Springtime at the James A. Garfield memorial at Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery.
For the Latest News Click HERE.
Steward Resources are now centrally located in the Stewards’ Storehouse link located at the top of the column to the right.
For those of you who have wondered why poor white working people vote against their own self interest and side with the wealthy elite against poor 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.
The April Bid Sheet was out as of 04/19/2016. Bidding started on Tuesday April 19, and ended on Thursday April 28, 2016. To see the April Bid Sheet 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
The Ohio Presidential Primary Election was held on Tuesday March 15. Thanks to everyone who voted. 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 2016 Leave Year runs from Saturday 01/09/2016 through Friday 01/06/2017.
The Prime Time Vacation period for 441 stations begins Monday May 9, 2016 and runs 20 weeks ending Saturday September 24, 2016.
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, May 4th , 2016 at 7:30 PM at the Pipefitters’ Hall. Please Make note of the date change.
For more information Click HERE.
The next Branch Meeting will be on Friday May 13th, 2016 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.