A Note from the Branch President

Due to President Lipski's busy schedule, there will be no President message this month.

Next Meeting - May 17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, May 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.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday - May 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, May 10, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $125

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, April 19, Robert Cramer, a retired member of the Branch out of the Hammonton office, would have been the recipient of the $100 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $125 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

Welcome New Member

Janet Scheurich - Glendora

Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast A Huge Success

The 2006 Annual Branch 908 Retirees & Awards Breakfast was held April 23rd at the Best Western West Deptford Inn. About 85 active and retired members attended the event to honor those letter carriers that have retired since our Breakfast last year. A special guest this year was National Director of Retired Members Don Southern. Brother Southern flew up from Washington, DC just for our event, even with his flight delays; he made it in time to join us. Don brought greetings from National President Bill Young and spent some time speaking with our members about the importance of COLCPE and being an E-activist. Don was a very good speaker and stayed around after the event to speak with anyone that had questions or wanted a photo with him. He informed us that this would be his last year as he is retiring and moving back down to Florida. We wish him many happy years of retirement. Also in attendance were our National Business Agent Bill Lucini and his two Regional Area Assistants Shelly Williams and Dave Napadano. Shelly held the fort down while Bill was kind enough to volunteer to pick up Don Southern from the airport and drive him back afterwards. Another guest joining us was Branch Attorney Hal Crass, although he had to leave early to drive to North Jersey for a family function. State Senator Stephen Sweeney, although he could not attend the event, sent citations for all of our honored retirees. We would like to thank all of our guests, but most of all we would like to thank our Branch retirees for all they have done to make ours a great union!

Branch COLCPE Donation

Branch COLCPE chairman Norm Task was pleased to be able to present a COLCPE donation from the Branch of $4000 to National Director of Retired Members Don Southern while he was at the Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast. As Norm is fond of saying, "everyone wins when they give to COLCPE". Good job Norm!

New Gold Card Members

At the Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast, we had the pleasure to honor two of our members who have reached the 50-year mark in their membership to the NALC. National Director of Retired Members Don Southern was happy to be able to present the Gold Cards to our newest Life Members. Congratulations to Douglas Elmore and Frank Smith who now because of their Gold Card status, will enjoy the benefits of continued NALC membership without having to pay any more dues.

Branch 908 Gold Card Members

Pasquale Cavallaro John Dondero
Douglas Elmore Howard Foxwell
Rodman Geisler Milt Grundlock
Marion Howell Leonard Kienzle
Frank Potts Sam Rosenberg
Frank Smith Les Styron

Norm Task

Any Branch member who believes he or she is eligible for a Life Membership Gold Card should contact Membership Chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul Poniatowski.

Membership Pins Issued

At the April Branch meeting Michael Sheridan, a member out of the Haddon Heights office received his 30-year membership pin. Also, Stanley Sarmiento, a retiree out of the Gibbstown office received his 35-year membership pin. At the Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast, Branch Treasurer Tom Barnett received his 45-year membership pin. Congratulations and thank you to these members for all of their years of service.
The NALC Constitution provide that: "When receiving proper notification by the Branch Secretary that a member has completed twenty-five (25) years, or thirty (30) years, or thirty-five (35) years, or forty (40) years, and forty-five (45) years of membership, the National Association of Letter Carriers shall provide a suitable lapel pin for such member". If you believe that you have attained the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, contact Branch membership chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul Poniatowski.

Branch Scholarship Drawing In June

The Drew Walters Memorial Scholarship is open for 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 or by mailing a request to Steve Rutkowski, 36 Long Bow Drive, Sewell NJ 08080 or by e-mail at Rutkowski@nalcbranch908.com. The drawing is held at the regular meeting in June. Applications are accepted up until the drawing on June 21, 2006.

Thanks Branch 908!

My Sincere thanks for the stipend the Branch sent me following my recent surgery. I truly appreciated it. - Harry Harrison
Thank you for your kind expression of sympathy. Your contribution in Richard's memory to the St. John of God School for special children is very much appreciated. - The Serock Family
Your kind expression of sympathy was deeply appreciated and is gratefully acknowledged. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. - Jake Evison

NALC Food Drive - May 13

Saturday, May 13th is the date for this years national food drive. We could use help at the hubs to aid in loading the trailers. Any retirees or anyone with the day off who would like to volunteer to assist, please contact Branch Food Drive coordinator Steve Rutkowski at Rutkowski@nalcbranch908.com.

