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The Latest Postal News

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mailers Prefer Plastic Pallets To Wooden Pallets


"...Mailers were very happy to hear one MTAC report, regarding plastic pallets. Mailers have been facing challenges posed by the wooden mail pallets the USPS has been distributing. The wooden pallets can weigh up to 60-70lbs, skewing tare weights and posing safety problems for mail handlers. The USPS announced that they have purchased and are testing a half million new plastic pallets, that are both lighter and less expensive than the older plastic pallets. Real-world testing, including some pallets implanted with GPS devices, is being conducted with these pallets right now. ..."     [<- This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 at 6:58 pm]



Source: plasticcontainerblog.com

Further Information: MTAC Notes - Plastic Pallets

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Stamp Collecting: The Inverted Jenny Stamp

Extra! Extra!

"...serious stamp collectors know that one of the rarest stamps in the world is the inverted Jenny. The Jenny stamp was issued by the U.S. postal office on May 10, 1918 in which the image of the Curtiss JN-4 airplane was accidentally printed upside-down, making this postal error one of the most famous of all time...."    



Source: www.canyon-news.com

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Postal Service's dispute with Eagan, Dakota County over mail-sorting facility escalates

USPS -v- Dakota County

"...The lines of communication between the principal players in Dakota County have reached a new low, with the latest impasse forcing the cancellation of a three-way meeting that had been scheduled for May 19. "We canceled it because of our deep frustration with the Postal Service," Dakota County Commissioner Tom Egan said. Egan has been speaking with Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's office, ..."    



Source: www.twincities.com

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Voluntary Early Retirement Authority

OPM Reduction in Force Portal

"...Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) allows agencies that are undergoing substantial restructuring, reshaping, downsizing, transfer of function, or reorganization to temporarily lower the age and service requirements in order to increase the number of employees who are eligible for retirement. The authority encourages more voluntary separations and helps the agency complete the needed organizational change with minimal disruption to the work force. By offering these short term opportunities, an agency can make it possible for employees to receive an immediate annuity years before they would otherwise be eligible..."    



Tags: VERA, RIF, Early Retirement

Source: www.opm.gov

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OPM to remove RetireEZ from the web

OPM suspends contract for electronic retirement system

"...One federal source said the prime vendor for the contract and OPM have had concerns regarding aspects of the program that the vendor says are out of the scope of the contract. A former OPM employee also said there has been problems with data cleansing for the system, noting that annuity calculations have not consistently been correct as a result...."    



Source: www.govexec.com

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

spouses' federal retirement benefits

New CRS reports on spouses' federal retirement benefits

"...A state court can award a former spouse a share of the employee's retirement annuity, a survivor annuity, or both. A court also can award a former spouse of a federal employee a portion of the employee's Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account balance as part of a divorce settlement...."    



Source: lawprofessors.typepad.com

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Postal Workers Protected from Retaliation for Age-Discrimination Complaints

"...This is an important victory for postal and federal employees,” APWU President William Burrus said. “The ruling makes clear that postal workers enjoy the same protection against retaliation as employees in the private sector..."    



Source: www.apwu.org

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Postal Buyout

What is the latest information on the possibility of a buyout or early retirement bonus from the postal service?

A quick search of the web offers numerous possibilities in this arena. However, all the sources verify that there is not a postal buyout offer on the table at this time. Rumors are purely speculation and wishful thinking on the part of many. It appears that the environment is ripe for such offers. Some think that the USPS feels they can reduce employment numbers adequately through attrition. Although many feel reduction through attrition will not be sufficient due to the harsh economic realities this country is now facing, therefore many postal employees are either delaying retirement or not even considering it anymore. With the economy in such bad shape and postal pay raises being so small under the latest union contracts, many feel there will have to be an early out retirement cash bonus before retirement will be considered. If you are seeking more information on this subject, a search of the web offers the following informative links:

  • Postal eDaily

  • Postal News Network

  • Federal Times



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    Postal and Federal Special Retirement Supplement

    How do I calculate my eligibility for the FERS Annuity Supplement?

    According to OPM, the supplement is computed as if you were age 62 and fully insured for a social security benefit when the supplement begins. By law, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) first estimates what your full career (40 years) social security benefit would be. Then we calculate the amount of your civilian service under FERS and reduce the estimated full career social security benefit accordingly. For example, if your estimated full career social security benefit would be $1,000 and you had worked 30 years under FERS, we would divide 30 by 40 (.75) and multiply ($1,000 x .75 = $750). The result would be your special retirement supplement, prior to any reductions...."    



