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  No. 04-18  August 20, 2004       
 
 
  Labor Day Message from
President William H. Young
   

Brothers and Sisters:

Initially my thoughts go to the thousands of letter carriers in Florida and along the Atlantic Coast who braved extremely difficult conditions and often personal hardship brought on by Hurricane Charley to fulfill a proud tradition of quickly restoring mail delivery to damaged cities and towns and thereby renewing a bit of stability to shattered lives. On this Labor Day, we all should honor these brothers and sisters for their dedication.

There are also other concerns on the minds of letter carriers and their families.

These include the continual threat of terrorism that faces our country, and specifically the vulnerability of letter carriers every day as they go out on their routes and the impact any such act could have on the Postal Service. Another is that of meaningful postal reform, a legislative goal of the NALC that currently depends on the whims of congressional agenda setters. Importantly, there are the presidential and congressional elections on November 2.

Just a few days before Labor Day – on Thursday, September 2 – NALC members will join their colleagues from other AFL-CIO unions in precinct walks in 16 battleground states in this fall's elections: Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. They will knock on doors of a million homes to make sure union members know what's at stake for working families in this year's presidential election.

I strongly urge NALC members in any of these battleground states to contact their branch AFL-CIO/Labor 2004 coordinator or branch president and see how you can personally be involved in this great educational effort on September 2.

The upcoming elections are something in which every single member of this union can directly participate simply by voting. But first you must be registered to vote.

This Labor Day – almost two months ahead of the election – is a good time for every NALC member to check to see he or she is properly registered to vote, and also to make sure that all of your family, friends and relatives also are registered. In most states, there is still time to register to vote for this November's election.

This is one way of observing Labor Day that not only helps our brothers and sisters in the union movement, but helps all Americans who rely on this quadrennial expression of democracy to ensure that the United States remains a beacon of liberty throughout the world.

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  September 15 Ceremony !
  West Florida Letter Carrier
Named ‘Hero of the Year'
  Royal Oak, MI Member Top Humanitarian;
Branch Service Award to Warwick, RI
   
  2004 NALC National Hero Kurt Spaller
 
2004 NALC National Hero
Kurt Spaller


West Coast Florida Branch 1477 letter carrier Kurt E. Spaller
, who repeatedly entered a burning three-story condominium building on his route in Pinellas County to evacuate elderly residents through heavy black smoke, has been chosen NALC National Hero of the Year for 2004 by a panel of independent judges.

NALC President William H. Young will present the National Hero of the Year award to Spaller at a special ceremony September 15 in the nation's capital.

Spaller, 37, was midway through his route on June 21, 2003 when he noticed people pointing to smoke coming from a building at an aged condominium complex. Knowing from his deliveries which units were occupied, he began pounding on doors on the first loor and then went to the third floor to help several elderly people down the stairs. By the time he finished, the heat and flames from the five-alarm fire had singed the hair on his arms and legs.

2004 NALC Humanitarian John Frierson  
2004 NALC Humanitarian
John Frierson
 

He later helped Red Cross officials identify which residents had returned north for the summer or were on vacation.

The union's annual National Humanitarian of the Year award will be presented to John C. Frierson of Royal Oak, Michigan Br. 3126 who donated life-saving bone marrow to a two-year-old leukemia victim and went on to form a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness among minorities about the importance of signing up for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

'Extremely Proud'

In announcing the awards, Young noted that letter carriers regularly contribute much more to their communities than the mail they deliver.

"NALC is extremely proud of these men and women who have continued the time-honored tradition of letter carriers sacrificing their own safety to come to the aid of people in danger along their postal routes," Young said.

Three regional heroes will also be honored at the September 15 event:

Richard Fischer of South Florida Branch 1071 was named Eastern Region Hero for helping to rescue a baby trapped under a car after it crashed into the lobby of the post office in Coral Springs, Florida on May 5, 2003. Fischer and others lifted the mangled vehicle enough for the baby to be freed.

David D. Bartaway of Western Wayne County, Michigan Br. 2184 was named as Central Region Hero for risking his life by jumping into a truck operated by a drug-crazed driver, wrestling for control of the vehicle while being attacked, and diverting its path from people attending the Mid-Summer Festival in Trenton, Michigan on July 9, 2003 until tumbling to the pavement with a broken nose and bones and major lacerations.

Victor R. Soto, a member of NALC Branch 2502 in Las Vegas, Nevada, was named Western Region Hero for saving a little boy from a raging pit bull dog. Hearing screams from the youth while delivering on his route, Soto went to his aid, forcing the canine back and warding off further assault on the severely injured boy. Soto later administered to the youth until paramedics arrived, then returned to his route.

