Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Move Over, Santa: SFL Begins 7-Day Holiday Package Delivery Nov 30

The South Florida District kicked off the holiday shipping season today by announcing it will be delivering packages seven days a week starting Sunday, November 30, up until Christmas Day.

“The Postal Service ships more packages to more places than anyone else,” said District Manager Jeffery A. Taylor. "During the holidays, we’re raising the bar with enhanced tracking and Sunday delivery providing excellent service and reliability that only Santa can compete with.”

Sunday package delivery continues our commitment to provide our customers superior service as the nation’s mail carrier continues to respond for the increase in package business stemming from the growth in e-commerce.
“Every household in America relies on us to get their packages in home for the holidays and we take great pride in taking on that responsibility,” said Taylor. “We’re prepared to do whatever it takes to delivery for our customers.”

Due to continued e-commerce growth and improvements to its Priority Mail product line, the Postal Service is expecting double-digit growth in its package business this holiday season, likely in the range of 450 to 470 million packages. That equates to roughly 12 to 14 percent growth over the same period last year. 

“This is truly our season at the Postal Service --- it is crunch time,” said Taylor. “We have stepped up our game to ensure America that USPS can be counted on to deliver their cards, gifts and letters in time for the holidays.” 

For expected delivery of holiday mail and packages by Christmas, the Postal Service recommends keeping the following mailing and shipping deadlines in mind:

  • Dec. 2 –   First-Class Mail International/Priority Mail International
  • Dec. 10 – Priority Mail Express International
  • Dec. 15 – Standard Post
  • Dec. 17 – Global Express Guaranteed[1]
  • Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail/Priority Mail (domestic)
  • Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express (domestic)
[1] “Mail-by date does not take into account time needed for customs clearance.  Allocate extra transit day(s) for delivery outside major international cities.”

Consumers can avoid holiday hassles by visiting — the Postal Service’s website that will help make mailing and shipping easier. Nearly 75 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office altogether and take advantage of convenient online shipping this holiday season. Click-N-Ship and other online services allow customers to print shipping labels, order free Priority Mail boxes, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup.

Black Friday: Ringing in the Revenue

More consumers will skip the malls and do their post-Thanksgiving shopping online this year, giving the shipping business an extra boost.
The day after Thanksgiving, also known as “Black Friday,” will be the fastest growing online sales day of the year, according to new research by the Adobe software company. Online spending is expected to reach $2.48 billion on Black Friday, up 28 percent from last year.
Online shopping generally drives big increases in shipping, a trend expected to continue this year.
The Postal Service predicts it will deliver more than 450 million packages during the holidays, up about 12 percent from last year. Last week, USPS shifted to a 7-day holiday delivery schedule to accommodate the surge in volume.
Traditional Black Friday shopping remains popular too. Last year, 37 percent of holiday shoppers were at stores by 12:01 a.m. on Black Friday, up from 28 percent in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation.
This year, Black Friday is projected to generate $13.1 billion in revenue, an increase of 1.6 percent over last year’s total, according to industry research.

Thanksgiving Message from the DM

Family gatherings, turkey and all the trimmings, a football marathon, and the Macy’s Parade. These are Thanksgiving traditions.

Thanksgiving also is the time of year when we reflect on our lives and express our thanks and appreciation. In a year of many challenges and changes in the Postal Service, I appreciate our South Florida Postal Family working together as a team to provide outstanding service to our customers. Thank you for your unwavering dedication and commitment that has led to record-level service performance and our district being a top performer in the nation.  

As part of the fabric of every American community, our postal family also demonstrates good corporate citizenship every day. Our collective commitment to the Combined Federal Campaign is a prime example. Throughout the years, the CFC has become a powerful way for us to make donations to charities to help those less fortunate in our community, across the country, and around the world. This year as you join relatives and friends around the Thanksgiving dinner table, consider how you can help others who truly are in need through the CFC.
Thank you for all that you do for our district and for our organization throughout the year. May you and your family enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!

Miami to Pilot New Passport Process

The South Florida District is piloting a Central Passport Hotline for customers to call and to schedule an appointment  at any Passport Acceptance Facility.

The pilot sites both are located in Miami --- the Jose Marti Station at 425 NW 27 Avenue and the Town and Country Postal Store at 8266 Mills Drive.

