October 1999 Newsletter

Next Meeting - October 20

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 20, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - October 13

The Branch Officers and the Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7pm. and the Executive Board at 8pm. The next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, October 13, at 7 and 8pm. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now Stands At $225

Had he been at the September meeting of the Branch on Wednesday September 15, P C Lonabaugh, a retired carrier out of the Pitman Post Office, would have been the recipient of the $200 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $225 for the October meeting on Wednesday, October 20.

Branch Election Notice
October 20 Nominations

Nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates will be called for at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch held in October (Wednesday, October 20). Elections will be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nominations in October. All Officers and Shop Stewards shall be elected to a term of two (2) years. Officers to be elected: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Trustees' Chairperson, four (4) Trustees, a Health Benefits' MBA-NSBA Representative, a Sgt At Arms, a Housing Chairperson, thirty-eight (38) Shop Stewards, and one (1) Convention Delegate for each twenty (20) Branch members or fraction thereof. Nominations shall be made from the floor or in writing to the Branch Secretary prior to or at the October meeting. Nominations shall be accepted or rejected in person or in writing prior to adjournment of the October regular monthly meeting.

Arbitrator Awards $1400 To Magnolia Carriers

All the carriers at Magnolia who were on board during the period January, 1995, to July, 1998, have been awarded $1400 each for being affected by the hiring and utilization of a casual carrier in lieu of a PTF career carrier for the period involved, in violation of Article 7, Section 1.B.1 of the National Agreement, which provides that casuals may not be employed in lieu of part-time employees.

NALC Wins Contract Dispute Arbitration, Upgrade To 6

The arbitration panel before which our contract dispute with the Postal Service was presented, has awarded the NALC a three-year contract retroactive to November 21, 1998, with a one-time cash payment to cover the first-year wage increase and COLA up to November 19, 1999. $1,008 for a grade 5, level O carrier, and $1,034 for a grade 6, level O carrier. Other provisions of the contract call for a 2 percent increase effective November 20, 1999, covered in the cash payment, a 1.4 percent increase effective November 20, 1999, a 1.2 percent increase effective November 18, 2000. Also effective November 18, 2000, all Grade 5 employees will be upgraded to Grade 6, and the existing carrier technician differential will be maintained. The contract includes six (6) COLA payments, the first two based on the January 1999 and July 1999 indexes and effective in the basic wage on November 20, 1999, with the first year covered by the cash payment. Other COLAs will occur the 2nd full pay period after release of the indexes for January 2000, July 2000, January 2001, and July 2001. Other benefits include a 2 percent increase in the Post Office share of the cost of Health Benefits, an increase in the uniform allowance to $291 on November 20, 1999 with an increase to $298 annually on November 18, 2000. Other explanations and clarifications will undoubtedly appear in the next NALC Postal Record.

$395 Basic Wage Increase Effective November 20, 1999

The first two cost-of-living adjustments under the new contract will be $395 and will be included in the basic wage effective November 20, 1999. The first COLA based on the January index amounted to $62, and the 2nd, based on the July index, amounted to $333. Together they resulted in a basic wage increase of 19 cents per hour and $15.20 per pay period. The January and July 1999 COLAs will be included in the one-time cash payment to be received as a result of the new contract.

Riverton OTDL Carriers Share In $32,000 Settlement

As the result of a Step 3 grievance settlement entered into by the parties, each of the 20 carriers on the OTDL at Riverton will receive $1600 for the continued use of a TE during the time frame grieved. (022799)

2000 Inspection Schedule

                             Office                Inspection Date
                           Penns Grove                  4/22/00
                           Stratford                    5/6/00
                           Westville                    4/29/00
                           Paulsboro                    5/6/00
                           Deptford-Woodbury            4/1/00

NALC Health Benefit Plan Premium Rates For 2000

                                       Bi-Weekly Premium
  
      Option Code      Total Premium      USPS Pays     Employee Pays     Change To Employee
Self 321 $125.70 $93.06 $32.64 +$2.42
Family 322 $268.63 $207.74 $60.89 -$2.00

Monthly Premium For Annuitants And Survivor Annuitants Option Code Total Premium USPS Pays Employee Pays Change To Employee
Self 321 $272.35 $170.80 $101.55 +$8.08
Family 322 $582.03 $381.27 $200.76 +$14.88

Mark Your Calendar Now!

The 1999 open season dates for choosing a Health Benefits plan is:
November 8 through December 13, 1999

Branch Picnic A Huge Success

The annual Branch picnic held at Clementon Lake Park on Sunday, September 19, was a huge success thanks to the work of Picnic Chairman Bill Baitinger, his wife Sandy, their In-laws and relatives who loaded, unloaded and transported the supplies and equipment to and from the picnic grounds. Thanks also to those who manned the barbecue grills, brought and served the salads and desserts.

