A Note from the Branch President

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
First of all, I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable summer. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Eagles raffle. The winner was Phil Schnell, Jr., of Gloucester City. We raised over $900 for our political action fund. For $2 a ticket, that ain't bad! Speaking of political action, it looks like Postal Reform legislation is finally on its way with overwhelming support in the House; the Senate is next. When and if NALC President Young calls for our support, everyone must respond in force to give the thing its final push.
I'm sure that everyone has heard by now that the APWU has singed a contract extension which will coincide with the expiration of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. This will bring all the major postal unions to the table at about the same time. With the other postal unions clinging to "me too" agreements the Postal Service will cry poor mouth at the table. They will tell us, with a straight face, that they would like to give us a fair contract, but that it would be too costly with the other unions' demands. Now, I hope that I am wrong, heaven knows that we have done more than any other employee sector to enhance the survival and profitability of the Postal Service, but as you have seen in the past, the Postal Service will take from you like a thief in the night, but give back like a modern day Scrooge. So when they come down with amnesia at the contact table, it will be up to every one of us refresh their memories.
Steve Lipski

Welcome Back - Next Meeting September 21

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, September 21, 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 - Wednesday, September 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, September 14, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $100

Had he been at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on June 15, J. F. Rynkiewicz, working out of the Blackwood office would have been the winner of the $75 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $100 and will accumulate at $25 per meeting until a Branch member in attendance at a regular meeting of the Branch wins.

Drew Walter Memorial Scholarship Winners

Winner: Jenny McCluskey, the daughter of John McCormick, working out of the Blackwood office.
Alternate: Sam Saldana, the son of S. S. Saldana, who works out of the Paulsboro office.

Sixth COLA - $707

The sixth regular cost-of-living adjustment under the current National Agreement will be $707 annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for July announced August 15 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost-of-living adjustment, effective September 3 (pay date September 23), is the sixth of eight regular COLAs included in the 2001-2006 contract. The $707 annually is equivalent to 34 cents per hour, or $27.20 per pay period. The latest COLA raised the total increase in annual pay for top grade letter carriers (CC Grade 1, Step O) to $47,396 annually, an increase of $4,283 or $164.72 per pay period since the beginning of the contract. It raised the total COLA paid under the contract so far to $2,288 annually.

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 2006 thru 2007 shall take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at 9 pm. 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, (4) Trustees, Health Benefits Representative, Housing Chairperson, Sgt. at Arms, (38) Shop Stewards 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.

Dates to Remember

Officers & SS Meetings Wednesday, September 14
Branch Meeting Wednesday, September 21
Officers & SS Meetings Wednesday, October 12
Branch Meeting Wednesday, October 19
Nominations of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards & Convention Delegates Wednesday, October 19

OWCP Officer
Ed Friel is our injury compensation Officer. If you have any questions or need forms regarding an injury on the job, call Ed at 856-468-7339

Welcome New Branch Members

Michelle Maimone (P&DC) S. M. Petrillo (Haddon Hts)
K. D. Ray (Williamstown) D. H. Doran (Paulsboro)
D. M. Brunick (Stratford) A. R. Harmon (Paulsboro)

A. D. Kuttruf (Maple Shade)

Branch Expense Report for May

Printing Branch Newsletter $90.10
Postage 778.85
Phone 139.88
Office Supplies 118.78
Hall Rental 330.00
Meeting Refreshments 500.00
Grievance Costs 24.30
Participation, Charity Events 90.08
State Convention 1000.00
Labor Act. & Functions 72.04
Per Capita Tax 114.00
Officers' Salaries (net) 2177.51  
Total Expenses $5435.54

USPS Reaches Agreement with APWU

The US Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union have reached a tentative one-year contract extension that provides for a 1.6 percent wage increase effective March 18, 2006, and includes the continuation of the cost-of-living allowance. The agreement, if ratified by the Union members, covers the period from November 20, 2005, through November 20, 2006. (Fed Times).

Newest Branch Gold Card Member

Having completed fifty (50) years membership in the NALC, Pasquale Cavallaro will be presented with a life Membership Card of gold. The Card of gold entitles Pasquale to all of the privileges of membership in the National Association of Letter Carriers without the payment of dues, per capita tax, or special assessments. Pasquale will also be issued a suitable lapel pin. The Life membership card and the lapel pin are issued by the National Association through the office of the National President.

