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The Scribe's Corner

by Eric K. Jackson

 

December 2010

It’s that time of the year where thanks become preeminent in everyone’s thoughts. As Letter Carriers, we are proud to do the job that we face each and every day. The underlying premise from management though, is that WE should be thankful “just” to have a job. Okay, you just violated the contract for the umpteenth time, and your only comeback is “you should be thankful to have your job”? No, YOU should be thankful to have YOUR job. Where else can you get a job with the salary and benefits of the USPS just for reading a DOIS report, and using it and other circumstances to harass the people that actually do the work? To insinuate that we are not thankful for our job is ridiculous! That is so beside the point. That goes without saying. But we are just fed up with your selfish tactics that result in your abiding by the contract only when it meets YOUR needs.

Do you think its fun when you subvert the contract by bringing in TEs from other offices and have them stay for 18-day stints? Well, contractually, the word is “occasionally”, when referring to TEs being shared by offices. I may not be the smartest person, but “occasionally” doesn’t mean 18 days to me. And then to have those same TE’s throw mail in the cases of the other carriers before they return is just not right. It’s contractual, but not right. Even the worse carrier in the country has to carry his/her route. “Through rain, sleet or snow” applies to him/her as well. Somehow, they have to add pain, agony and “BS” to that slogan.

The executive board would like to thank each and every member in Branch 725. We are thankful to be able to serve you!

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

November 2010

Many years ago, I heard President Emeritus Don Coughlin say “we know where management is coming from. It’s the actions of our people that affect our job as Union Representatives the most”. Over the years, those words ring true more and more! The time is now to stand up for our routes and rights. All excuses are over!

Under JRAP, we are now reviewing the data for about 3,000 routes in the Philadelphia District. Les Dillman and Rhonda Massari are down at the District fighting for literally minutes on every route. Their actions will never fully be recognized but that’s not the reason they do what they do. I’m confident that you inputted your own clock rings, took your lunch and breaks, daily, and were not intimidated into running during your one day walks.

Director of Route Adjustment Les Dillman would like to acknowledge his team of local representatives. These are the people who come out to your office and gather your input. Please understand that they are there for you and only you. But they are only following protocol under the process. They can’t fill out the answers for you. If they could, believe me, they would! These are smart, highly qualified people who take a lot of abuse from frustrated letter carriers. Please help them, help you.

The route adjustment representatives this year in no particular order are; Steve Grassi, Andrew Kearney, Karen McPoyle, Richard Murphy, and Jim Watson. President Jim McCullough and the Executive Board of Branch 725 salute you. Thanks to all the retirees who attended the luncheon. We hope more will attend the next luncheon in the spring. I look forward to seeing you at our next general meeting (especially all the recently retired carriers) as well.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

October 2010

Another long summer completed under less than optimum conditions after a snow filled winter. But we get the job done! Of course your supervisors praise you so much that you’re probably tired of hearing it. They also never complain about their jobs or actually having to “work” a little. Not about having to do more with less (like we have done for years now continually). Come to think of it Postal Management’s only focus these days seem to be on getting the job done. They don’t worry about disciplining us or wasting time trying to harass us into working harder. Maybe we were just wrong about them (NOT).

Our District is undergoing consolidations. This will result in the loss of many managerial positions. Well, boo hoo! It appears that many supervisors are scurrying to take positions that they normally wouldn’t in order to avoid being excessed within 50 miles. Otherwise, they lose their jobs. Wait a minute. Where is the sympathy that carriers get from them when we are under the stress from the inevitable? Now, we have to hear daily what THEY are going through. Well, Boo @#&ing hoo!

Letter carriers, as you know, we ARE the Postal Service! We’ll continue to work against the almost overt self-destructive tendencies of current Postal Management. The hardest part is just “dealing” with the daily workroom floor issues. Will it ever stop? It probably won’t. You see, management takes very seriously article 3 - Management Rights. Or as us unionists call it “their right to mismanage”.

Kudos go out to Mr. Jack Quinn on getting his 50-year pin. Also, to Dale Clark and Rob Rowe from the Folcroft Post Office for making the “Million Mile Club”. Your attention to detail and attentiveness finally have been acknowledged.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

September 2010

Another long summer completed under less than optimum conditions after a snow filled winter. But that’s what we always do. We get the job done! Let me thank each and every one of you letter carriers for the great job that you do daily. Of course your supervisors praise you so much that you are probably tired of hearing it. They also never complain about their jobs or actually having to “work” a little. Not about having to do more with less (like we have done for years now continually). Come to think of it Postal management’s only focus these days seem to be on getting the job done. They don’t worry about disciplining us or wasting time trying to harass us into working harder. Maybe we were just wrong about them (NOT).

So, as I sit in the audience at the 67th NALC Biennial National Convention, I ponder where this great union is going and where we’ve come from. Our agenda and fight is far reaching. But letter carriers, as you know, we ARE the Postal Service! We will continue to work against the almost overt self destructive tendencies of current Postal management. The hardest part is just “dealing” with the daily work room floor issues. Will it ever stop? It probably won’t. You see, management takes very seriously article 3- management rights. Or as us unionists call it “their right to mismanage”. They live in that “grey area”. Hopefully, one day, that will end.

Congratulations to Dale Clark and Rob Rowe out of the Folcroft Post office for making the “Million Mile Club”. Your attention to detail and attentiveness finally have been acknowledged.

