October 1998 Newsletter

Next Meeting - October 21

The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. except in July and August. The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, October 21, 8 pm at the Colonial Manor American Legion Post Home. 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - October 14

The Branch Officers and the Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7 pm. and the Executive Board at 8 pm. The next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, October 14, at 7 and 8 pm respectively.

$250 Attendance Prize Winner

R J Bibbo, a regular member wrking out of the Marlton office, was present and was the winner of the $250 attendance prize that had been accumulating for a number of months. The prize now reverts back to $25 and will increase $25 monthly until someone's name, in attendance at one of our regular monthly meetings, is drawn from the hat.

Branch Optical Plan

The Branch optical plan pays $20 per year to a member or a member's immediate family for an eye examination, the purchase of glasses or contact lenses. The member and/or his family is entitled to only one payment per annum for such expenditures. Call Jim Serock, Health Benefits Officer, for additional information or details.

Branch Expenditures For August

        Postage                               $125.02
        Phone Bills                           $70.79
        Office Supplies                       $149.62
        Hall Rental, July & August            $660.00
        Refreshments, Office & Meetings       $36.14
        Annual Subscriptions, Fed Emp.
        News Digest                           $54.00
        Transferred to Nat. Con. Fund         $1600.00
        Balance of Expend. Las Vegas Con.     $30.00
        3rd Quarter Per Capita Tax AFL-CIO    $216.00
        Employees Salaries for August         $1621.71
        Shop Steward Comp for August          $71.00
        Bank Debits                           $120.00
        3rd Quarter Taxes, FICA, Medicare,
        Fed. Income Tax, etc.                 $2284.93
        NJ Annual non-profit corp. fees       $15.00
        Total                                 $7,054.21

NALC Health Plan Rates Decline For 99

Active and retired letter carrier contributions for both individual and family coverage under the NALC Health Benefit plan will decrease in 1999. NALC members not currently enrolled in the NALC Health Benefit plan will have an opportunity to join the plan during Open Season which will run from November 9 through December 14. The 1999 Plan rates are as follows. The reduction from 1998 rate is in parenthesis:
                               Self-Only            Self & Family
Active Carriers (biweekly)   $30.22 (-$4.66)       $62.89 (-$10.10)
Annuitant                    $93.47 (-$8.32)       $185.88 (-$28.80)

New Law Affects Life Insurance Benefits

Life insurance benefits may not be paid in the traditional order of precedence as the result of a new law signed by President Clinton in July. The law calls for the order of tradition to be superseded if a court has issued a decree of divorce, annulment or legal separation that calls for the benefits to be paid to someone else.

NALC Pledges $1.6 Million To Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

President Sombrotto presented pledges totaling $1.6 million to Jerry Lewis on his national televised MDA Labor Day Telethon, reflecting contributions received by NALC branches through the country. In all, the telethon collected a record $51.7 million.

Negotiations Toll-Free Hotline:
1-877-235-6252

Negotiations between the NALC and USPS on a new National Agreement have been proceeding at a deliberative pace. In order to keep the members apprised of the up-to-date information on the negotiations, a special toll-free NALC Hotline has been established. The Hotline reports by President Sombrotto will be updated periodically. To hear the update report from President Sombrotto, call the toll-free hotline.

Carriers Urged To Support Combined Federal Campaign

President Sombrotto has urged active letter carriers to support the Combined Federal Campaign as the annual effort is conducted throughout the United States among federal and postal employees. In so doing, Sombrotto urged letter carriers to keep in mind the Postal Employees' Relief Fund (CFC #0183) which assists letter carriers and other employees of the USPS who are victims of major natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and major fires. The fund depends on CFC campaign for the bulk of its donations.

Postal Relief For Hurricane Victims

Letter carriers and other postal employees who suffered substantial damage from Hurricane Georges may be eligible for assistance from the Postal Employees Relief Fund. In areas where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has declared a major natural disaster, carriers are eligible if the damage loss, after insurance and any other assistance, exceeds $4,000 from among major items values at $200 or more per item. Applications for assistance and specific criteria can be obtained by contacting the Postal Employees Relief Fund at (202-408-1869)

Branch Grievance Results

Voorhees- Grievance sustained. Letter of warning to be removed (070798)
Williamstown- Grievance settled in that various carriers will be paid at the overtime rate for units of from .25 to 3.70 hours. (080798B)
Voorhees- Letter of warning for failure to be regular in attendance to be pulled in 5 months. (?)
Voorhees- Letter of warning issued for extension of street time to be pulled in 5 months. (?)
Williamstown- Grievance sustained. 4.0 hours to be divided among carriers that could have performed carrier craft work done by management and custodial personnel. (080398)
National Park- Carriers in the office will be compensated the appropriate number of hours for letter carrier duties performed by clerks. (072298)

