Branch 908 January 2001 Newsletter

A Note From The Branch President

Over the past two years we have attempted to put legislative pressure on the Federal Office of Workers' Compensation Programs to change the reporting venue for South Jersey injured Federal workers from New York City to Philadelphia. Additionally, we have argued that if Workers' Compensation is unable or unwilling to realign us under Philadelphia's jurisdiction, that we would be happy with a satellite office located in South Jersey. It's plain common sense that an injured worker in South Jersey should not have to travel 100 miles to sit face to face with a case Representative from OWCP's district office in New York! Furthermore, if South Jersey had its own office, we would not have to make countless toll calls and sit through numerous busy signals in order to get a simple answer on a case. Therefore, we are requesting that our congressional representatives petition OWCP to either change South Jersey's reporting venue from New York City to Philadelphia, or establish a satellite OWCP office in South Jersey.

Next Meeting - January 17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, January 17, 8 p.m. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, except in the months of July & August.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meeting - January 10

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 meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, January 10.

Attendance Prize - $125

P A Fanuka, a member working out of the Marlton Post Office, would have been the winner of the $100 attendance prize had he/she been in attendance at the December meeting. The prize now increases to $125 for the January meeting, and increases in increments of $25 monthly until a member's name in attendance at a regular monthly meeting is drawn. The prize increases to a maximum of $250 until someone wins. Branch Officers and/or Shop Stewards are not eligible.

Possible Branch Picketing At Marlton

The Branch is considering a motion made at the December meeting to picket the Marlton Post Office in late January because of an abusive carrier supervisor at that office who is making life miserable for the carriers there. Subsequent to the motion, the Branch membership in attendance agreed to give the Branch President an opportunity to try to resolve the situation with the District office before picketing. Absent such resolve, picketing at Marlton will take place in late January.

Happy New Year!!

Proposed Amendments To The Branch Constitution and By-laws

A number of proposals to amend the Branch Constitution and By-laws will be read at the January meeting, after which they will be printed in the Branch Newsletter and presented for discussion and vote at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on February 21, 2001.

New Sgt At Arms, Shop Steward Appointed

Jim Livingston, Shop Steward and Branch member working out of the Riverton office, was appointed Sgt At Arms by the Branch President to fill the unexpired term of Bill Baitinger, who resigned and went to Florida for the Winter season. Additionally, Norm Spence, Shop Steward and Branch Officer working out of the Penns Grove office, was appointed Shop Steward at Clayton to fill the unexpired term of Bill Baitinger, who also resigned from that position.

Walder Resigns Shop Steward Position At Woodbury/Deptford

Vice President, Woodbury and Marlton Shop Steward Joe Walder has resigned his Shop Steward position at Woodbury/Deptford to devote his time and energies to the duties of Vice President and Shop Steward at Marlton. His unexpired term as Shop Steward at Woodbury/Deptford will probably be filled by J B Buniak, a Branch member working at the Woodbury/Deptford office.

Inspection Training - January 11

Branch Vice President Joe Walder has advised that there will be route inspection training on Thursday, January 11, 7 pm, for those Branch members working out of the Stratford and Salem post offices.

An Important Reminder

For route evaluation and adjustment purposes, the basis for determining the street time subsequent to a count and inspection is either:
a. The average street time for the 7 weeks random timecard analysis and the week following the week of count and inspection; or
b. The average street time used during the week of count and inspection
However, the manager's selection of the street time allowance cannot be based on the sole criterion that the particular time selected was the lower.

Regional Rap Session - March 25-27

Tropicana Resort and Casino, Atlantic City, for Shop Stewards and Branch Officers. Shop Stewards and Branch Officers receive $50 pd per diem..

Congressional Reps Addresses, Phone, Fax, Email

Robert Torcelli
Address: 113 DSOB Wash DC 20510
Phone: 202- 224-3224
Fax: 202-224-8567
Jon Corzine
Address: US Senate Wash DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-4744

Robert Andrews
Address: 2439 RHOB Wash DC 20515-3001
Phone: 202-225-6501
Fax: 202-225-6583
Frank LoBiondo
Address 222 CHOB Wash DC20515-3002
Phone: 202-225-6572
Fax: 202-225-3318
Jim Saxton
Address: 339 CHOB Wash DC 20515-3003
Phone: 202-225-4765
Fax: 202-225-0778
Chris Smith
Address: 2370 RHOB Wash DC 20515-3004
Phone: 202-225-3765
Fax: 202-225-7768

Convention T-shirts, Clocks For Sale

The Branch has a number of Chicago Convention T-shirts and Branch clocks for sale at $10 each. The shirts are black, and have a yellow Chicago 2000 year logo on them. The clocks have an NALC logo and Branch 908 on them. Profits from the sale will go to the Branch COLCPE fund for the election of friendly local and National legislators. Contact Norm Task for more info.

