A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
As I reported in the last newsletter, the time is at hand to pick our Dental Plan. Every Shop Steward should have copies of both plans available at your office. Please give your Steward feedback on which plan you would like to choose. Each plan requires a 30% enrollment of the membership to be activated. At 30% we need approximately 150 members to sign up. Each Steward will take a head count to see if we have the required enrollment percentage. If we do not have the required amount, I will contact the perspective plans and cancel any future enrollment meetings.
Please remember that DOIS is a management tool for recording the mail volume for any given day. It is the individual carrier's responsibility to size up the daily workload and notify management if the route cannot be completed in 8 hours. Management will then determine if overtime or auxiliary assistance will be given to complete the assignment. The same rule applies if management informs you that you are in an undertime status. It is your responsibility to determine if their data is accurate as compared to your workload. Only you can determine whether your route can be completed in 8 hours, or if you are in an undertime or overtime situation. Until DOIS can case and carry mail, we remain the overseer of our daily workday.
Steve Lipski

Next Regular Monthly Meeting - Wednesday, May 18

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, May 18, 8 PM, 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, 8 pm, except during the months of July and August.

Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - Wednesday, May 11

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, May 11, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $50

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on April 20 retiree Phil Lech, out of the Williamstown office, would have been the winner of the $25 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $50 and will accumulate at $25 per meeting until a Branch member in attendance at a regular meeting of the Branch wins.

Drew Walter Memorial Scholarship

Application for the Branch Drew Walter Memorial Scholarship must be completed and returned to the Scholarship chairman by the June regular monthly meeting on June 15. Applications are available on the Branch website nalcbranch908.com or you can contact Chairman Steve Rutkowski for info and applications. The Scholarship drawing will be held at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 15.

Where's The Branch Newsletter?

We want to take a minute to answer the question that everyone was asking last month. In President Lipski's article in the April Newsletter he urged all Shop Stewards to be at the April Executive Board meeting because we would be deciding on a Branch Dental Plan. However, nobody received their newsletter until well after that meeting. The newsletter was completed early and sent to the printer on April 2. Due to problems at the print shop, the newsletter was not ready for pickup until April 10. This still left us enough time to get it mailed out to the membership. The Branch has a first-class mailing permit at the Penns Grove office and that is where it was delivered for mailing the first thing Monday morning, April 11. Ninety (90) percent of our newsletters are delivered in the South Jersey area, and since it was sent out first-class, all of our members should have received it by Tuesday, April 12. At the Executive Board meeting on Wednesday, April 13, it was discovered that no one as yet had received the newsletter in the mail. Complaints to the Penns Grove office where the mailing was sent for delivery, were met with shrugs and statements that they did not know what could have happened to the newsletters. More complaints on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, when the newsletter was still not delivered, met with the same shrugs and statements. On Sunday, April 17, a letter complaining about the lack of service was sent to District Manager Joanna Korker. As of this writing we still have not received a reply. Finally, on April 18, one full week after the mailing was delivered to Penns Grove, our members started receiving their newsletter. Why is it that when a letter carrier allegedly delays the mail, he is served with a Notice of Removal, but when the post office delays a full mailing nothing happens? Is it because this was a Union mailing? We would certainly hope that the delay was not intentional, but we will never know because upper management does not care enough about service to even look into the matter and respond to our inquiries. Again, Letter Carriers are the only people held accountable in the Postal Service. Just to let everyone know, as soon as the newsletter is completed, even before it goes to the printer, it is available to our membership on the Branch web page. If you sign up on our Branch e-mail list, you will be notified as soon as it is put on the web page. It's sad that this may be the only way to communicate with our members in a timely manner. Oh, just in case this month's newsletter is delayed again….Happy Holidays!

Dates to Remember

NALC National Food Drive - May 14
NJ State Convention - May 15 to 17
Branch Picnic - Sunday, August 21

Work Related Injury or Illness?
Don't delay; call Branch OWCP Representative Ed Friel at 468-7339 for information, advice & Forms.

Welcome New Branch Members

Nicole Holmes (Stratford) Jennifer Seeger (Bridgeton)
John McGarvey Jr. (Swedesboro) Patricia Fisher (Somerdale)
Oswald Lecky Jr. (Westville) Cheryl Evans (Paulsboro)

Dues Withholding Paydays

Pay Period Pay Periods Pay Date
09 April 16 - April 29 May 6
10 April 30 - May 13 May 20
11 May 14 - May 27 June 3
12 May 28 - June 10 June 17
13 June 11 - June 24 July 1

Martha Kathy Rademacher

It was with deep sorry that the NALC advised the membership of the death on April 5 of Martha Kathy Rademacher, wife of NALC President Emeritus James Rademacher. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to President Emeritus Rademacher and his family at 4621 Heather Drive SW, Apartment 214, Roanoke, VA 24018.

