For the Latest News Click HERE.
The February Bid Sheet is out as of 02/17/2017. Bidding begins on Tuesday 02/21/2017 and ends on Thursday 03/02/2017. To see the February Bid Sheet CLICK HERE.
The Fall-Winter Mailbag is available. To see it Click HERE.
To see pictures of the 2016 National Convention taken by Branch 40 carrier Maureen Gochett, click HERE.
A new CCA Resource Center link has been added to the Branch Info center to the right. Currently it contains CCA Tips and Training from the CCA workshops in both October and November.
Many, many people have expressed the extreme dismay they feel after the results of this most recent election whereby the conservatives have taken control of the House, Senate, Presidency, and by virtue of appointing a justice to replace Antonin Scalia, the supreme court. Despite losing the popular vote by over 3 MILLION votes, this means that they will be able to push their anti worker, anti environment, anti human rights, anti women, anti minority agenda with virtually zero resistance for the next 2 and perhaps 4 years. It is easy to understand why many people feel a sense of helplessness. In the few weeks since the election congress under Paul Ryan in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate have pushed ahead with their agenda to eliminate Medicare, Social Security, and the Affordable Care Act, which would leave over 30 million people without access to health care, throw over 46 million senior citizens into poverty, and leave those seniors without healthcare. They can do this because they have no fear of a veto from the new president. At the same time the new administration has appointed cabinet members who at best have no qualifications for the job they are being appointed to other than being a huge contributor, Betsy DeVos, and at worst have a conflict with the very department they are to head, Andrew Puzder, Labor and Rex Tillerson, State. Meanwhile, the administration is inundating the people with false news and information all the while seeking to discredit legitimate news sources, claiming they are the ones putting out “fake news”. And the new president is more concerned about how “Saturday Night Live” portrays him and about whether his family’s business interests are being undermined by Nordstrom. It is no wonder people feel helpless. At this time, it is important for everyone who believes in the values that make the United States of America the great country that it is become involved in resisting this conservative agenda that will take away our way of life, destroy the middle class, push tens of millions into poverty, marginalize minorities and immigrants, and destroy the environment. But we can’t do it alone, we have to join together with millions of other citizens who want to protect American values. One of the ways to do this is by contacting your elected representatives. Let them know you are against the gutting of social security and medicare and the repeal of the ACA. Tell them you disagree with the new president’s issuance of dozens of unconstitutional executive orders. Congress raised a stink when President Obama issued legal executive orders, yet seem not to notice when the new president issues illegal ones. Let them know you think it’s hypocritical. They really do pay attention when people call. Another way is to join “Indivisible”. Click on the link at left to check it out. It lays out a plan by former staffers on exactly how citizens like us can resist this destructive conservative agenda. If you have never been politically involved, now is the time to become involved. If you do not step up to make your voice heard, who will do it for you. Start by going to school board and city council meetings. Let them know you are “Mad as Hell, and aren’t going to take it any more.” If called upon, volunteer to be on a committee, or even consider running for school board or city council. It is time consuming, but if we the people don not exercise our rights as citizens, the corporate sponsored conservatives will ultimately take them away from us.
For all those of you who have wondered why working people, maybe even you or someone you know, voted against their own self-interest, and side with the wealthy elite against working people, here is a very well written and researched article that attempts to explain that very thing. It is called “I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump.” To read the article CLICK HERE.
Videos, Information, and Photos from the 70th Biennial Convention of the NALC are posted under LATEST NEWS. To view, click the LATEST NEWS link above.
The APWU has been given a new contract by Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg. To read details of their new contract CLICK HERE.
There is a new Legislative Update available. To read it CLICK HERE.
Steward Resources are now centrally located in the Stewards’ Storehouse link located at the top of the column to the right.
To see a copy of the Mail Bag CLICK HERE.
There is a new CCA Relative Standing List Effective June 10, 2016. To see it CLICK HERE.
Following is the transcript of the Declaration of Independence for those who have never taken the time to read it.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor
For all those of you who have wondered why working people, maybe even you or someone you know, vote against their own self-interest, and side with the wealthy elite against minority working people, here is a very well written and researched article that attempts to explain that very thing. It is called “I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump.” To read the article CLICK HERE.
All our jobs exist at the whim of Congress.
Your job and your family’s security hang in the balance.
If you are not involved politically, you need to
New ‘Questions and Answers—2011 USPS/NALC National Agreement’ released
You and everyone else’s votes DO MATTER if we want to have a truly democratic country. Always vote in EVERY ELECTION. If you don’t vote, you lose your right to complain about the government.
If you would like to vote by mail(a great idea), go to our Request Absentee Ballot link, which will take you to where you can download an application. There are also links to County Boards of Elections.
