A Note From The Branch President
This is the first newsletter since the food drive so I would like to thank everyone who made this years drive happen. This is the first year that the district manager was not involved in the drive but the Postal Service did send 204B Paul Fowler from the Gloucester Post Office. Once again thanks for all the support.
On a lighter note, June will be the last official meeting for the summer. As in the past the meeting will be kept to a minimum so that members can enjoy good food and good company. We will continue to have access to the hall for the summer months so if anyone has a problem just give me a call and we will set up a meeting with the appropriate officers. If there is any breaking news, over the summer, concerning the future of the Postal Service I will call a special meeting. All shop stewards will be notified and will be expected to give prompt notice to all members of dates and times of all meetings.
Next Meeting – June 17
The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 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. This will be the last meeting before September. There is also no newsletter published in July or August.
Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday – June 10
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 10, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively. The Branch Officer and Shop Steward meetings are also not held in July and August.
Attendance Prize Now At $150
Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, May 20, Larry Mullin, a member out of the Penns Grove office, would have been the recipient of the $125 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $150 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.
Notice of Nominations and Election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates
This is to provide official notice that nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates for the term 2010 thru 2011 shall take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 21, 2009. Elections shall be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nominations at the October regular monthly meeting. Nominations shall be made from the meeting room floor or in writing to the Branch Recording Secretary, mailed or presented to him/her prior to or at the October regular Branch meeting. Each eligible member of the Branch nominated for office shall accept or reject nomination in writing prior to the adjournment of the October regular monthly Branch meeting. Failure to accept nomination for Branch office prior to adjournment of the October regular Branch meeting will invalidate the nomination. Shop Stewards shall be nominated by an eligible Branch member from the office at which the nominee is employed to represent the Branch membership. Installation of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates shall take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch in January. Offices up for election include that of the Branch President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Trustees' Chairman, Trustees (4), Health Benefits Representative, Housing Chairperson, Sgt. at Arms, Shop Stewards (37) and approximately (36) Convention Delegates. The number of Convention Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at a State or National Convention, provided they meet the eligibility requirements for such compensation, shall not exceed two and one half (2.5) percent of the total Branch membership, (which is approximately 18).
Branch Scholarship Drawing In June
The Drew Walters Memorial Scholarship for 2009 will be drawn at the regular Branch meeting on June 17, 2009. This scholarship fund of $2,000 ($500 a year for four years) was established in 1991 and is available to all children, grandchildren, step-children (living with a member) and adopted children of active or retired members. Applicants must be a high school graduate eligible for college or vocational school admission. Applications for this drawing are available on the branch web site at nalcbranch908.com/scholarship.pdf, at the monthly meetings, by calling Scholarship chairman Steve Rutkowski at 856-542-0027 or 856-582-5089, mailing a request to Steve Rutkowski, 36 Long Bow Drive, Sewell NJ 08080 or by e-mail at Rutkowski@nalcbranch908.com. Applications are accepted up until the drawing on June 17, 2009.
Proposed Change To Branch Constitution and By-Laws
The following proposed changes to the Branch Constitution and By-Laws was submitted to the By-Laws Committee at the last regular monthly meeting of the Branch and will be read, discussed, debated and voted on at the regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 17, 2009:
Article 13, Section 2:
Current: The Board of Trustees shall be the committee to whom all bills and claims against the Branch shall be referred before being acted upon.
Proposed: The Board of Trustees shall be the committee to whom all bills and claims against the Branch shall be referred before being acted upon. All bills should be submitted within thirty (30) days, and no later than forty five (45) days of each bill being made. After forty five (45) days, the Board of Trustees may deem the bill untimely and ineligible for payment.
Proposal submitted by Jim Comuso, Chief Trustee and Co-signed by the Board of Trustees.
NALC President Bill Young To Retire
National President William H. Young has officially announced his retirement date—July 3, 2009. He has served 43 years as a letter carrier and 30 years as an officer of the NALC. Branch 908 wishes him a happy retirement.
New JCAM Released Online
The NALC is pleased to announce the 2009 Joint Contract Administration Manual (JCAM) is now available for download at
Included in the download are:
- A letter from NALC President William Young and the Postal Service’s Vice President of Labor Relations, Doug Tulino, providing direction to Delivery Unit Managers and NALC Shop Stewards on the use of the JCAM.
- A letter from NALC Executive Vice President Fred Rolando to NALC Branch Officers, regarding the use of the JCAM.
- A list of changes to the previous JCAM.
- The 2009 JCAM.
- Contains Interpretations Endorsed by NALC and USPS: The JCAM contains the authoritative, agreed-upon interpretations of the National Agreement. The National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service have agreed at the national level that this is the definitive interpretation of the contract.
- Is Binding on Both Parties: Postal managers and NALC representatives at all levels are required to follow the JCAM's interpretations of the contract.
- Should Be Used to Settle Disputes: The JCAM should be used by the local parties to help resolve disputes and should be introduced in the expedited and regular arbitration forums.
