Branch 908 February 2000 Newsletter

A Note From The Branch President

We are currently handling a case in the Branch that has turned into a nightmare for one of our Branch members. The Office of Workman's Compensation Programs has recently determined that an injury the member suffered was not work related. The Postal Service, relying on this information, placed the member in a LWOP status. The Union has filed grievances, but as everyone knows, that process takes time. And time, unfortunately, is the last thing the member has. Being in a position where someone asks you for help and you are basically powerless to deliver it is extremely infuriating. That is why, over the initial objections of the member, I would like to ask you for your help. Due to this enforced LWOP status, the member is in need of dire financial help. Imagine being out of work for months with no other source of income. The outcome is inevitable, financial ruin. So, if anyone could please spare some extra cash, it would be greatly appreciated by the member's family. Send donations to:
Diane Forand
444 Cook Ave.
Paulsboro, NJ 08066

84 Cents A Month, $10 A Year!

Recently, we have been advised by the National that a few of our members who recently retired have not as yet completed and forwarded the Form 1189 sent to them with a letter explaining the annuity withholding program to continue their membership in the Branch and the NALC. The retiree membership dues for retention of your Branch and NALC membership is $10 a year, 84 cents a month withheld from your annuity check. For that measly amount, you are eligible to retain your membership in the NALC Health Benefits Plan, run for and hold office at the National, Branch or State level. Additionally, the Branch provides you with an NALC retirement pin, an NALC coach's jacket, cap, and free admission to the Branch's annual retirees and awards Breakfast. Also, free food and beverage at the monthly meetings and an opportunity to win the attendance prize of up to $250. Can you afford not to retain your membership in the Branch and the NALC after retirement? Think about it!!

Proposed Branch Budget

The proposed Branch Budget for the year 2000, presented to and approved by the Branch Board of Officers, will be presented to the membership in writing at the February 16 regular monthly meeting. Thereafter, the proposed budget will be discussed and voted on at the March regular monthly meeting on March 15

Attendance Prize Stands At $250

Had he been at the January monthly meeting, M Roth, a member working out of the Pitman office would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize. According to the Branch attendance prize provisions, the prize will stand at $250 until someone wins. Thereafter, the prize reduces to $25, and increases in $25 increments monthly until it again reaches $250 if no one wins in the interim.

Next Meeting - February 16

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, February 16, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meetings - February 9

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, February 9, at 7 and 8pm, respectively.

Branch Officers, Shop Stewards Installed

The recently nominated and elected Branch Officers and Shop Stewards for the next 2 years were installed by National Business Agent Tim O'Malley and his assistant Bill Lucini at the January 19 regular monthly meeting. Invited guests to the installation included Jim Dolan, immediate past National Business Agent;Don Norcross, President, AFL-CIO Southern New Jersey Central Labor Union; Hal Crass, Branch Attorney; and a number of area NALC Branch Presidents. Jim Dolan sent his regrets because of a scheduling conflict, but Don Norcross, Hal Crass and the NALC Branch Presidents from Camden and Clementon, Russ Olive and Joe Walder, Jr. respectively, honored us with their attendance. The installation was a great success thanks to our new Housing Chairperson Mike McKiernan, his wife Dolores and the other Branch members who gave a helping hand. Immediate past Branch President Bob Stoltz was also in attendance to show his support for the new Steve lipski Administration.

Lump Sum Contract Payment

If there is anyone who did not receive a check, and believes that they should have received one, having been on the rolls during the period August 26 through September 10, 1999, and having reviewed the rules previously provided, please provide you Shop Steward with a copy of your pay stub, and a brief explanation of anything known about the specific circumstances of your case. Please note that the remaining balance of the lump sum payments to eligible NALC members will be included in their regular paycheck of 2/4/00. The retroactive payment to NALC "retiree eligible" members will be included in their regular paychecks of 4/14/00.

Thanks For The Expressions Of Sympathy

Thanks for the beautifulflower arrangement. Your thoughts and kindness were deeply appreciated during this difficult time. Mrs. Gisela Arnold and family.

Pay Periods, Pay Dates & Holidays

Pay Period            Week One             Week Two         Pay Date       Holidays
    01             12/18 to 12/24       12/25 to 12/31        1/7           12/25
    02             1/1 to 1/7           1/8 to 1/14           1/21           1/1
    03             1/15 to 1/21         1/22 to 1/28          2/4            1/17
    04             1/29 to 2/4          2/5 to 2/11           2/18
    05             2/12 to 2/18         2/19 to 2/25          3/3            2/21
    06             2/26 to 3/3          3/4 to 3/10           3/17
    07             3/11 to 3/17         3/18 to 3/24          3/31
    08             3/25 to 3/31         4/1 to 4/7            4/14
    09             4/8 to 4/14          4/15 to 4/21          4/28
    10             4/22 to 4/28         4/29 to 5/5           5/12
    11             5/6 to 5/12          5/13 to 5/19          5/26
    12             5/20 to 5/26         5/27 to 6/2           6/9             5/29
    13             6/3 to 6/9           6/10 to 6/16          6/23
    14             6/17 to 6/23         6/24 to 6/30          7/7
    15             7/1 to 7/7           7/8 to 7/14           7/21            7/4
    16             7/15 to 7/21         7/22 to 7/28          8/4
    17             7/29 to 8/4          8/5 to 8/11           8/18
    18             8/12 to 8/18         8/19 to 8/25          9/1
    19             8/26 to 9/1          9/2 to 9/8            9/15            9/4
    20             9/9 to 9/15          9/16 to 9/22          9/29
    21             9/23 to 9/29         9/30 to 10/6          10/13
    22             10/7 to 10/13        10/14 to 10/20        10/27           10/9
    23             10/21 to 10/27       10/28 to 11/3         11/10
    24             11/4 to 11/10        11/11 to 11/17        11/24           11/11
    25             11/18 to 11/24       11/25 to 12/1         12/8            11/23
    26             12/2 to 12/8         12/9 to 12/15         12/22

