August 16, 2012) As announced at the 2012 NPMHU National Convention last week, after the parties were done striking names from a list provided by the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, FMCS Director George Cohen has appointed Herbert Fishgold as the arbitrator for the NPMHU/USPS bargaining dispute. Mr. Fishgold is an arbitrator of nationwide reputation and professional stature, who is also a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators. Indeed, Mr. Fishgold has served as a third-party neutral for more than thirty years, during which time he has mediated and arbitrated bargaining disputes in a wide range of industries at the national, state, and local levels.
Arbitrator Fishgold is generally familiar with many of the basic facts and issues presented by the Postal Service, the mailing industry, and postal employees generally – based on, among other things, his service as an interest arbitrator in the 2006 dispute between the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the Postal Service. And, Fishgold most recently served as the mediator in the last stage of the process to try and settle the NPMHU/USPS impasse.
The parties must now each select one additional member to serve on the three-person arbitration panel, and that process should be concluded shortly.
As the arbitration moves forward, the National Office will keep you updated, to the extent possible, during what is expected to be a lengthy arbitration process.
The War of 1812: USS Constitution stamps also commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
The first-day-of-issue ceremony will be at the Charleston Navy Yard in Boston, MA. The event will be open to the public and will take place next to the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides.”
Starting Aug. 18, the new War of 1812: USS Constitution stamps can be purchased at Post Offices nationwide, online at usps.com/store and by phone at 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724).
In 1955, Former PMG Arthur E. Summerfield authorized the first emblem patch for uniforms worn by letter carriers. Employees were not required to wear them until 1957.
The original emblems were 3-inch circular patches with a backward (facing right) horse and rider that were worn on the left sleeves of shirts and coats.
The direction of the horse and rider was flipped to face forward in early 1965. The center background was changed to blue.
The eagle “seal” was adopted following passage of the Postal Reorganization Act in 1970 — the law that created USPS as an independent establishment of the government’s executive branch. That same year, the 3-inch circular uniform patch was replaced by a 3 1/2-inch square one that featured an eagle facing left atop a red bar over the words “U.S. MAIL” and a blue bar underneath.
In 1990, the patch was redesigned to feature a blue eagle facing right atop a red bar, over the words “U.S. MAIL.”
In 1995, USPS adopted a corporate logo that included the “sonic eagle” — often described as an eagle’s head and beak leaning into the wind. The same year, USPS introduced a new patch, square-shaped and canted slightly to the right to simulate the impression of movement. Embroidered in black were the words “UNITED STATES” underlined by a thin red line and followed by the words “POSTAL SERVICE.”
The 1995 patch still is in use today.
‘Moving in the right direction’
In his latest video, PMG Pat Donahoe describes the positive steps employees are taking to address the quarter 3 (Q3) operating loss and move the Postal Service forward.
The PMG notes that in Q3 employees received the highest service performance scores ever for First-Class Mail, both single-piece and commercial, and for Standard Mail, Periodicals and packages.
“When you take a look at what’s actually being measured and reported, we’re talking about 6 billion pieces of mail that have an end-to-end score,” says Donahoe.
DPMG Ron Stroman is helping see this strong performance carries over to customer service during his visits to facilities throughout the country. “Ron is leading the charge to work on the whole customer experience issue,” says Donahoe. “I think that we’ll be making some big strides.”
Service performance will be particularly important in the coming months as USPS continues to grow its package business — where it already has made excellent strides. USPS also will be handling election season mail and has set a goal of generating a half-billion dollars in revenue from Election and Political Campaign mail. “That’s nearly 50 percent growth over where we were last time,” he says.
Donahoe thanks employees for achieving the all-time high service scores in Q3. “Keep up the great work,” he encourages employees. “Keep serving the customers well.”
source: USPS News Link
Aug. 13, 2012
U.S. Postal Service Offers Proven Direct Mail Tips to Edge Out the Competition
WASHINGTON – Political campaign marketers and managers will find that if used properly, direct mail can be one of the most cost-effective and targeted tools to reach potential voters. And, just in time for the peak election mail season, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing some helpful pointers for customers to maximize the effectiveness of direct mail during a political campaign: Read more
IOWA CITY, Iowa, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — TMone announced today it has been awarded a contract with renewal options through 2023 by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to provide Inside Sales Services and Small to Medium Business Customer Acquisition strategies.
TMone is tasked at targeting new customers for the Postal Service and bringing them through the Every Door Direct Mail process.
– Accelerate speed to new sales, revenue growth, and Return on Investment (ROI) with regards to the Every Door Direct Mail service;
– Develop methods for lead generation with regard to the Every Door Direct Mail service;
– Improve Customer Experience Measurement (CEM) scores with regards to new small and medium sized businesses;
– Validate and/or support the Postal Service’s concept of an Inside Sales program;
– Adjust and refine the strategy and design of the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Inside Sales program to enhance and improve overall program performance and augment the optional full Inside Sales program deployment phase for expanding product coverage and capacity. Read more
Create and send perfectly personalized cards directly to someone’s mailbox
CLEVELAND, Aug. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Finding the perfect time and place to personalize and send a real greeting card just became easier through the convenient Cardstore Mobile app for iPhone and iPad. Cardstore, the popular “perfectly personalized” greeting card website from the American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM) family of brands, has now added a mobile app to its list of card sending options.
