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The Latest Postal News

Monday, March 31, 2008

"Canada Post" Union Busting Alleged

Roughly 170 postal workers suspended five days without pay "...Saskatoon postal workers have been suspended for five days without pay after meeting with their shop stewards during a 10-minute coffee break...."
[Reference: www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/]

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Postal Cocaine Delivery Leads to Arrest

Mailed cocaine lands man a felony charge "...Drugs had been detected in the package by a drug-sniffing police dog. The package was sent from Chicago...."
[Reference: www.hutchinsonleader.com]

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Federal Employee Pay Parity

Federal employees seek pay parity with military "...Both military support organizations and several federal workers unions are pushing for a 3.9 percent raise or higher for both groups..."
[Reference: www.stripes.com]

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WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY

On April 28, the NPMHU and the entire labor movement observes Workers Memorial Day. The day commemorates the anniversary of the enactment of the Occupation Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) over three decades ago.
[Reference: www.npmhu.org]

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Continued Attempts to Reduce Workers’ FMLA Rights

FMLA: Here We Go Again "...require workers to provide more proof of illness; to present such documentation more often; and to relinquish medical information to non-medical personnel. If enacted, the new rules also would allow management personnel to contact workers’ medical providers...."
[Reference: www.apwu.org]

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Audit Identifies USPS Lax in Record Keeping

USPS Audit Reveals Unaccountable Millions "...USPS were unable to make an assurance that any of the $27.6 million in maintenance and repair expenses at facilities were actually used for that purpose. The audit said the lax approach to record keeping by supervisors left the company wide open to fraud..."
[Reference: www.hellmail.co.uk]

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USPS Vacant Address Data Table for Mailers

USPS offers data table file identifying vacant addresses "...In order to help mailers identify vacant addresses, the US Postal Service has developed a new data table file to be used with commercial address matching software..."
[Reference: www.dmnews.com]
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gangs receive guns via mail

Illegal guns went to Puerto Rican gangs, agent says "...ship the weapons to Puerto Rico. Marilyn Quinones-Burgos, one of two women arrested so far, is accused on March 6, 2007, of wrapping aluminum foil around five guns and hiding them in a cosmetic case, then taking the package to a U.S. Post Office and mailing it to ring members on the island...."
[Reference: www.orlandosentinel.com]

File Under: Found in the Mail

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USPS workshare mailer discounts excessive

PRC Ruling Exposes Unhealthy Relationship Between USPS and Influential Mailers "... The commission ruling reaffirms the APWU’s position that workshare discounts that exceed the postal costs avoided are not consistent with the standard of universal rates for all mailers, large and small. The 2008 PRC ruling is Exhibit #1 in exposing the unhealthy relationship between postal management and influential large mailers.

The Postal Regulatory Commission has issued a strong warning that it will not permit the continuation of arbitrary “sweetheart” deals for large mailers..."
[Reference: www.apwu.org Burrus Update]

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Postal Exam Spotlight

On occasion we will "spotlight" an area (or areas) of the country where the postal service (USPS) is taking applications for postal exams. In this case we are spotlighting Huntsville, Alabama, where the USPS is excepting applications for Exam 943 -Automotive Technician. The USPS Announcement Number is 232267. We recommend visiting "How do I get a job with the U.S. Postal Service?" which is a great site for explaining the process. There are numerous other places taking applications for different exams. For example, Florida has a variety of examination openings: Custodial Maintenance (229622), General Maintenance Positions (227888), and Electronics Technicians (223515).

File Under: Huntsville Employment
Florida Postal Employment

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Postal Mail Handler Wage Increase

This information comes to us from the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU).
COLA OF $479 TO BE ADDED TO BASE WAGES

The third of ten guaranteed cost-of-living adjustments to be paid to all mail handlers under the 2006 National Agreement has been set at $479, based on changes in the National Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the period running from July 2007 through January 2008. This COLA is being added to wages effective March 15, 2008, and will be reflected in paychecks on April 4, 2008 (P07-2008). The COLA of $479 represents an increase of 23 cents per hour.

