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September 18, 2018 - Joe Rodgers

Welcome back from summer vacation. I hope everyone had an opportunity to spend some relaxing moments away from the job, with loved ones, enjoying the company of family and friends. It is those memories that you will cherish forever and memories you will undoubtedly hold onto the longest.

I write this article shortly after an incredible weekend in which America celebrated several monumental events; the funeral of Senator John McCain, Aretha Franklin, and the observance of the Labor Day Holiday. These events, paid tribute to the values we cherish as citizens……honor, courage, justice, equality, tolerance and hard work. I want to thank the 25 branch members, who despite the extreme heat, sacrificed their time to walk in the Labor Day parade. Your commitment to our struggle, your willingness to always show-up, is admired, respected and valued. Thank you!

In transitioning, I need to bring you up-to-date on a few items that occurred over the summer recess. The NALC held its 71stBiennial Convention in Detroit. Thirty delegates from branch 157 make the trek to the Motor City. I hope all the delegates found the event educational as well as inspirational. In speaking with attendees, they all enjoyed the trip. Thank you for taking the time and effort to be a part of this exhibition of solidarity.

On August 4, 2018, the Postal Service approved the promotions of 21 city carrier assistants (CCAs) in the Philadelphia cluster. Shortly thereafter, the NALC and the Postal Service settled a national level grievance concerning city carrier assistant conversion to regular status. This settlement requires that all city carrier assistants in any size office with 30 months of relative standing on September 1, 2018 will be converted to career status within 60 days from the signing of the agreement on July 27, 2018. CCAs meeting this criterion in 200-man year offices or larger will promoted to full-time regular, and CCAs meeting the criteria in all other offices will be converted to part-time flexible. In Philadelphia another 10 CCAs were converted to regular.

The officers and members of branch 157 join in congratulating those CCAs recently promoted. We wish you all the best and hope to see you at our general membership meetings held every third Tuesday of the month at 8:00PM.

In other news, the latest group of route inspections resulted in the establishment of 14 new full-time positions. 11 positions have been added to the truck routes at the Paschall station. 3 additional positions were added to the collection and relay routes in zones, 2, 3, and 4. I want to send a special shout out to the employees who performed their jobs in a professional manner during the route exams resulting in the new positions just mentioned. Thank you, great job and keep up the good work!

I believe I have shared those events that were the most important this past summer. Looking forward we have a lot of work to get done over the next several months. The mid-term national elections in November are without a doubt the most important elections to take place, ever. I am asking all of you to participate in the process. Your officers cannot do it alone. We need all of you! Now is not the time for complacency. There is too much at risk for our great country. "Remember in November-VOTE!"

Our next publication of the Quaker City Carrier will emphasize, in more dramatic fashion, the mid-term elections and its importance not only to letter carriers but to our democracy itself.

In closing, I mentioned watching the funeral of John McCain. In fact, I watched the entire funeral not once but twice. There was one line that was spoken by former president, Barrack Obama. It was a quote from Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls." The passage is as follows and I offer this to you knowing that the upcoming elections in November are so vital that words cannot do justice. The quote is: "Today is one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that will come, can depend on what you do today."

We will see you at the general membership meeting on September 18th.