    Source: OPM

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    Court sides with Destin postal worker in white powder case

    Court sides with Destin postal worker in white powder case

    "...Earlier this month, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the United States Postal Service broke the law when a Destin postal supervisor threatened an employee for filing a labor complaint..."    



    Source: www.thedestinlog.com

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    April 2008 COLA Update Released on May 14

    COLA Update: APRIL INFLATION UP 0.7 PERCENT

    "...The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 0.7 percent in April 2008 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). Released on May 14..."   


    Reference: www.narfe.org

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    Monday, May 26, 2008

    TSP and Taxes

    TSP and Taxes

    "...Do you know the circumstances under which you can withdraw funds from your Thrift Savings Plan account without a tax penalty? Are your heirs..."    



    Source: www.govexec.com

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    Memorial Day

    Veterans talk about holiday's significance

    "..."They wanted to amputate my legs, but I wouldn't let 'em. I still have the letter to prove it," said the 77-year-old retired postal worker...."    



    Source: www.ocala.com

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    Corporate cherry-picking isn't delivering the goods


    "...of public service privatisation and commercialisation. Not for them the pickled nostrums of the past: if the corporate world could deliver the goods, it had to be given the freest of reins. The farce of their claims couldn't have been more clearly demonstrated than in the liberalisation and creeping privatisation of Britain's postal service...."





    Source: www.guardian.co.uk

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    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    New USPS Processing and Distribution Center Construction in Nashville

    Postal Service to build massive center near airport

    Nashville Post (subscription) -

    "... Panattoni Development Co. will oversee construction and is working with the USPS on traffic studies of the area. The new facility is likely to employ more ...
    The US Postal Service plans to build a 626000-square-foot processing and distribution center near Nashville International Airport..."

    Reference: www.nashvillepost.com

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    Thursday, May 22, 2008

    TSP Investing

    Who's Investing What, and Where?

    "...Do you ever ask, or wonder, how your coworkers invest in the TSP?..."

    Reference: www.federalnewsradio.com

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    Potter at the National Postal Forum

    Postmaster General Embraces Change

    "...Potter spoke about new technologies that are providing these solutions — Intelligent Mail Barcode and the Flat Sequencing System (FSS). FSS is new technology that will speed the sorting and delivery of large envelopes, catalogs and magazines, quadrupling productivity. FSS machines also will be able to read the Intelligent Mail Barcode, allowing mailers and the Postal Service to track mail throughout the sortation process, improving service and reducing costs to mailers and consumers...."

    Reference: www.usps.com

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    Mail Network Protection Act

    Support for Mail Network Protection Act Tops 100

    "...The legislation, introduced last November by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would require the Postal Service to bargain with postal unions before it engages in significant contracting-out and protect inexpensive, trustworthy mail service for the American public..."

    Reference: www.apwu.org

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    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Advanced Facer Canceller Systems 200 (AFCS 200)

    Siemens wins $245M contract from US Postal Service

    "...from the United States Postal Service (USPS) for 550 Advanced Facer Canceller Systems (AFCS) 200 to replace and modernize its existing fleet of AFCS. The AFCS currently being used has been in service for almost 20 years and is used by the Postal Service(TM) to cancel First-Class mail...."

    Reference: siemens.com

    More Related Resources: Siemens Postal Automation

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    Federal Worker COLA -v- Retiree COLA

    You Can't Take It With You

    "...The horse race between a pay raise for workers and a COLA (cost of living adjustment) for retirees has some working feds thinking..."

    Reference: www.federalnewsradio.com

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    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Baxter The Postal Cat Needs Home

    Holland cat up for adoption after joyride under postal truck's hood

    "...Baxter is in need of a good home, but keep him away from postal trucks...."

    Reference: www.wzzm13.com

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    TSP Rewards the Patient Investor

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    TSP posts positive returns as interfund transfers drop

    "..."Those people who stuck it out [and did not made withdrawals], they probably have come back to pretty much flat," FRTIB Chairman Andrew Saul said, suggesting that positive returns could begin to compensate for the market's decline earlier in the year..."

    Reference: www.govexec.com

    Resources: TSP investors should understand the concept of Dollar Cost Averaging.


