A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The South Jersey Dispute Resolution Team has been disbanded in favor of the DRT team in Central Pennsylvania. As of January 29 all grievances that are appealed to the B Team should be mailed to:
NALC-USPS Dispute Resolution Team
Central Penna and South Jersey Districts
P.O. Box 2865
York, PA 17405-2865
The NALC's representative is Steve Hanna from York, PA. If you have questions about decisions rendered by this team give me a call and I'll contact Steve.
Our Branch will be conducting a shredding of all outdated Branch records on March 13. All Officers and Stewards that have outdated grievances files are welcome to bring their files to the executive board meeting the night before. We will collect and store the files for destruction the following day. If you are not sure of the time limits for various files, contact Trustee Chairman Jim Comuso for updated information.
-Steve Lipski

Next Meeting – February 20

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, February 20, 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., except during the months of July and August.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday – February 13

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 13, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $50

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, January 16, Gary Chew, a member out of the Paulsboro office, would have been the recipient of the $25 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $50 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

From The VP’s Case

It amazes me how the thought process of the postal service can change in a matter of months just because they were given the right to hire non-career employees (TE's).
In the not so distant past, exactly 10 months ago, we were in the middle of route inspections in our office which management felt was needed since our "numbers" showed we were top heavy in routes.
At the time we had 29 full time routes and 1 collection job with 0 PTF's and 3 unassigned regulars. We constantly argued that we needed PTF's for an office of our size but were always told our DSSA (staffing) was at its max and we weren't authorized any more employees.
I kind of knew where they were coming from since the 3 unassigned were being counted as part of our compliment. I always thought that the volume of mail your office received was a consideration as to how many people would be authorized to staff your office. Boy was I mistaken!
After our inspection they removed 1 full-time route, and 1 T-6 job, which you would think would lead to a reduction in our workforce. NOT!!!
Since our national leaders negotiated the hiring of Transitional Employees, which the members overwhelmingly ratified, our compliment has not only not decreased but has ballooned to an amazing 2 new PTF's, 2 unassigned regulars and 3 TE's!
I guess there are no more productivity worries. With this influx of employees there is no possible way our numbers can be as productive as they once were with less employees. This isn't just in our office but is rampant throughout the district!
What I am trying to explain to everyone is that we are employed by a bunch of hypocrites!
They used to tell us we weren't working hard enough and basically were a bunch of slugs and needed to pick up the pace. Now that they can hire non-career workers they never even mention our productivity numbers because they could care less about those numbers because they have tons of people to do the work, regardless that it isn't as productive as a smaller workforce.
Hey, the bottom line is they are reducing overtime, which I guess is all that they are really concerned about at this time, since the number of straight time hours being used is ridiculously high!
-Gary DiGiacomo

Branch 908 Dinner/Dance and Retiree’s Banquet - Saturday, April 19

This year in place of the traditional Retirees Breakfast Buffet that we normally hold, the Branch has decided to honor this year’s retirees at a dinner/dance banquet. The banquet will be held on Saturday, April 19, 2008 from 6pm – 10pm at Nicolosi’s Catering, 1 Hessian Ave. Woodbury, NJ. For those of you who have never been to Nicolosi’s, you are in for a treat. It is a beautiful facility with excellent food. We have a DJ in place to make sure that everyone has a good time. So come out and enjoy a night of Good Friends, Great Food, and Excellent Wine & Spirits & Fantastic Music. The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Breakfast will be honored and presented with tokens of appreciation. If you have retired since the last Breakfast or you will retire before April 19 and your name is not on this list, contact the Branch Recording Secretary, Norm Spence at webmaster@nalcbranch908.com:
Mike Boston (Marlton) Gary Depew (Riverton)
Robert Doherty (Marlton) Rebecca Fergosi (Riverton)
Jennie Feyt (Atco) Michael Foley (Gloucester)
Christina Gray (Mantua) Harry Harrison (Sewell)
J. V. Hillman (Woodbury) Arnold Moore (Gloucester)
Jeff MacMahon (Bridgeton) Lee Wolbert (Bridgeton)
Michael Sheridan (Haddon Hts)
Those being honored will receive one free ticket to the Banquet. All other Branch members, family, friends and acquaintances are encouraged to attend at a cost of $20 pp. Current Branch retirees will receive one ticket for half price ($10).
Tickets may be picked up from Branch Recording Secretary Norm Spence at any Branch meeting, or by mailing the form below with checks made out to NALC Branch 908, to PO Box 45, Pennsville, NJ 08070.

Name:_________________________________________
(please print)

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

Total Number Attending: _________

Honorees – Free          Retirees - $10          All Others - $20

Amount of remittance enclosed: _________

Send to PO Box 45, Pennsville, 08070 by April 10

Big Pay Increases Approved For Top Postal Service Officers

Postmaster General John E. “Jack” Potter and seven other senior United States Postal Service officers have been granted large raises, by the Postal Service board of governors. The increases were disclosed by the Postal Service Jan. 3 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Linn's. The raises were approved May 2007 retroactive to Jan. 5, 2007, under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, which removed the top Postal Service officers from the federal pay cap that restricts the pay of most federal workers to that of no more than the vice president of the United States. Potter got the biggest increase. His salary jumped nearly 39 percent to $258,840, up from $186,600 in 2007. That’s an increase of $72,240 and the maximum pay allowed to Postal Service officers.

