Harold Hillard
First Vice President, Treasurer
Outlook May / June 2017
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, I hope everyone is well. By now, I hope everyone has signed up to become an E-Activist. There is no better way to get first-hand information from the NALC. They are our eyes and ears in the legislative process right now. Remember, we must keep an eye on President Trump. His first 100 days have left me puzzled. He promised in his campaign speech to make America Great Again, to help the middle class, to create jobs and lower taxes. I have yet to see these promises being kept. In his first 100 days, all I have seen is confusion and turmoil. There has been plenty of controversy, however, regarding his election and the cabinet that he put into place. This is why it’s important to contribute to the Carriers Political Fund, so we can steer the next election (local, state, and national) in our favor.
Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 kicked off its Annual Letter Carriers Food Drive on May 4th, 2017. Our great kick off was held at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew on 86th Street and West End Avenue. The food drive started on May 6th and ended on May 13th, 2017. Our food drive coordinators were Melinda Hammond (Williamsbridge Station, Bronx) and Carmen Flores (Triboro Station, Manhattan). They did a wonderful job! I would like to thank all stations, all letter carriers, and all clerks that participated in all aspects of the food drive. We hope we did our part to stamp out hunger. During the kickoff we received five proclamations and one letter from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

The NALC and the Postal Service reached a tentative agreement regarding our next contract. All union members in good standing should go to the NALC website and read the highlights. This agreement will be in effect for forty months from May 21, 2016 to September 20, 2019. There will be ballots mailed out to the carriers to ratify this tentative agreement. If you vote “YES”, it will be for the contract. If you vote “No”, it will go to arbitration.

Attention all retired letter carriers: Be on the lookout for an invitation to the Old Timer’s Brunch. It will be held at the Hard Rock Café on 43rd Street and Broadway and take place September 17, 2017 at 10:00 am. I hope there will be a great turnout because I look forward to seeing all of the retirees. Send your invitation response back as soon as you receive it.

As a reminder, Branch 36’s Day at Citi Field will be on Father’s Day: Sunday, June 18, 2017, the Mets vs. the Nationals. Tickets are going fast and t-shirts are going faster. Do not wait until the last minute because you may not get your t-shirt size. Ask Tony Ortiz how you will be able to get on the field before the game. Tickets are $25.00 with a t-shirt.

We are going back to Marina Del Rey for our Annual Dinner Dance. We would like to have a great turnout because we know the carriers prefer the dance being held at Marina Del Rey. Tickets this year will be $85.00. The Dinner Dance will be held on Sunday, November 12, 2017. Start preparing now for the best dance of the year.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the postal service.

Outlook March / April 2017
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, our President, Donald Trump, has begun signing Executive Orders to change the way the country is run. One Executive Order that comes to mind is his Executive Order to repeal the American Health Care Act known as Obamacare. Lucky for all of us, Congress did not gain enough votes to overturn it. This is good news for millions of working families. Obamacare will stay intact until they come up with a better solution. The NALC has a plan in effect to keep you updated with current important information in the political arena. This is why we need to seek guidance from the NALC. If you have an iPhone or android tablet, you can download a free app from the NALC, which will keep you aware of what’s going on in Washington, D.C. Everyone must get on board and give to the Carriers Political Fund. That means all CCAs, active letter carriers and retirees. For the next four years, we must stay strong and fight together.
Branch 36 held its only fundraiser this year for the Welfare and Scholarship Fund. We did not have the great outcome that we expected with the raffle tickets. These raffles support the Welfare and Scholarship Fund, which provides four scholarships and also free eyeglasses for our members. It was disappointing that many members did not buy or return the raffle books.

The drawing for the 2017 raffle paid three winners. The first prize winner was Carl A. Calarco; the second prize winner was Wellington Gong; and the third prize winner was Alfred C. Knight. I would like to thank all the retirees, who took the time to mail their raffles back early and to all the active members and CCAs that participated. Without a better turnout next year, who knows if the Welfare and Scholarship Fund will exist in the future? We must ask who will take care of us if we do not take care of ourselves.

Our 25th Annual Food Drive will kick off on May 6th, 2017 and end on May 13, 2017. The Branch 36 Food Drive lasts for a week. Let’s begin with all letter carriers and employees donating non-perishable goods to their stations. The Food Drive Committee will be hard at work selling t-shirts, which can be worn on that day, and which cost $15.00. Get in touch with your station shop steward or call the branch office at (212) 239-3901. The committee members are Carmen Flores (Triboro & Manhattan Stations) and Melinda Hammond (Williamsbridge Station in the Bronx). Both will soon be visiting stations in Manhattan and the Bronx.

I would like to mention that CCAs should consider becoming more active and a part of Branch 36 on their way to becoming career employees in the United States Postal Service.

Branch 36 will be celebrating Father’s Day once again at Citi Field on Sunday, June 18, 2017. You can purchase tickets now because we are giving away t-shirts and if you want the correct size, order early. If you want to order tickets, contact: Branch 36 Headquarters at (212) 239-3901, ask for Tony Ortiz. There are 650 tickets and they are going fast. This is a nice affair to bring your family to if you enjoy baseball.

As you know, Branch 36 has an Annual Dinner Dance. Many members asked why it was no longer at Marina del Rey. This year, Marina del Rey contacted Branch 36 requesting that we come back. The officers of Branch 36 have agreed that this year, on November 12, 2017, we will be back in Marina del Rey, which is more accessible to many of our members. We need a great turnout to remind Marina del Rey why they missed us. All stations should purchase tables for this great affair.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.

Outlook January / February 2017
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, I hope you all shared a wonderful holiday and New Year with your families and that the new year ahead is better than ever.

January 20, 2017 was the inauguration of the newly elected president, Donald Trump. I did not believe he was the best choice, but he did make a lot of promises to the American people that I would like to see him keep. Many people believe in President Trump and only time will tell if he keeps his campaign promises. All Americans, even those of us who did not vote for him, must make sure he keeps these promises. One way for letter carriers to do so is by becoming an E-Activist, so you can hear first-hand information from the NALC. Another way is to contribute

regularly to the Letter Carriers Political Fund. It is time for everyone to get on board, join and contribute. There must be enough funds so our senators and congress people have the assets needed to get the job done, make sure all promises are kept and become reality. For example: more jobs, lower taxes for the middle class, the wealthy paying their fair share, and transforming the infrastructure of our country and making it great from top to bottom.

In 2016, the movie Hidden Figures was released across the country. This movie made me aware of a part of Black History, which I never learned and maybe a lot of you didn’t learn either. Two things that I learned from this movie: 1) there were three black women who solved many of the problems with the NASA Program; 2) they helped boost America’s space race with Russia even though they experienced segregation in the workplace. Did you know these women were not allowed to share bathrooms with whites, kept out of view and placed in separate buildings to work, paid lower salaries, not allowed to share coffee pots in white office settings, given jobs that their white counterparts were unable to do and with a limited timeframe to finish it? These three African American women, who contributed greatly to NASA’s success and in the space race with Russia, were Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson.

Katherine Jackson was a mathematician and a key contributor to NASA’s space race. At the time, black women mathematicians were hired to fill a labor shortage so America could win the space race. She began working at NASA in 1953 and was considered a “Human Computer” at the Langley Research Center. Katherine was moved to the Space Orbital Branch (Flight Mechanical Division) as a research mathematician. She calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard to become the first American in space. Her calculations were critical to Alan Shepard because he didn’t trust the newly invented computer at the time. Katherine’s calculations were essential for the success of the Apollo Moon Landing and Space Shuttle Programs too. In 2015, she received the President Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

Mary Jackson was a research mathematician at Langley Research Center. In 1953, Mary accepted a position to work with engineer, Kazimierz Czarnecki in the Super Sonic Pressure Tunnel. This department studied and analyzed data regarding wind generating twice the speed of sound. Czarnecki encouraged Mary to get her Engineering Degree. She had to petition the City of Hampton, VA to attend an all-white Hampton High School to take the necessary courses. After receiving her degree, she became the first African American engineer to work at NASA. Mary worked to analyze wind tunnel and real world aircraft flight experiments. Mary was instrumental in guiding Astronaut John Glenn on how to operate the controls when he was having problems with his capsule reentering the earth’s atmosphere.

Dorothy Vaughn was also a mathematician and the acting head of the African American Mathematicians at Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA. She calculated mathematical computations for engineers conducting aeronautical experiments in wind tunnels. The West Area Computer Division of Langley Research Center was composed entirely of African American mathematicians. Dorothy learned of the IBM 7090 and taught herself and her coworkers how to operate the computer. She taught herself and the others FORTRAN, which is a programming language that is especially suited to numeric computation and scientific computing. White individuals at NASA did not know how to operate the new machine. In 1949, Dorothy became the first African American supervisor at NASA in the West Area Computer Division. In 1958, the agency got rid of the segregated area and Dorothy Vaughn joined the Analysis and Computation Division. She became an expert FORTRAN programmer. Dorothy worked for the SCOUT Launch Program. This is one of the nation’s most successful and reliable launch vehicles. This vehicle is used for launching a 385-pound satellite into a 500-mile orbit. These three women were all sent in the direction of developing and becoming a big part of America’s African American history.

Here is another part of African American History, as seen through the post office: 1920s through 1940s: Opportunities Vary by City “A city where a Negro does not have to contend for his rights in America would be a miracle city and I have as yet to hear of such a city.” – Letter Carrier Raymond A. C. Young, Baltimore, MD 1944

Beginning around 1916, in what has been termed the “Great Migration” hundreds of thousands of African Americans left the South in search of a better life in northern U.S. cities. They moved north to escape from discrimination in the South, but were also in search of economic opportunity.

Manpower shortages caused by World War 1 were opening up jobs in the North, while crop failures in the South were eliminating jobs. Northern cities swelled with new immigrants, both southern born blacks and foreign born whites. Between 1910 and 1920, Philadelphia’s black population rose by 58 percent, New York’s by 64 percent, Chicago more than doubled again and in Detroit, it more than tripled.

Post offices were an important source of employment for urban African Americans. By 1928, African Americans comprised nearly 20 percent of the postal workforce in Philadelphia and nearly 24 percent in Baltimore. The percentage of African American employees in the Washington, D.C. Post Offices grew from about 24 percent in 1925 to 35 percent by 1931.

Harry S. New, Postmaster General from 1923 to 1929, promised that federal hiring would be color-blind, but that was not a promise he could keep. Although the Postmaster General stated the principles, those principles were put into practice or not by the local postmasters. Racial discrimination persisted in both the hiring and promoting of workers, even in the nation’s capital. Although the proportion of African Americans working at the Washington, D.C. post office in 1928 was on par with their representation in the general population; they were overrepresented in lower level positions, with about 85 percent working as laborers and watchmen, and only 15 percent in the higher paying clerical workforce. To read more about this, google: African American Postal Workers in the 20th Century.

There is a lot of interesting information about black history and we do not need to only think about it in the month of February. It is important to always take a minute out of our lives and reflect on where we came from and to find out about the true history.

To all CCAs entering the postal service, remember: learn the rules of the postal service, which have been in place for many years. There are books, which can keep you informed.

Branch 36’s fundraiser mailing has been sent out. Please remember, this raffle is for the Welfare and Scholarship Fund, which supports our Eyeglass voucher and Scholarship funds. The Scholarship Fund awards four scholarships each year. You can find the Scholarship form in the December Issue of the Outlook. Fill it out and send it in before March 24, 2017.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.

Outlook November / December 2016
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36,1 thought the month of November would be a special month for letter carriers because Election Day held great promise and an important key to our future. When I woke up the morning after Election Day, I was startled to find out the country declared Donald Trump, the President elect. Hillary Clinton held our future in her hands. Now we will just have to wait and see what President Elect Donald Trump has in store for this country. Evidently, I thought he would not be elected and I was hoping that everyone saw things the way I did. I voted for Hillary Clinton and I wish our country would have done the same. It seems as though this country overwhelmingly saw Donald Trump as the best candidate. I know I told people to vote for Hillary Clinton, but it appears not enough people did.
Our fight is not over yet, we have a strong union with good ideas for letter carriers and their families. We still have to give to The Carrier Political Fund and everyone should and must become an E-Activist because we have to hold Donald Trump to his promise to make America Great Again.

In 2018, we have a Senate race to reelect the Senators holding office now. We will get a lot of guidance from the NALC on how to vote in this next election. That is why we must become E-Activists. It is a great way to get first-hand knowledge on what we need to do.

CCAs can go to Postal-Ease or go to liteblue.usps.gov to pick a Postal Service Health Benefit Plan. The Postal Service Health Plan allows CCAs $125.00 per pay period to pick a health insurance plan, so why not take advantage of it. Congratulations to the 21 CCAs that were converted this month, and congratulations to the 21 new shop stewards, as well as the remaining shop stewards who were elected for the next three years.

We had our 40th Annual Dinner Dance at the Greentree Country Club. There were about 400 in attendance. Once again, the Letter Carriers Dinner Dance is still Number One. We all had a great time. A lot of new people attended. We look forward to seeing you next year at the Dinner Dance.

