January 1998 Newsletter

Next Meeting - January 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, Jannary 21, 8 pm at the Colonial Manor American Legion post Home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - January 14

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

Branch Election Results

Assistant Recording Secretary
Ed Friel - (216)
Gary DiGiacomo - (99)

Shop Steward, Riverton
Livingston - (14)
Britton - (5)

Convention Delegates
Revak (288)* Lipski (285)*
Vito (280)* Friel (278)*
Bamett (261)* Walsh (260)*
Baitinger (258)* DiGiacomo (257)*
Walder (256)* Bittner (255)*
Stoilz (253)* Villec (251)*
Task (236)* Singleton (234)*
Acheson (230)* McKiernan (227)*
Comuso (217)* Potts (217)*
Serock (217)* Mendel (182)*
Eller (168) Dressner (168)
Livingston (l61) Falls (121)
Lamplugh (l03)
* Elected to be compensated for Convention Attendance

Installation Of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards, Convention Delegates - January 21

The installation of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates for 1998-99 will be held at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, January 21. National Business Agent Jim Dolan and his assistant Bill Lucini have been invited to do the honors. There will be food and refreshments for all. Members, wives, husbands and significant others are urged to attend.

Attendance Prize - $150

Retired member Rob Arnold would have been the recipient of the $125 attendance prize at the December meeting had he been in attendance. The prize now stands at $150 for the January meeting.

Safety Be Dammed; Grievant Suspended For Refusal To Work In Dark, Icy Conditions

Arbitrator Robert Keller, under date of November 24, 1997, denied a grievance out of Somerdale wherein a carrier detemined that it was unsafe for him to continue working in dark, icy conditions. The grievant had fallen on the ice and sustained injuries the previous work day. He had advised management earlier in the day that he would not be able to finish before dark. He was delivering mail in unfamiliar territory on a heavily-traveled road, and there was a longstanding policy at the office that carriers would not be required to work in the dark if they felt it unsafe. Arbitrator Keller citing the postal creed that "Neither rain nor snow nor dark of night...etc.", ignored the issue of safety and past practice and based his decision solely on the issue of whether carriers can be required to work in the dark.

1998-99 Branch Officers

Bob Stoltz, President
Steve Lipski, Vice President
Bill Revek, Recording Sec.
Tom Barnett, Treasurer
John Vito, Financial Sec.
Ed Friel, Asst. Rec. Secretary
Jack Bittner, Chr. Trustees
Donna Villec, Trustee
Joe Walder, Trustee
Tom Walsh, Trustee
Mike McKiernan, Trustee
Jim Serock, Health Benefits
Bill Baitinger, Sgt At Arms
Glenn Acheson, House Chr.
Norm Task, COLCPE Chairman

Shop Stewards

Atco- Brandt
Bellmawr - M. DiGiacomo
Blackwood - G. DiGiacomo
Clayton - Baitinger
Gibbstown - Sheets
Glassboro- Dressner
Glendora -G. DiGiacomo
Gloucester - Lipski
Haddon Hts - Green
Hammonton - Ingemi
Lawnside - Bittner
Magnolia - Baitinger
Mantua - Jones
Maple Shade - Petrilli
Marlton - Walder, McKiernan
Mt Eptlraim - Choate
National Park - Comuso
Paulsboro- Hurst
Penns Grove - Spence
Pennsville - Eller
Pitman - Rutkowski
Riverton - Livingston
Runnemede - Mendel
Salem - Spence
Sewell - Harrison
Somerdale- Zarlo
Stratford - Barlow
Swedesboro - Falls
Voorhees - Vacant
Wenonah - Bittner
West Berlin - Carey
Westville - Allen
Williamstown- Matkowski
Woodbury -Walder, McKiernan
Woodstown - Hogate

Philadelphia Regional Rap Session

The annual Region 12 Rap Session will he held at the Trump Plaza, Atlantic City, February 22, 23, and 24. The Rap Session will begin on Monday, the 23rd, at 9 am, and conclude on Tuesday, the 24th, at 1 pm Hotel room cost is $72 per night, single/double. Reservations must be made by February 1. Notify VP Steve Lipski if you plan to attend as he needs to remit the Rap Session registration fee for members attending the sessions.

DPS Route Adjustments Must Be Revisited & Adjusted To 8 Hours Within 60 days

In a settlement reached on December 3, 1997, the parties have agreed that adjustments should be implemented within the 60-day review period, except where there are valid operational circumstances which warrant an exception. When management asserts that valid operation circumstances warrant an exception to the 60-day period, it must submit a detailed written statement substantiating the asserted circumstances to the local union within seven days following the exception to the 60-day period. Disputes concerning the asserted operation circumstances will be resolved through the grievance/arbitration procedure.

Arbitrator Snow Says Letter Carriers Can Drive 5-Ton Or Larger Vehicles

In an award issued November 14, 1997, Arbitrator Snow sustained NALC's position tlat neither the National Agreement nor postal regulations prohibit management from licensing letter carriers, or other non-motor vehicle craft employees from driving large postal vehicles to transport mail.

