A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In the upcoming year Letter Carriers will face unprecedented attacks on working conditions and wage-based benefit compensation. These attacks will come on three fronts: Postal Reform, Contract Negotiations and Route Inspections. Letter Carriers must be prepared to respond to any legislation that focuses on Postal Reform. Currently HR22 is emerging as the front-running bill that will completely change the way the Postal Service operates. In its pre-birth form HR222 is a bill that was supported by the NALC. It's what happens to it when it is fully grown that concerns us. Recently, the Board of Governors reared its ugly head and entered the debate on PR. They have asked that conditions or riders be placed on the original legislation. They proposed that the Union's right to collective bargaining be severely limited. Like a slight of hand artist in Brooklyn, they have asked that our salary and benefit package be limited while they insist that pay caps for USPS Chief Officers be lifted! If any piece of legislation is altered in this way, we must be ready to respond in force. The APWU will be negotiating their contract this year. Many officers of that Union feel that it is going to be impossible to have a negotiated contract. Why? Because even with the Postal Service reporting record productivity, reporting record revenues and reporting record downsizing, their loyalty will always be to themselves, not their employees. When our turn comes, it will be imperative to respond in force if we are not treated fairly. Lastly, route inspections will be conducted with the mindset to capture every minute. We must challenge every Management decision that we feel violates the Terms and Conditions of our employment. If we have to file 100 grievances per inspection, so be it! Remember the contract provision "A Fair Days Work for a Fair Days Pay" does not mean that you have to run your butts off in order to fit your day into a flawed DOIS computer matrix!
Steve Lipski

Next Regular Monthly Meeting - March 16

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

Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - March 9

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 9, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $75

Had he been in attendance at the last regular monthly meeting of the Branch on February 16, B. K. Greene, a member of the Branch working out of the Hammonton office, would have been the winner of the $50 attendance prize. The attendance prize now stands at $75 and accumulates at the rate of $25 at each regular monthly meeting of the Branch up to a maximum of $250 until someone's name in attendance at a regular monthly meeting is drawn.

Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast Buffet
Sunday, April 10

The Branch annual retirees and awards breakfast buffet will be held on Sunday, April 10, commencing 11am, at the Best Western West Deptford Inn, 101 Grove Road, Thorofare, just off of exit 20 of I-295 South. The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Breakfast Buffet in April of 2004 will be honored and presented with tokens of appreciation. Anyone else who will be retiring before April 10 should contact the Branch Recording Secretary Bill Revak:

F.C. O'Boyle (Williamstown) P. A. Eller (Pennsville)
J. J. Font, Jr. (Williamstown) J. D. Warren (Gloucester)
P. M. Doran (Blackwood) B. A. Ricci (Marlton)
W. P. Alcott (Marlton) R. L. Davis (Paulsboro)
J. A. Rodriguez (Williamstown) D. K. Forand (Paulsboro)
E. V. Mikesell (Marlton) R. Muller (Riverton)
R. W. Zurlo (Somerdale) S. Grenhart (Haddon Hts)

Those being honored, their spouses and current Branch retirees will not be charged for their attendance. All other Branch members, family, friends and acquaintances may attend at a cost of $10 pp, $5 for children under the age of 10. For reservations, complete the following and submit it with payment for those attending at cost. No other notices will be sent. Honorees, retirees, members and others planning to attend must complete and submit the following reservation form by April 4, 2005:

                          Please Print
Check one: Honoree (  ) Branch Retiree (  ) others (  )
Attending with honoree free of charge: spouse (  ) other (  )
Number attending with you at cost: Adults_____ Children_____
Total attendees including yourself:________
Amount of remittance enclosed: Adults ______Children______

Send to PO Box 385, Woodbury, 08096 by April 4

In Memoriam

Mary Penza - Mother of retiree and former Shop Steward Pat Penza. (Runnemede)
Raymond A. Hurst - Father of Rick Hurst, Branch member and former Shop Steward. (Paulsboro)
Virginia Deputy - Mother of Brian Deputy, Branch member and Shop Steward. (Wenonah)
Mary Kowalski - Mother of Bernie Kowalski, Branch member. (Deptford)
Kathryn Babli - Mother of Mike Babli, Branch member. (Atco)
Note: Shop Stewards and/or Branch members should send the information necessary to memorialize deceased members and relatives in the Branch Newsletter to the Recording Secretary at PO Box 385, Woodbury, 08096.

Branch Dental Plan Almost Ready

President Lipski announced at the last regular monthly meeting of the Branch that the nuts and bolts of the Branch Dental Plan are all just about in place. As soon as it is, everyone will be advised and the dental provider will come to a regular Branch meeting to go over all the details with the membership.

Dates to Remember

Annual Branch Retirees & Awards Buffet - April 10
March of Dimes Walkathon - May 1
NALC National Food Drive - May 14
NJ State Convention - May 15 to 17 - Atlantic City

Work Related Injury or Illness?