The month of December is our non-prime choice to bid for vacations over the next three months. You must have your bids in by December 13th, 2016. The first three months, you can take as many weeks as you like, provided you have the time. In 2017, on January 7th, annual leave vacation time will be activated. Your prime choice vacation must be submitted by January 31st, 2017 and that will be for the rest of the year.

Branch 36 will be sending out raffles in December for our only fundraiser of the year. It is for our Welfare and Scholarship Fund. This fund supplies four year scholarships to our member’s children and is responsible for administering the eyeglass fund program for active and retired letter carriers. When you receive the raffle book, take $10 out of your special spending envelope for the raffle book and mail it back to the branch. You never know, this $10 can grow into $1,000.00 (1st prize), $500.00, (2nd prize) or $100.00 (3rd prize). This drawing will be held at our General Membership Meeting on March 9th, 2017.

I would like to wish every letter carrier and their family a safe, prosperous, healthy and happy holiday.

The retirees will get a .03 percent raise for the New Year.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service

Outlook September / October 2016
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer and vacation. Now it’s time to get back to work and prepare ourselves for the cold months ahead.

This year is a very political year; we have to choose the candidate whom we believe will lead this country in the right direction over the next four years. The NALC, Branch 36 and I will endorse Hillary Clinton. You should have no doubt in your mind by now, considering the actions of the other candidate, which clearly demonstrates his inability to move the country forward. Trump’s presidency would not benefit unions, seniors, or middle and lower income families. All you have to do is research Donald Trump’s history to see how he became a great businessman. His rise to the top began, step by step, on the backbones of unions when he repeatedly refused to negotiate contracts with hotel and casino

workers. He further went on to shut down his hotels and casinos and filed bankruptcy several times without concern for his employees. Trump would obviously be all for himself. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton has always supported unions, seniors, the military, and middle and lower income families. She even fought to raise the minimum hourly wage. These are some reasons why our votes count. If you do not vote, then you have no say in what happens. It is important that you, along with your family and friends vote. Remind your voting age children to register to vote. All retirees, letter carriers and CCA’s should support our causes and donate to the Letter Carriers Political Fund and join the E-Activist. In doing so, you will receive information straight from Washington.

On Sunday, September 11, 2016 Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 held their 44th Annual Old-Timers Brunch. There was a special guest in attendance from Washington, D.C. Myra Warren, the Director of Life Insurance. Also in attendance were Larry Cirelli of NBA Region 15, George Mangold President of NYSALC, and about 150 retirees from 29 stations across Manhattan and the Bronx. It was very enjoyable to see and speak to all of the retirees. The event took place at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square and we enjoyed the good food and great guest speakers. I look forward to seeing more people next year.

Mark your calendars, the 40th Annual Dinner Dance takes place on Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 12 noon. It will be held at the Greentree Country Club, 538 Davenport Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10805. To view the venue and find directions for the Green Tree Country Club, visit www.greentreeclub.com. It is by far one of the best dinner dances of the year. Dress to impress and bring your dancing shoes because you are going to have a good time. All stations should participate in this great event.

November is Open Season for Health Benefits. Any letter carrier planning to retire at the end of this year or next year should look into the NALC Health Benefit Plan. It is the most affordable plan for active and retired letter carriers regardless of single or family status. Do not let this opportunity pass you by. Compared to the NALC, most other plans are triple the cost. Do your homework early. Visit the website www.opm.gov/insure and use the comparison chart. After one year of service, CCA’s may also visit the website to see if the policies are affordable.

We apologize for the inconvenience of the Regular Branch Membership Meeting being cancelled on Thursday, September 8th. The Percy T. McRae Meeting Hall was being renovated during that time and will be completed in October.

EVERYONE’S VOTE COUNTS!!!
Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.
Outlook July / August 2016
Information You Should Know
This is the year of the Presidential and Congressional Elections. The primaries are over and there are two Presidential Candidates, a Democrat and a Republican. Hillary Clinton has been chosen as the favorite Democratic candidate. The NALC and Branch 36 have endorsed Hillary Clinton for presidency. I, myself am voting for Hillary Clinton for President. She has always been a friend to letter carriers and the middle class. Hillary has been a strong supporter of Social Security and fought hard for benefits for the elderly, as well as higher wages for low income workers.
The Republican candidate wants to destroy unions, has never supported letter carriers or spoke out on our behalf in our fight to stop Congress from destroying the Postal Service or the middle class. Today, with crises occurring all around the country, we do not need a billionaire trying to separate the people by telling us what we should and should not do. He does not have our best interest at heart. There have been many times when Donald has shown his true lack of character. He declared bankruptcy because it benefitted him, and he did so without thought to the thousands of people that would be out of work by this action. People should do the research and see for themselves what Donald claims to have done in the past and what he actually did. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

We must look to the NALC for guidance and become E-Activists to get first¬hand information. This is why it is so important to support the NALC by participating in the Letter Carrier Political Fund. You need to do that NOW! This will ensure our job welfare. Remember all members and their families need to get out and vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

The NALC is still negotiating our contract that ended on May 20, 2016. This year is our National Convention. It will be held August 15th - August 19th. Branch 36 should have more information regarding it by that time. We are still working under the old contract. NO CHANGES.

Final tallies of the NALC 2016 Food Drive are in from the first year and up until now; the NALC has collected 1.5 billion pounds of food. The NALC has participated in the food drive for 24 years. This year, the NALC collected 80.1 million pounds of food. Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 and their food drive committee, Carmen Flores of Triboro Station and Jerome Jackson of Cornell Station, collected 79.432 pounds of food. I would like to thank the committee and all those who participated and helped collect 79.432 pounds of food for Branch 36.

Attention, all letter carriers and CCA’s, we need to stay together. Remember, we all have the same goals. To accomplish these goals, we need to know the history of the letter carriers and how as letter carriers, we got to where we are now. The CCA’s were given a very informative package to read. Take the time to read it because it has everything you need to know and things you should know about your job and new career. By reading this package, it will help you understand the Postal Service. This is your future, should you choose to stay here. READ IT! Reading it will only benefit you!

July and August are the hottest months of the year and as letter carriers you need to know how to hydrate yourselves before, during and after work. You need to consume at least 8 oz. of water every 20 minutes. The NALC has established a routine of how to stay hydrated. You can find it on the NALC website.

All retirees need to know that Branch 36 is having their Annual Old-Timers Day Brunch. Branch 36 will be mailing you the invitation. It is important that you fill out the response, whether you are accepting or declining the invitation. This event will be held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at the Hard Rock Café on 43rd Street in Manhattan. I look forward to seeing you there, as always.

I hope everyone has a good, safe and enjoyable vacation.

Until next time, as always I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.

Outlook May / June 2016
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, the New York State Presidential Primaries resulted in a win for Hillary Clinton, as their democratic choice for presidency. A lot more work has to be done, in order to get her elected as, the democratic candidate for president. We have to help to put together a strong team of congressmen and congresswomen. Remember, if we lose the House of Representatives and the Senate, there will be another four years of gridlock decisions; the same as it was with President Obama.
On June 28, 2016, the New York State Primary will be held. We all must get out and vote. We can’t rest until our work is done. Please keep in mind, there are new candidates in this Congressional Primary. By being an E-Activist, you will receive information from the NALC regarding the candidates we need to support. Our voices can and will be heard, we are 10, 000 letter carriers strong. The NALC will send out email alerts when the time is right to act on issues relating to active or retired letter carriers. This is another reason why we must contribute to the Letter Carrier Political Fund. We need to help the right people to get into office. Each and every one of us must do our part, by voting.

Branch 36 has been working hard to convert our CCA’s into career status employees. All CCA’s, on the verge of conversion this year, should take some time to read the Postal Record and educate themselves on what they need to do in the next steps.

The first thing to think about is Health Insurance. Did you know that you only have 60 days to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Insurance Plan? The postal service will pay 76% of your biweekly premiums and your health insurance will start on the first day of the pay period. If you are enrolled in a USPS Non Career Employee Health Benefit Plan, this plan will terminate the last day of the month when you are converted into a career employee.

The next thing to think about is Life Insurance. Upon conversion, you will automatically be enrolled in the Basic Life Insurance; unless you waive this coverage. There are also additional options of Life Insurance from the NALC Mutual Benefit Association. Educate yourself and take advantage of it.

Once converted, letter carriers are enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement Systems (FERS). FERS is made up of three components: Basic Benefit Plan, Social Security and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). The Basic Benefit Plan and Social Security are defined benefit plans. USPS withholds the carrier’s share each pay period. With TSP, USPS automatically contributes 1% of each employee’s base pay and will match contributions up to 5% of base pay. Even employees who contribute nothing, will still receive the 1%.

The final 2011-2016 contract COLA was zero; and as previously announced, there was no 7th and final scheduled COLA under the 2011-2016 National Agreement. 2017 Retiree COLA’s projection is 0%, as of March 2016

I would like to thank Carmen Flores of Triboro Station and Jerome Jackson of Cornell Station for being Branch 36’s coordinators of the 2016 Annual Food Drive. Carmen and Jerome did a great job of getting all stations to participate and also by selling food drive t-shirts. I know this will be another successful food drive to help stamp out hunger. Much thanks for their efforts.

June 19, 2016 is Father’s Day and Branch 36 will celebrate Father’s Day at Citifield as the New York Mets play the Atlanta Braves. Let’s have another successful turnout. Tickets are going fast. The first 600 will get a t-shirt and ticket for $25.00. The Mets were the National League Champs last year and they have started this year with great potential. So come have some fun with Branch 36.

Call Tony at (212) 239-3901 for tickets.
Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.

Outlook March / April 2016
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, as you know this is the year of the Presidential and Congressional Elections. The primaries are now underway for the presidential nominations for President of the United States. If you have been watching the primaries, like me, you know the Republicans had about fifteen candidates and the Democrats had only about three. As I sat, watched and listened to the debates and tried to figure out which candidate was best to run the country. I realized that not one candidate in the Republican Party was looking out for the best interests of the Postal Service or for its middle class citizens. The Democratic Party however, has two candidates that are in our corner and they are: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
After watching these two candidates, I am still undecided which is the better candidate for the President of the United States.

The NALC has sent out questionnaires to the all Republican and Democratic candidates in order to determine their position on postal issues. I am confident that the NALC will not guide us in the wrong direction because they have our best interests at heart. The NALC has been leading the battle to fight off candidates that will not serve us well. They guide us on things to do, things to say, and ways in which we can fight to save the postal service and our jobs. This is the main reason, why I repeatedly ask every member to participate in the E-Activist Network; so we will continue to get the necessary guidance to move forward and fight against bad bills that hurt the Postal Service and middle class citizens. If you are not receiving email from the E-Activist Network, you need to update your email address or provide them with an address. The E-Activist will advise you who our friends and enemies are and the best way to vote during these upcoming elections.

If you have not given to the Letter Carrier Political Fund, then you need to do so now. Think of it as insurance for our job welfare. Remember all employees and their family members need to get out and vote.

March 17th marks the anniversary date of the 1970 Postal Strike. Carriers and their families sacrificed a lot to work their way off the food stamp lines. Remember just like it did back then, Congress still controls the postal service. The fight never ends, so make your vote count.

Our union is approximately 275,000 strong; yet, less than 30% of our members give to the Letter Carrier Political Fund. That is a shame! We can easily protect our jobs by simply giving a few dollars each pay period. It’s a shame that our future must rest on the 30% and not on everyone’s shoulders.

On February 19, 2016, the NALC and the Postal Service started contract negotiation. The letter carriers contract ends in May of 2016. Remember, being an E- Activist provides you with updated contract information. Do not ask anyone questions regarding the contract because it can sometimes be wrong and misleading. Rather, get firsthand information from the E-Activist Network.

CCA’s became a part of our family during this contract that ends in May 2016. Since January 10, 2013, the NALC was able to make 30,000 CCA’s regular employees and still counting.

Get prepared for our 24th Annual Food Drive on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The Food Drive Committee will be selling Food Drive t-shirts again at a cost of $15.00. Remember to order early. You may wear the t-shirt in stations during the entire week of the Food Drive.

Branch 36 is trying to reinstate our Auxiliary Branch, Branch 37. Any NALC member, whether active, retired, family member, husband, wife or child is eligible to be an auxiliary member. You must be over the age of 16. CCA’s and their families are welcome too. Family members of deceased members, who were in good standing, are also welcome to participate. Look for an update in the next Outlook.

Our next fundraiser will be on April 9, 2016. It’s a Comedy Show. Get in touch with Tony Ortiz @ (212) 239-3901 for tickets. Remember first come, first served. Tickets are $40.00 per person and support MDA. The annual Branch 36 Day at Citifield will follow this event on Father’s Day: Sunday, June 19, 2016. The first 600 tickets will be sold with a t-shirt for $25.00. Order early and remember first come, first served.

April 7th is Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36’s Installation. In other words, the swearing in of your elected officers. I would like to thank all the members of Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 for supporting the Charlie Heege slate for another three years. We won by acclamation. Thank you, I am pleased to accept my position for another three years.

I would also like to congratulate all 35 CCA’s from Manhattan and the Bronx who became career employees.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.