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    Monday, May 19, 2008

    Netflix offers service alternative to Post Office shipping of DVD

    Netflix to Sell a Device for Instantly Watching Movies on TV Sets

    "...Netflix, which pioneered the business of offering DVD movie rentals by mail, is now offering its 8.2 million subscribers an option to watch movies easily on their televisions without involving the post office..."

    Reference: www.nytimes.com

    Other Resources: Netflix Ready Device

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    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Halma Post Office Closure

    Minn. - Sen. Coleman fights to save Halma P.O.

    "...has sent a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General to call attention to the closing of small-town post offices in Minnesota and the dwindling number of qualified postmasters in the region..."

    Reference: www.grandforksherald.com

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    More Post Office Closures

    Some peeved by post office plans

    "...“The boundaries you talked about far exceed Rockaway Beach — are you telling us you’re going to take our post office out of our city?” resident and business owner Carol Szabo asked...."

    Reference: www.bransondailynews.com

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    Encoding Center Closing

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    Selma Postal Encoding Center Closing

    "...About one hundred full-time workers will be offered transfers, while about three hundred part-time workers will loose their jobs..."

    Reference: www.cbs47.tv

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    Postal Service Faces Challenges

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    Economy and Internet challenge U.S. Postal Service

    "...This year, the Service expects about 10 percent growth in Priority Mail, Express Mail and related products that compete with Fedex Corp, United Parcel Service and other companies, Donahoe said. ..."

    Reference: www.reuters.com

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    PRICHARD, AL. -- Prichard postal worker shot

    "...shot in the chest with a pellet gun while delivering the mail. Postal worker stated that he felt a sharp pain to his chest, it was later discovered he had sustained a minor injury to the chests and was not transported to a hospital..."

    Reference: www.myfoxgulfcoast.com

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    Postal Service remote-encoding center to close

    Postal service to close East Pittsburgh facility

    "..."We've closed 47 of these centers across the country already. Pittsburgh is one of the last eight of these sites," said Tad Kelly, a postal service spokesman for the Pittsburgh region..."

    Reference: www.pittsburghlive.com

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    Thursday, May 15, 2008

    Anger Over TV Series Titled Going Postal: 15 Shocking Acts of Violence

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    William Burrus, President of the American Postal Workers Union recently wrote an article stating that the E! Television Series Is Offensive to Postal Workers. “The title of the series is an affront to more than 700,000 hard-working postal employees who are stigmatized by the cruel stereotype that suggests that postal workers are violent sociopaths,” APWU President William Burrus wrote in a letter to Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast [PDF], which owns E! “Of course, statistics show that postal employees are no more likely to engage in acts of violence than the public at large,” the union president said.

    NOTE: We at The Postal Newsgroup understand this is television and the American people are intelligent enough not to lump all posties into the category of crazy. You can bet there will be as many postal employees watching this program as anyone else. I have my DVR programmed in that direction already! On that note, we thank Mr. Burrus for standing up for postal employees as he should, while at the same time we thank E! for the insight into these horrific events. Maybe this will help us identify the signs of people that are over the edge ...in all walks of life.

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    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    RALEIGH, NC, USPS Telecommunication Services Office: Employment Opportunity

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    While surfing the net for quality articles to provide our readers, we found an "Employment Opportunity" with the USPS.The position is in RALEIGH, NC, at the USPS Telecommunication Services Office. This looks like a great job. SPECIAL NOTE: Current career Postal Service employees are ineligible to apply to this posting. The closing date on this position is May 21, 2008. External Recruitment Announcement
    Information Technology.

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    Postal Early Out: VERA Information in case the rumors come to fruition

