A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
For the last two months I have been informing members about a benefits survey that has been surfacing. This survey is being sent to members at their perspective offices and inquires about Postal benefits. This is not an endorsed NALC survey and should not be filled out. We are not sure what the survey company does with the submitted data but we don't need surprise information to surface at negotiations. In addition, members who have filled out the survey have reported that the company contacts them at their work location or visits them at home. So once again, please trash the survey.
The DRT has announced training for all S/S and alternates that have not been previously trained. The class will be held Tuesday, April 25, 2006 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at 501 Benigno Blvd., Bellmawr, NJ. Please let me know at the next Executive Board meeting if you will be attending.
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - April 19

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 8 p.m., at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m., except during the months of July and August.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - April 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 meeting of the Board of Officers and Executive Board will be on Wednesday, April 12, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $100

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, March 22, Walt Grossmick, a member working out of the Branch out of the Paulsboro office, would have been the recipient of the $75 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $100 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

Welcome New Member

Anthony Scardino (Stratford)

Smoking Banned At Union Hall

The Branch has been informed by the American Legion Post (where our Branch meetings are held) that as of April 15, 2006 smoking will no longer be permitted inside the building in order to comply with New Jersey's new law.

Last Call For Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast Buffet - Sunday, April 23

The Branch Annual Retirees and Awards Breakfast Buffet will be held on Sunday, April 23rd, commencing at 11 a.m., at the Best Western West Deptford Inn, 101 Grove Road, Thorofare, just off of exit 20 of I-295. The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Breakfast will be honored and presented with tokens of appreciation. If you have retired since the last Breakfast or you will retire before April 23 and your name is not on this list, contact the Branch Recording Secretary, Norm Spence at webmaster@nalcbranch908.com:

R. A. DiClaudio (Paulsboro)  F. E. Mendel (Runnemede)
S. W. Hatcher (Salem) J. Strong (Marlton)
J. F. Jengehino (Bridgeton) B. W. Watson (Marlton)
B. Kowalski (Woodbury) C. M. Wylie (Lawnside)
G. Mackey (Stratford) W. J. Young (Maple Shade)
P. F. McLaughlin (Westville) J. A. Lodge (Glendora)
J. E. Bates Jr. (Swedesboro) M. A. Richards (Gloucester)

T. A. Allen (Westville)

L. C. Flores (Marlton)

Those being honored, their spouses and current Branch retirees will not be charged for their attendance. All other Branch members, family, friends and acquaintances may attend at a cost of $10 pp, $5 for children under the age of 10. For reservations, complete the following and submit it with payment for those attending at cost. Honorees, retirees, members and others planning to attend must complete and submit the following reservation form ASAP:

                          Please Print
Check one: Honoree (  ) Branch Retiree (  ) others (  )
Attending with honoree free of charge: spouse (  ) other (  )
Number attending with you at cost: Adults_____ Children_____
Total attendees including yourself:________
Amount of remittance enclosed: Adults ______Children______

Send to PO Box 45, Pennsville, 08070 by April 10

Branch Awards

The following members of the Branch will be presented with Branch Awards at the annual Retirees' and Branch Awards Breakfast Buffet that will be held on Sunday, April 23:
Joe Walder: For his many years of unselfish donation of time and effort as a Branch Officer and Shop Steward in behalf of the NALC and its members.
Pamela Goslin: For her valor on duty when she rescued a local woman by lifting an 800-pound Harley Davidson motorcycle off of her.

Door Prizes Needed

Anyone wishing to donate door prizes for the Branch Retiree & Awards Breakfast Buffet, please contact Branch Recording Secretary Norm Spence at webmaster@nalcbranch908.com. Bottles of wine or other alcohol or craft items are examples of the type of door prizes needed.

In Memoriam

It is with deep sadness that we must report the passing of Branch Retiree James Chew, a retiree out of the Sewell office. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

March of Dimes WalkAmerica - Sunday April 30

Join Donna Villec and other Branch members in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica on Sunday, April 30, 2006. Contact Donna at Donna@nalcbranch908.comfor further details, to volunteer for the march, or make a contribution to the March of Dimes. When you participate in WalkAmerica, you're helping the March of Dimes fight a national crisis--premature birth. Today, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely. Many die; others face lifelong disability. The money you raise in Walk America supports March of Dimes research and programs to find answers to what causes premature birth and what can be done to prevent it. Until we have more answers, anyone's baby could be next.

Thanks Branch 908!

Thank you so much for your generous gift and thoughtfulness during my recovery of my shoulder operation. It was much appreciated. - Dan Benevento & Family
Thank you for your generous gift in tribute to Mrs. Dolores Coller. - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Thank you for your generous gift in memory of Donna Rose Evison. - Samaritan Hospice

State Senator Allen Reintroduces Bill S1207

State Senator Diane Allen has once again introduced a bill (S1207) that would exclude TSP contributions from paying NJ state tax. Currently New Jersey is the only state in the nation that taxes the Federal Thrift Savings Plan. Even private sector employees are exempt from taxation of their 401(k) funds (which is the civilian equivalent to the TSP). Why are federal employees of New Jersey subject to this taxation of their hard earned retirement funds when other federal and private sector employees are not? This bill has been introduced each year since 2002 and we are still fighting to try to get it passed. Senator Allen has been a terrific supporter in this endeavor, as has Congressman Robert Andrews, if they are your representatives, let them know that you appreciate the support. If you live in another district, contact your local representative and urge him/her to support this bill. Hopefully soon the federal employees of New Jersey will have the same benefits as everyone else.

