June 1998 Newsletter

Next Meeting - June 17

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, June 17, 8 pm at the Colonial Manor American Legion Post Home. 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - June 10

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, June 10, at 7 and 8 pm respectively.

No Meetings Or News Letter, July and August

Unless otherwise called for by way of a special meeting, there wi1l be no regular, Board of Officers, or Executive Board meetings in the months of July and August. Additionally, the Branch News Letter will not be published during these months.Have a safe, healthy and happy summer !

Attendance Prize - $250

Active member Bruce Shelton, Deptford carrier, would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize at the May meeting had he been in attendance. The prize now stands at $250 for the meeting on June 17.

National Approves Bridgeton Merger

National President Vincent R. Sombrotto has advised the Branch by memo under date of May 19, 1998, that the requirements have been met for the merger of Bridgeton Branch 538 with Branch 908, South Jersey Letter Carriers. Accordingly the charter of South Jersey Letter Carriers Branch 908 has been amended to indicate that it represents employees employed at the installations formerly represented by Branch 538, Bridgeton, NJ.

NALC Food Drive

Branch Food Drive Chairman John Vito has announced that 92,857 pounds of food was collected by the Branch members at all of the offices represented by Branch including Bridgeton. John wishes to convey his thanks for the great job done, under less than perfect weather conditions, by the membership on May 9, 1998.

March Of Dimes WalkAthon

Chairperson Donna Villec has announced that the members of Branch 908 who walked in the March of Dimes WalkAthon raised $2,000 for research and treatment of birth defects. Congratulations to the more than seven (7) members who marched in the WalkAthon.

Branch Scholarship Award

The daughter of Branch member and Marlton carrier C H Gravener won the 1998 Branch Drew Walter scholarship of $500 per year for 4 years at an accredited college or vocational school. The runner-up and alternate recipient was the son of Marlton carrier E V Mikesell. Congratulations, Kelly Gravener and George Mikesell.

No Wheeling & Dealing

Although an individual employee has the right under the National Agreement and the National Labor Relations Act to present a grievance at Step 1, the Union must be included in any discussion or adjustment of the grievance at Step 1 or thereafter. (NRLB Case No. 24183 (P), NLRB v. USPS, 29 August 1986) (M-00937, National Level Pre-Arb Settlement)

Branch Submits Amendment & Resolution For Consideration At National Convention

The Branch proposed amendment to the National Constitution would delete from Article 3, Section 1, language requiring that the National Convention be held between the 4th of July and the3rd full week of August.
The Branch proposed resolution requests that the NALC attempt to negotiate with the USPS provisions that would allow carriers to accumulate annual leave without limit, and permit them to sell it back for cash if they so desire.

Arbitration Awards & Settlements

"Arbitration awards and settlements are final and binding. Compliance is not an option, but a requirement. One of the few acceptable reasons for non-compliance with an arbitration award is if the Postal Service is seeking to have the award vacated in a federal court, which is very rare. No manager or supervisor has the authority to override an arbitrator's award or a signed grievance settlement." (Memo 4/8/98, signed by South Jersey District and Plant Managers)

Thrift Savings Plan Open Season May 15 to July 1

Letter carriers have another opportunity between May 15 and July 1 to enroll in the Thrift Savings Plan and enhance their retirement income. During the open season all career employees hired before January 1, 1998, as well as those hired before July 1, 1998, who are previously eligible for TSP during a prior appointment can begin a contribution or change the amount of allocation of their current contribution. This open season is separate and distinct from a special Open Season period to run from July 1 through December 31 during which CSRS-covered employees will have an opportunity to switch to the FERS program.

Retirement System Switching Season Scheduled July 1 to December 31, 1998

The Clinton Administration now appears to be backing away from its repeal of the CSRS and FERS open season scheduled for July 1 through December 31, 1998. During this special retirement plan open season, employees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) can choose to transfer to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

OWCP Regional Director Agrees To Meet

Thanks to a Postal Record article submitted by Branch Vice President Steve Lipski, concerned with a proposal to move South Jersey from the jurisdiction of the Office of Workers' Compensation Program office in New York, the Brach was contacted by Ken Hamlett, Northeast Regional Director of OWCP, who has agreed to come to a meeting of the SJ Committee of Presidents on any date during the weeks of June 29 and July 13 subject to determination of the Branch. Such date will be announced when determined and confirmed by Hamlett.

Use Of Dog Repellent

Dog repellent is to be used on any dog that attacks, but it does not replace the policy of non-delivery of mail where there is a dog menace. Collection and delivery service employees are to report the name, address of the customer where such a menace exists to the postmaster or authorized supervisor, who must immediately telephone the customer and request that the animal be confined during the usual delivery hours in the neighborhood. The postmaster will inform the customer that no deliveries will be made until this is done. Employees are not to use the repellent where there is a danger of spraying people. Indiscriminate use of the repellant will not be tolerated - employees who do so are subject to disciplinary action. (PB 21971, 5/7/98)

Anthony Nardello, Jr.

