A Note From The Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
There seems to be a nasty rumor floating around the district that the collective bargaining agreement between the NALC and the USPS is no longer enforceable. That any narcissistic entity can keep any contractual provisions they like and simply discard the rest. Now if this were the case, I could simply walk into my Postmasters office and demand contractual concessions. Being a good sport he would readily comply. However, knowing the type of guy my Postmaster is, I think he would use a colorful expression meaning copulation between a man and a woman followed by the noun "yourself." And you know what, he would be right! This contract was signed in good faith by both parties and is totally enforceable. Any unilateral changes to the contract will be immediately grieved with escalating penalties for repeat violations. Nothing and I mean nothing is going to be forced down this branch's throat. Brothers and Sisters this is the most blatant unprovoked attack on contractual rights in the past 30 years. The time for talking has ended the time for action is here.
-Steve Lipski

Next Meeting – February 18

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, February 18, 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.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday – February 11

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, February 11, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $50

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, January 21, Thomas Danaher, a carrier out of the Gloucester office, would have been the recipient of the $25 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $50 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

From The VP’s Case

"THE WIZARD OF DOIS" has ascended upon the South Jersey district! I am referring to the new district manager or what the "peeps" call the DM!
I don't know where they get these guys, but there should be an investigation into this new DM!
This guy can't be for real with his absolutely ridiculous ideas on how to run a district.
First and foremost I believe he is stuck in a time warp from the early 80's with his dictatorial approach to managing! He is telling all his people that it is his way or the highway!
He brings with him absolutely no regard to the contract or any of the rules it contains. He states he managed this way at his other areas, where no one has ever heard of him, without any grievances filed. If you believe that, then I have some brand new swampland to sell you up north!
He states he can force non-OTDL employees to work regardless of maximizing his OTDL because of making a 5:00 pm "window." Oh really? I guess he hasn't read all of the previous arbitration decisions that refute this! Get ready for a barrage of grievances from this local Mr. DOIS!
I guess you are wondering why I am referring to him as "The Wizard of DOIS?"
I knew sooner or later we would be having someone try to legitimize DOIS, but this clown takes the cake.
He has some crazy idea that all carriers can be held to their DOIS variance. What is this you ask? The variance is the time DOIS says you should return from the street and how much you are off of that time. So if DOIS says you should be back at 4:14 and you return at 4:20, you missed your variance by 6 minutes. This is not acceptable to the "WIZ" and you need to be disciplined for being late, which he is instructing his managers to do.
This is no more than blatant intimidation and this branch will not tolerate this behavior from anyone.
As of this writing I am being told many stewards are not getting time to process grievances. If this practice continues there is going to be a hefty price management will soon be paying to this union for this blatant violation of our agreement!
I cannot understand the philosophy of the postal service. On one hand they want us to help them save money, and then they send this DM in that is going to cost them a ton of money!
Hey WIZ, how many hours do you think you will be paying our stewards to process all of your grievances?
Put that in your "variance" and smoke it!!
Stay tuned and stay strong, we will out last this enemy!
-Gary DiGiacomo, Vice – President

2nd Annual Branch Banquet – April 11

The 2nd Annual Branch 908 Banquet will be held on April 11, 2009 from 7:00 – 11:00 pm at Nicolosi’s Catering, 1 Hessian Ave. Woodbury, NJ. This is the one night a year that we gather away from the Union Hall and take a few moments to honor those letter carriers who have retired in the past year as well as those who have been selected to receive Branch awards. For those of you who missed it last year, we keep the business part of the evening very brief and the remainder of the night is spent eating, drinking, dancing and socializing with good friends. For those of you unfamiliar with Nicolosi’s Catering, you won’t be disappointed. It is a beautiful facility with excellent food; just ask anyone who was there last year.
The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Banquet will be honored and presented with tokens of our appreciation. If you have retired since the last Banquet or you will retire before April 11 and your name is not on this list, contact the Branch Recording Secretary, Norm Spence at webmaster@nalcbranch908.com.
Michael Babli (Atco) Steve Chojnacki (Riverton)
Anthony DeMarco (Atco) William Gurecki (Woodbury)
Jack Kennedy Jr (Voorhees) Joe Ouelette (Gloucester)
Ed Schopf (Paulsboro) Michael Webb (Maple Shade)
Duane Wilson (Haddon Hts.)
Those being honored will receive one free ticket to the Banquet. All other Branch members, family, friends and acquaintances are encouraged to attend at a cost of $20 pp. Current Branch retirees will receive one ticket for half price ($10).
Tickets may be picked up from Branch Recording Secretary Norm Spence at any Branch meeting, or by mailing the form below with checks made out to NALC Branch 908, to PO Box 45, Pennsville, NJ 08070.

