Branch 908 November 2000 Newsletter

A Note From The Branch President

The most important election influencing your quality of work life will take place on Tuesday, November 7. Branch 908 urges every member to vote for the candidates that will protect the basic nuts and bolts of your employment structure. With the stroke of an unfriendly pen, all the sacrifices and gains that have been won throughout the years could be wiped out in the blink of an eye. It's a shame that we have to rely so heavily on the whims and policies of the Federal Government, but, brothers and sisters, that's the reality! So please, vote to protect what you've struggled to achieve, and what you hope to gain.

Next Meeting - November 15

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, November 15, 8 p.m. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, except for the months of July & August.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meeting - November 8

The Branch 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 the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, November 8.

Attendance Prize - $75

G J Creek, a member working out of the Gloucester Post Office, would have been the winner of the $50 attendance prize for the October meeting had be been in attendance. The prize now goes to $75 for November, and increases in increments of $25 monthly until a member's name in attendance at a regular monthly meeting is drawn. The prize increases to a maximum of $250. Branch Officers and/or Shop Stewards are not eligible.

12 And 60-Hour Work Limits

National Arbitrator Mittenthal ruled in H4C-NA-C-21 "Fourth Issue", June 9, 1986 (C-06238) that the 12 and 60-hour limits are absolutes--a full-time employee may neither volunteer nor be required to work beyond those limits. He held that no single, uniform remedy is appropriate for violations of the 12 and 60--hour limits; instead the appropriate remedy must be decided on a case by case basis according to the specific circumstances present." (NALC-USPS Joint Contract Administration Manual - June 1, 1998)

3.5% COLA For CSRS Retirees

Federal retirees and survivors who receive annuities under the Civil Service Retirement System will receive a 3.5% cost of living adjustment effective December 1, 2000, payable on January 1, 2001. FERS retirees will receive a 2.5% COLA adjustment. (Fed Employees News Digest, 10/23/00)

Get Out & Vote, Tuesday, Nov. 7

Election Day - Tuesday, November 7
Get Out and Vote

The most important election of your lifetime may be on November 7, 2000. The defining issues of the election --the pending threat to Medicare, Social Security, patients rights, prescription drug protection, and 65 years of social progress.
Don't miss this election, get out and vote.

AFL-CIO Labor 2000
Official Endorsements

This year the Southern NJ AFL-CIO Central Labor Council is supporting 37 candidates including 16 Union members seeking office:

National                        President       Al Gore
                                Vice President  Joe Lieberman
New Jersey                      Senator         Jon Corzine
                                House of Rep    Robert Andrews (1st Dist)
                                House of Rep    Frank LoBiondo (2nd)
                                House of Rep    Susan Bass Levine (3rd)
                                House of Rep    Chris Smith (4th)
Camden County                   Freeholder      Helen Albright *
                                Freeholder      Jeffrey Nash
                                Freeholder      Tom Gurick
                                Clerk           James Beach
                                Sheriff         Michael McLaughlin
                                Surrogate       Patricia Eagan Jones
Magnolia                        Council         Don Wilson *
Gloucester County               Freeholder      Robert Damminger *
                                Freeholder      Bill Krebs                      
                                Freeholder      Warren Wallace
                                Sheriff         Gill Miller
Mantua                          Council         Lorraine Beckett  *
                                Council         Walter Lenkowski  *
Wahington Twsp                  Mayor           Randee Davidson
                                Council         Dave Bruce *
                                Council         John Maier
West Deptford                   Council         Janice Hauser *
Woodbury Hts                    Council         Duane Pheasant *
                                Council         Russell Naylor *
Cumberland County               Freeholder      Donna Pearson *
                                Freeholder      Louis Magazzu
Salem County                    Freeholder      Charles Pitt *
                                Freeholder      Andrew Rhea
Penns Grove                     Council         Rose Ann Chiaccio *
Burlington County               Freeholder      Lavonne Bebler Johnson
                                Freeholder      Troy Singleton
Springfield                     Council         Greg Ouagliato*
Maple Shade                     Council         Claire Volpe*
Maple Shade                     Council         James Fletcher*
Delran Twshp                    Ward 1          Mike Bohn*
                    * = Union Member seeking office.

Branch Expenses - National Convention

Air Fare - $4,369.00
Per Diem - $10,459.00
Hotel - $12,891.00
Total - $27,719.00

Additional Expenses Approved

The members in attendance at the October regular monthly meeting voted in the majority to approve the recommendation of the Branch Trustees to pay an additional $108, $27 each, to 4 out of the 18 delegates who attended the national convention, for round-trip transportation from the airport to the hotel in Chicago.

Reinstatement Of Former Members

The Branch Constitution and By-laws provide that the reinstatement of any member shall be governed by Article 7 of the National Constitution and By-laws for the government of federal and subordinate Branches, and that the fee for such reinstatement shall be three (3) months dues and a fine of no less that fifty ($50). However, according to a ruling by President Sombrotto, such assessment and fine only applies to those who forfeit their membership by the failure to pay any fine , assessment or monthly dues within thirty (30) days after same shall become due. Former members who simply quit, and have not forfeited their membership in accordance with Article 7 of the National Constitution, may rejoin the Union at any time without the payment of fees, dues, fines and assessments.