Outlook January / February 2016
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters, I hope everyone had an enjoyable, safe holiday and began the year on a positive note. There is still much work to do this year because it is an election year. We must elect our friends into Congress and vote for a President who will best serve our needs regarding the Postal Service. Voting is very important! We must go out and vote and tell our family and friends to do the same. All retirees, active letter carriers and CCA’s should remember to become E-Activists and give to the Carrier Political Fund.
Attention: All active letter carriers - May is the end of our contract. The NALC will soon begin negotiations for our new contract; and as always, we will work hard to ensure the best overall outcome.

The NALC held their first City Carrier Assistant Summit in January. City Carrier Assistants from around the country participated in this summit, which was held in St. Louis, Missouri. Branch 36 sent City Carrier Assistant Jadeeva Smith, who recently made regular, to represent Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36. Jadeeva is a shop steward from Ansonia Station

Raffle tickets were mailed out in December. If you did not receive them or misplaced them, contact your shop steward or the branch.

February is Black History Month and I would like to share with you some African American History that took place in the United States Postal Service. There is a long history of discrimination in the United States Postal Service. Not only discrimination against African Americans, but also based on sex, age and religion. Unfortunately, some of these forms of discrimination still exist in various areas of the United States.

To justify their wrongdoing towards African Americans, the United States Postal Service, back in 1961, began hiring more African Americans as a form of reverse discrimination. The Postal Service hired more African Americans, but at lower level jobs, and hired fewer white Americans.

In 1963, the practice of reverse discrimination became apparent when three African Americans were promoted to supervisors in the Dallas Texas Post Office over more than 50 more qualified white employees. An official of the United Federation of Postal Clerks noticed that the Dallas promotions violated the post office’s own prohibitions against racial discrimination. The ten white employees filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in August 1963 claiming discrimination. The promotions were revoked, reciting a procedural error and the three African Americans kept their same pay in a temporary status. They were promised that they would be first in line for future promotions.

Following an investigation into unfair practices of hiring more African Americans into lower level jobs, a series of corrected actions were initiated. The Postal Service initiated the yearlong, Postmasters Program for Progress in 1963. This program required postmasters of offices with more than 125 employees to develop and maintain an affirmative Equal Employment Opportunity Program. The postmasters were required to submit monthly written progress reports. Representatives from headquarters and postal regions required key officials and postmasters of the largest 313 post offices to deliberately seek out qualified Negroes for promotion.

Supervisor jobs held by African Americans rose from 5 to 10 percent between 1962 and 1964. The African American top earners in the Post Office Department rose from less than one percent to about four percent between 1961 and 1968. During this time, the African American representation in the postal workforce increased from about 15 to about 20 percent.

Several African Americans had been appointed to high profile positions during 1960-1962:
- Christopher C. Scott, a 38-year postal veteran from Los Angeles, was appointed deputy to the Assistant Postmaster of Transportation in 1961. He was the highest ranking African American in the Post Office Department to that date. Scott had an annual salary of $18,500.
- Henry McGee was appointed Regional Personnel Director for the Chicago Region in 1961. It was the highest position held by an African American in the Postal Service. McGee was appointed by J Edward Day.
(J. Edward Day was President John F. Kennedy’s second choice for Postmaster General. President Kennedy’s first choice for Postmaster General was an African American named William L. Dawson. Dawson was a powerful African American political leader from Chicago. Dawson was an 18-year member of the House of Representatives in Congress, who was serving as Chairman of the House Government Operation Committee. He declined the President’s offer because he had more power in Congress.)
- Day appointed Mrs. Nancy C. Avery in 1961 as acting postmaster of Pacoima California Post Office. She was the first African American to head a first class post office since the Reconstruction Era. Avery permanently filled the position in 1963 until retirement in 1984.
- Charles A. Preston was the first African American appointed as a postal inspector since the 1800’s. He was appointed in 1962 as a postal inspector in the Inspection Service’s Philadelphia Division.

In 1962, post offices were being desegregated. Lockers and Swing Rooms were being integrated. The Post Office Department took steps of stripping postmasters of their ability to promote employees if they were found to be discriminating against African Americans, such as in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

The United States Postal Service has made much improvement in areas of discrimination. On May 9, 2008, Sheryl Rogers, a former Des Moines Post Office African American night shift mail sorter was awarded $382,500 in her racial discrimination lawsuit against the United States Postal Service. She was harassed with racial epithets by co-workers. Out of 5,659 complaints filed during 2009 at the United States Postal Service, 1,283 contained allegations of racial (white) discrimination. As of June 14, 2013, the Postal Service settled a people with disability discrimination lawsuit for $17.3 million. The United States Postal Service still has improvements to make regarding discrimination of all kinds. To find further information, search on the web for African American Postal Workers in the 20th Century.

I want to send congratulations to all the CCA’s over the last five months who were converted to career carrier employees. There were over two hundred CCA’s from Manhattan and the Bronx and we are still counting.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about the Postal Service.

Outlook November / December 2015
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36. I hope everyone is in the best of health and these next two months are all about family. The first family the union honors is the veterans, who have served or are serving in our Military Service.

Congress passed the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015. This Act enables newly hired Military Veterans with a disability rating of 30 percent or more to receive 13 days (104 hours) of sick leave for medical treatment associated with their disability. This law should go into effect within one year of November 5th, the date of enactment. This kind of information is why it is important to be an E-Activist. It allows you to get information firsthand instead of hearing about it from someone else later on. It is also important to give to the Carriers Political Fund for this same reason. It does not matter if you are active or retired; our jobs depend on a lot of political issues.

Medicare recipients should be aware that the Social Security Administration stated there will be no COLA for 2016; because of this, Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles are set to go up in the beginning of January. Legislation has been introduced to Congress to fix this issue. All NALC members should contact their House and Senate Representatives to co-sponsor these bills to correct this injustice to postal and federal retirees. Please call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to get started in sponsoring these bills. Once again if you were an E-Activist you would have been fully aware of this issue. If you are not, ACT NOW!

The 39th Dinner Dance was a success. There were over 600 friends and family in attendance, which made it a success. This dinner dance was at a new venue and there were a few bumps in the road. We (the officers) went to the new venue and spoke to the owners at the Greentree Country Club. We addressed many concerns that were brought to our attention. Next year, should be just as successful, but without those bumps in the road. If you are interested, the dinner dance pictures are posted at our Branch 36 Website at www.nylcbr36.org.

Penalty Overtime Exclusion will start on December 5, 2015 to January 1, 2016. There will be no penalty overtime for any employee during that period.

I want to send out congratulations to all CCA’s that made regular and to those about to make regular under the DAS Contract that will end in May 2016. The Postal Service has honored their word under the DAS Contract. Regulars have been made for the last four months (September, October, November and December) under the DAS Contract. As a CCA, learn your job because the opportunity to become a regular is right around the corner.

The non-choice vacation bids were sent out to all regulars. All bids should be submitted or have been submitted by December 13, 2015. The successful bidders should be posted by December 19, 2015. The choice vacation should be submitted by January 30, 2016 and posted by February 28, 2016, but no later than March 13th.

The holiday season is approaching and you should be careful because a lot of people, who wouldn’t usually steal, might be tempted to steal in the month of December. Watch your mail! Watch your parcels! Watch your valuables! Be aware of your surroundings! Do not take your personal valuables with you and become a target!

During the month of December, the Union Branch Officers will visit every Letter Carrier Station in Manhattan and the Bronx. I look forward to meeting with every carrier that I have yet to meet. I would also like to wish all letter carriers a happy and safe holiday celebration.

All full time employees should have received their last general wage of 1% under this contract on November 14, 2015. All CCA’s should have received a general wage increase too.

Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 will be mailing out raffles for the eyeglass voucher and scholarship program. First prize is $1000.00, second prize is $500.00 and third prize is $300.00. Please! All carriers, please send your raffle ticket books back because this is Branch 36’s only fundraiser for the year. All letter carriers and retirees, please send it back as soon as possible. The drawing will take place at the General Membership Meeting in March.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook September / October 2015
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36; I hope everyone enjoyed their summer because it seemed to go by very fast. The weather was hot and we had many days of unbearable heat; but letter carriers, as usual, adapted.

The NALC is preparing to strengthen our political actions in the post office by preparing the CDL’s across the country to address the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are people in Congress, who are still trying to destroy the postal service. Congress is in recess and will reconvene in September. Letter Carriers, we must protect our jobs! All letter carriers, CCA’s, and retirees, along with their families and friends, must join the E-Activist Network in order to protect our jobs and be informed of all political actions being taken against the postal service and for our own well-being. We must protect our livelihood or we will lose it.

All active letter carriers and retirees should contribute a few dollars to our Political Action Network, which can be done through automatic deduction. You can contribute as little as a $1.00 per pay period or a greater amount, if you wish. The Political Action Network is part of our political insurance that helps to keep our jobs protected.

On September 13th, the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 held the 43rd Annual Old Timer’s Brunch. We were actively looking for more retirees to attend this enjoyable, free event. It was held at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. We had a decent turnout, about 150 retirees, but we were expecting more because of our recent growing population of retirees over the last two years. This is another event that runs the risk of being lost, because of lack of participation. We have guest speakers at this event, who keep the retirees informed of what is taking place in the postal service, which may affect them in the future. I really enjoy seeing all of the retirees that turn out for this great event in good health and sharing memories with other retirees. If you have retired letter carrier friends, encourage them to attend union meetings and functions given by the branch.

Our next big function is the Vincent R. Sombrotto 39th Annual Dinner Dance and it’s for all letter carriers and their families and friends. We are honoring three shop stewards/part-time officers: Jimmy Liguori (Parkchester Station), Gregg Levy (Riverdale Station) and Eugene Spry (Murray Hill Station), If you are a retiree, you are welcome to participate in this affair, and to join us in welcoming each of these carriers into retirement. This affair will take place at a new venue this year. It will be held at the elegant Green Tree Country Club, 538 Davenport Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10805. You can view the Green Tree Country Club online at www.greentreeclub.com. You may also call the branch at (212) 239-3901 for tickets. The ticket price is $75.00 per person. A lot of food! A lot of dancing! A lot of spirits! A lot of fun! Dress in your best! All active letter carriers should attend this event either with their stations or individually. All CCA’s should definitely participate and become more involved with their union.

I wrote something in my last article that I deem necessary to repeat to all CCA’s because it seems many of you did not read or understand it the first time. You did not understand what was necessary to pass probation and to do your job effectively. Here are the four points of necessary information for all CCA’s to keep in mind:
1) Do not argue. Leave the arguing to the Shop Stewards.
2) Don’t make any decisions. (Letter Carriers are paid to deliver mail and
management is paid to make decisions).
3) Keep your cool!
4) If you are not sure, make sure management decisions are clear and precise.

This is an important item for all CCA’s to bring to their shop steward’s attention: If management gives you an order, Monday through Saturday, to hit on Operation 599 (this is a Sunday Operational Code) contact your shop steward because this is a violation. Our new scanners are being sent text messages from management asking questions such as:
1) Why did it take you so long to go from Point A to Point B?
2) Why have you been parked in one place for so long?
Any questions of this type should be responded in the same fashion as follows:

TEXT BACK the following: Can answering this question result in me being disciplined? If so, I want my shop steward. However, only text this message if you receive a text of this type (similar to the two questions listed above). Otherwise, do not text on these scanners because all texts can be saved for up to a year.

Congratulations! This is the third big conversion of CCA’s; being converted to career employees and it took place on September 19th. There were 52 CCA conversions in Manhattan and 29 in the Bronx. The next conversion will be in October and will be the fourth conversion. The process is slow, but it is working. I would like to congratulate all CCA’s that have been converted into career employees.

I would also personally like to send out special congratulations to Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36’s first CCA Shop Steward, Jadeeva Smith of Ansonia Station. She was the first CCA Shop Steward converted into a career employee. Jadeeva Smith knew there were opportunities within the union and was motivated to take action. Every CCA has the opportunity to participate in the union. Everyone needs to step up their game if they wish to become a career employee.

The journal ad is due once again and all stations should contribute to their station’s journal ad.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook July / August 2015
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, I hope everyone enjoyed a great summer being we worked so hard all year long. This is not the time to let our guards down, even though we are enjoying the summer.

The NALC is preparing for the next battle with Congress. As you know COLCPE is the name of our political active network. COLCPE stands for Committee On Letter Carrier Political Education. The name has been changed to get the point across and a new logo was developed for that same reason. The new name is PAC which means Political Action Committee. We need to continue making donations to our political fund in order to get the candidates that will fight for our issues.

We are referring to the issues that are most important to letter carriers. PAC will continue to be our unified voice to advocate for change.

The NALC has the final total from all branches regarding the food drive of 2015. The final tally is 91,108 pounds; much thanks to Jerome Jackson of Cornell Station in the Bronx, Mike Kelly of Cooper Station in Manhattan, and to all those who participated in the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36’s Food Drive. Once again, I want to thank all of you for making this a successful food drive for Manhattan and the Bronx.

CCA’s (City Carrier Assistants): listed below is some key information you will need to know to pass probation.
1) Do not argue. Leave the arguing to the Shop Stewards.
2) Don’t make any decisions. (Letter Carriers are paid to deliver mail and management is paid to make decisions.)
3) Keep your cool!
4) If you are not sure, make sure management decisions are clear and precise.

