Things seem to be getting back to normal; people are out and about in the
streets of New York. I am sure the holidays helped to motivate people to want to
be social and fostered the need to be with other people. This year’s dinner dance
was a great indicator of where people are mentally, as it pertains to being out
and about in public spaces. Hundreds of people showed up, which tells me for
the most part; people are ready to break out and be socially alive once again. We
hope our poker tournament is a prime example of that.
This year’s dance was fantastic; hundreds of people showed up with family
and friends to celebrate Vincent R. Sombrotto Branch 36’s, 45th Annual Dinner
Dance. The event was hosted at Marina Del Rey same as it has been for several
decades. Marina Del Rey did a wonderful job! The décor was lovely and the red,
white and blue balloons provided a much-needed punch to the festive ambiance.
The highlight of my evening came when we celebrated our honorees: Tony
Ortiz, Thomas Nelson, Edwin “Rock” Robertson, Pedro Mack, Sheila Mitchell,
Natan Sheyer and John Rodriguez. All of these individuals are celebrating dual
retirements from the USPS and the NALC, as they ended their work with Branch
36 as well. They all deserve recognition for the hard work they put into the USPS
and the NALC. We are grateful for every ounce of blood, sweat and tears they
invested into helping fellow letter carriers.
In short, everyone enjoyed themselves and is looking forward to next year’s
dance. That sounds like success to me. Thank you to all of our volunteers and
helpful hands. We could not have had such success without all of your help.
Annual leave should be a hot topic by the time this edition makes it to your
home. All CCAs are now included in the annual leave percentages. The first selections which run from December through March should be posted by management
no later than 12/31/21. This portion includes the non-choice selections (mainly).
The second portion should be posted by management on 3/1/22; but no later
than 3/15/22. This portion includes the choice selections (mainly) which run from
late March through Thanksgiving. If there are questions, concerns, or conflicts
do not wait until the last minute to try and resolve them. It’s best to address these
issues before the actual slot or vacation comes up. Contact your steward and or
the branch immediately!
Newly Hired Letter Carriers
New employee retention has been a huge topic lately. The New York District has taken its own initiative to address retention. We’ve extended a hand to
jointly monitor new employees; but they have not officially shown interest in
this issue. Ironically, the rest of the country is asking for the initiative to come
to their districts. The NALC has mentioned the program in various forums. The
district’s version has employees who are within their 60th day of employment
to come back to JAF with upper management to have a conversation with them.
No one is beyond or has passed their probation.
They claim to be looking to correct issues such as:
- In-house station work
- Route/assignment consistency
- Reduced work hours
- Respect and dignity
Lack of or untimely official training such as: in the Carrier Academy or OJI
training. Employee stability was another big topic. They are “hoping” station
management does not send any new employee (90/120 days or less) to a station
outside of their pay location. They are also “hoping” that local management keeps
newer(est) employees on the same route(s) as much as is possible. They also want
to make sure the newer employees are not working beyond 40 hours a week.
Lastly, they want to make sure that supervisors are speaking to all employees,
but especially the newer ones professionally.
I can’t see this district jumping into a joint venture. They aren’t used to us
calling the shots in my opinion and they have not had much success in limiting
the newer employees to 40 hours, keeping them in the same station or being
respectful/professional. That means they’d be in the wrong for the most part, if
this were the criteria in the joint setting. That means we say it has to be this way
instead of that way, and I have a feeling they don’t like when we call the shots.
Earlier, I used the word “hope” when I mentioned upper management’s goals
from local management in their employee retention initiative. I used that word
intentionally because it is my opinion that not much gets done to correct any of
the supervisors or managers when a new employee has been sent to another station, or when a new employee works more than 40 hours. Its business as usual
to them in my opinion which is why I can’t see them asking for the joint venture
in employee retention. They would be at a loss before the venture even began.
Like I said though, I invite them to prove me wrong. That would imply a good
situation coming to fruition.
In conclusion, I would like to wish everyone a great holiday season. I hope
everyone thoroughly enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I look forward to the next year
in great anticipation. We all missed out on fun in the sun in some sort of way due to Covid-19. I thank everyone for all of their efforts and dedication into helping
this branch be successful at representing its members.
I’d like to send some happy, festive and appreciative energy toward Tony
Ortiz. Tony has decided to pack it in and get ready for his next phase in life. Tony
had the opportunity to help and impact the lives of thousands of people, and he
did! I know for sure he helped at least one person a day for plenty of years in a
row. Thank you for all of your help, advice and personal counseling Tony but
mostly, for your work and dedication. Good luck to you in everything you do.
Congratulations to you and your family!