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The Scribe's Corner

by Eric K. Jackson

 

December 2012

Postal Management, are you listening? Until you look at your great letter carriers as partners and not chattel, you will never fully benefit from our relationship. The Post office recently negotiated the outline of a contract with Amazon to deliver their parcels in the newly created “same-day service” category. If successful, this revenue would put our company in great financial shape.

Sounds familiar, years ago, we owned all this business and just gave it away. Now, we are making an extraordinary comeback. And frankly, it couldn’t come at a better time. With first class mail dipping, we have to find alternate streams of revenue. The Union has offered many new ways for this company to increase revenue. But it has fell on death ears mostly. Les Dillman, who was sent to represent the branch at the Committee of Presidents, spoke of many of these ideas at our recent branch meeting. Hopefully, they will come to fruition. NALC President Fred Rolando expressed to us that this great union has to save the post office even if management does not have the capacity to. This company’s future depends on us.

Here’s where the idiot-factor comes in. Knowing that this is so important, management has already spoke of discipline for failures of scanning. Carriers will scan well if they are given proper schedules and not squeezed to hell as if we are lemons. The onus is on them to create an atmosphere for success. Harassing carriers into rushing will only naturally result in the carrier rushing and therefore, missing the occasional scan.

You can’t have it both ways. No one performs well under extreme duress. Partners don’t talk down to each other and exert their power continuously. On the other hand, with chattel, you get what you pay for.

Eric Jackson, Branch 725

November 2012

Kudos goes out to Branch President Jim McCullough. He recently became a grandfather. His unending efforts to bring heat on management who mistreat our membership have paid off. We had two Postmasters and one supervisor removed from their positions. Unfortunately, they just move these bad apples around. They can dish it out but they squeal like baby pigs when they are put under the same spotlight that we endure daily. But we must always insist on our dignity, respect and humanity. This executive board has made this our number one priority.

Stand up for yourselves brothers and sisters. If we remain professional and keep our poise we will not succumb to the lazy efforts of management to put the company’s blame on us. Hell, we ARE the company! I know it’s tough working under fools who know less than you about the job. I know you are tired of them complaining about their plight. I now call them boomerangs, because whenever you try to tell them something, somehow the conversation comes back to them. It’s no wonder over 4,200 of them took the early out. The others instead try to pass on their frustration to us.

We are now undergoing route walks again. Do your best to protect your route. Don’t be afraid to use your comfort stops! The rule reads “as many comfort stops as necessary”. The Steward will sort out if you get credit or not. There is also no limit on how long you can take during a comfort stop. Finally, please ask for a copy of your walk so that the steward can check if management gave you full credit for your walk. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of our fallen brothers Jim Watson and Brian Baldzue.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

OCTOBER 2012

Are you ready for the professional fight of your life? In the office, political arena, and as a business we are at the tipping point.

Our obvious fight has always been with our management on the floor. Don’t let these fools steal our smiles or our laughter. If you go home angry, then your family is affected (for who, for what). Management (who has never had and never will have a backbone) has succumbed to this pressure and is violating the contract at a record rate daily. What else can they dream up? How many more lies can they tell? They will do anything to cover their backs! Like crabs in a cooking pot, they will step on our heads or their own brethren to attempt to get out of the pot. For us, all our rights and responsibilities have not changed. We cannot let these people put tire marks upon our backs. We have to stand up for our rights and our self determination.

This Presidential election is our biggest threat yet. The NALC has endorsed President Obama. He represents our clear choice. The Republican candidate seems intent on privatizing our company and Union busting. Have you seen the video of Romney telling his crowd that he will stand up to Unions? You know what that rhetoric means. Please let everyone you know to vote for Barak Obama who represents our best interests.

Lastly, Congress delayed any action on proposed Postal Reform legislation before the summer recess. That leaves the chance for legislation to be past in this lame duck session after elections that will greatly affect us. Those coupled with our contract being in arbitration represents our fight on every level.

You are important, you have purpose, and you make this company successful! Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

September 2012

When I sat down to write this article I had one idea. But then I noticed an article about the USPS OIG looking to audit the overtime use of the company. Now, I don’t fashion myself as someone who could run this company. But even Fred Flintstone, the Road Runner, and even Barney could probably figure out why our overtime has increased. The simple answer is management.

