A Note From The Branch President

June 20 Meeting: Member Appreciation Night
Come out to the last meeting before the Summer and enjoy a Shrimp Feast prepared by our own chef, Mike McKiernan. National Business Agent Tim O'Malley will address the membership and be on hand to answer all questions. We will also be collecting and tabulating the final totals of the 2001 Branch COLCPE Drive. I will keep the business part of the meeting short so you'll have plenty of time to enjoy yourself and meet with your National Business Agent and/or Branch Officers. See you on the 20th!

Next Meeting - June 20

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 20, will be the last until September. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, except in the months of July & August.

National Business Agent To Be At June Meeting

NALC National Business Agent, Tim O'Malley, has graciously accepted our invitation to be at the June 20th meeting where he will discuss the political ramifications of the Bush administration on our jobs, and the need for us to support our friends in Congress by way of COLCPE donations to the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meetings - June 13

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, June 13, at 7:30 and 8 pm respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $75

Had he been at the May meeting, L. L. Simmerman, a member working out of the Bridgeton office, would have been the winner of the $50 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $75 for the June meeting, and increases in increments of $25 monthly to a maximum of $250 until a member's name who is in attendance at a regular monthly meeting is drawn. Branch Officers and/or Shop Stewards are not eligible.

Branch Scholarship Winners

Winner: Monica Alizernini, the step-daughter of Branch member Ed Dodds, who works out of the Bellmawr office.
Alternate: Robert Salvatore, the son of Loretta Morris, who works out of the Paulsboro office.

Nominations For The Election Of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards
& Convention Delegates - October 17

Nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates shall be called for at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 17. Elections shall be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nominations in October. All Officers and Shop Stewards shall be elected to a term of two (2) years. Nominations shall be made from the meeting floor, or in writing to the Branch Recording Secretary, mailed or presented to him/her prior to or at the October 17 meeting. Each eligible member of the Branch nominated for election shall accept or reject the nomination for the record, in person or in writing, prior to the adjournment of the October meeting. Failure to accept nomination prior to adjournment of the October meeting will invalidate the nomination. Secret mail ballots shall be returned to the Chairman of the Branch Election Committee for opening and tabulation no less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the December regular monthly meeting of the Branch. Positions up for election are as follows:

Branch President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Chairman Trustees, four (4) Trustees, Health Benefits Representative, Housing Chairman, Sergeant At Arms, 38 Shop Stewards, including two (2) each at Marlton and Woodbury; and 20 Convention Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at National and State conventions during their terms of office.

Branch Office Open July & August

Branch President, Steve Lipski, has advised that the Branch office, at the American Legion Hall where we regularly meet, will be open on the third Wednesdays of July and August for Branch Officers, Shop Stewards or members to consult with him or pick up tickets for the annual fishing trip and/or Branch picnic.

Annual Fishing Trip & Branch Picnic

Fishing Trip: August 19, $25-28 pp
Branch Picnic at Clementon Lake Park: September 16, $12 pp For further particulars on the fishing trip and picnic, contact Jim Livingston, Sgt. At Arms.

Newest 50, 40 & 35-Year Members To Be Recognized At June 20 Meeting

50-Year - Milt Grundlock - Haddon Hts.
40-Year - Larry Kline - Bridgeton
35-Year - Al Herzer - Somerdale

Invest In Your Future, Support The Branch COLCPE Drive

Thanks For The Expression Of Sympathy

The Branch is in receipt of a thank you card from the family of Mike McKiernan, Branch Housing Chairperson, Woodbury and Marlton Shop Steward, for the floral spray sent by the Branch and for the kindness and support of the Branch membership relating to the recent death of his father.

Appointment Of Shop Stewards

Sometimes, because of the absence of anyone at an office willing to serve as Shop Steward, it is necessary to appoint a Shop Steward not employed at such office to represent the Branch membership working there. The Branch would rather have our membership represented by an in-house member rather than appoint someone from without. If you would like to serve as a Shop Steward at your office, rather than have someone appointed from without, contact Branch President Steve Lipski.

Thanks For COLCPE Donation, Jim Rusin

Norm Task, Branch COLCPE Chairman, would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognize Branch member Jim Rusin, Haddon Heights Office, for his generous $100 donation to COLCPE. Any and all of the members of the Branch who contribute to COLCPE during the Branch drive, which concludes at the end of June, will be so recognized in the September Branch Newsletter. Just send your COLCPE donation to Norm Task, care of the Branch Office at PO Box 385, Woodbury, O8096, or give it to him at the June 20 Branch meeting.

