A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
It looks like the new pet project for the District in 2006 will be the monitoring and counseling of sick leave usage. The reason the District is focusing on sick leave, is that the use of SL negativity affects the District's Total Operating Expenses or TOE. The TOE for a District or an AO is determined by adding up every cent that is spent for daily operations. The use of sick leave is a definite no-no because management interprets that as paying twice for the same work. As with any program of this nature the District will become overzealous and try to intimidate employees not to use SL. I base this assumption on what's happening in my own office. Two of the employees that will be counseled have over 2000 hrs. SL, two have over 1000 hrs.,one had open heart surgery, one had a massive hernia and one had ruptured and herniated disks. We will be monitoring management's actions closely for any contract violations that occur due to this program. In addition, I will ask the Board of Officers to appoint a Branch FMLA coordinator who will assure that EVERY member who is entitled to FMLA protection receives it!
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - January 18

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 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, January 11

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, January 11, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Installation of Branch Officers & Shop Stewards

The installation of Branch Officers and Shop Stewards for the term 2006 to 2007 will be held at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, January 18. The office of our National Business Agent, Bill Lucini, has been invited to install the newly elected officers and Shop Stewards of the Branch, including those Shop Stewards who have been appointed by the Branch President subsequent to a write-in vote by the membership at offices where no one was nominated via the regular nominating process.

Attendance Prize Now At $25

James Serock, a retired member of the Branch out of the Woodbury office, was in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, December 21, and was the recipient of the $50 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $25 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

2005: Financially, USPS' best year since '70s

At the Dec. 6 Board of Governors meeting in Washington, Postmaster General John Potter proudly announced that the agency is, financially, in "the best position we've been since 1970s." The Postal Service finished fiscal 2005 with a net income of $1.4 billion, or $1.7 billion above what the agency had planned at the beginning of the fiscal year, on revenues of $70 billion. A big plus for the agency has been the increase in mail volume, which peaked at 208 billion pieces in 2000 before falling to 202 billion pieces in 2003. Since then volume has been climbing and last year was up 2.7 percent over the previous year, to 212 billion pieces.
(Source: Federal Times)

Working In the Dark Guidelines for Letter Carriers

  1. Complete form 3996 in the morning and request assistance
  2. Inform your supervisor before you leave the office that your workload dictates that you will not be able to finish your assignment by dark.
  3. Call your supervisor in the afternoon and inform him/her that your situation has not changed and that you will not be able to finish before dark sets in. Again, request assistance. If given an order to finish your route, follow the order until you feel an unsafe condition exists.
  4. After it becomes dark and you are faced with specific circumstances which you feel would place you in jeopardy (many hazards like loose dogs, obstacles in yards, threats from a resident or others, or some other specific fact/conditions which makes you feel in danger), again call your supervisor and inform him/her that is unsafe to continue delivery. (If you use a pay phone to make the call, don't forget to request reimbursement for the money spent on phone calls).
  5. If you are once again given instructions to finish the assignment, make an attempt to follow the instructions. If conditions are unsafe- -And you are the one to make that determination -- return to the office.
  6. Inform your supervisor (if he/she is still in the building) that you have curtailed delivery because of an unsafe condition of working in the dark.
  7. If you receive any discipline for your actions, contact your Shop Steward and grieve the situation. Remember to document all conversations with the supervisor.
Article 14 of the National Agreement provides you with the right to safe working conditions, and both the Union and management have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment.

Bill Lucini Named New Business Agent

NALC President Bill Young has appointed Region 12 National Business Agent Tim O'Malley to succeed Tom Young as the Director Of Health Benefits, effective January 2. Longtime Region 12 RAA, Bill Lucini, has been appointed as the new Region 12 NBA. David Napadano of Branch 22 in New Castle, PA has been appointed to the vacant RAA position. Branch 908 sends congratulations to Tim, Bill and Dave!

New Branch Mailing Address

Due to the retirement of Bill Revak and the subsequent election of Norm Spence as the Branch Recording Secretary, it has become necessary to change the Branch's mailing address from PO Box 385, Woodbury, NJ to PO Box 45, Pennsville, NJ 08070. Please use this address from now on for all Branch correspondences.

Newsletter Submissions

Any Branch member who wishes to submit an article or cartoon for the Branch Newsletter is more than welcome to do so. Submissions must be received before the 1st of each month and can either be mailed to the Branch PO Box or e-mailed to editor@nalcbranch908.com. The newsletter committee reserves the right to accept, reject or edit all submissions.