As of Tuesday January 26, 2016 we have a new Seniority List for Regulars in the 441 stations. Hopefully we will soon get a new CCA relative standing list.
To see Photos of the new Extended Capacity Vehicle CLICK HERE.
Happy New Year
Shortly after the shootings in San Bernardino, I found myself in the Social Security Administration office in Waltham. After having been there for a bit, I began having thoughts about San Bernardino and I couldn’t help but survey my surroundings. I was in a government facility, the people that were waiting were of clearly diverse race, and there was minimal security.
I began to think about a text message that I had received from Jim Nutter. Jim had suggested that each installation should discuss an active shooter plan. I found myself surveying the office, looking to see if there were another set of doors in addition to the ones I had entered. I couldn’t see any.
I don’t know how many carriers are thinking about such things, but in today’s world, it’s probably a good idea to raise awareness. I searched online and was able to find various videos produced by assorted security companies and the like. The Department of Homeland Security has produced an informational booklet. The link can be found under Branch Items DHS Active Shooter Handbook.
While on the subject of online resources, I would be remiss if I didn’t advise you that the Postal Service is “catching up” to the social media world. No, I’m not referring to them having a Website or a Facebook page, I’m referring to the fact that they are beginning to make an effort to monitor social media of employees. There has been a revision to the Administrative Support Manual (ASM) dealing with the “Responsible Use of Social Media”.
At the moment, the rules and regulations apply to Postal Service employees who use social media in their official capacity to communicate with the public or Postal Service employees. The language reads: “Be respectful. Whether in the actual or virtual world, your interactions and discourse should be respectful. Do not verbally attack other individuals or companies. This includes fellow employees, contractors, customers, vendors, and competitors.”
I have seen things on social media that have made me cringe. There are postal employees that are quite uninhibited in the way they conduct themselves on various Websites and groups. Don’t get caught up taking pictures with your cell phone at work. Don’t post pictures of a customer’s mail, mailbox, house, whatever. You can take pictures in a public place on your break or lunch. There should be no addresses showing nor should there be any way to identify the sender or recipient without the address. Please be smart on social media.
Dave Barbuzzi, President, Branch 25
Reprinted From Branch 25 – Mass NE Merged
For Stewards, the grievance starters have been updated with Microsoft Word versions. They are much easier to use than the PDF versions, but you must have Microsoft Office on your computer to use them.
The 2017 Leave Year runs from Saturday 01/07/2017 through Friday 01/05/2018.
The Prime Time Vacation period for 441 stations begins Monday May 8, 2017 and runs 20 weeks ending Saturday September 23, 2017.
Associate Offices may have different dates for Prime Time. See your NALC Steward or consult your particular LMOU for exact dates in those offices.
The Letter Carrier Political Fund and the NALC e-Activist Network
Working to elect members of Congress who support NALC priorities is the primary objective of our political affairs operation. There has never been a more important time to participate in the NALC’s political process. The Letter Carrier Political Fund is our political action committee (PAC) that helps pro-labor, pro-letter carriers candidates get elected so they can go to Washington to support and protect letter carrier jobs. The NALC is not partisan and neither is our fight. Our struggle is for letter carrier jobs and we deserve support for that struggle from all political parties.
All NALC members need to know and understand the process and how to get involved.
Over the last several years, an ugly swarm of mean-spirited legislative proposals to reduce retirement benefits has appeared in the House and Senate.
The proposals would increase employee contribution rates to the CSRS and FERS, decrease the amount of pension benefits, end the employer matching 5 percent to the Thrift Savings Plan, completely eliminate both the Special Annuity Supplement and the entire FERS annuity benefit, reduce COLAs, and more. If all of these proposals were enacted into law, minimum retirement eligibility age would be pushed back to age 62.
But that wouldn’t matter, because postal retirees would be left with below-poverty-rate incomes and unable to retire at all.
Our pensions are under direct attack. The war is being waged in the halls of Congress and the NALC is fighting on the front lines. Our weapons are Political Fund dollars and e-Activist Network voices.
Join your brothers and sisters already fighting for our jobs and retirement in the halls of congress by joining the Letter Carrier Political Fund and becoming an E-activist.
We received an inquiry about the posting of the CCA Relative Standing List.
Branch 40 does not make the Seniority List or CCA Relative Standings List because we do not have access to the Human Resources Database. They are periodically provided to us by the USPS. We post updates of both lists as soon as we receive them from the USPS, and have checked them for obvious errors. The USPS seldom updates either the CCA Relative Standing List or the Seniority List for Regulars more often than every six months. The last time USPS tried to put out the Lists, they were totally fouled up. They have not made any attempt since. It is a revolving door in the department that handles that and the carrier bidding process, and we are usually dealing with a different person every week. As with everything Postal, the more we push, the harder it is to get anything done and the less cooperation we receive. We understand your desire to see updated lists, and we are working to get and post them.
