A Note from the Branch President

With the arrival of the TE's across the district it is painfully apparent that the use of premium hours to complete daily workload assignments will become a thing of the past. The word from the district is that the ideal office budget will seek to eliminate, not reduce, all overtime hours. It seems strange to me that with all this emphasis placed on TE's as the saviors of the Postal Service, management at the area level are calling TE's invisible!
Invisible, that is, when it comes to Local Negotiations and the inclusion of TE's in the local agreements. It seems the head of labor for the Eastern Area has determined that TE's are not to be included in any local agreements because of a 1990 step 4 decision eliminating TE's from article 30. The problem with this step 4 decision is that it applies to the Transitional that were hired pursuant to the Mittenthal decision. The use of TE's in the current agreement is not bound by a decision that was crafted for a completely different set of contractual issues. It is the union's position that there are numerous items in our local agreements that should contain provisions outlining the proper use of TE's. It's totally ridiculous to allow management to hire wave after wave of TE's when we can't even agree on the smallest of issues!
Thank You,
Steve Lipski

Next Meeting - October 17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, October 17, 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 - October 10

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, October 10, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $25

Shane Clark, a Branch member working out of the Glassboro office, was the winner of the $175 attendance prize drawn at the September 19 regular monthly meeting. The prize now stands at $25 and will accumulate at $25 per meeting up to a maximum of $250 until a Branch member's name is called who is in attendance at a regular meeting of the Branch.

Notice of Nominations and Election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates

This is to provide official notice that nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates for the term 2008 thru 2009 shall take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 17, 2007. Elections shall be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nominations at the October regular monthly meeting. Nominations shall be made from the meeting room floor or in writing to the Branch Recording Secretary, mailed or presented to him/her prior to or at the October regular Branch meeting. Each eligible member of the Branch nominated for office shall accept or reject nomination in writing prior to the adjournment of the October regular monthly Branch meeting. Failure to accept nomination for Branch office prior to adjournment of the October regular Branch meeting will invalidate the nomination. Shop Stewards shall be nominated by an eligible Branch member from the office at which the nominee is employed to represent the Branch membership. Installation of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates shall take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch in January. Offices up for election include that of the Branch President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Trustees' Chairman, Trustees (4), Health Benefits Representative, Housing Chairperson, Sgt. at Arms, Shop Stewards (38) and approximately (36) Convention Delegates. The number of Convention Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at a State or National Convention, provided they meet the eligibility requirements for such compensation, shall not exceed three (3) percent of the total Branch membership.

Mailing And Return Of Branch Election Ballots

Branch election ballots will be prepared and mailed out by the Branch Election Committee on Wednesday, October 31 for completion and return to the Election Committee by Wednesday, December 12. The results of the election will be announced by the Election Committee at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, December 19.

Important Membership Information

Nominations for all positions of the Board of Officers and Shop Stewards are approaching us quickly. It is extremely important for all members to vote, remember this Union belongs to the MEMBERS.
Shop Stewards will be given a copy of their members mailing address and phone numbers for their respective offices for verification. Please be cooperative with them when verifying this information. It is vital for the branch to have this info so that all members receive election ballots and other correspondence from the branch. Correct phone contact info is necessary in the event of special meetings or personal or confidential information that we may need to discuss with members. Thank you for your cooperation.
-Financial Secretary Paul Poniatowski

Retired Branch Member In Need Of Assistance

John Lowery, Branch retiree and former Shop Steward from Woodstown is asking for help from the NALC family. John has a 5-month-old grandson named Justin. Justin was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH) in both eyes. This condition leaves him completely blind, with very little light perception. Justin is a part of a medical breakthrough in China for treatment of infant blindness due to Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (ONH).
Four children worldwide have already received this treatment and now have significant vision improvement. Justin hopes to be the fifth success story.
Justin, Mom and Dad are planning to go to China in early 2008 for a month-long treatment program.
They need to raise approximately $75,000 for the treatment in China and follow up treatment at home. For more information, updates and to donate, please visit http://justinsfightforsight.com

Contract Implementation Dates Set

NALC President William H. Young announced on September 26 that the lump sum payment of $686 to cash out the COLA from November 2006 through May 2007 will be included in carriers' October 19 paychecks. The back pay for active carriers related to the 1.4% general wage increase covering the period between November 25, 2006 and the end of Pay Period 20 (September 28) will be paid in their regular paychecks on November 30.

