April 1999 Newsletter

Next Meeting - April 21

The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except in July and August. The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, April 21, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - April 14

The Branch Officers and the Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7pm. and the Executive Board at 8pm. The next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, April 14, at 7 and 8pm. respectively.

Attendance Prize - $125

The Branch meeting attendance prize now stands at $125. Had he been in attendance at the last monthly meeting in March, Branch retiree Bill Bradford, a retiree out of Mt. Ephriam, would have been $100 richer. The prize increases in increments of $25 monthly, capped at $250, until someone in attendance at a Branch meeting has his name drawn by the Sgt. at Arms.

Life Insurance Open Season
April 24 - June 30

The Office of Persennel Management has announced a rare open season for the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) that will run from April 24 through June 30 of this year. OPM also announced that the FEGLI premium rates for your current Basic and Optional coverages are decreasing in April. Other changes have also been mandated by the Federal Employees Life Insurance Improvement Act recently passed. This open season provides an opportunity for federal employees who had previously decided not to participate in the FEGLI program to enroll for Basic and Optional coverage. Current FEGLI enrollees can add Option A, if not previously selected, and they can also add or increase Option B and Option C coverage. (Insert, Fed Emp News Digest)

Welcome New Members

John J McLeer - Gloucester
Cheryl Macconi - Woodstown
Steve Flynn - Maple Shade
E C Cantiveros - Marlton
J T Jones - Voorhees
Brian Gaskill - Voorhees
A Rivera - Penns Grove
L E Donahue - Riverton

1999 Branch Award Recipients

Vince Lombardo - Wenonah
Bill Baitinger - Magnolia

Food Drive, Saturday, May 8

1999 Retirement Honorees

The following carriers were honored at this year's annual Branch Awards and Retirees Breakfast Buffet held on Sunday, Aprill 11.

Marlond Evans - Pennsville
Bill Baitinger - Magnolia
Larry Lore - Mantua
John Lopez - Maple Shade
Richard Garafola - Marlton
Sidney Ruby - Marlton
Max Badstibner - Riverton
Bob Rumaker - National Park
Bob Bartlett - Marlton
Glenn Acheson - Deptford
J D LaPorte - Lawnside
Richard Davis - Gloucester

Contract Mediation Continues

As of Tuesday, March 30, 1999, the NALC negotiation hotline has disclosed that mediation for an NALC/USPS labor contract will continue for another week. By Wednesday, March 31, 1999, we finally should know whether there will be a negotiated or arbitrated contract. The hotline number: 1-877-235-6252

Carriers Air Discontent At Philadelphia Rap Session

The message to the Post Office was loud and clear in Philadelphia on March 21. More than 600 NALC members packed the ballroom at the Wyndham Franklin Hotel to tell NALC Union leaders that they were fed up with the disrespect shown by postal management to letter carriers on the workroom floor and at the bargaining table. NALC President Sombrotto agreed, and told the carriers assembled that he has told the post office "that if you treat us right, we'll treat you right. If you don't treat us right, then you've got yourself big trouble"

Branch Arbitration Schedule

The following Branch grievance cases have been scheduled for arbitration as follows:
Office Date Case No. Grievant Arbitrator Williamstown 4/13 052998 Rodriguez Keller Runnemede 4/14 100598 Dever Goldstein Runnemede 4/14 010497 Class Goldstein Runnemede 4/14 110997 Class Goldstein Gibbstown 4/15 052600 Corradetti Parkinson Deptford 4/21 080498A Powell Keller Deptford 4/21 090998B Walder Keller Westville 4/29 080598 Marks Keller Marlton 5/4 81298B Foreman Cooper Bridgeton 5/5 092298 Dorsey Cooper Riverton 7/9 020298 Odom DiLauro

March Of Dimes WalkAmerica
Sunday, April 25

Join WalkAmerica or make a pledge to your fellow carriers who join in the walk to save babies. The first, biggest and best walking event in the nation. WalkAmerica has become a national tradition. More than 8,000 walkers and volunteers join together each year in 7 Southern New Jersey communities to help the March of Dimes continue its track record of life-saving breakthroughs. Over it's 60-year history, the foundation has saved millions of babies from death or disability. So take a walk that saves babies with the carriers from Branch 908. Call Donna Villec to volunteer and/or make a pledge to a fellow carrier who is walking for Branch 908 to save babies.

Reporting DPS Sort Errors

"Local managers are responsible for establishing and advising carriers of local policy for handling, identifying and reporting of DPS sort errors found by city carriers during street delivery. Local quality guidelines for error identification and resolution procedures should cover all anticipated circumstances and contain clear instructions for carriers to follow regarding both the delivery and disposition of mail returned to the office." (step 4 decisions, 9/23/93, E94N-4E-C 97078744)

Honors For Long Time Members

The NALC is now honoring active and retired letter carriers with lapel pins for every five years of membership, beginning with 25 years. (Pins will not be awarded retroactively; a retiree must request only the most recent pin.) Retirees with 50-year membership become life members, exempt from all dues. At that time they receive a gold membership card, a pin, and a letter from NALC President Sombrotto. At 60 years they get a special pin set with a ruby chip and a pearl, and at 70 and 75 years they receive handsome plaques. Notify Branch Financial Secretary John Vito, so that he can order your pin or plaque from the NALC.

