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Kearney out as “Stamp Czar”

kearneyWriting for Linn’s Stamp News, Bill McAllister notes that last week’s reshuffle of the USPS Sales and Marketing departments included the ouster of Stephen M. Kearney as head of the agency’s stamp program. USPS Chief Marketing Officer Nagisa Manabe didn’t offer any explanation for the change, which saw the stamp program moved from the Government Relations department to Sales, with Susan McGowan now in charge.

Kearney, who had been a Senior VP and a member of the USPS Executive Committee under previous PMG Jack Potter, and whose LinkedIn profile still proclaims him “Stamp Czar”, will now oversee “customer retention” in the Sales department.

Man damages Kenthurst Post Office

Two men caused $200 worth of damage to Kenthurst Post Office on Friday after being told they couldn’t receive their mail without identification.

The men entered the store after 2pm and allegedly became violent and abusive to staff when they couldn’t take their parcel. After a short argument with staff the men pushed over a shelf and left.

Read more: Man damages Kenthurst Post Office  | Hills News.

Royal Mail has stamped out our Christmas card habit

The Christmas card may not have realised it yet, but it is dead. Well, dying. Let’s just say it is drifting in and out of consciousness while muttering incomprehensibly to itself.

The main reason, this year at least, is the dramatic increase in the price of second-class stamps, from 36p to 50p. The average number of cards sent per person is expected to fall by a quarter as a direct consequence.

Read more: Royal Mail has stamped out our Christmas card habit – Telegraph.

Couldn’t agree more…

 

Flags at half-staff

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President Obama has ordered the U.S. flag be lowered to half-staff as a mark of respect for the victims of the acts of violence committed Dec. 14 in Newtown, CT.

The flag must be flown at half-staff now until sunset, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012.

When flown at half-staff, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant and then lower it to the half-staff position. The flag should be raised to the peak again before it’s lowered for the day.

via USPS News Link Story – Flags at half-staff.

USPS Northeast Area Facilities Project Manager Arrested on Corruption Charges

US-Department-Of-Justi_fmtDavid B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Joanne Yarbrough, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Major Fraud Investigations Division, announced that ROBERT GIULIETTI, 55, a resident of Cheshire and an employee of the U.S. Postal Service, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with bribery, conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. In association with today’s arrest, the government also executed seizure warrants on three bank accounts controlled by GIULIETTI and seized $630,731.40 in proceeds allegedly involved in the commission of those offenses.

According to statements made in court today, GIULIETTI was a Facilities Project Manager for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) at the USPS Northeast Facilities Office in Windsor, Conn. GIULIETTI’s duties included recommending and selecting facilities improvement contractors, reviewing and approving bids received from those contractors for USPS work, certifying the completion of work by contractors and approving payment authorizations. The complaint alleges that GIULIETTI accepted significant corrupt payments from contractors doing business with the USPS in return for being influenced in the performance of his official duties.

In addition, the complaint alleges that in approximately September 2009, GIULIETTI formed MGC LLC, an entity he controlled under the name of a nominee owner, to do business with the USPS on projects on which he worked. Operating MGC from his USPS office in Windsor, GIULIETTI used his position to direct USPS contracts to MGC, to approve MGC’s work and to authorize payment to MGC for work. After GIULIETTI would direct USPS contracts to MGC, he would engage other contractors to perform the actual work involved with the project. GIULIETTI generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit by having MGC charge USPS more than MGC had to pay the contractors who performed the actual work.

The complaint further alleges that GIULIETTI engaged in financial transactions with the proceeds of his scheme in order to conceal their nature by MGC by issuing approximately $250,000 in checks payable to the nominee owner of MGC and depositing them into bank accounts he controlled.

Following his arrest, GIULIETTI appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and was released on $200,000 secured bond.

If convicted of bribery, GIULIETTI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of conspiracy, GIULIETTI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of wire fraud, GIULIETTI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted of money laundering, GIULIETTI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $500,000.

U.S. Attorney Fein noted that the investigation is ongoing.