It’s as if the Postmaster General is trying to destroy the company from within. The latest in the long line is the plans to dismantle the infrastructure that makes us unique. When you start closing all our distribution centers you take away our ability to feed our most valued asset (the last mile delivery). Then, that affects our service standards. At the NALC National Convention the union had Ron Bloom, a consultant the NALC hired to give an unbiased assessment of the company, speak to us about what he found. The only positive feedback he gave was that we have a good business structure that has great value. He spoke on the restructuring as being counter intuitive. It’s just opposite of what we should be doing.

The country has experienced record heat this summer. They tell us to hydrate and be safe, but when you drink liquids what does that make you do? Safety takes time. Comfort stops take time you idiots! But they are not idiots on this issue. They just don’t care. And that is more disturbing.

Instead of verbally abusing us, chiding us, and making us feel like we are the problem, why don’t you internalize and acknowledge the truth. We’re the best in the world at what we do. In spite of it all, we still make you look good.

Strength in numbers!
Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

August 2012

We are in the middle of another blazing summer and you letter carriers show why you are the best in the world. Okay, the motto says “through rain, sleet and snow….” Sometimes we get tired of hearing it, but it is actually a testament to the commitment and intestinal fortitude that we all possess. One would think that we would be praised and recognized during these times but that just is never the case in the USPS.

However, we can’t let these people get us down. No matter how many times and how many ways they try to break us down, we adjust and persevere. They tried to use the JRAP process against us and we adjusted, they tried to stick the FSS machines down our throats and that backfired on them when carriers were on the street until all hours of darkness across the country. In fact, the USPS is now being sued by the company who made the FSS machines for failure to pay the remainder of the contract (about $300 million). The USPS position is that the machines failed to meet expectations. Hell, we letter carriers could have told you that long ago. And now they are coming around daily checking up on us. Early results are that we are doing well. The moral of the story is to expect that they will check on you daily. Take the time to do the job the right way and it will not only take longer but it will relieve you of any stress that getting “caught” might bring.

Some people never learn their lesson. The minimum we want is to be thought of as humans. Partners would be nice but I guess that’s asking a little too much.

Stay strong! Stay unified! Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

July 2012

For those of you who actually believe the Postal Service really care about the welfare of its employees, think again. In my opinion, they are out and out at war with us (mainly, because they know nothing else). When all else fails they resort to harassment, intimidation, and bully tactics. Do you think Postmasters are concerned about you when they are fighting for their very own jobs? They are running scared. And they just don’t care about us, our rights, or our welfare.

The latest comes in the form of the “Goon-Squad”. They are 21-27 supervisors put together under the umbrella of a route adjustment team. But they also will be traveling around doing street observations, walking with carriers, checking if you are done your route early, etc. They are not there for anything other than to catch you doing something wrong or intimidate you into moving faster. Let’s say they identify an office whose street times are high. Two supervisors might go to your office and whose route will they check on? Most likely it will be a route that is showing over on the street. What’s bad is that they can send these people out but these very routes are showing over because they were adjusted recently. But let’s not get the routes adjusted, let’s roll out and “catch” these carriers doing things wrong. And then let’s discipline the hell out of them.

This same “team” will be doing the one-day walks and full blown inspections. Unfortunately, the USPS will not pay for Union representation at the full inspection (other than a steward’s right to the grievance process). But President Jim McCullough has arranged for our Branch to have our people there to protect your rights at the cost of the Branch.

Eric Jackson, Branch 725

June 2012

Management can’t actually be this dumb and misguided, can they? Recent Function 4 (clerk) inspections of a few offices in our branch were done by a staff with high level management workers from as far as Texas. These people have very high salaries. You mean to tell me that it makes sense to pay salaries, travel, lodging, per diem, etc. for these people when we have our own local idiots who can do just as bad a job.

President Jim McCullough recently spent one half of his busy day trying to get the uniform policy changed to allow carrier to wear shorts in March instead of May. Unfortunately, he had to change the mind of the same person who prefers that letter carriers wear ties (enough said). Oh, the tie was the cure all that we all have been waiting for (the same tie that obviously restricts the oxygen from going to his peanut brain).

The fixation with scanning has gone too far. Daily, the District tells their Postmasters to discipline carriers who miss even two scans in one week. So, let me get this straight, we are not concerned about the business of getting the mail to our customers. We are only worried about an artificial “proof” that we arrived at some point.