It is with deep regret and sorrow that we report the death of Anthony (Tony) Nardello. Tony was 68 years of age. He was a member of the Branch, and worked as a carrier for many years in Gloucester City, NJ, before retiring in 1988. Tony is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, his mother, a sister, six grandchildren and a great grandchild. Tony is buried in Eglington Cemetery in Clarksboro. Donations may be sent to Boys Town, NB, 68010.

Dennis Zebrowski

It is with deep regret and sorrow that we learned of the death of Dennis Zebrowski. Dennis was the son of Fran Hojlo, the Secretary of National Business Agent Jim Dolan. Dennis is survived by his wife Carol, a son, Luke, and a daughter, Dana. Cards of sympathy and condolences may be sent to Fran at Dolan's office, 9601 James St, Philadelphia, PA 19114-3017.

LARC School Says Thanks

LARC School had the inaugural running its Captain Tom McDonell 5K Run for LARC, which was a complete success. The School provides for a safe and loving environment for kids who are always assured a place of their very own. On behalf of the LARC board, families, staff, and students, Dr. Edward McDonnell, Chairman, LARC Board of Directors, extended the Branch its heartfelt thanks for its generous support and contributions.

Cards Of Thanks

"Thank you so much, for the kind donation in remembrance of my dear father." (family of Fred Budesa)
"Thank you so much for sending the beautiful basket of flowers for my husband Harold. He was a member of IBEW and a strong supporter of his Union. I know the benefits I will be receiving now are the direct result of the effort of his Union over the years. May your Union remain strong." (the Bartels & Harrison Families)
"Thank you for the beautiful flowers that were sent in remembrance of my father. Your sympathy was greatly appreciated." (Debra Harrison)

Branch Grievance Results

Deptford/Woodbury - Proposed letter of warning reduced to an official discussion. (030798B)
Deptford/Woodbury - Letter of warning to be removed after one year if no subsequent disciplinary action occurs. (030598A)
Deptford/Woodbury - Letter of wanting removed after 6 months and reduced to an official discussion if no subsequent disciplinary action occurs. (030598B)
Deptford/Woodbury - Seven (7) day suspension reduced to a letter of warning and remain on file for two years. (030798)
Marlton - Notice of removal reduced to a 14-day, suspension (time served). (040998)
Runnemede - Placement on restricted sick list reduced to an informal discussion. (042198)
Deptford/Woodbury - Grievant paid 1 hour OT for carrier work being performed by clerks. (040998)
Marlton - Senior carrier paid 4 hours straight time for router pulled off his regular assignment to eliminate overtime. (091097A)
Marlton - Router given 3 hours administrative leave for being pulled off assignment for street assistance. (033198)
Riverton - Senior PTF carrier promoted to regular on route #3 as per National Agreement. (043098)
Marlton - Grievant to receive receipt for 1/2 hour administrative leave to be used in lieu of approved annual leave. (041698K)
Marlton - Grievant to receive receipt for 1/2 hour administrative leave to be used in lieu of approved annual leave. (041698E)
Marlton - Grievant to receive receipt for two (2) hours administrative leave to be used in lieu of approved annual leave. (041498)
Voorhees - Step 3 grievance remanded back to parties at step 2 for further discussion and development of all relevant, factual information. (020298B)
Voorhees - Step 3 grievance remanded back to parties at step 2 for further discussion and development of all relevant, factual information. (013098)

Branch Fishing Trip - June 14

The Branch fishing trip is scheduled for Sunday, June 14. There are a few tickets left. Cost $30 pp. includes boat, all food and drinks. Call Bill Baitinger or Steve Lipski for further information or details.

No Branch Picnic This Year

Due to various difficulties we have had with the management at Clementon Lake Park, the Executive Board voted in the majority not to have our annual Branch picnic this summer at Clementon Lake Amusement Park. Other locations are being considered and viewed looking toward the continuation of the annual Branch picnic next year.

File Grievances On TE Hiring

Branch Shop Stewards have been instructed to file grievances where local management continues to hire TE's once DPS percentages have been reached. TE's can only be hired for the coverage of X-Route vacancies.

Re: Special Count & Inspection City Delivery Routes

The United States Postal Service and the National Association Of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, agree that it is in the best interest of the Postal Service for letter carrier routes to be in proper adjustment. Therefore, where the regular carrier has requested a special mail count and inspection, and the criteria set forth in Part 271(g) of the Methods handbook, M-39, have been met, such inspection must be completed within four weeks of the request, and shall not be delayed. If the results of the inspection indicate that the route is to be adjusted, such adjustment must be placed in effect within 52 calendar days of the completion of the mail count in accordance with Section 211.3 of the M-39 Methods Handbook. Exceptions may be granted by a Division General Manager only when warranted by valid operational circumstances, substantiated by a detailed written statement which shall be submitted to the local union within seven days of the grant of the exception. The union shall then have the right to appeal the granting of the exception directly to Step 3 of the grievance procedure within 14 days (Memo of understanding, July 21, 1987)