Branch 908 April 2000 Newsletter

A Note From The President

Just a note to let you know the state of the Branch over the last three months. There were approximately 107 grievances filed in the Branch over this period. From this number, 32 of these grievances were mutually settled at Step 1 of the grievance procedure, while 4 were settled at EEO hearings and 10 grievances were adjudicated at Step 3. That leaves 61 still pending at Step 3, pre-arbitration, regular arbitration, or Step 4. I can truthfully say that I have given management every opportunity to settle many of these grievances before they were formally filed. I guess it's obvious they didn't agree with me. On a separate subject, we are close to retaining the services of a noted lawyer from Central Jersey. Hopefully, I'll have good news about this in our next newsletter.
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - April 19

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, April 19, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meetings - April 12

The Branch Officers and the Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7:30pm. and the Executive Board at 8pm. The next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, April 12, at 7:30 and 8pm, respectively.

Attendance Prize Still At $250

Had he been there, C Wylie, a member of the Branch working out of Lawnside, would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize. The attendance prize now stands at $250 and will remain at that figure until someone in attendance at a regular monthly Branch meeting wins it; Branch Officers and Shop Stewards not included.

Accord Reached On Pay Upgrade, Local Implementation & DPS Issues

Agreement was reached by the parties on March 21 resolving issues flowing from the Fleischli Arbitration Award issues last September regarding the upgrade of carriers from grade 5 to 6, the implementation of local negotiations, and DPS issues. The result is that three memos of understanding were issued outlining the manner in which carriers would arrive at the higher pay level without losing any in-step waiting time. The memos also provide for the renewal of Article 35, Section 2, regarding the employee assistance program, leave sharing and sick leave for dependant care, a 30-day local implementation period for the negotiation of local contracts, and allows management to convert to the vertical flat casing DPS work method on those DPS routes that have vertical flat cases and are currently using the composite bundle method. For further details on the 3 memos, see your bulletin board and/or read your "Postal Record". You can also read them on our web page at

8th Annual NALC Food Drive
Saturday, May 13 - Retirees Help Would Be Appreciated

The 8th Annual NALC Food Drive is scheduled for Saturday, May 13 in partnership with the AFL-CIO, the US Postal Service and the United Way. Letter carriers will pick up non-perishable food items left next to residential mailboxes. Assistance is needed at all the Post Office hubs to sort and load the food onto trailers for transportation to food banks. Retirees, if you can help, contact Chairman Steve Rutkowski

Workers Memorial Day - April 28

The Annual National Workers Memorial Day observances for 2000 will be held on Friday, April 28 in Atlantic City and Philadelphia. All interested in attending the Atlantic-Cape May Counties Central Labor Council's observances should meet at the Atlantic City Convention Hall lobby at 4 pm for a march to the Workers Memorial site. The Philadelphia observance will be held at the Sheetmetal Workers Hall in Philadelphia. More details will be announced as they become available.

Branch Constitution, By-Laws Committee Appointed

Norm Spence - Penns Grove, Bill Baitinger - Retiree, Ed Friel - retiree

The Branch Constitution and By-Laws provide that any amendments to the Branch Constitution and By-Laws must be submitted through the Branch Constitution and By-Laws Committee for their review for the purpose of conformity of language and lack of ambiguity only, and subsequent discussion and vote by the Brach membership at the regular monthly meeting in February and/or June

Membership Lapel Pins Awarded

50-Year - Life Membership
Marion Howell, John S Dondero, William E Weber, Leonard Kienzle, Sam Rosenberg
Frank Potts
James B Webb, Charles A Dermond, Bob Rumaker, Kenneth Lipincott
Larry Kline, Edward F White, Dom Corsoe, J McClain, Paul Sheets
Carlo Marta, Bill Baitinger, Harry Heard, Bob Stoltz
J Earnest, Doug Flood, Richard Bacon, J McMahon
If you feel that because of your years of NALC membership you are eligible for a 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60 or 70-year lapel pin, contact John Vito for an application.

