A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The Postal Service has started to roll out FSS (flat sorting system) across the country. In a perfect setting these machines are capable of sorting massive quantities of flats per day, while facing them up and placing the flats in delivery order. They are also capable of taking addressed sequence mailings and collating them with the flats in delivery order. The Postal Service has announced that because of these machines there will be massive excessing across the country. With the implementation of FSS in Connecticut the Postal Service has notified the union that it will attempt to excess over 1000 carriers. The excessing area is so great that it will reach as far south as Willingboro! In addition, the Postal Service plans to install at least three of these machines in the Trenton area obviously impacting all of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.
This Brothers and Sisters is why it is so important that we must stand together to defeat the Postal Service's attempt to "Contract Out" our work. It will be painful enough to deal with FSS but it will be fatal to allow contracting out. Until now the Service couldn't get to our craft, this is the one-two punch that could change that forever. Everyone must realize that we are at WAR with the Postal Service. A WAR for our jobs, our families, and our financial quality of life.
Thank You,
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - May 16

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, May 16, 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 9

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 9, 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 18, Aundrie Suthard, a retired member out of the Bridgeton 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.

From The VP's Case

Coincidence or Payback? As I stated in last months newsletter, the Blackwood Post office had just finished route inspections but the results were not available. Well I can tell you now that the results are in and boy what a mess is about to follow. I will go in depth next month, but I must explain what is happening as I sit and write this month's article. You be the judge as to what I am about to discuss. It was quite obvious the district had a preconceived agenda before they entered our office because they were guaranteeing to "take out a route" before we even began our inspection! The word around the water cooler was "Blackwood was going to lose a route no matter what!" When I learned of this plot, I knew whatever we did wouldn't matter because when they have an agenda they will get it no matter how screwed up they make an office afterwards.
When the adjustment process began I quickly realized what they were trying to do and dismissed myself from this "joint" venture since this was a one-way process with no input from the craft.
The next meeting is when they began their slicing and dicing and like magic they abolished a route! This is where the story becomes interesting.
When I was informed as to what route was abolished I had a "you can't be serious" response! They took out the number 5 senior carriers route. I knew right there something wasn't right, but I couldn't put my finger on the reason just yet.
When I told Jack his route was abolished his first response to me was, "do you think this is a payback?" I said," why would you think that?" That is when he reminded me of the incident that took place back in November during our pre-walks.
While in our office one of the team leaders had opened up the back door for a person who wasn't wearing a badge and seeing this Jack took charge and challenged the visitor, as we have been instructed to do. This is where Jack half jokingly asked the leader why he didn't ask the person for his badge. He gave no response and he figured that was the end of it. Not so, because on the following day the postmaster decided that all of Jack's personal and family photos, including a picture of our yearly charity family we help during Christmas, and also a "support our troops" banner magnet on his case must go. Well, Jack didn't take them down but management did and Jack decided to write the area VP to report this selective treatment. He received a response almost immediately and amazingly was given an apology from the postmaster the following week and was able to put his pictures back on his case. I am not sure if there were any grudges formed by his actions, but there may have been.
I realized now why Jack felt this could be a "payback," since abolishing his route made absolutely no sense at all! I am sure they will try to justify this action but if you ask me if this was just a coincidence I am not so sure, because the way this entire inspection was handled was downright amateurish!
Gary DiGiacomo, Vice President

Our Newest Gold Card Member

Congratulations to our newest Gold Card member, Charles "Bud" Dermond. National Director of Health Benefits Tim O'Malley presented Bud his Gold Card at our annual Retirees Breakfast. Bud is a retiree out of the Runnemede office. The NALC national Constitution provides that upon completion of 50 years membership in the NALC a member shall be given a Life Membership card of gold which shall entitle them to all of the privileges of membership in the NALC without the payment of dues, per capita tax, or special assessments from the date of issue. Congratulations to Bud!
If you believe that you have attained the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, or your Gold Card, contact Branch membership chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com.

Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast

The 2007 Annual Branch 908 Retirees & Awards Breakfast was held April 22nd at the Best Western West Deptford Inn. About 65 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 Health Benefits Tim O'Malley. Brother O'Malley took time from his busy schedule and to attend our function. Tim brought greetings from National President Bill Young and spent some time speaking with our members about the challenges facing Letter Carriers in the near future and the changes coming up with the NALC Health Benefit Plan. Tim was a very good speaker and stayed around after the event to speak with anyone that had questions or wanted a photo with him. Tim also had the honor to present Bud Dermond with his NALC gold card. Also in attendance was our National Business Agent Bill Lucini. 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!
Pictured below are (from left to right): Tim O'Malley National Director of Health Benefits), William LeConey (honored retiree), Charles "Bud" Dermond (Gold Card recipient), John Hall (honored retiree), Steve Lipski (President), and Bill Lucini (National Business agent).

Membership Pin Issued

At the Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast, John Hall received his 25-year membership pin. Congratulations and thank you to John for 25 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@nalcbranch908.com.

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, by calling Scholarship chairman Steve Rutkowski at 856-542-0027, 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 20, 2007.

Non-Member Listing As of 4/13/07

The following carriers don't think that they should have to help pay the costs for our upcoming contract arbitration. But, they will gladly take any raises or other contractual benefits that the NALC wins. If they are from your office, please try to make them see the error of their ways.
L. A. Stauffer (Atco) R. Phillips (Clayton)
F. Doncheva (National Park) W. H. Foltz (Gloucester)
W. T. McAllister (Pennsville) W. J. Lyons (Hammonton)
D. E. King (Hammonton) S. W. Bockman (Voorhees)
T. P. Butler-Gaines (Stratford) M. E. Marley (Sewell)
W. A. Breitenstine (Runnemede) D. R. Sanders (Glassboro)

97.7% Organized

From The Trustee Chairman

To begin, I would like to say that I am honored to have been chosen by my peers to try to fill long-time Chairman Jack Bittner's shoes. I will do my best.
Effective May 1, 2007, all bills should be sent to me, to be reviewed by the Board of Trustees for approval and then forwarded to the Branch Treasurer for payment.
My address is PO Box 227, National Park, NJ 08063.
I would like to try to keep all bills for a particular month all together. The Branch Trustees will be meeting monthly to do the Branch business. Our meetings will be held on the last Thursday of the month at 7:00 at the Union hall.
On a personal note, I have been a city Letter Carrier and NALC member since May 1984. I have never seen the attacks on Letter Carriers like I have seen the last two years. Management either does not care or are they are just stupid. It is amazing that neither Postal management, nor our Union leadership (at the National level) seem to be in touch with what we do or put up with on a daily basis. We all need to wake up and get involved. Especially our younger Letter Carriers, who need to step up and invest in their futures and the futures of their families.
Jim Comuso, Trustee Chairman

The Duties of the Trustees

Trustee Mike DiGiacomo handles the Branch Death Benefit Fund. Under this fund any Branch member, active or retired, that passes away and has a beneficiary on record with the Branch, that beneficiary will be compensated $200. You may contact Mike at MDiGiacomo@nalcbranch908.com
Trustee Fred Simpkins handles the Sick and Welfare Fund. Under this fund any active Branch member out of work for 1 week or longer, is eligible to be reimbursed $10 per week, up to a maximum of $50 per year. Also under the sick and welfare plan, in the event of the death of the spouse, children, or parents of an active Branch member, an appropriate spray of flowers or equivalent payment shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary. You may contact Fred at Simpkins@nalcbranch908.com.
Trustee Steve Rutkowski is the Branch Food Drive Coordinator and handles the Branch Scholarship and Branch supplies. You can contact Steve at Rutkowski@nalcbranch908.com
Trustee Donna Villec is the Branch AFL-CIO liaison, MDA coordinator, handles the Branch Children's Christmas party and any other charity events the Branch is involved with. You may contact Donna at Donna@nalcbranch908.com.

Maureen DePrince Night At the Surf

Saturday July 28th will be the 2nd Annual Maureen DePrince night at The Atlantic City Surf Baseball Game. A bus trip is planned for this evening; cost is $40.00 per person. This price includes a Ticket to the game ($10.00), a "For Maureen T-shirt" ($15.00) and the cost of the bus ($15.00). T-shirts do not have to be purchased ($15.00), but it is greatly appreciated as proceeds benefit Maureen. The Bus will leave the union hall 502 Colonial Ave. West Deptford @ 5:30 PM and return at the end of the game to the same location. Seats on the bus are limited so book fast, this will be a fun night with friends and family, not to mention we get to see Maureen throw out the first pitch. Contact Paul Poniatowski ASAP at Paul@nalcbranch908.com. Sizes for T-Shirts will be needed in advance.