Tony Ortiz
Recording Secretary
Outlook January / February 2019
Get Involved
On occasion, I am dumbfounded by the attitudes of some of the shop stewards. The branch works hard to prepare the material necessary for the education of our stewards. Yet, there are many shop stewards, who are indifferent to the great efforts we put forth to educate them. Some stewards simply don’t attend meetings or become actively involved, while others come to the seminar only for the food and their check. Regrettably, they do not focus on the material and simply do not retain the important information. Therefore, the end result is the messages and important information do not get back to the letter carriers who would benefit from it. The only way to be a good steward is to attend all of the meetings and seminars and to make a great effort to absorb and share all of the information as it becomes available.
The time for Shop Steward Elections begins at the end of September and last through the beginning of October. If you feel a change is needed in your station that is the time to make that change happen. If you do not make it happen, then you are stuck with the elected shop steward for three more years. If you decide to run for the position of shop steward be sure to run for the right reasons.

Carriers should be attending all General Membership Meetings, which are held once a month on every second Thursday. Participation and involvement are encouraged by the Branch because that is the key to carriers’ voices being heard.

Here are some scenarios to think about. You are a carrier and union member and you happen to notice problems on the work floor, but this time the problem is not management. There happens to be a member who thinks he/she knows everything and is constantly minding everybody’s business and is ready and more than willing to give the weak carriers the wrong information. Another scenario may play out with the carrier, who is constantly complaining that he or she is the victim. You know the one, the carrier who claims to be overburdened with work and that’s the reason they did not complete their assignment and blames another carrier for their shortcomings and runs off and tells management it was another carrier’s fault. In the last scenario, the carrier is a union member, but is never happy and is always bitching and moaning about what the union does and doesn’t do and/or what the stewards do or don’t do. But never takes a moment to reflect about his/her role or involvement in the union to help fight management’s abuse of letter carriers. I say shut them all out and make them insignificant. These carriers do not understand how important unions are for working people. Again, Get Involved!

Outlook November / December 2018
Just Talking
Newly hired CCAs have this misconception that it is illegal for management to cancel their six paid holidays because they are entitled to those days off. Even some shop stewards have called to ask if management has the right to cancel the CCAs’ holidays. For future reference, management has the right to cancel holidays whether Regulars or CCAs, whenever management feels it’s necessary.
Communication is a powerful tool and I feel some of our shop stewards aren’t assertive enough with management and the carriers they represent. First, communication with management is important; shop stewards should have a Labor Management Meeting once a month with their managers. I feel monthly meetings are productive and if some form of structure is created then positive results will come out of the meeting. For a meeting to be productive, both sides should have an agenda. Share the agenda with each other and be prepared to discuss the issues. Be sure to schedule enough time to accommodate the agenda. Make sure people who have the right to make decisions are present at the meeting. Agree on who will take the minutes of the meeting and review them with everyone participating before the minutes are released. We must use these meetings wisely, so don’t disregard these important opportunities.

In the mornings, I receive many phone calls from carriers (Regulars and CCAs) expressing dissatisfaction with their shop stewards, claiming the shop stewards don’t have their best interests in mind. Carriers say the typical response to any question is, “I don’t know, call the branch and speak to an officer.” That is unsatisfactory! Shop stewards must be ready to help carriers, and the stewards should call us, themselves, if necessary. Sometimes just by listening to the carrier(s), the steward could resolve a problem. Listening builds respect, loyalty, knowledge and most of all, relationships.

The tentative date for the next Comedy Show is Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm and costs $45.00 per person.

Outlook September / October 2018
The Branch 36 Comedy Show Fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday, October 13, 2018. The event begins at 7:30 pm and ends at 1:00 am. The cost per ticket is $45.00 per person. For tickets, call me at the Branch (212) 239-3901.

The calendars for 2019 have arrived and the cost is $4.00 per calendar. If you want calendars- see your shop steward or call me at the branch.

The job of City Carrier Assistant Letter Carrier can be very challenging, both: physically and emotionally. In my opinion, union officers, hearing officers, shop stewards and CCA’s need to step up, be on the lookout and make sure all protocols are being followed. We must teach CCA’s to respect coworkers, supervisors, and especially, our customers. CCA’s must understand that they must obey the instructions of their supervisors. If the CCA has reason to question the supervisor’s order; they must carry out the order anyway and file a grievance afterwards.

Another problem they sometimes face is that management requires CCA’s to provide their personal phone numbers. Why, one must wonder? You are not on call or on standby on your days off, so why is this practice necessary? You certainly are not required to sit at home and wait to be called in. If management is putting that kind of pressure on you, let your shop steward know or call us at the Branch.

Many CCA’s are asking themselves the following questions: when do I get a day off and how long must I work before I can get a day off? CCA’s are not guaranteed days off and can work up to 12 hours; including lunch, in any given day and up to 7 days a week. If you are working over 14 days in a row, contact your steward to help you get a day off. CCA’s are paid time and a half for all work over 8 hours in a Service day and over 40 hours in a Service week. This is considered regular overtime. CCA’s are paid double time for all hours worked over 10 hours in a Service day and over 56 hours in a Service week. This is called Penalty time.

Finally, I know all full or part-time officers have mentioned in their articles, the importance of joining the Letter Carrier Political Fund. The need to do so is great; we must help our friends in Congress who support us so we can win the battle of our lives with this current administration.

Outlook July / August 2018
By the time you receive this Outlook, there will be less than 100 days until the Midterm Elections. The Democrats are poised to make substantial gains in the House and we must all become a part of it. If the Republicans win the Midterm Elections, the first agenda on their list will be to privatize the United States Postal Service. I know some carriers think this is a joke, but be aware, it is not. The Democrats are engaging in massive fundraising gains and we must be a part of it by contributing to the Letter Carrier Political Fund.
Please understand, in privatizing the postal service, many jobs will be terminated in the process. Collective Bargaining prices and COLA’s will also be eliminated in the long run. Jobs in the Postal Service will have the pay rates reduced to $35,000 a year, if the Republicans have their way. They insist we make too much money. Postal jobs will be reduced to part-time status.

Signing up for the Letter Carrier Political Fund at least $1.00 per paycheck will help us support the candidates who support the letter carrier agenda. Seriously, it is time to take this on, or sometime in the next 10 years, the postal service could be a mere footnote in history.

Effective immediately, the new NYC DOT traffic rules have been put into effect in Manhattan. Surveys by the NYPD, since these regulations have been put into effect, show that USPS vehicles are ignoring the new regulations. We must ensure that all USPS employees are aware of the new regulations and follow those rules. If violations of the regulation continue, the NYPD will be forced to ticket postal vehicles.

Clear Curbs: DOT will restrict curbside parking and loading on both sides of the street during weekday peak hours (7-10 am and 4-7 pm) from 45th Street to 50th Street between Madison and 6th Avenues - most of Midtown.

Clear Lanes: DOT will streamline curbside regulations on one side to create a continuous curbside moving lane during workday peak hours until 7 pm. Regulations will permit deliveries on the opposite curb. (From 36th Street and 37th Street between 2nd and 6th Avenues) and (46th and 47th Street between 3rd and 9th Avenues).

Clear Intersections: At key intersections citywide.

Clear Lanes: Key crosstown streets in Midtown - weekday peak hours (7am-7pm). All vehicles and drivers must follow the New York State regulations.

In September, the General Membership Meeting is on Thursday, the 13th and the Seminar is on Tuesday, the 25th.
The tentative date for the Comedy Show is Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 7:30pm.

I was just thinking about how Wednesday, July 25th was one year since we lost Executive Vice President John Springman. To this day, I still wait for him to walk through the door and tell me that the Yankees still are garbage

Outlook May / June 2018
Congratulations to Melinda Hammond of Williamsbridge Station and Tayry Vega of Audubon Station for the great job they did with the food drive. It was the highest amount of food collected in the last five years. Great job!