    Are you contemplating a possible early retirement from your postal career? If you are, and you are reading this, then you are already one step ahead of the majority. You are obviously someone who is seeking information so you can make the most informative decision you can make. Anyone keeping up with the economics of the mailing industry can tell you there are changes going on in this industry. The leader in this industry is the United States Postal Service. The mailing industry has been seriously eroded by the internet. The USPS has been damaged not only from the internet, but by the corporate competition of large mailers and large mail movers. These groups have pressured congress to force the Postal Service to relinquish the monopoly it had once held. They have found success in convincing government and the masses, that the USPS should compete with large mailers. So unless the Universal Service requirement prevails, the postal service employment numbers will decline substantially. According to the USPS, mail volume has declined substantially. As we have been taught, "for every action, there is an equal..." or greater reaction. So the writing on the wall is this: Mail volume is rapidly declining, the postal service must reduce employees. The hopes are that this reduction will take place through attrition. However, it must be factored in that people are working longer than in the past due to a greater life expectancy, as well as the fact that cost of health care and energy have made retiring cost prohibitive. Therefore, as the rumors support, the USPS will more than likely have to convince employees to retire by offering some type of voluntary early retirement incentive. Most likely, since the USPS has been forced to compete with private industry, the employees of the USPS and their unions, will insist on buyout incentives equating to large cash offers, no early-out "age" penalties, and reasonable health insurance coverage. OPM has the basic starting point for this. The OPM website explains this as VERA or Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, which allows agencies that are undergoing substantial restructuring, reshaping, downsizing, transfer of function, or reorganization to temporarily lower the age and service requirements in order to increase the number of employees who are eligible for retirement. The authority encourages more voluntary separations and helps the agency complete the needed organizational change with minimal disruption to the work force. By offering these short term opportunities, an agency can make it possible for employees to receive an immediate annuity years before they would otherwise be eligible.

    An agency must request VERA and receive approval from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) before the agency may offer early retirement to its employees. The approval from OPM will stipulate a period of time during which the option will remain available. Many agencies have been granted agency-specific VERA and are not required to seek OPM approval for their use of this option.

    With this being said, as a postal employee or federal employee, you should familiarize yourself with VERA. Take a look at OPM's website at https://www.opm.gov/employ/vera/vera01.asp.

    The website says, Voluntary Early Retirement offers apply to employees covered under both the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). When an agency has received VERA approval from OPM, an employee who meets the general eligibility requirements may be eligible to retire early. The employee must:

    1. Meet the minimum age and service requirements -
    * At least age 50 with at least 20 years creditable Federal service, OR
    * Any age with at least 25 years creditable Federal service;
    2. Have served in a position covered by the OPM authorization for the minimum time specified by OPM (usually 30 days prior to the date of the agency request);
    3. Serve in a position covered by the agency's VERA plan; and
    4. Separate by the close of the early-out period.

    There is no annuity reduction in FERS for employees who retire on an early voluntary retirement under age 55. A FERS Transferee with a CSRS Component in his/her annuity, who retires before age 55, will have the CSRS portion of the payable annuity reduced by one-sixth of one percent for each full month he/she is under age 55. No reduction will be applied to the FERS component of the annuity.

    A FERS Annuity Supplement is payable to an employee who has completed at least one calendar year of FERS service when he/she reaches Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). MRA is age 55 to 57, depending on date of birth. The annuity supplement is payable until eligibility for Social Security begins at age 62, subject to an earnings limitation.

    The OPM VERA website is very informative and a "must" read for all postal employees considering retirement.

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    Monday, May 12, 2008

    Postal Service revoked Centralia's ZIP code

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    Centralia Mine Fire

    "...Centralia is a borough in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. Its population has dwindled from over 1,000 residents in 1981 to 12 in 2005[1] and 9 in 2007,[2] as a result of a 46-year-old mine fire burning beneath the borough. Centralia is now the least-populous municipality in Pennsylvania..."

    Reference: en.wikipedia.org

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    Nalcrest Florida 33856 ...Postal Retirmement Community

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    Nalcrest: A retirement that's union-made

    "...Bill Doherty turned the first shovel of earth on July 1, 1962, and Nalcrest—it stands for National Association of Letter Carriers Retirement, Education, Security and Training—began to take shape in central Florida.

    Down the road is one of only a handful of union-built communities in the country, but Fedhaven went bankrupt years ago. No so for Nalcrest, which remains nonprofit. In 2002, the Nalcrest Foundation made its final mortgage payment and is no longer under U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regulations...."

    Reference: www.nalc.org

    Postal Service service must act more like a private company

    Price of Stamps Not the Only Thing to Change for U.S. Postal Service

    "...A new federal law mandates that the mail service must act more like a private company by showing profits. Also, it has not and will not receive government subsidization. "Tax payers aren't paying our wages. They haven't for years, and a lot of people still think that we're government subsidized and we're not," says Liz Snow, an Idaho Falls Post Master..."

    Reference: www.localnews8.com

    Postal Rate Change Tips

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    USPS Rate-Change Tips for E-tailers

    "...No Fuel Surcharge for USPS
    While this may discouraging, Mike Colgate, of Endicia, said that one benefit of the USPS service is that there are no extra charges. "There are about 90 different surcharges you can get from private carriers, the top four being for fuel, rural addresses, incorrect addressing and residential status," he said. "Private carriers can cost up to three times as much as the USPS with these added to the bill."..."

