December 2016 Station Notes

MERIDEN

It’s that time of the year once again when darkness falls earlier and mail volume raises along with an increase in parcels. When putting our priorities in order to deal with these issues we need to remember, Safety First!

Meriden welcomes our newest CCAs Billy Marlowe, Amanda Plummer, Sergio Parker and Dezhong Deng. They all have adjusted well to their jobs as letter carriers as are doing a great job. With these four new additions Meriden now has nine CCAs. And speaking of CCAs we extend our congratulations to Yanique on her promotion to full-time regular carrier effective November 12th.

OIC John Burrell and Supervisor Mike Ramano have left the building and we welcome our new OIC Lisa and supervisor Tyrell and look forward to working with them jointly to ensure that carriers and managers continue to treat each other with the dignity and respect necessary for a productive office.

We extend to Pete Fornaciari and Mark Bruzas congratulations on their recent retirement and wish them a long and healthy retirement.

Best wishes to all Branch 20 members and their families for a happy holiday and a healthy New Year.

Bob Ponzio

MYSTIC-PAWCATUCK-GROTON-NEW LONDON

HELP WANTED! Applicants should be energetic, enthusiastic, and have some semblance of a work ethic. The revolving door of newly hired CCA’s continues. A large amount of postal dollars and Union time and resources have been wasted this year on the training of new CCAs who within a week find the job to be either “too hard” or “not fun”. There is also the perception that when one office is in charge of hiring for the entire region, the CCAs who seem to be the most qualified somehow stay in that particular office while the rest get doled out to the remaining offices. I am a firm believer that having the union involved in the interviewing and hiring process would be beneficial to both sides. We know the job and what it entails and know it is in our best interest to assist in keeping the service in the black. Wasted funds tie our hands at the negotiating tables. To the handful of new CCAs who have stuck it out so far I do thank you for the effort you have put in and look forward to working next to you for years to come.

The most bizarre election season in history has come to an end and it did not turn out well for letter carriers and our families. Washington is now controlled by those whose top priority is dismantling unions and implementing “right to work” legislation. I have total faith that our national officers will attempt to work with the new administration in the areas affecting us as a collective whole and will fight until the end for us, however, that will not be an easy task. We need members to assist in the fight. I urge everyone to become an e-activist and to donate to the Letter Carrier Political Fund. Five dollars per paycheck won’t be noticed on your end, but will go a long way towards helping to elect pro-letter carrier congress members in the future. Feel free to contact me for assistance in signing up.

One area that not all carriers are fully aware of is how the grievance-arbitration procedure works so I would like to address that here. There have been a number of occasions when I have received a phone call from a carrier saying “(this) happened and I want to file a grievance.” Filing a grievance is a 4-step process. Step 1 is an investigation to see if a violation actually occurred. Step 2 is an informal discussion with the supervisor to attempt to resolve the issue. Step 3 is a formal meeting with the postmaster to try and resolve the matter. And then an appeal to the Dispute Resolution team if all else fails is the fourth step locally. The primary solution we wish to achieve is “cease and desist”. “You’re doing something that the contract says you can’t do, so stop doing it”. Article 15.2 of the contract gives management and the union the right to resolve issues at the local level. Section 115.3.c of the M-39 handbook states that management “has the RESPONSIBILITY to resolve as many problems as possible BEFORE they become grievances.” Many of the issues brought to my attention have been resolved (ceased) through discussion and any discipline issued has either been resolved or is still going through the system. The tricky part about representing several offices, though, is not being able to observe what happens everywhere every day. So if you feel certain violations are still occurring then let me know and I can push further for escalated awards. Just remember that grievances must be initiated within 14 days of the event so a phone call tomorrow to tell me what happened on Halloween won’t do any good.

On a happier note, Chuck Watson from our Pawcatuck office retired after 33 years of dedicated service. I would like to congratulate him and wish him many years of health and happiness. I’m sure Aderson Liranzo would like to thank him as well. Aderson was converted from CCA to regular on October 1st. Congratulations.

In closing I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and most of all SAFE holiday season. The workload gets heavier and the days get shorter. Please be careful on the roads, especially when the bad weather starts to affect our daily routine. Work safely, we want you to leave work the same way you arrived.

Charlie Pendola

NORWICH

There has been so much change in the management team in Norwich this year it is difficult to determine who’s on first. Since April of this year we have seen at least nine different supervisors and/or managers come and go. With each change Letter Carriers have to deal with many different styles of managing. The Union has to start over and over again trying to explain the proper way the daily schedule should work, the way leave is authorized under the local agreement, the was the holiday schedule pecking order works and how to schedule overtime so that it is fair and equitable in accordance with the National Agreement Article 8. In spite of all that the carriers continue to do what we do best and that is to deliver the mail to our customers professionally with honor and pride.