The Comedy Show again was a fun time. Ruperto Vanderpool was in Las Vegas doing a show, but he made sure our show was a huge success. He assigned comedians from every possible location. The promoter was Jamie Roberts from Amityville, NY. The Comedians were Edgar Rivera from the Bronx, Kareem Green from Harlem, Q. Brooks from Syracuse and Jayson Anders from Brooklyn. It was a great show. We had a full house and as always this show would not be a success without the volunteers. The next show is in October; be on the lookout for the flashes that will be sent out in September.

On to a more serious topic, bullying has no place anywhere. The effects of bullying are everywhere and include: depression, isolation and the lack of self-confidence. Bullying leads management to stretch carriers beyond their limits.

For example, on Sundays, management forces CCA’s to go back out and deliver packages not twice, but three times without a single regard that the CCA’s are already overworked. CCA’s are typically threatened with removal if they do not comply. Another example happens when a CCA puts in a bid for a temporary assignment and management states that the carrier must agree to do that route for 4 days, but then on the 5th day must agree to do a different route or they will not be considered by management regardless of their seniority. Management likes to use their physical presence and loud voice to intimidate. They overpower and wear down the carriers to get what they want. Other tactics management uses to bully is sarcastic humor. Lastly, they attack your self-esteem to try and generate an angry response in otherwise patient individuals. All of these behaviors have no business in the postal service and must be stopped. To stop this harassment and bullying, we must fight back by documenting and providing shop stewards with written statements so grievances could be filed against management.

Outlook March / April 2018
Each morning I receive phone calls from carriers complaining that they were unaware of the time and location of the General Membership Meeting because stewards have failed to post the flashes as soon as they receive them. I am going to make it a point from now on to post the dates and location of the meetings in my article. In April, the meeting is on Thursday, April 12th, 2018 in the Bronx at the V.F.M. Post 271 Hall located at 720 Nereid Avenue. In May, the meeting will be held on Thursday, May 10th, 2018 at the Branch located at 347 West 41st Street in Manhattan. I look forward to seeing you there.
On Saturday, April 28th we will be having our second Comedy Show of the year and it begins at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $40.00 per person and includes: food, the Comedy Show, the after party and an open bar. If you are interested in attending, please call me at the branch at (212) 239-3901 to order tickets.

On Sunday, June 24th (not on Father’s Day this year) we will have our annual Mets game at Citi Field. The game starts at 1:10 p.m. versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. The price of the ticket is $25.00 per person and includes a t-shirt. If you are interested, call me at the branch and order your tickets & t-shirts. Please do not wait until the last minute to put your order in.

This is an important reminder: please notify the branch if you move so we can keep our records current. We will notify the NALC Headquarters in Washington with the address change for you.

Softball Season is about to begin, if you are interested in forming a team in the league or would like to join a team, call me at the branch

Outlook January / February 2018
This is a topic that I have addressed once before, but I feel the need to mention it once again. Too many letter carriers do not take pride in their appearance while on the job. Many carriers show up in disheveled uniforms that look like they have been slept in, or have been worn far too many times without laundering. Pants are not creased; shirts are not pressed; and shoes are scuffed, worn out and in need of a good polishing. Some carriers wear their pants below the waist revealing their underwear, while others wear do-rags on their heads. Letter carriers must remember to present a positive first impression while serving the public. It is important to remember that many people are biased, drawing their own misguided conclusions based solely on one’s appearance. To earn credibility with the public, carriers must take pride in their appearance and dress the part.
Most mornings, I receive phone calls from carriers who are upset with their shop stewards because, according to them, their steward or stewards refuse to file a grievance for them. Some carriers think that they can pick and choose who will represent them, regardless of what station the stewards represent. WRONG!

It can’t be simply because you do not like the steward/stewards. In almost all situations, you will be represented by the elected steward/stewards in your station. The only exception to that rule would happen if it was approved by one of the branch officers, and it would have to be for a very good reason.

Another problem that occurs on occasion happens because some shop stewards like to outsource themselves and give carriers from other stations advice (many times the wrong advice, I might add). That practice must cease and desist. It only creates conflict between the carriers and their respective steward or stewards.

Outlook November / December 2017
Just Talking
Thursday, November 9th was a great day! President Charlie Heege put together an awesome program to celebrate John’s life. It was dignified, priceless and emotional. I believe for many in attendance it was a form of closure. There were at least one hundred people at the Memorial/Dedication Service to pay their respects. Everyone in the room could feel the outpouring of love and respect for John and his family. I, though, still can’t believe that John is gone!

To quote Cleveland Morgan on Sunday, November 12, 2017, “It’s great to be home.” Branch 36’s Annual Dinner Dance returned to Marina Del Rey. It was a wonderful event as always, with close to 500 people in attendance. Everyone partied and had a great time.

As always, the Comedy Show on October 28, 2017 was a success. There was a great turnout including many CCA’s for the first time. Millie Perdomo, Tayry Vega, Helen Amill and Norie Amill were outstanding with regards to their cooking abilities. We are planning on another Comedy Show in January of 2018. The tentative date is January 27, 2018. Call us at the branch and we will keep you posted.

Finally, what can I say about Mike Perdomo. Mike has a gift for coming up with unique ways to raise money for MDA and for others in need. His past ideas have included: raising money for COLCPE; the food drive; a softball game for MDA; and of course the Comedy Show, which we have three times a year.

Mike’s main vision was figuring out a way to feed the hungry in Spanish Harlem on Thanksgiving Day. Mike approached the carriers in his Hellgate Station asking for assistance and the carriers were more than willing to help. Mike has often said that he could not accomplish this tremendous undertaking without the Hellgate Station Letter Carriers. This has become an annual event since 2006, because Mike and the carriers of Hellgate make sure it happens each year. Mike was recently interviewed by Fox 5 News and by AM New York. Keep up the good work, Mike!

We at Branch 36 are well aware that many other stations do their fair share of wonderful service for their communities as well. President Heege would like to hear from those stations so we can share their stories with everyone.

Outlook September / October 2017
My Thoughts
Now that everyone has had a great summer and vacation with family and friends, it’s time to get back to business. We as a union cannot afford to become complacent. There is much work to be completed.

I will begin with LC-PAC. When the automatic payroll deduction for the LC- PAC (COLCPE) was first introduced, many carriers embraced it and signed up to have a contained amount of money to be deducted from their paychecks. Now, years later, not enough carriers have signed on and many carriers are acting as if the automatic payroll deduction does not exist. We need to have a strong democratic Congress in place when our contract expires in two years.

In Manhattan, the MOU, under item 22, D, states an updated carrier seniority roster within each station or unit shall be posted every six months. A copy will be furnished to the union representative. In the Bronx, the MOU under Item 22, 4, J, management agrees to maintain a current seniority roster to be posted in all carrier stations or units. This list is to be reviewed and revised every three months.

On Sunday, September 17, 2017 Branch 36 held our 45th Annual Old-timers Brunch and as always it was a great event with over 100 retirees in attendance. We had the great honor of presenting 50-year gold cards and pins to three individuals who participated in the 1970 Postal Strike: Mr. Allen Kent of Canal Station; Ms. Eleanor Warren of Times Square; and Ruby Almeida of JAF. Also, September 17, 2017 would have been John Springman’s 70th Birthday. A request by the volunteers at the Brunch to sing Happy Birthday to John was honored and everyone in attendance joined in and sang Happy Birthday to John.

Speaking of John, I can’t believe two and a half months have elapsed since John passed. I’m still waiting for his phone call at around 9:00 a.m. asking me if Brian is around so he could open the garage gate. Like Liz our secretary says, it feels like John is on vacation and we are just waiting for him to walk through the door and say good morning to everyone. Since 1995 when I became a shop steward to our last conversation when John was going on vacation all he was thinking about was the unfinished business he had to complete when he returned. We miss him! My condolences to Carol and his family and may God bless him in Heaven.

Congratulations to Pascual Ortiz on being named our new Executive Vice President

Outlook July / August 2017
Just Talking
Here’s hoping that everyone is enjoying a great and wonderful summer; but remember just because its summer doesn’t mean it’s not business as usual. Do not run through your routes. Management will try to pivot you; in addition to doing your route in eight hours. Therefore, fill out the 3996’s when necessary. You must remember to call if you are not given sufficient time on your 3996’s and are unable to finish your assignment.