Thanks Branch 908

Brothers & Sisters of Branch 908, Thank you for the thoughts and prayers during a very difficult time! - The Harley Family
We appreciate your kindness at our time of sorrow - The Croxton Family
Fellow Brothers and Sister of Branch 908, Thank you very much for the donation to Samaritan Hospice in memory of my father. Very thoughtful. Thanks again! - Tony Ricciardi Blackwood P.O.
Union NALC Branch 908, Thank you very much for the fruit basket. Your thoughts and prayers were appreciated at this difficult time. - Jim Rusin & Family
Thank you for your generous donation and continued support in memory of John J Harley Sr. - Foundation at the Manor
We gratefully acknowledge your gift in memory of Carmela DiStefano - Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Local 908, This comes to let you know just how much I appreciate your kindness and your special thoughtfulness. - The Iannuzzi Family
Thank you for your donation in memory of Anthony N. Ricciardi. - Samaritan Hospice
Thank you for your generous contribution in memory of Mr. Martin Rundstrom. - The Alzheimer's Association
Dear Brothers and Sisters, I wish to thank the Union and members for the contribution to the Alzheimer's Association on behalf of the passing of our father. My family and I thank you. - Marty Rundstrom
To Local Branch 908, Thank you once again for my $500 scholarship award to Richard Stockton College. I would like to personally thank Steve Rutkowski for taking the time to forward my award to the proper people. - Jennie McCluskey
On behalf of the very special children and families we serve, please accept my sincere gratitude for your recent contribution in loving memory of Joshua Reynolds. - Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey

2008 Rotating Days Off Calendar

Branch Recording Secretary and Webmaster Norm Spence has once again created a rotating day off calendar for 2008. The calendar can be viewed online, downloaded as a 12 page monthly calendar or a 2-page version. The calendar is available at http://nalcbranch908.com/08cal.html

Health Benefits Plan Open Season:
November 12 through December 10

2012 NALC National Convention

The NALC Executive Council has announced that the 2012 National Convention will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 2008 convention is being held in Boston, MA, and the 2010 convention will be held in Anaheim, CA.

How Big Is Wal-Mart?

Check out these mind-boggling statistics:
  1. At Wal-Mart, Americans spend $36,000,000 every hour of every day.
  2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
  3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
  4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target + Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
  5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people and is the largest private employer.
  6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the World.
  7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger & Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only 15 years.
  8. During this same period, 31 Supermarket chains sought bankruptcy (including Winn-Dixie).
  9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the World.
  10. Wal-Mart has approximately 3,900 stores in the USA, of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had 5 years ago.
  11. This year, 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at a Wal-Mart store, (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 billion).
  12. 90% of Americans live within 15 miles of a Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart, although a great success story of business that has brought cheaper goods to our homes, is also a symbol of America's decline. Wal-Mart does not make anything. It only sells items that are made in China. Wal-Mart is our largest employer when at one time companies like General Motors, Bethlehem Steel and Westinghouse were our major employers. This shift shows that jobs have left our country for China. Look at what is happening to General Motors and Ford. Americans now work for low paying Wal-Mart jobs when their parents worked for high paying union jobs at industrial manufacturing companies that are now in China.

Delivery After Dark

With the end of Day Light Savings Time approaching, seasonal shorter daylight hours and later start times; carriers are once again dealing with delivering mail after dark.
There is no blanket policy regarding Delivery after Dark because the very core issue to contend with is whether a particular carrier on a particular route can SAFELY make mail delivery. Bottom line, each carrier must weigh their individual circumstances about the type of delivery to be carried (door to door, walking, mounted, apartments, cluster boxes, etc.), their surroundings (unfamiliar, high crime, many steps and hills, etc.) and their experiences in attempting to make after dark deliveries.
Some mail delivery may be able to be made safely even after daylight hours. Most apartments have lighted entryways and don't present the safety hazards that walking on uneven terrain, up and down stairs, going door to door and being exposed to the elements would. Because carriers have the most experience and best knowledge of what is safe or unsafe in the performance of their duties, and because they are often times held responsible for accidents and injuries that might occur while completing those duties, only the carrier, themselves, can make the decision on whether Delivering after Dark can be done safely. So, if presented with a situation where you believe you'll be out delivering mail after dark, REMEMBER THAT YOU DO HAVE RIGHTS, and follow these instructions:
  1. Inform your supervisor in the morning of your need of auxiliary assistance in order to complete your street duties before dark. THIS MEANS FILL OUT A FORM 3996-HELP SLIP. (YES, DO IT!)
  2. Notify your supervisor prior to heading out to the street that you may not be able to complete your duties on the street by dark.
  3. When out on the street you realize that you definitely will be out after dark, call your supervisor and make them aware of that reality. Stress your concern for your safety and again request auxiliary assistance.
  4. Assuming no help arrives and you are faced with darkening conditions, attempt to continue.
  5. If while attempting delivery, you literally experience a safety hazard (i.e. stumbling, tripping, hear dogs barking but unable to see that threat, not able to see potential dangers using your LLV/van's outside mirrors) call your supervisor. Explain your situation and notify them that you cannot safely continue delivery then return to your station.
  6. Complete Form 1571- Curtailment form for the undelivered mail.
Be sure to hand the curtailment slip to the supervisor, and ASK FOR A COPY. The copy is for you're protection. You could also request a Form 1767-Notice of Hazardous Working Condition. This will help you document the safety hazards you encountered while attempting delivery after dark.
It is important to note that these instructions are not intended to endorse or encourage the unnecessary curtailment of any mail. It is about each carrier's safety and the protection of the mail in our charge.
This is also not a blanket policy or approach. It very simply is the responsibility of each carrier to measure their safety and ensure that they are working safely.