Branch 908 September 2000 Newsletter

Next Meeting - September 20

Welcome back from vacation. Hope you all had a nice, peaceful, happy and healthy summer. The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, September 20, 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 - September 13

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, September 13.

Attendance Prize - $25

C.A. Rusk an active carrier working out of the Woodbury office was the winner of the $250 attendance prize drawing at the June 21 regular monthly meeting of the Branch. The prize now goes back to $25 and increases in increments of $25 monthly until someone'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.

Local Negotiations Seminar
Thursday, September 14

The NALC National Business Agent's office will be conducting a Local Negotiations' Seminar at the Branch meeting hall on Thursday, September 14 commencing at 6:30 p.m. Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and those who will be involved in local negotiations at offices represented by the Branch are urged to attend.

Branch Scholarship Winners

Mike Watson - Son of Bruce Watson, Marlton carrier
Elizabeth Askin - Runner-up, Daughter of Kathi Hughes, Westville carrier

Annual Branch Picnic
Sunday, September 10

The annual Branch Picnic will be held on Sunday, September 10, commencing at 11 a.m. at the Clementon Lake Amusement Park. Tickets are $12 per person, children under 36" free. Food, beer and soda will be provided by the Branch. Amusement rides are free, covered by way of the $12 cost of admission.

$560 - Not Enough?

The Branch delegates to the Chicago National Convention were each provided with hotel accommodations for two and round-trip airfare. In addition, the delegates assembled prior to the convention and allotted themselves an additional $25 per diem over the $30 provided for in the Branch Constitution and By-Laws, for a total of $55 per day expense money for 7 days, two of which where travel days. Moreover, each was allotted $35 per day for 5 days' lost time from work, for a total of $560 spending money, $80 per day, for the week of the convention.
Subsequently, at another delegates' meeting prior to the convention, some of the delegates did not think $560 was enough, and they voted themselves an additional $50, ostensibly to cover the cost of transportation to and from the airport to the hotel in Chicago where they were staying. Because of a disagreement over the additional $50 they voted themselves, the additional $50 was not disbursed to the delegates prior to the convention, and some of them will be submitting vouchers for the additional $50. Incidentally, the round-trip shuttle service from the airport to the hotel only cost $27 per delegate.
You be the judge. Do you think that $560 was enough to cover the cost of a delegate's meals and his/her transportation to and from the airport in Chicago? Come on out to the next regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, September 20, and let us know whether the convention delegates should be given an additional $50 they felt necessary to help cover their expenses in Chicago.

Proposed Amendments To Branch Constitution & By-Laws Tabled

The following proposals to amend the Branch Constitution and By-Laws discussed at the regular monthly meeting in June were tabled until such time as the Board of Officers and the Trustees meet to discuss the Branch budget for 2001.
Proposed to amend Article 4, Officers, Section 1 to read that the elected officers of the Branch shall now include a 2nd Vice President.
Proposed to amend Article 6, Duties of Officers, by adding a new Section 2a, to provide that the 2nd Vice President shall be the assistant to the President and shall fill such duties as the President deems fit.
The purpose of the amendments is to allow the Branch to have another elected officer to better spread the duties of the Branch.

Life Insurance For Retirees

The Office of Personnel Management has posted on the Web,, an update on its pamphlet on life insurance for retirees.

Register To Vote By October 10

Members unregistered or having moved must register to vote by October 10 if they want to vote in the general election in November.

Contract Compliance

"In circumstances where the violation is egregious or deliberate or after local management has received previous instructional resolution on the same issue and it appears that a "cease and desist" remedy is not sufficient to insure future contract compliance, the parties may wish to consider a further appropriate compensatory remedy to the injured party to emphasize the commitment of the parties to contract compliance." (Joint Contract Administration Manual, pp 41-12, 13.)

When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go

"Greenwich, Connecticut: A postal worker who was denied permission to use the bathroom is accused of urinating at the desk of her husband, who also serves as supervisor. The worker was charged with disorderly conduct and released on $100 bond. She was sorting mail when she asked her husband if she could leave her work station to relieve herself, police said. When he refused her request, she argued with him, then went to his desk, dropped her pants, and urinated on the floor. Her husband/supervisor called the police."