Employees are being trained to serve as Passport Agents who will be responsible for ensuring a positive experience for each customer. Agents will provide prompt service that includes guidance and an informational packet, complete with an application and letter of thanks for choosing the Postal Service for their passport and mailing needs.

The pilot program is based on customer suggestions for a more friendly and convenient method to schedule passport appointments.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Message from the PMG

The season is upon us when we take the time to reflect on the many things for which we are grateful: our family and friends; our co-workers; our jobs; our health and the freedoms we enjoy in America. Too often, we get caught up in the pace of everyday life and don’t take the time to appreciate just how fortunate we are. This is a time for such reflection.
The nation’s oldest celebration of gratitude, Thanksgiving Day, was designated by President Abraham Lincoln as an official holiday in 1863. Since then, Americans have cherished this special time of thanksgiving and togetherness. Today, the spirit of Thanksgiving at the Postal Service is alive and well, not only because of the upcoming holiday, but because our employees work hard every day to help make the world a better place. Many thanks to everyone for your contributions — not only to our organization, but the communities we serve each and every day.
So at a time when we traditionally give thanks, please allow me — on behalf of the entire Executive Leadership Team — to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication to our mission, and to extend best wishes for a wonderful holiday season. Please enjoy the company of your loved ones, think about the importance of old and new friends, be safe and take time to reflect on our many blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tower of Power

Iconic basketball player Wilt Chamberlain will soon be immortalized on two larger-than-usual stamps. The stamps, just over 2 inches tall each, are about a third taller than a typical stamp. 
The stamps will be dedicated Dec. 5 during the halftime of a Philadelphia 76ers home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Chamberlain played with the 76ers from 1965-1968.

The 7-foot-1-inch center was a trailblazer, setting multiple records. He scored a record-setting 100 points in a single game, won two NBA championships, and was named an NBA all-star 13 times. Chamberlain was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979.

Gift of the Magi

L to R: USPS Board of Governors member Louis Giuliano, First Take Communications President Nancy Mathis, and Reverend Dr. Louis Leon of St. John's Church.
The U.S. Postal Service commemorated one of the most beloved stories of the holiday season by issuing the Christmas Magi stamp Nov. 19.
The stamp celebrates the tale of three visitors from the east who came bearing gifts for Jesus. The artwork depicts the Magi atop a trio of camels near the summit of a small hill. Guiding them is a large star.
“We are pleased and excited that this stamp will decorate millions of greeting cards, letters and packages this year. And like the Christmas story and the three wise men, these stamps are good forever,” said USPS Board of Governors member Louis Giuliano, who dedicated the stamp at St. John’s Church in Washington DC.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rudolph: 'He'll Go Down in Hi-stor-y!'

L to R: National Postal Museum Director Allen Kane, USPS Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe, Washington DC Principal Rebecca Crouch, Washington DC school student Caroline Williams, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, and Washington DC Postmaster Gerald Roane.

The Postal Service is marking the 50th anniversary of the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” television special with a new set of holiday stamps.
The four stamps depict Rudolph, Santa Claus and other beloved characters from the holiday classic, which debuted in 1964. PMG Pat Donahoe dedicated the stamps during a news conference in Washington, DC, where he also announced the Postal Service’s plans to deliver packages on Sundays during the holiday season.
“There are a lot of similarities between the Postal Service and Rudolph in helping to deliver the holidays,” Donahoe said. “We both shine bright this time of year, and we expect these stamps will be a hot commodity for holiday greeting cards.”
The “Rudolph” special is remembered for its distinctive stop-motion animation and classic songs, including “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” and “We’re a Couple of Misfits.” This year, CBS is scheduled to air the special Tuesday, December 9.

Kansas City Offers 'Royal' Treatment

The Postal Service is selling commemorative envelopes and matted artwork that honor the American League champion Kansas City Royals, which went to the World Series this year for the first time in almost three decades.

The envelopes are available for $10 each. Unframed matted artwork sells for $24.99, while framed art is $59.99.

To purchase an item, send a check or money order payable to USPS and a completed order form to District Retail Manager, KC Royals Special Events, 300 W. Pershing Road Ste. 205, Kansas City, MO 64108-9620. 

Which Health Plan is Right for You?

