A Note From the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
At the National Convention President Young was given the approval to seek new methods to adjust routes. In the last NALC Bulletin, the preliminary steps were outlined that would allow the local parties to agree upon methods to achieve these adjustments. If the local parties are unable to agree upon the adjustments, the National parties would draft guidelines that the local parties would have to follow. If this adjustment process is successful, the need for adjustments under the M-39 would virtually be eliminated. What every one of us has to realize is that routes must be completed professionally and accurately everyday. Every line item and route function must be accounted for on a daily basis. Every minute of office time and street time must be shown on a daily basis and therefore built into your route for adjustment purposes. We will no longer have an inspection week to argue about missing office times and suspect street times. What you do every day and how you do it will determine the "picture" of your route and in turn how your life will be affected. Management has continually given us additional functions to perform. We must take the time to complete duties professionally. We have safety rules that take time, we have security rules that take time, we have administrative functions that take time, and we have properly handled DPS that takes time. Please take the time that it takes!
Steve Lipski

Welcome Back, Hope You Had a Great Summer
Next Meeting - September 15

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, September 15, 8 PM, 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, 8 pm, except during the months of July and August.

Next Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings - September 8

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 8, 7:30 and 8 PM respectively.

Attendance Prize Stands At $25

A retiree out of Deptford/Woodbury, Jim Serock, won the $250 attendance prize at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on June 16. The attendance prize now starts anew at $25, and will accumulate at the sum of $25 each regular monthly meeting of the Branch, up to $250 until someone in attendance at a regular monthly meeting has their name drawn. Branch Officers and Shop Stewards are not eligible.

COLCPE Casino Bus Trip - Sunday, October 10

COLCPE Chairman Norm Task has announced that a Casino Bus Trip, the proceeds of which go to help support politicians and legislation that benefits working people and their families, has been scheduled for Sunday, October 10 (the day before the Monday Columbus Holiday). The bus will leave the Union Hall at 11 am and will arrive back at the Hall at approximately 6 pm, at which time there will be beef, beer, and refreshments served at the Hall. The cost of the bus trip is $20 pp, $15 of which will be returned in coins on arrival at the Casino. For tickets, reservations or information, call Norm at 547-1639.

Annual Branch Picnic - Huge Success

The Annual Branch Picnic, held on Sunday, August 22 at Clementon Lake Park, was a huge success thanks to the very hard work of the Picnic Committee headed by Jim Livingston. Jim, Tom Barnett, Steve Lipski, Paul Poniatowski, and Mrs. Livingston, Poniatowski and Mendel who manned the charcoal grills and serving tables, cooking and serving the hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, sausage, salads and condiments. A vote of thanks also goes out to all the others of our Union family who came out with their children, families and friends to enjoy one of our annual get-togethers. We even had visitors from Florida, retirees Bill and Sandy Baitinger who send their regards to all.

John A. "Veet" Vito
July 12, 1942 - June 23, 2004

John Vito, our Branch Financial Secretary, friend, colleague, and the beloved companion of Donna Villec for 22 years, died suddenly on Thursday, June 23 at the age of 61 years. John was a consummate Union man and legislative activist for the Branch par excellence. To say that he will be sorely missed by Donna, his family, friends, colleagues, the Branch members, the NALC and all who knew him is, to say the least, a gross understatement. He was a member of the NALC for over 30 years, and he left his mark on unionism for all to follow.

Thanks From Donna Villec & Vito Family

Like a quite reflection
Calms the soul,
Your kindness and
Comfort the heart.
Thank you
Donna Villec
And the family of….
John A. Vito

The Union Bug, What It Really Means
Submitted By John A. Vito

How many members know what the Union Bug that appears on all Union publications and stationary really means? Printers have been known to use what is described as a bug to designate Union labor from as early as October 15, 1891. The Union bug has at least five purposes:
  1. It is a protection against anti, or non-Union shops that might otherwise profess union working conditions.
  2. It can be part of a public-relations campaign to induce customers to buy Union-made products.
  3. It is a sign of good workmanship and quality standards.
  4. It is a badge of Union prestige to attract new members.
  5. It is a warning against trespass by competitive Unions.
The bug contains the name of the Union, city and Union number. When shops are organized, they are assigned a number, which is included in the bug. Always use shops that have the Union bug. It shows that you support Union labor and the wages and benefits they receive for their work.

Branch Membership Decides That Facts Do Not Sustain Charges Against Shop Steward

The committee of disinterested members, appointed by the Branch President to investigate and find the true facts with relation to charges filed against a Shop Steward at the Woodbury/Deptford office, submitted its findings to the Branch membership at the regular monthly meeting on June 15, subsequent to which the Branch membership in attendance and voting decided that the facts did not sustain the charges filed by a Branch member at the Woodbury/Deptford office.

New Branch Retirees

Congratulations to the following members of the Branch who have retired and decided to retain their membership in the NALC and the Branch:
Francis G. O'Boyle (Williamstown)
Patrick M. Doran (Blackwood)
B. A. Ricci (Marlton).