(please print)

Check One:      Honoree (   )     Retiree (   )     Other (   )

Total Number Attending: _________

Honorees – Free          Retirees - $10          All Others - $20

Amount of remittance enclosed: _________

Send to PO Box 45, Pennsville, 08070 by April 4

Proposed By-Law Change

The following proposed By-Law change was read without discussion at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on January 21. At the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on February 18, the proposed change will be opened for discussion and brought to a vote.
Article 5: Elections
Section 14: Currently Reads:

Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at a National Convention shall not exceed three (3) percent of the Branch membership. Where more than three (3) percent of the Branch membership are nominated for National Convention Delegate, all the names of those nominated shall be placed on the secret mail ballot for the election of Brach Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates. The number, not to exceed three (3) percent of the Branch membership, receiving the highest number of votes shall be compensated for their attendance at the National Convention.
Proposed Change:
Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at a National Convention shall not exceed two and a half (2.5) percent of the Branch membership. Where more than two and a half (2.5) percent of the Branch membership are nominated for National Convention Delegate, all the names of those nominated shall be placed on the secret mail ballot for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates. The number, not to exceed two and a half (2.5) percent of the Branch membership, receiving the highest number of votes shall be compensated for their attendance at the National Convention.
Submitted by: James Comuso, Chief Trustee
Co-sponsored by: Gary DiGiacomo, Vice President
Thomas Barnett, Treasurer

Thanks Branch 908

Fellow members: The Mrs. and I and my entire family offer sincere thanks for your generosity. The plant is beautiful. It truly eased our sorrow. – Phil Juhring
To the 908 Union, staff and membership: Your kindness in our time of sorrow was deeply appreciated. – The Peterson Family

Branch 908 COLCPE All Stars

Listed below are the Branch members who have donated to COLCPE in the last year. These members deserve to be recognized for the contributions they have made during the past year.
Tom Barnett  Bob Behm
Mike Boston Jeff Breyer
Rose Burke Tom Carey
Jim Comuso Don Connelly
John Czop Gary DiGiacomo
Steve Elias Joe Foreman
Bill Gore George Greenwood
Dave Jacobson John Kennedy
Dale Lebold  Steve Lipski
Jim Livingston Frank Potts
Steve Rutkowski Jim Serock
Norm Spence Gary Stevens
Norm Task Tom Walsh
W. Ireland Paul Poniatowski
Jim Rusin Mark Smith
These 30 Branch members represent just 4.1% of our Branch membership. Imagine what could be done if we all did our part and contributed. If your name is not listed above….why not? Now, more than ever we need Congress on our side, with the passing of just one law, the career you thought you had, could be gone. Sign up for automatic payroll deduction for a couple of dollars a pay, you will never miss it.

From The Health Benefits Officer

Below are some useful phone numbers for the members of the NALC Health Plan.
Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in all time zones
PPO Locator Service 1-877-220-6252
Pre-certification 1-877-220-6252
Dental Program CIGNAPlus Savings SM 1-877-521-0244
CIGNA LIFESOURCE Transplant Program 1-800-220-6252

Dates To Remember

February 22 – 24 - Region 12 Rap Session 
March 4 – 5 - Congressional Breakfast
April 11 - Branch Banquet
April 25 – 26 - National Rap Session
May 31 – June 2 - NJ State Convention

What To Do In Case Of A Retired Carrier’s Death

  1. Notify Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Retirement Programs, Employee Service and Records Center, Boyers, PA 16017. In your letter include: full name of deceased; exact date of birth; exact date of death; CSA claim number, address, relationship and signature of person entitled to survivor benefits.
  2. For quicker action, notify NALC’s Director of Retired Members, 100 Indiana Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001-2144, or call toll-free 800-424-5186 Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday, 10am – noon and 2 - 4pm (Eastern time). NALC will alert OPM so that survivor benefits will commence as quickly as possible, and will send you forms SF 2800 – Application for death benefit, survivor annuity and FE 6 – Claim for benefits, Federal Employees Group Life Insurance. Remember that survivor annuities are not paid automatically. You must apply to OPM to receive benefits.
  3. Return any uncashed checks to the address on the accompanying Treasury Department envelope. If payments are made directly to a financial institution, notify it of the retiree’s date of death and request any future checks be returned to the Treasury Department.
  4. Contact the following for accounts or benefits:
    1. The local NALC union office
    2. If veteran, the Veterans’ Administration local office and the commanding officer of local military installation
    3. Local bank or other financial institution
    4. Social Security Administration local office
    5. Insurance companies for policies on life (if NALC Mutual Benefit Association, write 100 Indiana Ave., NW, Room 510, Washington, DC 20001-2144 or call 202-638-4318); hospitalization (if NALC Health Benefit Plan, write 20547 Waverly Ct, Ashburn, VA 22093 or call 703-729-4677); house; and automobile
    6. Internal Revenue Service local office
  5. Change name on all important papers to survivor’s name.
  6. Have mortuary officials obtain enough certified death certificates for your needs. They can advise how many.
  7. Gather miscellaneous necessary papers such as birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, death certificates of deceased children or spouses or other documents establishing identity of relationship of survivor.

Note: If spouse of retired carrier dies,
Call NALC retirement office to obtain the forms to: restore annuity to full amount; switch health coverage from family to self (unless dependent children); change beneficiary of government life insurance.