A Note From The Branch President

First, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back from an always short Summer. The upcoming months are going to be hectic for all of us. On the Branch level, we will be conducting route inspection training seminars for our offices scheduled for the Fall. In addition, we will be canvassing offices to see if there is a need for an additional meeting each month to reach some of our out-of-the-way offices. These Cluster meetings will be held to try to drum up interest in members who cannot make our central meetings. Furthermore, there will be a PTF rights seminar in October as well as nominations for Stewards, Officers and Convention Delegates. This is only the tip of the iceberg, so please attend the September meeting to see what's new.

Next Meeting - September 19

Welcome back! The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, September 19, 8 pm sharp. The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except for the months of July and August.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meetings - September 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 meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, September 12, at 7:30 and 8 pm respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $100

Had he been at the June meeting, D. M. Neushaffer, a Branch retiree, would have been the winner of the $75 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $100 for the June meeting, and increases in increments of $25 monthly to a maximum of $250 until a member's name who is in attendance at a regular monthly meeting is drawn. Branch Officers and/or Shop Stewards are not eligible.

All Branch Scholarship Recipients

It is imperative that all Branch Scholarship recipients get in touch with Scholarship Chairman Joe Walder.

Annual Branch Picnic - September 16

The annual Branch Picnic will be held on Sunday, September 16, at Clementon Lake Park, Clementon, NJ, 11 AM to 6 PM. Tickets, which include admission to the park and all rides, are $12 pp, children under 36 inches in height are admitted free of charge. There will be free refreshments for Branch members, their family and friends, including beer, soda, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. For further information, or to volunteer your assistance to the committee, contact Jim Livingston.

Nominations For The Election Of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards & Convention Delegates - October 17

Nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates shall be called for at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 17. Elections shall 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. Nominations shall be made from the meeting floor, or in writing to the Branch Recording Secretary, mailed or presented to him/her prior to or at the October 17 meeting. Each eligible member of the Branch nominated for election shall accept or reject the nomination for the record, in person or in writing, prior to the adjournment of the October meeting. Failure to accept nomination prior to adjournment of the October meeting will invalidate the nomination. Secret mail ballots shall be returned to the Chairman of the Branch Election Committee for opening and tabulation no less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the December regular monthly meeting of the Branch. Positions up for election are as follows:

Branch President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Chairman Trustees, four (4) Trustees, Health Benefits Representative, Housing Chairman, Sergeant At Arms, 38 Shop Stewards, including two (2) each at Marlton and Woodbury; and 20 Convention Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at National and State conventions during their terms of office.

Convention Information

NALC's 63rd Biennial Convention will be held August 19-24, 2002, in Philadelphia. Branch delegates must be elected by December 31, 2001. NALC's 2004 Convention will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii, and in 2006 it will be held in Miami, Florida.

Francis J. Conners

It is with deep regret and sorrow that we heard of the death of Frank Conners, the immediate past NALC Executive Vice President. When he was National Business Agent for the Philadelphia Region, Frank encouraged the merger of Branches in South Jersey, which eventually resulted in the birth of South Jersey Letter Carriers, Branch 908, Woodbury, NJ. Frank was also instrumental in the appointment of Bill Revak as a Local Business Agent and NALC arbitration advocate. He was a consummate gentleman and friend, and he will be sorely missed by his family, the NALC, and this Branch. Anyone who would like to send cards of condolence can do so by addressing them to Frank's wife and family at 4403 Phylliss Street, Alexander, Va., 22309.

 

Bargaining For a New National Agreement began on August 21

 

$312 COLA Increase - September 8

The 6th cost-of-living adjustment under the National Agreement will be $312 annually, effective September 8 (pay date September 28), equal to the equivalent of 15 cents per hour, or $12 per pay period. It brought the total COLA's accumulated under the 1998-2001 National Agreement to $2,038 annually.

NALC Opposed To Surveys

The office of NALC National Business Agent Tim O'Malley has advised that the NALC is opposed to any survey being conducted solely by the USPS. The NALC is not involved in this endeavor. It is not in the best interest of our membership to complete the form. Currently we have been advised that the surveys are being mailed to the "work location" and management is then giving them to the member for completion. If you do not complete the form, do not give it back to management blank. Tear it up, but do not give it back blank.

