A Note From the President

First of all I would like to thank everyone for the cards, flowers, and well wishes that my family and I received on the passing of my mother. It was a very difficult time and your thoughts and prayers helped greatly.
Secondly, the Branch has been receiving numerous complaints on the handling of FMLA and sick leave requests by supervisors manning Sick Leave Central. I have exhausted all the proper channels in an attempt to rectify this problem. All have fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, at the next Branch Executive Board meeting we will discuss the possibility of filing federal charges against the responsible parties for violations of the Privacy Act and related provisions. Your Steward will keep you posted on any actions that the Branch takes.
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - April 16

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, April 16, 8 PM, at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month except in July and August.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - April 9

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 Wednesday, April 9, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $250

Had he been there, Tim Flood, a member of the Branch working out of the Marlton office, would have won the $225 attendance prize drawn at the regular monthly meeting held on Wednesday, March 19. The attendance prize now stands at $250, and will remain at that level until a member in attendance at a regular monthly meeting has their name drawn.

Leave Buy - Back

An employee may use sick or annual leave after the COP period expires, or during a period of disability due to an occupational injury. In such cases, the employee may be entitled to buy back the leave with compensation payments. The buy-back must be initiated within 1 year of the return to duty, or within 1 year of the date OWCP approved the claim, whichever is later. (545.84 ELM)

Sombrotto Stays as AFL-CIO Veep

At the request of NALC President Bill Young, NALC President Emeritus Vince Sombrotto has agreed to stay on as an AFL-CIO Vice President and member of the Federation's Executive Council until the conclusion of his current AFL-CIO term.

Food Drive Wing Bowl Party - Saturday, May 10

The Branch is sponsoring a Food Drive Wing Bowl party for Saturday, May 10, 5 to 9 pm, for all members in good standing, their families and friends, who participate in the NALC Annual Food Drive. Wings, beer, soda and snacks will be provided by the Branch.

Branch Decides To Suspend Dues of Members Called To Active Duty

In accordance with a decision by the NALC to wave the national per capita tax for members whose Branch requests such a suspension, the Branch decided as its last regular monthly meeting to request such a suspension for its members called to active duty. Such suspension will also suspend the dues to the State association and the Branch. In order to implement the suspension, the Branch must send a letter to NALC Secretary Treasurer Broendel identifying the member, and requesting the suspension of National per capita tax. Accordingly, members called to active duty must notify the Branch and document their call to active duty.

God Speed - Branch Members Called To Active Duty

Larry Trimmer - Pitman
Ralph Hagner - Marlton

Employees' Rights During and After Military Service

The NALC Contract Administration Unit has prepared a publication reviewing employees' rights during and after military service. The publication is not exhaustive. It may be necessary to consult the actual Postal Service regulations if additional information or clarification is required. However, there is no dispute with the Postal Service concerning any of the information contained therein. Copies of the publication, USERRA Rights, M-01455, December 2001, can be found at the CAU section of the NALC Web site at www.nalc.org, or by contacting the Branch Recording Secretary.

Riverton Charges

Charges filed against the Branch Shop Steward at the Riverton office by a Branch member alleging dereliction of duty, failure to represent, failure to obey an order, and making false statements were read at the March meeting of the Branch subsequent to which the Branch President appointed a committee of three disinterested members to summon the parties, hear and take down the testimony and documentary evidence presented. The committee appointed was Mike McKiernan of the Deptford office, Mary Hackett and Barbara Ricci of the Marlton Office. The committee will report its findings in writing at the April regular monthly meeting, after which the charged party will be given an opportunity to respond. The Branch will then decide by a simple majority vote whether or not the facts as found by the committee support the charges. If so, the Branch shall then entertain a motion to fix the penalty, if any be required. The Branch will then determine whether the penalty is removal from office, a suspension, fine or reprimand.

Workers Memorial Day - April 28

The NALC is urging all members to join in the observation of Workers Memorial Day on April 28, the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The observation is a good time for members to focus on safety and health concerns in their own postal stations and make sure postal management lives up to its safety and health obligations as letter carriers carry out their daily duties.

Dolan Appointed Nalcrest Trustee

Our former National Business Agent Jim Dolan has been appointed a new Trustee for the Union's retirement community in Florida.

Bush Budget Proposal

Under the fiscal year 2004 Bush budget proposal, seniors would be required to give up their family physician to qualify for a Medicare prescription drug plan, and still would not be guaranteed a comprehensive and affordable drug benefit.

