Friday, November 30, 2018

'What Safety Means to Me!'

A Gold Star for Gratigny SSA

Miami Gratigny Branch Sales and Services Associate Marlo Shaw smiled upon receipt of a Gold Star Award for a perfect Retail Customer Experience (RCE) transaction. Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte 

Flex Appeal: Managing Your FSA

Do you wear eyeglasses, contact lenses or visit the dentist more than twice a year? If so, experts say a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is likely a good option for you.
FSAs can help your health care dollars go further — but only if you plan accordingly.
FSAs allow you to set aside money on a pretax basis to pay for health care and dependent care expenses. You can enroll in an FSA during this year’s open season benefits enrollment period, now through December 10.  

Beginning January 1, the maximum amount you can contribute is $2,700 toward a health care FSA and $5,000 toward a dependent care FSA.

With a health care FSA, you can roll over as much as $500 into the next year if you re-enroll. Anything above this amount must be used by December 31.

You can learn more about FSAs on the Open Season and FSA LiteBlue pages.

Source: LINK

5 POs Open 4 Sundays in December

Did you know that five South Florida Post Offices will be open the next four Sundays, beginning December 2? Our customers will appreciate the convenience of shipping their holiday gifts between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following locations:
Coral Springs Branch, 3255 NW 94 Ave, Coral Springs, FL 33065
Flamingo Branch, 12590 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027
Miami GMF Postal Store, 2200 NW 72 Ave, Miami, FL 33152
Palms West Branch, 10299 Southern Blvd, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
Tamarac Branch, 7875 NW 57 St, Tamarac, FL 33351

With an increase in early and online shopping for gifts, there is no longer a “busiest day” for holiday shipping. Instead, the Postal Service’s busiest time is now two weeks before Christmas. Starting the week of December 10, customer traffic is expected to increase, and the Postal Service expects to deliver nearly 200 million packages per week during these two weeks. The week of December 17 is predicted to be the busiest mailing, shipping and delivery week, when nationwide, nearly three billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards, will be processed and delivered.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Seeking EMVP Nominations

USPS wants to recognize bargaining unit employees who demonstrate positivity and who go above and beyond the call of duty for their work and their colleagues.

These individuals will be honored through Engagement Most Valuable Players (EMVP), one of several programs that help the Postal Service to engage and empower employees, a core strategy.

Each EMVP honoree will receive a lanyard, a pin and a certificate of appreciation.

Only bargaining unit employees can nominate other bargaining unit employees for the program. Nominations will be accepted through January 13.

Honorees will be announced in early 2019.

The Employee Engagement LiteBlue page has more information, including an online nominations form.


USPS Announces 2019 Stamps

The Postal Service has announced some of its planned stamps for 2019:

Hearts Blossom, the latest stamp in the Love series

Year of the Boar, the 12th and final stamp in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series

Gregory Hines, the 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series

Cactus Flowers, a booklet of 20 stamps that feature 10 images

Alabama Statehood, which celebrates the state’s bicentennial

Marvin Gaye, a Music Icons stamp

USS Missouri, which honors the 75th anniversary of the battleship’s commissioning in June 1944

Post Office Murals, a pane of 10 stamps that feature five Great Depression-era murals

U.S. Flag, the latest stamp to honor the nation’s most recognizable symbol

Wild and Scenic Rivers, a pane of a dozen different designs

Walt Whitman, the 32nd stamp in the Literary Arts series

Frogs, a booklet of 20 stamps that showcase four designs

State and County Fairs, four se-tenant stamps that work together as a panorama and also as individual images

Woodstock, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the August 1969 music fair

Winter Berries, a booklet of 20 stamps that feature four designs

Joshua Tree, a Priority Mail stamp that depicts a desert scene

Bethesda Fountain, a Priority Mail Express stamp that commemorates one of the most iconic statues in New York City’s Central Park

Coral Reefs, four postcard stamps

California Dogface, the seventh non-machineable butterfly stamp for use on irregularly sized envelopes

U.S. Flag Stamp Envelope, a stamped envelope 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness

The Marketing Department supported "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" with a creative competition among team members. Stay tuned for an update on the winning entries!  
The South Florida District Consumer and Industry Contact Team (above) created the “Fighting for a Cure” display. 
Manager, Marketing Juan Nadal (above, far right) posed with several Marketing Team members who created various displays that supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Manager, Marketing Juan Nadal (not pictured) created the above “Tackle Cancer" display. 