Savings Opportunity For Retirees

The Federal Employees News Digest has reported that Federal retirees and their survivors can now purchase Series 1 savings bonds from the Office of Personnel Management. The Series 1 bonds are protected from the effects of inflation because every six months the earning rate is adjusted for changes in the Consumer Price Index. The bonds are available to retirees in denominations of $50, $75, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000, and can be purchased by calling (888) 767-6738.

1998 Branch Grievance Summary

Total Grievances - 287
Discipline - 58
Contract - 229
Resolved/Sustained - 157
Withdrawn/Denied - 61
Pending Step 3/Arb - 69

Branch Scholarship Available

Application for the award of our annual Branch Scholarship of $500 for each of four years to an accredited college or vocational school, for the children, grandchildren of active and retired members of the Branch, is open for the period from April to June. Drawing will take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on June 16, 1999. For Branch scholarship applications and further information, contact Vice President Steve Lipski

Attention: Current Branch Scholarship Recipients & Families

Please contact Vice President Steve Lipski at your earliest convience with an update of the recipient's enrollment status, so that checks can be sent to the proper school officials.

1999 FEEA Scholarship Applications

Applications must be postmarked by May 7, 1999. To receive an application and eligibility requirements, send a self-addressed, stamped, #10 business envelope to: FEEA Scholarship Program, 8441 W Bowles Ave., Suite 200, Littleton, CO. 80123-3245

Forms 3996 & DPS Mail Volume

While there has been no agreement that carriers will be allowed to determine DPS mial volume prior to completing Forms 3996, it has been agreed by way of a pre-arbitration settlement between the parties that where letter carriers are required to complete Forms 3996 before they know the DPS mail volume on their route, they can amend the 3996 after picking up their DPS mail and will be advised of the disposition of the request or amended request promptly by the supervisor after review of the circumstances. (Pre-Arb Settlement M-01366)

Branch Grievance Results

Williamstown - Grievance sustained. Administrative leave granted to carrier refused leave for date in question; non-OTDL's paid an extra 50% OT at 1 1/2 rate, and ODL brought up to 10 hours. (122898)
Voorhees - Letter of warning issued for expansion of street time recinded and expunged from grievant's records. (022198)
Sewell - Grievant to be reimbursed all hours worked outside of his previous bid schedule at the appropriate rate of pay from August 29, 1998, to the date the grievant was reassigned back to the letter carrier craft. (112098)
Voorhees - Carriers, to be determined by local union, will be paid a total of 8 hours at the regular overtime rate. (091498)
Deptford - Carriers, to be determined by local union, will be paid a total of 5 hours at the straight time rate. PS Form 1723 will be provided to the union in advance of or at the time of the higher level assignment. (121098A)
Riverton - Two carriers paid one hour each at the penalty OT rate for use of VOMA on overtime. (121598)
Pennsville - Grievant paid one and one-half hours at the regular overtime rate. (101398)
Marlton - Carrier grievant paid 3 hours at the OT rate for performance of street duties by the improper utilization of ODL. (112498D)
Marlton - 4 carriers paid from 1.5 to 2 hours OT for time they were not allowed to work. (112498C)
Marlton - 4 carriers paid 2 hours at the OT rate for time worked by a carrier from another office on 12/1/98. (120298D)
Pennsville - Appropriate carriers paid at the OT rate for carrier work performed by a supervisor on 3/5 and 3/6/99. (031099A, 031099B)
Marlton - 29 hours OT paid selected carriers for 11/19, 11/20, 11/23, and 12/1/98. (120298A)
Marlton - 5 carriers paid from .50 to 5 hours OT. (112498E)
Riverton - Proposed 7-day suspension reduced to a letter of warning. (100698A)
Deptford - The 1994-98 Local Memo will reflect that an additional carrier will be allowed off during the Christmas prime-time period. Also, the Holiday pecking order will be changed to read, casuals, PTFs, all volunteers (non scheduled day and Holiday), TEs, and all volunteers combined into one list by inverse seniority. (Impasse Items 4, 9, and 13, LMU)

Use Of One-Bundle System

"During our discussion it was agreed that the explanation (Building Our Future by Working Together) of the September 1992 MOU on Case Configuration states the the two-bundle, and modified two-bundle casing systems may be used with four or five shelf letter cases. However, use of the one-bundle system on other than the standard six-shelf letter case requires a joint agreement between the local parties." (Step 4 grievance agreements H90N-4H-C 95033604, D94N-4D-C 96077047)

F S (Ski) Pendzinski

It is with deep regret and profound sorrow that we report the recent death of "Ski" Pendzinski, former President and President Emeritus of the Burlington United Labor Agency, AFL-CIO. "Ski" recently retired and was touring the Country with his wife when he passed away in Texas. Our sincere condolences to "Ski's" wife and family.

Thanks To Branch 908

"Just a note to tell you how much I appreciated your gift at my retirement. I must tell you how honored I feel that you would give me a "Certificate of Appreciation", it really means a lot to me. Again, thanks to all."
Ruth Eller
Retired Postmaster, Penns Grove

Observe Workers Memorial Day,
April 28

Remember those who have suffered and died on the job.