A Note From the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I would like to thank everyone who was involved in making our one hundred centennial celebration such a huge success. Tom Barnett and Ed Friel were instrumental in the event's success, and should be applauded for their effort. Additionally, I would like to thank Jake Evison, a member and professional DJ out of the Deptford/Woodbury office, who donated his time, talent and music to help make the affair the success that it was.
As of this writing, legislation is being crafted that will shape the course of the Postal Service for years to come. Everyone who is an E-Activist should be getting an E-mail from NALC President Bill Young directing them as to what course of action we should be taking. It is of grave importance that we act immediately when his instructions are given. If time permits, we will conduct a postcard and letter writing campaign at the general membership meetings. If, however, we are caught between meetings, it will be up to everyone to act on their own.
In closing, everyone should be making sure that management is recording his or her daily mail volume correctly. If you dispute the figures given, please have your Union representative verify the count. Regardless of what happens with this test, DOIS is still a management tool. You are the only one who can determine the time your route should take you on any given day.
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - May 19

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 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 - May 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. The next meeting of the Board of Officers and Executive Board will be on Wednesday, May 12, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $250

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on April 21, Mike Cullinan, a retiree out of the Voorhees 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.

Step B Team Decision - Marlton

Management violated Article 7 of the National Agreement by refusing to convert a senior PTF to a residual vacancy. The senior PTF will be converted to regular status, and local management will submit a copy of the Step B decision with their conversion request to the South Jersey District Office. (022504)

Nationwide Moratorium on Route Counts/Inspection April 3 to August 31

The US Postal Service has agreed to place a moratorium on all new route counts and inspections from April 3 to August 31, 2004 while USPS and NALC engage in a joint process to verify cased mail volume.

Verification Process on Cased Mail - April 5 to May 28

The verification process on cased mail begins April 5 where possible, but must start no later that April 12 in all delivery units and will conclude on May 28. Letter carriers will have a daily opportunity to agree upon the cased mail volume that is being recorded in the Delivery Operations Information System (DOIS). Any disputes will be resolved jointly by USPS and NALC Branch representatives. In addition:
(For questions and answers on the verification process, see NALC Bulletin, April 9, 2004, No. 04-O8)

Where Were You?

The 100th Centennial Celebration of the Branch's founding, February 7, 1903, took place on Sunday, May 2, at the Colonial Manor Fire Hall in conjunction with the annual Retirees' and Branch Awards brunch. Those in attendance had a great time. There was a social hour, an open bar, and music for your dancing and listening pleasure supplied gratis by Branch member and professional DJ Jake Evison out of the Deptford/Woodbury office. There was great food, the presentation of awards, gifts and NALC Service Pins to our 2004 retirees, military activated members who were called up to serve in the war against terrorism, a Branch member who distinguished himself by saving the life of a woman in a burning auto, and a retired member of the Branch who received his 50-year membership card from the National Association. Memorabilia of the Branch was displayed for the interests of all attendees, and a commentary on a history of the Branch was given by retired member Sam Rosenberg and Branch President Steve Lipski. Invited guests who attended included our own NALC National Business Agent Tim O'Malley and his assistant, Shelly Williams; Ila Gattuso, the widow of our outstanding former Vice President Tony Gattuso, and Ruth Reif, the widow of Francis Reif, who was instrumental in converting the old Delaware Valley District into merged Branch 908.

Military Activated Members Honored

It was a privilege for the Branch to bestow honors on the following members at the Branch's 100th centennial celebration who were called up to active military duty to serve in the war on terrorism. Each received a Branch plaque and dinner tickets for two to the Olive Garden Restaurant of their choice. We wish them God speed:
Jim Barlow - Stratford Ralph Hagner - Marlton
John Sikorski - Maple Shade Larry Trimmer III - Pitman

Keith Mitchell, Branch Member Honored For Life Saving Incident

The Branch had the distinct pleasure to present a Branch plaque and dinner tickets for two to Keith Mitchell, a member of the Branch out of Gloucester who was credited with saving the life of a woman who he found unconscious in a burning car.

Jack Geisler - Newest NALC 50-Year Member

National Business Agent Tim O'Malley, at the 100th Centennial celebration of the Branch on May 2, presented Branch retiree member Jack Geisler with his 50-year membership card. The card entitles Jack to all the benefits of NALC membership for life without the payment of NALC dues.