Boca Raton Supervisor, Business Mail Entry Gillian Moore (not pictured) created “Princess Poppy” (above) to encourage annual medical checkups. “Pop In for an Exam” was the theme of this display. 

Marketing Acting Administrative Assistant Michelle Wilcox (not pictured) showcased her creativity in her “Sexy and Surviving” display (above). 

Manager, Retail Sue Walker (not pictured) featured a popular bedrock family to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Yabba Dabba Doo! Flintstones Crush Cancer” was the theme.  

Business Development Specialist Pat O’Brady created the above “Big or Small --- Let’s Save Them All” display for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Manager, Marketing Juan Nadal (not pictured) created the above “Treasure Your Chest” display.
Ray Cefali of the Retail Operations Center created the above “Hunting for a Cure” display.

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus!

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and the U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child’s letter — complete with a North Pole postmark.

Here are the steps for your child to get a letter back from Santa:

1. Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.
2. Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response. Make the response as personal as possible by highlighting your child’s accomplishments over the past year. For example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular school subject, or participating in community service activities.
3. Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to the child.
4. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.
5. Affix a First-Class Mail stamp, such as one of the new holiday stamps, to the envelope.
6. Place the envelope into a larger envelope — preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope — with appropriate postage and address it to:

North Pole Postmark
4141 Postmark Drive
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

The Anchorage, AK, Postmaster must receive your letter no later than December 15. Santa’s postal helpers will take care of the rest!

Only letters addressed to a specific North Pole address — complete with correct ZIP Code — are sent there. The vast majority of letters for Santa Claus are addressed “Santa Claus, North Pole” or just simply “Santa” — these letters are processed just like all the other letters, but because they do not have a complete address, automated mail sorting equipment processes them into a default bin. 

South Florida postal employees volunteer to address postcards from Santa to children who have written to him. This allows Santa to focus his attention on his elves and their toy productivity at the North Pole. 

Open Season Closes in 13 Days

Employees have 13 days to change their health coverage or enroll in a new plan.

Open Season, the annual period when USPS employees can make benefits changes, ends Monday, December 10.

Employees can choose from a variety of health, vision and dental coverage through the following programs and plans:

·  Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
·  USPS Health Benefits Plan (USPSHBP) for non-career employees only
·  Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
·  Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

The Open Season LiteBlue page has information and resources, including Frequently-Asked Questions, informational videos and a link to a health plan comparison tool from Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans.

Employees may contribute more money to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in 2019.

Under a recent IRS change, the maximum employee contribution for FSAs will change from $2,650 to $2,700. The increase will take effect January 1.

An FSA allows an employee to set aside money before taxes to cover eligible medical, pharmacy, dental and vision expenses.

You can only enroll or re-enroll in an FSA during Open Season, now through December 10. To enroll or re-enroll in the FSA program, use the FSA Feds site.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Pompano Beach Promotion

Pompano Beach Postmaster Mike Vecchitto (left) announced the promotion of Frank Mariano (right) to Manager, Customer Service Operations. In his new position, Mariano oversees postal operations at six stations and two finance units in Pompano Beach and the surrounding area.

Mariano, a 31-year employee, began his career as a Letter Carrier in Coral Springs. In 1996, he was promoted to Supervisor, Customer Services at the Oakland Park Branch, and then in 2000, was Supervisor, Customer Services at the Tropical Reef Station, Pompano Beach. In 2004, he was promoted to Manager, Customer Services, Tropical Reef Station. During his career, Mariano accepted detail assignments that included Area Manager, both in Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. He also was acting Manager, Operations Programs Support in the South Florida District and was detailed as Officer In Charge in Lake Worth.

