A Note From the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The Branch recently sent a delegation to Washington to lobby the House for letter carrier rights. What we heard concerning the Presidential Commission Reform Report was surely cause for alarm. Every negotiated right that you have won is on the commission's table and can be eliminated with the stroke of a pen. It is our job to ensure that this doesn't happen. At the next Executive Board meeting I will be passing out a national register for every member in Branch 908. Your shop stewards will hand out this material on the office floor. We ask that every member check the document for correctness and to sign up to be an NALC E-Activist. When signed up as an E-Activist, NALC President Bill Young will notify you when important votes will take place concerning the Presidential Commission Report. You will be asked to contact your representatives and explain your position on this important issue. Your steward will also be passing out information on how you can sign up for payroll deductions for COLCPE, our political action fund. We are trying to get every member to give $2 per pay period. Brothers and sisters, this is the single most important issue facing letter carriers since the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970. This one vote will shape the future conditions of your work life as well as the future conditions of your retirement life!
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - March 17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, March 17, 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.

March 10 - Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings

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, March 10, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $250

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on February 18, D. B. Umphress of the Bellmawr office would have been the recipient of the $250 attendance prize. The prize will continue to stand at $250, the maximum, until a member in good standing and present at a regular monthly meeting of the Branch name is drawn.

COLCPE All-Stars

J. E. Russin, of the Haddon Heights office donated $100 to COLCPE after returning from the Branch casino bus trip on February 15.

In Memoriam

Neil A. Biasini, on February 1, 2004, age 83, former member of the Branch who retired out of the Woodbury Heights post office.

Official Notice For The Re-Run Election Of Branch Treasurer

The re-run election for Branch Treasurer will be conducted by secret mail ballot. Nominees for the position are Tom Barnett and Mike McKiernan. Ballots will be mailed to the home addresses of all eligible members on February 19, 2004. Ballots must be mailed back to the Election Committee at Post Office Box 444, US Post Office, Mantua, NJ, 08051, and must be received by 5 pm on March 18, 2004. At that time, the Committee will collect the ballots for tabulation. The results of the balloting will be announced by the Election Committee on March 19 and in the April edition of the Branch Newsletter.
Any eligible Branch member wishing to put out a mailing to the Branch membership regarding this election may do so by contacting the Branch Recording Secretary at 468-4746 for address labels of the membership at a cost of $25. Each candidate is entitled to have an observer present at the preparation and mailing of ballots, the receipt, opening, counting, tallying and totaling of ballots. A candidate is permitted to serve as his or her own observer.

DOIS, Delivery Operations Information System, Has No Contractual Support

  1. DOIS is a management tool, not a method for adjusting routes. (M-39, Memo, M-01505).
  2. DOIS does not use an actual piece count in determining your office work load.
  3. DOIS does not record your actual amount of allied functions, etc.: Trips to hot case, trips to key desk, carrier endorsed pieces, personal time, window caller time, verifying hold mail, accountable mail in office, accountable pieces & delivery confirmations on street, cleaning up DPS errors and separation of collection mail.
  4. DOIS uses your carrier % to standard that you made on your last inspection to determine how fast you should throw your mail. Your standards are 18 & 8. You cannot be held to what you did several years ago.
  5. "No carrier shall be disciplined for failure to meet standards (18 & 8), except in cases of unsatisfactory effort which must be based on documented, unacceptable conduct that led to the carrier's failure to meet office standards." (M-39, Reinforced, M-01494).
  6. "There is no set pace at which a carrier must walk and no street standard for walking." (HIN-IN-D3178 Reinforced M-01444).

Bottom Line

Branch Scholarship Notice

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, May 19. 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, http://nalcbranch908.com/scholarship.pdf, or by contacting Steve Rutkowski at 36 Long Bow Dr., Sewell, NJ, 08080.

New Branch Members

Bradley J. Bocchicchio Voorhees
Latresha R. Sampson Voorhees
Jeffrey P. Dimitri Runnemede
Kristie L. Horn Voorhees
Robert Gaff Gloucester
John R. Reese Wenonah
Carole Porch Pitman

Branch Retiree Retains NALC Membership

Thomas Hrynyshyn - Runnemede

100th Centennial Celebration & Annual Retirees and Branch Awards Brunch - Sunday May 2, 2004

The Annual Branch Retirees and Awards Brunch will be held this year in conjunction with the 100th Centennial Celebration of the Branch's founding on Sunday, May 2, 2 to 6 pm, at the Colonial Manor Fire Hall, 611 Academy Ave., just off of Hessian Ave., West Deptford, NJ. Further details concerned with this joint venture will be issued in April edition of the Branch Newsletter. Stay tuned.

