March 1999 Newsletter

Next Meeting - March 24

The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except in July and August; however, due to the fact that most of the Branch Officers will be in Washington for the NJ Congressional Breakfast on March 17, the 3rd Wednesday of the month, The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, March 24, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - March 10

The Branch Officers and the Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7pm. and the Executive Board at 8pm. The next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, March 10, at 7 and 8pm. respectively.

Attendance Prize - $100

The Branch meeting attendance prize now stands at $100. Had he been in attendance at the last monthly meeting in February, Branch retiree W. Jones would have been $75 richer. The prize increases in increments of $25 monthly until someone in attendance at a Branch meeting has his name drawn by the Sgt. at Arms.

Annual Branch Awards & Retirees' Breakfast Buffet
Sunday, April 11

The Annual Branch Awards & Retirees' Breakfast Buffet will be held this year on Sunday, April 11, 11 am, at the Best Western West Deptford Inn. 101 Grove Rd., just off of Exit 20 of I-295 South. The cost of the Buffet for other than Branch retirees, award recipients and Branch guests is $10 per person, $5 for children over 6 years of age. Award recipients and retirees being honored this year will be admitted free of charge with a guest of their choice. Congressman Rob Andrews, NALC National Business Agent Tim O'Malley, and Branch Attorney Hal Crass have been invited free of charge. In order to make the appropriate arrangements, we have to know by March 5 of how many will be attending the Buffet. Accordingly, prospective attendees must complete the following application and forward it to Bill Revak, PO Box 385, Woodbury NJ 08096 by April 5:
Name: ________________________________

Check one:   ( )Honored Retiree   ( )Branch Retiree   ( )Award Recipient   ( )Other

Number of Admissions Requested:  (___) Free   (___) Paid

Check Enclosed For number of paid admissions: (___) in the amount of: ________

1999 Retirement Honorees

The following carriers will be honored at this year's annual Branch Awards and Retirees Breakfast Buffet that will be held on Sunday, April 11. Any Branch 908 carrier who has retired since our last Buffet in April, 1998, not listed below, should contact Bill Revak, as soon as possible so that you can be included as an honoree at the annual Buffet.

Marlond Evans - Pennsville Bill Baitinger - Magnolia Larry Lore - Mantua John Lopez - Maple Shade Richard Garagfola - Marlton Sidney Ruby - Marlton Max Badstibner - Riverton Bob Rumaker - National Park Bob Bartlett - Marlton Glenn Acheson - Deptford J D LaPorte - Lawnside Richard Davis - Gloucester

If You Wish To Remain Affiliated !

We have just received word from National Headquarters that the following recently retired members have not yet returned the Form 1189 that was sent to them to retain their membership in the NALC and Branch 908. To retain your membership, you must complete the Form 1189 sent to you and return it to Headquarters through the Branch Secretary by May 15, 1999. Retiree dues are only $10 annually, 84 cents per month. You can't afford not to belong.

Glenn Acheson Max Badstibner Robert J. Bartlett, Jr. Marlond J. Evans, Jr. Joseph D LaPorte Lawrence F Lore P L Roberts III

HIP Health Plan Of NJ Terminated

Branch members covered by the HMO HIP Health care plan of New Jersey must act swiftly to enroll in some other plan or lose coverage altogether. Failure to pass up this opportunity to switch health plans will leave HIP members without health benefits until next year. A break in coverage could jeopardize the five-year coverage period for retirement carryover. HIP Plan members have been authorized a special open season to switch plans, February 12 to March 11, 1999. Go to your personnel office, call OPM, and/or follow the directions that you have been issued by NJ HIP on OPM stationery.

Welcome New Members

Steve Flynn - Maple Shade
D J Shropshire - Atco
R W Priest - Pitman
T B Ludwilowski - Marlton

Contract Mediation Scheduled For March 4

Wayne Horvitz, Federal Mediator, has been chosen by the NALC and the Postal Service as mediator for the resumption of negotiations in an effort to reach settlement on a new National Agreement. Mediation is scheduled to end in four (4) weeks. If mediation doesn't work, negotiations will proceed to binding arbitration.

"Take 5" Meetings

The District Manager has asked each supervisor, postmaster and manager to meet individually with each employee monthly to provide each employee an opportunity to spend five minutes alone, away from the work floor, with their supervisor to help improve communication and relationship with the employee. The "Take 5" meetings will be purely constructive, reaching out to improve our communications and work relationships in a friendly, respectful, non-confrontational manner.