    Reference: www.ecommerce-guide.com

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    Undelivered Mail Found at Former Postal Service employee's home

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    100,000 Pieces Of Undelivered Mail Found At Postal Worker's Home

    "...the mail was taken to the Raleigh distribution center where they are still going through the mail to determine what can and can not be delivered at this late date..."

    Reference: www.nbc17.com

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    Sunday, May 11, 2008

    Postage Stamps Rise 1 cent on Monday, May 12, 2008

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    USPS Announces New Prices as of Monday

    "...The restructured price list offers some savings, among which reduced Express Mail prices for items shipped to addresses closer to home, lower online postage prices for Express Mail and Priority Mail and Volume Express Mail price rebates for frequent shippers...." Reference: www.efluxmedia.com

    From the Auderbach Collection


    Posted: 05.11.2008 @ 10:00 PM Central

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    2008 Federal SES Executive Pay Schedule

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    OPM has posted the 2008 Salary Tables at their website.



    Reference: http://www.opm.gov/oca/08tables/

    OPM Issues Findings from the 2008 Survey of the Senior Executive Service

    News Advisory

    "...On Tuesday, May 13, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will issue the governmentwide results from the 2008 Survey of the Senior Executive Service. The Survey, which was administered on-line in January and February to all SES (career, noncareer and term), focused on the new SES pay-for-performance system, executive development and general attitudes toward work..."

    Reference: opm.gov

    Friday, May 9, 2008

    Frank Sinatra Stamp

    Postal Chairman of the Board to Deliver ‘The’ Chairman of the Board
    "...Frank Sinatra Stamp to be issued May 13 Special Ceremonies in New York City, Las Vegas and Hoboken, NJ..."
    Reference: www.usps.com

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    Unions Attempt to Preserve Postal Universal Service for the American People


    Postal Reform Act Is No Endorsement of Privatization
    "...“The issue of the Universal Service Obligation is a public policy issue; it cannot and should not be driven solely by economists of any political stripe or of all political stripes,” Reid testified. “The Postal Service belongs to the American people. It is a fundamental service provided to the American people.”..."
    Reference: www.apwu.org

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    Thursday, May 8, 2008

    U.S.P.S. Post $707 Million Loss Quarter 2, 2008

    U.S. Postal Service lost $707 mln in 2nd quarter

    "...The Postal Service has cut costs and increased efficiency, reducing its work hours by more than 18 million during first two quarters of 2008 compared with same period in 2007..."
    Reference: www.reuters.com

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    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    FERS Special Retirement Supplement

    QUESTION: Does the Special Supplement approximate the amount of Social Security I will get at age 62?

    ANSWER: No. The Special Supplement approximates the portion of an estimated Social Security benefit that you would earn during civilian service that is creditable toward the FERS portion of your annuity. Since the formula for the Special Supplement assumes a working life of 40 years, each year of FERS service is worth one-fortieth of the estimated Social Security benefit.

    This information and more on the FERS Social Security Supplement can be found at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Online

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    FERS Social Security Supplement

    Under the Federal Employees Retirement System, what needs to be provided to receive the Social Security supplement for those retiring before age 62? "...meant to mimic the Social Security benefit (based only on your FERS civilian service), it actually is paid as part of the FERS basic retirement benefit from the Office of Personnel Management. Receiving the FERS supplement does not affect the amount of your Social Security benefit at 62...." Reference: www.govexec.com

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    Mail Handler National Convention

    OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL MEMBERS TO GET INVOLVED IN 2008 NPMHU NATIONAL CONVENTION "...The Credentials Committee is chaired this year by Local 321 (Colorado) Vice President Don Gonzales, and also includes (in alphabetical order) Mark Addington, President of Local 327 (Montana); Bob Blum, Vice President of Local 300 (New York metropolitan area); Don Chapman, President of Local 325 (Mississippi); Julio Figueroa, President of Local 313 (Puerto Rico); Lisa Greer, Recording Secretary and N. Metro Branch President of Local 310 (Georgia); Teresa Harmon, Virginia State Executive Board Member of Local 305 (Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia); Jessie Leonard, President of Local 317 (Alabama); and Bruce Phillips, President of Local 329 (Arkansas and Tennessee).

