Presidents Report

To say February was a tough month to work would be an understatement. I am not just referring to the abysmal working conditions we all had to deal with either. Not only did we have to deal with 2 feet of snow, we also had to deal with the ridiculous policies the district was trying to enforce during these trying times. I guess the biggest slap in our face, and there were many, was finding after the second blast of snowfall how the district dealt with the carriers work performance. I know the “king” was looking out from his ivory tower and saw sunny skies and 80 degrees with no reason for accepting carriers taking extra time on the street to deliver the mail, but that mentality is to be expected and that was not what annoyed me. What annoyed me was how he had to instruct his little street minions to go out and look for those lazy carriers who were sitting in dunking donuts and Wawa for 2 hours and try to catch them slacking off. I really think he believes we have all this down time and are not working, and were not working our tails off this entire time.
What is that saying about,’ ignorance is bliss.” He has the gall to send out his peeps to look for carriers who aren’t wearing ties and don’t have their scanner cradle and who may not even be carrying their dog spray! Are these the important issues that needed to be addressed with 2 feet of snow on the ground? Again, this shows his total disdain for our craft. I could go on and on but you all get the picture. I know I sometimes sound like a broken record, but as long as this clown continue to treat us with disrespect; I will continue to expose his pathetic way of managing. One question someone posed to me, which I felt was appropriate, was when the last time a carrier had a 3999 with 2 feet of snow? The answer is never, and you will never see it because local managers know what we are doing out there, but the stuffed shirts can’t see from behind their foggy windows what is actually going on out there in the real world.
What they should have been focusing on was getting the mail delivered to our customers and stop worrying about how not to get the mail delivered. They curtailed and delayed mail like I have never seen in a long time. How many of you delivered presidents day first class sale ads two weeks late? Where in the world did they hide this mail? The problem with the mismanagement in this district never seems to end. They will continue to try to live and die with this 5:00pm window by hiding and delaying mail, violating Article 8 by not utilizing the workforce to its maximum extent, and continue to pay grievance money for grievances they have already lost over and over again. I am convinced this style of management is deliberately trying to put us out of business. I hope someone higher up see this and does something about it before it’s too late. If these issues continue to occur they can’t keep telling us their losing money, it would be hypocritical!
We also have some other issues we are facing, specifically with the MIARAP process. As I write this article we are still trying to piece together what is happening and why certain things have occurred. It would be wrong for me to comment at this time until I have more answers, but hopefully by our regular meeting I will have some more answers for you. Hope to see everyone there.
Gary DiGiacomo

From the Vice President:

Somewhere up above, in the management chain of command, somebody is having fun reading manuals, rule by rule, trying to find new ways of harassing the city letter carrier craft. I’m talking weird, crazy fun. There’s a seen in the Mel Brooks movie “Blazing Saddles” with Harvey Korman and a statue that comes to mind. We had carriers being ordered to wear their scanner and mace on their belt while trudging through the snow with a parka covering them. We had a carrier issued discipline for wearing a short sleeve uniform shirt in an office where our brother and sister rural carriers work without a uniform every day. In the supervisors mind this carrier does it 4 times he’s fired! They’ll destroy your family! One thing is for sure is that none of this nitpicking is saving the Postal Service a penny but is going to cost them a few. We come to work every day and they play “games” with our livelihood. Well we can play along and win if we follow 2 rules: 1. Do your job exactly the way it’s supposed to be done. 2. Don’t give them any ammunition. If they tell you to do something that violates your rights do it and contact your steward to see if it’s legal. If you feel like your health or safety is at risk don’t do it.
The next time management in your office is intimidating you with BS, with no bearing on the welfare of our Postal Service, spend some time reading your contract or check out NALC.org under “Contract Administration”. Find a rule, any rule that management doesn’t follow. Not one of the rules they routinely violate. It doesn’t even have to make sense. Remember when management tried to enforce the winter uniform when it was 70 degrees out in October. Put in a written request for union time. Meet with your steward (on the clock) and tell them you would like to pursue a grievance. Your steward will research the possible grievance and meet with management (on the clock).

Next Meeting – March17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, February 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.
The Branch Board of Officers and Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
The Board of Officers meets at 7:30 p.m. and the Executive Board meet at 8 p.m. The next meeting of the Board of Officers and Executive Board will be on Wednesday, March 10, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Health Benefit Report

Another successful year for the NALC Health Plan, the exact numbers are not in for this year, but from last years figure, 131 members in the plan, is the highest number we ever had as a branch. Keep up the good work.