Lately, many carriers have been exhibiting aggressive behavior towards management and other carriers as well. Granted, in some stations carriers are working under unbearable stress. But that is no excuse and there will be no tolerance of violence or threats of violence; by anyone, at any level. There will be no tolerance of harassment, intimidation, threats or bullying of any kind.

We, as a union, cannot afford to get complacent. For example, regarding shop stewards: A shop steward’s job is for twelve months, not from September to May. Stewards must remember June, July and August are the three months that management is notorious for trying to violate the National Contract. Shop Stewards must be ready to protect and defend the carriers they represent. Grieve write-ups on a timely basis.

“Weingarten Rights guarantee the carrier the right to request union representation during investigatory interviews.”

Carriers, you must notify management if you find it necessary to divert from your route and attain approval to do so.

Regarding 204B’s who choose to cross crafts, in accordance with Article 1, Section 6 of the National Agreement, an employee in a 204B status as a supervisor shall not perform bargaining-unit work while he or she is in the 204B status. Form 1723, assignment order, is the controlling document to be used in determining when the employee is in a 204B status. Article 41, Section 1.A.2 of the National Agreement: Form 1723 shall be provided to the union at the local level showing the beginning and ending times of the detail.

M-00540 states that except in an emergency, a supervisor should not transport a member to his or her route.

Finally, M-002015 provides the supervisor had been instructed to discontinue placing the mail in question on the carrier’s ledge.

Outlook May / June 2017
Just Talking
Hopefully everyone will have a great summer and enjoy their vacations with their families. Remember, if you are using your vacation time to move, do not forget to notify the branch of your change of address; this also includes retirees. In turn, we will notify the NALC in Washington.

We, as a union, cannot afford to become complacent - as shop stewards, for example. A shop steward’s job is for twelve months, not from September to June. During July and August, management notoriously violates the National Contract. Shop stewards must be ready to protect and defend the carriers they represent. In turn, carriers must be ready to support their shop stewards whenever they protect their rights before management.

The Comedy Show was a huge success as always. Comedian/Promoter Ruperto Vanderpool always keeps his word. He promised an All-star lineup and believe me, he delivered. The comedians were David Velez, Minnie Simpson, Marshall Brandon and Mark Viera. Over 100 people attended the Comedy Show.

However, the awesome volunteers that Branch 36 can always depend on are what really make this night a great success. Thank you to Helen Amill, Millie Perdomo and Tayry Vega for the outstanding cooking. Thank you to Ralph Fontane, the bartender, and Jerome Jackson, Brandon Ramos, Carlton Pinto and Anthony McDaniel for stepping up as the cleanup crew. Anthony (DJ Swarm) Ferrera from the Bronx GPO was outstanding. Mike Perdomo and I plan on having another Comedy Show either at the end of September or the beginning of October.

Finally, with regards to Memorial Day, our sincere prayers and good wishes are extended to the men and women who are proudly serving our country, and to all those who have bravely done so in the past.

Outlook March / April 2017
Just Talking
Too many letter carriers do not take pride in their appearance. They deliver the mail looking disheveled or disorderly, appearing as if they slept in their uniforms. Their pants lack creases, their shirts are not pressed, their shoes are more scuffed than shined, and their coats need to be tossed in the washing machine. Letter carriers need to create a positive first impression when serving the public and they definitely won’t create that looking scruffy. Carriers must recognize that people often have a preconception and draw their own conclusions long before we have a chance to prove ourselves to them. Therefore, it’s important to take pride in one’s appearance to gain credibility with the public.
I would like to remind everyone that management must be notified if you find it necessary to divert from your route and approval must be given first in order to do so.

Management responds to punitive action, as if the zero tolerance level policy does not apply to them and only applies to the letter carrier craft. We, the letter carriers, must stand united and stop these unfair labor practices. I am sure you are wondering, “How can we do this?” Some ways to do this are by writing statements and giving them to your shop stewards!!! In turn, the shop stewards initiate, investigate, and process grievances at the local level. Letter Carriers must also support the station shop steward(s). The best statements focus on giving detailed facts, along with audio expressing personal opinion. Another important thing to remember is carriers must stop running to management to complain about fellow carriers when things don’t go their way. This is especially true for those carriers who are secretly “wannabe management”. These misguided carriers always blame the union and the shop stewards for not doing enough when management turns around and betrays them.

Please remember to notify the branch when you move. This reminder also includes all retirees who relocate. The branch needs your address for various reasons including to notify the NALC in Washington, D.C. on your behalf.

Finally, we must build the LC-PAC (formerly COLCPE) through payroll deductions, renew the E-Activist Network and join the Carrier Corps. We must stop the Wrecking Crew currently in Washington.

Softball Season is here! If you would like to form a team or join, call me at the Branch (212) 239-3901.

Outlook January / February 2017
In the beginning of October, the Shop Steward Election concluded and now here we are, four months later, with many letter carriers complaining about their stewards. Especially the newly elected stewards, who, some say, are acting more like supervisors than stewards. Some carriers have complained that their stewards are not listening to them or addressing their issues. They are even making hasty decisions without their approval and ignoring their input. Even some seasoned shop stewards are now behaving in this same manner.
The value of listening is a topic, which I like to discuss on occasion and will share with you now. A prime example, always treat every person as if he or she is important to you. Too many times, people talk and never hear what the other person is saying. Remember, you aren’t learning anything when you are doing all the talking.

Consider these benefits to listening:
1) Listening shows respect.
2) It builds relationships.
3) Listening increases knowledge.
4) It generates ideas.
5) Listening builds loyalty.
6) It is a great way to help others and yourself. Remember, when it comes to working relationships, everything begins with respect and the desire to place value on other people.

Now is the time to get serious, to focus on our NALC President and the other officers in Washington, DC and to acquire all of the resources needed to negotiate a new contract. We need to get involved in LC-PAC (COLCPE), E-Activist and the Carrier Corps. We must show management that we are not interchangeable or replaceable, but rather that we are the ones who make the postal service work.

I would further like to point out that active and retired letter carriers must notify the Branch whenever they move, so they can remain current on important issues. Your new address will also be sent to our headquarters in Washington, DC.

The Softball Season begins in May. Anyone interested in forming a league team or joining one should call the branch at (212) 239-3901.

Outlook November / December 2016
Shop Steward Elections
Every three years in October, there are elections to reelect or replace the incumbent shop stewards. All letter carriers must get involved and vote for a shop steward, who they believe will best represent their station. During the last election, a lot of incumbents were replaced. At certain stations, carriers wanted to change stewards and those voices were heard by the power of the vote.
For 2016, the shop steward elections are over and the results are in. We now have 26 new stewards; and out of those 26, six are CCAs. We wish much success to each and every shop steward, both old and new. Remember, all carriers must support their stewards. By the same token, stewards must keep their carriers involved and informed in what it takes to make the NALC function; remember, do not take this position lightly. For example, being an E-Activist, joining the Carrier Corps, and most importantly, contributing to COLCPE are all important. Somehow giving to COLCPE has become a lost art at Branch 36. The shop stewards must once again become vigilant in getting the carriers to contribute to COLCPE, and stewards must explain to the carriers the importance of why they must do so regularly. Let’s not fall asleep, the fight is still on for our survival.

The tentative date for the Comedy Show is Saturday, January 28, 2017 starting at 7:30 p.m. The price of the ticket is $40.00.

Active and retired letter carriers must remember to notify the Branch whenever they move so they can be up to date on important issues. We also send your new address to our headquarters in Washington, D. C.

Outlook September / October 2016
Shop Steward Elections
By the time this article is printed, the branch will have completed the Shop Steward Elections. It is the duty of each carrier in good standing to vote for the best qualified person(s) to represent them. In addition, it is also your right to question and challenge your steward or stewards on whether they attend meetings, and if not, to ask why not.

