June 1999 Newsletter

Next Meeting - June 16

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 16, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury. This will be the last monthly meeting of the Branch until September.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meetings Rescheduled to June 8

Branch Officers and Executive Board members please take note:
The Branch Officers & Executive Board meetings will not take place on Wednesday, June 9. The meetings will be held on Tuesday, June 8, instead, for the makeup and distribution of picket signs and informational handouts that will be distributed to the public and media on Wednesday, June 9. All picketers, active and retired carriers, their families and friends are invited.

Attendance Prize Now Stands At $175

Had she been at the May meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, May 19, Debra Price, Runnemede carrier, would have been the recipient of the $150 attendance prize. The prize now attandance prize now stands at $175 for the June meeting on Wednesday, June 16.

Branch Election Notice

Nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates shall be called for at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch held in October (Wednesday, October 20). Elections shall be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nominations in October. All Officers and Shop Stewards shall be elected to a term of two (2) years. Officers to be elected: Branch President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Trustees' Chairperson, four (4) Trustees, Health Benefits MBA-NSBA Representative, Sgt. At Arms, a Housing Chairperson, thirty-eight (38) Shop Stewards, and one (1) Convention Delegate for each twenty (20) Branch members or fraction thereof. Nominations shall be made from the floor or in writing to the Branch Secretary prior to or at the October nominating meeting. Nominations shall be accepted or rejected in person or in writing prior to adjournment of the October regular monthly meeting.

William Lucini

It is with deep regret that we advise of the death of the father of Bill Lucini, Regional Administrative Assistant to Tim O'Malley, NALC National Business Agent, Region 12, Philadelphia. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to Mr. and Mrs. William Lucini at 18 Mill Drive, Levittown, Pa., 19056. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that donations may be made in memory of Mr. Lucini to: The Wissahickon Hospice at 8835 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19118

**A Call To Action**
The NALC has called for nationwide informational picketing of all Post Offices on Wednesday, June 9, to let the public and the media know that we want higher pay for harder work; to show that we will not be ignored at the bargaining table; that we deserve respect and dignity for our work and our contributions to the financial success of the US Postal Service.
To get our message across, we need the help and assistance of every Branch member, active and retired, their family and friends. See your Shop Steward for further details and information, or call Vice President Steve Lipski.

Picketing Instructions

The following is some of the information handed down by the Post Office with regard to informational picketing that took place in 1996:

Beef & Beer After Picketing

The Branch will be sponsoring a beef and beer immediately after the picketing of post offices on Wednesday, June 9, 6pm till ?, at our American Legion meeting hall, for all Branch members, families and friends who helped in our informational picketing efforts.

See you On The Line June 9

Annual Branch Picnic - Sept. 19

The annual Branch picnic will be held at Clementon Lake Park on Sunday, September 19, 1999. Tickets $10 pp. For further information and details, call Bill Baitinger

TSP Open Season May 15 Through July 31

The Thrift Savings Plan has schduled an open season extending from May 15 through July 31. The open season is a designated period in which you can begin contributing to the TSP, change your TSP contribution amount, or adjust where your new TSP contributions are invested.

Branch Scholarship Drawing - June 16

Drawing for the award of the Branch's annual scholarship will take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on June 16, 1999.

James H Hunter

It is with deep regret that we report the death of Branch retiree James H Hunter. Before retiring, Jim worked out of the Mantua Post Office for 23 years. Jim was a true and devoted member of the Branch who attended most of our Branch meetings until he died. Contributions may be sent to the Lake Tract Community Fire Co., Egg Harbor Road, Deptford, NJ 08096.

Mantua Shop Steward Resigns Mike Breyer Appointed

Mike Jones, our most recent Shop Steward at the Mantua Post Office, resigned to accept a position as a Postal Police Officer with the Inspection Service. In resigning Mike recommended the appointment of Mike Breyer, "a brother carrier" at the Mantua office. The Branch wishes Mike Jones much success in his new position with the Postal Service. He did us well. Thanks, Mike.

Report Surveillance Cameras

The National Business Agent's office would like to know if there are surveillance cameras being used to observe employees in the swing or restrooms at your office of employment. If so, advise President Stoltz immediately.