The NALC has a CCA Retirement Savings Plan. You choose the amount you want to contribute. The least amount you can contribute is $15.00 per pay period. The MBA (insurance plan) can deduct payments automatically from your paycheck. Our next and final uniform allowance for all CCA’s and career employees is November 21, 2015. The amount is $420.00. If you have not received or used your last allowance you need to do so now. The postal service gives you an allowance; use it or lose it.

Branch 36 has mailed out invitations to all retired Branch 36 members. These invitations are to our 43 Annual Old-Timers Brunch. It will be held on Sunday, September 13, 2015. Don’t forget! All retirees must return their invitations by August 28, 2015. It would be nice to see the new retirees, as well as the old retirees. I look forward to seeing all of you.

Once again, this is the affair of the year, the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 Dinner Dance. This year’s dance has a new venue (location). It will be held at the Greentree Country Club on Sunday, November 8, 2015, at noon (see address listed below). The tickets are still $75.00 per person for the greatest dance of the year.

The Greentree Country Club
538 Davenport Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10805
Website: www.greentreeclub.com
This year we are honoring the following shop stewards: Eugene Spry (Murray Hill Station), Gregg Levy (Riverdale Station), and Jimmy Liguori (Parkchester Station), letter carriers and their families.

The National Association of Letter Carriers will be having a special election for the Director of Retirees. The candidate that I support is Ron Watson. Ballots should be mailed out sometime around the end of September and beginning of October.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook May / June 2015
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36,1 hope all is well. The month of May brings forth the warmer weather. This should make the carrier’s work a little bit easier after the long, brutal winter. I hope everyone enjoyed their Mother’s Day.

The month of May is a time when the letter carriers give back to their communities by filling up the food banks for the summer months. This year Branch 36 put together a new Food Drive team which included Mike Kelly (Cooper Station) and Jerome Jackson (Cornell Station). These two men did a fantastic job of getting the letter carriers to respond to this year’s food drive by collecting food and selling Food Drive t-shirts. With the help of letter carriers, Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 collected over 91,000 pounds of food. I want to thank all letter carriers who participated in making this Food Drive a success.

Now, let’s get down to business. As you know CDRAP is playing an important part in adjusting stations’ routes. Every station that follows the rules will come out with very few problems. The letter carriers should know how to protect their routes. What I mean by that is checking the work hour and workload report. These reports should be checked daily. This is the only way that you will know if management is altering the numbers or making mistakes. If the carrier brings it to the attention of their supervisor; the supervisor has 24 hours to make the adjustment. If you as a carrier do nothing, you will be stuck with incorrect data. Carriers that pay attention to this work hour and workload report receive a good outcome from CDRAP. Carriers that do nothing could lose their assignment. CDRAP adjusts by using data received on these work hour and workload reports. If you want a good adjustment, know your job. Every carrier should work at least 8 hours a day. Make sure you participate in the consultations. The adjustments will go smoothly if you follow the rules.

All senior carriers get a credit card for their uniform allowance. The Branch has been getting complaints that the new regulars are not receiving credit cards.

If you have not received your uniform credit card allowance you should notify your shop steward and the steward should notify the Branch. The steward must notify Pat McNally or John Springman. Any CCA that passed probation should get a uniform allotment voucher. Management should follow the uniform allotment policy. You should not be wearing USPS insignia clothing in the street, you should be wearing your postal uniform.

This is for all letter carriers safety and for the protection of their job on a daily basis. Form 3821 is the form to use that will clear you of all your Accountables such as: Registered Mail, Certified Mail, keys and scanners. Do not let management tell you to wrap your scanners and keys and place them in a window or a bucket because if someone comes behind you and takes it, it will be your responsibility because you did not get cleared.

There has been a grievance filed with a Step B decision stating that management must comply.

June 14, 2015 is Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 Day at Citifield. Tickets are $20.00 with a Branch t-shirt. The Mets are playing the Atlanta Braves at 1:10 p.m.
Get your tickets before we run out. See Tony Ortiz at Branch 36 at (212) 239-3901.

Remember this date: Sunday, November 8, 2015.
November 8th, 2015 is the 39th Annual Dinner Dance of Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36. We will be honoring Eugene Spry of Murray Hill Station, Gregg Levy (Riverdale Station) and Jimmy Liguori (Parkchester Station). This year we will be going to a new venue. This wonderful affair will be held at: The Green Tree Country Club, 538 Davenport Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10805.

Be sure to check out this new venue at www.greentreeclub.com. The ticket price is still only $75.00 per person for one of the best dances of the year.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events in the Postal Service.

Outlook March / April 2015
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36; as you know, the month of February was one of the coldest months in a very long time. The public is well aware that being a letter carrier is a very important job because while most people are staying warm in their homes, letter carriers are providing a much needed service to their customers through the rain, sleet, snow and freezing weather conditions. This is one reason why letter carriers should hold their heads up high because we do our jobs with much pride, even in bad weather.
The first quarter of the postal calendar shows that the United States Postal Service made about one billion dollars. Even with this outcome, our United States President has still recommended a five-day work week for letter carriers. The only good thing coming out of this is: the President cannot get his budget passed through Congress. Since 1984, we have always had a six-day work week put into the Appropriation Bill. The president has not filled the vacancies on the Board of Governors, yet. There should be nine members on The Board of Governors, but at this time there are only three. With the new postmaster, the closing of six plants is still in effect in Region 15 and may affect about 700 jobs. Again, this is one more reason, why it is important to become an E-Activist and contribute to COLCPE.

Since our contract was signed on January 10, 2013, CCA’s were included. To date, our National Union has converted 15 thousand CCA’s across the country into Career Carriers. CCA’s have become the new way to make career employees and we consider them to be our brothers and sisters. CCA’s should start participating in the day to day operations of the Postal Service as soon as possible. They need to start attending meetings, become E-Activists, and contribute to COLCPE.

Please do not forget these important facts about letter carriers: we participate in stamping out a cure for Muscular Dystrophy through the MDA; we stamp out hunger through our Annual Food Drive that will take place on May 9th; and through the Carrier Alert Programs, we look out for our senior citizens. All letter carriers should be informing all CCA’s about our involvements in the community. WE DON’T JUST DELIVER MAIL! We are involved with all Community Outreach Programs.

Under the new CDRAAP, you should know that this is a new part of adjusting our routes. Every carrier should look for the Work Hour Work Load Report and learn how to read it. You must read it daily to know if management is putting the right information on your route. If you see something wrong, you must bring it to management’s attention as soon as possible. This is the way they will adjust your route. Every carrier should know how to read their TACS report. If you don’t see your shop steward, and there are changes in the day to day business in your station, which affect letter carriers, you should notify the union. For instance: when you return your valuables, keys, scanners and are not being cleared on a day to day basis, it is a violation of handbooks and manuals.

Once again, a pleasant note from the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36: we are having a great event, the Branch 36 Comedy Show, to raise money for MDA. The event will take place on Saturday, March 28th at Branch 36 Union Hall, 347 West 41st Street, New York City. The price is $40 per person and includes: an all-night open bar, buffet, comedy show and an after party. For tickets, contact Tony Ortiz at 212-239-3901 and Mike Perdomo at 646-596-0747. Another event taking place will be the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 Day at Citifield. The Mets will be playing the Atlanta Braves on June 14th. We will be giving away Branch 36 t-shirts. Tickets are available now. Make your reservations early. The tickets are $20 per person.

Until next time, as always I look forward to providing you with more information about events in the postal service.

Outlook January / February 2015
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36. You know this is my first article of 2015. January came in like a kitten and went out like a lion.

I hope everyone, along with your families, rang in the New Year on a positive note.

In comparison to last year, I imagine a lot more people are E-Activists. A new Congress is in effect and the Republicans are the majority. We have to look to the E-Activist Network for guidance in the new policies coming out of Congress. If you have not done so already, join the E-Activist Network and be ready to do whatever needs to be done. Don’t forget to give to COLCPE; your donations will help fund our political action network and also help us to make friends in Congress.

February is Black History Month. Black History Month means the untold stories of American History. I will share information and facts through the point of view of African American History. These facts will inform you of African American History in the postal service and why it is important to exercise our right to vote. African-Americans in the postal service played an important role in shaping America’s history and heritage. The postal service has been a place of both: discrimination and opportunities for the advancement of African-Americans.

Slaves were the earliest known mail carriers in the South before 1802. In 1794, Postmaster General Timothy Pickering wrote regarding African American mail carriers in Maryland: “...if the habitants... should deem their letters safe with a faithful black, I should not refuse him... I suppose the planters entrust more valuable things to some of their blacks.” In April 1801, Postmaster Joseph Habersham stated when some objections were made regarding employment of a slave as a mail carrier from Kentucky to Cincinnati, Ohio: “using slaves as mail carriers was generally allowed in the Southern States by my predecessors in office. I made no objections to it; especially as it came within my knowledge that slaves in general are more trustworthy than the class of white men who perform such services...”

The employment of African-Americans as mail carriers was outlawed in 1802 because the Southern whites feared an organized slave rebellion. They were in fear because of the well-planned slave rebellion in 1791 in St. Dominique. St. Dominique is now known as Haiti.

1802 - Postmaster General Gideon Granger stated: “no other than a free white person should be employed as the carrier of the United States mail.”

1828 - Postmaster General John McLean extended the ban but included the regulation that if Negro labor was required it must be done in the presence and direction of the white person in charge of the mail at that time.

1862 - Regulation was lifted by Congress.

1865 - Congress directed that “no person, by reason of color, shall be disqualified from employment in carrying the mail.”

1870 - The 15th Amendment guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race.

After the Civil War, the African-American Vote was decisive in the election of some Republican Presidents including: Ulysses S. Grant. To show appreciation during this Reconstruction Period about 1500 African-Americans were employed in political office and about 500 were employed as carriers and postmasters. The Reconstruction Period occurred after the Civil War.

The earliest known African-American postmaster was James W. Mason (appointed in Sunny Side, Arkansas, on 2/22/1867). The highest paid African American postmasters were Charles W. Ringgold (New Orleans, Louisiana) and Dr. Benjamin A. Boseman (Charleston, South Carolina). They each earned $4000 annually. John W. Curry was the earliest known letter carrier in 1870. He started as a clerk in 1867 and served as a letter carrier until 1897. In the 1800s, twelve of the African American postmasters were women. Mrs. Anna M. Dumas was the earliest known woman postmaster of Indianola, Mississippi for two terms beginning in 1891. She is best known for working under and being appointed by President William McKinley and then President Theodore Roosevelt.

Under the 19th President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, the Reconstruction Period ended. The South returned to governing themselves. Troops were pulled out of the South and no longer enforcing the voting right laws, and the Force Acts were repealed. The Force Acts were laws used to suppress the Ku Klux Klan. With all of his efforts, Hayes could not convince the South to accept the idea of racial equality and convince Congress to give funds to enforce the Civil Right Laws.

I wrote this article to inform you of the hardships of African-Americans and what they went through to achieve voting and civil rights, both of which did not last very long. Yes, African Americans were involved with the beginning of the postal service, but change did not come until they were allowed to vote during the Reconstruction Period and then, those rights were violated during the 19th Century. African-Americans were once again treated as if they were nonexistent. Throughout history, African-Americans had to fight against political pressures, social inequalities, and ignorance to obtain their voting and civil rights. Many African-Americans lost their lives; as well as those whites that stood beside them. Yet many African-Americans today do not exercise their right to vote.

Recently, a new movie called “Selma” came out and perfectly illustrated the terrors and injustices that African Americans faced, as well as the lost lives and help from other races they received in order to protect their right to vote and their civil rights under the Constitution. The right to vote did not come easy. Selma depicted the violence and the determination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others that brought about the signing of the Voters Right Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson in August 1965. In 2013, the Republicans tried to repeat history by repealing the Voters Right Act. This is why it is important to talk to our children, family members, neighbors and ourselves about voting.

The National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. will display the history of the African-American in the postal service. There will be artifacts such as the African American stamp of the National Negro League and the segregated saddlebags used to deliver the mail. These bags were marked as white or colored when opened. The saddlebag will be on display from February 12, 2015, through February 15, 2016. If you get a chance to visit Washington, D. C., visit the National Postal Museum.

Do not forget to send your fundraiser raffle books back. It is important to support the Welfare and Scholarship Fund. The drawing is March 12, 2015. If you have not yet mailed it in, please do so. This is the only fundraiser belonging to the letter carriers to support the eyeglass plan and college scholarships.

To read more about the African-American history in the postal service use Google and type in African Americans in the postal service. There is a wealth of information out there.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events in the postal service.