It is imperative for shop stewards to attend meetings and to keep the members informed. In that way, you’ll know what management is involved with that needs adjustment. The NALC Guidebook for Stewards states on the very first page that the steward is the key to a strong union. The guide goes on to say that the steward is the first and most important “Enforcer” of the National Agreement. Every one of our stewards must take on the responsibility of carrying out these policies. If not, we will never be as strong and effective as we should. The steward is the representative in the station, of the union and its members. He or she must maintain a position of “Leadership.” The steward is the person that the membership looks to for guidance and direction.

Management must know that the membership supports and stands behind their steward(s). This unity is what gives us strength and stops management from trying to take advantage of the workforce. This is a dual responsibility. Carriers support your shop steward/stewards whom you have elected through a democratic process; shop steward/stewards take the responsibility of living up to your duties and obligations. By doing so, we will be a strong, effective and viable union able to carry out the work of enforcing our contract. We are the backbone of the Postal Service. The responsibilities shouldered by letter carriers are for more than any other postal craft, including management.

Remember the value of listening. Always treat every person, as if she or she is the most important person in the world. Too many times people talk and never hear what others are saying. You are not learning anything when you are doing all of the talking.

Congratulations to Thomas Torregrossa, who received his gold card and 50-year pin and is now a lifetime member of the NALC.

Outlook July / August 2016
Hopefully everyone is having a great summer and enjoying vacation time with their families. I must say, so far, this has been a wonderful summer.

Once again, a reminder to all carriers who move, you must notify the branch of your new address. This also applies to retirees who relocate. Soon thereafter we, in turn, notify the NALC in Washington, D. C. of your change of address.

The National Elections take place on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Remember, you must be registered to vote. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We must make the House of Representatives, Senate and Congress aware of our existence. Many carriers are concerned about their jobs, but not many are willing to join the fight.

As a reminder, every three years in October, there are elections to either reelect or replace the shop stewards. All letter carriers who are members should get involved and vote to elect a shop steward and/or stewards to represent their station. Remember this is not a position to be taken lightly. A shop steward has many responsibilities that include, but are not limited to, attending meetings and seminars. Get involved in union functions. Vote for the best person to be your shop steward.

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2 of the Branch 36 Bylaws, President Charlie Heege has ordered an Election of Shop Stewards of Branch 36. The membership is notified that nominations for stewards will be held during the last week in September, and the election will take place during the first week in October.

Always keep in mind that a good shop steward listens to his/her carriers showing concern when management violates the contract and harasses and tries to intimidate the carriers.

Enjoy the rest of this wonderful summer!

Outlook May / June 2016
Shop Steward Elections
Every three years, in October, there are elections to reelect or replace the incumbent shop stewards. All letter carriers should get involved and vote to select a shop steward to represent their station. During the last election, many incumbents were replaced. I feel this year’s elections will follow the same pattern. Too many shop stewards don’t know the contract. Too many current shop stewards talk a good game, but don’t know how to file a grievance.
The steward does not have to be the most popular, radical or even the loudest. With the power of your vote, you have the opportunity to pick the most knowledgeable, the one who will lead by example, the one who will attend meetings and seminars, and keep all carriers informed on current issues. Don’t take the shop steward position lightly.

To keep Branch 36 Shop Stewards well informed, quarterly seminars are held at Branch 36 Headquarters to further train shop stewards on the JCAM, LMOU, M39, M41, and all other manuals that relate to the entire grievance procedure. These seminars sharpen the shop stewards’ skills enabling them to present a well prepared, professional grievance.

The union has held quarterly seminars since around 1992. Preparations of grievances and presentation have improved for those shop stewards who attended these seminars. Each steward should prepare the case file as if they were telling a story (the case facts) with all the necessary documents in case it goes to Arbitration. It is not the Hearing Officer’s responsibility to prepare the case. The Hearing Officer will, however, strengthen the weak points and try to make a more effective case by adding or removing documents. Stewards should always get a statement from the grievant. When a steward cites an article in the case, that article from the JCAM should be included in the case. Remember, make sure that whoever is running for shop steward is not running for self-promotions, which may include perks from management. Watch out for individuals who are always criticizing current shop stewards because, they too, may have their own agenda. Most importantly, remember, shop stewards are the caretakers of the National Contract.

Outlook March / April 2016
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Much Thanks
Thank you to the Membership of Branch 36 for having confidence in our team, by reelecting us for the 2016-2019 term of office. I will continue, as always, to fight management whenever they violate the contract and/or harass our letter carriers.
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Many times when visiting stations, I run across carriers, who stop and ask, “What are you guys doing for us?” First, I must remind them of the sacrifices made during the 1970 Great Postal Strike. Before I move on to the fringe benefits, which the branch has negotiated beyond collective bargaining over the years. The best answer to that question, however, of “What have you done for me lately?” came from our late editor, Leon Brown, whose leadership and presence is still deeply missed at Branch 36. Leon wrote the following article in March/April 2002 of the New York Letter Carriers’ Outlook:

“In my travels, occasionally I hear a few carriers say the union is doing nothing for them or they ask, “What has the union done for me lately?”

Let’s start with COLA. As of this day, we have over $15,000.00 rolled into our salaries. But, some say the union is not doing anything for them. Level 6 pay (Level 6.1 and 6.2) was achieved by the union; yet some say the union is doing nothing for them. Paper suspensions, no time or money lost, scholarships, eyeglass vouchers are just some examples. If you reflect on your time in the union, something will come to mind regarding what the union has done for you.

The officers and shop stewards are working for the membership each and every day. There are situations that arise and are resolved before you are made aware of them; some things are never heard of, by you.

The union is as strong as its weakest link, and if you allow management to use you to criticize your union, then you are the weakest link. What the union needs is each and every one of you to get involved. Attend meetings. Share your concerns to support and make this union stronger and successful in all its endeavors. We, your union, understand how busy our lives can become, but it is also important to hear what your officers and other members have to say. Share information with each other, once each month, at union meetings.

I know some of you have friends, who are non-union members. You should talk to them about becoming members. They will reap the benefits of this great union’s work. We, the members, all pay dues and so should the non-members.

I hope you will look back on all the years you have worked and see what you have achieved and say, this is what the union has done for me and my family.

May God bless each and every one of us and our union!” ~ Leon

Outlook January / February 2016
Must Be Involved
It’s time for us to be vigilant about our jobs. Tuesday, November 8, 2016 is the Election for the Presidency of the United States. Soon the primaries for the Democratic and Republican nominees will begin. Every letter carrier should have Tuesday, November 8, 2016 marked on their calendar because on that date, our voices must be heard loud and clear. In order for our voices to be heard, we must be registered to vote, be an E-Activist, and join the Carrier Corps. This election, many politicians don’t have any clue in which direction they are headed. If the Republicans dominate Congress and we have a Republican President, the dismantling of the Postal Service will begin.
I have written this article on several occasions in the past, but I feel it needs to be read again - especially by the CCA’s and carriers who refuse to vote. The article is printed below.

There was a small town in the Midwest that held elections for political offices. All the offices were won by Republicans. This is a town that has a population of 500 residents, concerning which 400 of the residents are Democrats. Needless to say, there were many complaints stating the elections were illegally held. The residents took their complaint to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ordered the town to hold re-elections. The elections were held and again all the offices were won by Republicans.

The small town was in an uproar. The democrats went to the Supreme Court to make a complaint. The Supreme Court sent investigators to review the elections. After reviewing all the ballots, the investigations confirmed that the reason the Republicans won all the offices of the small town was because of the 400 residents who were Democrats, only 90 voted. Of the 100 Republicans, 95 voted. The point being, you must get involved and stay involved and be part of the majority and not the minority.

Final thoughts: in order to win the November 8th elections, we must be extremely forceful in our beliefs and fight for what is ours. You need to vote and have every member of your family, who is eligible to vote, do so. VOTE!

Outlook November / December 2015
In this article, I will discuss some of the details that Helen Amill, Pat McNally and I discuss with the CCA’s regularly at Orientation and the Academy. We go over the do’s and the don’ts in great detail and try to cover every aspect of the job that they will encounter

The do list begins with the obvious: be at work and arrive on time every day. As a new employee, be prepared to work long hours and when it’s deemed necessary, be ready to go back out and deliver the mail or packages or sometimes both. Remember, it is extremely important to listen carefully and follow the supervisor’s directions, provided there is not a safety issue involved or an illegal practice going on. Keep in mind,

many CCA’s are being terminated for failure to follow instructions, especially CCA’s who haven’t passed their probationary period of 90 days. CCA’s must be ready to work every Sunday. One of the reasons CCA’s are hired in the first place is so management can detail CCA’s to other stations, provided the CCA does not have a temporary assignment elsewhere, etc.