'Carrier Alert' Award

Nevin V. Markel, a member of Colorado Springs, Colorado Br. 204, was selected for the Special Carrier Alert Rescue Award for heeding a call for help by Spanish-speaking patrons at an apartment complex, calling 911, and then following instructions to help a woman who was midway in the process of delivering a baby. Once paramedics arrived and he knew the woman and baby girl were okay, Markel switched back from delivering a baby to delivering mail on his route.

Warwick, Rhode Island Br. 3166 is the Branch Service Award
recipient for a quarter century of support by its member to blood drives of the American Red Cross. The small branch conducts four blood drives each year to provide the "gift of life" and also collects names for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

Judges were Jordan Biscardo, Vice President and AFL-CIO Community Services liaison at United Way of America; Shelby Hallmark, Director, U.S. Labor Department's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, and Montgomery County (MD) Deputy Fire and Rescue Services Chief Phil Guercio.

 

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  Fourth COLA — $624
   

The fourth regular cost-of-living adjustment under the National Agreement will be $624 annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for July announced August 17 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The cost-of-living adjustment, effective the pay period beginning September 4 (pay date September 24), is the fourth of eight regular COLAs included in the 2001-2006 contract. It was based on the increase in the CPI-W between January 2004 and July 2004.

The fourth COLA of $624 annually is equivalent to 30 cents per hour, or $24 per pay period.

The accumulation towards the 2005 retiree COLA stands at 2.6 percent based on the July CPI-W. The 2005 COLA is to be based on the increase in the CPI-W between the third quarter of 2003 and the third quarter of 2004.

The COLA for Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) beneficiaries in the year 2005, determined on the CPI-W from December 2003 to December 2004, stands at 2.8 percent based on the July data.

 

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  Williams and NALC Members
On MDA Labor Day Telethon
   

NALC Executive Vice President Jim Williams and letter carriers from the top NALC branches in last year's Muscular Dystrophy Association drive will appear three times on the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon September 5 and 6, "live" from Los Angeles, to present 2004 NALC pledges and donations to help fight muscular dystrophy.

Letter carriers provided $1,087,253.96 in contributions to the 2003 campaign for research efforts spearheaded by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

NALC President William H. Young, an MDA vice president, urged all members to make a special effort to collect funds for this research.

"I am confident that NALC members will again make our union one of the top organizations in supporting the MDA Labor Day Telethon," Young said. "This telethon finances much of the critical effort to fight muscular dystrophy and letter carriers have always taken special pride in helping those afflicted by this dreadful disease."

The schedule for appearances by Williams, NALC's MDA Coordinator Halline Overby and NALC branch representatives on the Labor Day Telethon is:

NALC APPEARANCE SCHEDULE
AT THE MDA TELETHON
EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME

Monday, September 6

  1:10 AM - 2:00 AM
  9:00 AM - 9:40 AM
  2:35 PM - 3:20 PM
CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME

Monday, September 6

  12:10 AM - 1:00 AM
  8:00 AM - 8:40 AM
  1:35 PM - 2:20 PM
MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME
Sunday, September 5
  11:10 PM - 12:00 AM
Monday, September 6
  7:00 AM - 7:40 AM
  12:35 PM - 1:20 PM
PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME
Sunday, September 5
  10:10 PM - 11:00 PM
Monday, September 6
  6:00 AM - 6:40 AM
  11:35 AM - 12:20 PM
.
 

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  www.postalrelief.com
  Postal Relief Grants Available
To Hurricane Charley Victims
  Active and Retired Employees Eligible for Assistance
   

While letter carriers and the Postal Service moved swiftly to resume normal operations in Florida's Gulf Coast following Hurricane Charley, numerous active and retired carriers and other postal employees in several states face a long haul to rebuild their homes and lives from the damage. The Postal Employees' Relief Fund (PERF) stands ready to help ease the financial burden.

There were no reports of any postal employee being killed or injured from the hurricane which struck Florida and several other Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States.

PERF grants ranging from $2,000 to $35,000 – depending on the out-of-pocket loss incurred – can be applied for by any active postal employee, management or craft, who was on the payroll at the time of the disaster and incurred substantial damage.

In addition, under a recent change in the Fund's Trust Agreement advanced by NALC President William H. Young, individuals who retired from the Postal Service are also eligible for PERF grants. Young serves as one of the Fund's Grantors (Trustees).

The Fund, a tax-exempt charitable organization operated by the Postal Service and its unions and management associations, provides assistance to qualified postal employees who are victims of major natural disasters and fires. Grants for property damage are based on an individual's loss after insurance and other relief payments.

Application forms and eligibility information can be attained on the PERF website: www.postalrelief.com, by calling (202) 408-1869, or writing: Postal Employees' Relief Fund, P.O. Box 34422, Washington, DC 20043-4422.

Branches or individuals interested in assisting can donate to the Fund at the above address, or by designating PERF (CFC #9891) for a donation during the upcoming Combined Federal Campaign.

 

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