A Note From the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We are currently finalizing plans for the new Branch Dental Plan. At the June meeting, Renee Cuyler, a representative of Fleet Funding will be on hand to explain the nuts and bolts of the new plan. Hopefully, everyone will get a better understanding of where we are and what is necessary to finalize the deal.
As in the past, this meeting will be our annual shrimp feast to celebrate the last meeting of the Summer. Everyone has commented on how much they enjoy the shrimp from Captain Cats, so come out and enjoy yourself with your brother and sister carriers. There will be no meetings during the rest of the Summer, but I will continue to keep the hall open on the third Wednesday of July and August. Anyone wishing to come down with any problems or concerns, I'll be there from 7 to 10 pm. We will also have Clementon Lake Park tickets available on those nights. From all the Executive Board members, have a safe and enjoyable Summer.
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - June 16
No Branch Meetings July & August

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, June 16, 8 PM, 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, 8 pm, except during the months of July and August. However, during the months of July and August, the office at the hall will be open the third Wednesdays of the month, 7 pm, for anyone who might need assistance, etc. Also, there will be no Branch newsletter published for the months of July and August.

Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - June 9
No Meetings July & August

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, June 9, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $250
Winner Guaranteed At June Meeting

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on May 19, Lorenzo Williams, a member at the Magnolia office, would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize. At the June 16 meeting, 50/50 tickets will be given to all in attendance from which the attendance prize will be drawn, guaranteeing a winner at that meeting.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make the 2004 Food Drive a success.
The Branch collected 130,100 pounds.
This is up from 129,200 pounds collected last year.

Steve Rutkowski, Food Drive Chairman

Annual Branch Picnic, Clementon Lake Park, August 22,
Date Guaranteed
For further details, contact Jim Livingston, Chairman,
or contact your Shop Steward

House Committee Approves Reform Bill

Letter carriers won a significant victory on the road to postal reform May 12 when the House Government Reform Committee voted 40-0 to report out HR 4341, The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2004, and send it to the House floor. The bipartisan document contains several points critical to the NALC and letter carriers; retention of universal service to all Americans, six-day delivery of mail, and Private Express Statues, and continuation of collective bargaining rights. A new Postal Regulatory Committee would not have power to alter collective bargaining agreements or establish pay comparability standards. (see NALC Bulletin of May 14, 2004 No. 04-10 for further details)

Deptford/Woodbury Office Shop Steward Charged
Vote To Be Taken At June 16 Meeting

One of the Branch Shop Stewards at the Deptford/Woodbury office has been charged by a member with dereliction of duty, discrimination, harassment and intimidation. In accordance with Article 10 of the NALC Constitution for the Government of Subordinate and Federal Branches, the charges were read at the May 19 meeting of the Branch, and President Lipski has appointed a committee of three disinterested members, Paul Poniatowski, Bob Foltz, Jim Boyle, to investigate, find the true facts and report to the Branch at the June 16 meeting, at which time the Branch shall then decide by a simple majority vote whether the facts as found by the committee sustain the charge. The charged party is entitled to defend himself before the Branch immediately before the vote is taken. If the Branch then decides that the facts sustain the charge, then the Branch shall entertain a motion to fix the penalty, if any be required.

Official Seatbelts and Open Door Policy

Seatbelts must be worn at all times the vehicle is in motion. Exception for Long Life Vehicles: In instances when the shoulder belt prevents the driver from reaching to provide delivery or collection from curbside mailboxes, only the shoulder belt may be unfastened. The lap belt must remain fastened at all times the vehicle is in motion. When traveling to and from the route, when moving between park and relay points, and when entering or crossing intersecting roadways, all vehicle doors must be closed. When operating a vehicle on delivery routes and traveling in intervals of 500 feet (1/10th mile) or less at speeds not exceeding 15 MPH between delivery stops, the door on the driver's side may be left open. (M-41, Section 812)

Have A Happy And Safe Summer.
Be Careful Out There !

Completed Copy of Form CA-1 or CA-2 Must Be Given To Employee

When an employee submits a CA-1 or CA-2 for a work related illness or injury, the employer is required to complete the agency portion and then give a completed copy of the form to the employee. The copy is important because it alerts an injured worker to any USPS objections to the claim. Sometimes the Postal Service challenges are baseless, but the employee does not learn about them until months later. By then it is far more difficult for the employee to counter the challenge.