    Meeting in July will be several committees that will consider all proposals that are timely submitted to amend the NPMHU constitutions or for adoption as resolutions by the elected delegates. To become involved in this process, mail handlers who are members in good standing of the NPMHU are allowed to submit proposals for consideration first by these committees, and ultimately by the delegates meeting in Convention. To submit proposals, mail handlers must follow the requirements set forth in the NPMHU National Constitution...." Reference: www.npmhu.org

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    Graffiti on USPS Mailboxes...

    Painting graffiti on private or public property is a crime

    "...U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman in Indianapolis, Kim Yates, said one postal employee is assigned to handle mailboxes damaged by graffiti. He uses a cleaner to remove the graffiti paint. If this doesn't work he paints the box on site or swaps it for another one. Yates said the Postal Service in Indianapolis averages graffiti removal on five boxes a week. Report such graffiti to your local post office..."
    Reference: indystar.com


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    Forever Stamp Humor

    Now's the time to become a stamp collector
    "...I am going to take my hoard of stamps, put them away in the safety deposit box like savings bonds, then one day when the rest of you are paying $4 to mail a water bill, I'll be doing the same at a tenth the cost. I shared this brilliant financial strategy with my wife, in hopes she might let me invest the government rebate check George Bush is mailing out this month..."

    Reference: chronicle.augusta.com

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    Monday, May 5, 2008

    Postal Employee Jury Duty Scam

    Postal worker gets 5 months for fraudulent jury service
    "...summoned for jury service in October 2003 and served on a jury. But then he submitted fraudulent documents to his boss showing he was away on jury service many days past the time he was dismissed. He was caught when a supervisor became suspicious when he repeated the scam in 2006...."
    Reference: www.examiner.com

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    Postal Service Launching Competitive Expedited Mail Prices

    Express Mail Will Be the Best Overnight Deal in the Country for Most Shippers "...“We are excited to offer our customers these price incentives — a first for the Postal Service,” said Gary Reblin, vice president, Expedited Mail. “We already have world-class products and first-rate service, and our new prices make us the best value in the market.”..." Resource: www.usps.com

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    USPS Retaliation for Unfair Labor Practice

    Court Upholds Unfair Labor Charge Against USPS

    "...The case stemmed from an incident on Aug. 25, 2004, when an employee at a Florida post office discovered white powder in a tray of letters. Mindful of incidents involving anthrax in the mail, several workers protested the supervisor’s instructions to process the mail. The supervisor told the shop steward at the Destin post office to shut up, and an employee filed an unfair labor practice charge, alleging that the supervisor had refused to allow the shop steward to perform his duties...."

    Reference: www.apwu.org

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    Forever Stamps

    Postal customers buy Forever stamps before prices rise

    "...On May 12, the cost of sending a first-class letter will rise a penny to 42 cents. But the United States Post Office's Forever stamps -- which are always valid for mailing a letter -- still are selling for 41 cents...."

    Reference: www.islandpacket.com

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    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    TSP Returns April 2008

    Thrift Savings Plan Return April 2008


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    Bryant Annex Post Office Postal Supervisor Problems

    Postal workers go postal with picket
    "...Limin said. “He’s a bully with a big ego. ”Branch 214 also sent us a letter signed by dozens of workers demanding that post office managers intervene: “[Malig] constantly threatens most of the employees with discipline even without basis just to harass and intimidate us. He yells and screams at almost anyone who disagrees with him. His continued unprofessionalism created a … hostile environment for all the employees under his supervision. He lacks integrity, honesty and truthfulness in every interaction with the employees … This strange, erratic and sarcastic behavior is of great concern to each and every one of us.”..."
    Reference: www.sfbg.com

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    Air Force Reserve 60th anniversary pictorial cancellation

    The Air Force Reserve 60th anniversary pictorial cancellation will continue through June 14.




    Above is a pictorial cancellation stamp to be used by the U.S. Postal Service to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Air Force Reserve. The stamp will be used from April 14 to June 14 at the Marietta, Ga., Post Office.

    Pictorial Postmarks
    60th Anniversary of the USAFR Station
    257 Lawrence Street
    Marietta, GA 30060-9998

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    Friday, May 2, 2008

    Carrier Arrested After Boxing Dog Running Wild In Neighborhood

    Here's a sad story ...sad for the innocent little puppy and sad for the postal carrier that protected the little pup from getting ran over and squashed by putting it in a box on a politician's porch to highlight the loose dog issue. Unfortunately, the puppy may have been injured in his escape from the box. Unfortunate as well, is the fact that the postal carrier may have accidentally injured his own career while attempting to protect the dog and shed light on a problem of dogs running loose in the neighborhood. Take a look at an article on the story from the Dallas News. The story: Irving postal carrier who left dog on mayor's doorstep arrested. We offer best wishes to the puppy in his recovery, as well as the postal carrier in his efforts to clear his name.