Military Leave Eligibility

Military Leave is authorized absence from postal duties without loss of pay, time or performance rating granted to eligible employees who are members of the National Guard or reservists of the armed forces. Eligible for such leave are career employees, i.e., full-time, part-time regular and part-time flexible employees. (ELM 517.1, 517.4)

Management Violations of the Law Regarding Work Related Injuries or Illness

  1. Failure to provide a CA-16
  2. Providing the wrong form
  3. Failure to provide a receipt for a submitted CA-1, or 2
  4. Delay in forwarding a CA-1 or 2 to OWCP
  5. Failure to provide completed copy of CA-1 or 2
  6. Contacting a carrier's physician in person or by phone
  7. Failure to provide copies of written contacts with physician
  8. Failure to give notice of controversion and challenge info
  9. Failure to advise carrier of right to choose a physician
  10. Delay forwarding CA-7

Thanks for the Donation

The family of Paul Flagg (Blackwood) has sent a note to the Branch expressing their thanks for the generous Branch donation in memory of their mother Gerry Flagg.

New Scanners Coming in 2005

The scanners currently in use will soon be replaced. Almost all of 350,000 scanners now in use were bought in 1997. Because of the growth in use and activity, they are becoming obsolete. The USPS plans to replace most (if not all of them) with newer models. Nationwide deployment is planned for 2005. (NALC Branch 4317 News).

Branch Dental Plan Unveiled

A proposed Branch dental plan engineered by President Steve Lipski for the active members of the Branch was unveiled at the regular monthly meeting on June 15 by a representative of United Concordia, America's Premier Dental Insurer. The financial aspects of the costs to the Branch have to be worked out before implementation. Stay tuned.

Fourth COLA - $624 - 30 Cents Per Hour, or $24 Per Pay Period -
Effective September 4

The fourth regular cost-of-living adjustment under the National Agreement will be $624 annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for July announced on August 17 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The adjustment will be reflected in the September 24 paycheck. The increase is equivalent to 30 cents per hour, or $24 per pay period. It is the fourth of eight regular COLAs included in the 2001-2006 contracts.

Welcome New Branch Members

Edward J. Holland III - (Williamstown)
Loreli J. Liberman - (Woodbury)
N. J. Martino, Jr. - (Hammonton)

2004 Pay Days Remaining

Pay Period

Pay Period Ending

Pay Days

20 Sept. 4 - Sept. 17 September 24
21 Sept. 18 - Oct. 01 October 08
22 Oct. 02 - Oct. 15 October 22
23 Oct. 16 - Oct. 29 November 05
24 Oct. 30 - Nov. 12 November 19
25 Nov. 13 - Nov. 26 December 03
26 Nov. 27 - Dec. 10 December 17
27 Dec. 11 - Dec. 24 December 31

NALC Convention Delegates Endorse Kerry - Edwards Ticket

Delegates at the 64th NALC Biennial Convention in Honolulu July 20 gave overwhelming and rousing support to the candidacy of Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts for President and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina for Vice President. The action came by voice vote as the convention considered a resolution of endorsement of Kerry by the Massachusetts Association of Letter Carriers. The motion to back the Kerry-Edwards ticket was seconded by North Carolina carriers.

Branch Members Opt For Retirement

P. A. Eller (Pennsville) J. J. Font, Jr. (Williamstown)
J. D. Warren (Bellmawr) P. M. Doran (Blackwood)

B. A. Ricci (Marlton)

Memo of Understanding on Route Inspection and Adjustment Reached

The NALC and USPS on August 4 reached agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding that blocks continued use of traditional inspection and evaluation method for route adjustments, instead encouraging local Union and Management officials to agree on their own method and the local data used. No routes are to be evaluated and adjusted using the traditional route inspection process in the M-39 as long as the August 4 memorandum remains in effect. The memo also prohibits the Postal Service from making minor route adjustments under the provisions of the M-39 while the memo is in effect. The only exceptions are special route inspection requests pursuant to section 271g of the M-39 Handbook including those special counts that were suspended under the previous memo and those suspended inspections and adjustments that were to be conducted pursuant to a grievance-arbitration decision.

Clayton Member Returned To Duty

A Branch member at Clayton who was removed from the Postal Service for alleged violence in the workplace was restored to duty without any back pay pursuant to a pre-arbitration settlement agreement entered into by the parties on July 1, 2004.

Branch Scholarship Awarded

Steve Rutkowski, Chairman of the Branch Scholarship Committee, held the drawing for the Annual Scholarship Award at the June 16 regular monthly meeting. There were 30 applicants for the award. The winner of the award was Nathan Reed, the child of M.C. Reed, employed at the Glassboro office. The runner up drawn was Zachary Haas, the child of P. G. Haas, employed at the Westville office.

Remember The COLCPE Casino Bus Trip, Sunday, October 10