Photo: Cindy Scherer

CFC Promotes #GivingTuesday Today

Each year around this time, we give thanks for all the joy in our lives, from family and friends to a roof over our heads and food on the table. Not everyone is as fortunate.

The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has designated Tuesday, November 27, as #GivingTuesday, a social media-fueled movement and a day for supporting philanthropy. With this year’s “Show Some Love” campaign well underway, employees may voluntarily support those who need it most by giving through the CFC at You may make a contribution of any amount you choose — via payroll deduction or a one-time gift — on #GivingTuesday. The goal is to fully embody the spirit of giving on #GivingTuesday by bringing in the greatest number of pledges within one 24-hour period. 

Did you know that for just $34 — a little less than $3 per month —you can provide 100 meals to homeless individuals? Or that just one gift of $100 plants 100 trees? That and more is made possible because of the buying power and partnerships that charities have in place. Through them, our voluntary gifts make a greater difference. Consider brown-bagging it once or twice a month and donating the cost of a fast-food lunch through payroll deduction. Your donation can help feed a hungry veteran, child, or homeless individual.

The CFC is the largest and most successful workplace charitable giving drive in the world. The CFC is the only authorized charitable organization solicitation of federal employees in their workplace. 

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Monday, November 26, 2018

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Honoring First Responders in WPB

On November 15, the U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Miami Division recognized Palm Beach State College’s Public Safety programs and its partner agencies at an Honoring First Responders Forever stamp dedication on the college’s Lake Worth Campus.

West Palm Beach, FL, Postmaster Ernie Onody and Postal Inspector Scott Horne presented framed enlargements of the Honoring First Responder stamp to the college’s Criminal Justice Institute, Emergency Medical Services, and Firefighter Academy, as well as its partner agencies in Corrections, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Rescue, and Law Enforcement.

Emergencies of all varieties, from crimes and medical incidents to accidents and fires, occur in communities every day. These critical situations require men and women who possess the training and knowledge to rescue the endangered, treat the injured, and restore safety and order. The college trains the most first responders in Palm Beach County.

Postal Inspector Scott Horne (left) and West Palm Beach Postmaster Ernie Onody (right) dedicated the Honoring First Responders stamp enlargement to 400 Palm Beach State College Public Safety students and local law enforcement.
The dedication opened with the Color Guard of Palm Beach County Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers, which included a piper (center).  

It was standing-room-only at the Honoring First Responders stamp dedication in the Public Safety Conference Center of the Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus. Pictured front row, District Manager Timothy Costello (third from left); West Palm Beach, FL, Postmaster Ernie Onody (fourth from left); and Postal Inspector Scott Horne (fifth from left).

The Color Guard of Palm Beach County Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers stands at attention.

Photos: West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator Gayle Jones 

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Are you a Black Friday shopper or Cyber Monday shopper? Maybe you shop throughout the holiday season. No matter when you buy your holiday gifts, you can relax knowing the U.S. Postal Service will get your packages to their destination this holiday season. 

Holiday mailing deadlines are fast approaching, and the Postal Service is ready to deliver. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the Postal Service expects to deliver more than 900 million packages and nearly 15 billion pieces of mail – for a total of nearly 16 billion cheerful deliveries this holiday season.  

If you're planning to mail cards and packages, you're encouraged to visit a local Post Office no later than the below dates for expected delivery by December 25 to Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office and domestic addresses:*

December 4
APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

December 11
APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

December 14
USPS Retail Ground

December 18 
APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express

December 20
First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
Priority Mail
Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

December 22
Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
Priority Mail Express

* Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before December 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed December 22 through December 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

To send packages to loved ones serving in the military or at diplomatic posts abroad, the Postal Service offers a discounted price of $17.40 on its largest Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The price includes a $1.50 per-box discount for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations worldwide.

To handle the surge in volume, the Postal Service is expanding its Sunday delivery operations in select high package volume locations during the holiday season. More than five million packages are expected to be delivered each Sunday in December. Mail carriers will also deliver Priority Mail Express packages on Christmas Day for an additional fee in select locations.