A Note From the President

Last week I attended a seminar at the request of our National President, Bill Young. The focus of the seminar was the overview and importance of the upcoming Congressional hearing on the Presidential study to reform the Postal Service. At the November executive meeting I will instruct the shop stewards as to the National plans to enlist legislative volunteers and what the role of our Branch will be on this critical issue. On another hot topic, the District has been soliciting some of our offices to participate in extremely informal minor route adjustments.
These adjustments will be made using DOIS figures and DOIS carrier percent to standard. We have also heard that management wants our cooperation, but does not have to have it to conduct these tests. Once again, Branch 908 differs with management on their contentions, and will file necessary grievances if attempts to continue on this course of action.
Steve Lipski

November 19 - Next Regular Monthly Meeting

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 8 PM3rd Wednesday of the month except in July and August.

November 12 - Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings

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, November 12, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Four-Week Penalty Overtime Exclusion
December 6, 2003 - January 2, 2004

The Post Office has advised the NALC that under the National Agreement (Article 8, Sections 4 & 5), the December period during which penalty overtime regulations are not applicable will begin December 6, 2003 (Pay Period 26-03 - Week 2) and end January 4, 2004 (Pay Period 02-04 - Week 1).

Health Benefits Open Season
November 10 to 5:00 PM Central Time December 29, 2003

For the first time, Health Benefits Open Season changes will be done using PostalEASE. The 2809 Health Benefits Election Form will no longer be used. The 2004 Guide to Federal Employees Health Benefit Plans with new information is being mailed to all eligible employees and contains the Health Benefits Worksheet. During the Open Season eligible employees may make any one, or a combination of the following changes using PostalEASE: Enrollment changes and new enrollments made during the 2003 Open season will be effective January 10, 2004 (Pay Period 03-04). New premium payments will be reflected in paycheck dated January 30, 2004.

Nominations for the Election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates for the 2004-2006 Term of Office

President (vote for 1)
Steve Lipski
Andy Dealy
Vice President *
Gary DiGiacomo
Recording Secretary *
Bill Revak
Treasurer (vote for 1)
Tom Barnett
Mike McKiernan
Financial Secretary (vote for 1)
John Vito
Bob Stoltz
Assistant Recording Secretary *
Ed Friel
Chairperson, Trustees *
Jack Bittner
Trustees (vote for 4)
Norm Spence
Steve Rutkowski
Mike DiGiacomo
Donna Villec
Jim Comuso
Mary Hackett
Barbara Ricci
Bill Gore
Health Benefits Representative *
Fred Mendel
Housing Chairperson *
Paul Poniatowski
Sergeant At Arms *
Jim Livingston
(*) Unopposed

Convention Delegates (vote for 21 to be compensated)
N. Spence B. Revak B. Gore 
P. Poniatowski T. Barnett A. Dealy
G. DiGiacomo S. Lipski E. Friel
F. Mendel J. Buniak M. Hackett
W. Dougherty D. Singleton B. Stubblefield
J. Walder B. Ricci J. Bittner
T. Walsh H. Smith M. McKiernan
B. Dermond A. Simpkins J. Livingston
B. Deputy F. Potts N. Task
J. Comuso G. Jackson J. Barlow
R. Bibbo B. Formicola B. Watson

Protect Your Future
Donate To COLCPE

Shop Steward Nominees

Atco - open  Bellmawr - Mike DiGiacomo
Blackwood - Gary DiGiacomo  Bridgeton - open
Clayton - open  Gibbstown - open
Glassboro - Bill Dougherty  Glendora - open
Gloucester - Steve Lipski  Haddon Hts - Bob Foltz
Hammonton - open  Lawnside - open
Magnolia - Lou Evans  Mantua - Bill Gore
Maple Shade - Joe Laluk  Marlton (2) - Mary Hackett
Mt Ephraim - open                        Barbara Formicola
Paulsboro - open                         Mike Boston 
Penns Grove - Norm Spence                         Bruce Watson
Pennsville - Phil Eller  National Park -Jim Comuso
Pitman - Steve Rutkowski  Riverton - B .Stubblefield
Runnemede - Fred Mendel  Salem - open 
Sewell - Tom Robinson  Somerdale - Jim Gillman
Stratford - Jim Barlow                       Fred Simpkins
Swedesboro - open  Voorhees - open
Wenonah - Karl Schultz  West Berlin - Tom Carey
                   Brian Deputy  Westville - Ted Allen
Williamstown - T. Escher  Woodbury (2) -Andy Dealy
Woodstown - open                            open

Postal Service Employment Opportunities - $12.33 per hour

The Postal Service is currently seeking Temporary Holiday Help. Applicants must be over 18 years old and pass background criminal check and drug screening. Salary is $12.33 per hour for Clerks/Mail Handlers (Holiday only). Positions are available at the South Jersey Processing & Distribution Center, 501 Benigno Blvd., Bellmawr; the Swedesboro Logistics & Distribution Center, 2279 Center Square Rd., Swedesboro. Applications are available at the Swedesboro L&DC, South Jersey Personnel Office, and Local Employment Services.

