From The VP’s Case

WHAT A SUMMER! In all the years I have worked for this company I can say this summer has been the worst one I have ever been associated. I am not referring to the weather either. It is the management in this district that reached an all-time low with its policies.
In order to keep able body carriers at home this district violated the contract on more levels then I could ever have imagined!
The first and most blatant violation was supervisors and postmasters actually delivering full routes and pieces of routes just to keep OTDL carriers from working overtime! How degrading is this? Are you telling me they don't have enough work of their own to do? Maybe we should start eliminating these jobs.
This blatant violation will get all carriers "FREE" cash, regardless if they are on any overtime desired list. I just hope all you carriers who are aware of these violations stand up and protect your job by notifying the union so we can grieve these violations to get you your free windfall! Just remember, if you let management do your work your office will lose those hours for future adjustments. Just because you are not on the list doesn't give management the right to do the work. Don't be intimidated by them, do what's right!
The next issue I need to address is also with the local managers. I have never witnessed a bunch of scared little people in my life. To force blatant contract violations down employee's throats, that you know is wrong, because of the threat of the "KINGS" wrath, shows me the spine structure of you guys and gals. You should all be ashamed of yourselves!
The other major violation we have seen is the forcing of non-otdl carriers to work. I know a lot of you are frustrated, as we all are, but we are trying to process these massive amounts of grievances as best we can. The one problem we are running into is getting our time due to the vacation period. We have stewards who have been off for 3 weeks, so it becomes hard to get these grievances processed. Hopefully, we will be able to catch up on the paperwork now that the vacation period has just about ended.
Remember, if you don't watch the fort while the union is away, we will not be able to stop these blatant violations. Let your steward or branch officer know if you think the contract is being violated. I would bet that there was not one office that had some kind of violation this summer. I hope when we return to our regular meetings this month that every steward will report they have been busy filing grievances this summer.
As long as we make the proper arguments I have confidence we will prevail on all of these grievances. We just need to stay together and be patient.
-Gary DiGiacomo

Next Meeting – September 16

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, September 16, 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.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday – September 9

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 9, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $175

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 17, Ed Herda, a member out of the Somerdale office, would have been the recipient of the $150 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $175 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

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 2010 thru 2011 shall take place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, October 21, 2009. 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 (37) 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 two and one half (2.5) percent of the total Branch membership, (which is approximately 18).

Branch Scholarship Winner

The drawing for the annual Branch Scholarship of $500 for each of 4 years, or $2000, for continuing education after high school, took place at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 17. The winner was Jake Falls, the son of Swedesboro carrier Shop Steward Shannon Falls. The alternate winner was Tom Lipski, the son of Branch President Steve Lipski. Congratulations and good luck to the winners!

Proposed Change To Branch Constitution and By-Laws Passed

The proposed By-Law change that dealt with how bills are to be submitted to the Board of Trustees was opened up for discussion at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, June 17. The proposal was subsequently voted upon and passed.

Fred Rolando Sworn In As NALC President

On June 4, 2009, Fred Rolando was sworn in as National NALC President following the retirement of former President Bill Young.
President Rolando made the following National Officer appointments: Vice President Gary Mullins was appointed to Executive Vice President. Assistant Secretary-Treasurer George Mignosi was appointed to Vice President Region 5 RAA Nicole Rhine was appointed to Assistant Secretary-Treasurer.

Philadelphia Selected for 2014 NALC Convention

The 69th Biennial NALC National Convention will be held July 21-25, 2014 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
The 67th Convention will be in Anaheim, California from August 9-13, 2010, and the 68th Convention will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 23-27, 2012.