NALC Years of Service Lapel Pins Received

Norm Spence, Branch Membership Chairman has announced the receipt and presentation of NALC Years of Service Lapel Pins to the following members of the Branch:
Steve Marino - 25 years Joe Schultz - 30 years
Mike Webb - 30 Years Bill Young - 35 years
Harry Gedling - 40 years

Bill Debes - 45 years

Pennsville Carrier Rescues Local Woman

Pamela Goslin was cited in the local press for rescuing a local woman who was trapped under an 800-pound Harley Davidson. Pamela was delivering mail in the area when she heard cries for help coming from an open garage. Goslin found the woman trapped under the Harley Davidson, which fell on the woman when she accidentally hit the kick stand of the bike causing it to fall on her left leg. The woman had been trapped under the bike for 20 to 25 minutes before Goslin came along and lifted the bike off of her leg.

Memo on Multiple Days of Inspection during Route Count & Inspections

"Local management will, if it determines it necessary when scheduling an inspection to inspect more than one day, inspect no more that three days during the week of count and inspection, If local management elects to inspect on two or three days during the week of count and inspection, local management will be responsible for completion of the 1838-C one of the days. The letter carrier will count and complete the 1838-C on the other days of inspection. When local management elects to inspect on two or three days, the PS Form 3999 closest to the selected street time on the PS Form 1840 will be used to transfer territory."

In Memoriam

Kenneth R. Viallanova, Sr. - Branch retiree out of the Woodbury/Deptford office, on August 26, 2005.

Thank You Branch 908

"Dear Sirs: Thank you for remembering my father, Leonard R. Kienzle. The flowers you sent for his funeral were beautiful and very much appreciated. Sincerely, Alice J. Durham"
"Dear Mike McKiernan and members of Branch 908: Thank you for your donation to South Jersey Hospice Care. It is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Mike Randazo & family."

Branch Benefits

Sick & Welfare
Active members suffering periods of illness or disability shall be entitled to sick & welfare benefits. Contact: Mike McKiernan.

Death Benefits
The beneficiary of record of a deceased active or retired Branch member shall be entitled to death benefits. Contact: Mike DiGiacomo.

Expressions of Sympathy
In the event of the death of a spouse, children, or the parents of an active Branch member, or the death of an active or retired member in good standing, an appropriate spray of flowers or equivalent donation shall be made to an organization requested by the bereaved family or beneficiary. Contact: Mike McKiernan.

Branch Representation at Funerals
Representation of the Branch at the funeral services of a deceased active of retired member shall be the responsibility of the Shop Steward at the office involved, the Director of Retirees, or the Sick and Welfare Chairperson or their designee. Contact: Shop Steward, Director of Retirees, Sick & Welfare representative.

Optical Benefits
Optical benefits for the benefit of active and retired members and/or their families have been established by the Branch. Contact: Fred Mendel.

Branch Scholarship
The Branch has established a Scholarship Fund of $2,000, $500 per year for 4 years, for the children, grandchildren, step-children (living with member), and/or the adopted children of active or retired members. Contact: Steve Rutkowski.

Retirement Recognition
The Branch shall honor its retirees at an annual Retirees' Brunch, and presents them with an appropriate gift in recognition of their retirement from the Postal Service. Contact: Bill Revak.

Children's Christmas Party
Children's annual Christmas party. Toys, refreshments for children and parents of active and retired members in good standing. Picture with Santa, clowns, balloons, face-painting, etc. Contact: Donna Villec.

Union Activity Discipline
The Branch shall pay $400 per week for discipline of up to (4) weeks, thirty (30) days, of any Branch Officer or Shop Steward disciplined for his/her Union activities.

Hall Rentals
The American Legion Hall where the Branch regularly meets is available to the membership for rent at a reduced rate for small weddings, birthday parties, graduations, showers, anniversaries, etc. Bill Revak.

Legal Assistance
Branch membership provides for free consultation and legal representation at reduced raters. Call Hal Crass, Branch Attorney, at 856-845-7900.

NALC Lapel Pin Program
If you believe that you have met the requirements for an NALC Lapel Pin or Life Membership Card, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 or 50 years of continuous NALC membership, contact Norm Spence, Branch Financial Secretary to file for an appropriate lapel pin or Life Membership Card.