Voter Registration Forms

To vote in the general election in November, you must be registered to vote by October 4. The Branch has postage-paid registration forms. You can get the forms at our monthly meetings, or by calling John Vito.

Life Insurance Open Season April 24 - July 30

The Office of Personnel Management has announced a rare open season for the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) that will run from April 24 through July 30 of this year. OPM also announced that the FEGLI premium rates for your current Basic and Optional coverages are decreasing in April. Other changes have also been mandated by the Federal Employees Life Insurance Improvement Act recently passed. This open season provides an opportunity for federal employees who had previously decided not to participate in the FEGLI program to enroll for Basic and Optional coverage. Current FEGLI enrollees can add Option A, if not previously selected, and they can also add or increase Option B and Option C coverage.

Newest 50 - Year Member

Sam Rosenberg - Woodbury-Deptford

Jack Bittner: New Shop Steward Haddon Heights

Jack Bittner had been appointed Shop Steward to represent the Branch membership at the Haddon Heights Post Office. Jack can be reached at the Wenonah Post Office or at home.

Branch Grievance Results

Arbitration Award
Marlton - 7-day suspension for alleged time-wasting practices converted to a letter of warning and grievant made whole.
Pre-Arb Settlement
Marlton - Grievant to receive $2,000 for period covering February 6, through March 22, 1997, minus appropriate taxes. (032897B)
Step 3 Settlements
Voorhees - Payment for the referenced Pre Arb settlement agreement dated November 24, 1998, must be immediately processed, including interest at the Federal Judgement Rate until payment is effected. Management will comply with all other terms of the settlement within 30 days of the date of this settlement. (031699)
Voorhees - Grievance remanded back to Step 2 for development of all facts of the case within 30 days. (031299)
Voorhees - Case remanded back to Step 2 for further discussion and development of all relevant, factual information. (031299A)
Step 2 Settlements
Deptford - Grievant granted 2 hours sick leave request previously denied. (033199)
Deptford - Grievant getting one (1) non-charged overtime makeup for lost OT opportunity. (040699A)
Deptford - Grievant granted four (4) hours sick leave after having been charged AWOL for failure to provide documentation. (040999A)
Step 1 Settlement
Deptford - Grievance sustained. Senior PTF will be converted and route posted for bid. (032299)

Non-Member Listing As Of 4/2/99

            E E Cooper Jr - Blackwood               W N Hampton - Bridgeton
            M G Russell - Glassboro                 D R Sanders - Glassboro
            S E Smith - Glassboro                   B J Chant - Mantua
            R M Johnson - Maple Shade               V Apartin - Marlton
            K M Dingley - Penns Grove               W T McCallister - Pennsville

The above listing only reflects those non-members who were not previously canceled members. We have 31 non-craft members out of 519 craft members for an organized percentage of 94.3%. Shop Stewards at the above offices are hereby urged to solicit the membership of the non-members at their respective offices.

Military Reserve Benefits

Employees called up for military service are generally put on leave without pay unless they choose to be placed on military leave or annual leave or request to be seperated. Once on LWOP, employees are eligible to retain their Federal Employees Health Benefits Program coverage for up to 18 months. During the first year, they are responsible for paying the "regular" employee contribution to FEHBP premium amount. After that, they are responsible for the full premium plus a two percent administrative fee. At the end of 18 months, FEHBP coverage terminates, with employees having the option of re-enrolling upon return to civilian service.
Life insurance coverage can also be continued in a LWOP status for 12 months; the coverage is free. After 12 months, coverage terminates. However, upon return to civilian service, employees are entitled to get back whatever types of life insurance coverage they had before going into a non-pay status.
Retirement benefit coverage continues for employees who are in LWOP status, and periods of military service are creditable under either CSRS or FERS. While in an LWOP status, however, employees cannot make contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan. But upon return to civilian employment, employees are entitled to receive retroactive agency automatic contributions and, if they make their own contributions, agency matching deposits. (Fed Employees News Digest)

Congratulations: Tom Barnett

Branch Treasurer and retiree Tom Barnett amassed a total of more than $500 in pledges and was the first walker to cross the finish line in the annual March of Dimes WalkAThon for birth defects. Tom has been marching in the annual WalkAThon and collecting pledges for a lot of years and more than deserves our praise, appreciation and respect for his accomplishments.