Counting Employee Complements

A Step B Team decision out of Marlton has recommended that when Postmaster's submit Complement Action Requests that they document if they have employees who were formerly coded 69 who have reached their maximum medical capabilities and will not carry mail again in order that senior PTF's be converted to full-time to fill a residual vacancies.

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, www.nalcbranch908.com, or by contacting Steve Rutkowski at 36 Long Bow Dr., Sewell, NJ, 08080.

NALC NJ State Association 11th Biennial Seminar

The New Jersey State Association, NALC, has served notice that its 11th Biennial Seminar will be held at the Hilton Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, June 6 through 8th, 2004. Various workshops will be available for all delegates. National Officers will be present to answer questions during the general session on Monday, June 7th. Workshops will be held after the general session on Monday and on Tuesday.

National Convention Resolutions

Now is the time to submit resolutions for consideration of the delegates at the National Convention in Hawaii this summer. If there is something pertaining to the Contract, the National Constitution and By-laws, etc., that you would like to see addressed, you can submit a resolution through the general membership at a Branch meeting. Each resolution so submitted must be in duplicate on a separate piece of paper and signed by the person submitting same. If possible, the resolution should identify the Article and Section of the Contract, Constitution and By-laws that it pertains to. Once it is brought up on the floor and approved by the general Branch membership, it will be forwarded to the NALC Executive Council for their consideration, appropriate action, and report to the National Convention for discussion and vote. All such resolutions must be submitted to the National by May 20, 2004.

Expression of Sympathy Appreciated

"Dear Members of Branch 908,
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and generous donation to the Williamstown Fire Company # 7 Memorial Fund in memory of Dominic Corsoe. Dom was always proud of being a postal carrier and a member of Branch 908. May God keep you all in his loving care always.
Love, Mary Corsoe"

2004 Branch Picnic - Sunday, August 22

The annual picnic of the Branch for Branch members, families and friends will be held this year at Clementon Lake Park on Sunday, August 22, commencing at 12:00 noon, at a cost of about $13 per person, children under 3 free. Finalized details and costs will be printed in the June newsletter.

Our Stewards - "Damn Good"

According to Branch Financial Secretary John Vito, our Stewards are "Damn good." We only had 12 non-members, and our Stewards have signed up 10 of them, and Haddon Heights Steward Bob Foltz has announced that his office is now 100%. "Damn good."

Phone Cards Available For Servicemen Serving In Iraq

Deptford Shop Steward Joe Walder has advised that the Marine Veterans' organization that he belongs to has phone cards available to be sent to our servicemen serving in Iraq. Joe can be reached at 845-0180 or Walder@nalcbranch908.com for further details.

Branch Member Looking For a Mutual Swap

A Branch member out of the Wenonah post office is looking for a mutual exchange to any offices within the region. He can be reached at 856-881-4838, or by cell phone at 856-889-7368.

The EEO Mediation Process

Mediation is an informal process by which the parties involved in a dispute sit down face to face in the presence of a neutral mediator toward the goal of resolving a dispute. The process is informal in that no witnesses are called, nobody testifies under oath, and there are few complicated procedures and technicalities to impede the process. The process begins with an opening statement by the mediator regarding his/her role as a neutral. The mediator does not give legal advice or function as an advocate for either party. Each party to the dispute is given an opportunity to talk openly about the dispute and the remedies sought. Mediation is not a legal proceeding and the rules of evidence do not apply. However, persons who have information deemed helpful may send written statements.

Retiree COLCPE Donations Can Be Made From Annuity Checks

Retired members of the NALC are now eligible to make voluntary contributions to the Committee on Letter Carrier Political Education (COLCPE) from their monthly annuity payment under the Civil Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). To participate, retirees must have both a Civil Service Annuity (CSA) claim number and their Personal Identification Number (PIN). To obtain a PIN, contact OPM by telephone at 1-888-767-6738 and speak with a Customer Service Representative, or go to the internet www.opm.gov and click on "Employment and Benefits", then "Retirement Benefit." Under "How Do I", scroll to the bottom and click "Yes" which will allow you to enter your CSA and PIN numbers. Once these are inputted, click "Set organizational allotment" scroll to Natl Assn of Letter Carriers--COLCPE, enter the amount of your monthly contribution and click "Submit", and it's done!