Moving on to the don’t list: do not get into fights with coworkers, customers, management, or family members that may work in the postal service. Do not steal; there isn’t anything worth losing credibility or a job over. One key point, do not make unnecessary demands. For example, do not wait until the very last minute to ask your supervisor for time off for a commitment that you knew about for several months. Do not get caught up in the politics of the station. Remember, certain carriers try to run the station and sometimes give CCA’s misinformation, which causes the CCA’s to get into trouble. Be careful when driving, practice good safety skills. Most importantly, never leave the mail unattended.

Another major topic we discuss with CCA’s is the Weingarten Rights and how their first line of defense is always their shop stewards.

I frequently receive phone calls from shop stewards inquiring about CCA’s rights. The following are some questions I typically receive.
1) Are CCA’s entitled to Injury Compensation? Yes. CCA’s are covered by the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).
2) Are CCA’s paid by the Postal Service when they serve on jury duty? No. CCA’s do not get paid by the Postal Service.
3) Are CCA’s entitled to Bereavement Leave? Yes. They are entitled up to 3 work days of annual leave or leave without pay.
4) Are CCA’s entitled to FMLA? Yes. They must accrue at least 1,250 workhours.
5) Can CCA’s participate in the Leave Sharing Program? Yes. The CCA’s can receive or donate annual leave to the program.

Important Reminder
The Comedy Show is on Saturday, January 9, 2016, at the Vincent R. Sombrotto Building. As always, the tickets are $40.00 per person. Again, please do not wait until the last minute to get your tickets. Call Mike Perdomo at Hellgate Station at (212) 860- 2612 or me at the branch (212) 239-3901.
Outlook September / October 2015
Just Talking
Congratulations to Anthony J. Barletto of Murray Hill Station, who was presented with his 50 year pin and gold card at the Old Timers Brunch at the Hard Rock Café.

Congratulations, likewise, to the CCA’s who became regulars on September 19, 2015. There were 52 CCA’s in Manhattan and 29 CCA’s in the Bronx who were converted. Hopefully more CCA’s will be converted to career employees in October.

Many of the new regulars indicated that they will join our health plan. They found it was the least expensive and best option in the postal service; regardless of whether it was for an individual or family plan.

Many of the CCA’s are being dropped by the NALC in Washington after completing their furloughs, reasons unknown. If you are a CCA or you know of a CCA whom this has happened to, inform your shop steward or call the branch at (212) 239-3901 to be reinstated.

Important Reminder to all Letter Carriers
If you move, you must notify the branch of your new address; and in turn, we will notify the NALC in Washington D.C. of your change of address. This reminder also includes retirees who relocate.

The tentative date for the next Comedy Show is Saturday, January 9, 2016. This is a wonderful fundraiser for MDA and is now considered a hot ticket. Please do not wait until the last minute to purchase one.

On Wednesday, September 23rd, Gracie Station had a softball game. The Gracie Station Old-timers challenged Gracie’s present team promising to show them no mercy. Neither of the teams scored in the first inning. For a moment, it looked as if it was going to be a quick and low scoring game. Then, the tsunami struck! I believe some of the old-timers are still floating in the East River. Many of Gracie Station’s active and retired carriers attended the softball game. They barbequed, reminisced about old times, and had a great time. Almost forgot to mention: the final score was 28 - 3. Ouch!

Outlook July / August 2015
Dignity and Respect
Letter Carriers throughout the country go to work each day with the commitment of a “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.” In most offices they clock in, perform their normal duties with no problems from their supervisors and then, clock out and go home. In many post offices, letter carriers find the work environment to be acceptable and they enjoy coming to work. However, in some post offices, letter carriers are subjected to mistreatment by their supervisors during their normal course of duties and this typically results in a poor working environment. Carriers describe that they hate to come to work in these situations because of the way they are treated and made to feel. Such an environment is labeled as hostile or toxic. Management is unrelenting in their attacks on these letter carriers AND IT MUST STOP!
This is an opening sentence by NALC President Fred Rolando and Manny Peralta Jr., Director of Safety and Health in a book called Dignity and Respect.

Management responds to taking positive action, as if the zero tolerance level policy applies only to those making up the letter carrier craft and not to them.

We, the letter carriers, must stand united in stopping these unfair labor practices. To accomplish this goal, letter carriers must support the station shop steward or stewards; and the respective stewards must be willing and able to responsibly confront management. Grieve all violations of the National Contract. Additionally, carriers must stop running to management to complain about other carriers when things don’t go their way, especially those carriers who are wannabe management. But when management betrays them, it’s thought of as the union’s fault and the fault of the shop stewards for not doing enough.

The NALC recommends a few key steps that you should take every day to understand, control, and then work towards changing a hostile or toxic environment.
Step 1 - Keep track of everything that happens on the workroom floor and document all actions of improper behavior by management.
Step 2 - Pay attention to how other employees are being treated and what management is doing about it.
Step 3 - Challenge management’s conduct through the appropriate channels when their conduct creates a hostile work environment.
Step 4 - Don’t give up. Your patient efforts will contribute to a positive change. Many times we have been very successful with the right evidence and right approach. These steps are found on Page 20 of the Dignity and Respect book. Hopefully, we will have this book available at the next seminar.

Outlook May / June 2015
will begin this article by asking all Branch 36 Brothers and Sisters to embrace the CCA’s. The CCA’s were hired to alleviate the carriers overtime (especially regarding those carriers who are forced to work overtime, who did not sign up for the overtime desired list). Also, the CCA’s are union members and all shop stewards must make sure management treats them fairly. I would also like to say thank you to the shop stewards who are making every effort to sign up the CCA’s as union members.
One important shop steward function is to prevent management from intimidating carriers. It is particularly important when management attempts to have closed-door meetings with the carriers to induce the carriers into admitting wrongdoing or to attempt to get a carrier to confess to mistakes by writing a statement without a shop steward present.

It is vital to remember that all carriers who encounter some form of discipline must request that a shop steward be present. Should management deny that request, be sure to enforce your Weingarten Rights. To enforce your Weingarten Rights means that the carrier is requesting union representation during investigatory interviews. Too many CCA’s are being forced by management to resign without a shop steward present.

A major issue I wrote about in a previous article stated that too many letter carriers do not take pride in their appearance while on the job. Many letter carriers deliver the mail in unkempt pieces of clothing, which look like they slept in them. They wear pants without creases, un-pressed shirts, dirty coats, and scuffed, worn-out shoes. Letter carriers must create a positive first impression when serving the public. Remember, people have preconceptions and draw their own conclusions long before someone is given a chance to prove themselves. Therefore, it is important to take pride in your appearance to earn credibility with the customers we serve.

Finally, management responds to taking punitive action, as if the zero tolerance level policy, applies only to those making up the letter carrier craft and not to them. We, the letter carriers must stand united in stopping these unfair labor practices. To accomplish this goal, letter carriers must support the station, shop steward or stewards, and the respective stewards must be willing and able to responsibly confront management. Grieve all violations of the National Contract.

Outlook March / April 2015
Power Hitting
I am writing about a subject that I enjoy talking about, baseball. As a kid, my favorite team was the 1961 Yankees (you didn’t think I was going to talk about that other NY team). Especially the 1961 Yankees, arguably one of the greatest teams ever assembled. Roger Maris hit 61 homeruns, was the league M.V.P. (this is before the steroid era). Mickey Mantle hit 54 homeruns (my favorite player). Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Johnny Blanchard, Clete Boyer, Bill Skowron each hit over 20 homeruns. Tony Kubek and Bobby Richardson were awesome, batting first and second and playing excellent defense. Whitey Ford won 24 games and the Cy Young Award. Ralph Terry, Bill Stafford and Jim Coates were the other starters. Luis Arroyo, Bud Daley, Hal Reniff were the relief pitchers who shut the other teams down when it was necessary.
Now I know you are wondering why I am writing about 1961 Yankees. Why not? I am trying to evaluate what other great teams followed the 1961 Yankees. Who made the great comeback, the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, the 1998 Yankees or the 2004 Boston Red Sox?