To see the video “The Strike at 40” about the great Postal Strike of 1970 CLICK HERE.
To see photos of the State Convention, taken by Branch 40 carrier Maureen Gochett, CLICK HERE.
To find out what it’s really like to be a CCA you should read
reprinted from The Dallas Morning News. She is off base on some things, like claiming the NALC caved on the TEs during the contract negotiations. She obviously doesn’t understand that binding interest arbitration is not caving, that it was forced on the union by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970, and that the arbitrator, Shyam Das, decreed the terms of the contract. Otherwise, spot on.
Branch 40 – Carrier Tip of the Month
Use PS Form 3996.
By Paul Biggs, Treasurer, Branch 38, Springfield, NJ
PS FORM 3996 IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FORMS AVAILABLE TO PROTECT YOU AS A LETTER CARRIER!
If you believe you will be unable to complete your daily assignment within eight hours, you will need management’s approval to use overtime or to get assistance. Without a copy of a properly submitted PS Form 3996, you may be disciplined for using unauthorized overtime. Without a properly completed 3996, we may be unable to successfully file a grievance regarding a contractual violation of the national agreement concerning issues such as overtime. It is not enough to say “management knew I would be late,” we must be able to document that you told them. Management is required to give you this form when you request one. If they refuse, have your steward initiate a grievance. It is your responsibility to submit the PS Form 3996 in a timely manner. Make certain that the supervisor acts on your request, so you know if your request is authorized or denied. After completed by the supervisor, ask for your copy prior to leaving for your street duties. If you don’t receive a copy, contact your shop steward. If you determine you still cannot complete your assignment after you have already left for the street, it is your obligation, when reasonably aware of the situation, to contact management and inform them of your circumstances. You must have a legitimate reason for requesting the additional time. When you do call, don’t allow the supervisor to put you on the defensive by asking the question, “What happened out there? ” That is a psychological ploy to unnerve you because it is human nature to try to explain. The correct answer to this question is: “Nothing happened. I informed (you/the AM supervisor) this morning that I would need (xxx) – minutes of (assistance/overtime) to complete my assignment today. My request was denied, and I informed (you/the AM supervisor) that I would do my best, but would call if I did need extra time. So I called. I need (yyy) minutes to finish. What do you want me to do, finish and come back late, come back on time and bring the mail back, or will you send someone to help me?” If the supervisor says, “I want you to deliver all the mail and come back on time.”, your reply should be, “That is not one of the three options. If I could do that, I wouldn’t be calling you. What do you want me to do, finish and come back late, come back on time and bring the mail back, or will you send someone to help me?” Make THEM make the decision. Do not get frustrated, hang up and then make a decision on your own of what to do. By doing that, you are setting yourself up for discipline, and the NALC will have a hard time defending your actions. If they hang up on you, (which is very rude and disrespectful) call them back and say that you had been “cut off” and ask for their instructions again. Tell them that the longer they keep you on the phone, the more time you will need. It cannot be over stressed: Once management has been notified, it will be THEIR decision to either
- send you assistance,
- have you complete your assignment, or
- tell you to bring back the mail.
Those are the only three acceptable options. Period.
It’s a good idea to note the time you called, and who you spoke with. Use your cell phone so that you can go online and download your call records in case they claim you didn’t call. If they flat out refuse to give you specific instructions, bring the mail back to avoid being disciplined for using unauthorized overtime. If instructed to continue delivery at that time, follow those instructions. You must follow these procedures in order to fully protect yourself. If you fill out a PS Form 3996 in the morning, and timely notify management if you need additional time or assistance for a legitimate reason later in the day, the NALC can successfully defend you, if discipline is issued.
Retain all copies of PS Form 3996 submitted.
Stop TPP, The Worst Trade Deal You’ve Never Heard Of
The House and Senate passed TPA (also known as Fast Track )legislation and the president signed it. As the issue of Trans Pacific Partnership begins to heat up, it’s critical that you respond and make your voice heard!
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TODAY! Tell them you oppose passage of TPP.
NALC Firmly Opposes the TPP. Big Business, those guys who off-shored all the good middle class jobs, is supporting the TPP. That should be all you need to know.
