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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.

Art Work at Dallas Museum of Art Featured in USPS Stamp Collection

Murphy_Razor.HiRez_-630x560The Dallas Museum of Art’s iconic 1924 Razor painting by Gerald Murphy is one of twelve works of art featured in a new “Modern Art in America” Forever® stamp collection produced by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The sheet of twelve adhesive stamps will be available through the USPS in early 2013.

The “Modern Art in America” stamp collection commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Armory Show in New York and features work produced between 1913 and 1931. The 1913 Armory Show International Exhibition of Modern Art introduced modern art to America on a large scale, influencing American artists. The twelve works include Stuart Davis’s House and Street, Charles Demuth’s I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, Aaron Douglas’s The Prodigal Son, Arthur Dove’s Fog Horns, Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, Marsden Hartley’s Painting, Number 5, John Marin’s Sunset, Maine Coast, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie’s II, Man Ray’s Noire et Blanche, Charles Sheeler’s American Landscape, Joseph Stella’s Brooklyn Bridge, and Gerald Murphy’s Razor.

Razor entered the DMA’s collection in 1963 through the Foundation for the Arts Collection and was a gift of Gerald Murphy. The bold, simplified forms of the matchbox, safety razor, and fountain pen showcase Gerald Murphy’s training in mechanical drawing, as well as his interest in the flattened space of cubist painting. His depiction of consumer products—particularly the recently invented safety razor—precedes the later use of commercial imagery by pop artists of the 1960s. Murphy was a member of the Lost Generation, the group of artistically minded Americans who colonized Paris between the two world wars. His exposure to modern art at gallery exhibitions—and subsequent friendships with Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, and Igor Stravinsky—convinced him to become a painter himself. After studying with the Russian painter and designer Natalia Goncharova, Murphy embarked upon a short-lived career.

In 2008 the DMA presented the nationally acclaimed exhibition Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy. The exhibition featured keepsakes, letters, memorabilia, and the paintings of Gerald Murphy. The DMA’s Razor and Watch, two of the eight remaining paintings in Murphy’s oeuvre,were featured in the exhibition.


USPS package intercept scam alert

The Postal Service is issuing a warning about a scam involving imposters who pose as employees and tell employees to ignore Sender’s Request for USPS Package Intercept Service, PS Form 1509.

Lottery fraud perpetrators based in Jamaica are posing as USPS officials and attempting to stop the return of packages to customers who have filed the form after making a payment.

Their use of postal titles and departments suggests the criminals understand USPS internal references.

When these scammers suspect a PS Form 1509 has been filed, they call the Post Office and claim to be a supervisor or someone from “Consumer Affairs.” They instruct the employee to ignore the request to intercept the package and instead deliver it as addressed.

Employees should be alert to this scam and follow the instructions for handling PS Form 1509 packages. Any questions regarding a PS Form 1509 should be addressed to the originating Post Office.


Cardstore Offers 29 cent Personalized Holiday Greeting Cards: Guaranteed by Christmas

29centCLEVELAND, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Today only, Cardstore, the popular greeting card website from American Greetings Corporation (NYSE: AM) is offering 29 cent holiday greeting cards as a way to encourage shoppers to personalize and mail their cards to friends and family before the “guaranteed before Christmas” cut-off date. While the last guaranteed day is December 17, Cardstore wanted to entice consumers with one of the best prices on cards this season, and provide incentive for people to miss the last minute rush by ordering their cards today.

“We are thrilled with the response we’ve seen from customers this holiday season and want to make sure everyone, even the last minute shoppers, can have a chance to personalize a greeting at Cardstore, said Ann-Marie McGowan, general manager of Cardstore. “We have thousands of cards to select from and make it easier for customers by stamping and sending the cards directly to their mailing list via the U.S. postal service.”

Other Cardstore benefits include free standard shipping this holiday season, mail delivery service with the simple click of “mail to the recipient”, a schedule ahead option, three different ways to include a signature, easier upload for address books, the ability to upload photos from Facebook, a free iPhone app that can be easily downloaded on Cardstore.com or through the iTunes App store, as well as the Cardstyle blog that provides inspiration and suggestions on creating the perfect card.

1 DAY ONLY! 12/12/12! 29¢ Holiday Cards + Free Shipping at Cardstore!

postalnews.com morning headlines for December 12

The next surge in Afghanistan – holiday mail

December 10, 2012

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Dec. 10, 2012) — The troop surge in Afghanistan officially ended in September, but Soldiers of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division are preparing for another surge that will arrive in country over the next three weeks: mail. Read the rest of this entry »

Video: Reports of missing mail in Tampa lead to USPS investigation

TAMPA – This is normally the hottest time of the year for Nanette Hagan, who owns a Ebay-based sport clothing business. But not this Christmas. Not after seven of her deliveries disappeared in recent weeks.

Hagan says she could not get any answers from the postal service other than confirmation her priority mail packages never made it out of Tampa.

I contacted the Office of Inspector General, the agency that investigates problems with in the postal service. They confirmed Hagan is not alone.

Read more: Reports of missing mail in Tampa lead to US Postal Service investigation.

USPS: Direct Mail With Mobile Technologies Is Changing the Way People Shop This Holiday Season

WASHINGTON , Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Direct mail remains a medium of choice for holiday shoppers and marketers alike. And enhanced with mobile and web technologies like QR codes, personalized URLs and augmented reality, it’s engaging consumers like never before. Read the rest of this entry »