A Note From the President

Just a few reminders that June is the last meeting before the Summer break; however, the Union hall will be open on the third Wednesday of July and August from 7 to 10 PM. We have a lot of business to conduct and a lot of decisions to make regarding Management's interpretation of our new contract and existing National level settlements. We also are submitting two important National Agreement resolutions for consideration of the delegates assembled at the August NALC National Convention in Philadelphia. We will discuss these amendments with you and ask for your thoughts and comments on them. Also, at the June meeting we will be holding our second annual "SHRIMP FEAST". So, come on out and help us discuss the direction your Branch will be taking with regard to Management in this District. After the business is done, kick back and enjoy some great shrimp and beverages. Thanks, and have a safe and happy Summer. 

Steve Lipski, President

Next Meeting - June 19

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 8 pm, at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month except in July and August. There will be no regular monthly meetings of the Branch in July & August. Have a safe & happy Summer. See you in September.

Branch Officers & Shop Stewards Meeting - June 12

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, June 12, 7:30 and 8 pm respectively. No regular monthly meetings, no Newsletters in July and August.

Attendance Drawing Stands At $50

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, May 15, Dan Damato, Jr., a Branch member working out of the Blackwood office, would have been the winner of the $25 attendance prize. The prize now goes up to $50 for the drawing at the June 19 meeting.

Branch Scholarship Drawing - June 19

Drawing for the annual Branch Scholarship of $500 for each of 4 years, or $2000, for schooling after high school, will take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 19. For applications, contact Chairman Steve Rutkowski, or go to the Branch website. Applications will be accepted up to and including the date of the June meeting.

Branch Resolutions For National Convention

Dispute Resolution Process
Whereas: The Dispute Resolution Process will be the contract enforcement mechanism to resolve disputes between the parties; and
Whereas: The Step B representatives should be free of coercion and instructions while carrying out their duties; therefore, be it
Resolved: That the Step B team's work location be any location mutually agreed to by the USPS District Manager and Union's NBA, so long that it is not the administrative offices of the USPS.

Back Pay
Whereas: Section 436 of the ELM provides that an employee or former employee is entitled to receive back pay for the period during which an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action was in effect which terminated or reduced the basic compensation, allowances, differentials, and employment benefits which the employee would have normally earned during the period; and
Whereas: Such back pay is allowed provided the employee has made reasonable efforts to obtain other employment; and
Whereas: Any amount which the employee earned in a new employment or in an enlarged part-time employment to replace Postal Service employment must be determined and offset against the amount of reimbursement to which he or she should be entitled; and
Whereas: The requirement to obtain employment and then offset any amount the employee may have earned against the reimbursement he or she is entitled to because of the unjust and unwarranted personnel action is patently punitive, unfair, unjust and unreasonable; therefore, be it
Resolved: That the NALC do everything in its power to provide that no employee who suffers an unjust and unwarranted personnel action be required to seek employment, or that the earnings from such employment be used to offset the reimbursement to which he or she is entitled because of the unjust, unwarranted personnel action taken.

Contract Ratified

NALC members throughout the Nation have overwhelmingly ratified a five-year National Agreement with the US Postal Service retroactive to November 20, 2001. The results of the ratification vote on May 20 were 94,732 to accept and 12,866 to reject. It includes a general wage increase of 7.1 percent over the term of the agreement, along with semi-annual cost-of-living adjustments. The agreement provides a 1.8 percent wage increase retroactive to November 17, 2001; a 1.5 percent increase in November 2002; 1.2 percent in November 2003; 1.3 percent in November 2004, and 1.3 percent in November 2005. There will be a one-time cash payment to reflect the cost-of-living adjustment between October 2001 and July 2002, followed by regular semi-annual COLAs in March and September 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. The agreement also includes a 10.1 percent increase in a letter carrier's uniform allowance, effective on a carrier's employment date. The contract will expire on November 20, 2006.

Retroactive Increase: The first year 1.8 percent increase will be implemented shortly and retroactive back pay calculation made as soon as possible. Letter carriers who retired after November 17, 2001, will receive full back pay for work between November 17, 2001, and the date of their retirement. Their annuities will also be adjusted accordingly. (The November 2001, increase will raise their high-three average salary and therefore their monthly annuities.)

COLA Cash: The annualized amount of any COLA generated by the increase in the CPI-W between October 2001, and July 2002, will be paid as a one-time cash payment. The cash payment will be included in the September 27 paycheck. The amount of cash payment will not be known until the Consumer Price Index for July is released in mid-August. Only city carriers in a pay status during Pay Period 19 (August 24-September 6) of 2002 will be eligible to receive the cash payment. Those in a full-time regular pay status will receive the full amount of the cash payment. Hourly rate employees (part-time flexible carriers and part-time regulars) will receive a pro rata portion of the payment based on their number of paid hours in the 26 pay periods prior to September 7, 2002.