U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Glover and Jonathan Francis.

via USDOJ: US Attorney’s Office – District of Connecticut.

USPS reorganizes Marketing and Sales (again…)

As it seems to do every year or two, the USPS has once again reorganized its Sales and Marketing departments- the following is from USPS News Link:

Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Nagisa Manabe has announced a restructured Marketing and Sales organization, focused to achieve growth in both the Postal Service and the overall mailing and shipping industry. Read the rest of this entry »

APWU, USPS Revamp Window Training

apwulogoAPWU Web News Article #151-12, Dec. 13, 2012

The APWU has made significant progress recently on revamping window training — a long-term union goal, Clerk Craft officers are reporting.

Last summer, after years of struggle, the USPS finally allowed the APWU to be involved in training — and even paid for the travel expenses of clerks who participated, they note.

The APWU team, which was selected by the union, included active and knowledgeable Sales and Service Associates and Lead Sales and Service Associates from around the country, who presented new ideas and concepts to improve training for retail clerks. This is an ongoing project. “We are committed to keeping the ‘boots on the ground’ concept alive as we to deal with the changing post office,” said Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk.

The APWU clerks participated in the pilot training programs in Philadelphia, Denver, Santa Clarita, CA, and Potomac, MD.

Under the new training concept, employees will receive nine hours of training by e-Learning, followed by 24 hours of classroom training. After the completion of the classroom training, they will have an opportunity to take a two-hour written test. After successful completion of the written test, participants will receive 40 hours of on-the-job (OJT) training.

  9 Hours of e-Learning
24 Hours of Classroom Training
2-Hour Written Test
40 Hours of On-the-Job Training

So far, more than 85 percent of trainees who took part in the pilot training passed, far exceeding previous success rates.

The APWU and USPS interviewed new PSE clerks and experienced clerks to get their opinions of the testing and the reviews were extremely positive. “Based on the feedback we received, we are continuing to improve the program,” Strunk said.

The APWU suggested that trainers should reflect our diverse workforce.  The parties are committed to achieving this goal, he reported.

Ad-Hoc Sales and Service Associate Training Classroom Instructor positions will be posted for volunteers. This represents a unique job opportunity for retail clerks. Successful applicants must have one year of continuous retail experience and hold a retail duty assignment at the time of consideration. The instructor must spend a minimum of 40 hours in their regular duty assignment every four months. They are paid at the PS-7 rate. Currently both standard training and the pilot training are being offered throughout the country until the APWU and the USPS are ready to offer the new training exclusively.

Special thanks to John Palmer of the Phoenix Metro Area Local and Mike Barrett of the Buffalo Local, and to the many other clerks and local officers that assisted in this endeavor.

Once it has been finalized, training material will be distributed to the field.

Please direct questions about this project to Assistant Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks, who has been assigned responsibility for implementing the program.

 

Video: USPS “Sweater-friendly returns” commercial features postal employee

When the gift-giving is over, let the gift-returning begin!

A new TV commercial from the Postal Service is reminding people that when a holiday gift doesn’t fit, doesn’t work or is a duplicate — like the sweater featured in the spot — USPS offers stress-free returns. Read the rest of this entry »

USPS Taps Pitney Bowes Technology for Next Generation of Automated Services at Retail Outlets

pbSTAMFORD, Conn., December 13, 2012 – Pitney Bowes technology was selected by the U.S. Postal Service® (USPS) to begin providing support and maintenance of its network of postal meters. A 6-year contract valued at up to $32 million for meters and meter supplies will enable the Postal Service to nationally standardize its meter needs using a single leading edge design. The contract also includes the provision of systems and support to meet the U.S. Joint Military Postal Command’s needs nationally and internationally.

Pitney Bowes will provide 24/7 web support as well as a dedicated call center support for the Postal Service. An automated electronic ordering and invoicing system will be implemented to ensure effective deployment and reduce manual processes.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to provide the U.S. Postal Service with precisely the automated technology it requires to meet the needs of today’s retail customer as well as the men and women of the military,” said Pat Brand, President, North American Mailing, Pitney Bowes.