Chartered 1889, Serving the Bronx and Manhattan




Charlie Heege


President

Email available here


No Need to Panic


Yes, the Empire Branch 36 Credit Union is merging with a larger credit union. No one likes change, but this is a blessing in disguise and there is no need to panic.
This merger was ordered by the New York State Banking Department that deals with credit unions. The banking department determined there was little or no growth in our credit union. We were on the right track until the pandemic hit, but the banking department didn’t have time for excuses. The choice was either liquidate or merge. No one’s money is at risk. Your shares (savings) are guaranteed up to $250,000.00 per person, the same as a regular bank.
We have received many calls from carriers who say they will be withdrawing their shares before the merge takes place. My advice to them is to wait and see. You will be pleasantly surprised about the additional benefits you will have from a larger credit union with assets of $54 million. Our credit union had $4 million in assets.
The biggest inconvenience that I can see is that we won’t have a credit union in our union building. It is true that the new credit union’s main office is in Rockland County, NY. It is a part of Shared Branching with 5400 shared branches throughout the US, which can be utilized for withdrawals, deposits and loan payments. You can go on their website or use their mobile app to check for the nearest location whether at home, work or vacation. These shared branches deal with cash and checks for withdrawals and deposits.
The credit union’s new name will be Rockland Employees Federal Credit Union. The website is www.refcu.org. Their direct phone number is 845-371- 3411. Credit union members who usually call for withdrawals may continue to do so at the same 212 number and the fax is remaining the same as well. Those members who use their credit union debit card may continue to do so.
Applying for loans can be done at the Rockland office or online. Loan applications are not done at the shared branch network. The new credit union will also offer car loans and mortgages, as well as personal (holiday & vacation) and debt consolidation loans.
Retirees and active carriers who have direct deposit with the credit union will remain unchanged. The new credit union will update the routing number and account numbers with OPM and or the Postal Service. Our credit union wanted to send all members a letter back in June, but the New York Banking Department advised them not to do it until it was approved by New York State Department of Financial Services. The approval was given on July 28, 2021. I was informed that a letter will be included in the July/August credit union statement envelopes.
Please don’t panic with the news of this merger. I suggest that you give it a wait and see, but it is your money and only you can decide what to do with it.

2021 NALC Food Drive


A huge THANK YOU goes out to all who participated in this year’s hybrid NALC Food Drive. A special great big THANK YOU goes to our co-chairs Tayry Vega of Audubon Station and Melinda Hammond of Williamsbridge Station. This year cash donations and T-shirt sales were mainly responsible for the food drive’s success. I am so happy to report that we did even better than last year’s record-breaking donation total. This year, we were able to donate $23.015.00 to City Harvest NYC, with many thanks to all of you. City Harvest is a network of food banks and pantries. Our donation will be used in the Bronx and Manhattan.

MDA Donations


We asked members to donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association through our social media pages and the response has been quite promising. We have had many individual and station collections to meet this challenge. We have donated over the last four months a total so far of $3,300.00. Many thanks to all of you. Keep it coming! Having a child with Muscular Dystrophy is a 24 /7 commitment for parents and caregivers. They do it out of love, but at the same time they also deserve a break. One way we can give the parents a break is by sending the kids to camp each summer for a week. This is where the donations come in. The kids have a great time at camp and all their needs are taken care of by heroic volunteers. The parents get a week off to relax. Please keep sending in those donations for MDA. Thanks again for making a difference in a child’s life.

Congratulations


Congratulations to our four 2021 Branch 36 Scholarship Recipients: Alexandra Andrade (daughter of Carrier William Andrade of Cooper Station); Will Chen (son of Carrier Haiwen Chen of Madison Square Station); Victoria Guerra (daughter of Carrier Guillermo Guerra of Lenox Hill Main Station); and Allison Moy (daughter of Carrier Lap Moy of Knickerbocker Station). You have made us all proud. On behalf of Branch 36, we wish you all the best of luck in your future endeavors. The Scholarship Recipient’s photos are on the front cover of this issue.
Congratulations to Branch 36’s 16 PTFs who converted to Regular Status on July 31st, and Branch 36 CCAs converted to PTFs in July. Conversions of CCAs to PTFs are continuing into August and beyond. I ask all Shop Stewards to make sure that all residual vacancies get posted so we can have even more PTFs converted to Regular status.




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