Need help figuring out which health plan is right for you during this year’s open season?
If so, visit LiteBlue. There you can to link to Plan Smart Choice, an external website that offers resources and several tools to help federal employees review their health care options.
You can also enter your anticipated medical needs and use Plan Smart Choice to get an individualized analysis of which health plans will work best for you.
Unless you experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage or the birth of a child, open season is the only time of year you can enroll or change your participation in these programs: Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB), USPS Non-Career Employee Health Benefits Plan (NCEHB), Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance (FEDVIP) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
Open season is also the only time you can participate in the Annual Leave Exchange (ALE).
Visit the new open season site on LiteBlue for information about benefits, premiums, plans and more, including a link to the Office of Personnel Management’s plan comparison tool. 

Your 2014 Holiday Playbook

Football and baseball have their seasons and so does the Postal Service — the holidays — when customers are busy sending cards, packages and other mailpieces to their loved ones.
To help everyone get into the spirit this year, USPS is mailing customers a holiday “playbook” that shows how the Postal Service is making this “our season” with easy to follow play-by-play directions.
Recipients can use their smartphone or tablet to scan the holiday images in the book and see them come to life. The mailpiece also includes an overview of holiday stamps, Priority Mail products, mail-by dates, and holiday shipping tips.
“This is just one example of how mail can be used as a platform into the digital world. We're combining the physical with the digital for more meaningful experiences,” said Brand Marketing Manager Chris Karpenko.

The playbook will go to every residential address in the United States. A mailpiece geared toward employees will be mailed next week. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Earns Praise

Front Row, L to R: Johnson D’Souza, Manager, Customer Service, Davie Branch; Virginia Rhodes, Manager, Customer Services, Plantation Branch; Joanna Borger, Manager, Customer Services, Sunrise Branch; Dorothy Gilzene, Manager, Customer Services, Inverrary Branch; Joanne Fleszar, A/Manager, Customer Services, Westside Branch; and Duane Hunt, Manager, Customer Services, Weston Branch. Back Row, L to R: Esteban Martinez, A/Manager, Customer Services, Melrose Branch; Alex Sepulveda, Manager, Customer Service Operations, Fort Lauderdale; Thomas Petrush, Manager, Customer Services, Alridge Station; Sarah Augustine, Officer In Charge, Fort Lauderdale; Jason Beach, Manager, Customer Services, Tamarac Branch; Raymond Borger, Manager, Customer Services, Fort Lauderdale Main Office Carrier Annex; and Scott Bower, Postmaster,Fort Lauderdale.

Story & Photo: Amy J. McCall, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

Fort Lauderdale Customer Service employees were recognized in several categories during the South Florida District's Quarter 4/End-Of-Year meeting. 

“Your dedication and hard work are very much appreciated and your recognition is well deserved," Officer In Charge Sarah Augustine said.

The following is the breakdown of each Quarter IV category:

·         Best Performance CDPOM was awarded to Plantation Branch and Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Best Performance Street to Base was awarded to Plantation Branch Level 22.
·         Best Performance Street to Base Improvement was awarded to Weston Branch Level 21.
·         Best Percent to Standard Improvement was awarded to Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Highest SSK Adoption Rate second place was awarded to Weston Branch Level 21.
·         Highest SSK Adoption Rate first place was awarded to Davie Branch Level 21.
·         Highest EDDM Revenue second place was awarded to Weston Branch Level 21.
·         Highest EDDM Revenue first place was awarded to Oakland Park Branch Level 22.
·         Business Connect Activities third place was awarded to Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Business Connect Activities first place was awarded to Plantation Branch Level 22.
·         Overall Retail Customer Experience 100% was awarded to Alridge Station and Southside Level 18-20. Ft Lauderdale Main Postal Store and Oakland Park Branch Level 22.
·         OSHA I&I Level 18-20 was awarded to Everglades Branch, Lauderridge Carrier Annex, and Southside Station; Level 21 was awarded to Weston Branch; in the same category Level 22 Oakland Park Branch.
·         Zero MVA Level 18-20 was awarded to Alridge Station, Everglades Branch, Lauderridgen Carrier Annex and North Ridge Annex: Level 21 was awarded to Inverrary Branch and Weston Branch; in the same category Level 22 Main Office Carrier Annex, Sunrise Branch and Tamarac Branch.
·         Voice of the Employee third place was awarded to Weston Branch Level 21.