Bar Code Copying An Egregious Offense

Our National Business Agent's office advises that Management will be looking for Carriers who have copies of MSP bar codes. Management has been advised by their superiors that methods have been detected wherein digital pictures of bar codes (copying the bar-codes) are being used to falsify or manipulate MSP data, and have issued warnings that any falsification or manipulation of MSP data constitutes egregious misconduct, warranting severe discipline, up to and including removal, for a first-time infraction.

Somerdale - 100% Organized

Congratulations to Bob Zurlo, Shop Steward of the newest 100% Union office, Somerdale. Not only did Bob unionize Somerdale to 100%, but he also won the 32-inch TV at the April 28th March Of Dimes Walkathon. Nice going, Bob!

In Memoriam

Robert (Bob) Pine: Retired, former Woodbury-Deptford carrier, on May 30, 2002. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Gloucester County Animal Shelter, 1200 N. Delsea Dr., Clayton, 08312, or the charity of a donor's choice.

Anna M. Baitinger: On May 20, 2000. Loving Mother of Bill Baitinger and his wife Sandy. Bill, a retired member out of the Magnolia office, was the Shop Steward at Magnolia, and Sgt. At Arms for the better part of his Postal career. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Anna's memory to the Berean Baptist Church, 516 W. Evesham Ave., Magnolia, 08049.

John Hannigan: On May 1, 2002. Retired Penns Grove letter carrier and Postal Worker. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hudson United Church, Memorial Fund, Pedricktown, 08067.

Health Benefits Report

Branch Health Benefits Officer Fred Mendel reports that the 2001 Open Season resulted in a net gain of 5,810 new members to the NALC Health Benefits Plan. This number reflects Postal and other Federal members in our plan. The plan is making gains in new memberships after several years of declining membership. Remember, this is our plan, run by our own members, so consider joining with us the next open season.

Branch Optical Plan Report

$1,583.54

Begining Balance April 1, 2002

.34

Income To Fund April 15, 2002

1,583.88

Balance before expense

- 6.80

Postage

-140.00

Payouts

$1,437.08 

Fund Balance April 30, 2002

Branch Expenses For April 2002

Printing Branch Newsletter $90.10
Postage 81.49
Phone Bills 30.99
Office supplies 223.10
Hall Rental 330.00
Grievances 154.46
Donations 200.00
Retirees Brunch Gifts 627.64
Posters, Branch Picnic 31.00
Nat. Conv. Fund (2004) 12,005.00
Congressional Breakfast 767.96
Branch Awards (6) 300.00
Per Capita, 2nd quarter 216.00
Employee salaries, less ded. 2,069.59
Employer taxes 105.71
Employee taxes 320.38
Attendance drawing 250.00
Total expenses & transfers $17,803.42

Non-Member Listing As Of 4/25
Branch is 95.4% Organized

E. C. Gattone - Atco H. C. Schappert - Gibbstown
S. E. Smith - Glassboro R. L. Gaff - Gloucester
G. A. Brown - Haddon Hts J. G. Guerra - Haddon Hts
L. R. Sampson - Voorhees D. G. Earling - Voorhees
W. G. Griffin - Maple Shade A. D. Kutruff - Maple Shade
P. P. Dela Garza - Marlton V. Apartin - Marlton
J. A. Kilgore - Marlton K. S. Walker - Mt. Ephraim
F. Donacheva - Nat Park B. J. Samuels - Pennsville
W. T. McCallister - Pennsville R. M. Briles - Riverton
A. W. Rossell - Riverton W.A. Breitenstine - Runnemede
S.S. Goodman - Sewell E. J. Peace - Stratford
T. P. Buter-Gaines - Stratford J. H. Waterfield - Stratford

Branch Food Drive Results

Food Drive Chairman Steve Rutkowski reports that the Branch collected approximately 76,000 pounds of food during the annual NALC Food Drive, thanks to all of the members who participated in the drive and helped out at the hubs.

New Members

E. W. Pendlebury Somerdale
K. D. Franklin Gloucester
S. Rein Williamstown
R. G. Croxton Glendora

Coming Events & Meetings

Convention Delegates Meeting Wednesday, 6/26/02, 8 pm
Open Season Long Term Care July 1 to December 31
Branch Fishing Trip*  Sunday, 8/11/02
NALC Convention 8/19-8/23/02, Phila
Next Board of Officers, SS Meeting Wednesday, 9/11/02
Branch Picnic* Sunday, 9/15/02
Next Branch Meeting Wednesday, 9/18/02

(*) Contact Jim Livingston for details 

Long Term Care Insurance
Open Season - July 1 to Dec. 31, 2002

On September 19, 2000, the President signed the Long Term Security Act. The Act directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish and administer a program through which federal employees and annuitants, current and retired members of the uniformed services, and their qualified relatives may obtain long term care through a qualified carrier. The OPM awarded contracts to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and the John Hancock Life Insurance Company to provide long term care.

Have A Happy, Safe Summer!!