To view the new Mail Handler Pay Wage Scale Chart click the following link: Mail Handler Pay Scale

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Disability Fraud Denied by Ex-Postal Employee

Ex-postal worker denies disability fraud charges "... In 1978 and 1979, she had two back surgeries and by 1981 had returned to work full-time as a mail processing clerk. ..."
[Reference: www.billingsgazette.net]

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Federal Retirement Calculator

Here is a great tool offered by the The United States Geological Survey (USGS.GOV) the Get a rough estimate of the Federal annuity you would be entitled to on the day of your retirement. Please note: this calculator is an estimate and should not be used as an exact calculation of your retirement benefits. For a more detailed and more precise estimate, please contact your agency's personnel office. Click the appropriate link below to visit your retirement category:

  • FERS Retirement Calculator


  • CSRS Retirement Calculator


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    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    House Bill: No Penalty for CSRS Part-Time Work

    House Committee Passes Bill to Allow Federal CSRS Employees To Work Part-time Without Penalty "... Enactment of this bill would enable Federal employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System to work part-time prior to retirement without incurring penalties to the annuity they have so rightly earned ..."
    [Reference: www.opm.gov]

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    FedEx Not Immune From Economic Hard Times

    FedEx Sees 'Limited' Growth Ahead "... "Our fourth-quarter earnings outlook has been impacted by higher-than-anticipated fuel prices and a weak U.S. economy," said Chief Financial Officer Alan B. Graf Jr. ..."
    [Reference: Wall Street Journal]

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Thrift Savings Plan -v- Day Traders

    Thrift Savings Plan Crackdown Is Working "... Efforts to discourage "market timers" in the Thrift Savings Plan are showing progress. Only 549 people last month defied a new policy limiting trades in the TSP ..."
    [Reference: www.washingtonpost.com]

    File Under: TSP Trade Limits

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    Junk Mail Debate

    Efforts to Block Junk Mail Slowed "... the Direct Marketing Association has made $141,877 in contributions to federal candidates, including $6,610 to Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the Postal Service and does not face reelection until 2012. ..."
    [Reference: www.washingtonpost.com]


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    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Postal Recycling Program

    Postal service launches recycling program for electronics, ink cartridges "... Customers can pick up free envelopes for the Mail Back program at post offices nationwide ...>
    [Reference: www.chicagotribune.com]


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    Audit Concludes Postal Service Wasted Million's on FedEx Contract

    Inspector General: USPS Wasted $17.8 Million on FedEx Contract "... the Postal Service’s Pacific Area incurred approximately $17.8 million in unnecessary costs by the use of "expensive" FedEx transportation to move mail that could have been moved on low-priced surface transportation or on less costly passenger airlines. “The Postal Service also paid FedEx to sort mail when they could have avoided those costs..."
    [Reference: www.apwu.org]

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    Placing Fliers on Mailboxes

    Postal Service: No material in or on mailboxes without stamps "... "You can't put anything in or on a mailbox without postage," he said. "There's federal law to back it up."...>
    [Reference: www.eagletribune.com]

    File Under: Mailbox Regulations

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    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Postal Buyout Rumor Control

    What's the latest news on the rumors of a postal buyout? The rumors run rampant, but the Federal Times reports there are no plans according to "Ask the Experts" (posted March 15, 2008.
    [Reference: www.federaltimes.com]

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Inaccuracy on Stamp Honoring Biochemist Gerty Cori

    Postal Service goofs on stamp honoring St. Louis Nobelist "... The new stamp bares Gerty's photograph next to a sketch of the Cori ester. But if you know anything about chemistry, you'll see the formula is wrong. ..."
    [Reference: publicbroadcasting.net]

    File under: Gerty Cori Stamp, Cori ester, Stamp Error

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    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    Introduction of Postal eCareer

    The U.S. Postal Service is introducing the new eCareer Postal Job Application Tool. Postal Employee's have a new automated way of applying for internal EAS jobs. USPS will soon be mailing postcards to the workforce detailing how to log on the new online system that will replace the PS Form 991. With eCareer, an employee can create an online candidate profile, that will contain your experience, skills, education and training. To create a profile, sign in to LiteBlue with your employee ID and postal PIN. Next "click" on "My Life" and the eCareer link under the Internal Jobs heading on the right side of the page. Then, "click" on "Search and/or Apply for EAS Jobs". After that click on the Candidate Profile link on the Personal Page to complete the candidate profile. Some EAS jobs are being posted now. All EAS vacancies will be posted beginning April 1, 2008.

    eCareer site

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    FERS Sick Leave Bill Update

    Bill Would Give Retirees Partial Pay for Unused Sick Leave "... FERS employees would be eligible for a lump-sum payment of up to $10,000 for their unused sick leave. The proposed benefit would apply to accrued sick leave exceeding 500 hours. ...">

    [Reference: www.washingtonpost.com]

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    TSP Frequent Trading Limit?