Branch Expense Report for March

Printing Branch Newsletter  90.10
Postage  176.24
Phone  266.85
Office Supplies  354.80
Grievances  48.50
Charity Events participation  285.58
Retirees' Buffet & Gifts  524.00
Branch Picnic  895.00
Branch Awards  157.94
Branch Training  25.00
Per Capita Tax  216.00
Officers Salaries-net  8061.37
Shop Stewards Salary  9135.00
Attendance Drawing  75.00       
Total Expenses  $20311.38

$7.15 per Hour Minimum Wage Bill Signed Into Law by NJ Governor

On April 12, 2005, the Governor signed a minimum wage bill into law. Under the new legislation, the minimum wage will rise one dollar to $6.15 per hour this coming October and then an additional dollar in the Fall of 2006 bringing the minimum wage in the state of New Jersey to $7.15 per hour.

Retiree Dues Deductions

Those retirees receiving their annuity payments through the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) are eligible to have their union dues withheld monthly. Each retiree will be mailed a Form 1189, along with a letter of explanation from NALC headquarters when they retire. There will be a period of time between the date of retirement and the date of their first monthly dues deduction. Therefore, it will be necessary to include the amount due for that period in their first deduction. Thereafter, the regular monthly amount will be withheld.
Those members receiving their payment through the Office of Workers Compensation Plan (OWCP), US Department of Labor, would be ineligible to participate in the dues deduction program. Therefore, they are required to remit $0.59 per month for national per capita tax, plus State per capita tax, if required, for the remainder of the term. Thereafter, payments must be remitted at the beginning of each term through the semi-annual per capita tax call.

With Deepest Sympathy…..Get a Doctor's Note

One of our members at Paulsboro recently suffered the loss of her Mother. The death of a loved one is very traumatic, and even more so when it is unexpected. When it was learned that the supervisor in charge at Paulsboro was going to require a doctor's note from the employee, she was made aware of Section 513.364 of the ELM which reads in part:
"Supervisors may accept proof other than medical Documentation if they believe it supports approval Of a sick leave application."
Apparently the obituary notice posted on the bulletin board at the office wasn't enough. So, after consulting with a labor relations specialist at the District office, the supervisor required medical documentation from the employee. So much for the deepest sympathy.

Thanks Branch 908 for the Contributions

"Your contributions to the Alzheimer's Association in behalf of the death of my father are deeply appreciated."
Sincerely, Rick Hurst & Family
"Thanks for the beautiful flowers. The arrangement was lovely. Your kindness is deeply appreciated." Anna Laluk & Family
"The National Kidney Foundation of the Delaware Valley gratefully acknowledges your contribution in remembrance of Mary Penza."
"In behalf of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, thanks for your generous donation in tribute of Raymond Hurst."

Branch Benefits

Sick & Welfare
Active members suffering periods of illness or disability shall be entitled to sick & welfare benefits. Contact: Mike McKiernan.

Death Benefits
The beneficiary of record of a deceased active or retired Branch member shall be entitled to death benefits. Contact: Mike DiGiacomo.

Expressions of Sympathy
In the event of the death of a spouse, children, or the parents of an active Branch member, or the death of an active or retired member in good standing, an appropriate spray of flowers or equivalent donation shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary. Contact: Mike McKiernan.

Branch Representation at Funerals
Representation of the Branch at the funeral services of a deceased active of retired member shall be the responsibility of the Shop Steward at the office involved, the Director of Retirees, or the Sick and Welfare Chairperson or their designee. Contact: Shop Steward, Director of Retirees, Sick & Welfare representative.

Optical Benefits
Optical benefits for the benefit of active and retired members and/or their families have been established by the Branch. Contact: Fred Mendel.

Branch Scholarship
The Branch has established a Scholarship Fund of $2,000, $500 per year for 4 years, for the children, grandchildren, step-children (living with member), and/or the adopted children of active or retired members. Contact: Steve Rutkowski.

Retirement Recognition
The Branch shall honor its retirees at an annual Retirees' Brunch, and presents them with an appropriate gift in recognition of their retirement from the Postal Service. Contact: Bill Revak.

Children's Christmas Party
Children's annual Christmas party. Toys, refreshments for children and parents of active and retired members in good standing. Picture with Santa, clowns, balloons, face-painting, etc. Contact: Donna Villec.

Union Activity Discipline
The Branch shall pay $400 per week for discipline of up to (4) weeks, thirty (30) days, of any Branch Officer or Shop Steward disciplined for his/her Union activities.

Hall Rentals
The American Legion Hall where the Branch regularly meets is available to the membership for rent at a reduced rate for small weddings, birthday parties, graduations, showers, anniversaries, etc. Bill Revak.

Legal Assistance
Branch membership provides for free consultation and legal representation at reduced raters. Call Hal Crass, Branch Attorney, at 856-845-7900.

NALC Lapel Pin Program
If you believe that you have met the requirements for an NALC Lapel Pin or Life Membership Card, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years of continuous NALC membership, contact Norm Spence, Branch Financial Secretary to file for an appropriate lapel pin or Life Membership Card.