Deal Reached On Bill To Compensate Feds For Unused Sick Leave

A draft bill that would compensate some retiring federal employees for unused sick leave is getting sweetened.
Retiring employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System would get up to $10,000 in compensation under the latest version of a bill drafted by Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., the Federal Managers Association said Monday. Moran’s previous draft bill had capped that at $5,000.
Moran spokesman Austin Durrer confirmed that the latest draft of the bill contained the $10,000 provision, and said that it likely will be introduced in February or March.
Employees under the Federal Employees Retirement System currently receive no compensation for their unused sick leave when they retire. The bill is meant to discourage them from abusing their sick leave benefits as they near the end of their careers. The Congressional Research Service has said sick leave abuse costs the federal government about $68 million a year.
Employees under the older Civil Service Retirement System are compensated for unused sick leave, and as a result have far more unused sick leave when they retire.
FMA and other management organizations urged Moran to raise the compensation limit, saying $5,000 would not be enough to discourage sick leave abuse. The groups also wanted employees to receive 15 percent of the hourly rate of their three highest salaries — more than the 10 percent Moran’s bill would provide — but that rate will remain unchanged.
FMA government affairs director Jessica Klement said her organization is happy with the compromise.
“This should provide employees enough incentive to conserve their sick leave,” Klement said. “But we hope the cost of the payout doesn’t exceed the cost of the problem.”
Klement said the Congressional Budget Office cannot analyze the bill’s costs until it is formally introduced.

Branch 908 COLCPE All Stars

Listed below are the Branch members who have donated to COLCPE in the last year. These members deserve to be recognized for the contributions they have made during the past year.
Richard Bacon Tom Barnett Bob Behm
Mike Boston Jeff Breyer Rose Burke
Tom Carey Jim Comuso Don Connelly
John Czop Gary DiGiacomo Ed Dominisac
Steve Elias Joe Foreman Bill Gore
George Greenwood Dave Jacobson Al Jengehino
John Kennedy  Dale Lebold Steve Lipski
Mike McKiernan Paul Poniatowski Frank Potts
Steve Rutkowski Jim Serock Norm Spence
Gary Stevens Norm Task Lee Wolbert
Mary Hackett Joe Powell Tom Robinson 
Jim Rusin Larry Smith
These 35 Branch members represent less than 4.7% of our Branch membership. Imagine what could be done if we all did our part and contributed. If your name is not listed above….why not? Sign up for automatic payroll deduction for a couple of dollars a pay, you will never miss it.

Used Uniforms Available

The Branch has an overwhelming amount of spare uniforms donated from Retirees and other members from the Branch. If you are a TE or PTF or just someone short on uniforms and a Branch Member in Good Standing, PLEASE come and put these uniform items to good use. Come to a general membership meeting or contact Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com, who will meet you at your convenience to pick out some items.

Non-Member Listing As of 12/20/2007

L. A. Stauffer (Atco) R. Phillips (Clayton)
S. M. Reber (Clayton) D. R. Sanders (Glassboro)
R. C. Severino (Gloucester) D. E. King (Hammonton)
W. J. Lyons (Hammonton) M. R. Bretz (Mantua)
S. W. Bockman (Voorhees) W. P. Green (Maple Shade)
J. L. Doto (Maple Shade) M. W. Jones (Maple Shade)
B. R. Dunbar (MapleShade) G. E. Kessler (Pitman)
F. Doncheva (National Park) R. C. Mollenkopf (Pitman)
W. T. McAllister (Pennsville) M. R. Rosario (Pitman)
L. L. Robinson (Riverton) M. E. Marley (Sewell)
W. A. Breitenstine (Runnemede) J. Sanchez (Woodbury)
S. L. Bucher (Williamstown)
95.7% Organized
Some of these may be newly hired carriers who’ve fallen through the cracks and just haven’t been given the opportunity to sign up yet. If they are in your office try to explain to them the importance of belonging to the Union and direct them to see their Shop Steward of to call one of the Branch Officers.

Shop Steward Of The Year

This year the Branch is initiating a Shop Steward of the Year Award, to be awarded at the annual Branch retirees banquet. There is a nomination form available online at nalcbranch908.com/sofyear.pdf. For those of you without computer access, you can pick up nomination forms at the Branch meetings or simply write on a piece of paper the following information: Name of Steward being nominated, Office, Person making nomination (must be from Steward’s office), and a brief statement as to why you feel this person should be the Branch 908 Steward of the year for 2008, including accomplishments, knowledge of the contract, ability to deal with co-workers and management, communication skills, and dedication to the NALC. In other words, what makes this person special?
All submissions must be received by March 15, 2008.
The winner will be selected by the awards committee and kept confidential until the presentation at the banquet.
Mail completed submissions to:
Branch 908 Steward Of The Year
PO Box 45
Pennsville, NJ 08070