    TSP To Limit Frequent Trading "... Apparently, some savvy traders in the Thrift Savings Plan are having a major impact on cost of TSP trades. According to the data provided in a Federal Register Document ..."

    [Reference: The Postal News Network]

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    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    Talented Nevada Postmaster

    Nevada postmaster turns comedian "... Musick is not only a U.S. Postmaster in Nevada and a Bucyrus resident, he is a professional cartoonist, humorous illustrator, comedian, spokesperson and ghost writer..."
    [Reference: www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com]

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    Postal Plant Manager Firing Upheld at MSPB

    The following is an excerpt from an MSPB ruling on the Postal Plant Manager firing. The document is in ADOBE ACROBAT format.

    "... As Plant Manager, the appellant was expected to avoid any actions that might result in or create the appearance of using his position to give preferential treatment to any person and of losing impartiality as a Plant Manager, which affected the integrity of the agency’s operations. ..."

    [Reference: MSPB.gov]

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    USPS Headquarters Hiring Freeze

    Postal Service freezes hiring at headquarters "... announced the hiring freeze in a March 7 memo to postal executives. ..." [Reference: federaltimes.com]

    File Under: post office march 11 announcement

    Links to this post: USPIS Forum at http://forums.officer.com

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    Postal Service May Process Mail-In Ballots

    Mail-in ballot gathers steam for Florida Democratic primary re-do "... beginning to look as if the U.S. Postal Service could be the answer to the growing dispute over Florida's presidential primary.U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Sunday pressed for a do-over primary this spring by mail ...>

    [Reference: www.orlandosentinel.com]



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    Monday, March 10, 2008

    Social Security Question and Answer

    Postal employees under FER's may find the interesting. SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A: How does the SSA calculate my retirement benefits? "... What assumptions about my future earnings does the Social Security Administration use to calculate the retirement benefit estimates on my statement? ..." [Reference: www.grandforksherald.com]




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    Abu Dhabi postal workers to get free accommodation

    Abu Dhabi postal workers to get free accommodation "... Dubai: The Board of Emirates Post has proposed that those working in Abu Dhabi post offices who live in other emirates should be given free bachelor accommodation. ..." [Reference: www.gulfnews.com]


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    Saturday, March 8, 2008

    Philatelist Passes: Harvey Karlen

    Harvey Karlen: 1918 - 2008: Expert on city's postal history "... Among his books were "Chicago's Mail: An Anthology of Postal History Articles Focusing Upon the Community's Growth, Its Interests and Its Attitudes" and the playfully titled "Chicago's Crabgrass Communities: A History of the Independent Suburbs and Their Post Offices That Became Part of Chicago." ..." [Reference: www.chicagotribune.com]

    Links for Harvey Karlen books:
    Chicago postal history;: Selections that honor the collecting interest of Richard McP. Cabeen

    Chicago's mail: An anthology of postal history articles focusing upon the community's growth, its interests, and its attitudes

    Postal Service Announcement: Changes Ahead

    Postal News - USPS to announce major shipping news March 11 "... will share with employees our new pricing strategies to compete in the shipping business. ..." [Reference: liteblue.usps.gov]


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    Friday, March 7, 2008

    Global Terrorist Incident Map

    Although this may be considered a little off-topic for a website that provides postal news, we at The Postal Newsgroup are not above offering links and information to sites we see as beneficial to our readers. The Global Terrorist Incident Map is just one of those sites. There is some controversy as to whether the site, as a by-product, tends to inspire panic, especially since many of the incidents are hoaxes. However, we see it as a valuable tool in keeping informed.

    A Postal Buyout Without the Cash!

    Taking a look back to the Postal employee buyout of 2006, we find an article by Mike Causey dated April 10, 2006, from Federal News Radio. The article is titled, "Early-Outs Without a Buyout: Like Batman Without Robin?" As usual, Mr. Causey is right on the money when he writes, "Offering federal workers the chance to take early retirement, but without a $25,000 buyout, it's like offering your kids a banana split with no banana. Tiny Tyler, who will eat anything, may bite. But the rest of the brood will say thanks but no thanks!"