Congressman Andrews Continues Fight To Move OWCP Jurisdiction To Philadelphia

"Dear Mr. Lipski:
As you recall, last Fall you brought to my attention concerns over the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia and New York Federal Employee Compensation offices. Subsequent to that meeting I drafted a letter to the Department of Labor's employment Standards Administration requesting that the jurisdiction of South Jersey be changed to Philadelphia.
Enclosed is a copy of their response. Although they do not voice a willingness to change this jurisdiction, I do not plan to drop this issue. Please be assured I will continue to search for legislative solutions to this problem, and will keep you apprised of developments.
Thank you again for your interest in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Christopher Jones of my Washington office."
Sincerely, Robert Andrews, Member of Congress

Unbelievable!!

After 12 years as a PTF at the Salem Post Office, William Morris has finally been converted to a regular. Congratulations Bill. Only 18 more years to retirement.

National Branch Directory

The New Mexico State Association of Letter Carriers Scholarship Fund has announced that they have produced the first publication of a comprehensive NALC Branch Directory of more than 1000 NALC Branches from across the Country including, where possible, the Branch number, name, address, phone number, President (or other contact person's) name, and E-mail address, which they are selling for $14.50 per copy, cost of shipping and a donation of $5 to the New Mexico NALC Scholarship Fund included. To order, drop a note with your check to NMSALC Scholarship Fund, 1221 Christine Street, NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87112.

Thank You

We deeply appreciate your generous contribution to the Steve Levy Memorial Trust. Knowing your thoughts are with me, Kevin and Jessica will be a great source of comfort and strength in the days ahead. The Levy Family

Postal Rate Hike Proposal

The Postal Board of Governors has requested a 1-cent increase for First-class letters and an average increase of 6.4 percent for all categories of mail, which if approved by the Postal Rate Commission, will begin January 2001. The Postal Service cited an increased cost of doing business for the increase, specifically mentioning the higher cost of providing employee health benefits, as well as higher wage costs as a result of the National Association of Letter Carriers arbitration decision as unanticipated expenses supporting the basis for rate increase. (Fed Emp News Digest, Jan 14, 2000).

George H Smith

George H. Smith, 69, Sewell, died Thursday in John F Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Stratford. Born in Camden, he lived in Williamstown for most of his life before recently moving to Sewell. For 41 years he worked for the US Postal Service in Williamstown. He became Postmaster in 1972 and received the Postmaster of the Year award in 1984. He retired in 1992.

NALC Health Plan Phone Numbers

Claim Inquires
1-703-729-4677 Mon-Fri 8 am to 3:30 pm
Confirmation of Benefits (hospitals only) and PPO Information
1-800-548-8454 Mon-Fri 8am to 3:30pm EST
Claim Forms Order Service & Recorded Information
1-800-433-NALC 24 hours a day
Durable Medical Equipment
1-800-433-NALC 24 hours a day
ID Card Order Service
1-800-433-NALC 8am to 3:30pm EST
Health Resource Line
1-800-622-6252
Precertification
1-800-622-6252 24 hours a day
Telephonic Provider Directory
1-800-622-6252 24 hours a day
NALC Prescription Drug Program
1-800-933-NALC Mon-Fri 8:30-10pm EST
Sat 9am - 1pm EST
Emergency 24 hours a day

Branch Grievance Results

Paulsboro - Letter of warning for tardiness to be removed in 3 months provided improvement is shown. (120799)
Paulsboro - Grievant Paid 10 hours penalty OT for being forced to work over 12 hours (121699A)
Paulsboro - Management agrees to cease and desist working carriers over 12 hours a day and 60 hours a week, or pay 2 hours OT for each hour worked over 12 and 60. (121799)

Joe Walder Appointed Postal Record Scribe

Vice President Joe Walder has been appointed by the Branch President to submit monthly articles as Postal Record Scribe for the Branch.

NJ Workers' Benefit Rates

Maximum NJ Unemployment Weekly Benefit $429
Maximum NJ Temporary Disability Weekly Benefit $401
Maximum Workers Compensation Weekly Benefit $568
Taxable Wage Base (NJ Unemployment & Disability) $21,200