Dental Plan Information Needed

In order to get the Branch dental plan implemented, we need the date of birth and gender of all the active members of the Branch. We need the information by the end of April. Jot the information down on a piece of paper and give it to your Shop Steward, mail it to Fred Mendel at 5 Payne Ave., Runnemede, 08078, or email it to him at FFTJM@aol.com

Welcome New Members

Sherine V Stephens - Salem
Dan Crabtree - Clayton

Flag Protection Amendment

The US Senate version of the flag-protection amendment, SJ Res.4, has been introduced in the 108th Congress, as has the House of Representatives version (HJ Res.4). Below is a list of New Jersey senators and representatives who have signed on as cosponsors:
Steven Rothman (D-9)           Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11)
Thank those who support the measure and encourage all others to lend their support to it by becoming official cosponsors of the Hatch-Feinstein Flag Protection Amendment and the Cunningham-Murtha Flag Protection Amendment.

Branch Treasurers Report For February 2003

Income: Branch dues $6018.59
Direct Dues Retirees: $12.00    
Total $6030.59
Expenses: Printing Branch Newsletter $90.10
Postage $225.60
Phone $46.46
Office Supplies $229.06
Hall Rental $330.00
Refreshment Fund $500.00
Subscriptions $20.00
Sick & Welfare Fund $500.00
Congressional Breakfast $1544.00
Regional Rap Session $4010.00
Per Capita Tax $114.00
Officer Salaries $2147.33
Total: $9756.55

Non-Member List As Of 1/21/03

Schappert - Gibbstown Smith - Glassboro
Brown - Haddon Hts Guerra - Haddon Hts
Earling - Voorhees Griffith - Maple Shade
Kuttruf - Maple Shade Dela Garza - Marlton
Apartin - Marlton Kilgore - Marlton
Donacheva - National Park Mangino - Paulsboro
Samuels - Pennsville McAllister - Pennsville
Briles - Riverton Rossell - Riverton
Butler-Gaines - Stratford Sampson - Voorhees

Step B Grievance Resolve - Glendora

The Dispute Resolution Team resolved the issue at Glendora as to whether local management violated Article 10 of the National Agreement by not granting administrative leave to the grievant for Monday, February 17, by agreeing that the carrier involved is entitled to two (2) hours Administrative Leave based on the memo of understanding dated March 21, 2003.

PTFs Loaned From One Office to Another

PTF employees who agree may be temporarily detailed or "loaned" from one Post Office (installation) to another.
If a PTF does not agree to be temporarily detailed or loaned to another office, management may involuntarily detail or loan the employee in accordance with Article 12.5.B.5 of the 2001-2006 National Agreement.
PTF employees may not be temporarily detailed or loaned from one post office to another if the sole reason for the detail or loan is to avoid overtime. (M-01470)

Lunch Locations

Lunch locations for both the incumbent and carrier technician on a city delivery route continue to be determined in compliance with Section 126.5.b. (2) of the M-39. PS Form 1564A "Delivery Instructions" lists the place and times that city letter carriers are authorized to leave the route for lunch. However, the parties recognize that, consistent with local instructions and operational conditions, city letter carriers may be authorized to leave at a different time and/or place. Notwithstanding this, the parties agree that city letter carriers will scan MSP scan points as they reach them during the course of their assigned duties.

Performance Standards

Management Service Points (MSP) initiative is a national program intended to facilitate management's ability to assess and monitor city delivery route structure and consistency; it does not set performance standards, either in the office or on the street, and may not constitute the sole basis for disciplinary action. However, it may be used by the parties in conjunction with other records to support or refute disciplinary action issued pursuant to Article 16 of the National Agreement.
(Q98N-4Q-C 010145840)

AFL-CIO Announcements

School Board Elections

School Board elections are fast approaching on April 15. These elections are important to working families and their communities because the Boards have the opportunities to initiate Project Labor Agreements and would benefit us all. As of now, we have two labor candidates running for election:

Mark Gain (IUOE 825) Magnolia
George Kuhn (HPAE 5118) Brooklawn

Please notify John Vito as soon as possible if you or someone that you know is running for a Board of Education Position.

The 4th Legislative District

Colonel Fred Madden is the Democrat's choice for State Senator in the 4th legislative District. Colonel Madden has a long and celebrated career in the New Jersey State Police and will bring a fresh perspective to the table in the upcoming election. The 4th District will be one of the most sought after in the State. It could be the race to break the Senate tie. Labor will have a huge impact on its outcome.

Labor Day on the USS New Jersey
Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Breakfast, August 29, 2003

The Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO invites you to join them on the USS New Jersey to celebrate the 109th Peter J. McGuire Labor Day Observation. For the first time in seventeen years they are moving the event to the fantail of the Battleship New Jersey. Mark your calendars and don't miss the biggest Labor Day celebration in the State.

AFL-CIO Joins Nationwide Campaign To Cover The Uninsured

The AFL-CIO and its affiliate Unions are working closely with employers to try and reign in out-of-control health care costs; at the same time, they are working with federal and state governments to find ways to reduce the skyrocketing costs of health insurance and prescription drugs. For more information visit www.coveringtheuninsured.org.

No Sign Off Requirement

There is no requirement that carriers sign off when a local policy was issued and that they were present and understand the information was read to them. (H9ON-4H-C 95018608)

Easter Greetings To All