Don't delay, call Branch OWCP Representative Ed Friel at 468-7339 for information, advice & Forms.

Welcome New Branch Member

Peter A. DeSimone (Marlton)

March of Dimes WalkAmerica, Sunday, May 1

The Branch is looking for walkers to participate in the March of Dimes WalkAmerica to help fund research on a new epidemic threatening our babies - premature birth. Each year, more than 40,000 babies are born too soon. It's the leading cause of newborn death and many disabilities. The 5-mile walk starts out at Challenge Park, Cherry Hill, 9 am. For further information and details, contact Donna Villec.

Norm Task Recuperating

Norm Task, the Branch COLCPE Chairman and retiree out of the Haddon Heights office, recently suffered a slight stoke and is recuperating and undergoing therapy at home. He can be reached at 547-1639. Give him a call and see how he's doing.

Fifth COLA $229- Effective March 19

The fifth cost of living adjustment under the National Agreement will be $229 annually and will be effective the pay period beginning March 19 (pay date April 8). The adjustment is equivalent to 11cents per hour, or $8.80 per pay period. It raised the total annual pay for top rate letter carriers to $46,689, an increase of $4,054 ($155.92 per pay period) since the beginning of the contract.

NALC Leadership Academy Applications

NALC president William H. Young has announced that applications for the upcoming NALC Leadership Academy to train prospective future NALC Branch and National Officers, have been mailed to Branch Presidents and National Business Agents for distribution to prospective trainees. Interested members who have at least ten more years of service to give to the Union should contact Branch President Lipski for an application. Applications must be completed and returned to the Branch President by May 1, 2005 to be considered for selection. President Young will complete the selection process no later than June 1.

Dues Withholding Paydays

Pay Period Pay Periods Pay Date
05 Feb. 19 - March 4 March 11
06 March 5 - March 18 March 25
07 March 19 - April 1 April 8
08 April 2 - April 15 April 22
09 April 16 - April 29 May 6
10 April 30 - May 13 May 20
11 May 14 - May 27 June 3
12 May 28 - June 10 June 17
13 June 11 - June 24 July 1

February Expense Report

Postage 9.73
Office Supplies 28.00
Liability Insurance 44.00
Congressional Breakfast 1,400.00
Regional Rap Session 5,000.00 
Total $6,481.73

Thank You!

"For the beautiful flowers and needed prayers in behalf of our deceased mother". - Jane & Mike Babli and family

January Branch Expense Report

Printing Newsletter $180.20
Postage $1,382.23
Phone $88.91
Office Supplies $445.04
Hall Rental $660.00
Refreshments $1,379.13
Bonding of Officers $554.49
Liability Insurance $260.00
Sick & Welfare $1,000.00
Congressional Breakfast $189.00
Regional Rap Session $140.00
Labor Activities, functions $20.13
Wages Salaries $4,355.02
Retirees Dues $28.00
Employer Fed. Taxes $1,978.50
Employees Fed Taxes $2,533.89  
Total $15,194.54

Branch Benefits

Sick & Welfare
Active members suffering periods of illness or disability shall be entitled to sick & welfare benefits. Contact: Mike McKiernan.

Death Benefits
The beneficiary of record of a deceased active or retired Branch member shall be entitled to death benefits. Contact: Mike DiGiacomo.

Expressions of Sympathy
In the event of the death of a spouse, children, or the 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 donation shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary. Contact: Mike McKiernan.

Branch Representation at Funerals
Representation of the Branch at the funeral services of a deceased active of retired member shall be the responsibility of the Shop Steward at the office involved, the Director of Retirees, or the Sick and Welfare Chairperson or their designee. Contact: Shop Steward, Director of Retirees, Sick & Welfare representative.

Optical Benefits
Optical benefits for the benefit of active and retired members and/or their families have been established by the Branch. Contact: Fred Mendel.

Branch Scholarship
The Branch has established a Scholarship Fund of $2,000, $500 per year for 4 years, for the children, grandchildren, step-children (living with member), and/or the adopted children of active or retired members. Contact: Steve Rutkowski.

Retirement Recognition
The Branch shall honor its retirees at an annual Retirees' Brunch, and presents them with an appropriate gift in recognition of their retirement from the Postal Service. Contact: Bill Revak.

Children's Christmas Party
Children's annual Christmas party. Toys, refreshments for children and parents of active and retired members in good standing. Picture with Santa, clowns, balloons, face-painting, etc. Contact: Donna Villec.

Union Activity Discipline
The Branch shall pay $400 per week for discipline of up to (4) weeks, thirty (30) days, of any Branch Officer or Shop Steward disciplined for his/her Union activities.

Hall Rentals
The American Legion Hall where the Branch regularly meets is available to the membership for rent at a reduced rate for small weddings, birthday parties, graduations, showers, anniversaries, etc. Bill Revak.

o Happy Saint Patrick's Day o