A Note From the President

Just a reminder that the Branch will be hosting a seminar on the rights of PTF's. This seminar will be held at the Union Hall on October 24 at 7:30 PM. In addition, we are exploring the possibility of having a retirement seminar in December. I have contacted Carolyn Golden, a Postal Service Retirement Specialist, who has agreed to give the seminar. The topics of discussion to be covered will be CSRS and FERS. The seminar will conclude with a question and answer session. Early next month, I will need a count of those members who will be attending. Finally, don't forget nominations will be held at the October general membership meeting for all Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates.
Steve Lipski, President

Anthrax And You

Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus Anthracis and occurs most common in hoofed animals such as cattle and sheep, but can also infect humans. It is important to know that anthrax is not spread from human to human.
Infection can occur through breaks/cuts in the skin, inhalation of spores, or ingestion. If the bacterium enters a cut or abrasion on the skin, an infection can result which develops into a painless ulcer with a characteristic black area in the center. Early intervention is important.
If you encounter a suspicious looking mail piece or a mail piece leaking unknown materials, do not touch it further. Report it immediately to your supervisor or manager. Wash your hands and other skin areas with soap and water if you think you have experienced skin contact. This is the best protection against any hazardous material release, including anthrax.
Supervisors and managers have been instructed to give stand-ups on this matter. If no such stand-ups has occurred at your location, contact your Union Steward or other Branch Officers, who in turn should bring it to the attention of local postal managers.

Next Meeting - November 21

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, November 21, 8 PM sharp. The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except for the months of July and August.

Branch Officers & Executive Board Meetings - November 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 meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, November 14, at 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Nomination and Election Of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards And Convention Delegates

The following eligible members of the Branch were nominated and/or elected to Branch Officer, Shop Steward, or Convention Delegate at the October 17 regular monthly meeting of the Branch. Positions contested will be determined by way of a secret mail ballot vote that will be conducted between November 8 and December 12. Those elected without opposition are printed in bold and have an asterisk after their name(s):
Position   Nominated-Elected
President   Steve Lipski*
Vice President   Joe Walder
    Gary DiGiacomo
Recording Secretary   Bill Revak*
Treasurer   Tom Barnett
    Mike McKiernan
Financial Secretary   Bob Stoltz
    John Vito
Asst. Rec. Sec.   Ed Friel*
Chairman Trustees   Jack Bittner*
Trustees   Donna Villec
    Steve Rutkowski
    Norm Spence
    Jim Comuso
    Mary Hackett
    Mike DiGiacomo
Health Benefits Rep.   Fred Mendel*
Housing Chairperson   No Nominee
Sgt. At Arms   Jim Livingston
    Fred Jurimas

Shop Stewards

Bellmawr   Mike DiGiacomo*
Blackwood   Gary DiGiacomo*
Glassboro Gus Dressner*
Gloucester Steve Lipski*
Magnolia Lou Evans*
Maple Shade Joe Laluk*
Marlton Bruce Watson*
Mary Hackett*
National Park Jim Comuso*
Penns Grove Norm Spence*
Pitman Steve Rutkowski*
Riverton   Harry Smith
Jim Livingston
Runnemede Fred Mendel*
Sewell Harry Harrison*
Wenonah   Jack Bittner*
West Berlin Tom Carey*
Westville Ted Allen*
Williamstown Wayne Beschler*
Woodbury Mike McKiernan*
Jack Buniak*

(offices not listed had no nominations)

Convention Delegates Nominated For 20 Paid Positions

Steve Lipski Dave Singleton Frank Potts
Bob Stoltz Norm Spence Harry Smith
Joe Walder Jim Serock Bud Dermond
Tom Barnett Tom Walsh Mike Louden
Bill Revak Mike DiGiacomo Wayne Sheltman
Ed Friel Jim Livingston Mike McKiernan
John Vito Fred Mendel Jack Buniak
Gary DiGiacomo Jack Bittner Mary Hackett
Steve Rutkowski Norm Task Bill Gore
Jim Comuso Donna Villec  

Attendance Prize Stands At $150

Had he been at the October 17 meeting, J J Blazie, a carrier out of the Bridgeton office would have been a winner of the $125 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $150 for the November 21 meeting, and increases $25 monthly to a maximum of $250 until a member's name, who is in attendance at a regular monthly meeting, is drawn. Branch Officers and Shop Stewards not eligible to win the prize.