Annual Food Drive - Saturday, May 13

The ninth annual NALC National Food Drive will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2001 - the second Saturday in May - and will once again have the enthusiastic support of the Campbell Soup Company and Priority Mail in an effort to help "Stamp Out Food Hunger." Registration forms for the drive will be sent to all NALC Branches in early January. We know that some of our offices don't want to participate in the food drive because of the hassle over OT, transportation, etc., if your office does not want to participate in the food drive, Shop Stewards should advise the Branch office at the earliest convenience.

TSP Savings Limit Increased - July 1, 2001

On December 21 President Clinton signed into law legislation that will enable letter carriers to contribute higher amounts to their Thrift Savings Plan effective July 1, 2001. Initially, FERS employee limits will be boost from 10 to 11 percent, and CSRS employee contributions from 5 to 6 percent. Both will continue to increase by 1 percentage point on January 1 yearly until 2005, when the FERS limit will be 15 percent and the CSRS limit 10 percent. Starting in 2006, the cap will be eliminated and postal and federal employees will be allowed to contribute up to the IRS limit of 401(k) savings, currently $10,500 annually. The Postal Service fully or partially matches TSP payroll deductions for FERS employees up to 5 percent of basic pay dollar for dollar for the first 3 percent, and 50 cents on the dollar for the next 2 percent. CSRS do not qualify for matching contributions.

TSP Open Season Ends - January 31

The current semi-annual "Open Season" period during which letter carriers can initiate or change a TSP account ends on January 31.

NALC Dues Change - January 5 Check

The increase in NALC dues will be reflected in the January 5, 2001, paychecks. The increase is in accordance with Article 7 of the National NALC Constitution which states that each member "shall pay monthly dues equal to two hours base pay for an NALC grade 1, Step D letter carrier employed by the US Postal Service." The change will result in a bi-weekly dues deduction of $17.02. Two-thirds of the minimum monthly dues is reimbursed to a member's Branch and one-third is allocated to the national union.

Recent Branch Retirees

Gilbert Curran - Haddon Hts
Franklin Cole - Stratford
Gary Creek - Bellmawr

New Branch Members

A B Insigna - Marlton
A R Armour- Blackwood
A F Dea - Blackwood
M R Hansen - Pitman
D D'Amato Jr - Blackwood
H F He - Marlton
S L Murphy - Pitman
D M Prendergast - Williamstown
C J Price - Woodbury
J S Pappas - Marlton
H A Martin - Glassboro
C A Campbell - Williamstown
J Nishioka - Pitman
J M Atkinson - Deptford
T P Cassidy - Mr Ephraim
R F Henry - Riverton

Direct Pay Members

William Cleary
Dom Corsoe
Joe Keown
George Koerner
Florence Morgey
George Murdock
John Russell
Peter Yurgin Jr

50-Year Members

Tom Danaher Sr
John Dondero
Marion Howell Sr
Leonard Kienzel
Edward Mitchell
Sam Rosenberg
William Weber

Dates To Remember

        Feb 25-27       Committee of Presidents
                        Bally's Park Place
        March 7-8       Congressional Breakfast
                             Wash DC                  
       March 25-27      Regional Rap Session
                        Tropicana Resort & Casino
      May 21-23         State Convention
                        Hilton Hotel Casino

NALC Web Site - Check It Out

If you haven't been to the NALC web site recently, you need to go there and check out the new Contract Administration Unit (CAU) Section. After you explore all the great information, be sure to bookmark the page. The new section is really great. Christmas arrived early this year for all online NALC activists. Here's the URL:
(From Gary Mills, Branch 343, Rolla, Missouri)

Branch Convention Fund Expenditures

$1160 Airfare deposit
$3105 Room deposit
$12000 Transferred to checking account
$5844.46 Balance airfare
$12380.53 Balance for rooms
$34489.99 Total From Convention Fund
- $6814.05 Reimbursed to Convention Fund
$27675.94 Actual Cost of Convention