September 1999 Newsletter

Next Meeting - September 15

Welcome Back! The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, except in July and August. The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be on Wednesday, September 15, 8pm. At the Colonial Manor American Legion Post home, 502 Colonial Ave., N. Woodbury.

Branch Officers, Executive Board Meetings - September 8

The Branch Officers and the Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers meets at 7pm. and the Executive Board at 8pm. The next meetings of the Board of Officers and the Executive Board will be on Wednesday, September 8, at 7 and 8pm. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now Stands At $200

Had she been at the June meeting of the Branch on Wednesday June 16, J J Czyzewski, a carrier at the Deptford Post Office, would have been the recipient of the $175 attendance prize. The prize now stands at $200 for the September meeting on Wednesday, September 15.

Branch Election Notice
October 20 Nominations

Nominations for the election of Branch Officers, Shop Stewards and Convention Delegates will be called for at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch held in October (Wednesday, October 20). Elections will be by secret mail ballot of the eligible Branch membership held as soon as possible after nominations in October. All Officers and Shop Stewards shall be elected to a term of two (2) years. Officers to be elected: President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Recording Secretary, Trustees' Chairperson, four (4) Trustees, a Health Benefits' MBA-NSBA Representative, a Sgt At Arms, a Housing Chairperson, thirty-eight (38) Shop Stewards, and one (1) Convention Delegate for each twenty (20) Branch members or fraction thereof. Nominations shall be made from the floor or in writing to the Branch Secretary prior to or at the October meeting. Nominations shall be accepted or rejected in person or in writing prior to adjournment of the October regular monthly meeting.

Branch Picnic
Sunday September 19

The annual Branch picnic this year will be held at Clementon Lake Amusement Park, Clementon, NJ, on Sunday September 19, 1999, commencing at 11 am. Cost of tickets are $10 pp. children 36 inches and under, free. For tickets, contact your Shop Steward. Cost of ticket includes all amusement rides, hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks and snacks, etc.

Branch Scholarship Winners

Brian Richards - Winner     Bree Leman - Runner Up

Brian is the son of carrier M A Richards, a Branch member working out of the Gloucester City Post Office, and Bree, the runner up, is the daughter of M M Leman, a Branch member who works out of the Pitman office. Congratulations! Brian and Bree. Previous scholarship winners, please contact Steve Lipski so he can update records concerned with the mailing of this year's checks.

Branch Picketing A Huge Success

This Branch was never more proud than it was on Wednesday June 9, when its members, retirees, friends and families and other AFL-CIO Unionists including Deptford Fire Fighters, AFL staff members, and Telephone Workers, showed up to march and distribute information to the public and the media outside the Post Offices represented by Branch 908. That activity, when combined with the thousands of NALC members who picketed across the Nation on that day, showed that the rank and file letter carriers throughout the Country backed NALC President Vincent Sombrotto who is spearheading our fight before the arbitration panel for a fair and decent labor contract for letter carriers. If there was any doubt about whether Sombrotto had the backing and support of his members, it was certainly dispelled by those who braved the sun and heat on June 9, 1999, to show their displeasure with the way they are being treated by the US Postal Service.
(see picture, below)

National Contract Arbitration Recesses Until September 7

The interest arbitration for a new contract with the Postal Service recessed on August 17 until Tuesday, September 7, at which time the NALC will resume its rebuttal of USPS testimony. National Business Agent Tim O'Malley reports the "the membership would be proud of the NALC and the members that have testified."

Shop Steward Files Unfair Unfair Labor Charges at Gibbstown

Disgusted with the continued refusal of the Postmaster at Gibbstown to provide the union at the local level with timely copies of Form(s) 1723, detailing a PTF letter carrier to temporary supervisory, and the continued procrastination of the Postmaster to meet or allow the Shop Steward access to the carriers at the office, the Shop Steward at Gibbstown, Paul Sheets, has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board in Philadelphia.

Robert F. Rumaker, Sr.

It is with deep regret and sorrow that we report the death of Bob Rumaker, an active Branch member who worked out of the National Park Post Office prior to his recent retirement because of health problems. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Mary and family. God Bless!

Use Of Sick Leave For FML Expanded From 13 Days To 12 Weeks

According to the Federal Employees News Digest, President Clinton has announced new rules providing that Federal employees can use up to 12 weeks of accrued sick leave to care for ailing family members under the same conditions covered by the Family Medical Leave Act. Currently workers can only use 13 days sick leave to care for ill children and parents. OPM is in the process of formulating regulations to impliment the new rules and estimates that it will take four to six months to complete the process and make the policy effective.

Arbitration Awards & Grievance Settlements

"Arbitration awards and grievance settlements are final and binding. Compliance is not an option, but a requirement. One of the few acceptable reasons for non-compliance is seeking to have the award vacated in a federal court, which is very rare. No manager or supervisor has the authority to override an arbitrator's award or a signed grievance settlement." (USPS district Memo, April 8, 1998)

"Lightest" Day Route Adjustments

"The evaluation and analysis procedure for route inspections are outlined in section 242 of the M-39 Handbook. Any procedure which automatically establishes the lightest mail volume day (or any other specific day) as the basis for route adjustment is incorrect and must be changed to conform with the provision of the M-39 Handbook." (Memo, Asst. PM Gen., Del. Srvcs. Dept., April 30, 1976, & Step 4 Settlement Agreement, 2/20/99)

Don't Participate

The office of our National Business Agent advises that members should not participate in a random survey being conducted by the Post Office because of the nature of the questions included in the survey about events such as threats and violence.

2000 Inspection Schedule

                             Office                Inspection Date
                           Penns Grove                  1/8/00
                           Stratford                    1/29/00
                           Gloucester                   4/22/00 (Rt. Review)
                           Westville                    4/29/00
                           Paulsboro                    4/29/00
                           Deptford-Woodbury            5/6/00

DPS Mail Observations & Requests For OT or Aux Assistance

As the result of a pre-arb settlement at the National Level relating to whether carriers should be allowed to observe the amount of DPS mail available for delivery prior to determining the need for OT or auxiliary assistance, it was mutually agreed that if, while in the normal course of picking up DPS mail a letter carrier determines the need to file a request for OT or auxiliary assistance (or to amend a request that was previously filed), the carrier may do so at that time. The supervisor will advise the carrier of the disposition of the request or amended request promptly after the review of the circumstances. (Re: H90N-4H-C94048406, St. Petersburg, Fl.)

Honolulu In 2004

The NALC Executive Council, meeting in Washington, July 7, 1999, selected Honolulu, Hawaii, as the site of the NALC National Convention in 2004. The next NALC National Convention will be held July 31 - August 4, 2000, in Chicago. Philadelphia is the site of the 2002 convention.

Branch Pickets Woodbury Post Office