A Note From The Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Gary DiGiacomo on being elected President of this great branch. Gary will become the fifth president in the history of branch 908 and will bring to this position the same dedication and tenationess that he possess as VP of this branch. Gary's challenges will be many! First and foremost is the divide between ideologies of the carriers on the street and our National Officers. It seems at the national level all parties are playing nice-nice in the sandbox while here in the field conditions are abysmal. In my 31 years I have never seen a labor environment in which all employees are treated with about the same respect as junk yard dogs. We are constantly getting beat up for the most trivial of matters while District decisions costing thousands of dollars go unpunished. Enough is enough! Gary's challenges are many, but with the support of all the great members that are Branch 908 Gary will not be alone!
-Steve Lipski

Next Meeting – November 18

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 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.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Thursday – November 12

***Due to the Veteran’s Day Holiday on November 11th, which is our normal meeting night, this month’s meeting is being changed to Thursday, November 12. 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 Thursday, November 12, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $225

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 21, Pat Gallagher, a member out of the Gibbstown office, would have been the recipient of the $200 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $225 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

Turkey Giveaway – November 18

As we’ve done in the past, we will give away a Thanksgiving Turkey to one lucky member in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, November 18.

Happy Thanksgiving

Nominated Without Opposition & Declared Elected

The following Branch Officers and Shop Stewards were nominated without opposition and declared elected to their respective positions for the 2010 - 2011 year term of office:

Branch Officers

President Gary DiGiacomo
Treasurer Tom Barnett
Financial Secretary  Steve Lipski
Asst. Rec. Secretary Ed Friel
Trustee Chairman Jim Comuso
Health Benefits Officer Fred Mendel
Housing Chairman Joe Walder
Sgt. At Arms Jim Livingston

Shop Stewards

Atco George Greenwood
Bellmawr Mike Powell
Blackwood Joe Rynkiewicz
Bridgeton Don Connelly
Glassboro Jake Harley
Glendora Jesse Boner
Gloucester Steve Lipski
Hammonton  Frank Ingemi
Mantua Bill Gore
National Park Sean Hethcote
Penns Grove Norm Spence
Pitman Steve Rutkowski
Somerdale Fred Simpkins
Stratford Jim Boyle
Swedesboro Mike Chesney
Voorhees Mike Porter
Wenonah Karl Schluth
Westville Phil Haas
Woodbury Shawn McBride
Convention Delegates
George Greenwood Norm Task*
Phil Haas Jim Boyle
Shawn McBride Fred Mendel
Mike Powell April Litty*
Tom Walsh Jim Livingston
Bill Gore Jim Comuso
Chris Litle* Gary DiGiacomo
Steve Rutkowski Joe Walder
Frank Potts* Norm Spence
Tom Barnett Donna Villec

*Denotes that although they are elected Convention Delegates, they have not met the Branch By-Law requirements to be a compensated delegate.

Secret Mail Ballot Election Will Be Held For The Following Positions

Vice President
Steve Rutkowski
Norm Spence

Recording Secretary
Paul Poniatowski
Mike Powell

Trustees (4 to be elected)
Bill Gore
Fred Simpkins
Shawn McBride
George Greenwood
Bob Behm
Donna Villec
Mike DiGiacomo

Marlton Shop Steward
Pete DeSimone
April Gibbons

Mt. Ephraim Shop Steward
Ken Walker
Felix Bocchicchio
Bob Behm

Riverton Shop Steward
Jim Livingston
Rose Stio

Williamstown Shop Steward
Matt Dischert
Frank Matkowsky
Jeff Ferry

Write In Choice For Shop Steward For The Following Offices
Clayton Gibbstown
Haddon Hts. Lawnside
Magnolia  Maple Shade
Paulsboro Pennsville
Runnemede Salem
Sewell West Berlin 
Woodstown

Branch Election Committee

Joe Foreman Mike Porter
Jim Costello John Ebinger

Election Ballots In The Mail

As promised, the election ballots were mailed out on November 3, 2009 for execution and return to the Branch Election Committee no later than December 12. Please make sure you follow the instructions and print and sign your name on the return envelope, or your vote will not count. Any eligible member who has not received an election ballot, or received the wrong ballot, should contact Branch Election Committee Chairman Joe Foreman at 856-784-3341 (leave a message if there is no answer). The Election Committee will start counting the ballots on Sunday, December 13, commencing at 9:00 a.m. at the hall. Candidates and/or their representatives may observe the tabulations.

Veterans Day - November 11
Thank A Vet

Branch Children’s Christmas Party

The annual Branch children's Christmas party will be held on December 13, from 1:00 to 3:00. For more info visit nalcbranch908.com/xmas.html or contact Trustee Donna Villec at 856-287-6215.

Penalty Overtime Exclusion Period

Under terms of Article 8, Sections 4 and 5 of the NALC-USPS National Agreement, the December period during which penalty overtime regulations are not applicable will begin December 5, 2009 (Pay Period 26-09 – Week 1) and end January 1, 2010 (Pay Period 01-10 Week 2).

From The Health Benefits Officer

Open Season is upon once again, Thanks to Norm Spence, all the price comparison charts are posted on the Branch 908 Web site. Hope the NALC Health Benefits Plan is the right plan for you and your family. The Health Fair in Bellmawr will be December 1st, if you want to check out all of the plans.
- Fred Mendel, HBR

Health Benefits Plan Open Season:
November 9 through December 14

FERS Sick Leave Credit Becomes Law

President Obama signed legislation Oct. 28 that will allow postal and federal workers who retire under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) to receive credit for sick leave when they retire. The new benefit was included among a number of pay and retirement provisions in a compromise version of the 2010 Defense Authorization bill. The law includes a provision long sought by the NALC, which allows FERS-covered workers to receive a 50 percent credit for unused sick leave until Dec. 31, 2013. Starting on Jan. 1, 2014, they will receive full credit. Employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) already receive credit for sick leave when they retire. The House adopted the Defense Authorization bill — including the FERS sick-leave credit on Oct. 8, and the Senate followed suit on Oct. 22.
The bill also includes:
  • A provision that would allow employees who choose to work part-time toward the end of their careers to use a higher salary figure in calculations for how the reduced work factors into their retirement benefits.
  • A provision that would move workers in Hawaii, Alaska, the Virgin Islands and other U.S. territories from cost-of-living adjustments to a locality-pay system. [The territorial COLAs, as they are known, would be applied differently to postal employees than to other federal workers. The T-COLAs would not be taxed and would not be credited towards retirement; for other federal employees these earnings would be taxed and would be credited toward retirement.]
  • A provision that would allow FERS employees who left and then returned to government service to redeposit savings in the retirement system and earn credit for years they had previously worked.

MIARAP Follow – Up

The review for the route adjustments implemented in the month of August will begin in December using only November’s data. If you were adjusted in July then October’s data would be used. Under the jointly agreed upon MIARAP process the review is different from the old 60 day reviews. Every route that had adjustments must be walked and have a completed representative 3999 for the route. It is imperative to request a copy of your 3999 and question if there are any deductions and what they are for. If there are any discrepancies notify your shop steward immediately so that this can be addressed. The district teams will be contacting the local teams once again for information pertaining to the routes, if there any concerns as to data integrity in your office it must be monitored by the local union rep. so that this can be brought to the District team’s attention when they make contact. If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me @ 856-869-7499 or Paul@nalcbranch908.com
- Paul Poniatowski, Financial Secretary