Two Rural Carriers Killed In Accidents

Patricia Ward, 29, of rural Osceola, Wis., was driving southbound on State Highway 87 in St. Croix Falls, Wis., when the accident occurred. She lost control of her car and slid into the path of another vehicle. Police said it was snowing at the time of the accident and roads were snow covered and slippery. Police said Ward was sitting in the passenger's seat of her 2004 Dodge Neon when she lost control of her car and slid sideways into the path of a northbound 2001 Dodge half-ton truck. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Postal Service preaches Safety and yet continues to allow Rural carriers to drive left hand drive vehicles while sitting in the right side seat.
If the Postal Service wants anyone to believe that they truly care about safety, they need to put an end to this practice. How can anyone say that operating a vehicle in this manner is safe? How many more people have to die or get injured before something is done?
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Patricia Ward. Just a few days after this accident, a rural carrier in Palm Beach, Fla. was killed when her vehicle was crushed by two tractor trailer trucks. It is unknown at this time if she was driving from the passenger seat.

2006 Branch Budget Approved

The Branch 2006 Budget was unanimously approved by those in attendance and eligible to vote at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch held on December 21. The budget estimates the receipt and expenditures of the Branch at $271,188.00 for 2006.

Our Newest Gold Card Members

At the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on December 21, Howard Foxwell and Frank Potts were presented with their Gold Cards. The NALC national Constitution provides that upon completion of 50 years membership in the NALC a member shall be given a Life Membership card of gold which shall entitle them to all of the privileges of membership in the NALC without the payment of dues, per capita tax, or special assessments from the date of issue. Congratulations to Howard and Frank!
If any member feels that he has earned his Gold Card or has reached the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, (25, 30, 35, 40, 45) contact Paul Poniatowski, membership chairman.

Do Not Participate In Survey

There is a new survey going around from the Postal Service about pay and benefits. All members are discouraged from participating in this survey, since this is a contract year and the Postal Service has used these surveys against us in the past.

In Memoriam

It is with deep sadness that we must report that Branch member Anthony Ferrante, a carrier out of the Williamstown office has passed away. A $200 donation was made to St. John of God in his memory. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

A Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year To All!

Branch Election Results

Branch Election Results 2006 - 2008

Trustees

Jim Barlow 108
Bill Dougherty 88
George Greenwood 48
Steve Rutkowski 155*
Fred Simpkins 50
Mary Hackett 110
Jim Comuso 246*
Bill Gore 77
Mike DiGiacomo 182*
Donna Villec 234*

Shop Steward - Marlton

Val Apartin 6
Mike Boston 25*
Kenneth Rieger 10
April Gibbons 25*

Shop Steward - Riverton

Fred Jurimas 11*
Jim Livingston 10

(*) denotes elected

Write-in Candidates For Shop Steward
Appointment of written in candidate is subject to the acceptance of the nominee and subsequent appointment by the Branch President.

 Paulsboro

Loretta Morris
   

Maple Shade

Joe Laluk
   

Hammonton

Frank Ingemi Walt Lyons

Gibbstown

Paul Sheets

Mt. Ephraim

Robert Behm
Shop Steward Vacancies
Clayton Glendora
Lawnside Salem
Williamstown Woodstown

Convention Delegates

Tom Barnett 273* Bill Dougherty 214*
Chris Price 97** Bob Foltz 149
Jim Comuso 282* Bill Gore 208*
Fred Mendel 218* Fred Simpkins 154
Mike DiGiacomo 256* Jim Serock 165
Paul Poniatowski 156 Donna Villec 276*
Gary DiGiacomo 279* Frank Potts 168*
Ed Friel 243* Mike Louden 98
Jack Bittner 236* Mary Hackett 190*
Norm Task 218* Steve Rutkowski 226*
Tom Walsh 230* Bud Dermond 123
Fred Jurimas 74 Wayne Sheltman 76
Dave Singleton 195* Jim Barlow 220*
Norm Spence 251* George Greenwood 148
Joe Walder 218* Jim Livingston 209*
Steve Lipski 313*

* Compensated Delegate

** Not Eligible For Compensation

Children's Christmas Party A Huge Success

The Branch held it's annual children's Christmas party on Sunday, Dec. 11th and once again, it was a huge success. The party was well attended and all the children received American-made presents from Santa. Everyone received photos with Santa and the kids got a big kick out of the clown that was on hand making balloon animals for them. A big thank you goes out to Trustee Donna Villec for organizing the event and Branch Officers Bill Revak, Tom Barnett, Norm Spence, Paul Poniatowski, Joe Walder, Fred Mendel, Jim Comuso as well as their wives for all the hard work they did to make the day special for the children and grand children of our members.