State Rap Session
August 9-13 National Convention

Attention Stewards

Please be advised that the Executive board meeting on April 14, 2010 is a must attend. Our National Business Agent Bill Lucini will be attending to give training and answer all questions concerning all of our issues we have been dealing with. Please have all of your questions and concerns from your members with you this night, since he has promised to address all of our issues.

Attendance Prize Now Stands At $100

Had she been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, March 17, Diane Nourse, a member out of the Mantua office, would have been the recipient of the $75 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $100 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

Grievance Log

Step B Results
Voorhees: Management violated Article 17 of the National Agreement when it failed to provide time for steward to investigate and adjust grievances. As a remedy the steward will be compensated 5.5 hours at the straight time rate.
Voorhees: Management violated Article 8.5 of the National Agreement when they forced carriers not on the overtime list to work overtime on their own assignment on a regularly scheduled day, and/or worked overtime on routes other than their own when ODL carriers were available and not maxed out to 12 hours. The remedy is 8 carriers will receive a total of $ 1400.00.
Blackwood: Management did not have just cause when they issued grievant a 14-Day Suspension for failure to meet the attendance requirements. The 14-Day suspension will be rescinded immediately.

3RD Annual Branch Banquet- April 17 - Last Call for Tickets

The 3RD Annual Branch 908 Banquet will be held on April 17, 2010 from 7:00 – 11:00pm at Nicolosi’s Catering, 1 Hessian Ave. Woodbury, NJ. This is a great night to eat, drink, dance and socialize with good friends and especially to honor those carriers who have retired in the past year as well as those who have been selected to receive Branch awards. If you have retired since the last banquet or you will retire before April 17, contact Branch Recording Secretary, Mike Powell at 908Recordingsec@comcast.net those being honored will receive one free ticket to the banquet. All other Branch members, family and friends are encouraged to attend at a cost of $20pp. Current Branch retires will receive one ticket at half price ($10). Tickets may be picked up from Branch Recording Secretary Mike Powell at any Branch meeting, or by mailing the form below with checks made out to NALC Branch 908, to PO Box 375, Gloucester City, NJ 08030.

Name:___________________________________
(Please print)

Check One: Honoree (   ) Retiree (   ) Other (   )

Total Number Attending:____________________

Amount of remittance enclosed:_______________

Send to P.O. Box 375, Gloucester City, NJ 08030 by April 7, 2010.
The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Banquet will be honored and presented with tokens of our appreciation:
Richard Ciano (Bellmawr)
John W. Czop (Marlton)
Vincent A. Iannuzzi (Marlton)
Dale Lebold (Bridgeton)
Elwood Porter (Blackwood)
C.W. Prescott (Gloucester)
Catherine Tucker-Carl (Blackwood)
Lamon E Wright (Bridgeton)
If you have retired since the last Banquet or you will retire before April 17 and your name is not on this list, contact the Branch Recording Secretary, Mike Powell at 856-287-8768 or 908Recordingsec@comcast.net.

Branch President and Vice President Cell Phone Numbers

President- Gary DiGiacomo - 856-906-2838
Vice- President- Steve Rutkowski- 856-906-2026

Door Prizes Needed

Anyone wishing to donate door prizes for the Branch Banquet please contact Branch Recording Secretary Mike Powell. Bottles of wine, other alcohol or craft items are examples of the type of door prizes needed.

Branch Scholarship

Applications are being accepted for the” Drew Walters Branch 908 Scholarship” drawing. The drawing will be held on Wednesday, June16 at the regular Branch meeting. The scholarship is open to all children, grandchildren, step-children (living with Member) and adopted children of all active or retired branch members. The entry form is available on our branch website, nalcbranch908.com/scholarship.pdf, at our meetings or by contacting our new scholarship coordinator: Shawn McBride, 1204 Huntingdon Mews, Clementon, NJ 08021

Food Drive

The first food drive meeting took place on March 18. This district is continuing with their plan from last year for moving the food. Each post office will be given orders from the district. Most of the offices in our branch will load the food in available equipment and put it on the contract driver’s truck. The driver will then transport the food to Bellmawr. Blackwood, Deptford and Voorhees /Marlton are tentatively scheduled as hubs but the South Jersey Food Bank and our branch were left with the responsibility to find trailers and drivers.

Health Benefits

Well the final totals for new members this open season have been released. The NALC Health Plan has gained 6,468 new members. With the guidance of Tim O'Malley Director of Health Benefits, the plan had another successful open season.
Fred Mendel HBR

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Report

The Branch Trustees have decided that in order to save you money and to get more people out to the meetings, we will not be mailing the Officer’s and Steward’s checks. The checks will be available at both meetings each month, unless you are hospitalized for more than 2 weeks. Second, I want to let everyone know that the branch will soon have current MBA, (Mutual Benefit Association) information for all the members. The MBA Department of our National Union in Washington DC has many good products that are cheap. For example, they have Life Insurance, IRAs and Hospitalization Coverage. Finally, I want to remind everyone that the branch has clean uniforms at the hall for free. Hope to see everyone at the retirees’ banquet on April 17th. If anyone has a bottle to donate as a door prize, it would be appreciated. Jim Comuso

*Attention*

Please remember to give any changes of address to your Steward so that you can continue to receive the Branch Newsletter and other important information. Or send changes to Mike Powell, Recording Secretary at: 908Recordingsec@comcast.net or P.O. Box 375, Gloucester City, NJ 08030

Name:______________________________________________ Current Address:______________________________________
___________________________________________________
New Address:________________________________________
___________________________________________________
Phone Number:_______________________________________
E-mail:______________________________________________
Post Office:__________________________________________