Branch Expenses For April

Printing Newsletter $159.00
Postage $374.85
Phone $39.36
Office Supplies $236.70
Hall Rental $330.00
Grievances $81.72
Retirees' Brunch $687.81
Congressional Brkf. $585.47
Labor Act., Functions $404.68
Per Capita Tax $330.00
Wages Salary $1,609.41
Taxes, Employer $137.61
Taxes, Employees $109.08
Total $5,085.69

Thrift Savings Plan Open Season May 15 to July 31

The open season for Thrift Plan investors is May 15 to July 31. They may now alter their holdings or contribute to any of the TSP's five funds, two of which are new. As of May 15, federal and Postal employees can take advantage of several changes in the Thrift Savings Plan, including higher TSP investment limits, no waiting period, and two new funds that were approved by Congress last year. Any changes made will not take effect until July 1.

The Government Pension Offset

Employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) retiring December 1982 and later are affected by the Government Pension Offset (GPO). The GPO reduces or eliminates the Social Security spouse or survivor benefits for which a federal retiree may be eligible based on the Social Security record of his or her spouse. The Social Security benefit is reduced by an amount equal to two-thirds of the retiree's CSRS annuity. There have been many attempts over the years to create a legislative solution to this unfair law. Currently two bills have been introduced in Congress. The bills, S-611 and HR-664, introduced by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Representative William Jefferson (D-LA) would eliminate the offset for anyone whose combined CSRS annuity and spousal Social Security benefit is $1,200 per month or less. For those receiving more than $1,200 per month, the two-thirds offset would only apply to amounts over $1,200. The NALC is working hard to see that these measures pass. NALC members should contact their Congressional representatives thanking them for their cosponsorship or urging them to become a cosponsor of legislation addressing the GPO.

The Windfall Elimination Provision

In 1983, Congress created the "Windfall Elimination Provision" (WEP), which changed the formula for computing Social Security benefits. The WEP reduces Social Security benefits of those who receive an annuity under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and qualify for Social Security benefits from other employment. It applies to anyone who becomes 62 (or disabled) after 1985 and becomes eligible for his or her government annuity after 1985. In some cases, this provision can reduce the worker's earned Social Security benefit by as much as 55.6%. Currently, two bills have been introduced that address WEP. HR 848 by Representative Max Sandlin (D-TX) would completely repeal WEP, and the other, HR 1073, by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), would modify WEP by exempting those whose combined CSRS and Social Security payments are less than $2000 per month. The NALC supports both measures, but recognizes that WEP cannot be completely eliminated because of significant costs, and thus feels that Frank's approach may present the best opportunity to begin addressing the problem with WEP.

NALC Employees Still Without A Contract ?

According to information sent to us by Local 21 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union, AFL-CIO, who represent some 312 clerks and technical workers that work at NALC headquarters, its Health Benefit Plan and Mutual Benefit Association, many of who have worked over 20 years, have been working without a collective bargaining agreement for over 400 days. According to the information received, such is due to the fact that the Officers and management staff of the NALC have "offered" to:
  • renege on their promise to provide retiree health care coverage paid for by the employer
  • eliminate retroactivity for wages that have not seen an increase since 1999
  • eliminate cost of living increases
  • start charging active employees for health care
  • start charging employees for disability coverage
  • eliminate all past practices

    Branch Grievance Results

    Voorhees - Pre-arb settlement: A lump-sum payment of $1250 will be divided among the craft per the local union for NOTDLs being forced to work OT, and a carrier craft employee being utilized as a rural carrier.
    Riverton - DRP settlement: Grievant will be assigned to run the 2nd morning run to the Branch office and be paid 1/2-hour OT due to VOMA employee being used for carrier street work. Future violations will result in grievance requesting monetary settlements. (042801)
    Runnemede - DRP settlement: Grievant will be charged (3) hours annual leave and be paid subsequent overtime. (042701A)
    Runnemede - DRP settlement: Grievant will be charged (4) hours annual leave and be paid subsequent overtime. (042701B)
    Riverton - DRP Team settlement: The letter of warning will be reduced to an official discussion. Management did not have Just Cause to issue a letter of warning. (041001A)
    Riverton - DRP Team settlement: Management failed to process the grievance award in a timely manner. Grievant will be paid lump-sum of $10. (none)
    (continued next Newsletter)