A Note From the President

As you are probably aware, we are facing many legislative challenges in the House and Senate. With bills addressing Pension Offset, Windfall Elimination Provisions, and Premium Conversion our steadfast vigilance and support for our friends in government is extremely important. With this in mind, Branch 908 will hold its annual COLCPE fund-raiser on April 28. This year's fund-raiser will definitely be different!! The Highland Tavern in Gloucester City allowing us to have guest bartender fundraiser in the tavern from 5 to 9 pm. John Vito, our Financial Secretary and outspoken legislative activist, has volunteered to serve drinks, tell stories and hold court for the entire evening. If you really want to have a fun night out, come to the Highland Tavern in Gloucester City on Sunday, April 28, 5 to 9 pm.
The Highland will turn back 50% of the proceeds generated during that period back to the Branch. It's a great way to have a good time and support the Branch COLCPE Program to boot. Directions to the Highland will be given out at the next meeting of the Branch.
Steve Lipski, President

Next Meeting - March 20

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, March 20, 8 pm, at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month except in July and August.

Attention: Branch Officers & Shop Stewards, Meeting Changed To March 12

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.. However, because of the Congressional Breakfast in Washington, DC on March 13, the next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attention: All Convention Delegates

The first meeting of the Convention Delegates was held on Tuesday, February 26, at 7 PM. Out of the 29 delegates nominated, one withdrew as a delegate, three were excused, and two others were absent from the meeting without giving notice. The delegates in attendance agreed that those delegates elected to be compensated to attend the convention will receive $46 per day for meals and incidentals, $20 per day for transpiration and parking, $35 per day for five days' lost time, and $66 for meals, incidentals, transportation and parking for Sunday, 8/18. The next meeting of the convention delegates will be on Wednesday, April 24, 8 PM.

$250 Attendance Prize

Had he been here at the February 20 meeting, A J Whitton, a retiree out of Westville, would have been the winner of the $225 attendance prize. This is the 2nd month in a row that Whitton's name has been drawn. The prize now stands at $250.

Annual Retirees' And Branch Awards Breakfast - Sunday, April 21

The annual Retirees' and Branch Awards Breakfast will be held on Sunday, April 21, 11 am, at the Best Western West Deptford Inn, 101 Grove Rd., Thorofare, New Jersey, Exit 20, off of I-295 South. Branch members who have retired since the last Retirees' Breakfast on April 22, 2001, will be honored, as well as those members of the Branch nominated for Branch Awards for service above and beyond the call of duty. Thus far the following Branch members have retired since last April:
Robert Mason Maple Shade John DeSant Glassboro
Anthony Sposto Blackwood Carol Hemrick Mantua
Paul Welsh Gloucester James Mann Riverton
Ernest Viehweg Glassboro George Jackson Sewell
John Mader Gloucester

Retirees and others being honored by the Branch on April 21, their spouses or significant others are invited to attend the Breakfast at no expense. All retirees who have retained their NALC membership are invited to attend without cost. The cost of admission to all others is $10 pp, $5 for children over 5. Those planning to attend must complete and forward the form below to the Branch Secretary at PO Box 385, Woodbury, NJ., 08096, by April 14.

                             please print

Check One:  (  ) This Year Retiree            (  ) Retiree

                    (  ) Award Recipient              (  ) Others

Number Attending With You Free Of Charge: _______

Number Of Paid Admissions Attending With You: _______

Amount Enclosed For Paid Admissions: _______

Peter J. McGuire Scholarships

Each year the Southern New Jersey Central Labor Council, of which we are members, presents Peter J. McGuire scholarships at its Labor Day Observance. Since presentation of these scholarships began in 1986, they have awarded 253 scholarships totaling nearly $140,000. The qualifications for students to receive a Peter J. McGuire scholarship are as follows:
The student must have an immediate family member in an AFL-CIO affiliated Union.
The student must show documented financial need.
The student must maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or above.
The student must live in southern New Jersey.
Four area colleges meet the criteria for the scholarships in that their college's workforce is represented by an AFL-CIO union - Camden County College, Gloucester County College, Rowan University, and Rutgers University. Below are contact numbers to call if you or a family member is interested in being considered for a Peter J. McGuire scholarship:

Camden County College Gloucester County College
856-227-7200 Ext. 5088 856-415-2174
Rowan University Rutgers University
856-256-4040 856-225-6039

Burlington County AFL-CIO Meetings

Burlington County AFL-CIO meetings are held at the Cove II Restaurant in Edgewater Park on the 1st Tuesday each month. If you work or live in Burlington County and would like to attend, contact Donna Villec.

