Cardstore Introduces Personalized Greeting Card App for iPhone

August 11, 2012 by · Comments Off
Filed under: postal, postal news 

Create and send perfectly personalized cards directly to someone’s mailbox

Cardstore-Introduces-Personalized-Greeting-Card-App-for-iPhoneCLEVELAND, 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

Congressman Paul Ryan’s Statement On USPS

August 11, 2012 by · 64 Comments
Filed under: politics, postal 

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:

paulryan

Photo credit: The Ed Schultz Show

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.

http://paulryan.house.gov/top5issues/uspsc.htm

APWU Represented Employees who transfer to or are excessed into other crafts could lose layoff protection

August 10, 2012 by · 10 Comments
Filed under: postal, postal news 

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

NALC Statement on USPS Third Quarter 2012 financial statement

August 9, 2012 by · Comments Off
Filed under: postal, postal news, usps 

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.

Postal Inspectors help unravel $7 billion Ponzi scam

August 8, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: postal, postal news 

The Postal Inspection Service’s Mail Fraud Team helped arrest and successfully prosecute the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme ever to go to trial.

R. Allen Stanford, former chairman of the Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, was sentenced to 110 years in prison. The jury also awarded the largest forfeiture judgment ever — $330 million — for a Ponzi scheme. The money will be returned to victims.

Stanford was convicted of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud — illegally soliciting more than $5 billion from approximately 25,000 victims.

Stanford convinced investors to purchase certificates of deposit and then misused most of the money. His victims mailed payments and believed the monthly statements he sent them accurately reflected their investments. Stanford diverted more than $1.6 billion of investor funds for his personal use.

“Stanford’s investors believed their life savings were safe and secure,” said Deputy Chief Inspector Shawn Tiller. “When criminals exploit the mail to perpetrate fraud, it’s our job as Postal Inspectors to bring them to justice.”

The Mail Fraud Team works full time at the Department of Justice and is composed of Postal Inspectors and investigative support analysts. The team works with attorneys to solve the department’s most significant mail fraud cases.

via USPS News Link

New USPS Corporate Call Center Jobs

August 8, 2012 by · 18 Comments
Filed under: APWU 

All Corporate Call Center jobs will be turned over to the APWU bargaining unit by May 11, 2013, under the Clerk Craft Jobs MOU in the CBA (pages 375-376).  They will become part of the bid cluster for the nearest postal installation.  These formerly outsourced duty assignments will be filled with a mix of 70% career and 30% rehabilitation employees. Read more

Postal Worker Wins Over $200,000 In Discrimination/Retaliation Court Case Against USPS

August 4, 2012 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: eeo, postal news, usps 

Correction – Moresi was still employed by USPS during the cited years, so she was paid the difference between EAS 19 and EAS 16

On March 9, 2012, in U S District Court, Western District of Tennessee, Chief Judge Jon McCalla signed an opinion and order stating that the Defendant, former PMG John Potter, through its employee Bobby Mays retaliated against plaintiff (Susan L. Moresi) when it placed her on administrative leave. Accordingly, Ms. Moresi has established discrimination by Defendant in violation of Title VII.  The Court also found that Defendant retaliated against Ms. Moresi through its employee Dennis Nott when it demoted her and reduced her pay.  Read more

House of Representatives Defaults! Skips Town Without Taking Up Postal Reform BIll

August 3, 2012 by · 22 Comments
Filed under: Congress, politics, postal, postal news, postal reform, usps 

From eNAPUS Legislative & Political Bulletin

Although the U.S. Senate was able to approve a consensus measure to provide fiscal relief to the US Postal Service months ago, the House of Representatives dropped the ball and skipped town without considering postal relief legislation.  Just as troubling is that the House Leadership seems to be confused about the definition of “default”, the implication of their inaction and the effect on their constituents.

The House of Representatives, in a dereliction of its obligation to sustain a constitutionally-established governmental service, bolted from the Capitol late Thursday, without addressing the essential needs of the nation’s universal mail service. Based upon an on-the-record conversation between House Majority Leaders Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), it appears that the House Majority will move a bill only when a postal-shutdown is near.

Last week, during a colloquy be-tween the two congressmen, Hoyer asked Cantor when a postal bill would be voted on, so House and Senate conferees could resolve any differences between a House bill and the already-Senate-passed bill (S. 1789).

Hoyer alluded to the narrowly-approved bill reported by the House Oversight and Govern-ment Reform Committee back in October 2011 (H.R. 2309). Finally, Hoyer opined that the USPS is “facing default” in its obligations unless legislation is enacted. (The USPS defaulted on a $5.6 billion retiree health pre-funding payment on August 1.) Cantor responded to Hoyer in three ways: First, he claimed that S. 1789 does not have the support of the majority of the House (i.e., the Republicans). Second, Cantor stated that the GOP Leadership is continuing to work with Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to assure that “there is not an incidence of default.” Finally, Cantor asserted that “the USPS has indicated that there is no risk of default in the short-term.”

In sum, the future of the USPS may be held hostage to legislative demands that could destroy its foundation and eviscerate the communities and customers it serves.

Read full article (PDF)

 

Arbitrator Closes Record in Hearing Regarding Hours Postmasters May Work In Small Offices

August 3, 2012 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: APWU, postal, postal news, Postmasters 

APWU Web News Article 95-2012, Aug. 2, 2012

APWU President Cliff Guffey testifies at an arbitration hearing regarding the number of hours postmasters in small offices may work.
APWU President Cliff Guffey testifies at an arbitration hearing regarding the number of hours postmasters in small offices may work.

Arbitrator Shyam Das has closed the record of an arbitration hearing regarding the number of hours postmasters in small offices may work.

A Memorandum of Understanding in the 2010-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement places strict limits on the number of hours postmasters may work in Level 15, 16, 18 and 20 post offices.

The Memo says, “All time the supervisor or postmaster spends staffing the window during the day will be counted towards the permissible bargaining unit work limits.” Despite this clear language, the USPS is arguing that management must only count “earned time” as described in a unilaterally created work measurement system.

In addition, in spite of language that states that “any office downgraded in level will remain at the bargaining unit work standard that is in place at the beginning of the Agreement,” the management claims an exception for DUO (Delivery Unit Optimization) offices. The union’s grievance on the subject was heard on June 26-27, 2012, but the arbitrator kept the record open for 30 days. Briefs will now be filed and a decision will follow.

California Couple Indicted For Workers’ Comp Fraud And Bankruptcy Fraud

August 3, 2012 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: postal, postal news 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Michael McCree, 60, and his wife Debra Fields, 58, both of Vacaville, were charged today in two separate indictments for fraud, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

McCree was charged with 18 counts of making false statements in order to receive Workers’ Compensation and other compensations and reimbursements. According to the indictment, McCree worked for the U.S. Post Office for six months in 1988 and 1989 before filing a workers’ compensation claim for an alleged back injury. Since 1989, the Department of Labor has been paying McCree monthly wage loss compensation and reimbursements for medical-related travel. From January 2007 through June 2012, McCree received more than $120,000 in reimbursements for travel, but according to court documents, he did not travel to the location listed and did not receive medical treatment. Read more

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