Managers are telling carriers “we should all be thankful for our jobs”. I think it’s more like YOU should be thankful for your job. Because after all, where would THEY get paid the money THEY do for doing absolutely nothing. They are replaceable, not us! In the end, management talks the talk but the Union workers walk the walk (literally and figuratively). Let’s stay strong, unified, and employed. Don’t let them bait you into losing your job.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

May 2012

The main reason we go to work daily is to provide for our families. All the rest is secondary right? While Postal Management runs around in circles, the natural tendency is to misplace their frustration upon us. In my opinion, at the highest level, they don’t know what to do. They are pelted by Congress who sees through all their B.S. In turn, they talk to their lower level managers like they are kids. In the end, where is all this ignorance placed….on us. If you are running a $67 billion company, why do you continuously try to abuse the only thing that works (letter carriers)?

Is it me or is it just a coincidence that the numbers have been tightened at a time when many of our offices just implemented new times? This means those offices are in a review period. Yes, they are trying to squeeze the hell out of us to get back routes. That coupled with the tragedy that is FSS has added to this quandary. And they have actually scheduled full-blown inspections in our district at the cost of approximately $100,000 per office. Those cost and the fact that in the end the figures basically matched up with the JRAP process precipitated the usage of the JRAP process as the primary tool for route adjustment.

But still, management seems to insist on if you don’t first succeed, discipline, discipline, discipline again. So while many of them are falling by the wayside from stress, I want to urge our members to work smartly and not fall prey to them trying to impart their stress on us. We are the glue to this company and it’s about time someone realize it. In this environment, can we all just get along….hells no!

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

March 2012

Enough already with this scanning exaggeration! Every carrier wants to scan their products and MSP points 100% daily. But guess what, the reality is that it’s not going to happen. We are not F#*+ing machines! Discipline is not the answer.

Below are listed the Union officials of Branch 725. They have the thankless task of standing up for the rights and responsibilities of the membership. This can be particularly difficult given that on occasion the membership won’t exercise their own rights or falls short on their responsibilities. They not only have the task of getting you out of trouble or upholding your rights but also to tell you when you don’t have a right or are wrong in your action. So, as we move forward in our journey together please remember that these people have been trained to say and do what is in the best interest of the membership. From time to time you may disagree with them. I only ask that you try and put yourself in their shoes.

Keith Bailey, Paul Bongart, Les Dillman, Jim Donan, Gerry Gallagher, Steve Grassi, Tim Grover, Mike Homola, Barbara Kearney, Dave MacCrone, Mike McDevitt, Diane McGuire, Karen McPoyle, Rick Murphy, Nick Palasch, Barry Patterson, Rosalie Reeve, Dave Rosenbaum, John Schneider, Tom Steven, Anthony Talton, Barry Taylor, Jim Watson, Eric Weible, Robert Zigmont, Carol Zukowski, Dave Carfagno, Don Coughlin, Gene Dolan, Mike Elia, Fred Feldkircher, Frank Finnegan, Shirley Hagner, Andrew Kearney, Beth Lloyd, Dori Martin, Rhonda Massari, Primo Mastrocola, Jim McCullough, Bill Mellon, Tom Mullin, Joe Pease, Mark Picarelli, Margaret Polite, Joe Quigley, Paul Schmitt, Tim Stone, Kevin Lomas, Ellen Tarasca, Vince Tecce.

Congratulations to Joe Quigley on your recent retirement. The next retiree luncheon will be on April 12, 2012 at the Lamb Tavern, Springfield, Pa. at 12:00 P.M.

JANUARY 2012

What a bass-akward company! The Philadelphia District has put a premium on MSP scans. They ordered offices to write discipline on all carriers who missed scans and actually requested to see the discipline letters. Now is this cost effective? Not only has it caused all kinds of stress to so many hard working carriers it has the supervisors muddying their underwear. The thing is it will cost them many hours to the union to defend these minor offenses. Is discipline the only way they can manage?

We happen to be one of the only jobs in the world where the workers actually know more than their superiors. Their FSS miscalculation has people all over the country out on the street until 8-9 P.M. That coupled with the return of mail volume has placed a hell of a burden on the workforce. So, we move into a new year with a lot of unanswered questions about our future. The only thing is we spend most of our day answering questions that the company has created to our detriment. Armed with the right information, we go about our jobs not only doing the job well but representing the company better than the people who run the damn thing! Branch 725 did a great job gathering petitions against 5-day delivery. That tells me there is some fight left in us. Those who participated, I ask that you continue your activism. I ask that you get another coworker on board and we go from there.

Happy New Year to all the members of Branch 725. We are energized and ready for another great year. We thank you for all the support you show each and every day.