Some Step 4 Grievance Decisions

EAP participation beyond initial interview: During our discussions it was mutually agreed that management may not unilaterally require an employee to attend EAP beyond the initial interview. (RE:G90N-4G-D95066420)
Revisitation of previously approved DPS adjustments: The September 17, 1992 Memorandum entitled "Resolution of issues Left Open by the Mittenthal Award of July 10, 1992", requires that planned adjustments be revised within 60 days after such adjustments are implemented. The parties further agree that adjustments required pursuant to the 60-day review should be implemented within the 60-day review period. The parties recognize, however, adjustments within the 60-day review period may not be possible where there are valid operational circumstances which warrent an exception. When management asserts that valid operational circumstances warrnet an exception to the 60-day period, it must submit a detailed written statement substantiating the asserted circumstances to the union within seven days following the expiration of the 60-day period. Disputes concerning the asserted operational circumstances will be resolved through the grievance arbitration procedures. (RE:Q94N-4Q-C96091697)
VOMA Positions: During our discussions, we mutually agreed that this case will be administrative closed at this level based on the following: 1) There is no change in duties and responsibility of the VOMA position 2) The VOMA position is still a multi-craft position 3) The successful bidder will be represented by the craft from which they came. (RE:Q94N-4Q-C97067029)

Key Numbers For Retirement Questions

About Federal Retirement
1-888-767-6738
1-800-409-6528

About Social Security
1-800-772-1213

To Reach NALC Retirement Office
1-800-424-5186
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
10 am - noon
2 - 4 pm, Eastern Time

Delayed Mail Reporting

The District has advised that there will be a "ZERO" tolerance for the delay of mail in FY-99. Post office operations must be contacted before any mail is delayed. Additionally the District is required to notify the Allegheny Area by 10:45 am daily of any office that will delay mail. (Memo 9/1/98 from District to all PM/OIS'S)

Mandatory, 27-Point Vehicle Checks - Take The Time To Be Safe!

The SJ District has issued instructions that the Postmasters/OIC's remind carriers and VOMA's of the importance of doing early and thorough vehicle checks. The only vehicle check list that is to be used within the South Jersey District is the 27-point expanded vehicle check, Exhibit 832.1, found within the M-41 City Delivery Carriers duties and responsibilities handbook.

1999 Holidays Announced

The Office of Personnel Management has announced the following Holidays for 1999:
New Years Day 1999 (Friday, January 1)
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday (Monday, January 18)
Washington's Birthday (Monday, February 15)
Memorial Day (Monday, May 31)
Independence Day (Monday, July 5)*
Labor Day (Monday, September 6)
Columbus Day (Monday, October 11)
Veterans Day (Thursday, November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 25)
Christmas Day (Friday, December 24)*
New Year's Day 2000 (Friday, December 31)*

*Because July 4, 1999, falls on a Sunday, most employees will have Monday, July 5 as a Holiday for pay nad leave purposes. Similarly, since December 25, 1999 and January 1, 2000, fall on a Saturday, for most employees the preceding Friday will be treated as a Holiday for pay and leave purposes. (Taken From Fed. Emp. News Digest)

New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates 1998

Candidate                      Union                       Office
Chet Zimolzak            Am. Fed. Of Teachers          Pitman Council
Harry Elton              Plumbers & Pipe Fit.          Woodbury Hts. Mayor
Claire Poole             CWA Local 1084                Woodbury Hts. Council
Joseph D'Orazio          IBEW Local 351                Gibbsboro Council
"Look For The Union Member"
Advancing New Jersey's Working Families Agenda, one that includes decent health care, affordable and quality education and a living wage for all working families, depends on labor's success and who we elect to represent us. Who better to represent the working families of this state than union members? It is essential that we work hard and elect our own sisters and brothers to office to ensure that our voice continues to be heard!

New Jersey State AFL-CIO 1998 Congressional Endorsements - South Jersey

      Congressional District                       Endorsement
                One                                Robert E. Andrews
                Two                                Frank A. Lobiondo
                Three                              No Endorsement
                Four                               Christopher H. Smith

1998 General Election Voter Registration Deadline

General Election: Tuesday, November 3, 1998
NJ General Registration Deadline: October 5
Register Today!!

Make Your Voice Heard: VOTE