A Note From the President

I hope everyone had a safe enjoyable Summer. It was, unfortunately, a very busy Summer for the Branch with record numbers of grievances and workplace interventions. If Summer was this busy, Fall should be very interesting. The first order for the Branch will be the Presidents Workforce Subcommittee report on reforming the USPS. There are four areas that give us the greatest cause for concern. Collective Bargaining, Pay Comparability, Health Care and Outsourcing. In all of these the Commission has recommended sweeping negative changes. Changes that if adopted, will completely destroy our ability to control our economic future. I cannot go into specific details in this limited forum, however I will have a complete report at September's meeting. To combat these changes for now, the National has asked us to deliver on two specific fronts. First, we will assemble a core group of Branch members who will serve as legislative liaisons. These members will focus on the PWS's recommendations, and petition Congress on the NALC's stance. The National along with the Branch will provide training and materials to these members. Secondly, the Branch will be running an aggressive COLCPE Check-off Campaign. We will attempt to elicit every Letter Carrier to contribute a small portion of their wages through payroll deductions to support political action. If every carrier could give 1 to 2 dollars a pay, we would be well on our way in supporting candidates who will support us. This fight looks like the real thing. With one stroke of a Congressional pen - in seconds - we could lose everything it took years to gain.
Steve Lipski

Welcome Back! Next Meeting September 17

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, September 17, 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 Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - September 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, September 10, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $250

Had he been there, L.R. Price, a member of the Branch working out of the Blackwood office, would have won the $250 attendance prize drawn at the regular monthly meeting held on Wednesday, June 18. The attendance prize now stands at $250, and will remain at that level until a member in attendance at a regular monthly meeting has their name drawn.

Branch Scholarship Winners

The Branch 908 Scholarship drawing took place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 18. The winner was Peter Sirolli, the son of J. P. Sirolli who works out of the Runnemede office. The alternate winner was Andrew Silipino the son of Frank Silipino who works out of the Hammonton office.

Overtime Pay Take Away

Congress has passed a bill (HR 1119) to take away overtime pay for millions of people. The bill would let employers offer comp time instead of overtime pay, but bosses would have complete control over when -or even if- a worker could really take time off. Call, write, fax and/or email your Representative, Senator and President.

In Memoriam

Louis Geckle - Branch Retiree
Albert G. Madden, Jr. - Branch Retiree - Donation by Branch made to Lighthouse Hospice in Albert's name.
Frank Graf - Branch retiree - A donation by the Branch was made in Frank's memory to the Brooklawn EMS.
Alice Singleton - The wife of Branch retiree Dave Singleton

Nominations for the Election of Branch Officer, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates
Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards, and Convention Delegates will be called for at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 15, 2003. Nominations shall be made from the meeting floor or in writing to the Branch Recording Secretary, mailed or presented to him prior to or at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on October 15. Each eligible member of the Branch nominated for office shall accept or reject nomination for the record, in person or in writing, prior to the adjournment of the October 15 meeting. Failure to accept nomination prior to adjournment of the October 15 meeting will invalidate the nomination. Shop Stewards shall be nominated and elected by the membership he/she will represent from the office where he/she works. Elections shall be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nomination. All Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates will be elected to a term of two (2) years. Offices up for nomination and election include that of the: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Chairperson Trustees, Trustees (4), Health Benefits Representative, Housing Chairperson, Sgt. At Arms, Shop Stewards (38) and Compensated Convention Delegates (approximately 21).

Second COLA - $312

The second cost of living adjustment under the 2001-2006 National Agreement will be $312 annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI) for July, announced on August 15 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The COLA adjustment will be effective the pay period beginning September 9 (pay date September 26). It is the second of eight regular COLAs called for in the 2001-2006 National Agreement. It brings the total regular COLA under the contract to $541. The second COLA of $312 is equivalent to 15 cents per hour, or $12 per pay period.

Labor Day Telethon - August 31-September 1

NALC President Emeritus Vincent R. Sombrotto and carriers from the top NALC Branches in last year's MDA drive will appear three times on the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon August 31 and September 1 "live" from Los Angeles, to present 2003 NALC donations to help fight muscular dystrophy. The schedule for the appearances by Sombrotto and other NALC representatives is:
Monday, September 1 1:10 - 2 AM EST
9 - 9:40 AM EST
1:30 - 2:10 PM EST

George Crynick Death Notice in Error

The Branch was in error, deeply regrets, and apologizes to George Crynick, Sr., and his family for our error in reporting his death in the June issue of the Branch newsletter. It was his son, George Crynick, Jr., who died, and not Branch retiree George Crynick, Sr.

Wishing For Change Won't Do It, Voting Will

Only 36 percent of 18 to 24-year olds voted in 2002, the lowest turnout of all age groups. Only half of all 25 to 34-year olds voted. In the 2000 presidential elections, 186 million people were eligible to vote (they were US citizens of voting age). The actual number who voted, according to a Census Bureau survey, 111 million people. So 75 million eligible voters stayed home. Lighting candles will not change American foreign policy. Signing e-mail petitions will not restore civil liberties. Holding conferences and panel discussions and prayer vigils will not prevent this administration from declaring another war. The only way to reclaim power from George W. Bush is to make sure he doesn't win the 2004 election. (Taken from an article by Joan Ryan, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.)