Developed by the team at American Greetings who launched the innovative justWink app, which has already achieved more than a million downloads in its first year, the Cardstore Mobile app provides consumers with the ability to select from nearly one hundred card designs, personalize, and send the perfect message straight from the heart to the recipient’s real mailbox. Since being released about one month ago, the app has already received top-notch ratings and reviews from consumers. The free app can be easily downloaded on Cardstore.com or through the iTunes App store. There are plans to release the app to Android users later this year.
Along with the ability to choose between card designs from favorite artists, the new app offers great personalization features such as adding signatures and photos to cards as well as Facebook-powered birthday reminders. Cards cost $2.99 each and the personalized card creation will then brighten a lucky recipient’s mailbox within 3-5 business days (7-15 days internationally). Read more
Paul Ryan has been selected as Mitt Romney’s running mate in the upcoming election. Paul Davis Ryan is the U.S. Representative for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, serving since 1999. He is a member of the Republican Party, and has been ranked among the party’s most influential voices on economic policy. Wikipedia
Here is what Ryan had to say about USPS:
Since 1971, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been a self-supporting wholly governmental entity that was designed to cover its operating expenses with revenues generated through the sales of postage and related products. However, the sharp decline in first class mail since 2006 and the loss of the associated revenues coupled with high operating expenses has left the USPS in a difficult financial position. In the first three quarters of this year, the USPS has run a deficit of $5.7 billion and is not expected to be able to make the mandatory $5.5 billion Retiree Health Benefits Fund payment by November 18, 2011. With declining revenues and increased expenses, it is imperative that Congress take action to address and reform the structural issues threatening to bankrupt this important agency.
At this point in the 112th Congress, a variety of Committee hearings, have resulted in a number of bills designed to address the financial problems facing the USPS. Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is charged with oversight of the USPS, introduced H.R. 2309, Postal Reform Act of 2011, on June 23, 2011. The bill would create the Postal Service Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority, which would have a broad mandate to restructure the Postal Service and reduce costs in order to bring the institution back to fiscal solvency when the Postal Service goes into default to the Federal government. The Authority will be disbanded once the United States Postal Service (USPS) meets several benchmarks that ensure financial health.
The Postal Reform Act of 2011 also empanels a separate body, the Commission on Postal Reorganization (CPR), to review postal infrastructure and recommend closures and consolidations to Congress that will ultimately save the Postal at least $2 billion a year. If Congress does not reject the CPR’s recommendations, they become law. The legislation will also remove several legal hurdles that the USPS currently faces when it comes to reducing costs, including allowing financially unsustainable retail postal facilities to be closed.
H.R. 1351, the United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011, was introduced by Representative Stephen Lynch on April 4, 2011. This bill would amend the method of calculating the amount of any Postal surplus or supplemental liability under the Civil Service Retirement System. Many supporters of this bill argue that the USPS has overpaid into the Civil Service Retirement Fund; however, this claim is based on a hypothetical formula for determining the share of retiree benefits that was never actually agreed to. The USPS claims that, if this formula had been used instead of the current formula which they agreed to in 1974, the US Treasury would owe $50-75 billion to the USPS due to overpayments made toward retiree benefits. Since this formula was never agreed to and the USPS has operated under a different formula since 1974, there was no overpayment made by the USPS.
The USPS is a proud institution that provides vital services and employs thousands of hard-working Americans. Any efforts to reform the USPS must ensure solvency for the agency and the benefits of its retirees, and must modernize its structure in order to adapt to 21st century communications practices.
APWU Represented Employees who transfer to or are excessed into other crafts could lose layoff protection
Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg ruled [PDF] on Aug. 1 that employees represented by the APWU who transfer to or are excessed into non-APWU crafts may not carry the protection against layoffs they have earned under the APWU Collective Bargaining Agreement to their new crafts. Career employees in all crafts currently earn lifetime protection against layoffs after six years of “continuous service,” but all career employees represented by the APWU enjoy protection against layoffs, regardless of their length of service — provided they were on the rolls as of Nov. 21, 2010.
The dispute arose after the APWU and USPS concluded negotiations on the 2006-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement, which included a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that extended protection against layoffs to regular workforce employees — including those with less than six continuous years of service — provided they were on the rolls as of Nov. 20, 2006. The APWU negotiated a similar MOU during bargaining for the 2010-2015 contract, extending protection for the life of the contract to career employees who were on the rolls as of Nov. 21, 2010.
In the case before Arbitrator Goldberg, the APWU argued that the APWU’s protections should continue to apply to APWU-represented employees if they are reassigned to the Letter Carrier or Mail Handler Crafts. Read more
August 9, 2012 — Today’s figures reflect the congressional role in the Postal Service’s red ink and the need for Congress to address the damage it has done. The USPS reported that $3.1 billion of the $5.2 billion loss resulted from the 2006 congressional mandate that the Postal Service – alone among all agencies and companies – pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years into the future. In the first three quarters of this fiscal year, that mandate accounts for $9.3 billion of the $11.7 billion in USPS red ink, or 80 percent.
Overall, since pre-funding went into effect in 2007, it accounts for 83 percent of the Postal Service’s losses. That means that only 17 percent of all the red ink stems from actual mail operations, including the decline in first-class mail.
The irony of Congress continuing to insist on pre-funding is that the Postal Service already has $45 billion in its future retiree health benefits fund, more than any company in America and enough for decades into the future.
The positive aspects to today’s USPS report are the continuing sharp rises in revenue from package deliveries associated with Internet orders and also in productivity. If Congress would step up and fix the pre-funding mess it created, then the Postal Service could focus on developing a business plan for the future that would meet the challenges of an evolving society while taking advantage of opportunities such as e-commerce. Degrading services and dismantling the universal network are not a business plan.