FMLA

There have been several changes in FLMA form, the NALC will be updating there manual on FMLA on their web page very soon. If you have any questions on the form you are not sure of, just call me before you submit the form. HBO Fred Mendel 933 – 2649

Committees

As per Article 10 of our by-laws all officers must serve on at least 3 committees. The following is a list of the committees your officers serve. The top person is the committee chairperson.
Colcpe/Legislation
Norm Task
Fred Mendel
Ed Friel
Picnic
Jim Livingston
Shawn McBride
Steve Lipski
Housing
Joe Walder
Tom Barnett
Jim Comuso
Scholarship
Shawn McBride
Steve Rutkowski
Tom Barnett
Charitable/Christmas
Donna Villec
Mike DiGiacomo
Tom Barnett
Awards
Mike Powell
Fred Mendel
Fred Simpkins
By-Laws 
Steve Lipski
Fred Simpkins
Mike Powell
Retirees
Fred Mendel
Jim Comuso
Mike DiGiacomo
Optical Plan
Fred Mendel
Jim Livingston
Ed Friel
Sick/Welfare
Fred Simpkins
Donna Villec
Shawn McBride
Newsletter 
Mike Powell
Steve Lipski
Fred Mendel
Convention
Steve Rutkowski
Mike Powell 
Jim Comuso
Education
Steve Rutkowski
Steve Lipski
Fred Simpkins
Budget
Tom Barnett 
Jim Comuso
Ed Friel 
Death Benefits
Mike DiGiacomo
Donna Villec
Jim Livingston

3RD Annual Branch Banquet- April 17

The 3RD Annual Branch 908 Banquet will be held on April 17, 2010 from 7:00 – 11:00pm at Nicolosi’s Catering, 1 Hessian Ave. Woodbury, NJ. This is a great night to eat, drink, dance and socialize with good friends and especially to honor those carriers who have retired in the past year as well as those who have been selected to receive Branch awards. If you have retired since the last banquet or you will retire before April 17, contact Branch Recording Secretary, Mike Powell at 908Recordingsec@comcast.net those being honored will receive one free ticket to the banquet. All other Branch members, family and friends are encouraged to attend at a cost of $20pp. Current Branch retires will receive one ticket at half price ($10). Tickets may be picked up from Branch Recording Secretary Mike Powell at any Branch meeting, or by mailing the form below with checks made out to NALC Branch 908, to PO Box 375, Gloucester City, NJ 08030

Name:____________________________________ 
                                 (Please print) 

Check One: Honoree (   ) Retiree (   ) Other (   )

Total Number Attending: 

Amount of remittance enclosed:
Send to PO Box 375, Gloucester City, NJ 08030 by April 7.
The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Banquet will be honored and presented with tokens of our appreciation. If you have retired since the last Banquet or you will retire before April 17 and your name is not on this list, contact the Branch Recording Secretary, Mike Powell at 856-287-8768 or 908Recordingsec@comcast.net

Richard Ciano (Bellmawr) A.R. Danley (Marlton)
Elwood Porter (Blackwood) C.W. Prescott (Gloucester)
Catherine Tucker-Carl (Blackwood) Lamon E Wright (Bridgeton)

Dates to Remember

April 17 Banquet
May 23-25 NJ State Rap Session
August 9-13 National Conventtion

Last Chance for Nominations for Shop Steward of the Year

The Shop Steward of the Year Award will be awarded at the Branch retiree’s banquet. There is a nomination form available online at nalcbranch908.com/sofyear.pdf. or simply write on a piece of paper the following information: Name of Steward being nominated, Office, Person making nomination ( must be from Steward office ), and statement including accomplishments, knowledge of contract, ability to deal with co- workers and management, and dedication to the NALC and 908.All submissions must be received by March17, 2010. The winner will be selected by the awards committee and kept confidential until the presentation at the banquet. Mail completed submissions to:
Branch 908 Steward of the Year
PO Box375
Gloucester City, NJ 08030

Attendance prize now stands at $75

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, February 17, Robert Marsh, Pitman would have been the recipient of the $50 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $75 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has won.

Branch President and Vice President Cell Phone Numbers

President- Gary Digiacomo - 856-906-2838
Vice- President- Steve Rutkowski- 856-906-2026

*Attention*

Please remember to give any changes of address to your Steward or to the Recording Secretary, so that you can continue to receive the Branch Newsletter and other important information. Send changes to 908Recordingsec@comcast.net
All BRANCHES that are sending their newsletter to us please note that our address has changed to the following: PO Box 375 Gloucester City, NJ 08030. We enjoy receiving the many newsletters from around the country, so please remember to change our address in your system. Thank You BR.908

Here’s an interesting article on how to fix the economy

Dear Mr. President,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing America 'S economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan. You can call it the "Patriotic Retirement Plan":
There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
  1. They MUST retire. Forty million job openings - Unemployment fixed.
  2. They MUST buy a new American CAR. Forty million cars ordered - Auto Industry fixed.
  3. They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -Housing Crisis fixed.
It can't get any easier than that!!Submitted by Recording Secretary Mike Powell source St. Petersburg Fl Times