April 1998 Newsletter

Next Meeting - April 15

Thr regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednsday of the month, except in July and August. The next regular monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, April 15, 8 pm at the Colonial Manor American Legion Post Home, 502 Colonial Ave., N Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - April 8

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

Attendance Prize - $225

Active member R. J. Giorgianni , Gibbstown carrier, would have been the recipient of the $200 attendance prize at the March meeting had he been in attendance. The prize now stands at $225 for the April meeting on April 15th.

Bridgeton Merger Vote:

April 15
At its Branch meetingon February 26, 1998, Bridgeton Branch 538 voted to merge with Branch 908 by an overwhelming vote of 22 to 2. Accordingly, Branch 908 will vote at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 1998, on whether to approve the merger application from Branch 538.

Branch Optical Benefits Increase

Branch Optical Benefits' Chairman Jim Serock has advised that that the Branch Optical Plan benefits have increased to $20 per year as opposed to $25 paid Branch members every 2 years for optical costs such as eye examinations, lenses, glasses, etc. For any further information call Jim at xxx-xxxx.

$167 Cost Of Living Increase In April 3rd Check

The fifth cost of living adjustment under the 1994 National Agreement will be $167. The COLA, effective in the pay period beginning March 14, will have an initial pay date of April 3. This is the fifth of the six COLAs accumulated under the agreement to $1,165 annually. The next COLA increase will occur in the second full pay period following release of the July, 1998 CPI.

Chemically Treated Lawns

Letter carriers are not required to cross chemically treated lawns where a sign has been posted to that effect or during the period the potential hazard remains in effect. (8/7/86 Joint Nat. Labor Mgt. Safety Com.)

NALC Food Drive - May 9

More Bonus Recipients

Due to space limitations in last month's newsletter, we were unable to publish the following economic Value Added Bonuses:
To obtain more information on EVA payments, send a Freedom Of Information Act request to Liz Smith, USPS Payroll Accounting Records, Corporate Accounting, 475 L'Efant Plaza, Wash, DC, 20260-5243

Annual Branch Awards & Retirees' Buffet - April 19

The annual Branch Awards and Retirees' Breakfast Buffet will be held on Sunday, April 19, 1997, 11 am at the Best Western West Deptford Inn, Exit 20, 295 South.The cost of the buffet is $10 pp. Branch members who have retired since the 1997 buffet, up to March 31, 1998, will be honored and will receive two(2) free admissions to the 1998 buffet. Branch members who retired prior to the last Branch Awards adn Retirees' Buffet in April 1997, will receive one (1) free admission each. Those receiving a Branch Award will received two (2) free admissions. Anyone who plans to attend the buffet should complete and returnthe below admission ticket by April 15, 1998, to Bill Revak, PO Box 385, Woodbury, NJ 08096. Retirees to be honored this year includes the following. We may have missed someone, so any other member of the Branch who has retired since the 1997 Breakfast Buffet not mentioned herein, should contact the Branch of their Shop Steward pronto:

Say "No" To Telephone Survey

The Postal Service, through the Gallup Orginization, an independant research contractor, has selected at random some employees to take part in a telephone survey on work topics. The questions on the survey are pre-recorded so that you simply press the buttons on your phone. Even though it is on the clock, and should not take more than five (5) minutes, we are urging our members not to be hoodwinked into participating. Remember the last time you took a survey. It was before contract negotiations, and during the talks, management used your responses to attempt to reduce your salary and benefits.

Carrier Verification Of Mail Count

"Normally, a spot verification of the mail volume is adequate to determine that the mail count is accurate. However, the parties agree that based on the intent of Section 221.131 of the M-39 Handbook, the carrier may upon request, verify the entire mail count." (Step 4 Agreement, 2/11/85, HIN-CT-C36385)

Vehicle Smoking Policy

"If a smoler is in a vehicle alone, then smoking would be permitted since no one else is affected. If, however, the vehicle is carrying more than one person, then there should be no smoking in that vehicle unless everyone is a smoker." (4th Step Agreement, H7N-5T-C 12876)

Route Street Standards

"That a carrier must be judged upon his own personal ability and work performance has been established in numerous regional arbitration cases. It is clear from M-39, Chapter 2 and the aforestated regional arbitration decisions that where an employee meets the standard of the M-39, Section 271g and requests a special route inspection, discipline is inappropriate unless and until such an inspection is conducted." (Arbitrator Levak, case# C05952)

Award: $10 A Day, 6 Days A Week, June 1992 to August, 1996

"The grievance is sustained. Since the grievant's route wasn't properly adjusted to 8 hours until August, 1996, the Employer shall be required to pay the Grievant $10 per day, 6 days a week from June 26, 1992, the day the route was incorrectly adjusted, until August 1, 1996." (Arbitration Award, Oxnard California, May 9, 1997, Case# F90N-4F-C93040583)

Drew Walter Scholarship Drawing - May 20

The Drew Walter Scholarship, funded by Branch 908, to the tune of $2000, $500 per year for 4 years, will be chanced off at the regular Branch meeting on May 20, 1998. The children, grand children, and step children of active and retired members in good standing of Branch 908 are eligible. For applications and further information, contact Vice President Steve Lipski.

FEEA Scholarships

Applications are still available for the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Funds's annual scholarship competition. The competition is open to all federal and postal employees and their family members, and are due by May 8. For a copy of the application, send a self-addressed, stamped business size envelope to FEEA, Suite 200, 8441 W. Bowles Ave., Littleton, Colo., 80123-3245. (Fed. Emp. News Digest, 2/16/98)

The H.B. (Scoop) Slack Memorial Scholarship

Applicant must be a high school senior who is a child of a current or deceased member of a union affiliated with the Burlinton County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, of which this Branch is a member, Application must be postmarked by May 1. For applications an dfurther information call 298-3965.

Italian Heritage Scholarship

For applications and further information call Donna Villec, Branch Trustee, at xxx-xxxx

Branch Grievance Results

Marlton - Letter of warning for deviation and attempts to extend street time rescinded. (021998A)
Marlton - Seven day suspension removed because of procedural defect. (021998B)
Marlton - Letter of warning for telling female carrier where to go to relieve herself removed. (021998C)
Marlton - Grievant paid 3.23 hours at straight-time rate because of more hours worked by a casual carrier. (021998E)
Williamstown - 7-day suspension reduced to a suspension with no loss of pay. (022598)
Magnolia - 4 carriers to be paid 2 hours each at straight-time rate because PM worked carrier craft work to avoid payment of V-time. (030498)
Voorhees - Grievance sustained. In the future requests for information will be addressed to a specific supervisor, not the PM. This should eliminate need for Union to file labor charges. (030598, 030598A)

Non-Member Listing - 2/28/98

George O. Bock Sr.

It is with deep regret and sincere sorrow that we report the death of George O. Bock, Sr. George worked as a carrier and carrier technician (T-6) at the Woodbury Heights office for 36 years until his retirement in 1990. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, a son, George, Jr., and a daughter Susan. Contributions can be made to the First Church Christ Scientist, 522 Salem Ave., Woodbury, or the Lighthouse Hospice, 2 Executive Campus, Suite 105. Route 70 and Cuthbert Rd., Cherry Hill, 08002