The following is the breakdown of each FY 2014 category:

·         Best Performance CDPOM was awarded to Melrose Vista Branch Level 21; Plantation Branch and Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Best Performance CSSOM third place was awarded to North Ridge Carrier Annex Level 18-20.
·         Best Performance Street to Base was awarded to Plantation Branch Level 22.
·         Best Performance Street to Base Improvement was awarded to Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Best Percent to Standard Improvement was awarded to Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Function 2B Workhours Percent to Plan third place was awarded to Alridge Station Level 18-20 and second place was awarded to Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Total All Expenses Percent to Plan first place was awarded to Tamarac Branch Level 22.
·         Highest SSK Adoption Rate first place was awarded to Davie Branch Level 21.
·         Highest EDDM Revenue first place was awarded to Oakland Park Branch Level 22.
·         Business Connect Activities first place was awarded to Plantation Branch Level 22.
·         Overall Retail Customer Experience 100% was awarded to Galt Ocean Postal Store.
·         Zero MVA Level 18-20 was awarded to Inverrary Branch Level 21.
·         Voice of the Employee second place was awarded to Weston Branch Level 21.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Open Season Reminders: Important Information for 2014

Open Season, the annual period when you can evaluate and change your health benefits, is here. Open Season is a good time to determine whether the health insurance plan in which you are currently enrolled is still the right one for you. Both career and non-career employees have the opportunity to evaluate various plans and make decisions on what is right for them and their families.

This year, some improvements have been implemented to align Open Season with employee ease-of-use.

Please read these reminders carefully to ensure you can make changes before the deadlines. A variety of tools are available to help you through Open Season, so be sure to take advantage of these resources.

24/7 Access: One difference this year is that plan brochures are now available online, 24 hours a day,
seven days a week. Employees can access important information at their convenience, when they need it.

The following guides are available now on LiteBlue:
• 2015 Guide to Benefits for Career United States Postal Service Employees (RI 70-2).
• 2015 Guide to Benefits for Certain Temporary (Non-career) USPS Employees (RI 70-8PS).
• 2015 Guide to the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP BK-1).
• 2015 Guide to USPS Non-career Employee Health Benefits Plan (NCEHP BK1).

Remember, plan brochures will no longer be automatically mailed to employees. To request paper
copies of one or more guides during open season, call the Human Resources Shared Services Center at 877-477-3273 (press option 5) or TTY 866-260-7507.

USPS LiteBlue: The LiteBlue Open Season website is a true “one stop shop” location with information and resources to help employees navigate Open Season. One of the best tools available to USPS employees for evaluating their health benefits options is OPM’s Plan Comparison Tool. The LiteBlue Open Season web page includes a step-by-step guide for navigating this tool. To get this information, please visit LiteBlue also offers additional Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) resources.

Open Season Deadlines: Keep in mind the dates below to ensure you have time to visit the LiteBlue Open Season website, view and evaluate the plans, make your decision and submit changes. Also, be sure that you changed your previous 4-digit USPS PIN to the new self-service password (SSP). You must have the new SSP and your Employee Identification Number (EIN) to access LiteBlue.

• FEHB: November 10, 2014 through December 9, 2014, 5:00 PM Central Time
• FEDVIP: November 10, 2014 through December 8, 2014, 11:59 PM Eastern Time
• USPS NCEHB Plan: November 10, 2014 through December 9, 2014, 5:00 PM Central Time
• FSAs: November 10,, 2014 through December 21, 2014, 5:00 PM Central Time
• Annual Leave Exchange: November 15, 2014 through December 15, 2014, 11:59 PM Central Time

FEHB Open Season elections and changes are effective January 10, 2015. Open Season cancellations are effective January 9, 2015. More information can be found in the Nov. 13 Postal Bulletin here:

South Florida Welcomes Louis Klegin as Port Saint Lucie Postmaster

Louis Klegin has been named Postmaster, Port Saint Lucie, FL.

In 1995 after serving 11 years in the U.S. Navy, Klegin joined the Postal Service as a City Letter Carrier in Sheboygan, WI. In 2007, he transferred to Spokane, WA, where he joined the managerial ranks as Supervisor, Customer Services, and then was promoted to Manager, Customer Services. During his career, Klegin was detailed to Manager, Post Office Operations in Central and North Texas, as well as to A/Plant Manager in El Paso, TX.

He earned an Associate’s Degree in Education from the University of Illinois and graduated from the U.S. Postal Service's Management Leadership Program.