The Best Investment I Ever Made In My Life

(Reprinted from Branch 1111 News, June 2005, by Jeff Isrel, NALC Branch 130, Tacoma, WA)
In January, 2000, I made my first investment in what I like to call ticker symbol NALC. It is a major player in a Fortune 500 company, ticker symbol USPS. I started off investing about $420 a year (Union dues) and now invest $480 a year. Over the last five and a half years, I have paid (invested) about $2,425. I decided to calculate my ROI, more commonly called Return on Investment.
I had to make some assumptions. First, I do not believe my staring pay would have been $13.61 an hour [nor would I] have had the health benefits, sick leave and annual leave if not for the Union.
However, I choose to start from this figure. I assume that, without the Union, I would not receive any more COLA or contractual raises. I did assume I would get step increases. Let's see what happens. My first contractual raise came within a month. $1,370 a year. Wow, over three times the amount I'm investing a year. If I did not get another raise, my investment would have made me $5110 on a $2425 investment. That's over a 200% return. But wait, it gets better. Two months later, I get another raise of $370 a year. That makes me another $1850 over the next five years. Six months later, a $603 raise a year. That makes me about $2,400.
Next was the coup de grace. Level 6, or now Carrier level 1 (yeah, baby!) - almost $2,000 a year. That's what I'm talking about. That baby has earned me about nine grand ($9,000) so far.
For those of you who believe management would have given us level 6 anyway, please stop reading, because I really despise communicating with morons.
To make a long story short, much to the chagrin of my editor, my $2,425 investment so far has netted me over $23,000. That's over 1000% return over 5 years. For the math geniuses, that's an average annual return of over 46%. Warren Buffet, eat your heart out.
I have felt so good about this investment; I now contribute $260 a year (through payroll deduction) to another symbol. Perhaps you've heard of it: COLCPE.
These gains are only made because of you. Please encourage our non-members to invest in their futures. Together we strive to create what is due all Americans: a living wage and a job where you are wanted, needed and respected.

Non - Member Listing As Of 4/5/06

D. R. Sanders (Glassboro) D. E. King (Hammonton)
W. J. Lyons (Hammonton) D. G. Earling (Voorhees)
D. P. McClellan (Maple Shade) B. J. Samuels (Pennsville)
F. Doncheva (National Park) T. S. O'Hara (Pitman)
W. T. McAllister (Pennsville) M. E. Marley (Sewell)
W. A. Breitenstine (Runnemede) E. Meyer (Lawnside)
T. P. Butler-Gaines (Stratford)

Dates To Remember

NALC Food Drive May 13
NJ State Rap Session June 11 - 13
National Convention Aug 14 - 18
Branch Picnic Aug 27

Branch Death Benefits

Effective January 1, 1991, the Branch established a Death Benefit fund, at no cost to the member, for the benefit of the survivors of a deceased active or retired Branch member. The fund currently provides $200 to the beneficiary of a deceased member in good standing at the time of his/her death. To receive payment the member prior to his demise must have established the beneficiary of record by way of the completion of the form below, or such status must be documented upon the member's death. To receive payment, a copy of a death certificate, and proof of beneficiary status, as necessary, must be documented and sent to the Director of Death Benefits within six (6) months of death. The current Director is Mike DiGiacomo, Branch Trustee, 19 Madison Drive, Laurel Springs, NJ 08021. If you have not already done so, complete the following form and send it to Mike DiGiacomo to confirm the appointment of your beneficiary:

Member's Name:_____________________________________

Address Of Record:___________________________________

Beneficiary's Name:___________________________________

Address:___________________________________________

Member's Signature:__________________________________

Date:______________________________________________

DOIS, Casing Standards & Discipline

Some local managers and supervisors are threatening carriers with discipline for not casing four-feet of mail per hour in accordance with data acquired by way of the DOIS program. In accordance with a national level settlement reached by the parties on July 30, 2001 (M01444), it was mutually agreed that daily counts (PCRS) recorded in accordance with (POST or DOIS) will not constitute the sole basis for discipline. Furthermore, Section 242.332 of the M-39 provides that "No carrier shall be disciplined for failure to meet standards, except in cases of unsatisfactory effort which must be based on documented, unacceptable conduct that led to the carrier's failure to meet standards." Also, pre-arbitration settlement HIN-1N-D 31781, dated October 22, 1985, provides that "there is no set pace at which a carrier must walk and no street standard for walking."

EAP Representative To Be At May Meeting

Our Branch EAP Rep. Paul Poniatowski has arranged to have South Jerseys top EAP Representative Kim Wayman attend the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on May 17. Kim will be on hand to convey the importance of EAP, its services and to give advice on a number of issues. Remember EAP is strictly confidential, and is not limited to Postal related issues. Kim IS NOT MANAGEMENT! It is also accessible to family members of Postal Employees. Paul has expressed some of the issues that carriers deal with everyday, and how carriers are being harassed everyday with DOIS, and how stressful this has become. Please come out and spend a few minutes expressing your concerns.