Handbooks M-39 & M-41 Revised

According to Postal Bulletin 22029 (7-27-00), City Delivery Carrier Handbooks M-39 and M-41 have been revised to reflect the March 21, 2000, final agreement between the USPS and the NALC regarding selection of the more efficient method for city delivery routes in delivery units where delivery point sequencing (DPS) has been or will be implemented. The two approved DPS work methods are the composite bundle work method and the vertical flat casing DPS work method. According to the revisions, Management will select the most appropriate work method for each route. Management may convert those routes that have vertical flat cases and are currently using the composite bundle work method to the vertical flat casing DPS work method. Additionally, the parties agreed that there is no prohibition to the number of bundles that may be carried on a mounted route.
Vertical Flat Casing Method: Case residual letters in the same separations with vertically cased flat mail, pull down and carry as a single bundle.
Composite Bundle Work Method: Case residual letter mail separately into delivery sequence order, pull down and carry as a composite (third) bundle.

Carrier Cases

According to the M-41 revisions cited in the 7/27/00 Postal Bulletin, Section 221.8 provides that "When the Vertical Flat Case (VFC) DPS work method is used, letters may be sorted into four, five or six shelves. In non-DPS environments using one, two, or modified two-bundle systems, and in DPS environments where the composite bundle work method is used, agreement between the local parties is necessary before four or five shelf letter cases may be used."

Dispute Resolution Process Agreed To

The NALC and the Postal Service have agreed to a new process to resolve workplace disputes. The agreement establishes a two-step process. The first step involves specific timelines for a worker or union steward to bring a complaint to the worker's immediate supervisor or if necessary to file a grievance. If no resolution is reached at that step, a team consisting of one union and one manager will hear an appeal and issue a decision based on the current labor contract and the Joint Contract Administration Manual. If no resolve is reached at that step, the dispute goes to the National Business Agent for attempted resolution at that level. If no resolution at that level, the grievance may be appealed to arbitration. It is anticipated that very few disputes will go to arbitration.

Union Label Week

Look for the Union label! Union label week is celebrated in conjunction with Labor Day. Encourage your friends and family to shop smart and buy union made products, goods and services.

New Branch Members

V A Horton - Atco
L A Boschetto - Pennsville
K R Lawson - Lawnside
C E Mullins - Woodstown
F J Baran - Voorhees
L Schipske - Woodbury
B Batezel - Paulsboro
R D Simpkins - Penns Grove
M K Cromer - Atco
S L Schcoley - Williamstown
R Ceemak - Mantua
D A Archer - Blackwood
R L Pagaduan - Magnolia
S Wirtz - Bridgeton
H Litle - Gloucester
C Colomy - Pitman
C Patel - Westville
R T Olszrwski - Bellmawr
R Glasco - Glassboro

Please pardon some of the name spellings. Some of the form 1187s were rather illegible.

Rurals Reject Letter Carriers' Raid

According to a report in the August 28 Postal Employees News Digest, the rural carriers at their convention in Madison, Wisconsin, agreed that they don't want to be city carriers nor do they want to be led by Vincent Sombrotto, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers. According to the report, their legal Council expressed praise for Sombrotto for helping the NRLCA members realize those two points, and blamed the NALC's takeover attempt on revolt and rebellion within the rural union's ranks.

Negotiations Open For Other Postal Unions

The Postal Employees News Digestreports that negotiations have opened up at the National Level for new labor contracts with three if the largest postal unions, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, representing more than 500,000 employees.

11 Runnemede Carriers Share In $8,100 Pre-Arb Settlement

Tenn carriers at Runnemede, employed during the period August 8 to December 31, 1998, will receive $770 each, and an 11th will get $400 as the result of the Post Office's hiring and employing of a TE in lieu of a PTF carrier, in violation of Article 7, Section 1.b.4.C. of the National Agreement. (Grievance No. 110997)

$250 Each For 30 Blackwood Carriers

As the result of a pre-arb settlement at the Destrict Level, 30 career carriers at the Blackwood Post Office will receive $250 each because of the Post Office's hiring of a TE in lieu of a PTF letter carrier in violation of Article 7, Section 1.b.4.C. of the National Agreement. (Grievance No. 081697)

Voorhees Grievance Settlement

Four carriers at the Voorhees office will be compensated at the overtime rate for the following hours as the result of the settlement of overtime grievances at that office. 1.94, 1.34, 2, 2.59, and 3.09 hours. (030900A, 030900C)

$624 Cost Of Living Adjustment Effective September

The fourth cost of living adjustment under the National Agreement is $624, 30 cents per hour, or $24 per pay period. It will be effective with the pay period beginning September 9, September 29 payday. It raises the total COLAs accumulated under the current contract to $1,373 annually.