Fort Pierce Has a New Postmaster: Joel Ouellette

Joel Ouellette has been named Postmaster, Fort Pierce, FL.

Ouellette joined the Postal Service as a PTF City Carrier in Jacksonville, FL, in 1988. Seven years later, he was promoted to Supervisor, Customer Services, and then in 1998, to Manager, Mail Forwarding Systems and in 2000, Manager, Customer Services --- all in Jacksonville, FL. In 2005, Ouellette was promoted to Postmaster, Gulf Breeze, FL, and in 2007, to Postmaster, Stuart, FL.

Ouellette earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master's Degree in Organization Management from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, FL.

Following a 30-year career in the U.S. Naval Reserves, Ouellette retired as a Command Master Chief. 

Miami Customer Service Team Takes Top Honors at Recognition Meeting

Representing the Miami Customer Service Team were First Row, L to R: Allapattah Branch Manager, Customer Services China Velez; North Miami Beach Manager, Customer Services Brenda Kendrick; Martin Luther King Branch A/Manager Shanorma Pickens; Olympia Heights Branch Manager, Customer Services Theresa Springer; Flagler Station Manager, Customer Services Rosalyn Bell-Mosely; Manager, Customer Service Operations Marcia Pedraza; Little River Station Manager, Customer Services Lori Moore; and Key Biscayne Branch Manager, Customer Services Rose Thomas. Back Row, L to R: Manager, Customer Service Operations Juan Albo; Gratigny Branch Manager, Customer Services Brian Goldstein; Manager, Customer Services Darrin Johnson; Sunset Branch Manager, Customer Services Dan Lopez; Father Felix Varela Branch Manager, Customer Services Armando Marsal; Country Lakes Branch Manager, Customer Services Vicente Perez-Melendez; Quail Heights Branch Manager, Customer Services Mario Bossano; Miami Postmaster Enrique M. Suarez; Manager, Customer Service Operations Manuel Molina; Blue Lagoon Branch Manager, Customer Services Yolanda Ambrose; Tamiami Branch Manager, Customer Services Luis Mendez; and Coconut Grove Station Manager, Customer Services Alex Rafuls. 

Story and Photo: Mirtha Uriarte, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

On Friday, November 14, the South Florida District held its 2014 Quarter 4 Recognition and End-Of-Year meeting.  Miami Customer Service was recognized in several categories.  

“Miami Customer Service continues to grow and contribute to the South Florida Team. We are excited about providing the best service at the most efficient cost to our customers,” said Suarez. 

Congratulations to the following units recognized during the special event. Top achieving Miami Customer Service units were Flagler Station which received five awards followed by Doral Branch receiving four. A total of 41 awards were presented to Miami Customer Service at this quarter’s recognition event and 23 End-of-Year Awards. 

The following is the breakdown of each category: 

Quarter 4 Best Performance CDPOM:
County Line Annex,  Father Felix Varela Branch, Gratigny Branch, Hibiscus Annex, Ludlam Branch, Miami West Carrier Annex and Sunset Branch

End of Year Best Performance CDPOM:
Father Felix Varela Branch, Flagler Station, Gratigny Branch, Hibiscus Annex, Ludlam Branch, Milam Dairy Branch and Sunset Branch

Quarter 4 Best Performance CSSOM: 
Father Felix Varela Branch

End of Year Best Performance CSSOM:
Father Felix Varela Branch.

Quarter 4 Best Street to Base Performance:
Flagler Station

End of Year Best Street to Base Performance:
Milam Dairy Branch and Quail Heights Branch

End of Year Best Street to Base Improvement Performance:
Milam Dairy Branch

Quarter 4 % To Standard Improvement:
Father Felix Varela Branch

End of Year % To Standard Improvement:
Father Felix Varela Branch and Tamiami Station

Quarter 4 Function 4 Work Hours % to Plan:
Olympia Heights Branch  

End of Year Function 4 Work Hours % to Plan:
Sunset Branch   

Quarter 4 Function 2B OT % Improvement to SPLY:
Doral Branch

End of Year Total Work Hours - % to Plan:
Flagler Station

Quarter 4 Total All Expense % to Plan:
Jose Marti Station.