Disallowing Actual Time Worked

The Vice President, Area Operations, Allegheny Area, has advised the field that Postmasters/Managers/Supervisors disallowing actual time worked by city carriers for the purpose of avoiding the reporting of penalty overtime or adhering to specific operation windows is unlawful, and that any unilateral action or agreement with a city carrier to amend actual hours worked for any purpose constitutes falsification of time records. For example, a carrier works ten hours and 45 units and to avoid reporting penalty overtime of 45 units, we change the actual work hours to ten and compensate the individual the following day at straight overtime or even additional straight overtime. Any managers making such adjustments or agreements will be subject to severe disciplinary action. (7/30/01 Memo to District Managers, Allegheny Area)

Step 4 Settlement Agreement - (PCRS) (POST) (DOIS) Will Not Constitute Sole Basis For Discipline

Daily piece counts (PCRS) recorded in accordance with the above-referenced systems (POST or DOIS) will not constitute the sole basis for discipline. However, daily counts recorded in accordance with these procedures may be used by the parties in conjunction with other management records and procedures to support or refute any performance-related discipline. This does not change the principle that, pursuant to Section 242.332 of the M-39, "No carrier shall be disciplined for failure to meet standards, except in cases of unsatisfactory effort which must be based on documented, unacceptable conduct that led to the carrier's failure to meet office standards." Furthermore, the pre-arbitration settlement H1N-IN-D 3181, dated October 22, 1985, provides that "there is no set pace at which a carrier must walk and no street standard for walking."

 

NALC FMLA Forms - Use & Utilization

The office of our NALC National Business Agent, Tim O'Malley, has advised that in some Districts management is requiring the use of Department of Labor Form WH-380 and denying requests made on NALC Forms. This is improper, the law states that any form, paper, note, etc., can be used as long as it contains the proper information. Anyone experiencing problems with the utilization of NALC Forms should contact their Shop Steward or Branch office with the work location and name of the supervisor not accepting NALC forms.

 

George "Jack" Murdock

It is with deep regret that we report the death of Jack Murdock, 72 of Clayton.Jack worked as a letter carrier at the Clayton Post Office for 32 years before retiring in 1973. He was a Branch member in good standing of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

 

Welcome Back All Members

 

House Votes In Favor Of Flag Protection

New Jersey Congressmen who voted in favor of the Flag Protection Amendment:
Robert Andrews Frank LoBiondo Jim Saxton
Christopher Smith Marge Roukema Frank Pallone Jr.
Michael Ferguson William Pascrell Jr. Steve Rothmans
Rodney Frelinghuysen Robert Menendez

Branch United Way Community Services Counselors

Members having personal problems of any sort are reminded that the Branch has on hand trained and certified United Way Service Counselors. Give them a call if you need help: All calls are confidential:
Donna Villec - Norm Spence- Vince Castagna

COLCPE Donations $2,200.00

The Branch COLCPE drive that ended at the June meeting with the attendance of our National Business Agent, Tim O'Malley, amounted to a collection of $2,200.00 from our Branch members, active and retired, who donated individually and in groups. Congratulations to COLCPE Chairman Norm Task, and our erstwhile Branch President, Steve Lipski.

Notice: All Branch Officers & Shop Stewards

Article 7, Section 2 of the Branch Constitution and By-Laws provides that Branch Officers and Shop Stewards shall be compensated from the general funds of the Branch annual compensation as is provided for in the annual Branch budget. Such compensation is payable quarterly, provided that such Branch Officers and Shop Stewards attend at least three (3) monthly or Executive Board meetings( or any combination thereof) quarterly, unless such absence is for good and sufficient reason approved by the Executive Board in meeting assembled. An exception is made for quarter (July, August, September), when attendance at only one meeting is required for compensation. Last quarter, due to an oversight on our part, several people were compensated that should not have been since they did not meet the attendance requirements. This will not happen again. Please attend the meetings, your members elected you and count on you to be well informed to represent them.

OWCP Jurisdiction Change

Branch 908 has gained the support of Congressman Robert Andrews in pushing for a change of jurisdiction to allow the residents of South Jersey to apply for worker's compensation by way of the Department of Labor offices in Philadelphia as opposed to struggling with the New York office of Worker's Compensation Programs to insure that they receive prompt and proper care under the law.

 

Branch Grievance Results

Pre-Arb Settlement
Bellmawr - For violation of the OT memorandum, the carriers in the Bellmawr section will be paid (50) fifty hours OT for failing to work carriers up to 12 hours per day and bringing in non-OTDL employees. This occurred in August, 1997, and there have been no further violations. The local Union will notify the PM which carriers will receive the OT.
Atco - A special route inspection will be conducted per 271g on routes 3 and 6. The inspection must take place between October 1 and November 10, 2001, unless both parties, (in writing) agree to another date. (051698)
Step 1
Paulsboro - Letter of warning dated 3/5/01 is rescinded and is removed from the employee's file. (030501)

(We are really backed up in our grievance reports. Much more will be in Next month's Newsletter)