Congratulations to Tim Mascuilli from the Coatesville post office on your retirement.

Eric K. Jackson, Branch 725

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

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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DECEMBER 2009

The Philadelphia District has now entered into Phase 2 of the National Reassessment Process ( NRP)(Take a look at what happened in San Francisco when they went through Phase 2 about two years ago )Injured Carriers Beware! . The limited duty Process has now taken on a “life of its own”. At a recent meeting with Management it was explained that the process has three categories with regards to Limited Duty Employee. One is “full day”, next is “partial day” and thirdly is “no work day”. On a daily basis the local Management must find suitable work for their Limited Duty Employees and may go as far as 50 miles to find work for these employees. Here is the problem, if told to go to an office 50 miles or so away from his/her assigned office, the employee is off the clock when enroute to the assignment but if the employee finds suitable work “around the corner” they travel on the clock. The question that must be asked here is what is “around the corner”?

Management states that there have been test sites that show this process works but I do not see the Postmasters/Supervisors in this area making calls on a daily basis to find work for their Limited Duty Employees. After all, they are too busy filling routes that are left vacant on a daily basis; they are also busy misusing DOIS to tell Letter Carriers what their day is going to be.

In this President’s opinion this process has disaster written all over it. The Union understands that employees must be doing productive work but answering the phones, fixing case labels and going over red books is productive work. The Brothers/Sisters I am sure did not go out and deliberately injure themselves. Management also claims that when some employees receive notice from NRP they miraculously become better, how insulting is that?

Happy Holidays to all! With my best wishes

Jim McCullough President

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NOVEMBER 2009

Having recently joined the ranks of the retired I have become very interested in the security of our pension. I read statements from people like senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma who said to the Senate in July “If you think it [your federal pension] is guaranteed, you have another thought coming because the world economic system is going to determine whether we can honor that pension. That is what is coming. We are very close.” Yeah, that bothers me a little! I didn’t invest thirty six years of my life in the Federal Government to have my pension reduced to bail out the geniuses who created this financial mess!!

According to NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association or www.narfe.org) Senator Coburn is not alone. Congressional leaders John Boehner of Ohio and Eric Cantor of Virginia suggested in June that the retirement annuities of federal workers should be reduced and that feds should have to work longer to receive full annuity. Cost-of-living adjustments and health benefits are vulnerable, too.

I know retirees are instrumental in contributing to COLCPE and they routinely contact their Congressmen and Senators on behalf of the NALC when issues arise that jeopardize the security of active carriers and the Postal Service. Now may be the time to pay a little more attention to issues that directly affect our pension—our security. Please don’t leave this important issue to someone else to address. We need all carriers (active and retired) to be relentless in contacting all your representatives and voice your opinions and intention to campaign vigorously against anyone who would jeopardize our right to collect a “full” pension that was earned with blood, sweat and dedication!!!

It just never ends- does it?

Stay Safe! Dave Carfagno Br. 725

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OCTOBER 2009

The Branch has now gone through the first phase of MIARAP, and the results are mixed. Some offices were unaffected, while others were hit pretty hard. I hope now Letter Carriers see how the process works; that we all learned a lesson and know what management is looking for in phase two of the process. This will be an ongoing process for the near future. Letter Carriers must be able to maintain his/her street times on a daily basis. The office time may vary from day to day because of volume however street times should not. Take your breaks and comfort stops and scan where you should be scanning.

In the near future the Postal Service will begin to excess Letter Carriers from their respective offices. The Union will be overseeing this process at all stages to make sure the National Agreement is adhered to during this process.

Rumors are running rampant about five day delivery. As of the writing of this letter they are still strictly rumors. The Union is fighting hard to keep six day delivery and to protect the jobs of its members. Many things must take place before the Postal Service can go to five day delivery.

I would like to personally thank President Emeritus and MBA Collector, Don Coughlin and Director of Retirees, James “Whitey” Wagner for their service to the Branch for many years. Both Brothers have retired from the Executive Board effective the end of the year. President Coughlin was on the Board for over a quarter century. Whitey has been on the Board for over fifteen years. Both will be sorely missed!

Fraternally and sincerely,

Jim McCullough
President

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AUGUST 2009

Although the weather in the Philadelphia has been cool and sunny lately, the climate on the workroom floor has been pretty hot. The effects of the route evaluation system are being felt throughout our local and from what I hear there are many unhappy campers toughing out the results.