Quarter 4 – Business Connect Activities:
Flagler Station

Quarter 4 Overall Retail Customer Experience 100%:
Doral Branch, Flagler Station , Jose Marti Station, Little River Station, Ludlam Branch, Milam Dairy Branch, North Miami Beach Branch and North Miami Branch

Quarter 4 Zero OSHA II:
Allapattah Station, Coconut Grove Station, County Line Annex, Flagler Station, Hibiscus Carrier Annex, Kendall Branch, Martin Luther King Branch, North Miami Beach Branch, South Miami Branch and Tamiami Station
End of Year Zero OSHA II:
Allapattah Branch, Flagler Station and North Miami Beach Branch

Quarter 4 Zero Motor Vehicle Accidents:
Coconut Grove Station, Doral Branch, Flagler Station, Gratigny Branch, Jose Marti Branch, Key Biscayne Branch and Little River Station

End of Year Zero Motor Vehicle Accidents:
Flagler Station, Jose Marti Branch

Quarter 4 Voice of the Employee:
Doral Branch

End of Year Voice of the Employee:
Allapattah Station and Flagler Station

Quarter 4 Attendance Control Performance:
Father Felix Varela Branch

End of Year Attendance Control Performance:
Father Felix Varela Branch

Saluting Our Deerfield Veterans

City Carrier Craig Hall (center) sang the National Anthem in front of the Deerfield Post Office. Surrounding Hall are L to R: Supervisor, Customer Services Peter Gonzalez, American Legion Representatives Eddie Thimm and Greg Hardy, City Carrier Debbie MaClary, City Carrier Rick Hunter, Laborer Custodian Robert Munoz, City Carrier James West, City Carrier Assistant Dawn Elashmawy, and City Carrier George VanDyke.

Deerfield employees marched together to form a half circle around the flagpole during a Veterans Recognition Program. City Carrier Rick Hunter presented the American Flag and Debbie MaClary the POW-MIA Flag. After raising both flags, Supervisor, Customer Services Pedro Gonzalez led the team in the Pledge of Allegiance, and then City Carrier Craig Hall sang the National Anthem. Employees returned to the office where Postmaster Butch Belanger presented each veteran with a Certificate of Appreciation for their service. Refreshments were served in honor of all veterans.

"To all the veterans in the Deerfield Post Office and to those everywhere, I thank you for the years you served in our Armed Forces," said Belanger. "No matter what role you played, we here at home stayed safe because of your service to our country."

L to R: Deerfield City Carrier James West, City Carrier George VanDyke, Laborer/Custodian Robert Munoz, City Carrier Assistant Dawn Elashmawy, City Carrier Craig Hall, City Carrier Debbie MaClary, City Carrier Rick Hunter, American Legon Post 162 Veterans Eddie Thimm and Greg Hardy, Postmaster Butch Belanger, and Supervisor, Customer Services Peter Gonzalez.

A 'Giant' Offer from San Francisco

The San Francisco District is offering limited-edition, double-matted artwork, suitable for framing, and two commemorative envelopes to celebrate the San Francisco Giants' third World Series title in five seasons. 
Each collectible envelope is available for $6, and the artwork is available for $25-30. Supplies are limited. 
To purchase a commemorative item, send a check or money order (plus $12.65 for shipping and handling) payable to USPS and a completed order form to SF Giants 2014 Products, c/o District Retail, PO Box 7838, San Francisco, CA 94120-7838.          

Friday, November 14, 2014

Postal Service Reports Revenue Up, $5.5 Billion Down in Fiscal Year 14

Due to a cyber-security intrusion that the U.S. Postal Service announced on Nov. 10, management and external auditors are currently reviewing significant financial applications to confirm that the incident did not compromise the financial data needed to file the Postal Service’s fiscal 2014 Form 10-K. There is no indication at this time that the data was compromised, but out of an abundance of caution, the Postal Service will delay filing of the 10-K—which it had planned to do  today—until review procedures are complete. The review, which has already begun, is expected to take several more weeks. View the Postal Service’s cyber intrusion statement for more information about the incident.

In the interest of transparency, however, the Postal Service presented unaudited financial results for fiscal 2014 at its open Board of Governors meeting today and will again present the unaudited financial results at a financial briefing call today at 11 a.m.

