A Note From the President

Just a quick note about the APWU - NALC joint venture to oversee the new EAP process. Through the efforts of the Brothers and Sisters of both unions we have established an EAP program that is 100% confidential and effective. This program is helpful in all areas of your life, whether it be the dependency of alcohol or the stress of raising a handicapped child, be assured that a counselor is trained for your specific situation. Just call 1-800-EAP-4-YOU and a 24-hr operator will direct your call to the proper counselor or therapist. The first visit is on the clock and all correspondences are 100% confidential. If additional sessions are needed, EAP will help you decide your best course of action. If anyone needs additional information please call me. If anyone has the slightest problem with any aspect of this program, please call so I can get the problem resolved.
Steve Lipski, President

Next Meeting - November 20

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, November 20, 8 PM, at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. Regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month except in July and August.

Branch Officers & Shop Stewards Meeting - November 13

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, November 13, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $125

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 16, D. Damato, Jr., a Branch member working out of the Blackwood office, would have been the winner of the $100 attendance prize. The prize now goes up to $125 for the drawing at the November 20 meeting.

Next Regular Wage Increase - November 16 - 1.5 %

The next regular wage increase under the National Agreement will be 1.5 percent, effective November 16 of this year.

NALC Endorses Lautenberg

The NALC and its Committee on Letter Carriers Political Education (COLCPE) have endorsed former Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) for election in November to a new six-year term in the US Senate, following the withdrawal of Sen. Robert Torricelli. Before his withdrawal Senator Torricelli was endorsed by the NALC. Lautenberg subsequently agreed to end his two-year retirement and was awarded the Democratic Party endorsement to succeed Torricelli.

Southern NJ AFL-CIO COPE Official 2002 Election Endorsements

New Jersey Senate Frank Lautenberg
Cong. Dist # 1 Rob Andrews
Cong. Dist # 2 Frank LoBiondo
Camden County Freeholder Riletta Cream
Freeholder Louis Cappelli, Jr.
Cherry Hill Mayor Bernie Platt
Council Frank Falcone
Clementon Council Mark Ambruster (IUOE 542)*
Council Michael McVicar
Council Jennifer Silvers
Magnolia Council Mike Wolf (UA 322)*
Council Mary Martz
Pine Hill Council Bob McGlinchey (IBEW 98)*
Council Fred Constantino *
Voorhees Council Harry Platt
Council Mike Mignona
Waterford Council Al Pirollo (IFPTE 196)*
Council Ralph Condo
Salem County Freeholder Charles Sullivan
Freeholder Bruce Bobbitt
Freeholder Blanch Hogate
Penns Grove Committee Jim Venello (Laborers 172)*
Committee John Washington (UAW 8)*
Upper Pittsgrove Committee Jim Parks (IBEW 351)*
Committee Mike Seery (IBEW 210)*
Gloucester County Freeholder Steve Sweeney (IW 399)*
Freeholder Warren Wallace
Freeholder Frank Demarco
Franklin Twp. Council Dennis Dittmar (CWA 1085)*
Council Bill Carpinelli (Laborers 222)*
Monroe Twp. Mayor Mike Giabbinelli
Council Kathy Simon (AFT 3391)*
Council Richard Gledhill
Council Len Dramesi
Newfield Twp. Council Fred Ernst (IBEW 351)*
Council Timothy Miller
Swedesboro Council Jerome Bayard (UNITE)*
Washington Township Council Jim Wills (IBEW 98)*
Council Joe McCrea
Council Matthew Lyons
Wenonah Council Beth Anderson Hoffman
Council Stephanie Bernato
Woodbury Council Gwendolyn Brow (CWA 1085)*
Council Sam Ferraino (UFCW 1360)*
Woobury Hts Mayor Harry Elton (UA 322)*
Council Joe Smith (CWA 1085)*
Council Eshia Jacob
Woolwich Committee Joe Chila (IBEW 351)*
Committee Theodore Otten
Committee Vick Heresniak
Cumberland County Freeholder Nelson Thompson (IUPAT DC 711)*
Freeholder Jane Christie
Sheriff Norm Franckle

* Labor Candidates

Long Term Care Insurance Open Season - July 1 to December 31

A regular "open season" for long term care insurance (LTC) will be conducted from July 1 to December 31, 2002. This new insurance is being offered through OPM to all federal and postal employees, military personnel, retirees, survivors, current spouses, and some other family members, including adult children and parents. The insurance is separate from health benefits. You will have a choice of benefit levels but there is only one provider, chosen by OPM, and the employee or annuitant must pay 100% of the premium. Premiums are based on age and general health, among other factors.