Non-Member Listing

W A Eager Jr - Atco
E E Cooper - Blackwood
C Hryniw - Blackwood
G E Peters - Clayton
B K DeCesara - Gibbstown
H C Schappert - Gibbstown
J Moritz - Glassboro
D R Sanders - Glassboro
S E Smith - Glassboro
K Mitchell - Gloucester
R F Foltz II - Haddon Hts
J G Guerra - Haddon Hts
D G Earling - Voorhees
R J Logan - Voorhees
K R Lawson - Lawnside
B J Chant - Mantua
A D Kuttruf - Maple Shade
P P Dela Garza - Marlton
V Apartin - Marlton
J A Kilgore Jr - Marlton
F Donacheva - National Park
B J Samuels - Pennsville
K F Kimble - Pennsville
W T McCallister - Pennsville
R M Briles - Riverton
A W Rossell - Riverton
C R Nottle - Riverton
W A Breitinstein - Runnemede
J S DiStephano - Somerdale
E J Peace - Stratford
T P Butler-Gaines - Stratford
J H Waterfield - Stratford
C T Patel - Westville

Local Negotiations - October 2, 2000

According to agreements reached by the parties on March 21 on three memos to resolve outstanding issues flowing from the hallmark Fleischli Arbitration Award last September, local negotiations for memos of understanding at the local level will commence for a 30-day period on October 2, 2000. Local implementation is a 30-day period during which the parties at the local level may negotiate on 22 specific items enumerated in Article 30, Section B of the National Agreement.

Posting Of 204b Assignments

The duty assignment of a full-time carrier detailed to a supervisory position, including a supervisory training program, in excess of four months shall be declared vacant and shall be posted for bid in accordance with Article 41, Section 1.A.2 of the National Agreement. A letter carrier temporarily detailed to a supervisory position will not be returned to the craft solely to circumvent the provisions of Section 1.A.2.
Form 1723, Notice of Assignment, shall be used in detailing letter carriers to temporary supervisor positions (204b). The employer will provide the Union at the local level with a copy of form(s) 1723 showing the beginning and ending dates of all such details.

Take The Challenge, Join The Walk That Saves Babies
Sunday, April 30

The Branch needs members to contribute and/or join the more than 30,000 other people from throughout the Garden State who will be walking on Sunday , April 30 in the March Of Dimes WalkAmerica walkathon to save babies. For more information on how you can contribute and/or participate in the march, contact Donna Villec

Branch Fishing Trip - August 20

The annual Branch fishing trip will be held this year on Sunday, August 20. Contact Bill Baitinger for further details.

Branch Picnic - September 10

The annual Branch Picnic will be held this year on Sunday, September 10, at Clementon Lake Park. Contact Bill Baitinger for further details.

Branch Scholarship Drawing
May 17

The Branch provides for an annual chance-of-the-draw scholarship award of $2000, $500 per year for 4 years attendance at an accredited college or vocational school for the children, grand-children, or step-children (living with member) and/or the adopted children of active or retired members of the Branch. The drawing takes place at the regular monthly meeting on May 17. For applications, contact Joe Walder.

H B (Scoop) Slack Memorial Scholarship
Applications Due by May 10

The Burlington County Central Labor Union this year, as in the past, will be awarding two scholarships in the amount of $750 each to a student attending a college, university, or an approved trade or technical school. The children of the Branch membership are eligible for these scholarships. For applications, which are due by May 10, 2000, contact Donna Villec

Social Security Refunds Possible

Thousands of working senior citizens will get checks from the government averaging $3,500 after a bill lifting the Social Security earnings limit was signed. The bill repealed the Depression-era law that reduced Social Security benefits by $1 for every $3 a beneficiary between the ages of 65 and 69 earned in wages over $17,000. Because the repeal is retroactive to January 1, about 415,000 working seniors or dependents will get refunds for the money deducted this year from their Social Security checks, an average of $3,500 per person.

Property Tax Deduction For Vets

According to a bill recently signed by the Governor of New Jersey, veterans will enjoy an increasing property tax break until it reaches $250 annually. Under the bill, the current $50 deduction increases to $100 this year, $150 in 2001, $200 in 2002, and $250 in 2003. To be eligible for the break, veterans must have been honorably discharged from active service after having served during wartime or another emergency.

Flag Protection Amendment Loses Again

The Flag Protection Amendment was again lost in the United States Senate. Reportedly, both New Jersey Senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Torricelli, voted against the amendment, and it has been reported tha Al Gore is the only one of the seven presidential hopefuls who opposed the Flag Protection Amendment.

Your OSHA Rights

OSHA. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, protects workers rights to a safe and healthful workplace. The law requires employers to provide a workplace that is free of recognized hazards. OSHA develops and enforces job safety and health standards and regulations that employers must comply with. You contact the OSHA office nearest you by calling 1-800-321-OSHA(6742).

Grievance Discussions By Phone

Where local parties are in mutual agreement, grievance discussions may take place via telephone. (1/12/99 Step 4 agreement, Case No. E94N-4E-C 99001405, Spokane, WA)

Attention All Members

Items for publication in the Branch Newsletter must be submitted to the editor at PO Box 385, Woodbury, NJ 08096, by the 1st of the month.