Finally, I thought of one: Branch 36’s Hearing Officers. These men and women make it their business to learn what is necessary to battle management. They read and study the J-Cam, the MOU’s, the ELM, the M39, the M41 and any other postal handbooks and manuals that are needed to defend our carriers.

When I receive telephone calls in the branch from carriers complaining about their Hearing Officers and question them about what was done wrong, I am flabbergasted at the audacity of the complaint. For example, a carrier disappointed for six months never received a PS form 50 and the carrier decided to show up for work. The carrier was written up for AWOL. When the Hearing Officer finally received the case, it was settled for a Letter of Warning. The carrier was unhappy as he thought he was entitled to the six months pay becasue he received a write-up.

The Hearing Officers I am writing about are in the Bronx and Manhattan. First the Bronx - the best things about them is that they are all Yankee fans.

Pascual Ortiz-Morrisiania, Frank Perez-Throggs Neck, David Velazquez-Wakefield, Jerome Jackson-Cornell, Gregg Levy-Riverdale
Helen Amill-Hellgate, Carmen Flores-Triboro, Mike Kelly-Cooper, Sheila Mitchell -Manhattanville, Tom Nelson- J.A.F., Ralph Feliciano-Church Street

There are no boundaries that these Hearing Officers won’t go to in order to win a case. They have hit their share of homeruns like the 1961 Yankees. Keep up the great work!

Outlook January / February 2015
Too many letter carriers do not take pride in their appearance while on the job and deliver the mail in dishabille (meaning: disorderly dress). They deliver the mail while wearing disheveled uniforms, which look like they have been slept in. They wear pants without creases. Some men wear un-pressed shirts, scuffed and otherwise uncared for shoes that are worn-out and coats that need cleaning. Letter carriers must create a positive first impression when serving the public. People sometimes have a preconception and draw conclusions long before we have the chance to prove ourselves to them. Remember, you must take pride in your appearance to earn credibility with the public.
Another concern is that letter carriers disregard or are unaware of the importance of COLCPE. It is the organization that permits the union on a national level to fight for your jobs and retain your job related benefits. Letter carriers must read the Postal Record’s February issue. We occupy pages 56 & 57 for the automatic contributions; we should be occupying at least 4 pages. We are on pages 82 & 83 for the occasional contributors; again, we should be occupying at least 4 pages. We are 5,600 members strong at Branch 36 and we must show our strength.

There are a few other things that I want to bring to your attention.

Shop Stewards must represent all letter carriers regardless of whatever the nature of personal feelings towards the individual; and carriers are deviating from their routes without permission from management. “YOU MUST NOTIFY MANAGEMENT IF YOU FIND IT NECESSARY TO DEVIATE FROM YOUR ROUTE AND MUST GET APPROVAL TO DO SO.”

Remember, when it comes to working relationships: everything begins with respect and the desire to place value on other people.

Outlook November / December 2014
Just Talking
Here’s to hoping everyone is having a wonderful holiday.

We, as a union, cannot become complacent. I always say a shop steward’s job is for twelve months a year. Too many shop stewards like to relax in July and August and I am going to add December to that list too. Management has told CCA’s that they cannot bid for temporary assignments in December and some shop stewards have concurred with them. FALSE! CCA’s are allowed to bid for temporary assignments, twelve months a year. Some shop stewards are also allowing management into buildings where more than one station is located to interchange regulars at their discretion and then, not even grieving it. They are wrongly informing the regulars that management is allowed to do it. FALSE! Too many shop stewards are allowing management to violate the contract (subtract Carriers O.T., having them hit on illegal codes, scanning packages attempted delivered when the packages never left the building). Nothing is being done about it.

We need to show more backbone!

Congratulations to the 66 CCA’s in Manhattan and 38 CCA’s in the Bronx who are becoming regulars; it’s well deserved. Join our Health Plan it’s the best in the postal service; not to mention the least expensive whether it’s an individual or family plan.

Here is something I wrote in the Outlook a few years ago.

Always treat every person as if he or she is the most important person in the world. Too many times people talk and never hear what others are saying:
1) Listening shows respect.
2) Listening builds relationships.
3) Listening increases knowledge.
4) Listening generates ideas
5) Listening builds loyalty.
6) Listening is a great way to help others and yourself.

Something to think about?
Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They are underused!

Outlook September / October 2014
Just Talking
First, congratulations to the following retirees who were presented with 50 year pins and gold cards. The retirees are: Edward McCaster from F.D.R., Raymond Stegmann from Radio City Station, and my predecessor, Ruben Santiago, from Mott Haven. Again, congratulations!

In May of this year, the five officers visited every station in Manhattan and the Bronx to discuss the illegal procedure management is directing the carriers to practice. Management is directing carriers to scan packages that never left the stations as delivered or as attempted delivery. President Charlie Heege spoke in the presence of management and in the middle of every work floor that this practice must stop. He repeated it several times and told the carriers they must refuse this order because too many carriers are being accused of fraud and are getting removal papers. As usual, management is denying this practice. The shop stewards must be extremely vigilant about this practice.

These are the customers’ expectations for parcel deliveries:
1) Deliver parcels on expected delivery date.
2) Deliver parcels to their door.
3) No notice should be left without an attempt.
4) The parcels must be trackable.
5) Parcels must be visible on the website. Customer satisfaction is very important.
a) Deliver all mail assigned to you.
b) Scan all barcodes.
c) Again, never leave a notice without making an attempt.
d) Treat all customers courteously, with respect.
e) Most importantly - SCAN, SCAN, SCAN!

Of Importance: Work safely, know your surroundings, no short cuts, no expensive jewelry, wear seatbelts at all times, practice state laws when driving and work to the best of your ability.

Finally, the comedy show is scheduled for Saturday, October 25. The tickets cost $40.00 per person. The door opens at 7:30 p.m. There’s food, the comedy show, and after party, plus an open bar all night. For the tickets, call the branch at 212-239-3901 or call Mike Perdomo at 646-596-0749. Come and enjoy the night!

Outlook July / August 2014
Be Aware
You are a carrier and union member who sees a problem, or maybe two or three, on the work floor. However, those problems are not related to management. One may be an ex-member who got mad and quit the union a few years ago. Another may be a carrier who never joined just to save a few dollars. Lastly, you may have a carrier who complains a lot. He belongs to the NALC, but never seems to be happy. He is constantly bitching and moaning about what the union did or did not do. These carriers do not understand how important unions are to the workforce. These are the same people who get in trouble and come running; the union is alright with them, then!
The high standard of training our stewards is the reason we are at 95% membership level, but we should be at 100%.

Those members who bad mouth the union typically suffer from a related disease and that disease is called selfishness. These carriers are the ones who go to management and complain about what other carriers are doing, especially when they are caught doing something illegal.

One non-member complained to me that the reason the union asked for money is because the union has a political agenda outside of postal issues. WRONG! The postal service is going through many changes. The mail volume is decreasing rapidly and we are losing billions in revenue; we (the union) must be involved. Carriers must understand that the NALC is concerned about issues that may affect their job security. The NALC is issue-oriented, not candidate or party-oriented. Carriers must understand what the union stands for and have a real sense of union pride and tradition.

I don’t remember non-members returning their COLA’s. We have a solid contract that expires in 2016. We enforce the contract, protect the rights of our members, receive COLA increases, health benefits, pay increases and maintain job security. What more can we offer?

As for the non-members and members who badmouth the union, learn to isolate them. Don’t let them poison your minds. Peer pressure is the key to isolating the negativity of the anti-union people. There is nothing more satisfying and effective in fighting that kind of talk than simply outnumbering them with members who are happy with their union.