March of Dimes WalkAmerica - Sunday, April 25

Join Donna Villec and other Branch members in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica on Sunday, April 25, 2004. Contact Donna for further details, to volunteer for the march, or make a contribution to the March of Dimes. When you participate in WalkAmerica, you're helping the March of Dimes fight a national crisis--premature birth. Today, 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely. Many die; others face lifelong disability. The money you raise in Walk America supports March of Dimes research and programs to find answers to what causes premature birth and what can be done to prevent it. Until we have more answers, anyone's baby could be next.

Thank You Branch 908

Friends of Joshua Goldstein Golf Outing & Dinner Banquet - May 23, 2004

The parents of Joshua Goldstein, whose father, David, is a letter carrier out of the Haddonfield Post Office, are sponsoring a golf outing at the Valleybrook Golf Club in Blackwood on Sunday, May 23 to raise money for medical equipment and a handicapped accessible addition to their home to help accommodate their eight-year-old son Joshua who was born with a rare neurological disorder called Joubert (Joe-bear) Syndrome as well as Hirschsprung's Disease, a colon disease. Josh is severely developmentally delayed and is confined to a wheelchair. He will never walk or talk. He cannot sit-up, stand or crawl. He eats pureed food only, and if he won't eat, must be fed through a feeding tube. They also have a 4-year-old son, who has a mild case of Joubert Syndrome and is making progress. If you can help by golfing, attending the dinner banquet (or both) or through a sponsorship, call Dave at 856-753-0117. A response by May 5 would be appreciated.

Appropriate Penalty Overtime Being Denied Letter Carriers

NALC Headquarters has received reports from several installations of the Postal Service refusing to pay appropriate penalty overtime due letter carriers by disallowing time put on time cards. NALC President William H. Young has directed all Shop Stewards to review the time cards of employees to make sure that all letter carriers are being paid properly. Stewards who find any problems or incorrect pay should contact their National Business Agent through their Branch Officers immediately. USPS Headquarters has assured President Young that it will work with the NALC to correct the situation.

New Procedures for OWCP Bill Payments & Reimbursements

Effective September 2, 2003 OWCP implemented the new procedure for getting information concerning bill payments and reimbursements. It can be accessed through the OWCP website at http://owcp.dol.acs-inc.com. It can be accessed by members, medical facilities, doctors and providers.

Carriers May Deliver Medicine in Event of Catastrophic Incident

Under a plan presently being developed, Postal Service letter carriers could be called upon to deliver antibiotics to residential addresses in the event of a catastrophic incident involving a biological agent for whom antibiotic use is appropriate. Participation would be voluntary. The USPS was approached to participate by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security because of its extensive delivery reach and the trust Americans in every community have in their letter carriers.

Third COLA - $187

The third regular cost-of-living adjustment under the National Agreement will be $187 annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for January announced February 20 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The adjustment is effective the pay period beginning March 6, pay date March 26. The $187 is equivalent to 9 cents per hour, or $7.20 per pay period.

NALC Abstains From Endorsement of Kerry for President

NALC President William H. Young abstained from voting on February 19 when the AFL-CIO General Board met in Washington to vote on endorsing a candidate for President of the United States. Young said his decision to abstain came after results were tallied of a poorly responded to survey of NALC members via a special ballot card in the Postal Record. Only 13,000 of a potential 305,000 members bothered to return the survey form.

Family Medical Leave Eligibility

An employee must have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period immediately proceeding the time the FMLA leave is to begin. The 1,250 hours must be actual work hours, not including any type of leave. The USPS must either confirm that the carrier will be eligible by the time the FMLA leave is to begin, or if not, advise the carrier when he or she shall become eligible. When a carrier applies for FMLA leave but is not yet eligible, the Postal Service is responsible for notifying the carrier within two business days that he or she is not eligible. If not so notified, he or she must be considered eligible and the leave may not be denied.

Continuance of Pay When Injured On Duty

When filing a CA-1, Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation, you may request continuation of regular pay for the first 45-calander days of disability. You don't have to use your sick or annual leave for the first 45-calander days.