Route Adjustment Process
The district evaluation teams will be handling and addressing all issues that may arise throughout the process. The district teams will contact the local parties jointly & explain the process to them and what their responsibilities will be. NALC reps. should make sure that the district teams are made aware of anything that may be out of the ordinary for all routes. Ex: Limited or Light duty situations, routes being held down by anyone other than regular carriers, router time, combo routes, routes getting assistance consistently, upcoming retirees, walk-out routes etc. Walk-out routes require extra fixed office time. Initial contact is the time for the local parties to inform the district team of any concerns they may have. District teams will evaluate routes & compare the carriers estimated standard office time & their avg. office time after removing any anomalies if any. Anomalies may be unusually high or low office times. Carriers may double case or have case and go’s & may forget to swipe correctly, these times get removed as to not inflate or decrease avg. times, the same applies to street times. The carrier’s avg. street time is the regular carrier’s street time for the evaluated period after anomalies are removed i.e.; abnormally high or low street times compared to volume. All carriers MUST have a consultation with the NALC rep & the local manager present, the carrier will have their input as to what they believe their avg. office and street times are, they will then be presented with the evaluated times of the team, this is when the carrier will have a chance to make any comments they have about the times, the 3999 time, potential adjustments and or any territorial modifications. Any comments by the carrier need to be written by the carrier. The local teams will then notate any comments they have on the form, sign it, give the carrier a copy & return the originals. The district team will then begin to assign times. Office times selected will be the est. std, or the actual avg. time assigning the lower of the two. Street time will be determined by comparing the avg. street time, the 3999, the base street and the carrier’s input. Before any adjustments are made there will be a second carrier consultation in regards to any territorial adjustments. District teams will then begin to move territory. Many offices are targeted for the COR program for territorial adjustments. The COR system will be used and monitored by the district teams. More info can be found in this month’s Postal Record or at the following links:
http://www.nalc.org/news/conv/Rap%20Presentations/CD/MIARAP_Vegas_Presentation%5B1%5D%5B1%5D%20NALC%20background.ppt, http://www.nalc.org/depart/cau/pdf/mrs/M01703.pdf or contact me at Paul@nalcbranch908.com
Thanks Branch 908
I would like to thank all my Union Brothers for the $50 gift card I received for my retirement. Thanks again. – Edward Schopf, Retired Letter Carrier, Paulsboro
Accidental Death Benefits
In 1985, the NALC and MBA entered into a group accidental death benefit contract. The contract provided for a $5,000 accidental death benefit for active NALC members in good standing. In 1986, coverage was extended to all retired members in good standing.
Since the plan was created, the MBA has paid more that 800 death claims totaling over $4 million to letter carriers’ families for basic accidental coverage.
To be eligible for the basic benefit, active and retired carriers must be dues paying members. There are no premiums to pay. The NALC pays all premiums relating to this basic coverage. As long as a member continues membership with the NALC, coverage is effective.
As part of the agreement with the NALC, the MBA tracks the claim expenses each year. After the fiscal year ends, the MBA refunds the NALC for the premiums paid in excess of death benefits and direct costs.
Collecting this benefit is as easy as calling the MBA office to inform them of the NALC member’s death. The MBA office will provide the information needed to process the claim, and they will send any required documents to the appropriate parties.
Our Newest Gold Card Member
Warren Reid, a Branch retiree out of the Pennsville office was the latest recipient of an NALC Life Membership Gold Card, which is issued by the NALC to those who have been members for 50 years. The Life Membership Card of Gold entitles the bearer to all of the privileges of NALC membership without the payment of dues, per capita tax or special assessments from the date of issuance. Congratulations Warren!
If you believe that you have attained the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, or your Gold Card, contact Branch membership chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com.
Know Two Rules To Protect Yourself
Reprinted from Joe Hart, NALC Branch 1111 News
I would like to think that by now all letter carriers would have realized that the only proper way to do their job is by following the rules and regulations that have been negotiated on their behalf.
The best protection a letter carrier has from improper treatment by management is to learn those rules and follow them at all times.
We have rules that protect us from being misused, as in being required (or even allowed) to work off the clock (as in for free). Article 41.3.K of the National Agreement clearly states “Supervisors shall not require, nor permit employees to work off the clock”. Yet I see carriers working off the clock quite often. Many claim that management won’t give them enough time to finish their work. Well, if there isn’t enough time given, you have to ask for more and make management decide if you should finish or not. If they decide no more time is granted, then they will have to figure out what to do with the rest of your work. It’s their problem at that point, not yours.
Working off the clock makes your route appear shorter than it actually is as there are hours being spent working on your route that are not being recorded.
If you are injured while working off the clock your compensation claim will be much harder to deal with as you can bet management will claim that you weren’t on the clock and should not be compensated.
No excuse for intimidation
We have rules that protect us from being harassed for not being as fast as management wants us to be. The Joint Statement on Violence and Behavior in the Workplace states “…and that there is no excuse for and will be no tolerance of harassment, intimidation, threats of bullying by anyone”. Also, “Making the numbers is not an excuse for the abuse of anyone”. Why then do carriers allow supervisors and managers to mistreat them for not carrying mail as fast as the supervisor wants them to? If this is happening you need to see a shop steward and have grievances filed. If you see this happening, you need to be ready to give the shop steward a signed statement concerning the incident so we can stop these abusive supervisors.
The above are just two rules that can work for you if you will just learn to do your job in a professional manner. Learn the regulations that control your job and follow them.
Remember – If we keep them busy doing it right, it will be harder for them to do us wrong….