Outlook May / June 2014
Be Aware
Summertime is here, enjoy every moment you are on vacation because every carrier has earned and worked hard for their time. But keep in mind, summertime is also when management is at their all-time high when it comes to “Bullying”. We already work in a high stress, high demand workplace environment.

Recently, without proper training, management converted former 204B’s into supervisors, even though their only main qualifications were kissing upper management behinds. In addition, management is using CCA’s who have minimal knowledge of postal operations and are not trained to complete all functions of an operational supervisor as 204B’s, when critical management positions covered by are unqualified. Incompetent individuals become very dangerous.

Case in point – I was notified that a supervisor ordered a CCA to go find a fellow CCA whose postal truck broke down and ordered both CCA’s to push the postal truck back to the station. Again, the supervisor ordered the two CCA’s to push, not drive, the truck back to the station. When the CCA’s refused citing, Safety and Health Policy, the supervisor was very irate and sent both CCA’s home and promised to fire them for “insubordination”. This situation is currently being investigated. As always, management will try to push you to do 10 hours in 8 hours or 12 hours in 10 hours. You must fight back to stop the bullying by: filling out form 3996, calling the station if you are unable to finish on time (yes, I know management never answers the telephones), using your cellphone (for recording purposes), communicating with your shop stewards, filing grievances when necessary, supporting your fellow carriers when they are being abused by management. Write a statement in support of your fellow carrier. Finally, call the Branch, we will be there for you. Management must learn that dignity and respect brings out the best in everyon

I would like to recognize three letter carriers who did one amazing job, training and preparing the CCA’s to join our workforce: Daphne Cain, a shop steward at Grand Central; Donna Paul-Roper, a shop steward at Peter Stuyvesant; and Lisa Pizarro, a carrier at Parkchester. They are instructors at the Letter Carrier Academy and take their jobs extremely seriously and make it their personal business to teach and educate the CCA’s to the fullest. Keep up the great work!

Have a great summer!

Outlook March / April 2014
Just Talking Again
At the General Membership Meetings and the Shop Steward Meetings I always discuss the constant movement of active carriers and the retirees. We need to be notified when there is a change of address as soon as possible. The NALC in Washington depends upon us to give them the correct addresses.

We also have many CCA’s transferring to Branch 36 from other branches. We need to be notified and have the CCA’s fill out a Form 1187 so we can have their general information and keep the new CCA’s abreast on the subjects of Branch 36 functions and literature.

Again, the Comedy Show was a huge success. Mike Perdomo opened the show with four young men singing. The group was led by a CCA from Hellgate Station named Charles Edwards. The four were awesome. Thereafter, a newcomer by the name of “Big Baby” in his first appearance as a comedian, started the comedy entertainment. The host, Ruerto Underpool, brought a group of all-star comedians to entertain. This was the best comedy show we’ve ever had. As always, more than 100 people attended the show. However, the show would never be a success without the Branch 36 volunteers whom we can always depend upon. The volunteers were: Millie Perdomo, Helen Amill, Tayre Vega, Karla Navas, Mike Kelly and Jerome Jackson. The next show will be presented in October, 2014.

President Charlie Heege assigned Pat McNally and myself to join management, Postmaster Elvin Mercado and the five Manhattan Area Managers, in a joint CCA Training (Manhattan CCA’s) to discuss concerns and customer expectations. For example, no notice should be left in a customer mailbox without an attempt being made. If you do so, you may be disciplined or receive a write-up. This joint CCA training is scheduled for eight weeks. Our first meeting was held on Thursday, March 27th. The meeting went well and many of the CCA’s expressed concerns they had and management indicated they will address many of the concerns. I will provide more information in the next Outlook.

Outlook January / February 2014
Now that 2014 is here, management will hopefully recognize who is the backbone of the Postal Service. I would normally say, I hope you enjoyed your holidays, but I know that all letter carriers and other crafts busted their behinds throughout the holidays to make sure that the service was successful and that our customers enjoyed and had a wonderful holiday. We are not like other companies who couldn’t take the heat or cold and failed to deliver on time, disappointing many, especially the kids. But like always, “We delivered.”
I read an article where management has a wishlist for themselves:
1. Real Dignity and Respect - Regardless of titles, no mention of craft employees.
2. Civility toward each other - Stop condescending discussions toward anyone. I agree.
3. Excessive Corrective Action - Toward EAS employees prevent loyalty and successful team building. But screw the craft employees!
4. DOIS - Parcels Credit? This indicates that presently DOIS does not give credit to the residential carriers for delivering packages.
5. Amazon - Sunday and Holiday delivery. Who is running this company? Obviously not Management. This is a company who is helping the Postal Service get back on track and Management is having a problem with it because they don’t want to work on Sunday and holidays. Well, “SCREW YOU.” To paraphrase management, if you don’t like it get another job.

Finally, this is something I read in the Daily News on Friday, December 27, 2013. If you did not read it, I would like to share this with you:

Twas the day of Xmas, and all on the news, the anchors were crying and singing the blues about presents sent to be enjoyed Xmas Day that would not make it on time, there had been a delay. The delivery companies were destined to fail, but what was not mentioned was the success of the snail. Xmas Eve, every year, is a marvelous sight as Postal Mail handlers and clerks toil into the night making ready the mail bundles of toys to be delivered Xmas day to girls and boys. For early that morning in all kinds of weather, postal carriers don shoes of leather and deliver joy to strangers and people they know. They won’t be deterred by the heat, rain or snow. So when you think of postal workers, be of good cheer. Remember, they’ll do it again next year.
Outlook November / December 2013
Just Talking
The shop stewards’ elections are over. Now, the work begins, informing your peers of the current events pertaining to the union. As I said before, a shop steward has many responsibilities that include attending meetings and seminars. The shop steward does not have to be a radical steward nor the loudest. Out of 103 shop stewards, 27 are new stewards. The 27 new stewards have a lot to learn, but the positive thing about these new stewards is that with the exception of 2, each called to be certified within a week of their election to start working as a steward as soon as possible. They were very eager. Much success to each new steward. Now every carrier must support their stewards, whether it is against management or most important, giving to COLCPE, being an E-activist and joining the Carrier Corps. Yes, I know you’ve heard this before, but let’s not fall asleep; the fight is still on for our survival.
As always, the Comedy Show was a huge success. Mike Perdomo and comedian Ruperto Vanderpool put together an excellent show. Over 100 people attended the Comedy Show, but what really makes the Comedy Show successful are the awesome volunteers that Branch 36 always can depend upon. They are: Norrie Amill, Millie Perdomo, Helen Amill, Tayry Vega, Elisabeth Montenegro, Jerome Jackson, David Velazquez, Curtis Jewell and Miguel Amill. The next show will be in February or March, 2014.

My condolences to President Emeritus Frank Orapello’s wife Rosemary and family. I will never forget Frank walking up to me in 1995 when I became a shop steward and personally welcoming me aboard. Frank treated everyone with respect. I will say “Farewell,” but never “Goodbye.”

Outlook September / October 2013
Election of Shop Stewards
By the time the circulation of this issue of the Outlook is delivered to the carriers of Branch 36, the shop steward elections will be over. Hopefully, most of the incumbent shop stewards retained their positions. Branch 36 has an enormous amount of shop stewards who believe in the union and fight for what's right for their membership. Being a shop steward is a tremendous responsibility. Regardless, the officers of Branch 36 will support and help educate all the shop stewards elected.
Qualities That A Shop Steward Should Have:
1. Character
2. Influence
3. Positive attitude
4. Excellent people skills
5. Proven track record
6. Confidence
7. Self-Discipline
8. Effective communications skills

Practice and exhibit these traits and the carriers you represent will respect and follow your lead.

Any carrier who changes his/her craft and is being charged double dues, please call and we will notify the NALC that you are no longer a carrier and to cancel your dues. Also any other craft member who becomes a letter carrier and is having the same problem, please notify us and we will correct the problem.

Remember, carriers who move must notify us and we will notify the NALC of the changes of addresses.

Outlook July / August 2013
Shop Stewards Elections
As you know by now, every three years in October, there are elections to either re-elect or replace the shop steward or stewards.