Outlook November / December 2014
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, since my last article I have pleaded with everyone to take responsibility for their own actions and VOTE! As you know in October, the NALC had a national election to pick a new slate to run our union over the next four years. The winning candidates are the same ones that I voiced a strong opinion about regarding their solid leadership for the union. The candidates were on the Fredric V. Rolando and Timothy O’Malley team. This team won the overall majority of votes. That is a good thing; especially since the overall majority of letter carriers did not vote. SHAME ON YOU! I want to sincerely thank those letter carriers that took the time to vote. Much thanks for electing the right team to serve us over the next four years.
In November, we had the National Election to vote for the House of Representatives and the Senate. We asked for these votes to get our friends back in office. In New York State, we lost 2 seats out of 27; seats that were once controlled by our friends in Congress. Once again, a poor turnout at the election polls caused the Democrats to lose the House as well as, losing the majority in the Senate. For those of you that voted, I thank you. This is why our votes are so important. By not voting, we let a small majority dictate what we can accomplish together. It’s too late to change the outcome of the election. Instead, we must add pressure to the House and Senate across the country.

Did you know that the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is retiring in February? It’s actually a good thing because this postmaster general is not the right person to make the postal business grow. Before he retires in the next two months, he is determined to close down 82 mail processing and distribution centers. Since his tenure, Donahoe has closed more than 140 plants around the country. This is the reason why mail delivery occurs late in the day and well into the evening. This postmaster general sent retail work into about 1500 Staples stores across the country. Six-day mail delivery has been constantly threatened under his authority. One thing he unintentionally did in our favor was to unite the four postal unions: NALC, APWU, Mail Handlers, and the National Rural Carriers to fight for their livelihoods. On Friday, November 14th, the four unions joined together across the country for a day of action to stop delaying America’s mail. We have many allies on our side to fight against the proposed changes made by Patrick Donahue including half the Senators and 160 of the US Representatives. We refuse to let Patrick Donahoe and the Board of Governors delay America’s mail or destroy America’s postal service, which is a part of our Constitution.

Congratulations to all the CCAs that were converted to career employees. In Manhattan, 66 conversions occurred on November 29, 2014. Right now in Manhattan, we have 139 unassigned regulars. In the Bronx, 38 were converted, which makes 45 unassigned regulars. 104 carriers had an early Christmas, thanks to our great union. If any carrier has a problem with the conversion, please call Branch 36 at (212) 239-3901 and speak to an officer. Congratulations once again, we hope you have great careers as carriers.

To all active carriers: penalty overtime exclusion starts on December 6, 2014 until January 2, 2015. If you are putting in Non Choice vacation bids you must submit it by December 13, 2014. Management must post a list of successful bidders by December 19, 2014. These non-choices are for the first three months of 2015. The choice vacations must be submitted by January 30, 2015 and also the rest of the non-choice vacations.

The choice vacation must be posted by February 28, 2015 and no later than March 15, 2015.

Once again Branch 36 had a wonderful dinner dance. We had over 500 people in attendance to honor our two retirees: Curtis Jewel and Rafael Fradera. There were a lot of retirees and active carriers in branches from around the area. The Director of Health Benefits Brian Hellman, Region 15 National Business Agent Larry Cirelli, and New York State Association President George Mangold were in attendance. If you missed the dance this year; keep in mind: next year will be even bigger and better. I thank everyone who attended.

Retirees are getting a 1.7% COLA at the beginning of 2015.

Branch 36 is mailing out the only fundraiser that it has which is for the Welfare and Scholarship Fund. This is the only way we can fund our eyeglass vouchers and the four scholarships awarded to our letter carriers children. When you receive your raffle book, show it to your neighboring carriers as a way to remind them of its importance. Active letter carriers seem to overlook these raffle books. This year let’s make this a success by returning the raffle books and helping the cause. You can win $1,000 for first prize, $500 for second prize, $250 for third prize and fourth prize is $100. Take a chance, that $10 will make your chances grow. $10 can grow into $100 and so forth.

I want every letter carrier retired and active and their families to have a wonderful holiday and a great new year. I need you to stay healthy and strong for the fight in the future.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook September / October 2014
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, the fall season is already upon us. The month of September started out as a busy month for the branch. As you may know, we celebrated our Annual Old Timers’ Brunch on September 7th at the Hard Rock Café. In attendance were guests from the NALC: Director of Retirees Ron Watson, Larry Cirelli of Region 15, and State President George Mangold. They joined us as we honored Ruben Santiago, our former retired branch secretary, with his 50 year gold card. This celebration included 160 retirees; next year, I would like to see even more in attendance for this great event.
On September 11, 2014, at the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 building, there was a memorial dedication and unveiling of the Frank M. Orapello bronze plaque. Frank’s wife, Rosemary, along with their son and daughter were in attendance; as well as, National President Fredric Rolando and the Health Benefit Plan Director Brian Hellman from Washington. State President George Mangold, Larry Cirelli of Region 15, and guests from other branches in New York State and City also attended this memorial dedication. The bronze plaque of Frank M. Orapello will be displayed in the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 office for all to see.

Also in September, one of our own regular carriers from Cathedral Station was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award by the NALC. Orlando Gonzalez received this special award by organizing the first Vinny’s Walk for MDA, which was a huge success, and may now go countrywide.

More Good News!
We got a cost of a living raise, which will be paid out on pay period 20. The top amount is $1227.00, which will be added to your base salary.

The month of October is a special month because it is the election month for our national officers. Ballots were mailed out, please follow the instructions on the ballot. PLEASE VOTE and RETURN YOUR BALLOT PROMPTLY. If you have not received your ballot by the 8th of October, call Tony Ortiz at 212-239-3901. He will get you a ballot. This is an important election and there are five positions to vote on: President, Executive Vice President, Vice President, Assistant Secretary Treasurer and the National Trustees, which include the choice of three candidates. My vote will be for the Fredric Rolando slate. I am confident this is the best choice for our union.

Another big event in October will be the renaming of Grand Central Post Office to the Vincent R. Sombrotto Post Office. This event will be held on October 16, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at Grand Central Station. All are invited to attend. I would like to give special thanks to the following individuals: Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for introducing the bill to legislation, CDL Carmen Flores (a letter carrier from Triboro Station) for bringing it to the Congresswoman’s attention, State President George Mangold for getting all the representatives to co-sponsor this bill, our U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for getting the senate to pass the bill, and President Obama for signing the bill into law.

This is an important reason to give to COLCPE. COLCPE is our insurance for having friends in Congress. Every letter carrier should give a payroll deduction of at least $2.00 or $3.00 for COLCPE.

Everyone that has a NYS driver’s license can take the defensive driving class on Sunday, October 19th for $45.00 at Branch 36 Headquarters from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call Branch 36 at (212) 239-3901 to make a reservation. First come - first served.

It’s time to have some fun at Branch 36’s MDA fundraiser Comedy Show. It will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 7:30 p.m at Branch 36 union hall. You must make a reservation. It is $40 per person and includes: open bar, buffet, comedy show and the after-party. If you don’t get out much, this is one affair you won’t want to miss because there are many friendly people and you are guaranteed lots of laughter.

The next great event that everyone is waiting for is our Annual Dinner Dance. This event will be held on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at the Marina Del Rey. We will be honoring Curtis Jewel from Radio City Station and Rafael Fradera from Times Square Station. The cost is $75 per person. Talk to the people in your station. Get a table for 10 for $750. It is the best dinner dance out there. We are on a roll and I would not miss this one, if I were you. All stations should have their journal ads in by now. If not, do so immediately. Call to get your tickets at Branch 36. Anyone at the union can help you: call 212-239-3901.

Don’t forget open season for the health benefit plan is November 12, 2014 through December 11, 2014. The NALC Health Plan is still the best plan in the PPO in my opinion; but you have the right to compare. CCA’s with over a year on the job are eligible to pick an affordable plan.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook July / August 2014
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36. The month of July was an interesting one. First, we had our Second Annual Vinnie’s Walk for MDA. We were awarded a trophy and two plaques for our participation. Once again, we raised over $20,000.00 with the help of the stations and carriers that bought the Vinnie t-shirts from the branch. Thank you for continued participation.

Branch 36 delegates attended the 69th Biennial Convention in Philadelphia. There were over six thousand delegates in attendance as we celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the NALC, which was a major milestone. No other labor unions have reached this milestone in the labor movement. We should look into our past to find out how we can be successful in the future. Branch 36 was a part of history; we were the first

branch to walk out on strike in 1970. This event led to a lot of changes in the postal service and elevated letter carriers into middle class status. We still face challenges the same way carriers did in 1970. In the same way carriers stood together in solidarity, we must do so today.
Every letter carrier should be in the E-Activist Network so they have access to first-hand information from the NALC. Our mission is to save the United States Postal Service and we can only do that if we are united.

Over the last few years, certain people in Congress and the postmaster have aimed to destroy the postal service. In the past two years, we have defeated seven legislative efforts that had the potential to harm the postal service, the businesses, and the people who depend on a strongly united postal service. With the help of one of our CDL’s, Carmen Flores, we were able to get a bill passed, when HR2291 was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to Congress. HR2291 was a bill to change the name of Grand Central Station to the Vincent R. Sombrotto Station. It was sent to the Senate, passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama. For this reason, it is crucial for every letter carrier to contribute to COLCPE. COLCPE is like our insurance in the political world

It’s the time for our retirees to shine again. This will be our 42nd Old Timers’ Brunch. It will be held Sunday, September 7, 2014. As an officer of Branch 36, I look forward to seeing the old and new retirees

Under the Welfare and Scholarship Fund, every station should participate in the journal ad. All carriers and stewards should participate in collecting and donating money for this worthy cause. This cause enables all members in good standing with the ability to receive a voucher for glasses and it gives the Branch the opportunity to award four-year scholarships.

One of the best affairs of the year will be our 38th Annual Dinner Dance. This year we will honor two shop stewards, Curtis Jewel from Radio City Station, who is a long sitting steward and a part time officer, and Rafael Fradera from Times Square Station, who is also a long sitting steward and a carrier for over 40 years. Leave November 9th, 2014 open for this wonderful event. It will be held at the Marina Del Rey in the Bronx. Tickets are $75.00 per person. Call the Branch or see your steward for tickets (212-239-3901).

There will be a national election in October. Be on the lookout for ballots in the mail. The ballots should be returned as soon as possible. This election is very important. These are the officers that I will be voting for:
Executive Vice President: Tim C. O’Malley
Assistant Secretary Treasurer: Judy Willoughby
Director of Safety and Health: Manuel Peralta Jr.
Director of Retired Members: Ron Watson
And there are three positions for National Trustees: Lawrence D. Brown Jr., Randall L. Keller, and Mike Gill.

These individuals will have my vote and I hope you also make time to vote. Make your choices and return your ballot as soon as possible.

On Thursday, August 7, 2014 the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 laid to rest Elaine Delan. She was the secretary to the Branch president. Elaine served three Branch presidents and was helpful to all the officers. I will miss her and pray God blesses her journey and may she have a great homecoming.

I hope everyone is having a great and safe summer.
Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook May / June 2014
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, over the last two months Branch 36 has been working hard to complete the conversion of PTF’s to Regulars. Under the direction of President Charlie Heege, the conversion was finally completed. On May 3, 2014, all PTF’s were made regular employees of the postal service and we were able to convert 124 CCA’s into career employees in Manhattan. In the Bronx, we were able to convert 53 CCAs into career employees. It took us one year to make this conversion under the new contract set forth by the DAS Award. CCA’s were converted on May 31, 2014. The conversion consisted of previous TE’s hired in October 2007 up to December 16, 2012. Congratulations to all of you that stayed on course to become career employees. Branch 36 has 379 CCA’s in Manhattan and 53 CCA’s in the Bronx left to be
converted. Management is still hiring CCA’s. CCA’s that have over one year on the job are eligible for the NALC Retirement Savings Plan. This plan is administered through the Mutual Benefit Association. If you want
to apply you must call toll free (800) 424-5184, Tuesday and Thursday up until 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You can call the MBA office (202) 638-4381, Mon.-Fri. 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or go to the computer to NALC.org.
Branch 36 members should sign up for COLCPE and donate a dollar a pay period for 26 pay periods or an amount you can afford. Every union member should be an E- Activist in order to protect our jobs and support our friends in Congress. Members of Congress (not our friends) are holding the Postal Service hostage. Being an E-Activist will entitle you to information about bills coming up at a moment’s notice. One of our friends in Congress, Carolyn B. Maloney from New York’s 12th District, submitted a bill to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to rename Grand Central Station to Vincent R. Sombrotto Post Office. The bill’s name is HR2291. This is one of the few bills that come out of this committee that will be voted on within the year. I believe this bill will pass unanimously.

We would like to THANK ALL CARRIERS for making the Food Drive a SUCCESS. Thank you to all those who participated by bringing in food, collecting, and purchasing food drive t-shirts. We were able to contribute 85,000 lbs.

Branch 36 and Region 15 are having their second MDA Vinnie’s Walk (Region Walk for MDA). Branch 36 carriers should participate to help deliver a cure MD (Muscular Dystrophy). Every carrier should purchase a MDA t-shirt from Branch 36, cost: $6.00. You can order the t-shirt by calling the Branch, (212)239-3901. The walk will take place in Battery Park City on Vesey Street (between North End Avenue and West Street, across from the Freedom Towers). There will be food, activities for the children and raffles. You should come with friends and family and become part of an amazing event.