Routes are being eliminated at an alarming rate and that means extra work for many unwilling recipients. Get used to it because if the numbers indicate that your office needs attention you will be revisited for further route reductions in the very near future. Are we finally getting the message here? Management is going to keep this up until our numbers prove there is no more room for consolidation. It’s up to us to prove we have enough work and the stop the “I’m working smarter not harder” (as in casing circulars and DPS) reasoning. What you are doing is setting yourself up to work harder than you ever did before and that’s really not smarter-- is it?

The only way to stop the bleeding is to hope for an increase in volume or carry mail like we are supposed to. If you’re not sure what that is, well, that just might be the real problem!

Attention retirees! Please make plans to attend the Retiree Luncheon on September 16, 2009 at Barnaby’s on MacDade Blvd in Holmes, PA. Call the office and reserve your spot. As part of the Executive Board’s own stimulus package—it’s free!!

Have a great summer!

Stay Safe!

Dave Carfagno
Br. 725

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SEPTEMBER 2009

Bill Young--for all your years of service and dedication to the NALC we thank you and wish you many years of good health and prosperity in your retirement. Fred Rolando—good luck in your new position and we offer our help and support to you and the Executive Board for all the challenges that lie ahead. We know it won’t be easy for any of us!

In some of my past articles I touched on my feelings about the direction the Postal Service was headed. How, in the face of dropping volume, management continued to focus on “the numbers” instead of concentrating on better service and growing the business. Also, how I thought management may even be trying to destroy the Postal Service from within. I thought the demise of the Postal Service could be closer than we could have ever imagined. But this was just my opinion and I wasn’t really alarmed because, after all, what do I know?

After reading Fred Rolando’s inaugural letter to the membership, it hit me like a ton of bricks—we are in serious trouble!! When our President suggests that we “have serious discussions with family, friends and co-workers” you had better understand just what it is we are facing and know exactly what you can do to deal with it. Support for our leaders nationally, locally and co-workers on the workroom floor can do much to help in the tough times ahead!

Attention Retirees! Don’t forget to attend the luncheon on September 16th at Barnaby’s in Holmes, PA. Call the office (610-461-8333) to save your spot.

Attention State Convention Delegates! If you haven’t received your itinerary and credential cards for the upcoming State Convention, please, call the office for this information.

Stay Safe!

Dave Carfagno Br. 725

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JULY 2009

The summer is here so please remember there will be no membership meetings in July and August. I guess that’s where the positive stuff ends.

Unless you have been comatose the past few months, you are aware that route evaluations are in full swing and it’s a very good possibility you’re gonna get that little extra piece to make your route a full 8 hour route, ASAP! Through my friends down at driver training I’ve been informed that a large percentage of people scheduled for training are clerks being excessed into the carrier craft. Not good news! I’m guessing that before long you may have some new but not necessarily happy faces working next to you. Who would have ever thought this day would come? This should be very interesting watching their transition into a whole new world where the rules are very different and accountability for every second is just a fact of life. What will be the learning curve or time period be to allow them to adapt to this major adjustment in their careers? Maybe it’s part of management’s master plan to fire them for substandard work performance? Who knows?

With all these extra clerks and route eliminations equating to surplus carriers; the big question remains—What will they do with all these people? Will they finally put together and early out with incentives? Possibly but not likely given their current financial situation. Will they resort to laying off? That’s something I don’t even want to think about but may be their only way out.
Either way, it’s going to be a very different Post Office; what lies ahead could be unpleasant for all.

Using 3996’s and 1571’s may still help the situation. It’s never too late!

Stay Safe! Dave Carfagno

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JUNE 2009

In a past article I mentioned the changes in how route inspections were conducted over the years. I compared the process of old (yearly inspections) to the modern day version (as needed and not nearly as regular). I closed with the caution that we may soon return to annual evaluations. Little did I know it would soon be every 6 months.

For all carriers who are tired of pivoting and doing pieces of routes you don’t know or like; for all of you who I’ve heard say “I just wish they would make my route 8 hours and leave me alone” your time has come. The new “Modified Interim Alternate Route Adjustment Process” is designed to do just that; make sure your route is 8 hours!

This may be good news to some but take a second and think about it. Management has been using carriers with “down time” to pivot for some time now. They have become very accustomed to using us to do extra duty to cover open routes. Will they suddenly be able to adjust and accept that we have a full 8 hour day and scratch “pivoting” from their daily plan? In reality will they leave you alone even with an 8 hour route?