Marlton Office 100% Union

Shop Steward Mary Hackett at the Marlton Office has advised the Branch that with the signing of carrier Val Apartin, the office is now 100% Union. Congratulations Marlton!!

Children's Christmas Party - Sunday, December 14

The Branch Children's Christmas Party will be held this year on Sunday, December 14, 1 to 4 pm, at the Branch meeting hall, American Legion Post 100, 502 Colonial Ave., Woodbury, NJ. Doors open 12:30 pm. Santa will be there from 1 to 3 pm for pictures and to distribute gifts to the children and grand children of Branch 908 members. There will be face painting for the children, food, snacks and beverages for all. For questions or information, call Donna Villec at 856-772-9164.

In Memoriam

Rose M. (O'Neill) Serock:
The mother of Branch member, retiree, and former Branch Officer James Serock, who worked out of the Woodbury/Deptford office. The family has requested memorial donations be made to St. John of God School, 1145 Delsea Dr., Westville Grove, NJ, 08096.

Thanks for the Contributions

Dear Brothers and Sisters of Branch # 908:
The members of Branch 540 (Camden) thank you very much for your recent contribution to assist fellow carrier Tom Tracy and his family. Tom battled his cancer for about 3 months before peacefully passing away on October 10. Although we could not ease the pain the Tracy family was and are facing, your contributions certainly eased some of the burden facing them. It is acts like this that make me proud to be a Letter Carrier and a 30-year member of the NALC. Thank you again.
Sincerely,
Bob Cooper, Treasurer, Branch 540

Branch Attendance Prize Stands at $250

Had he been present at the October 15, 2003, regular monthly meeting of the Branch, W T Randolph, a Branch Retiree, would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize.

Branch Election Ballots Mailed

The ballots for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates were mailed out by the Branch Election Committee to all eligible Branch members on Thursday, October 30, 2003, for return to the Committee no later than Wednesday, December 10. Counting of the ballots by the Election Committee will commence on Thursday, December 11, 2003, 7:30 pm at the Branch meeting hall. Interested parties may observe the counting of ballots. The results will be announced at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, December 17.

An Invitation from Congressman Andrews

Congressman Robert Andrews has invited the Branch, friends and family to join him on Thursday, December 4, 2003, 10 to 11 am, as he hosts his 13th Annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration to mark the 62nd anniversary of the December 7th, 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor. The event will be held at the hallowed site of the Battleship New Jersey on the Delaware River in Camden, New Jersey to remember those who sacrificed their lives for freedom, to honor our veterans, and to gather our resolve for the future as we look back on one of the most fateful days in our National History.

Bob Zurlo Presented With 40-Year NALC Membership Pin

Branch Trustee Donna Villec was privileged, on behalf of the Branch, to present Bob Zurlo, recent retiree and long-time Shop Steward at the Somerdale office, with his 40-year NALC membership pin at the Executive Board meeting of the Branch on October 8, 2003. Congratulations Bob!

Customer Connect Appointments

Mike McKiernan, Branch member and Shop Steward at the Deptford office, was appointed by the Branch President as NALC District Coordinator for the Customer Connect Committee. Appointed members of the Committee include: Mary Hackett of the Marlton office; Jack Buniak of the Deptford office; Donna Villec of the Riverton office, and Steve Rutkowski of the Pitman office.

Maple Shade COLCPE Donation

Joe Laluk, Shop Steward at the Maple Shade office, reports that the carriers at his office donated $45 to the NALC COLCPE fund.

Welcome New Members

D. A. Archer - Blackwood F. J. Dipipi - Blackwood
B. Rickert - Woodbury/Deptford J. F. Rynkiewicz - Blackwood
F. Gambone - Sewell  L. Crawford - Sewell

Social Security Benefits Up 2.1%

Social Security beneficiaries will get a 2.1 percent cost-of-living Increase next year, providing an extra $19 a month for a typical retiree, but most of the increase will be wiped out by a 13.5 percent hike in Medicare premiums that also takes effect next year. Premiums will raise $7.90 a month to $66.60.

2004 Dates To Remember

2/22 - 2/24 Regional Rap Session, Atlantic City
3/2 - 3/4 State Association Washington Breakfast
6/5 - 6/9 NALC State Convention, Atlantic City
7/19 - 7/23 NALC National Convention, Hawaii

Formal A Settlement Agreement - Westville

As the result of discussions regarding this grievance (92603) the grievants named will receive a lump sum payment of $200: Allen, Marks, Patel, Hughes, Reynolds, Haas, Walter, McLaughlin, Scott, and Pilling.