Closed-Door Policy

"When traveling to and from the route, when moving between park points, and when entering or crossing intersections, roadways, all vehicle doors MUST be closed. The interior cargo door must be closed whenever the LLV is in motion, When operating vehicle on delivery routes and traveling in intervals of 500 feet (1/10 mile) or less at speeds not exceeding 15 MPH between delivery stops, the door on the driver's side may be open. The South Jersey District highly recommends that the driver's door remain closed whenever the vehicle is in motion." (Dist Mgr Memo Issued 10/1/98)

No Early Outs

According to an article in a recent edition of the Federal Employees News Digest, The USPS does not plan to offer employees early retirement or financial incentives for retirement. The Postal Service is more interested in retaining employees to deal with changes it will face as a result of automation and electronic commerce, according to the agency's top personnel official.

Branch Fishing Trip

The Branch fishing trip was successful. We had 28 people for the trip. Kathy Shelton, Bill Baitinger's sister-in-law, won the pool with a 22 -inch flounder. Another fishing trip is planned for next year.

Joseph Ileto Trust Fund

The officers, members and families of Branch 908 send our deepest sympathy to the family of Brother Joseph Ileto, the Branch 2809 carrier killed in the Jewish Center killings in California. A trust fund has been set-up for Brother Ileto's family. Checks should be made out to: FBO Joseph Ileto c/o Washington Mutual Bank, 459 Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, California, 91754. Cards may be sent to the family at 2142 Rancho Hill Drive in Chino Hills, CA, 91709-4718.

Union Leadership Courses

UFCW Hall in West Berlin, Thursdays, 7 to 9:45 pm, beginning October 7, $70 per course. Contact John Vito for details.

Branch Grievance Results

Arbitration
Deptford - Grievance sustained. There was no just cause for the letter of warning to the grievant dated December 24, 1998. The LOW is converted to an official discussion and expunged from the grievant's file.
Deptford - December 13, 1998, letter of warning will be expunged one-year from the date of issue. (012599)
Deptford - Seven-day suspension reduced to a letter of warning, no loss of pay. Grievant's disciplinary record will be purged prior to any office or craft transfer. (020499)
Marlton - Seven-day suspension reduced to a letter of warning to be removed November 18, 1999. (112498)
Riverton - Grievant paid 9 months back pay, reinstated and transferred to the Trenton Mail Processing Center. (020298)

Pre-Arbitration Settlements

Woodstown- 3 city carriers will receive $750 each for the use of a casual in lieu of a career carrier at the office.
Gibbstown - Grievance withdrawn. The remedy requested at Step 1 has been met. (042296)
Voorhees - Grievance considered resolved due to lack of documentation to prove that a violation existed. (120696)
Voorhees - Management will make every effort to exhibit courteousness and consideration with Union official. When management is not able to maintain a scheduled commitment with the Union, it will promptly notify Union official in the most expeditious manner available.(061098)
Voorhees - The parties agreed at pre-arb that there was no documentation to show his child was doctoring for a serious health condition, therefore annual or leave without pay in lieu of family medical leave can only be charged. (063098)
Voorhees - Per Step 2 denial, EA referral will be removed from employee's records. Management will insure that all discipline will be in accordance with Article 16. All employees, at every level, shall treat each other with dignity and respect. (013098)
Voorhees - Grievant will be paid 2 hours at OT rate for the date of 2/11/99. (033199, 022599)
Voorhees - 4 carriers will be paid 1 hour OT for the date of 10/16/98. (102098E)
Westville - Grievant will receive 5 hours at the OT rate for the OT quarter in question. (012297A)
Westville - 2 carriers compensated 1 hour each at the OT rate for 5/23/87.(060397)
Westville - Grievant may request to convert LWOP to sick leave for period he was in non-pay status from October, 1998. (100698)
Paulsboro - Grievance resolved. No documentation that the non-ODL employee worked off her bid assignment. (092697, 092297)
Paulsboro - 6 hours at the OT rate to be distributed equally to the names of the employees submitted by the Union for the OTDL on 10/25/97. (102597, 061298)
Paulsboro - The grievant or any other postal employee will not be harassed, belittled, or humiliated by any other postal employees. When management has to correct an employee's job performance or conduct, it must be discussed in private, off the workroom floor, so that others cannot overhear. All employees must be treated with dignity and respect at all times. (080498)
Williamstown - Grievant compensated via one-time lump sum payment of $300. (103097)
Williamstown - Grievance considered resolved. Grievant was allowed to keep regular status into the vacant T-6 position. (032398)
Gloucester - Grievance withdrawn. The remedy requested at Step 1 was fulfilled by management. (042098)
Gloucester - 16 hours at OT rate will be distributed among those on the OTDL and PTFs from 11/14 to 11/15/97. The Union will determine who will be paid. (112497)
Pennsville - The parties at pre-arb agreed that no violation exists with this grievance. There were no employees on the OTDL when the grievants were forced to work. (060598A, 060598E)

Pre-arb, steps 3, 2 and 1 settlements will be continued in next month's newsletter.