Call For All Carriers To Attend A Special Philadelphia Regional Meeting On Contract Negotiations
Sunday, March 21

The NALC has issued a call for all letter carriers to attend a Regional meeting that will be held in Philadelphia at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, 17th and Race Streets, on Sunday, March 21, 1999, 9 am to 1 pm. The meeting will include a reception from 7 to 10 pm on Saturday evening. Refreshments will be served.
This special meeting has been called for the membership to communicate with NALC President Sombrotto and the Executive Council the goals of contract negotiations and mediation with the Postal Service for a new National Agreement.

$550 Million Profit

The Postal Service ended the 1998 fiscal year with a $550 million profit. Expenses for the year totaled $59.5 billion, while its revenues amounted to $60.1 billion. The Postal Service fiscal year 1999 budget shows an expected profit of $200 million. (Fed. Emp. News Digest)

March Of Dimes WalkAmerica
Sunday, April 25

Join WalkAmerica or make a pledge to your fellow carriers who join in the walk to save babies. The first, biggest and best walking event in the nation, WalkAmerica has become a national tradition. More than 8,000 walkers and volunteers join together each year in 7 Southern New Jersey communities to help the March of Dimes continue its track record of life-saving breakthroughs. Over it's 60-year history, the foundation has saved millions of babies from death or disability. So take a walk that saves babies with the carriers from Branch 908. Call Donna Villec, to volunteer and/or make a pledge to a fellow carrier who is walking for Branch 908 to save babies.

Summer Job Opportunities

The State of New Jersey operates several summer job programs for young men and women throughout the State who are over the age of 16. The majority of the positions include maintenance, visitor services, interpretive services, lifeguard and crafts. Placement is based on the applicant's academic background, age, and preferences. New Jersey residents have first preference for jobs. Deadline for submitting applications for the program is April 1, 1999. Call the offices of Assemblyman Jack Conners for applications and a list of important phone numbers for these programs. 609-461-3997.

H B (Scoop) Slack Memorial Scholarship

One $750 scholarship to a student who will be attending a college or university and one $750 scholarship to a student who is or will be attending an approved trade or technical school. Call Donna Villec for application and/or further details.

Lunch Time Activities

Letter carriers are free to pursue activities other than eating during their lunch period so long as they don't violate regulations. (M-00622, Step 4, 8/23/85)

FECA Beneficiaries Get 1.6% COLA Effective March 1, 1999

The 1999 COLA for Federal Employees Compensation Act beneficiaries will be 1.6 percent based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers from December, 1997 to December, 1998.

1999 Branch Budget Approved

The proposed Branch budget of an estimated $137,756.40, submitted by the Branch Board of Trustees for approval at the February Branch meeting, was approved unanimously by the eligible Branch members present and voting.

Contractual Provisions That Still Apply

The USPS and NALC have agreed that in the absence of a successor National Agreement the following contractual provisions will apply.
Article 12.3.A - The bid count for five (5) successful bids during the term of the next agreement is to begin effective November 12, 1998.
Article 10.4 - Choice vacation selections shall proceed as provided in the 1994 National Agreement and/or local memoranda of understanding.

Daily Volume No Basis For Disciplinary Action

No matter which of the following systems are used, daily volumes so recorded will not constitute the sole basis for disciplinary action fro failure to meet minimum casing standards by an individual carrier.
(PCRS) Piece Counting Recording System
(DUVRS) Delivery Unit Volume Recording System

Important OWCP Regulation Changes

1. The shortening of the Continuation of Pay (COP) time. The time frame has been reduced from 90 to 45 days. This means, that if COP is selected by the member, the clock begins from the date of the injury (DOI) through the first 45 days, even if the injury does not initially necessitate the use of COP. Forty-five (45) days, start to finish.
2. The Postal Service may only contact an employee's attending physician in writing. Management can no longer contact the physician "by telephone or through personal visit."

$64,000 Question

Why did it take the Deptford Post Office until the end of February to deliver phone books received for delivery in October?

Branch Grievance Results

Blackwood - Annual leave approved for the date stated in grievance. (011398)
Blackwood - Letter of warning will be removed in 6 months. (120398)
Blackwood - Letter of warning rescinded. Management failed to provide grievant with day in court. (112498)
Voorhees - Resolved locally. TE to be released and PTF hired. (121598C)
Hammonton - 2 OTDL grievants will be paid 4 hours each overtime. (120598)
Marlton - Letter of warning issued carriers to be removed 1 April 99. (020399A, B, C, D)
Riverton - Grievant paid 20 minutes OT for carrier work performed by VOMA. (012599)
Paulsboro - All carriers will be required to complete forms, not just a selected few. (120198A)
Paulsboro - PTF paid 1/2 hour OT for work performed by non-OTDL at a time when PTFs were not maxed out. (120198B)
Paulsboro - Letter of warning rescinded for mistake made by Supervisor. (?)

Food Drive Assistance Needed

Larry Spera, Pitman post office, food drive coordinator for the Branch, needs volunteers to work the hubs.