The good news about this process is that all data used to adjust routes will come from the regular carrier’s actual times. More good news- our branch is represented by very knowledgeable and qualified carriers who will be looking out for your best interest during this process. Please remember that if you get an addition to your route, it is a result of YOUR numbers. Don’t shoot the messengers!

Stay Safe!

Dave Carfagno
Br. 725


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APRIL 2009

The Branch has just returned from Region 12’s Rap Session in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Branch was well represented at the sessions. First let me say thanks to our National Business Agent Bill Lucini and RAA’s Napadano and Ray McDonald for a job well done. The breakout sessions were very informative and pertinent to the issues that are prevalent in the Postal Service today.

President Bill Young was in attendance at the Rap Session and Bill spoke very frankly about the problems that the Postal Service was facing. He spoke of the importance of passing the HR-22 bill that is currently in the House of Representatives. He also spoke of some issues that were on the table with regards to keeping the Postal Service in business. The talk of five day delivery, laying-off employees, not matching the Thrift Savings Fund and many other issues, none of these are good for the Letter Carriers in this country.

The issues in the workplace are still a problem that I believe need to be addressed in the Philadelphia District. Almost every day is an adventure in this District. E-mails from the District arise that are a violation of the National Agreement such as the use of TE’s in lieu of PTF’S and the use of non-ODL Carriers because of the bogus “window of operation”.

I am very concerned about the drastic drop of mail in the last couple of months. The drop off may be attributed somewhat to the economy but the Postal Service was losing volume long before the economy went south. We need to get back to being a service oriented organization instead of a bottom line organization.

One thing we must do as a Union and that is to stay united!

Fraternally and sincerely
Jim McCullough
President, Br 725

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MARCH 2009

If I were to measure the success of my career by the amount of friends I have made, I would have to rate it a 10! As years passed and I logged more miles with the Postal Service and I became more involved with the NALC, I met a lot of great people and made some very good friends. I have to admit a number of them are from Br. 542 in Norristown where I began my career. Now this isn’t meant to disrespect my friendships with people from other branches, including my current one, but I was with these guys in my influential years and the bond has never been broken. It’s impossible to keep in touch with all the guys all the time but when the opportunity comes up it is always memorable.

With that in mind, I would like to congratulate my good friend and former Norristown PO coworker Sal Paschall for receiving his Gold Card and pin for 50 years of NALC membership. At the Br. 542 annual Christmas party, President Pat Fullam made the presentation for this treasured milestone to Sal with his wife Lena by his side and many of his old buddies in attendance. An event like this presents the perfect opportunity to bring old friends together to reminisce about “the good old days” and we all took advantage of that opportunity. Good luck Sal; looking forward to your 75th.

Well I must be overcome with the Valentine Day spirit because I’m still feeling the love. I’d like to offer sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to another good friend and our own President Emeritus Don Coughlin. Don underwent surgery recently and is currently recuperating at home. Get well soon, Don. See you in AC!

Stay Safe!
Dave Carfagno
Br. 725


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JANUARY 2009

Happy New Year!! As I write this article there is a major investigation being conducted at the high-tech mail processing and distribution center here in Philadelphia. It seems some managers may have been delaying trailers full of mail in an effort to keep overtime down and justify their efforts to excess clerks and eliminate routes.

In a related article in a Philadelphia newspaper titled “Where Mail Goes To Die” a local reporter tells of customer complaints ranging from undelivered requests for donations for an annual fundraiser to very late delivery of periodicals and time sensitive advertisements. The reporter also writes of trailers full of mail not only sitting in the lot but sometimes being diverted to other distribution centers only to return days later- unprocessed! All we her about is how volume is down. Is volume really down or is the mail sitting in trailers in parking lots across the country?

Can carrier morale survive another slap in the face after we do all to keep up the image of the Postal Service? We’re in this together fighting to survive billions in lost revenue, right? Yet, irresponsible managers are allegedly delaying and possibly destroying mail according to the report.

As far as “Customer Connect”- are you kidding me? Will customers really believe our promises to deliver their mail swiftly and efficiently? Are there any carriers out there who will put their credibility on the line and make promises to customers our superiors won’t keep?

The allegations have been taken seriously; the investigation includes a Congressman and the OIG. It will take time to complete and you wonder what the outcome will be. You can only hope it will be fair and thorough. Where is Alexander Lazaroff when you really need him?

Stay Safe in ’09!
Dave Carfagno
Br. 725


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