Post - Academy Carrier Training Agenda

1. Upon graduation from the Academy, the remainder of the initial 30-day probationary period should be devoted to training with an OJI (OJI's receive level 6 pay) in the duties of a letter carrier to include as many full day's responsibilities as possible. If possible, new employees should not be utilized on too many different routes.
2. The second 30-day period of full route work should be on one or two of the routes worked during the first probationary period. (An auxiliary route or a "clean" residential route is preferred).
3. The final 20 days of the probationary period should be used to sharpen the learned skills of our new employees who are moving along as expected, or to assist in the correction of deficiencies noted for those who demonstrate certain weaknesses that must be improved to warrant retention. (12/9/97 Dist Mgr. Merno to all Postmasters)

Thanks Mrs. Claus

The children, parents, members and friends were quite surprised to see that Santa had a helper in the person of Marge Leman, a Pitman carrier, who came dressed as Mrs. Claus to help Santa greet the children and guests at our annual Children's Christmas party on Sunday, December 14. Thanks, Marge, for your help and support. Everyone was surprised and appreciated your appearance and help.

Philadelphia In 2002

The NALC Executive Council, acting under new authority granted it by the 1996 National Convention,voted to hold the NALC Convention in 2002 in Philadelphia. The 1998 Convention will be held in Las Vegas, and the 2000 Convention will be in Chicago.

Employee Hotline To Inspector General

Employees who want to report fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement can call the USPS Inspector General at 888-877-7644. According to the USPS Inspector General's office, "Every postal employee deserves the opportunity to be able to report fraud, waste, abuse and other matters to the Inspector General without concern for retaliation or reprisal."

The Branch Officers and Shop
Stewards wish you and
Yours a Happy, Healthy and
Propersous New Year

Branch Grievance Results

Deptford - Letter of warning for unreported vehicle damage to remain on file for period of 9 months. (060297)
Deptford - Letter of warning for failure to pivot as ordered will be reduced to three months from date of issuance. (060597)
Deptford - Grievant granted six hours administrative leave for leave denied for not providing medical documentation requested by immediate supervisor. (042397F)
Paulsboro - Carriers designated by Union will be paid four (4) hours at the regular overtime rate. (071697)
Paulsboro - Carriers designated by the local Union will be paid a total of four (4) hours at the regular overtime rate. (070997)
Deptford - Letter of warning to be removed front grievant's file and reduced to an official discussion provided there is no disciplinary action during the period (072997)
Woodbury - Proposed removal reduced to a 14 -day suspension for failure to meet attendance requirements. Four (4) days will be served, three (3) of which will be in the grievant's long weekend. (101797)
Woodbury - 7-day suspension reduced to letter of warning to be withdrawn (ll0497)
Woodbury - Notice of suspension withdrawn and reduced to a discussion (111797)
Riverton - Letter of warning reduced to an official discussion (112197)
Riverton - Proposed one-week suspension reduced to a letter of warning to be removed in one year. (112297)
Marlton - Grievant paid two hours straight time for overtirne work performed by a non-OTDL. (120497)
Magnolia - Management agrees to stop doing bargaining-unit work now and in the future. (120597)
Pennsville - Letter carrier craft to be compensated three (3) hours at the regular overtime rate for violation on 12/22/97. (122297)

Family Medical Leave Act

The FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family medical reasons. Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least 1 year, and for 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, and if there are at least 50 employees within 75 miles. Unpaid leave must be granted for the following reasons: 1. To care for the employee's child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care 2. To care for the employee's spouse, son or daughter, or parent, who has a serious health condition, or 3. For a serious health condition that makes the entyloyee unable to perform the employee's job. At the employee's or emlployer's option, certain kinds of paid leave may be substituted for unpaid leave. FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under the Act, or to discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by the Act or involvement in any proceeding under or relating to the Act.

Medical Documentation To Support FMLA Absence

"It is the position of the Postal Service that medical documentation to support an FMLA protected absence or to fulfill a request for medical documentation pursuant to ELM 523.36 must be provided directly to the employee's supervisor. It is important to note that neither proper FMLA documenation nor documentation to fulfill a request for medical documentation pursuant to ELM 513.36 necessarily contain restricted medical information ( i.e., diagnosis/prognosis) covered by the Privacy Act. Medical information which includes a diagnosis and a medical prognosis is not necessary to approve leave or to designate leave as protected under the FMLA. A health care provider can provide an explanation of medical facts sufficient to indicate that an employee is, or will be, incapacitated for duty without giving a specific diagnosis or medical prognosis." (Part of 12/23/97 District Mandatory Service Talk and Posting. )

11 Postal Managers Suspended

Media sources indicate that 1 1 USPS managers in the Charleston, W. Va., district have been placed on paid administrative leave pending results of an investigation involving allegations that the external, first-class mail measurement system was being manipulated by identifying test letters and plucking them from the mail stream for special treatment