Route Adjustment Update

The first round of adjustments under the MIARAP procedure are now completed and the next round of 3999’s will begin for the newly established routes. In the first round the concern for most carriers was the 3999’s and the concerns varied. It is important now that we as carriers establish the time it takes to do these routes and keep in mind that the territory you received is not yours. Prove these times especially for those of you who received territory and believe that the sections cannot be done in the time transferred to you. This is the opportunity to do this. Upon completion of your 3999, request a copy so that you can review it and raise any questions at that point. Shop Stewards should try to work with local management to make every effort that the regular carrier be walked on the day of the 3999. There will be situations where this may not be applicable, in this case we need to try to have the most representative carrier such as a T-6 or a ptf on a hold down walk the 3999. The goal here is to have the most representative time for the route so that a fair evaluation can be made.
-Paul Poniatowski, Financial Secretary

From The Health Benefits Officer

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has just announced that Open Season for the 2010 benefit year will take place from Monday, November 9, 2009 through Monday, December 14, 2009.
: I’ve had several calls about the new forms for FLMA. If you do have a problem, please feel free to call me at home before submitting the form. 856-933-2649.
-HBO Fred Mendel

No Early Out Incentives Planned For Carriers

The USPS has negotiated agreements with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union to offer cash incentives of up to $15,000 to employees in both unions' crafts to accept a Voluntary Early Retirement offer between now and November 30. The agreements were prompted by the large financial losses incurred by the Postal Service as a result of the steep decline in mail volume due to the recession, as well as the heavy cost of pre-funding retiree health benefits. The incentives target the crafts with complements in excess of needs. A moratorium on excessing in the two unions’ crafts will be imposed until October 9. The Postal Service has not offered to negotiate a similar program for city or rural letter carriers with the NALC or the NRLCA. At present, the complements of city and rural carriers remain more closely aligned with the Postal Service’s needs to cover last-mile delivery at current mail volume. The new early-out programs should reduce the number of postal employees in other crafts excessed to the city carrier craft in the months ahead.

Thanks Branch 908

To my family at Branch 908, thank you for the condolences and contribution. We are deeply appreciative. – Barb Ricci and family of Robert Hendershot
Thank you for your gift in memory of Paul Entwistle. – Lyme Disease Association, Inc.

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -Abraham Lincoln

Branch 908 Day At The Races

There are still some spots available for Branch 908 Day at the Races.
When: Monday, Oct. 12th (Columbus Day Holiday) 12:00 – 6:00 pm 
Where: Delaware Park Racetrack
Featuring: slots, horse racing and a BBQ in the Grove
Menu Includes: Texas style BBQ spare ribs, burgers, BBQ boneless breast of chicken, hot dogs, baked beans, chips, watermelon, beer, wine and soda
Cost: $15.00 per person. We are limited to 100 spots; payment in full guarantees your spot. A final count must be turned in by Sept. 16; no money will be accepted after that date.
Make checks payable to NALC Branch 908.
Mail to: 
Steve Lipski
218 Orlando Ave.
Gloucester, NJ 08030

Uliase& Uliase

This is a reminder to our members that the law firm of Uliase & Uliase is on retainer for the Branch to handle Federal Workers’ Compensation Claims. These are the only issues that they handle. A number of our members have been calling regarding areas of the law in which they do not practice ranging from the Americans’ with Disabilities Act through matrimonial and even Estate planning questions.
Uliase & Uliase are one of the best at what they do, that is why we have them on retainer for OWCP issues, and they have helped a number of our members since we’ve been associated.
Uliase & Uliase are located at 106 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, NJ 08035 and can be reached at 856-310-9002.

Hal Crass Still Branch Attorney

Just a reminder, that the Branch still has Harold “Hal” Crass of Pearson & Crass, on retainer as the Branch attorney for all other legal matters. Hal’s office is located at 59 N. Broad St., Woodbury, NJ 08096 and he can be reached at 856-845-7900.

Never Forget 9-11

Well, it’s been eight years now and people are starting to forget the past, and move on. In a way, this is a good thing to move on, but we must never forget what happened that fateful day:
At least 2,985 people died in the September 11th attacks, including: There were 266 (264?) people on the four planes: There were 2,959 people in and near the World Trade Center, including: There were 125 civilian and military personnel at the Pentagon.
1,609 people lost a spouse or partner on 9-11.
More than 3,051 children lost parents.