A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
With the holidays quickly approaching many people experience bouts of depression and withdraw. As you probably already know, the NALC in cooperation with the USPS, has set up the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help our members cope with these types of situations. I recently had a follow up meeting with a member and his Shop Steward to discuss EAP's assistance in helping the member with his illness. With the EAP's assistance the member was admitted to Seabrook House for intense inpatient treatment. Insurance benefits, Postal issues and the enrollment process was all overseen by an EAP representative to successful conclusions.
The member who relayed these observations to me also wanted me to tell everyone that he would be willing to speak to anyone who has a problem. All anyone has to do is contact me and I will put the member in touch with you. If you have problems and are afraid to trust the system, this would be an excellent way to speak with someone who walks in your shoes. You are not on a deserted island and there is no reason you should remain deserted in your most difficult times. Give me a call.
(rip Chris)

Next Meeting - November 21

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, November 21, 8 p.m., 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 at 8 p.m., except during the months of July and August.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday - 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 meeting of the Board of Officers and Executive Board will be on Wednesday, November 14, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $50

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 17, J. G. Santangelo, a retired member out of the Blackwood office, would have been the recipient of the $25 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $50 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

Health Benefits Plan Open Season:
November 12 through December 10

Nominated Without Opposition & Declared Elected

The following Branch Officers and Shop Stewards were nominated without opposition and declared elected to their respective positions for the 2008-2009 year term of office:

Branch Officers

President Steve Lipski
Vice President Gary DiGiacomo
Recording Secretary Norm Spence
Treasurer Tom Barnett
Financial Secretary Paul Poniatowski
Trustee Mike DiGiacomo
Trustee Fred Simpkins
Trustee Steve Rutkowski
Trustee Donna Villec
Health Benefits Rep. Fred Mendel
Housing Chairman Joe Walder
Sgt At Arms Jim Livingston

(*Editor's note: April Gibbons was nominated for a Trustee position, but later declined the nomination)

Shop Stewards

Atco George Greenwood
Bellmawr Mike DiGiacomo
Blackwood Gary DiGiacomo
Bridgeton Don Connelly
Glassboro John Harley
Glendora Walter Boner
Gloucester Steve Lipski 
Haddon Hts. Rob Foltz
Hammonton Frank Ingemi
Mantua Bill Gore
Maple Shade Shawn Paffhausen
Marlton April Gibbons
Mt. Ephraim Bob Behm
National Park Jim Comuso
Paulsboro Loretta Morris
Penns Grove Norm Spence
Pitman  Steve Rutkowski
Riverton Jim Livingston
Runnemede Paul Poniatowski
Sewell Tom Robinson
Somerdale Fred Simpkins
Stratford Jim Barlow
Wenonah Karl Schluth
West Berlin Tom Carey
Westville Phil Haas
Woodbury Chris Litle
Woodbury Shawn McBride

Secret Mail Ballot Elections Will Be Held For the Following Positions

Assistant Recording Secretary
Rob Foltz
Ed Friel

Trustee Chairman
Bill Gore
Jim Comuso

Convention Delegates (21 to be compensated)
Steve Rutkowski Paul Poniatowski
Bill Gore Tom Barnett
Gary DiGiacomo Jim Livingston
Rob Foltz Ed Friel
Tom Walsh Vince Iannuzzi
Steve Lipski Mary Hackett
Chris Litle Fred Simpkins
April Litty George Greenwood
Norm Task Donna Villec
Tom Robinson Jim Comuso
Bill Dougherty Bud Dermond
Jim Boyle Jim Serock
Fred Mendel Val Apartin
Shawn McBride Frank Potts
Dave Singleton Joe Walder
Norm Spence

Magnolia Shop Steward
Lou Evans
Al DiSipio

Write In Choice for Shop Steward for the Following Offices
Clayton Gibbstown Lawnside
Pennsville Salem Swedesboro
Voorhees Williamstown Woodstown

Election Ballots Mailed Out

As promised, the election ballots were mailed out on October 31, 2007 for execution and return to the Branch Election Committee no later than December 12. Any eligible member who has not received an election ballot, or received the wrong ballot, should contact Branch Recording Secretary Norm Spence. The Election Committee will start counting the ballots on Thursday, December 13, commencing at 6:00 p.m. at the hall. Candidates and/or their representatives may observe the tabulations.

Branch Election Committee

Mike Boston Steve Elias Joe Foreman
         Mike Powell

         Bob Behm

Veterans Day - November 11
Thank A Vet

What Is A Vet?

You can't tell a vet just by looking: What is a Vet? What is a Vet?
A vet is an ordinary and extraordinary human being --- someone who offered his life's vital years in the service of his country.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. We will never be able to repay the debt of gratitude we owe.
~Author Unknown~

Christmas Cards for Our Soldiers

Please take the time to send a Christmas card to a recovering soldier and let them know how much we appreciate everything they've done:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

Branch Children's Christmas Party - December 16

The annual Branch children's Christmas party will be held on December 16, from 1:00 to 3:00. For more info visit nalcbranch908.com/xmas.html or contact Trustee Donna Villec at 856-287-6215.

Penalty Overtime Exclusion Period - 12/1/07 to 12/28/07

In accordance with Article 8, Sections 4 and 5 of the National Agreement, the December period (during which penalty overtime regulations are not applicable) consists of 4 consecutive weeks.
This year the December period begins pay period 25/07, Week 2, (December 1, 2007), and ends pay period 01/08, week 1, (December 28, 2007).

Membership Pin Issued

At the October Branch meeting Jennie Feyt, a retired member out of the Atco office received her 25-year membership pin. Congratulations and thank you to Jennie for all of her years of service.
The NALC Constitution provide that: "When receiving proper notification by the Branch Secretary that a member has completed twenty-five (25) years, or thirty (30) years, or thirty-five (35) years, or forty (40) years, and forty-five (45) years of membership, the National Association of Letter Carriers shall provide a suitable lapel pin for such member". If you believe that you have attained the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, contact Branch membership chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com.


Our Newest Gold Card Member

Kenneth Lippincott, a Branch retiree out of the Riverton office was the latest recipient of an NALC Life Membership Gold Card, which is issued by the NALC to those who have been members for 50 years. The Life Membership Card of Gold entitles the bearer to all of the privileges of NALC membership without the payment of dues, per capita tax or special assessments from the date of issuance. Congratulations Kenneth!

Questions About "Misc" Category Deductions?

Many members have inquired about a large deduction amount under the "MISC" category on their recent paycheck that included the $686 COLA cash-out payment. The reason is that the usual tax deductions were taken out separately for regular pay and the COLA payment, with the COLA deductions included in the MISC category.
Ordinarily, the pay stub shows the normal deductions-such as federal tax, state tax, Medicare, health plan, dental, vision, TSP, and retirement. This recent stub also should include four deductions for the $686 COLA payment-federal and state tax, Medicare, and Social Security. Carriers with a pay amount under FLSA would have these four categories repeated a third time.
Because of limited space, there is not enough room for so many deductions to be listed separately on the pay stub. All the deductions that do not fit on the pay stub are grouped under MISC, resulting in the large deduction total. For instance, it has been common for the Social Security, Medicare, and federal taxes on the $686 COLA payment to be bumped into the MISC category.
If there is a question about the total, the only way to check each deduction individually is to refer to the pay journal, which shows all deductions and does not group any together. Letter carriers who wish to review their pay journals should request copies from their station manager.

Happy Thanksgiving