At the Board meeting, the Postal Service reported that operating revenue increased $569 million in fiscal year 2014 (Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014). Excluding a one-time adjustment to revenue of $1.3 billion in 2013 resulting from a change in accounting estimate for Forever stamps, 2014 operating revenue would have increased by $1.9 billion. This revenue growth resulted from the January 2014 price increase and strong growth in the Shipping and Packages business. Offsetting this positive news, however, were legislative burdens and constraints that contributed to a $5.5 billion net loss in 2014. This eighth consecutive annual net loss underscores the need for comprehensive legislation to repair the Postal Service’s broken business model.

The net loss includes $5.7 billion for the prefunding requirement of the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund and an additional $1.2 billion in non-cash workers’ compensation expense, consisting of $485 million related to changes in interest rates and $697 million of other non-cash workers’ compensation expense. These items are outside of management’s control.

“We have grown our revenue for two years in a row, primarily through growth in our package business and price changes, and we are making strong progress in many core areas of our business — from operational performance, to data and technology use, to developing and marketing new products and services — all of which are helping to build a strong foundation for the future of the organization,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe. “While we still have major issues to resolve with regard to our business model and legislative constraints, our message today is about momentum and progress.”

“In 2014 we set another record for productivity,” said Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Joseph Corbett. “Even as we continued growing our package business, we reduced work hours, transportation expenses, and compensation and benefits expenses.

“The legally mandated $5.7 billion prefunding requirement for the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund contributed to our continuing losses,” said Corbett. “Due to lack of sufficient cash, we were forced to default on the $5.7 billion prepayment, underscoring the need for legislative change.”
The Postal Service’s key legislative requirements:

·         Require within the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program a set of specific health care plans that would fully integrate with Medicare and virtually eliminate the retiree health benefits unfunded liability and eliminate the need for multibillion dollar annual prefunding.
·         Adjust the Federal Employee Retirement System payment amount using Postal Service specific demographic and salary growth assumptions and refund any existing surplus.
·         Adjust required delivery frequency (six-day packages/five-day mail).
·         Streamline governance model and eliminate duplicative oversight.
·         Provide authority to expand products and services.
·         Require a defined contribution retirement system for future Postal Service employees.
·         Require arbitrators to consider the financial condition of the Postal Service.
·         Reform workers’ compensation programs.

Results of Operations

Highlights of yearly results compared to the same period last year:

·         Operating revenue was $67.8 billion compared to $67.2 billion in 2013. Without the 2013 one-time adjustment as noted above, 2014 operating revenue increased by $1.9 billion over last year’s revenue. As a result of growth in our package business and the price increases implemented, this is the second consecutive year of revenue growth, reversing a four-year trend of revenue declines that began in 2008.

·         Total mail volume was 155.4 billion pieces compared to 158.2 billion pieces a year ago, a decrease of 2.8 billion pieces or 1.8 percent. Shipping and Package Services volume grew by 300 million pieces, an increase of 8.1 percent. First-Class Mail, our most profitable service line, and Standard Mail volume decreased by 2.2 billion and 495 million pieces, respectively.

·         Operating expenses were $73.2 billion in 2014 compared to $72.1 billion in 2013. A non-cash adjustment for interest rate changes associated with workers’ compensation caused $2.2 billion of the increase year over year. This was offset by a $737 million reduction in other workers’ compensation expense and a $708 million reduction in compensation and benefits expenses.

·         Expenses include the required $5.7 billion contribution to the retiree health care benefits fund that the Postal Service was unable to make by the due date of Sept. 30, 2014. Unless legislation reforms the retiree health care benefits program, the Postal Service will likely be forced to default on its prefunding obligations in 2015 and 2016.

·         The resulting net loss for the 2014 fiscal year was $5.5 billion compared to a net loss of $5.0 billion in 2013.

PMG Patrick R Donahoe to Retire; COO Megan Brennan is Next PMG

Link Extra

PMG Pat Donahoe and COO Megan Brennan, who will succeed him when he retires Feb. 1, 2015.
The Postal Service Board of Governors announced today that Postmaster General and CEO Pat Donahoe has decided to retire Feb. 1, 2015, after 39 years with USPS. The board also announced the appointment of Megan Brennan, currently chief operating officer, as the next PMG.

At a public board meeting, Chairman Mickey D. Barnett called Donahoe a visionary leader who worked tirelessly to move the organization forward during one of its most difficult periods.