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    Most Expensive Stamp Ever: lenticular technology

    Austrian Post has created a stamp using lenticular technology. The stamp was created by superposing 48 recorded television images on the stamp. This creates an optical effect producing what appears to be a three minute film. For more information on the stamp go to: http://www.post.at/en/271_7694.php
    To order the stamp go to: http://www.post.at/eshop/philatelieshop/detail.php?prod=208240


    © Austrian Post 2008


    Reference: Visit Austrian Post (English version) at: http://www.post.at/en/
    Visit Austrian Post in Native Language at: Die Post ...Die Post bringt allen was.

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    Record Profits For Big Oil Companies

    Exxon’s $10.9-billion profit disappoints...
    "...Last year, ExxonMobil’s record $41 billion in earnings was the highest ever for a U.S. corporation. At the same time, oil prices this year have nearly doubled from 2007, at times rising well above $100. Drivers also are outraged over retail gas prices topping $4 around the USA...."
    Reference: www.freep.com

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    GPS Mail Logger

    Here is an interesting item we found on the internet while searching for interesting articles to post. This item is a GPS mail tracking unit that can identify where your mail has been. This looks like a great item for bulk mailers to determine where mail delays may be taking place. Take a look at the website for the BrickHouse Security Micro GPS Mail Logger. The site reads as follows:

    Discover Delays And Inefficiencies In Delivery With GPS Location
    The U.S. Postal Service delivers more than 212 billion pieces of mail annually and they are constantly looking for new ways to improve efficiency and eliminate delays. The answer? The GPS Mail Logger. At half of an inch thin, this GPS Mail Logger is the world�s only GPS Tracking Device that can be mailed in an envelope. Evaluate the effectiveness of your delivery service by pinpointing inefficiencies or delays in the delivery process.

    Features

    * Tracks your mail with GPS location
    * Records your mail�s downtime to pinpoint inefficiencies and delays in the delivery process
    * Customized time interval records your mail�s movement as often as your like
    * Battery lasts for up to 2 weeks on motion-activated "e;Tilt Mode"e; or 20 continuous hours with minute-by-minute updates
    * Fits into an envelope at � of an inch thin
    * Integrates directly with Google Earth
    * Use it to track mail anywhere in the world
    * GPS Location information is stored onto a removable MicroSD card for later review
    * Records location, speed, and altitude anywhere in the world for later review

    If you have used this item, please leave a comment or a screen capture of a tracking report. Thanks!

    new automation mail preparation standards

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    Ross-Simons Slams Proposed USPS Rule Change For ‘Slim-Jim’ Processing
    "...the USPS says in its proposal that “many slim-jims will jam letter automation equipment or become significantly damaged during processing. To avoid these problems, slim-jims often are run on flat-sorting equipment, where they process without significant problems, but at significantly greater cost. To rectify this situation, the Postal Service is developing new automation mail preparation standards for letter-size booklets and folded self-mailers that more accurately characterize which pieces can be run on its primary letter-sorting equipment”..."
    Reference: multichannelmerchant.com

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    Postal Carrier Dogged for Making a Point

    Chihuahua delivered to mayor's doorstep "...contends that he has complained about the puppy wandering loose in his neighborhood, and animal control failed to correct the problem. After the pooch "made sexual advances"..."
    Reference: blogs.roanoke.com from a story in the Dallas Morning News

    How can I be a postal service mystery shopper?

    Postal Service looking for secret shoppers: The Real Deal 4/30/08 "...You can’t just sign up for the program, however. Certain zip codes are chosen, and people living in those zip codes are sent letters at random. While secret shoppers may get to keep items they buy while on the job, the Postal Service isn’t offering you anything in return for your taking part in the program..."
    Reference:

    The National Postal Museum Needs Your Help

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    The Smithsonian National Postal Museum is looking for photographs and memorabilia of postal employees
    "...especially interested in photographs of employees from the 1940s to the present. The photographs are being sought in connection with the upcoming “Portrait of the Postal Worker” exhibit, scheduled to open in March 2010...."
    Reference: www.npmhu.org

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