Carriers do not forget to participate in the 38th Annual Dinner Dance on November 9, 2014. Start early to collect and donate money, $3.00 per person for the Journal ad. We will be collecting money for the Journal ad at the end of September. See your shop steward.

I hope all carriers enjoy their summer vacation and all CCA’s should be looking for temporary hold downs while regulars are on vacation.

Until next time, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook March / April 2014
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36.

As you know, the first three months of this year have been made up of very bad weather

Spring is taking its time to come, but that did not stop the letter carriers. We continued to do an effective job during that time. We must keep an eye on management so that they don’t destroy our jobs. We have been delivering mail for seven days a week and Sunday has been a big parcel day using only CCAs who are not aware of the tricks that management plays. DO NOT let management tell you to attempt a delivery that you did

not do. Be aware of the games that are being played because they can cause you to lose your job as well as losing valuable customers.
(AMAZON)
Branch 36 has been working very hard with management to locate all assignments that are residual vacancy assignments for Manhattan. Manhattan has sixteen PTFs waiting to become regular carriers. The Bronx has no PTFs and we were able to make 13 CCAs regulars which we have been trying to do since 2007.

The first CCAs were made regulars on March 22, 2013. CONGRATULATIONS! This shows that the new contract is working for the CCAs. All CCAs should become union members, E-Activists and give to COLCPE, because without these three important elements, we would lose the Postal Service as we know it. Manhattan is making nine PTFs regular on April 5, 2014.

Feb. 20, 2014. There was no third cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for letter carriers under the 2011-2016 National Agreement because the February 20th release of the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed no increase in the CPI between July, 2013 and January, 2014. However, under the terms of our agreement, the deferred payment of the previously announced first COLA, $146 annually, took effect in the second full pay period after the release of the January CPI that was in pay period 07- 14, which Tan from March 8th through 21st, pay period March 28th.

The Welfare and Scholarship Fund would like to thank all the participants who bought raffle tickets and helped the Branch sell raffle tickets. The Branch would like to thank you for making this fund-raiser a success. This year’s winners were: 1st prize winner Louis Pacifico, 2nd prize winner: D. Li and 3rd Prize winner: L. Marinaccio. Participating will continue your use of the Scholarship Fund and eyeglass vouchers. This is the only fund-raising that Branch 36 members do for themselves. Look for the raffles next December. Mail them back early. THANK YOU,

The next fund-raiser will be the Texas Hold’Em Tournament. It will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. The Texas Hold’Em Tournament will be located in the Branch 36 Meeting Hall. Call Branch 36 at 212-239-3901 for tickets. The following fund-raiser will be the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive. It will start for Branch 36 on May 3rd and will last until May 10th. We would like every station to bring in non-perishable items and canned goods. We will be selling T-shirts again this year with the Food Drive emblem. You will be able to wear this T-shirt the entire week to work. The Food Drive coordinators are Karla Navas of Co-Op City in the Bronx and Michael Kelly of Cooper Station in Manhattan. They will be coming around during the month of April to speak about the Food Drive and take orders regarding the purchase of T-shirts, Two more important events are Branch 36 Day at Citifield, which is on Father’s Day and the Second Annual Vinnie Walk. Branch 36 Day at Citifield takes place on June 15th and the Vinnie Walk will take place on July 13th, 2014. For these two events look out for fliers and you may contact Branch 36 for Father’s Day tickets now and for any other information regarding these events.

P.S. All CCAs, make sure you check out your relative standing date. (Seniority)

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook January / February 2014
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36, I hope you ended the year on a positive note. 2014 started with Branch 36, and the NALC honoring Vincent R. Sombrotto with a memorial service. This memorial service was held on January 11, 2014 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 135 West 31st Street. This service commemorated the first anniversary of his passing and opened to all who wished to attend. That same night, Branch 36 along with the NALC held a reception/dinner dance to celebrate the life of Vincent R. Sombrotto. We celebrated alongside his family, friends (past and present), and union family. It was held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in the Manhattan Center.
The Hammerstein Ballroom is the same place where my history began with Vincent R. Sombrotto and the place where 2500 letter carriers came together to change the future of the post office. Here, I met a man that took charge and held a group of letter carriers with his speaking ability and leadership skills. Not one person left that six hour meeting as Sombrotto expressed the importance of our jobs and promised that we were letter carriers with a future. The main purpose of that meeting was to vote on whether to strike or not. As history goes, I was one of the many letter carriers that voted that day, March 16, 1970. On March 17, 1970 the strike began.

During the reception two carriers, Cleveland Morgan of Grand Central Station and Anthony Puccio, an active letter carrier of 55 years (Triboro Station), gave heartfelt tributes of their lives and history with Vincent R. Sombrotto.

I would like to give a special thanks and appreciation to the Sombrotto family for allowing Vincent to share his time, wisdom, and knowledge with Branch 36 and the National Association of Letter Carriers for over 50 years. I would also like to thank all those who participated both near and far in making this an exceptional celebration of his life.

As you know, February is Black History month.

Here a few things you should know if you don’t already know these facts.
- Shelby J. Davidson was an African American born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1868 and died in 1931. Davidson had a 19 year career in the Office of the Auditor for the Post Office Department in the U.S. Department of Treasury. During this time he invented two devices that would make work more efficient and economical. Shelby invented a paper rewinding device for a tabulating machine and an adding machine attachment for automatically adding in set amounts in separate columns. (www.blackinventors.com)

- George Olden was the first African American to design a United States Postage Stamp. The stamp commemorated the 100th year of the Emancipation Proclamation. The stamp was issued August 16, 1962.

- Booker T. Washington, born in Virginia on April 5, 1856 and died on November 14, 1915, was the first African American to be commemorated on a United States postal stamp. He was an influential educator and served as advisor to President Theodore Roosevelt and President William Taft. He was also the first African American invited to dine at the White House.

- G. E. Becket was born in the 1800’s. He was an African American inventor. He was granted a patent for his “house-door letter box.” It was a mail slot that was permanently mounted on the front of a house. This door letter box is still being used today.

- William B. Purvis, an African American who invented and patented improvement to the fountain pen on January 7, 1890. He made the fountain pen more durable, inexpensive and better to carry in the pocket.

This is some information you should know to make you more aware of the accomplishments of African Americans in our history and in the postal service.

CCA’s Relative Standing: a few things you need to know about relative standings for CCA’s.

Relative standings are similar to those of the term, “seniority.” Relative standings come into play when the Postal Service needs to separate CCA’s due to lack of work. These standings are good when bidding for assignments and being placed into a career job. This is why it is important to know about relative standings.

Here are some up and coming events to look out for: Branch 36 MDA Comedy Show and the Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. Look for fliers and/or call the branch to find out all information regarding these events (212-239-3901).

Now is the time for the letter carriers of Branch 36 to take care of themselves. Branch 36 mailed out a package to every active member and retired letter carrier to help support our Welfare and Scholarship Fund. This fund offers four scholarships every year to our children and it also enables us to give free eyeglass vouchers to every member. The raffle book is part of the donation of $10.00. You can win three prizes when you purchase your raffle book. Please send your book back with $10.00 or call to get more books to help the cause.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the postal service.

Outlook November / December 2013
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36. I would like to take the time to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and Seasons Greetings. This is the time when we should think of our families and friends, past and present

On November 15th Branch 36 had a great loss due to the passing of our President Emeritus, Frank M. Orapello. Frank’s passing touched my family and me. I met Frank in December 1992, when he became the new president of Branch 36. In October, 1996 I was fortunate to be elected

to the position of shop steward at Manhattanville Station, during which time I got to know Frank. He mentored me and gave me guidance in commencing to be an effective union activist. Soon thereafter, he appointed me to the job of Hearing Officer, because he saw something in me. He knew I cared about my job and my fellow workers. Later, he appointed me to his Executive Board; my position was on the Central Labor Council. After continuing to work with Frank another two years, he appointed me Director of City Delivery. Frank sent me to various training and workshops. In December 2006, Frank prepared for his retirement from Branch 36. One day he called me into his office, talked with me and stated he wanted me to become the First Vice President of Branch 36 to which he appointed me on January, 2007. At that time Frank retired but he never left the Branch. He attended branch meetings, participated in the Texas-Hold ‘Em Tournaments, attended seminars and state and national conventions. Whenever we met, he would ask about my family; he always made sure that everything was going well. The last time I saw Frank was at the dedication which renamed Branch 36 the Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36. I was not aware that Frank had been sick for several months during this time. He had his lovely wife Rosemary bring him to the dedication. No one knew that this would be his last meeting he’d attend at Branch 36.

extend my condolences to Frank’s wife Rosemary and their respective families. My family and I will have you and your family in prayer.

The next business at hand you should be aware of is open season for health benefits. Members who belong to the NALC Health Benefit Plan do not have to make any changes. The new CCA’s must choose a health insurance plan. CCA’s have two options. Option 1, is the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP) and Option 2, for your review, is the NALC Health Plan. I cannot choose for you. You must do your own research. Look in the benefit books, look at your station’s bulletins and/or go on the website. It is every CCA’s responsibility to select a health plan by 2014, under Obama Care. Do not let the deadline pass you by. The deadline for selecting a health plan is December 9, 2013.

Non-choice vacation bids must be submitted by December l5. This list should be posted by December 20th. If you have excess time, you can bid for vacations for December 28th to January 10th. This year’s annual leave will not be credited to the employees until Jan. 11th pay period. The choice vacation bids must be submitted by January 31, 2014 and should be posted by March 1, 2014. All worksheets should be in the stations NOW!

Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 honored one of our own carriers on November 14, 2013 for her heroism. Carrier Evelyn Clark of Church Street Station was honored for coming to the aid of a customer who was having a stroke. God blessed her with being in the right place at the right time.

On November 10th, the 37th Annual Dinner-Dance of Branch 36, honoring letter carrier Anthony Puccio, was a great success. If you didn’t come, then you missed a great one. More than 500 letter carriers, with their families and friends, were there.

With over 55 years of service and with 3,689 hours of sick leave accumulated, Anthony Puccio remains an active letter carrier. Since 1965 he is still working the same route! I would like to thank the Dance Committee for putting together a great social affair once again. This is an event every letter carrier should attend.

SOMETHING TO REMEMBER: In December, raffle tickets will be sent to every letter carrier to participate in the eyeglass plan and scholarship offering for our members and their children. This is the only fundraiser concerning which we support ourselves. Please participate generously.

In the November issue of the Postal Record there is a new letter carrier pay schedule. Every carrier should locate that issue and look at page 7. This page has information on your pay schedule until January, 2016.

Save the date. NALC is making arrangements to honor the first anniversary of President Emeritus Vincent R. Sombrotto’s death with an event to be held in New York on January 11, 2014.

HAVE A HAPPY, SAFE AND BLESSED NEW YEAR!
Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook September / October 2013
Information You Should Know
Greetings brothers and sisters at Branch 36. This September and October article is special to me because on September 8, 2013, we had our Retirees' Brunch at the Hard Rock Café on 43rd Street where it was my opportunity to see and greet carriers with whom I worked and carriers I became friends with over the years. At this event, we had guest speakers who included NALC Director of Retirees, Ron Watson, Larry Cirelli, National Business Agent of Region 15 and our New York State President, George Mangold. They greeted our retirees and gave information the retirees would need to help letter carriers concerning our battle with Congressional issues, to promote the healthy continuation of the U.S. Postal Service. There was a great turnout. We would like to see more retirees participate.
This year was a special year because Branch 36 had 22 retirees receiving their Gold Lifetime Membership card and 32 retirees receiving their 60-year pin. One of my retired union brothers named Cleveland Morgan, from Atlanta, GA, was able to attend. After giving the invocation, he received his Gold lifetime membership and Gold Card.

The Retirees Brunch is open to all retirees, no matter where you live. Next year, retirees, try to join us. Come back and see old friends. It warms your heart and makes you feel really good.

Now it's time for all E-activists to look out for all newsletters regarding what we will be doing for this upcoming election. Talk to CCA's in your stations. Inform everyone of the importance of becoming an E-activist. It does not cost any money, all you need is an e-mail address.

Branch 36 has endorsed Bill De Blasio as the candidate for mayor. Remember, it is important for everyone, including friends and family members to get out and exercise their right to VOTE.

November 16th is our first contract raise under the DAS Award according to our new contract.

By the time you receive this newsletter we will have new shop stewards for the term 2013-2016. Congratulations to all new shop stewards and all reelected shop stewards. I look forward to seeing and meeting you at the October 29th Stewards' Meeting.

BRANCH 36 SPECIAL EVENTS
We will be having our annual MDA Texas Hold-'Em Tournament. This event takes place on October 12th. Call Branch 36 at (212) 239-3901 to reserve a seat. The next event is also a MDA fundraiser. (We are the corporate co-sponsors of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.) It is the Branch 36 Comedy Show. The event is a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, a lot of music, a lot of food and a lot of high spirits. For $40 per person you can have a lot of good times.

The Comedy Show takes place on October 26th in the Percy T. McRae Meeting Hall from 7:30 p.m. until the fun stops. Come early. As usual, first come, first served. Contact Tony Ortiz for tickets at: (212) 239-3901. The last event requires the carriers to donate at least $3 for the Dinner-Dance Journal which supports the eyeglass vouchers and the scholarships that Branch 36 grants every year. We can grant these vouchers only with your continued support.