Don't Forget Mike Fitzgerald

Mike, the Chairman of the Branch Election Committee, was involved in a motor vehicle accident just prior to coming to the office to count Branch election ballots in December, subsequent to which he discovered that he had sustained a broken neck in the accident. He is in dire need of financial assistance since he will be out of work for a good period of time while recuperating. Under the leave sharing program he is eligible for the receipt of leave donations to cover his prolonged absences from work.. If you have some leave that you can share, or money that you would like to donate to the cause, call Mike McKiernan at the Deptford Post Office , 232-3919, or send donations to Mike Fitzgerald, 33 Lupton Ave., Woodbury 08096.

$241,880.20 Branch Budget Approved

As recommended by the Board of Officers and Trustees, the proposed 2002 Branch Budget of $241,880.20, submitted for approval by the Branch Treasurer and Trustees' Chairperson, was unanimously approved by the membership in attendance at the February 20, 2002, regular monthly meeting of the Branch.

Approved Amendments To Branch Constitution & By-Laws

After reading, discussion and debate by the membership in attendance at the February, 2002, meeting of the Branch, the following proposed amendments to the Branch Constitution and By-Laws were approved:
(changes in bold and underlined)

Article 5, Section 3: The listing of full names of nominees for all Branch Officers and Convention Delegates shall be placed on the election ballot in an order corresponding to the results of a lottery selection of the nominees for such offices.
Article 5, Section 12: A member elected to represent the Branch as a Branch compensated Delegate to a National or State Convention must have attended at least eleven (11) regular monthly or Executive Board meetings of the Branch from the month of the last national Convention, to and including the month of the October Branch nominations. The months of July and August, although no meeting are held, will be counted toward the attendance requirement. Only one monthly Branch meeting will be counted toward attaining the eleven (11) meeting requirement to be a compensated Delegate.
Article 9, Section 5: In the event of the death of a spouse, children, or parents of an active Branch member, or the death of an active or retired member in good standing, an appropriate spray of flowers or equivalent payment shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary.

Amendments To Branch By-Laws

Proposed amendments to the Branch By-Laws can be submitted at any time to the By-Laws Committee, but they are held over until the semi-annual meetings of the Branch in February and June at which time they are debated and voted upon after having been published in the Branch Newsletter.

Attention All Shop Stewards

In order that we may pay them appropriate homage, Branch Shop Stewards are hereby being requested to advise Financial Secretary John Vito of any members of the Branch who were called up and served in the military subsequent to the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center Towers.

NALC Pins For Continuous Membership

The NALC provides suitable lapel pins, free of charge, to members who have completed 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of continuous membership. Upon the completion of 50 years continuous membership, the member is given a gold Life Membership Card, which entitles him/her to all the privileges of membership without the payment of dues. If you believe you are qualified for any of the pins or life membership card, contact Financial Secretary John Vito at 294-I Echelon Rd., Voorhees, 08043, who will send you an appropriate form for your completion and his submission to NALC Headquarters for verification and award of the pin.

JCAM Availability

Joint Contract Administration Manuals (JCAMs) are jointly distributed by the Post Office and the NALC to every facility in the Country where letter carriers work. The JCAM's jointly sent to stations and branches are jointly owned and for use by both the NALC Shop Stewards and management. They should be available to both parties at all times.

$5000 NALC Accidental Death Benefit

Active and retired NALC members in good standing are eligible for the NALC basic accidental death benefit of $5000 without the payment of premiums. To collect this benefit, survivors need but call the NALC MBA office and inform them of the member's death. The MBA office will give the caller the information needed to process the claim and send any required documents to the appropriate parties.

Standing Committees

Mike DiGiacomo
Death Benefits
Steve Rutkowski
Office Supplies
Labor Charges
Food Drive
Norm Spence
Sick & Welfare
By-Laws Committee
Newsletter Committee
Internet Webmaster
Union Counselor
Donna Villec
Children's Christmas Party
March Of Dimes Walkathon
Burlington AFL-CIO
Union Counselor
Fred Mendel
Health Benefits
Optical Plan

Welcome New Members

T B Spearman - Haddon Heights
Barbara Chant - Mantua
John Harley - Glassboro

Branch Grievance Results

Step B Team
Marlton - Grievances related to whether management violated Articles 8 and 41 of National Agreement remanded back to Formal Step A team. (121,122,123)
Hammonton - Grievance resolved. Management did not violate Article 8 of the National Agreement. (122701)
Glassboro - Grievance charging that management violated Article 7 by not converting PTF to regular status after 6-month hold down remanded back to formal Step A parties. (121301)
Blackwood - Grievance resolved. Letter of warning will be removed from grievant's OPF effective the date of this decision. (120101)
Blackwood - Grievance resolved. Management did not violate the provisions of the National Agreement as they relate to Article 13 and the LMU by sending the light duty grievant home before the end of his 8-hour tour of duty. (120601)

Retired Members Eligible To Run For Office

According to a ruling by NALC President Vincent R. Sombrotto under the date of October 7, 1998, NALC members who have retired from the Postal Service are fully eligible to run for any elective office Under Article 5, Section 2 of the Constitution for the Government of subordinate and Federal Branches.

Happy Saint Patricks Day