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2 of the Branch 36 Bylaws, President Charlie Heege has ordered an election of Shop Stewards of Branch 36. The membership is notified that nominations for stewards will be held during the last week in September, and the election will take place during the first week in October.

Here's something to think about. You are a carrier and a union member and you see problems on the workfloor, maybe two or three, but the problems are not management. One is a member who thinks he knows everything, is constantly minding everybody's business and giving the weak carriers who listen to him or her the wrong information and always complaining that he or she is the victim when no one listens to them. Shut them out and make them insignificant. Or a carrier/carriers who are always complaining, don't complete their assignments because they claim they are overburdened with work, then go and complain to management and attempt to get other carriers in trouble. Shut them out and make them insignificant. Lastly, a carrier who is a member but is never happy, always bitching and moaning about what the union does or doesn't do and/or what the shop steward/stewards do or don't do, but never take a moment to reflect about their role or involvement in the union to help fight management's abuse of letter carriers. Shut them out and make them insignificant. These are carriers who don't understand how important unions are for working people. Most of these carriers are constantly in trouble.

Branch 36 has high standards of training for our shop stewards. We have seminars every three months for our stewards. We meet on a monthly basis every last Tuesday of the month with the shop stewards. For every carrier who would like to be educated, we have a General Membership Meeting the second Thursday of every month which we recommend for the shop stewards to also attend. President Charlie Heege emails the shop stewards any changes on a daily basis or when necessary. Branch 36 has all the tools to educate shop stewards. Now the membership when electing a shop steward or stewards must distinguish between the contenders or pretenders. I have seen many carriers criticize their stewards and a few are all talk and no action. Usually management ass kissers become stewards and when the first major problems arise, they put their tails between their legs. Again, whoever you elect will have the position for three years. Will these individuals apply themselves and do the right thing for the carriers, attend all meetings and bring back information to their members? Vote wisely. Enjoy the rest of the summer.

Outlook May / June 2013
Election of Shop Stewards
The time is coming soon (four months) for the election of shop stewards. This is a subject I feel that needs to be addressed and discussed until the shop stewards elections are over. Voting is the responsibility of every carrier who is a union member. Take into account that you are voting for someone who is going to hold this shop steward position for three years. Beware of the pretenders who act like they know everything but in reality, don't know anything and manage to give bad advice to those carriers who listen, then blame the shop steward/or stewards when they get into trouble.
Watch out for individuals who are always criticizing the shop stewards because those are the people who will often go to management to tell on other carriers. Trust me, those carriers don't need to be tortured to run their mouths off to management. Those carriers have their own agendas that include getting perks from management. They just want a paycheck and don't want to work for it, and their bad advice is that carriers think they can pick and choose any steward they want to represent them regardless of what station the steward works out of. WRONG! Unless a carrier gets permission from one of the officers in the Branch, and it has to be a very good reason, (not that you don't like your shop steward) you will be represented by the steward/stewards in your station.

Again, a shop steward has a lot of responsibilities. A shop steward must make every effort to attend seminars in order to educate himself/herself on the subjects of the contract, J-Cam, LMOU, ELMS, manuals and grievance procedures, etc. The carrier who runs for the position of shop steward must believe in the union's causes and also be willing to, and capable of, standing up to management when the rights of his/her brothers and sisters are being violated relating to contract issues, and they are being harassed. To be continued!

Outlook March / April 2013
Fighting Back
Thank you to the membership of Branch 36 for having confidence in our team, especially Mike Kelly as our Director of Education, and reelecting us for the 2013-2016 term in office. Thank you for reelecting me to a third term in office. I enjoy helping every member of Br. 36 and will continue to fight management when it violates the contract and/or harasses letter carriers. We must assist our union by 100%. We are in a fight for our survival. Our very existence is in jeopardy. Now is the time to be fully united and put aside all differences for the greater cause by showing union solidarity.
Every three years in October there are elections to either reelect or replace the shop stewards. All letter carriers who are members should get involved and vote to elect a shop steward and/or stewards to represent the station. Remember, this is not a position to be taken lightly. A shop steward has many responsibilities that include, but are not limited to, attending meetings and seminars. The shop steward does not have to be a radical carrier nor the loudest. They should have the ability to solve problems and get the job done. Shop stewards have to lead by example and by attending meetings and seminars and then going back to their stations and providing their members with information and current issues.

The Delivering for America Rally took place on Sunday, March 24th. The program that President Charlie Heege put together for this rally should be an incentive for many carriers to attend future rallies, especially those carriers who don't take rallies seriously. In attendance there were Congresspeople, Council members, activists, branch presidents, the APWU President, the mailhandlers, the Mailhandler's President, Region 15, George Mignosi, the NALC Vice-President, George Mangold, the NYSALC President, a representative for Senator Gillibrand, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and many more. But the one person who stood out and covered everything that is wrong with postal management and their mismanagement and covered every step was a 13 year old girl who is a community activist from Harlem. Her name is Victoria Pannell. Remember her name. She is a future political leader who everyone will embrace because when she spoke you could feel her passion.

I also would like to say thank you to all of our rally marshalls who did an awesome job of controlling the crowd and helped make the rally a success.

Outlook January / February 2013
Just Talking
As every carrier should know by now, the three person Board of Arbitrators has issued a final and binding award. The term is for four and a half years. I feel the NALC accomplished its goal. In this time and age when unemployment is high and most people are struggling to survive, we received three general wage increases. I know everyone is saying the wage increases are not enough, but understand one thing, we are employed and received seven COLA's (Cost of Living Adjustments) which no other institution has. We also have a new workforce structure. All PTF's will become regulars. CCA's (City Carrier Assistants) will replace the TE's and get preference for career job openings. Regarding job security, we retained the no layoff clause and will not allow management to sub-contract.
As far as health benefits, the NALC plan is still the best the Postal Service has. For those carriers who always criticize the NALC, recently the Postal Service asked their followers for some ideas on how to improve the service and make it more efficient. Here are some of the answers: 1. The six-day service is outdated. Make the transition to three-day delivery, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 2. Regionalize post offices; offer incentives for delivery by volume commission; 3. The U.S. Postal Service needs to offer 90% of its services online only. Physical post offices should focus on government forms, community outreach. Those answers mean we have a lot of work to do. There are people out there who are still trying to dismantle the Postal Service.

As always, remember COLCPE, E-Activist and the Carriers' Corp. Those are our tools and we must utilize them to save our jobs.

I remember the first time I met Vincent Sombrotto. It was at the NALC headquarters in 1998. Branch 36 was at its Annual Congressional Breakfast in Washington, D.C. A few of us decided to have lunch in the lunchroom at the NALC headquarters. Vince walked in and asked if he could join us for lunch. He introduced himself to us as if we didn't know who he was and spoke to us as if we were old friends. We sat there in awe. Do you think the Postmaster wouId have done the same thing? No! After lunch Vince excused himself and explained that he had to leave because he was very busy. We thanked Vince for having lunch with us. That's the kind of man Vince was, to give an accurate idea to those carriers who never had the pleasure of meeting him.
Rest in Peace Vince!

Election Notice
This is a notice of nomination and election of officers of Branch 36. Officers to be elected are President, Executive Vice President, First Vice President/Treasurer, Second Vice President/Financial Secretary, Recording Secretary, Editor of the branch's New York Letter Carriers Outlook, Sergeant-At-Arms, MBA Representative, Director of Retired Members, Director of City Delivery, Director of Compensation, NALC Health Benefits Plan Representative, five members of the Board of Trustees, Director of Education, and Director of Safety and Health. The term of office shall be April 2013 through April 2016.

All nominations shall be submitted to the Recording Secretary no later than the close of the business day on Feb. 11 at union headquarters, Branch 36, Vincent R. Sombrotto Building, 347 West 41st St., New York, NY 10036. No candidate shall be eligible for nomination who is not in good standing at the time of the nominations. No nomination shall contain the name of more than one candidate for the same office. Each nominee must file a written acceptance of his/her nomination with the Recording Secretary by the close of business on Feb. 15.

The installation of officers will be on April 11.

Feedback and SuggestionsSite Map Links