“Pat was the calm in the financial storm. He ignored the naysayers and went forward with his team and built a comprehensive plan for the future of the organization, made tough decisions, and executed against those decisions,” said Barnett. “That’s a testament to the great team he built and his own personal leadership.”

The board appointed Donahoe PMG in the midst of a severe financial crisis, the result of an inflexible business model that limited the Postal Service’s ability to respond to declining First-Class Mail volumes. Donahoe created an integrated financial plan and took aggressive measures to control costs — including the rationalization of mail processing, delivery and Post Office operations. These changes have significantly lowered the Postal Service’s cost base.

Commenting on the fact that USPS has roughly 220,000 fewer employees today than it did in 2004, Barnett noted that “no other organization has restructured itself so dramatically and on such a large scale, and continued functioning at such a high level. And it did so without relying upon employee layoffs.”

Donahoe said he believes the Postal Service is headed in the right direction, but still has a long way to go. “The organization has a lot of momentum right now, and we’re doing a lot to innovate and improve the way we serve the public and our customers,” Donahoe said. “The nature of delivery is changing dramatically and the Postal Service will continue to be an important part of those changes.”

Barnett praised Brennan, who will become the 74th PMG and the first woman to hold the job, as the ideal choice to succeed Donahoe.

“Megan has demonstrated outstanding vision, leadership and executive ability in her role as chief operating officer, and has been extraordinarily successful in managing the operations of the Postal Service,” said Barnett. “She is highly regarded throughout the Postal Service and among the broader community of our major customers and business partners — and rightly so.”

As COO, Brennan is responsible for the day-to-day activities of 491,000 career employees working in more than 31,000 facilities supported by a fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles. She oversees all Postal Service operations, including mail processing, transportation, delivery and retail operations.

“As the head of operations, Megan has led important initiatives to provide Sunday delivery services, improved tracking, and greater predictability and reliability,” Barnett said. “She has also been highly successful in rationalizing our mail processing, delivery and retail operations.”

Brennan said, “I am deeply honored and humbled to take on this role at such an exciting time for the organization. The Postal Service plays a vital role in America’s society and economy and I’m looking forward to strengthening that role and meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving marketplace in the years ahead.”

Donahoe, whom the board appointed PMG in October 2010, began his USPS career as a clerk while attending the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his appointment as the organization’s top officer, he served as Deputy Postmaster General and COO.

Brennan, a 28-year veteran of the Postal Service, was named COO and executive vice president in December 2010. Previously she was vice president of Eastern Area Operations and vice president of Northeast Area Operations. She joined USPS in 1986 as a letter carrier in Lancaster, PA, and began her management career as a delivery and collection supervisor.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Saluting Our Fort Pierce Veterans

Fort Pierce Main Office veterans L to R: Custodian Talmadge Quinn; Supervisor, Customer Services Robert Millan; Letter Carriers James Hazelton, Christopher Ingram, William Shelley, Al Bradford, and Juan Matta; Rural Carrier Dan Schultz; Letter Carrier Dave Osterhoudt; Rural Carrier Associate Michael Bell; Letter Carrier Christopher Sanders and Anthony Rivera; Postal Support Employee Brian Koths; Clerk Gerry Gryner; and Postmaster Joel Ouellette. Not pictured: Letter Carriers Kathy Robbins and Richard Sellas. Photo: Robert Milian

Recognizing Our District Veterans

Custodian Angel Vega (left) and Manager, Business Mail Entry Unit Joycelynn King (right) participated in the flag-raising ceremony during the veterans celebration at the South Florida District Office.
L to R: District Manager Jeffery Taylor; Custodian Michael Thompson; Dispute Resolution Team Member Tayloria McPhee-Johnson; Manager, Business Mail Entry Unit; Dispute Resolution Team Member John Herold; Manager, Human Resources Jann Miller, and Custodian Angel Vega.

South Florida District Manager Jeffery Taylor (center) asked district personnel to gather around the flagpole at the District Office to recognize and thank veterans for their service. Among participants were veterans (L to R):  Dispute Resolution Team Members John Herold and Tayloria McPhee-Johnson; Custodian Angel Vega; Manager, Business Mail Entry Unit Joycelynn King; and Manager, Human Resources Jann Miller. Not pictured: Custodian Michael Thompson. Following a flag-raising ceremony, veterans and other district personnel met in the conference room for coffee and danish.

Photos: Debra J. Fetterly