the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998


USPS consolidates printing operations in Topeka

From USPS News Link:

Information Technology, Supply Management and the Memphis National Customer Service Center have entered the final stage of a 3-phase project to significantly reduce the Postal Service’s printing costs.


During the final stage, scheduled to be completed in June 2013, USPS will move Postal Automated Redirection System printing from the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) Print Center in Memphis, TN, to the new National Print Center (NPC) in Topeka, KS.

Phase one was completed last November and involved transferring print operations in San Mateo, CA; and Eagan, MN, to the NPC. Payroll checks, earning statements and Express Mail Corporate Account statements are among the documents now printed at the NPC.

During the second phase, completed in March, USPS moved print jobs from the NCSC Print Center to the NPC. Change-of-Address letters, Post Plan surveys and Printing and Classification Service Center authorization letters are now printed in Topeka.

CIO Ellis Burgoyne credited Western Area, the Supply Management Label Printing Center team, the Eagan Accounting Service Center and the IT print teams for their work to establish the expanded NPC printing operation in a short period of time. “These teams have worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless transition of the payroll print functions,” he said.

The consolidation project is part of an IT DRIVE Initiative. Information Technology VP John Edgar said consolidating facilities in Topeka will save USPS up to $ 2.5 million the first year, increasing to $4.2 million in 2018.

The NPC now prints more than 95 million pages a year.



Royal Mail sounds out market for £1.5 billion IPO loan

(Reuters) – Banks have been asked to gauge by the end of this week the appetite for a 1.5 billion-pound ($2.26 billion) syndicated loan to back the planned privatization of Britain’s Royal Mail Group (IPO-RMG.L), banking sources said.

Read more: Royal Mail sounds out market for £1.5 billion IPO loan | Reuters.


Birmingham postal worker pleads guilty to redirecting packages, including one that contained 11 handguns

uspsoigFLORENCE – A former U.S. Postal worker pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiracy and mail theft in connection with a scheme to redirect packages, including one containing 11 handguns, to an accomplice, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, Executive Special Agent in Charge Max Eamiguel.

RODNEY DEWAYNE CLARK, 34, of Birmingham, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Inge P. Johnson to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of theft of mail by an officer or employee of the Postal Service. Clark is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 22.

According to court records, Clark worked at the Postal Service’s Birmingham Distribution Center handling and directing mail in June 2012 when he conspired with an associate, Daltery Robinson of Birmingham, to embezzle packages by affixing new mailing labels to them and redirecting them to his associate’s home.

Clark notified Robinson by text message or phone call of the pending delivery of embezzled mail. On June 7, 2012, according to court records, Clark sent a text message about a stolen package he was redirecting to Robinson’s address, which contained 11 Jimenez handguns. The text read: “Got one comn pow pow $ROCAFELLAS$.” That package had been addressed to Gold Star Pawn in Bessemer.

Once the packages were delivered to Robinson, Clark would pay him $200 for each package, according to court records.

Robinson pleaded guilty in November to one count of theft or receipt of mail matter.

Read more: USDOJ: US Attorney’s Office – Northern District of Alabama.


DOL says USPS underpaid PSEs for overtime work

From the American Postal Workers Union:

apwulogoThe Postal Service method of calculating overtime rates for PSEs violates the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Department of Labor has found. The Postal Service has based overtime pay, which is paid at one-and-a-half times an employee’s hourly rate, on the wrong rate, the department concluded.

PSEs will begin receiving overtime pay based on the corrected methodology effective June 15, 2013, (Pay Period 14-2013 / Pay Date July 5, 2013).

The Postal Service expects to include pay adjustments for overtime worked before Pay Period 14 in Pay Period 17 (paid Aug. 16, 2013).

The value of the change will vary by the pay grade(s) and the number of night differential hours worked by PSEs.  At Grade 6, the corrected method should result in approximately 86 cents more per overtime hour.

How It Happened

The FLSA requires employers to compute overtime based on the “regular” rate of pay.  The FLSA does not rely on printed pay schedules; it uses rules to determine what types of pay employees receive for hours worked.

In accordance with FLSA rules, premiums of less than 50 percent, such as night differential, are added to determine the “regular” rate of pay. The FLSA also allows exclusions of certain pay in some cases.  For example, upon an explicit understanding, an employer could exclude a portion of pay intended as holiday pay.

Part-time flexibles (PTFs) do not get paid holiday leave directly; instead, they receive a higher hourly rate: the annual rate divided by 2000 hours. (See Article 11.7 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.) This higher rate compensates PTFs for holiday leave pay on a pro-rated basis.  When calculating PTF overtime, the Postal Service excludes the portion of pay intended for holiday leave, resulting in a lower rate: the annual rate divided by 2080.

The USPS applied the same method to Transitional Employees (TEs), whose pay was originally linked to PTF pay.  When the link with PTFs was broken by the establishment of a separate TE pay schedule, the Postal Service continued to employ a similar methodology.  Since TEs did not have annual rates, the USPS assigned an annual rate: 2000 hours times the TE hourly rate.  For overtime, the Postal Service divided the assigned annual rate by 2080, resulting in a lower rate for the overtime calculation.  When TEs were eliminated from the workforce and PSEs were hired, the Postal Service continued to use the TE overtime calculation method.


By morning headlines for May 24



Video: Postal workers pleased with ricin suspect's arrest

SPOKANE, Wash. — Local postal workers said they are pleased that authorities arrested a Spokane man accused of sending a deadly poison, ricin, in the mail.

Authorities arrested Matthew Ryan Buquet, 37, on Wednesday. He was immediately charged with one count of mailing a threatening communication.

Read more: Postal workers pleased with ricin suspect's arrest | Spokane.


Video: Oklahoma City group trying to turn USPS on to natural gas vehicles

An idea launched on the Internet is becoming closer to reality, thanks to the timely intervention of a former U.S. Air Force pilot.

Oilman Ron Mercer and adman Bob Hammack hatched their plan almost two years ago: Save the U.S. Postal Service from going broke by switching from gasoline to cheaper natural gas.

Read more: Oklahoma City group trying to turn U.S. Postal Service on to natural gas | News OK.


Rosemarie Fernandez Named Acting USPS Employee Resource Management VP

CHRO Jeffrey C. Williamson has named Rosemarie Fernandez acting vice president, Employee Resource Management.

Fernandez, a 35-year postal employee who began her career as a clerk in Van Nuys, CA, has been manager of the San Francisco District since 2010. She is a former manager of the Sacramento District and served from 2000 to 2004 as Postmaster of San Francisco.

A Lean Six Sigma executive green belt, Fernandez was named District Manager of the Year by the National Postal Customer Council in Sept. 2011. She also has received a Vice President’s award from USPS and was named as one of the “Most Influential Women in the Bay Area” by the San Francisco Business Times.

Fernandez assumes her new duties June 3.


Gettysburg, Vicksburg Civil War Forever Stamps Issued Today

gettysburgGETTYSBURG, PA — Two of the most important events of the Civil War were memorialized on Forever Stamps today at the sites where these conflicts took place — Gettysburg, PA, and Vicksburg, MS. Customers may purchase the Civil War Sesquicentennial 1863 collectible Forever Souvenir Stamp sheet at, at 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide. Read More

By morning headlines for May 23