Non-Member Listing For Region 12 As Of July 11, 2003

H. C. Schappert - Gibbstown R. L. Gaff - Gloucester
G. A. Brown - Haddon Hts. J. G. Guerra - Haddon Hts.
L. K. Sampson - Voorhees D. G. Earling - Voorhees
W. G. Griffin, Jr. - Maple Shade A. D. Kuttruf - Maple Shade
P.P. Dela Garza - Marlton V. Apartin - Marlton
J. A. Kilgore, Jr. - Marlton F. Doncheva - National Park
J. T. Eden - Paulsboro B. J. Samuels - Pennsville
A. W. Rossell - Riverton W.A. Breitenstine - Runnemede
T. P. Butler-Gaines - Stratford F. A. Gambone - Woodbury

Proposed Change of By-Laws Withdrawn

The proposed change of the Branch By-Laws that would have reduced the number of Delegates to be compensated for their attendance at a National Convention was withdrawn by the makers of the amendment at the June 18 regular monthly meeting of the Branch.

Look For the Union Label

Look for the Union Label when shopping for items of uniform dress and Christmas gifts. Do not buy uniforms from the following scab brands:
SFKM - Eventual /Conqueror - Horace Small/VF - Rutter Rex - Sun State - Bancroft - Hatch or Duty.

Branch Retirees Opt To Retain NALC Membership

The following members of the Branch who recently retired from the Postal Service have opted to retain their NALC Branch membership:
Bernard G. Menchhofer John F. Earnest, Jr.
Alfred Worrell, Jr. Michael F. Cullinan
James J. Wilson Grantland R. Williams

No Early Outs For Letter Carriers

According to the NALC, letter carriers are not receiving early out offers because the future for them is brighter than those in the other crafts. There is no need to downsize the letter carrier craft. Furthermore, the attraction of these early out offers is not nearly as rosy as it seems, once you examine the proposal. Individuals accepting the early outs will see their annuities reduced by 2 percentage points a year for each year they are short of the normal required years for retirement eligibility.

Riversharks Game & Branch Picnic Cancelled

In lieu of holding the Annual Branch Picnic at Clementon Lake Park this year, the Branch had decided, because of the continuing failures of the management at Clementon to honor its commitments with us, to hold our picnic at the Camden Riversharks stadium. However, because of a lack of interest, the picnic was cancelled.

Welcome New Member

Edward C. Dominisac - Mt Ephraim

COLCPE Casino Bus Trip - Sunday, October 12

The Branch COLCPE Casino Bus Trip has been scheduled for Sunday, October 12, the day before the Monday Columbus Day Holiday. The bus will leave the hall at 11 am for Caesars Casino and return at 6 pm, after which there will be a free 2-hour beef and beer at the Union Hall. Tickets for the trip are $20, which includes $11 back in coins at the casino, the bus trip and the beef and beer.

Branch Life Members

John Dondero Milton Grundlock, Sr. Marion Howell, Sr.
Leonard Kienzle Samuel Rosenberg Norman Task
Life membership is granted by the NALC to all members upon fifty (50) years of membership in the NALC. Such members receive a card of gold, which entitles him/her with all the privileges of membership in the NALC without the payment of dues, per capita tax, or special assessments.

New Branch Retirees

M.F. Cullinan - Voorhees J. F. Earnest, Jr. - Bridgeton
A. L. Shane - Mt. Ephraim J. J. Wilson - Blackwood
H. Z. Hill - Paulsboro B. G. Menchhofer - Sewell
A. Worrell, Jr. - Swedesboro G. R. Williams - Voorhees
A. L. Hulme - Voorhees

Assist a Fellow Letter Carrier

Camden Branch 540 has sent a request for assistance to all NALC Brothers and Sisters for a fellow letter carrier: Tom Tracey and his family. Tom, 47 years old, was suddenly stricken with terminal cancer. He has a prognosis of less than 3 more months to live. Tom has been an NALC member for his entire 20 years of service. He and his wife have been married for 26 years and have 4 children. Your contributions will help meet the urgent needs that confront the Tracey family. Contributions can be sent to the Tracey family at:
The Tom Tracey Fund
C/O NALC Branch 540
PO Box 295
Collingswood NJ 08108

Request For Annual Leave Donations

We have received a request for annual leave donations for Thomas Hrynshyn, carrier, Runnemede office. Mr. Hrynshyn has had surgery and was recently diagnosed with cancer. Any employee interested in donating annual leave (in increments of 8 or more full hours) should contact their personnel office or Union representative and request Form 3970-D, Request to Donate Leave. The LSP Case number is 03-4B-080-007. Forms 3970-D with completed parts 1 and 11 should be sent to: Manager Human Resources, USPS, and PO Box 9001, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-9461.

Insurance Policy Premiums Waived

The United States Letter Carriers Mutual Benefit Association will waive the premiums for Life Insurance Policies and Foundation 1 Policies for those letter carriers who have been called to an active duty status in the US Military due to Operation Iraqi Freedom. If you know of any members of the Branch currently serving with the active duty armed services, please contact the Branch so that we can notify the MBA.

Pre-Arbitration Settlement Agreement - Blackwood

"This settlement addresses the attached list totaling 26 routes out Blackwood, NJ, dealing with route inspections in October, 1998 and January, 1999. 23 of the 26 routes identified in the office will be compensated one-time lump sum payments of $254 each. The grand total of this settlement equals $5842."

Pre-Arbitration Settlement Agreement - Westville

"Each grievant will receive one (1) lump sum payment of $150 each as the result of disputed route inspections. This constitutes payments to eight (8) letter carriers."

WalkAmerica March of Dimes 2003 - $10,000 Raised

Thanks to all who helped by either walking or raising money or by helping to sell tickets or chocolate. We came in 5th place, rising over $10,000. We also had one winner in the raffle: Sam Fox of Haddon Hts.
Donna Villec, Chairperson