Health Benefits Plan Open Season
November 11 through December 9

The 2002 Federal Employees Health Benefits Open Season is scheduled for November 11 through December 9, 2002. During this open season, eligible employees may make any one, or a combination of, the following changes:
- Enroll if not enrolled.
- Change from one plan to another
- Change from one option to another
- Change from self only to self and family
- Change from self and family to self only
- Cancel enrollment
- Change from pre-tax to post-tax payment of health insurance premiums or vice versa.

Changes made during the open season will be effective January 11, 2003.

2003 NALC Health Benefits Plan Rates

  Self Only Self & Family
Active Letter Carriers (biweekly) $28.71 (+$0.50) $42.37 (-$1.01)

Annuitants (monthly)

$104.95 (+5.56) $189.48 (+$8.09)

Penalty Overtime Exclusion Dates:
December 7 through January 3, 2003

The above dates are the "Penalty Overtime Exclusion" period provided for in Article 8 Sections 4 and 5.

Welcome New Members

Veronica J. Castonguay - Williamstown
Shane Scott Goodman - Sewell

Annual Leave: Use It Or Lose It

The 2002 leave year ends on January 10, 2003, and the new leave year begins on January 11, 2003. Please remember that you will lose any annual leave that exceeds the 440-hour limit, if not used by January 10, 2003.

Signing Of Pre-Employment Forms

According to a Step 4 settlement signed by the parties under the date of September 26, 2002, newly hired PTFs are not required to sign a Pre-Employment Form stating that they will be required to work at surrounding Post Offices and Plants that are within a 50-mile commuting distance to the Post Office where officially assigned. The Step 4 settlement precludes such a stipulation as a requirement to their employment. If a PTF employee agrees they may be "temporarily detailed" or "loaned" from one post office installation to another. If they do not agree, they may only be detailed or loaned in accordance with Article 12.5.B.5. They may not be temporarily detailed or loaned to another Post Office to avoid the payment of overtime. (C94N-4C-C 99224809, Sharon, PA.)

Get Out The Vote On November 5!

Withholding Carrier Tech Positions

Management may not withhold Carrier Technician positions under the provisions of Article 12, unless the person coming from the other craft meets the minimum qualifications for the position. To meet those qualifications, a person coming from another craft would have had to have been a letter carrier previously and worked one (1) year in the letter carrier craft to meet the requirement experience as a carrier.

Where The Candidates Stand On Flag Protection Amendment

The Flag Protection Amendments states: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States. " According to the American Legion, based on their voting records and responses to the question whether they will vote for the flag protection amendment if elected, the position of the candidates for the House and Senate from New Jersey was assessed as follows:
Frank Lautenberg (D) Opponent
Douglas Forrester (R) Opponent
District 1
Rep. Rob Andrews (D) Supporter
District 2
Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) Supporter
Steven Farkas (D) Unknown
District 3
Rep. Jim Saxton (R) Supporter
Richard Strada (D) Unknown
District 4
Rep. Christopher Smith (R) Supporter
Mary Brennan (D) Supporter

Fund Raising Benefit - November 16

There will be a fund-raising benefit for carrier Joe Ward who has contracted a flesh-eating disease which necessitated the amputation of his leg. The benefit will be held on Saturday, November 16, 8 PM to 12 am at the Clementon Fire Hall, Gibbsboro Road, Clementon. $25 donation per person, which includes a buffet, setups, DJ and dancing. Bring your own bottle. For more information, call Ray Roman @ 627-5160, or Joe Walder Jr. @ 566-0673.

How The Postal Service Handles Its Revenues

An article in "Linn's Stamp News" gives insight into yet another example, along with the bicycle racing team, of how it spends or wastes, you pick the word, or spends its revenue. The Postal Board of Governors are paid $30,000 a year each. They are allowed expenses for the meetings they attend and for travel to the Board's monthly two-day meetings. Each Governor can receive $300 per day for not more than 42 days of meetings each year. In the year 2001 these expenses added up to $270,160.00.
Those postal bonus payments: 82,074 bosses collected $164.2 million in 2001; 88,953 collected $197.2 million in the year 2000; 83,265 collected $167.1 million in 1999. How many of them got on a carrier's back for going 8 units into V time or 10 minutes into overtime?

Rett Syndrome Association Mailing

Please be advised of a mailing, which contains a bag of "Equal Sweetener" and a "tea bag." If by accident a piece of this mail is found "opened", it is not of any concern. The mailing is being sent nationwide from: International RETT Syndrome Association, 9121 Piscataway Rd #2B, Clinton, MD 20735.

Thanks For Expression Of Sympathy

"Gratefully acknowledging and thanking you for your kind expressions of sympathy. The Sweeney Family"