2.6% COLA Increase For CSRS Retirees

The 2002 COLA for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuitants will be 2.6 percent effective January, 2002. The COLA for Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) annuitants will be 2 percent. The 2002 COLA for Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) beneficiaries stood at 2.4 percent based on the September CPI-W index.

Money For The Election Of The Friends Of Labor

Not one cent of your dues money is ever allocated for electing a friend of labor. NALC depends entirely on voluntary donations. We publish in the Postal Record and our own newsletters those members who know that the very existence of our National Agreement depends on Congress keeping the Postal Reorganization Act, collective bargaining, and binding arbitration. Contribute to COLCPE to keep your Union benefits and friends of labor on board.

Lunch Locations

Section 126.5.b.(2) of the M-39 provides that "the carrier has the option of selecting up to three locations for lunch." Local management "authorizes", i.e., "approves" locations. This is the carrier's input. Section 171.36 of the M-39 reinforces this: "The location of a suitable and reasonable lunch place and time must be a subject of discussion between the carrier and the unit manager." The lunch portion of the PS Form 1564-A should not be unilaterally changed - the carrier should have input, and management should authorize.

Replacement Carrier Lunch Locations

The PS Form 1564-A provides space to record the same lunch and break location information for the replacement carrier (carrier Technician) as for the regular carrier. The same process for completion of the 1564-A for the carrier Technician should be followed as for the regular carrier.

Use Of Social Security Number For Scanners Not Required

Carriers are not required to use the last four digits of their social security numbers as personal identification numbers to log on. They may use any four digit identification that they easily can remember.

In Memoriam

Harry E. Brumbaugh James J. Carson, Sr.
George J. Murdock Harry E. Walker
J. B. Webb, Jr. G. E. Foster

NALC Health Benefit Plan Rates Drop
Open Season 11/12 to 12/10

For the fourth consecutive year NALC Health Benefit Plan rates have declined for the active letter carrier contribution for self-and-family coverage.

Bi-Weekly Premium Active Carriers

Option Code Employees Pays Decline
Self Only 321 $28.21 (-$5.17)
Self & Family 322 $43.38 (-$15.19)

Monthly Premiums Annuitants & Survivors

Self Only 321 $99.39 (-$6.80)
Self & Family 322 $181.39 (-$22.10)

Branch Grievance Results

Pre-Arb Settlements
Glassboro - 9 carriers to receive $55 each for unilateral change of volume figures and DPS target percentage.
Glassboro - 9 carriers to receive $55 each for carriers casing mail in 4 and 5 shelf cases without a local written agreement.
Paulsboro - 7-day suspension reduced to a letter of warning. 14-day suspension rescinded. (032301)
Step 1 Settlement Agreements
Paulsboro - Management agrees that a limited duty carrier is entitled to work OT. (022701)
Paulsboro - Management agrees to release any information requested for the investigation or processing of a grievance. (022401B)
Paulsboro - Management agrees that a letter of warning issued 2/12/01 has been rescinded. (022401A)
Paulsboro - Management agrees to answer grievances in the time-frame established in Article 15 of the NA. (010301)
Paulsboro - Grievant will be returned to rotating days off schedule. (010601)
Step 2 Settlement Agreements
Paulsboro - Management agrees to abide by grievant's physical restrictions, and maintain high standards to insure timely delivery of the mail. (010801)
Paulsboro - Management agrees to abide by Article 17 of the NA, Steward Rights, and the 2/14/92 Joint Statement of Violence in the Work Place. (010901)
Paulsboro - Grievant to be reimbursed $12 upon receipt of co-pay statement for $12 from the grievant. (013101A)
Dispute Resolution Settlements
Paulsboro - Improper route posting declared null and void. Successful bidder to be returned to route 6602 and route 6608 will be posted as established in Article 41. (040301)
Paulsboro - Posting of route 6602 was improper. The posting is null and void. Route 6602 will be posted as established in Article 41. (041701)

Attention Shop Steward, Branch Officers

Anyone wishing their grievance results to be published in the Branch newsletter should send the results of same to the Branch Secretary prior to the 1st of the month.

Suspicious Mail Alert

1. Handle With Care
    Don't Shake Or Bump
2. Don't Open, Smell, Touch
    Or Taste
3. Isolate It Immediately
4. Treat As Suspect
    Call Local Law Enforcement