Health Benefit Plan Open Season
November 13 to December 11

Mark your calendar, this year's Open Season for health benefit plan choices is from November 13 to December 11. This is the perfect time for all active UNION members to join the NALC Health Benefit Plan, a plan that is owned and operated by your Union. The NALC Health Benefit Plan has been there for letter carriers for fifty years, it is the best health benefits' plan for the money and will continue to serve you in the years to come. For further info contact Health Benefits Officer Fred Mendel.

NALC Health Benefit Plan Rates

Despite the continued increase in medical costs, the NALC Health Benefits Plan has been able to reduce the rate for active letter carriers with families for three straight years:

              Self Only            Self & Family

Active Carriers     $33.38 (+ $.74)     $58.57 (- $2.32)
 Annuitants         $106.19 (+ $4.64)    $203.49 (+ $2.73)
        Active (bi-weekly)  Annuitants (monthly) 

Hospitals Within Ten-Mile Radius For NALC Health Plan Members

Underwood Memorial                509 N Broad St                856-845-0100

Kennedy Memorial                  Chapel Ave &                  856-488-6500
Cherry Hill Div                   Cooper Landing Rd
                                  Cherry Hill

Kennedy Memorial                  18 E Laurel Rd                856-346-6000
Stratford Div                     Stratford

Virtua West Jersey                101 Carnie Blvd               856-325-3000
Voorhees  Div                     Voorhees

Virtua West Jersey                1000 Atlantic  Ave            856-246-3000
Camden Div                        Camden 

Virtua West Jersey                90 Brick Rd                   856-355-6000
Marlton Div                       Marlton 

Sunbridge Care & Rehab            2 Cooper Plz                  856-342-7600
Southern NJ                       Camden

Methodist Hospital                2301 S Broad St               215-952-9000
                                  Phila  Pa

Kennedy Memorial                  435 Hurfville                 856-582-2500
Wash Twsp Div                     Cross Keys Rd

St Agnes Medical Center           1900 S Broad St               215-339-4100
Phila  Pa

Christmas Shopping? Buy American, Buy Union

Welcome New Members

C M Pirolli - Haddon Hts
M R Romeo - Runnemede
W J Boner - Glendora

MSP (Managed Service Points)

The NALC has been informed that the Postal Service intends to implement MSP (Managed Service Points). MSP is a new bar-code scanning system for tracking street delivery. It involves the placing of bar-code labels in various places to track carrier times along the route. The labels are affixed to selected mailboxes along the route and carriers will scan the bar codes on the labels during street delivery. The labels may also be placed at the hot case, the first delivery point, the last delivery point before lunch, the first delivery point after lunch, and the last delivery point on the route. Local managers are supposed to be directed to discuss service points for affixing the labels with the carriers before final selection of where the labels will be affixed. (From Dale F Hart, NBA, San Francisco)

$999 Pre-Arb Settlement At Magnolia

A lump-sum payment of $999 was awarded to the letter carriers at Magnolia for the failure of the post office to permanently adjust carrier routes within 52 days of route inspections in accordance with Section 211.3 and 243.21b of the M-39.

Blackwood Carrier Removed

A carrier at the Blackwood office, with a 17-year unblemished record of service, was removed from the Service for allegedly bringing deliverable address cards back to the office and placing them in a UBBM container. Arbitrator Mark Lurie held that there was sufficient evidence of 3rd class ADVO cards having been intentionally discarded in the UBBM container to warrant the carrier's emergency suspension and subsequent removal. Carriers are cautioned to make sure that any mail placed in a UBBM container is undeliverable, bulk business mail.

Annual Leave Carryover

The Postal Service 2000 leave year ends January 12, 2001. The 2001 leave year begins on January 13, 2001 The maximum amount of annual leave that bargaining unit employees may carry over from 2000 to 2001 440 hours (55 days). Leave earned or accumulated in the 2000 leave year in excess of the carryover limit will be lost if not used by January 13, 2001.

Blood Donations

According to a memo put out by the SJ District Manager under date of October 3, it is Postal policy to support public programs that address the health and security of the community. The memo reminded Postmasters of the provisions of the ELM, Section 519.252 and 253, which provides that Postal employees be excused for that period of time deemed reasonably necessary to cover any absence from regular tours of duty to make voluntary blood donations, without remuneration to the Red Cross, the community, or other blood banks. Administrative leave for blood donations may be granted during a regular tour of the employee's basic work week, but only on the date of the blood donations. We assume that by Postal employees the District Manager means that carriers will also be excused for such blood donations. Members denied the time reasonably necessary to give blood should contact the Branch President.

Letters Of Demand

When letters of demand are issued, a request should be made that management provide a "detailed written explanation" and "documentation" of why and how they believe that the letter of demand is justified If they cannot produce the information to justify the letter, then a grievance should be filed under Article 28 of the National Agreement within 14 days, a copy of which should be forwarded with a PS Form 3074 to the finance office.