As we deal with a new President who is not fond of unions we will have to wait and see what the great actor has in store for us and America. Till then enjoy the Holidays with family and friends and have a great New Year!

June Ruszala-Martin

STORRS

Hello brothers and sisters from Storrs out near the UConn campus. We have gone through some changes here in Storrs in the last few months adding the first and only Amazon store in CT. We are averaging fifty packages a day for drop off that will jump to over one hundred packages following the first semester at UConn.

We send well wishes to Leon Chaine for a quick rehabilitation. Also a reminder to all to work safely in the coming winter weather.

Have a happy holiday season and a great New Year!

Keith Polnik

WATERBURY

The recent route adjustment in Zones 2, 6 and 8 in the Main Office came to a successful conclusion despite the rumors and misinformation perpetrated by some individuals regarding the zone 2 route that was eliminated as part of the adjustment. I want to thank President Daniels for his involvement in the process. He spent a great deal of time working with our Stewards and management to ensure everything was done according the wishes of the carriers and by the rules of the contract.

I had the privilege to attend the 70th Biennial Convention of the NALC alongside President Daniels, Treasurer Norm St. Arnauld, HBR Kate Tavernier and Secretary June Ruszala Martin. This year’s convention was hosted by Los Angeles Branch 24. Many issues were discussed including bringing back Postal Banking, 7 day delivery, the annual Food Drive, that netted 80 million pounds nationwide this year alone, and our Union’s partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy that has raised over one hundred million dollars and going strong. The convention was a great success.

We welcome our new CCAs Sarah Rouillard, Joseph Ferrante and Michael Gekas to the great City of Waterbury. We now have a compliment of about twenty CCAs. At the time of this report an unconfirmed source reports that CCA Brian Frenecz was promoted effective last Saturday, November 12th. Congratulations Brian if indeed you were promoted.

We continue to have great success in the few grievances that were filed citywide. Our current management is now more devoted to resolving most of our differences/grievances locally before resulting to an actual grievance.

Two of our recent retirees were honored at this year’s breakfast that was well attended by the brothers and sisters from Waterbury as well as throughout the branch. We once again would like to congratulate Brother Kennedy and John Samoska and wish them the best in their next endeavors.

Thankfully another year is coming to conclusion, however with our luck the weather is probably going to be colder because of the milder summer. I would like to advise us all to be reasonable with each other. ‘Do unto others what you would like to be done to you’.

Happy holidays to everyone and please, do not drink and drive. This is wishing everyone a safe and healthy 2017.

David Adeyemi

WATERFORD

Welcome to our three newest CCAs including Sean Monaghan, Kathy Speed and Crystal Haynes. We wish good luck to CCA Daniel Cordero who transferred to New London in an effort to secure more work hours and perhaps make full-time regular more quickly.

We offer congratulations and best wishes to Brother Rich Moran upon his retirement that was effective October 28, 2016. I personally wish to thank him and wish him good luck for all the help, advice and assistance he has provided me throughout the years.

On a sad note, Brother Roger Godin passed away unexpectedly only a few months following his recent retirement and we offer our condolences to his family. Rest in peace Roger.

Package delivery continues to grow and with the winter rapidly approaching you need to pay extra attention when walking to make those deliveries. Make sure the area you are walking with a parcel in is safe and you can see clearly to avoid any trips or falls.

Happy Holidays to all and be safe out there.

Gary Amidon

WILLIMANTIC

Welcome back to Linda Udal who has been out on an extended absence. We have all missed you and wish you well for your continued healing.

Congratulations to Richard Hosford who was recently promoted to full-time regular on route 8.

A reminder to check out the NALC Health Benefit Plan during open season from November 14th through December 12, 2016. The Plan has competitive premiums, excellent benefits and is a Plan designed for letter carriers and their families.

Wishing you all the best Holiday Season full of wonder, joy and love.

Kate Tavernier

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NALC CT Merged Branch 20 represents 655 active and 360 retired City Letter Carriers in the following Connecticut Post Offices:

Colchester • Cromwell • Danielson • East Hampton • Groton • Jewett City • Meriden • Middletown • Mystic • Moosup • New London • New Milford • Norwich • Old Saybrook • Pawcatucket • Plantsville • Portland • Prospect • Southington • Storrs • Taftville • Thomaston • Torrington • Uncasville • Vernon • Waterbury • Wolcott • Waterford • Watertown/Oakville • Willimantic