Now let's talk about the best letter carrier dance of the year presented by Branch 36. Our 37th Annual Dinner-Dance will be held on November 10, 2013 at the Marina del Rey. The dance will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The price of the ticket is $75. We dress in our Sunday best and party like it's Friday night. Get in touch with your shop steward for tickets. You can also get in touch with the Branch 36 Dance Committee. Posters should be in every station containing all information and numbers needed for the dinner-dance. Branch 36 is also available for information needed regarding every aspect of the dinner-dance. If you are undecided, you should go to Branch 36's website: nylcbr36.org and view photographs of previous dances to see the good times letter carriers can have.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook July / August 2013
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36. From the time of my last article, a lot of good things have happened. All of you should know that Branch 36 has changed its name to Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36. We invited the Sombrotto Family to take part in this great occasion. In attendance at this special occasion was our National President Frederic V. Rolando, President Emeritus William Young, and a host of other branches in Region 15. We dedicated a plaque in honor of Vincent R. Sombrotto which is located in Branch 36 headquarters for all to see.
In the month of June, we also started the First Annual Regional Walk for MDA to honor Vincent R. Sombrotto, which took place on June 23rd in Battery City Park. All the families of Branch 36 and the tri-state area participated, including the Sombrotto Family and President Fredric Rolando. This fund-raiser was a one-day event that may go nationwide and was a successful event that earned more than $20,000. There were trophies and plaques given out. Branch 36 was the first to receive one trophy and numerous plaques that were given by MDA. A parade took place which was a fun event. The parade went around Battery City Park. There was music, food and children's activities. We are looking forward to the Second Annual Vinny's Walk to be bigger and just as enjoyable and to start a goal to raise more money for MDA. This is a great event to bring together letter carriers and their families from the tri-state area.

June was also a good month because of Branch 36 Day at Citifield on June 16th, Father's Day. There were over five hundred letter carriers and their families in attendance. If anyone would like to purchase a Vinny's Walk tee-shirt, contact the Branch office at: (212) 239-3901.

I would like to thank all the participants in the stations who worked collecting food for the Food Drive to Stamp Out Hunger in the United States. Branch 36 collected 90,768 pounds of food for Manhattan and the Bronx. Nationwide, we collected 74 million pounds of food, bringing the national total to 1.3 billion pounds since this drive began. Keep up the good work.

As of June 25th Branch 36 and the U.S. Postal Service are discontinuing the JARAP. In September, the Postal Service is going back to the old counting inspections, which means your mail will be counted for 6 days and a supervisor will walk out with you on one day. This is not a problem. It is just that letter carriers will have to pay attention to the responsibilities of their jobs. Branch 36 will be having classes for every station that has been selected to participate.

CCA's should start reading the Postal Record and the Outlook because they are the future of the Postal Service. It is extremely important for CCA's to join forces with the retirees and the active letter carriers to protect their jobs. The process that we have in place enables you to become an E-Activist. All you need to become an EActivist is an e-mail address. You will get first-hand information from our national leaders. A lot of the postal problems have been put upon us by Republicans who want to privatize the Postal Service. (R./Cal.) Darryl Issa wants to destroy the precious U.S. Postal Service that has served the best interests of the American public faithfully for so much time. He wants to weaken its basic structure for the purpose of privatizing it. This vile saboteur's congressional salary is paid for by the tax charged to over 200,000 letter carriers making up the U.S. Postal Service and others when they file annual returns with the Internal Revenue Service! How pathetically ironic. HR 2748, his newest act of sabotage, includes doing away with door-to-door delivery service. With how many of his wealthy pals will he ultimately share the lucrative investment derived from a privatized postal service? Issa parades as the head of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Being an E-Activist will let you know what to do when damaging bills are placed before the Committee to be voted upon, and how we should go to our governmental representative to stop this bill. Issa's destructive bill is HR2748. We should have our congressional representatives vote NO! on this bill.

The Postal Service has been underpaying its CCA's on the overtime rate. The Postal Service is aware of it; up to pay period 13 the Postal Service knows it has been underpaying. Pay period 14 will be corrected by the Postal Service during pay period 17. The Postal Service will make adjustments to all CCA's paychecks. CCA's should view their pay stubs to calculate the correct amount owed them. If there is still a problem, get in touch with your shop stewards immediately and bring your pay stubs with you, in order to be helped.

The NALC has programs and benefits that will help letter carriers and their families, such as Union Plus benefits. To find out more about this program you should go to UnionPlus.org/enews.

After the summer, Branch 36 will once again be getting ready for one of its biggest events, our annual dinner-dance attended by our families and friends. This event will take place on November 10th at the Marina del Rey. I strongly suggest that you acquire your tickets early. We hope it will be a sellout once again. Members who have attended this enjoyable event should inform CCA's and others of what a great time they have at the annual dinner-dance. If you'd like to see photographs of past dinnerdances you can go to nylcbr36.org and click on Dinner-Dances. REMEMBER, Branch 36 puts out a journal ad that should represent every station that has letter carriers. The journal ads support the eyeglass vouchers and the scholarship fund. Make a donation of $3 per person to get your name into a journal ad and represent your station. Your stewards will be collecting starting in August and will continue through October.

DON'T FORGET! This year is the shop stewards' elections. If elected, the term lasts three years.

Our forty-first Annual Old Timers' Brunch will be held Sunday, September 8th. I will be looking forward to seeing familiar retiree faces and new retirees. This Brunch is for you! Don't let it be overlooked.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook May / June 2013
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36.

We are about ready to enter into the summer which always seems to be a good time of the year for families to get together. Our task to save the Postal Service and to deliver mail 6 days each week is not over. Thanks to everyone who is an E-Activist. Through the E-Activist network we were able to reach out to our friends in Congress and stop Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahue from making a big mistake. The American people like their mail delivered 6 days each week and their voices were heard. Those of you who are not E-Activists seem to be those individuals that have 15 years of service or less. This fight is mainly your fight so get on board and join the E-Activist network so that you can get information firsthand and do not have to listen to rumors. It does not cost you anything but an e-mail address.

I'd like to take this time to wish all grandmothers, mothers and mothers-to-be a happy belated Mother's Day.

Congratulations to the new CCA's that joined our team. All CCA's should become union members. There are a lot of benefits you'll receive when you become a member, such as free eyeglasses (once you have six-months of service), the credit union availability and in November, 2013, CCA's will be able to avail themselves of affordable health care under the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act (PPACA). You also will receive cost-of-living raises every 46 weeks, and all you have to do is average 30 hours a week. CCA's can be E-Activists and can also give to COLCPE. CCA's have a direct route into the Postal Service which TE's did not have, under the DAS Award.

Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36 is celebrating its annual Father's Day at Citifield on Sunday, June 16, 2013. The cost is $20.00, which grants you a T-shirt, a trinket and a Mets ticket. Bring your fathers! Bring your kids! Bring your family! Have a great day at Citifield when the Mets honor Branch 36. To get tickets, call the branch office and ask for TONY at: (212) 239-3901, Ext. 14.

Branch 36 will sponsor the First Annual Regional Walk for M.D.A. This walk will be called Vinny's Walk. It will take place in Manhattan on Vesey Street at West Street. This event takes place at Battery Park City. We are asking all letter carriers, their families, and their friends from the entire tri-state area to help us deliver a cure for M.D.A. There will be food, music, kids activities, special guests and much more. The walk will start at 10:00 a.m. sharp on June 23, 2013. This is a fundraiser. So come out and join everyone else. We will have T-shirts available for sale. Branch 36 will have a special Tshirt for all their members and their families. T-shirts will cost $10.00 each. To purchase a T-shirt, please call Branch 36. Come out and make this fun event to raise money for M,D.A., a priority event on your Must-Do List. Call Branch 36 if you would like to volunteer or make a donation to this worthy cause.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place concerning the Postal Service.

Outlook March / April 2013
Information You Should Know
This is the third month of the year or the start of spring. Since this year has started, we have had good moments and some bad moments. We have lost our president emeritus Vincent Sombrotto and Arbitrator Das has given us a contract that we have to live with; out of the arbitrator's decision we received a settlement that we have to live with until 2016. Now a little better news, Branch 36 Board of Officers held an election. Most of the officers ran unopposed and there was one part-time officer that had an election for the position Director of Education. Mike Kelly was declared the winner by what I would declare a landslide (772 votes to the other candidate's 60 votes.) Some people might ask, "Why are you telling me this?" I will bring you a little insight on this election process that left a bad taste in my mouth. There were 5000 ballots mailed out for
this election. Every member received a ballot. Ballots were mailed out on February 27, 2013. Ballots had to be returned by 9:00 a.m. on March 20, 2013. When the election committee retrieved all the ballots, out of 5000, 1258 ballots had beenmailed back, 384 ballots were unsigned, so they were disallowed as valid ballots, and that left 860 out of 5000 as valid votes.
Ironically, this is how the votes were broken down: retirees, 504 votes and of the active letter carriers, 348 cast votes. Once again, the retirees know the importance of voting, whereas, the active letter carriers of today still take things for granted. Despite all the information that Branch 36 and the NALC provides, the active letter carriers of today still do not know the importance of absorbing this information and gaining knowledge about the Postal Service and the tasks pertaining to this service. The active carriers knew in 1970 that they had to stand together and fight together to make this Postal Service a well-paying job. If the active members do not stand together and fight together on all postal issues, what was gained could become lost. To prevent such a loss from becoming a reality, this means taking part in all elections by using your right to vote. Do not lose your right.

At this time, once again, the Postal Service is being attacked by the Postal Service. The Postal Service is trying to give away our jobs by trying to break the law, and by taking 6 days of delivery and changing it to 5 days of delivery. That's why we must call our Congressman/Congresswoman to let them know they should not permit taking 6 days of delivery away from the American people and making it 5 days. The first postmaster, Benjamin Franklin, knew the importance of giving the American people delivery of mail six days each week. As shocking as it is, the Postal Service is trying to privatize itself. We cannot let this happen. Once again, we must stand together and not let a handful of people do the fighting because we are much stronger in numbers. We should be e-activists which costs nothing but an e-mail address. We must participate in the Carrier Corps, which costs nothing but calls for your attendance at a rally and you should also join COLCPE which costs only $1.00 per pay period, that is, $26.00 per year.

On March 24, 2013, Branch 36 was the host branch for a rally with the community activists and labor leaders in downtown Manhattan, to protest the closing of post offices and to let the public know the truth about the Postal Service and their plot to privatize the safest mail service over the last seven years. They want to deny Saturday mail delivery to the American public, and open it to other private service providers.

The rally included about 3000 letter carriers, mailhandlers, clerks, community leaders and politicians who came out on Palm Sunday to show support for 6-day delivery. We have to let Congress know that Americans want their mail delivery six days each week. You can also go to www.DeliveringForAmerica.com for more information.

Branch 36 is ready to welcome the new City Carrier Assistants known as CCA's. This was a good thing done by the arbitrator. The CCA's are on a clear path to becoming career letter carriers. The top pay can be as high as $56,000 at the end of 12 years. The CCA's have more job protection than TE's. As of April 10th, there will no longer be TE's. Welcome Aboard all CCA's. Help us continue to make this job a better paying middle income job. CCA's should be union members. This fight and this struggle belong to you too.

Branch 36 has some events coming up. April 27th is the day for the M.D.A. Texas Hold'Em Tournament at Branch 36 headquarters at 347 W. 41st Street. From May 4th through May 11th we're holding our Annual Food Drive. Start collecting cans of food, non-perishables and dry goods. The Food Drive Committee will start taking orders for T-shirts. See your shop steward if you wish to purchase a T-shirt. The T-shirt can be worn for a week during the Food Drive, while on duty.

I hope the spring blossoms into good things for the letter carriers.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place within the Postal Service.

Outlook January / February 2013
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36. This is the first article for the year 2013.

If you have not heard, most unfortunately, at the beginning of this year the NALC and Branch 36 lost Vincent R. Sombrotto, one of the greatest union leaders. I met him in March, 1970, not knowing he would make an impact on my life as a letter carrier. Being a young man, I did not know the rules of unionism.

Outspoken Vince Sombrotto, a letter carrier from Grand Central Station led the strike of 1970. It taught me that human solidarity can make a meaningful change for the better and a constructive difference in career life. With enormous drive, this great man became the president emeritus of both Branch 36 and the National Association of Letter Carriers. Vincent R. Sombrotto died on January 10, 2013. He left behind a legacy that forever changed the U.S. Postal Service. We have received the magnificent benefits we now enjoy because of his non-stop vigilant efforts to achieve, and he eminently succeeded. Ironically, January 10th was the day the arbitration board settled our contract. It seemed to be Vincent's last task as one of our great leaders.

