A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
This year's COLCPE fund-raiser will be a raffle for 2 season tickets to see the Philadelphia Eagles play at the Linc. They are for great seats in the two hundred level. Each raffle ticket sells for $2, with $1 going toward the NALC's political action fund. This will probably be the only fund-raiser the Branch will have for the year, so please support our efforts.
We have received official notice that Maple Shade will be the first Branch office that will be inspected in 2005. Now is the time to be analyzing your route to make sure you get credit for all the daily functions that you perform. The way you do your route daily should be exactly how you do it during inspection. If you can live with the times and makeup of your route on a daily basis, then you should have no trouble during the formal route inspection process.
Steve Lipski

Next Regular Monthly Meeting - February 16

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 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 - February 9

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, February 9, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $50

Had he been in attendance at the last regular monthly meeting of the Branch on January 19, D. M. Goetz, a member of the Branch working out of the Bridgeton office, would have been of the $25 attendance prize. The attendance prize now stands at $50 and accumulates at the rate of $25 at each regular monthly meeting of the Branch up to a maximum of $250 until someone's name in attendance at meeting is drawn.

Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast Buffet - Sunday, April 10

The Branch annual retirees and awards breakfast buffet will be held on Sunday, April 10, commencing at 11am, at the Best Western West Deptford Inn, 101 Grove Road, Thorofare, just off of exit 20 of I-295 South. All Branch members who have retired since the 2004 Buffet and those members who have distinguished themselves in the interests of the NALC and the Branch will be honored. Further details will be provided in the March newsletter.

2005 Branch Budget Approved

The proposed Branch budget for the year 2005, providing for the receipt and expenditure of $259,933.00, was presented and approved by the membership present and voting at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on January 19, 2005.

In Memoriam

Lola Canales - The mother of Pedro Canales, a member of the Branch working out of the Riverton office.

Greater Opportunities To Save

During 2005, CSRS-covered employees (including CSRS - offset employees) can contribute up to 10 percent (an increase from 9 percent during 2004) of their basic pay to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), while FERS covered employees can put up to the lower of $14,000 ($13,000 during 2004) or 15 percent (14 percent during 2004) of their basic pay into TSP. FERS covered employees also receive up to a maximum 5 percent government contribution match if they contribute at least 5 percent of their basic pay. (Federal Employees News Digest)

Retaining Branch Membership at Retirement

A Form 1189 (Dues Check-Off Provision) must be filed by all retiring members who wish to retain their membership and health benefits insurance coverage. Those retirees receiving their annuity payments through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are eligible to have their union dues withheld monthly. Each such retiree will mailed a Form 1189, along with a letter of explanation from the NALC upon retirement.
Those retirees receiving their payment though the Office of Workers Compensation Plan (OWPC), US Department of Labor, are ineligible to participate in the dues deduction program and are therefore required to submit their dues (national per capita tax, State per capita tax and Branch dues) through a semi-annual per capita tax call. Our Branch retiree dues are $12 annually, out of which the Branch pays the retiree's national and state per capita taxes.

Dates to Remember

Congressional Breakfast - March 2 to 3 - Washington, DC
NBA Rap Session - March 6 to 8 - Atlantic City
Annual Branch Retirees & Awards Brunch - April 10
March of Dimes Walkathon - May 1
NALC National Food Drive - May 14
NJ State Convention - May 15 to 17 - Atlantic City

NJ State Association Congressional Breakfast
Wednesday & Thursday, March 2, 3

The New Jersey State Association of Letter Carriers Congressional Breakfast this year will be held March 2-3 at the Capitol Hill Hyatt Regency Hotel, Washington, DC. NALC President Bill Young will host a rap session with the New Jersey Delegates on Wednesday evening, March 2, and the breakfast will commence at 8 am on Thursday, March 3.

Work Related Injury or Illness?

Call Branch OWCP Representative Ed Friel at 468-7339 for information, advice & Forms.

Marlton Shop Steward Cleared

Charges against one of the Shop Stewards at the Marlton office, for actions and comments unbecoming of a shop steward filed by 5 members of the Branch at that office, were not sustained by the membership present and voting at the regular meeting of the Branch on January 19 after the committee of three disinterested members reported its findings.