The Retirees Luncheon will be held on September 16, 2010 at 12:00 P.M. at the Lamb Tavern, Springfield Pa.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

July 2010

Last month a carrier from our region’s home was found to have 20,000 pieces of mail in the garage. This story made national news. While we all understand the significance of a sensational story, but why do these stories stick to letter carriers like glue? In my capacity as Branch Webmaster, I see stories daily about management officials charged with everything from prostitution solicitation to embezzlement of mail funds.

The question every carrier is being asked daily is about the carrier with 20,000 pieces of mail or 5-day delivery. What about all the food we just collected for our yearly food drive? What about all the money we provide for the MDA? More essentially, what about that letter that comes addressed just to Mockingbird lane and the carrier knows it goes to the Munsters at 1313?

Only we know that the public loves us because they see us daily and the great job that we do. We shouldn’t have to defend ourselves for being the best in the world at what we do!

In the meantime, the USPS is losing customers because they are finding new ways to avert the message of the proposed 5-day delivery. Talk about a stupid decision backfiring! But we all have to live with their bad business sense and ill conceived proposals.

Congratulations to John J. Gaspari for his 50 years as a member of the NALC. Kudos also go out to Dave Carfagno, not only for his recent retirement but for his unending dedication to Branch 725. Dave’s leadership has helped our branch immensely. And Mike Elia, thanks for all your service to the branch over the years. They both were awarded their watches by President Jim McCullough at a recent general meeting.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

June 2010

It’s amazing that the USPS can’t get out the message of the services we provide. You see, we are the best in the world at what we do. The problem is, no one knows what we do. We provide the best service and prices among our competition. Again, but no one knows it.

But one thing occurred to me. The USPS can get a message out when they want to without fail. That message being 5-day delivery and all the in accurate propaganda that went along with it! Yet and still the only advertisement I’m aware of is the flat rate boxes. It’s a great deal, but what about everything else. We gave away the parcel business long ago but now we have to hear “the parcel business is our future”. No stuff Sherlock! We just gave up on the Express Mail market but now carriers in our district are mandated to take time extra time to deliver them as soon as we hit the street. But where have all the Express Mail boxes gone? Where is the advertisement for that and all our other services?

After yet another great job by our carriers across the country collecting upwards of a billion pounds of food for the needy, the USPS certainly takes credit for that in spite of the lack of support from them. Most of our offices were under staffed due to the edict against bringing in regulars for overtime. But they will pay the same money to PTFs who have become few and far between. Congratulations go out to Bill Mellon on his 50 years of dedicated service as an NALC member. He was awarded his service pin and letter from Fred Rolando by President Jim McCullough at the April general meeting.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

March 2010

MIARAP, NRP, FSS, are all becoming part of the letter carrier’s vernacular. We always said that management is full of it. What we were talking about then was acronyms. Now we think they are full of something else. These people in L’Enfant Plaza just don’t seem to want to work with the NALC. Instead they are primed to move forward with an agenda that many think will lead to the detriment of the Postal Service.

The only way to deal with the everyday reality that is a letter carrier is through training. Branch President Jim McCullough has put in place a program to give continued education to all our Shop Stewards. It started in March with the Region 12 Rap Session and continued with smaller individualized training given at the union office. Bless you Shop Stewards! For all that you do including being there for every complaint and venting session. You still show up after your long tour and get more training. And Kudos to Director of Education Les Dillman and Vice President Rhonda Massari for putting the training together. And you guys have to sacrifice time with your families as well!

Our branch meetings have been great lately. We have a “Gimme one” campaign going on where we are asking every letter carrier to attend at least one meeting a year. It’s the best way to get information and have the opportunity to ask questions.

Retirees please be advised that the Retiree’s Luncheon is on April 15, 2010 at the Lamb Tavern in Springfield, Pa. at 12:00 P.M. Retirees attend for free. All others are welcome to come for $5.00 per person. Call the office ahead of time to reserve a spot.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725
www.nalc725.org

February 2010

Ah February, and love is in the air. Or is it? Two key issues for letter carriers right now are route adjustment and injury compensation. We are thankful to have Les Dilman and Rhonda Massari on our District team to protect our rights. Hopefully, we are starting to learn the process more and will get better at it.

However, with longer routes, the natural result will be more on-the-job injuries. It appears from this carrier’s perspective that management is using any excuse to deny OWCP claims and terminate carriers for perceived fraud. What do they have to lose? They are terminating first and just seeing if it sticks. And our hard working carriers who are injured on the job have to endure the stress of possibly losing their jobs. So much love in the air!

So brothers and sisters, pay particular attention to how you work, fill out your claims and please follow your doctor’s restrictions.

How do letter carriers show their love and dedication daily? Here is just one example; Letter Carrier Elizabeth Gibbs from the Upper Darby Post Office, while delivering her mail route saw that mail was backing up at one of her patron's house. Liz knew that the patron was elderly and became concerned that something was wrong. Liz saw him lying on the floor and entered the house and immediately started CPR and called 911. The Police and ambulance arrived and took the patron to the hospital. Unfortunately the patron died. Liz did everything that she could have possibly done to help this person and I am very proud of the way she took control of the situation. She was honored by the Upper Darby Township Council at their monthly meeting. Liz, you are a real HERO.

Eric K. Jackson/Jim McCullough, Branch 725

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