The arbitration settlement gave us a contract for four and a half years. It will end May 20, 2016. There will be three raises and seven cost of living increases. We kept the no layoff clause and management cannot contract out or sub-contract out. This contact makes PTF's convert to the regular workforce. All TE's will be given an opportunity to take the city entrance exam and to accept an appointment as a CCA within 90 days, and they will be given credit for timed service as a TE for purposes of "relative standing." If you would like to know more, you can go to the NALC website to read about the contract in detail. The general membership meeting on February 14th is available time to come discuss the contract.

As you know, February is Black History Month. I'm giving you information regarding four African-American inventors who impacted our daily lives.

One important inventor related to the Postal Service is Philip B. Downing. He was awarded a patent on October 27, 1891 for an improved letter drop box. The improvements made the mailbox weatherproof and tamperproof by improving the covering and the opening. This design is basically what is in use today.

Lewis Latimer 1848-1928:
From The Life and Inventions of Lewis Latimer by Mary Beilis
Lewis Latimer was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts in 1848. He was the son of George and Rebecca Latimer, escaped slaves from Virginia.

When Lewis Latimer was a boy his father, George, was arrested and tried as a slave fugitive. The judge ordered his return to Virginia and slavery, but money was raised by the local community to pay for George Latimer's freedom.

George Latimer later went underground fearing his re-enslavement, a great hardship for the Lewis family.

Lewis Latimer enlisted in the Union Navy at the age of 15 by forging the age on his birth certificate. Upon the completion of his military service, Lewis returned to Boston, Massachusetts where he was employed by the patent solicitors Crosby & Gould. While working in the office, Lewis began to study drafting and eventually became their head draftsman. During his employment with Crosby and Gould, Latimer drafted the patent drawings for Alexander Graham Bell's patent application for the telephone, spending long nights with the inventor. Bell rushed his patent application to the patent office mere hours ahead of the competition and won the patent rights to the telephone with the help of Latimer.

Working for Hiram Maxim
Hiram S. Maxim (founder of the U.S. Electric Light Company of Bridgeport, CT, and the inventor of the Maxim machine gun) hired Lewis Latimer as an assistant manager and draftsman. Latimer's talent for drafting and his creative genius led him to invent a method of making carbon filaments for the Maxim electric incandescent lamp. In 1881 he supervised the installation of the electric lights in New York, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London.
Working for Thomas Edison
Lewis Latimer was the original draftsman for Thomas Edison (who he started working for in 1884) and as such was the star witness in Edison's infringement suits. Lewis Latimer was the only African American member of the twenty-four "Edison Principles", Thomas Edison's engineering division of the Edison Company. Latimer also co-authored a book on electricity published in 1890 called, "Incandescent Electric Lighting: A Practical Description of the Edison System."

There were other notable inventors like Elijah McCoy and Granville T. Woods, however, I will wait until another opportunity arrives.

In December, Branch 36 did a mailing, as we do every year. This mailing was for the Welfare and Scholarship Fund. The proceeds are to pay for the raffle, which has three prizes: $1,000, $500, and $100. The drawing will be held in March. Every member gets an eyeglass voucher and we give up to four scholarships for the members' children.

In Conclusion
Lewis Latimer had many interests. He was an inventor, draftsman, engineer, author, poet, musician, and, at the same time, a devoted family man and philanthropist. He married Marie Wilson on December 10, 1873. Lewis wrote a poem for his wedding entitled Ebon Venus that was published in his book of poetry, Poems of Love and Life. The Latimers had two daughters, Jeanette and Louise.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook November / December 2012
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36.
As you know, this fall was a very special time of the year. Hurricane Sandy came upon us causing devastation. It crippled our daily way of life. Sandy took out the train systems, the bus systems, flooding tunnels, knocked out power lines, tore down trees, destroyed homes and placed a huge surge (flood) upon us which put us into a state of emergency. A lot of carriers were affected and need help in order to get their lives back together. If you were affected, you may contact the Postal Employees Relief Fund by calling (202) 408-1869, by email: perf10268@aol.com or by internet: www.postalrelief.com to get an application to file for a postal relief grant. Despite all this devastation, the letter carriers continued to deliver mail. There was no electricity to activate fax machines or computers, nonetheless, the letter carriers were still visiting their communities and checking on their customers. That is why it is so important to let Congress know how profoundly the letter carriers are needed to carry out six-day delivery, especially in order to serve this country during emergencies.
From a sad note to a positive note: On November 6th with the help of the EActivist Network and COLCPE, we came out in force and helped the labor movement reelect President Barack Obama, by getting 332 electoral votes and an overwhelming popular vote. Our job is not done. We must continue to let Congress know that the middle class has value in this country and cannot be taken for granted. The E-Activist Network works. If you're not an E-Activist, please sign up. It does not cost you anything. It gives you first hand information about what to do when issues go to Capitol Hill. The Super PAC's had much more money than we did, but we have the will of the people and COLCPE and that's why we should give directly to COLCPE through payroll deduction. Doing so will allow our labor movement to stay strong.

Since my last article, the unions have been putting pressure on management to fill vacant positions. On October 9th, the Postal Service and the union signed an agreement to fill approximately 1,265 residual vacant carrier technician positions (Level 2's) and 1,400 full-time letter carrier positions. This should take about three months to implement. This agreement was signed by Fredric V. Rolando, NALC President. This is nation-wide. Branch 36 also filed a grievance for PTF's to make regular status. In Manhattan, 25 PTF's will make regular; in the Bronx there will be 14 PTF's making regular. The 25 senior PTF's in Manhattan and the 14 PTF's in the Bronx should be receiving letters from management in the immediate future.

Open season for health plans is available to retirees and active carriers. Open season runs from November 12 to December 10, 2012. The NALC Health Plan is still one of the elite health plans offered to letter carriers. The NALC Health Plan offers high options to our members. This plan still has one of the most modest rates: self - $52.95 bi-weekly; family - $103.26 bi-weekly; monthly annuitants pay $160.66, for self and family it is $326.04. This is the letter carriers' health insurance. Support your health insurance.

The letter carriers' annual leave choice and non-choice vacation is being posted. The non-choice vacation bids must be submitted by December 15th. The list will be posted by December 21st. That is for the first three months of 2013. January 31, 2013 is the last day to submit your choice vacation.

The choice vacation should be posted by March 1st and no later than March 15th. Select your vacations wisely and enjoy them.

As you know by now, Branch 36 did have its 36th Annual Dinner Dance. This event was almost cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy, but with the help of the Dance Committee and the calls from various stations requesting this event, it happened. This event was special because we honored Congressman Charles Rangel.

Congressman Charles Rangel gave a great speech enabling us to keep our hopes alive. Once again the dance turned out to be a gala event. We had a lot of first time attendees and if you did not attend you should not miss next year's event.

Our contract is still in arbitration. We should have an answer by the 1st of the year. The cost of living adjustment in 2013 would be given to retirees at a rate of 1.7% for both CSRS and FERS annuitants.

The holidays are coming and we have a lot to be thankful for. Beware of your surroundings because there are a lot of people out there who will take advantage of people not paying attention. Protect all personal items. Do not wear jewelry. Protect the mail. Management has entered into an agreement to deliver amazon.com; this should help the post office raise a lot of revenue during the holiday months. There should be a lot of work available, so everyone should have a good holiday and a good new year. From December 1st to December 28th there will be no Vtime. I wish everyone a safe, blessed and prosperous holiday and New Year.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook September / October 2012
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36.
Once again, fall is upon us and I hope everyone enjoyed their summer. As I stated in my last article, our work is about to begin. In September, personnel from NALC, the national union in Washington, DC, sat down with management and the arbitrator to set up dates to negotiate the terms of our contract. President Rolando said we will not reach an agreement until the first of the year. This contract should be a New Year's present. With the help of the E-Activist Network, over the last nine months we were able to get Congress to extend the six-day mail delivery service until March, 2013. Everything has been put on hold until after the November election. The NALC is organizing right now to build a powerful coalition to save America's Postal Service through passage of comprehensive legislation to create a U.S. Postal Service built to last. That's why once again, I'm stressing the fact that it is important to be an E-Activist and give to COLCPE. It is time to get our families, friends and neighbors to get out and VOTE in the November election.
The NALC and I have endorsed President Barack Obama for a second term as President of the United States. We also support all candidates who believe in the middle class working people and the American Postal Service as we know it. The Postal Service is a part of the Constitution of the United States. On August 11, 2012, Branch 36 went to a rally in Philadelphia to support the Second Bill of Rights, a bill for social and economic rights. The Second Bill of Rights guarantee: employment with a living wage, freedom from unfair competition and monopolies, housing, medical care, education, and social security. That is why we cannot take our votes for granted. Our votes are power. We should not give that power to the Republican presidential candidate because he is trying to eliminate our Second Bill of Rights, which was established in 1944. The elimination of these rights would deny every American of all the needed benefits enabling us to live as human beings who are American citizens. On November 6, 2012, we must use our right to vote to rectify wrongs and we must advise others to vote and/or help bring them to the voting polls.

November will be open season for the NALC Health Benefits. It will last for thirty days. This year the benefits are less expensive than they were last year. The bi-weekly payments are for self: $52.95 and for self and family: $103.26.

The transitional employees (TE) are required to pay the entire premium including the employee share and the government contribution: self: $264.99 and self and family: $575.43.

Branch 36's Annual Dinner-Dance tickets are on sale now. The cost of tickets is $75.00 per person and you can purchase a table that seats ten people for $750.00. Stations should bring out their friends and families for this 36th Annual Dinner-Dance. We are honoring Congressman Charlie Rangel. This special event will be held at the Marina del Rey on November 11, 2012, Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.

Outlook July / August 2012
Information You Should Know
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Branch 36.
As you know, the summer is upon us. It started out pretty well. The weather was good and we were able to start summer off with Branch 36 Day at Citifield, which was on Father's Day. We had a great turnout of letter carriers and their families. We were also pretty successful with the NALC Annual Food Drive. As a union, we were once again able to collect over 70 million pounds of food this year, which brought our grand total to 1.2 billion pounds collected since 1993.
Once again I would like to thank all the people who participated by giving and collecting food, and purchasing T-shirts.

This year was the first time we had 100% participation from the letter carriers in Congressman Charlie Rangel's primary. Due to the leadership of our CDL (Congressional District Liaison) Donna Thompkins from Manhattanville Station we were able to acquire 80 volunteers to work on the campaign for Rangel's reelection, which he won. Charlie Rangel has voted on letter carriers issues in Congress 100%. That's why Branch 36 will honor Congressman Charlie Rangel at our 36th Annual Dinner-Dance on November 11, 2012 at the Marina del Rey. The Congressman is a very intelligent man with a colorful personality having great appeal.

The NALC held its 68th Biennial Convention this year. You would think that one of the topics would be about the contract, but our contract is in arbitration, so the main topic was, "Save America's Post Office" which we all work for. If we do not save it, we will probably not know the Postal Service as we know it now. The entire convention agreed that we had to put people into office who will also serve the middle income families as well as the Postal Service. We must support President Obama and there was 100% agreement to back President Obama and reelect him. In the last election of 2010, we allowed the Republicans to become dominant. The primary aim of most Republicans is to destroy the Postal Service and unseat President Obama. They want to make this president a one term president. The political agenda is the agenda of the NALC which is to support the candidates who will save the Post Office, retain collective bargaining and save the middle class. The major issue is not whether we get a good or bad contract, it is about electing political candidates who will free up the pre-funding of retirees' benefits, which no other federal agency does. Freeing up the pre-funding of future retirees' benefits will once again make the Post Office solvent. In the next three months we must make ourselves aware of the candidates who have our best interests at heart and support the working people. Do Not Forget! This is not Congress' Postal Service, but America's Postal Service. The post office is the oldest federal institution and was part of the Constitution of the United States and now most Republicans want to privatize the Postal Service. For the last five years, the Postal Service was the safest federal agency. That is why we must make sure all members of our families and our friends are registered to vote. We need to talk to our families and friends on a regular basis about voting until the election is over. This is one of our most important elections. We must reelect President Obama because that other candidate will destroy the Postal Service. You will hear from me regarding this election in every article until the end of the election. We need help from the young people. Those young people should not take anything for granted if they plan to retire from the Postal Service. The retirees worked hard to make this job the quality job it is today. Don't throw it away! Retirees, we need your support once again. Read your Outlook and your Postal Record. They will guide you in the direction of the NALC.

Another important day for Branch 36 is the Branch 36 Retirees' Brunch. Invitations have been sent out to all retirees. I hope most of you will participate in this affair because it is for your enjoyment. It will be held at the Hard Rock Café on 43rd Street and Broadway, New York City. Please return your invitation with a 'yes'.

All active letter carriers, do not forget the Dinner-Dance journal which supports the Welfare Scholarship Fund and the eyeglass voucher program. We are asking every member in every station to participate when the shop stewards come around in September to donate $3. If your shop steward does not come around, go to him and ask him about the journal. The eyeglass voucher is for every letter carrier and retiree. Do not forget to purchase your ticket to our Annual Dinner- Dance at Marina del Rey on November 11, 2012, which is a holiday weekend. Buy tickets individually or with your station. If you have any questions, call the Branch office and speak to any officer at: (212) 239-3901.

Until next time everybody, as always, I look forward to providing you with more information about events taking place in the Postal Service.




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