Welcome New Branch Members

Natalie N. Vendor (Salem) Luis D. Romero (Runnemede)
J. Chesney (Swedesboro) Keith M. Mattaliano (Marlton)

December Branch Expense Report

Branch Newsletter printing $90.10
Postage $5.23
Phone $157.93
Office Supplies $134.62
Hall Rental $330.00
Refreshments $100.70
Christmas Functions $920.50
Legal Retainer $1250.00
Donations $100.00
Health Benefits Fair $100.00
Labor Activity, Functions $16.49
Wages & Salaries $7630.64
Shop Stewards Comp. $10800.00
Building Fund $2500.00
Attendance Drawing $25.00
Employers State Taxes $195.99
Employees State Taxes $339.46     
Total Expenses $24696.66

NALC Food Drive - May 14, 2005

The NALC food drive this year has been scheduled for Saturday, May 15, 2005. Registration for the Food Drive will be mailed to all Branch Presidents, and must be returned to NALC Headquarters no later than February 1, 2005.

New Retiree Booklets Now Available At the Hall

Trustee Steve Rutkowski announced at the January regular monthly meeting of the Branch that the new retiree booklets that he ordered from NALC Headquarters are now available at the hall for the benefit of members interested in or contemplating their retirement benefits.

Norm Task Recuperating

Norm Task, the Branch COLCPE Chairman, recently suffered a slight stoke and is recuperating and undergoing therapy at our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, Room # 262, Phone: 856-757-3324.

Atlantic City Rap Session

For Branch officers and Shop Stewards, Tropicana Hotel & Casino, March 6 thru 8, 9 am.

NALC Urges Members to Make Donations to Aid Tsunami Victims

To make tax-deductible donations to help tsunami victims, write out a check payable to Solidarity Center Education Fund, marked for Tsunami Relief. Mail the check to: Tsunami Relief Fund, Solidarity Center, and 1925 K St., NW, Ste. 300, Washington, DC 20006-1105.

Stratford Member Cited

Letter carrier Kevin Breitenstine, a Branch member out of the Stratford office, was cited by local police and fireman, for hearing the persistent cries and the subsequent rescue of 90-year old women who had fallen into an unused septic tank hole.

Thanks: Branch 908

From The Seashore Gardens Living Center, Galloway Township, in memory of Stanley Lipski.

Branch Benefits

Sick & Welfare
Active members suffering periods of illness or disability shall be entitled to sick & welfare benefits. Contact: Mike McKiernan.
Death Benefits
The beneficiary of record of a deceased active or retired Branch member shall be entitled to death benefits. Contact: Mike DiGiacomo.
Expressions of Sympathy
In the event of the death of a spouse, children, or the parents of an active Branch member, or the death of an active or retired member in good standing, an appropriate spray of flowers or equivalent donation shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary. Contact: Mike McKiernan.
Branch Representation at Funerals
Representation of the Branch at the funeral services of a deceased active of retired member shall be the responsibility of the Shop Steward at the office involved, the Director of Retirees, or the Sick and Welfare Chairperson or their designee. Contact: Shop Steward, Director of Retirees, Sick & Welfare representative.
Optical Benefits
Optical benefits for the benefit of active and retired members and/or their families have been established by the Branch. Contact: Fred Mendel.
Branch Scholarship
The Branch has established a Scholarship Fund of $2,000, $500 per year for 4 years, for the children, grandchildren, step-children (living with member), and/or the adopted children of active or retired members. Contact: Steve Rutkowski.
Retirement Recognition
The Branch shall honor its retirees at an annual Retirees' Brunch, and presents them with an appropriate gift in recognition of their retirement from the Postal Service. Contact: Bill Revak.
Children's Christmas Party
Children's annual Christmas party. Toys, refreshments for children and parents of active and retired members in good standing. Picture with Santa, clowns, balloons, face-painting, etc. Contact: Donna Villec.
Union Activity Discipline
The Branch shall pay $400 per week for discipline of up to (4) weeks, thirty (30) days, of any Branch Officer or Shop Steward disciplined for his/her Union activities.

Dues Withholding Paydays

Pay Period Pay Period Ending Pay Day Of Salary from Which Deducted
04 Feb. 5 - Feb. 18 February 25
05 Feb. 19 - March 4 March 11
06 March 5 - March 18 March 25
07 March 19 - April 1 April 8
08 April 2 - April 15 April 22
09 April 16 - April 29 May 6
10 April 30 - May 13 May 20
11 May 14 - May 27 June 3
12 May 28 - June 10 June 17
13 June 11 - June 24 July 1