Any trade deal is going to have a huge impact on America’s workers. Fast Track legislation allows power brokers to shape trade deals to their advantage and to shield the details from the public and policy experts alike. Fast Track legislation is undemocratic and almost always ends in trade deals that benefit corporations and the rich, that eliminate jobs, and that cut wages and benefits for millions of hardworking families across America. Trade deals should not be crafted behind closed doors. Trade deals ought to lift up the standards of working people across this nation. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would mean more jobs will be sent overseas. TPP gives special rights and benefits to companies that offshore investment and jobs. Fast Track would not just allow for a quick vote on the TPP—which could include a ban on postal banking—but also on a number of other trade agreements under negotiation as well. For example, the World Trade Organization is sponsoring the negotiation of a trade in services agreement (TISA) among dozens of countries, and the U.S. government is in talks with the European Union on a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), which would cover our economic interaction with the EU’s 27 countries. In both of these negotiations, the Europeans are calling for the United States to phase out the Postal Service’s monopoly on the delivery of letter mail—a policy adopted by the EU between 1992 and 2011. So in other words, allowing T-TIP and TISA to be fast-tracked could pose a direct threat to our jobs and our system of affordable universal service. To learn more about the negative impact of Fast Track legislation on America’s working families, visit www.nofasttrack.com.
Republican Controlled House and Senate Pass Budget Bills to Balance Budget at Expense of Letter Carriers.
The Republican controlled House of representatives just passed a budget that, among other things, calls for an increase in Federal pension contributions to 6 %, that means an extra $135 taken out of your pay every two weeks. This applies to both CSRS and FERS. There is no increase in the pension amount. It is being done to balance the budget by forcing government employees to pay more income tax because the excess contributions are going to cut the deficit. It is interesting the millionaires, billionaires, and corporations continue to get their tax loopholes and government subsidies, and are paying lower percentage of tax than the average working person with a family of 4. For 35 years, conservatives starting with Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp have been attacking working family while at the same time cutting tax rates for corporations and the wealthy. This is just one more of those attacks.
So, you wouldn’t contribute $ 5.00 a pay to the Letter Carrier Political Fund because of whatever lame excuse you came up with. I guess now you can afford the extra $135.00 a pay for your pension, and your extra $100.00 or whatever per pay for your Health Insurance , and the extra $200.00 a month taken from your retirement check, etc., etc. etc. You can either do nothing or together we can inundate our senators and representatives with our protests. The choice is yours. We live in a democracy.
That means YOU are expected to PARTICIPATE.
you will start contributing $5 or $10 a pay to
Letter Carrier Political Fund
More information is available on both the House Budget and the Senate Budget, both of which aim to gut our benefits, in the LATEST NEWS.
If you want to contact your senators and representative CLICK HERE.
The next Stewards Meeting will be on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Pipefitters’ Hall.
For more information Click HERE.
The next Branch Meeting will be on Friday March 10th, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Pipefitters’ Hall.
For more information Click HERE.
US Postal Management’s Dysfunctional and Failing Culture
This is an interesting and thoughtful article by a retired Postmaster detailing the problems with the USPS management culture. To read more click HERE.
Here is a little questionnaire, to make you think. Yeah, yeah, we know. Letter carriers don’t like to think. That’s why we took a job that we can do on auto-pilot. Well, humor us. Just take it for grins.
- How secure is your job?
- Do you understand the mechanism of getting business done in Washington?
- Who is your representative in Congress?
- Who are the two senators from Ohio?
- Where do each of them stand on Postal Reform?
- How much did the USPS make from operations last year?
- What is pre-funding?
- Who did you vote for for Congress in the 2014 election? (If you didn’t vote, click HERE)
- Can Congress eliminate your job?
If YOU don’t know the answers to ALL these questions, and the reasons behind the answers, you need to get educated. We understand, it’s more fun to follow the Browns, Cavs, and Indians. But while that is mindless fun, it won’t help you keep your job if Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) decides to make the USPS file for bankruptcy. He has already stated immediately after the election that this is one of his primary goals. Pay Attention! All our jobs exist at the whim of Congress. Your job and your and your family’s security hang in the balance. If you are not involved politically, you need to GET INVOLVED. Never in our lifetimes have working men and women been under such a coordinated attack by the corporate and moneyed elite. To find out how YOU can help click HERE Founded in 1889, NALC is the union of city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service. Letter carriers delivered 156 billion pieces of mail last year, six days a week, to more than 153 million homes and businesses in every city, suburb and town in America. National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 40 (NALC) 9700 Rockside Road, Suite 110 Valley View, Ohio 44125 Phone: 216.642.1040 Fax: 216.642.0960
- For active and retired member to sign up via bank transfer click HERE.
- To sign up for payroll deduction via phone click HERE.
- To sign up for payroll deduction via the internet click HERE.
- Retired members to have LCPF deduction taken out of their annunity click HERE.