Phone Cards For Military Families

The Department of Defense (DOD) announced last week that any American can now help troops call home. DOD authorized the Armed Services Exchanges to sell prepaid calling cards to any person or organizations buying cards for deployed troops. The program, "Help Our Troops Call Home, "is designed specifically with soldiers in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in mind. The cards never expire and there are no added charges or connection fees. Those wishing to donate a prepaid calling card can do so on the following web sites: The Army and Air Force Exchange Service at www.aafes.com, the Navy Exchange Service Command at www.navy-nex.com and the Marine Corps Exchange at www.usmc.mccs.org.

Branch Expenses For April 2004

Printing Branch News 90.10
Postage 10.00
Phone 26.41
Office Supplies 191.46
Hall Rental 330.00
Grievances 185.71
Participation Charity Events 56.50
Retiree Brunch, Gifts 44.45
Awards Committee 325.00
National Convention Fund 40.00
Labor Activities Fund 12.71
Officers' Salaries - net 2,202.97
Branch Centennial 1,359.67
Total $4874.98

Route Inspections and Minor Adjustments:
Looking For a Better Way

"I haven't been able to figure it all out yet, but I know one thing for sure: Step 1 is to ascertain what the cased volume is in the delivery units of 2004. Once we have determined that volume we will take the next step and try to design a route evaluation system that is fair to all the parties. Letter carriers helped build the Postal Service into the first class organization it is today with our sweat and our dedicated effort. We are not strangers to hard work--and we believe in a fair day's pay for a fair day's work." (Taken from a special message from NALC President Bill Young).

Branch Hawaii Convention Expenses For 18 Delegates

Air Housing Per Diem Lost Time Total Per Del Grand Total
$738 $767 $492 $250 $2,247 $40,446

Non-Members List As Of May 6, 2004

Name Office
S E Smith Glassboro
R Sampson Voorhees
D G Earling Voorhees
W G Griffith, Jr. Maple Shade
A D Kuttruf Maple Shade
J A Kilgore, Jr. Marlton
F Donacheva National Park
J T Eden Paulsboro
B J Samuels Pennsville
W T McCallister Pennsville
W A Breitenstine Runnemede
T P Butler Gaines Stratford
L J Liebermann Woodbury/Deptford

Branch Scholarship Drawing: June 16, 2004

Applications are now being accepted for the annual Branch Scholarship Award of $500 per year for 4 years, $2000. The drawing will be held at the regular meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 16. Applicants must be the children, grandchildren, stepchildren (living with a member), or an adopted child of an active or retired member of the Branch in good standing. Applications are available on our website: www.nalcbranch908.com or by contacting Steve Rutkowski at 36 Long Bow Dr., Sewell, NJ, 08080.

Thank You For Your Kindness Branch 908

The family of Elvira Gedling deeply appreciates and gratefully acknowledges your kind expression of sympathy.

Need OTDL Carriers At Other Offices

OTDL carriers desiring to work overtime at other offices in addition to their own, contact President Steve Lipski at your earliest convenience.

Revised Route Inspections Issue On Agenda For National Convention Consideration

The NALC Executive Council decided unanimously to present to the National Convention in Hawaii, for debate and consideration, a proposal to revamp the route Inspection process. The proposal currently under consideration involves the following characteristics:

Cased Volume Verification Concluded; Moratorium On Inspections Continues

Branch Presidents will now begin the task of gathering all the verification forms, and forwarding them to the National Business Agent's office. To assist with volume analysis, the forms should be separated by delivery zone and placed in chronological order. Any unresolved problems regarding completion or receipt of the forms should be directed to the National Business Agent.
While the volume verification and "no office assistance" restrictions concluded on May 28, the moratorium on all types of route inspections and adjustments, including one-day efficiency counts and 3999s, continue through August 31.

Who Can File A Grievance?

Article 17, Section 2 of the National Agreement provides that each Steward be certified to represent employees in a specific work location. If that Steward is absent, an alternate may serve in his stead. All Stewards need not be absent before an alternate is allowed to represent employees. (NALC Br. 782, Bakersfield, CA)

Pivoting - Know Your Rights

Management is allowed to "pivot" carriers off their assignment by assigning other letter carrier duties on any day when the carrier's own assignment actually has under time - less than a full day's work. However, it is important to keep in mind that a carrier does not necessarily have under time just because management says so. Reference volume, POST, DOIS, are merely tools which management may use in conjunction with other criteria as a guide in assessing workloads. It is a carrier's own performance, giving a fair day's work, which dictates whether a carrier has under time.
(taken from an article by Barry Weiner, Nat. Bus. Agt., Region 7)