A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The Postal Service has informed the NALC, at the national level, that it is rolling out a new initiative called "National Reassessment Program". NPR is the service's attempt to withhold limited duty from some employees in certain circumstances. In addition to completely withholding limited duty, the service is attempting to modify existing limited duty offers by deeming those previous offers "non-productive". Each carrier that is on limited duty will receive instructions to have their medical information updated. Once that is completed management will determine, on a case-by-case basis, what action is warranted. I urge every limited duty employee to go back and construct a time line of your injury, treatment, prognosis and limited duty offers. It is important that we have all available information if management improperly removes you from your assignment. With limited space it is impossible to fully explain this complicated issue. Proper time will be set-aside at our next meeting to discuss the NPR program.
Thank You,
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - March 21

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, March 21, 8 p.m., 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 at 8 p.m., except during the months of July and August.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday - March 14

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 14, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $75

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, February 21, Wayne Beschler, a carrier out of the Williamstown office, would have been the recipient of the $50 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $75 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

From The VP's Case

Inspections are upon us here in Blackwood at the end of this month and it amazes me how certain things seem to be working. I am sure it is just a coincidence how all of a sudden our DPS mistakes are practically non-existent! Now all they have to do is insure there will be absolutely no case- able mail and they will get just what they want, or will they?
I hate to break the news to the "brain trust" in the district, but if you come in here to try and rip this office apart by your ill conceived notions that your DOIS reports tell you, you will find yourself back here in the fall repeating the exact same thing. This isn't any kind of threat, but is a solemn promise.
It seems that our office has become the worst in the district, as some postmasters tell me, not mine, but others outside the office have informed me. I don't know exactly what that means, but I am sure it has to with that ridiculous "percent to standard" this district keeps tracking.
All I can say is our office moral is at its lowest in years, which may be a reason, our numbers SUCK! When you take away everything from your employees, and I mean everything, how can you expect to get any kind of extra productivity?
I don't know how many employees have come to me and said in confidence that they have made the good workers bad and the bad workers worse!
This couldn't have come at a worse time considering inspections are here. When you have people who don't want to come to work under these conditions, you can't expect that your numbers are going to improve.
As I have said so many times, and will continue to say, we get absolutely no RESPECT for the job we do!
They can throw all their friggin numbers at us all they want, but the bottom line is we are working and working hard regardless of what their DOIS god says!
Gary DiGiacomo, Vice President

Our Newest Gold Card Member

Congratulations to our newest Gold Card member, George Tyson. George is a retiree out of the Penns Grove office and is enjoying his retirement down in Florida. The NALC national Constitution provides that upon completion of 50 years membership in the NALC a member shall be given a Life Membership card of gold which shall entitle them to all of the privileges of membership in the NALC without the payment of dues, per capita tax, or special assessments from the date of issue. Congratulations to George!

Membership Pins Issued

At the February Branch meeting Bill Gore, Branch member and Shop Steward from the Mantua office received his 25-year membership pin. Also, Marion Howell, a retired Gold Card member out of the Penns Grove office received his 55-year membership pin. Congratulations and thank you to these members for all of their years of service.
The NALC Constitution provide that: "When receiving proper notification by the Branch Secretary that a member has completed twenty-five (25) years, or thirty (30) years, or thirty-five (35) years, or forty (40) years, and forty-five (45) years of membership, the National Association of Letter Carriers shall provide a suitable lapel pin for such member". If you believe that you have attained the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, or your Gold Card, contact Branch membership chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com.

March of Dimes WalkAmerica, Sunday, April 29

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 Grove Park, Cherry Hill, 9 am. For further information and details, contact Branch Trustee Donna Villec at 856-287-6215.

From The Health Benefits Officer

Attention NALC Health plan members; even though New Jersey now recognizes civil unions and some states even recognize common law marriages, the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plans do not. The Federal Laws supercedes States Laws. This also applies to FMLA.
Fred Mendel - HBR

Branch Retirees & Awards Breakfast Buffet - Sunday, April 22

The Branch Annual Retirees and Awards Breakfast Buffet will be held on Sunday, April 22nd, commencing at 11 a.m., at the Best Western West Deptford Inn, 101 Grove Road, Thorofare, just off of exit 20 of I-295. Anyone wishing to nominate a member for a Branch award please contact the Recording Secretary, Norm Spence ASAP. The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Breakfast will be honored and presented with tokens of appreciation. If you have retired since the last Breakfast or you will retire before April 22 and your name is not on this list, contact the Branch Recording Secretary, Norm Spence at webmaster@nalcbranch908.com:
G. Haliburton (West Berlin) W. A. LeConey (Glendora)
R. M. Hurst (Paulsboro) H. A. Bowen (Pennsville)
W. H. Shaffer III (Blackwood)
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 10, 2007:

                          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 45, Pennsville, 08070 by April 10

Branch Honorees Needed

Any member, who wishes to nominate another Branch member to receive a Branch award at the Branch Retirees and Awards Breakfast Buffet, must do so ASAP. Nominations must be submitted in writing to NALC Branch 908 Awards Committee, PO Box 45, Pennsville, NJ 08070. Nominations must include the name and work location of both the Branch member making the nomination as well as the member being nominated. Any member chosen to receive a Branch Award will be mailed a letter informing him/her that they are to be honored and inviting them to the Brunch.

Dates To Remember

NJ State Congressional Breakfast - Mar 13 - 15 (Wash., DC)
March Of Dimes WalkAmerica - April 29
NALC Food Drive - May 12
NJ State Convention - May 20 -22 (Hilton, Atlantic City)
Branch Picnic - August 26 (Clementon Park)

Proper Delivery Of Bulk Business Mail

In President Young's latest article in this month's Postal Record, he talks about the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) running amok. This is one of the reasons that we want to clarify the proper delivery of Standard A - Bulk Business Mail.
There are instances where a delivery customer verbally tells a carrier that they do not wish to receive a particular mailing. Sometimes, the customer will even put their request in writing and a carrier will enter the instructions on Form 1564B - Special Orders in their carrier route book. The carrier will then dispose of this mailing when it comes in rather than deliver it as addressed. None of this is correct or proper!
The mailing customer pays postage fees to the USPS to insure the delivery of the mail piece to the addressee, the delivery customer. We, the US Postal Service employees, provide that service of moving the mail piece from Point "A" to Point "B"; the service which the mailing customer paid for through the purchase of postage. If the mail piece has a good address and a delivery customer occupies that address, we should deliver the mail piece as addressed. We are not authorized to serve as "mail censors" for delivery customers. Per Postal Operations Manual regulations, if the delivery customer endorses the mail piece "refused", the letter carrier is authorized to pickup such endorsed mail pieces and return them to the delivery unit for proper handling.
Remember, there are two "customers" involved in every mailing, the "mailing customer" and the "delivery customer". Our job, the job of the USPS, is to provide the link between the two "customers".
Do not risk disciplinary action, up to and including removal, by following some improper instruction from an uninformed management representative or a seemingly simple request from a delivery customer. When in doubt, take it out, and deliver it!

Disability Insurance

We will be having an agent from Assurity Insurance Company coming to the next general membership meeting on March 21, 2007. Our guest, Steve Krakower will present us with some important information on what kind of disability plans are available to us as Postal Employees. It is important to know that, as postal employees there are very few companies nationwide that will or can provide this type of insurance to us. C'mon out and get informed. We, as your elected officers are always trying to bring helpful information, plans and programs to you the membership.
Paul Poniatowski, Financial Secretary

Vehicles Running Unattended

Safety has recently sent out a message to all offices that there continues to be a problem with carriers leaving their vehicles running unattended, especially in the Postal parking lots and backed up to the loading docks. No one should have to be reminded about the serious danger this poses in the event of a runaway or rollaway accident. There is no excuse for leaving your vehicle running unattended. Do not risk the safety and well being of those around you as well as your own, not to mention your career. This applies to all vehicles on Postal property. So, once again, if the vehicle is running, your butt should be in the seat.

Have You Seen Us?

The Branch has had several newsletters returned as undeliverable or we just don't have good addresses for the following members:
Allan Abiertas - Maple Shade
L. J. Long - Pennsville
M. Y. Sherrer - Magnolia
J. M. Sikorski - Maple Shade
P. A. Veiock - Marlton
James Warren - Retiree (Gloucester)
Robert Cramer - Retiree (Hammonton)
L. C. Maddox - Retiree (Woodbury)
If you know any of these members, or have a current address for them, please help us update our records and forward current contact information to the Branch at NALC Branch 908, PO Box 45, Pennsville, NJ 08070 or e-mail it to webmaster@nalcbranch908.com.