Convention Resolutions

Now is the time to submit resolutions for consideration of the delegates at the National Convention in Las Vegas this summer. If there is something pertaining to the Contract, the National Constitution and By-laws, etc., that you would like to see addressed, you can submit a resolution through the general membership at a Branch meeting. Each resolution so submitted must be in duplicate on a separate piece of paper and signed by the person submitting same. If possible, the resolution should identify the Article and Section of the Contract, Constitution and By-laws that it pertains to. Once it is brought up on the floor and approved by the general Branch membership, it will be forwarded to the NALC Executive Council for their consideration, appropriate action, and report to the National Convention. All such resolutions must be submitted to the National by June 15, 2006.

NALC NJ State Association 12th Biennial Seminar

The New Jersey State Association, NALC, has served notice that its 12th Biennial Seminar will be held at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, June 11 through June 13, 2006. Various workshops will be available for all delegates and will cover such topics as Legislation, Contract Issues, Health Benefits, Worker's Compensation, Law, and Retirement. National Officers will be present to answer questions during the general session on Monday, June 12th. Workshops are held after the general session on Monday and on Tuesday, half a day.

Membership Dues While In A No Pay Status

According to the Branch By-Laws, Article 8, Section 4; a Branch members in a leave without pay (LWOP) status who are receiving no type of pay or compensation shall be excused from the payment of monthly dues. Those on LWOP receiving any type of compensation, COP, OWCP, Administrative Leave, etc. shall be required to pay their dues directly to the Branch. If you have any questions about your dues, contact Branch Financial Secretary Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com.

Wishing You A Happy & Joyous Easter

Branch Benefits

Sick & Welfare:
Active members suffering periods of illness or disability shall be entitled to sick & welfare benefits. Contact: Trustee Jim Comuso at Comuso@nalcbranch908.com.

Death Benefits:
The beneficiary of record of a deceased active or retired Branch member shall be entitled to death benefits. Contact: Trustee Mike DiGiacomo at MDiGiacomo@nalcbranch908.com.

Expressions Of Sympathy:
In the event of the death of a spouse, children, or the parents of an active Branch member, or the death of an active or retired member in good standing, an appropriate spray of flowers or equivalent donation shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary. Contact: Trustee Jim Comuso at Comuso@nalcbranch908.com.

Branch Representation At Funerals:
Representation of the Branch at the funeral services of a deceased active of retired member shall be the responsibility of the Shop Steward at the office involved, the Director of Retirees, or the Sick and Welfare Chairperson or their designee. Contact: Shop Steward, Director of Retirees, Sick & Welfare representative.

Optical Benefits:
The Branch has established optical benefits for the benefit of active and retired members and/or their families. Contact: Health Benefits Officer Fred Mendel at HBOfficer@nalcbranch908.com.

Branch Scholarship:
The Branch has established a Scholarship Fund of $2,000, $500 per year for 4 years, for the children, grandchildren, step-children (living with member), and/or the adopted children of active or retired members. Contact: Trustee Steve Rutkowski at Rutkowski@nalcbranch908.com.

Retirement Recognition:
The Branch shall honor its retirees at an annual Retirees' Brunch, and presents them with an appropriate gift in recognition of their retirement from the Postal Service. Contact: Recording Secretary Norm Spence at webmaster@nalcbranch908.com.

Children's Christmas Party:
Children's annual Christmas party. Toys, refreshments for children and parents of active and retired members in good standing. Picture with Santa, clowns, balloons, face-painting, etc. Contact: Trustee at Donna@nalcbranch908.com.

Union Activity Discipline:
The Branch shall pay $400 per week for discipline of up to (4) weeks, thirty (30) days, of any Branch Officer or Shop Steward disciplined for his/her Union activities.

Hall Rentals:
The American Legion Hall where the Branch regularly meets is available to the membership for rent at a reduced rate for small weddings, birthday parties, graduations, showers, anniversaries, etc. Contact Branch retiree Bill Revak at Revak@nalcbranch908.com.

Legal Assistance:
Branch membership provides for free consultation and legal representation at reduced rates. Call Hal Crass, Branch Attorney, at 856-845-7900

NALC Lapel Pin Program: If you believe that you have met the requirements for an NALC Lapel Pin or Life Membership Card, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years of continuous NALC membership. Contact Branch Financial Secretary Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com, to file for an appropriate lapel pin or Life Membership Card.

South Jersey District Now At 12 MSP Scan Points

It seems that our District Manager has this picture in her head that all of the Letter Carriers in South Jersey fail to meet office standards and then run their routes every day and goof off for the last two hours of the day. So, in an effort to stop all of these carriers who are obviously stealing all of this time from the Postal Service, we will now have 12 MSP scan points, with a rumored 8 more coming after the summer. You just know that the discipline for missing scans and taking too much time between scans will be the next step. Our best advice to our carriers, as always, is to do a professional job every day. Give an honest 8 hours work for 8 hours pay. No more skipping breaks or cutting your lunch short just to get back in 8. Do your route as you are supposed to and just scan their barcodes when you come to them.