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    Thursday, March 6, 2008

    Law Enforcement Records Names, Addresses on Outside of Envelopes Traveling through the mail

    Here is an Orwellian story sure to make you go ...Hmmmm. Law enforcement request to record names, addresses and other information from the outside of letters and packages of suspected criminals every year since 1998, according to U.S. Postal Inspection Service data. Here is an article from USA Today: Law enforcement requests for postal info granted. Is sanctity of the mail limited only to internal contents?

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    Postal Early Outs, Postal Buyout, Postal Early Retirement ...a look at the past

    With all the talk amongst the Postal Service rank and file about Postal Early-Outs, USPS Early Retirement Offers, there is always the hopes and dreams for salary bonuses to workers as an incentive in a Postal Buyout. So far, all the rumors of any early retirement, are just that ...RUMORS! However, should a buyout offer present itself, what might it look like? It the past, 1992 specifically, the Post Office offered this:
    A six-month salary bonus for either regular or early retirement. Workers are eligible for immediate pensions at age 55 with 30 years of service, at age 60 with 20 years or at age 62 with five years of service. During an early-retirement open window, employees can retire at any age after 30 years of service, or at age 50 with 20 years of service. [Reference: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1023543.html]

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    Federal and * Postal employees will soon be able to calculate full retirement income online

    Model your retirement online "... OPM bought the retirement calculator for $290 million in 2006 from Hewitt Associates. Not only will it allow employees to calculate their own retirement income, but OPM will use it to calculate retirement checks for federal retirees. ..." [Reference: federaltimes.com]

    The program is named RetireEZ

    Visit the RetireEZ website at www.retireez.gov

    * Subsequent rollouts of RetireEZ will cover the remainder of the Executive Branch, the U.S. Postal Service and the Legislative and Judicial Branches, with the fifth and final rollout scheduled for February 2009.

    Postal Service Cost Cutting

    U.S. Postal Service plans $1 billion in cost cutting "... by reducing more than 10.5 million work hours ..." [Reference: deseretnews.com]

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    Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    Inmate Labor

    Inmates to fix postal service transmissions "... inmates at the Pendleton Correctional Facility will repair the transmissions in a contract with Alabama-based Ready-Built Transmission. ..." [Reference: www.indystar.com]

    Sunday, March 2, 2008

    Residents Attack Postal Carriers

    [SAGINAW, Mich.] Postal Service Suspends Deliveries After Residents Attack Carriers "... "We've had rocks thrown at one of our vehicles, breaking the glass," said Sharon Adamczyk, secretary to Saginaw Postmaster Jacque S. Vican. "Our carriers get a lot of verbal abuse if they don't deliver [residents'] checks on the day they want it. "Out of each six-day work week, our carriers are hearing gunshots ..." [Reference: www.foxnews.com]

    Need a Post Office Box? It's Only a Click Away

    Finding a PO Box Only a Click Away "... U.S. Postal Service Post Office Boxes now can be found online at usps.com/poboxes. The new, online locator feature allows customers to find box availability, sizes and fees, as well as addresses, phone and fax numbers for each Post Office listed with available PO Boxes. ..."


    [Reference] http://www.usps.com

    Linked to this post: yourpostalblog.blogspot.com


    cocaine found in express mail package

    2 Pounds Of Cocaine Found In Mail Package "... discovered in an express mail package in Polk County and a man was arrested after a postal inspector in Puerto Rico alerted authorities ..." [Reference: www.local6.com]

    Need a Post Office?

    Officials say post office process is long, complex "... That means a review by either the North Florida district office in Jacksonville or the postal officials in charge of the Southeast area, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. ..." [Reference: www.thevillagesdailysun.com]

    [DeKalb County] Recent explosions in two mailboxes

    Mailbox investigation continues "... A postal inspector out of Birmingham was in DeKalb County on Tuesday inspecting mailboxes. ..." [Reference: times-journal.com]

    St. Paul and Eagan Postal Facilities

    Postal facility's move from St. Paul to Eagan stalls again over plan for traffic light "... Last week, a tense comment at the end of an e-mail from a Postal Service official had city and county staff worried that the project was finished, and not in a good way. The subject was whether a traffic signal would be installed near the building's entrance at Gemini Road and Lexington Avenue by the time the new mail hub is completed in 2010 or 2011. ..." [Reference: www.twincities.com]

    Priority Flat Rate Box

    Larger USPS flat-rate box now available "... The box is 12 inches by 12 inches and is 5½ inches thick. It is 50 percent larger than the previous flat-rate box ..." [Reference: www.stripes.com]