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Postal News - September 2006

National Postal Museum’s Moving 9/11 Online Exhibit
Will Congress Take Closer Look At Jaffer Scandal?
NLRB Decision Regarding Weingarten Rights

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September 01, 2006 - Jaffer on Postal Payroll as Consultant Until Sept. 1

USPS won’t ask ex-VP to repay $46,000 in questionable expenses - Jaffer also on Sept. 1 removed himself from the Postal Service’s payroll and was paid the remainder of his earned vacation pay, which he had been scheduled to keep receiving in installments through the end of October.  Jaffer, who as vice president for public affairs and communications earned an annual salary of $164,000, earned $53,000 in vacation pay. Federal Times began asking the Postal Service questions in mid-August about reports that Jaffer was still on the Postal Service’s payroll as a consultant. Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan on Sept. 1 confirmed Jaffer was still on the postal payroll so he could receive his vacation pay in installments. He said Jaffer removed himself from the payroll the same day.   |

Jaffer May Not face Criminal Charges| Jaffer denies accusations |  OIG Report (PDF)

Failure to Provide Garrity and Kalkines Warnings in Disciplinary Investigations


Jaffer Scandal Heats Up

Late last week, the Postal Service issued new post-Jaffer expense guidelines. Dinners, they say, should not exceed $50 per person, more frugal than, for example, the $1,066.08 that the IG says Jaffer charged the Postal Service for dinner for three, including 16 drinks. On Friday, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) who chairs the House Committee on Government Reform, and the committee's ranking minority member, Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), sent a letter to Potter requesting a pile of records linked to Jaffer's case. The Inspector General's report of clearly unacceptable conduct by a senior postal official is troubling to all of us," the letter reads. The Postal Service has until Sept. 28 to respond - Jaffer’s White Paper (PDF) -"The Postal Service and its policies give officers, like Mr. Jaffer, substantial discretion to carry out and accomplish the goals of the Postal Service. As the Acknowledgement of Accountability, which each officer of the Postal Service signs, recognizes, "[i]ndividual managers enjoy considerable latitude witrh regard to funds and utilization." | Jaffer's response to the OIG charges (PDF) | 

After Jaffer case, USPS rewrites rules on expenses

September 29, 2006 - New USPS Security Rules Ban Laptops, PDAs from Postal Facilities -  Prohibited activities when using personal information resources include, but are not limited to, the following: a. Do not bring personal information resources (e.g., laptops, notebooks, personal digital assistants [PDAs], handheld computers, or storage media including universal serial bus [USB] port devices) into Postal Service facilities. b. Do not connect personal information resources to the Postal Service Intranet (Blue). c. Do not use imaging devices (e.g., cameras, cell phones with cameras, or watches with cameras) at Postal Service facilities except as authorized by the user's vice president or his or her designee for business purposes. Note: Many Union Reps use laptops and PDAs to assist in preparing grievances . Also many of the popular cell phones are PDAs or smartphones. |   

September 12, 2006 - Postal Service Plans for More Than $1 Billion in Cost Reductions  These cost reductions contain a planned decrease of 40 million workhours from the estimated FY 2006 level. Savings will come from automation improvements and implementation of additional “breakthrough productivity” initiatives. Two capital investment projects also received approval during today’s meeting. The Board approved funding to purchase eight Automated Package Processing Systems (APPS). This represents the second phase of the program, which will bring the total number of APPS machines deployed to 84. According to Walter O’Tormey, Vice President, Engineering, “The APPS machine uses advanced technology to automate parcel and bundle sorting and replaces mechanized and manual parcel and bundle operations with a more efficient operation.” The contract award, expected later this month, will pave the way for the eight APPS machines to be deployed in July 2007.  | 

September 18, 2006   - Ex- Postal Worker Gets 6 Months For Putting Urine in Co-Workers' Coffee - "Before Thomas Shaheen apologized and was sentenced, some of the postal employees he worked with at the transportation maintenance shop gave Shaheen a piece of their minds. "He not only watched us drink the coffee but the majority of the shop, his own friends and fellow workers, about 20 of us all together, he would sit in the same room with people and watch them drink his sick little brew and think nothing of it," said postal worker Jene Jackson. Postal workers said Shaheen poured urine in the coffee pot several times in a four- to six-month period. Employees said Shaheen was jealous of some of his peers who had certain work privileges.  | 

September 12, 2006 - Former Postal Worker Gets Prison, Ordered to Pay $242,000 for Lying to Obtain OWCP - William Hornbeak, age 56, of Leonardtown, Maryland, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for making false statements and concealing material information to obtain federal employees’ compensation. U.S. District Court Judge Alexander Williams Jr. also ordered Hornbeak to pay $242,015.88 in restitution for monies he fraudulently obtained from the government since 1998. According to the plea agreement presented to the court in June 2006, Hornbeak has been employed with USPS since 1981. Hornbeak’s home was searched pursuant to a federal warrant in 2005 and numerous records, documents and photos were found which corroborated Hornbeak’s improved medical condition and ability to perform physical tasks since at least 2001 that he claimed he could not do. Hornbeak admitted to performing tasks he had not reported to the DOL and said he "slightly exaggerated" his condition in letters to his congressional representatives.  | 

September 10, 2006 - Re: Drinking in Public Place While In Uniform

From PostalReporter Reader -" I remember that the character Cliff Clavin on Cheers, who wore a postal uniform to a bar in Boston (a public place) and even drank beer in postal uniform, was praised by PMG Marvin Runyon. From 1982 to 1993 when the series initially ran, and up through today's reruns, the Postal Service never protested this depiction of a postal worker, despite the glaring violation of the ELM! The trademarked USPS eagle emblem was clearly visible on his uniform."   (see photos).   | 


September 08, 2006 - Carrier Fired for Gambling Signed Last Chance Agreement

Lee Schechinger, a mail carrier from Harlan (IOWA), was fired by the Postal Service after he won $1,000 on a TouchPlay lottery machine while on duty. It was first reported that he is a Rural Carrier. But  but records from the Iowa Unemployment Insurance Appeals Decisions show that Schechinger is a City Letter Carrier. The records also state that Schechinger was fired for violating a “Last Chance Agreement” issued shortly after a previous notice of removal from the Postal Service. | 

September 06, 2006  - Lottery Win Gets Postman Fired -Schechinger, a rural mail carrier from Harlan (IA), was fired by the Postal Service after he won $1,000 on a TouchPlay lottery machine while on duty. Schechinger said he stopped in at the Logan Country Store for lunch on March 17 and decided to try his luck on the store's TouchPlay machine. He wagered $3 and won a cool grand. (The Legislature pulled the plug on the machines in May.) When supervisors asked him about the incident, he allegedly denied it, according to state employment records. Schechinger later admitted what had happened. They noted that employees are prohibited from gambling while in uniform or on duty, even during meal breaks. Postal Service officials fired Schechinger in late April. Schechinger said he has appealed the TouchPlay dismissal. A ruling is expected within two months. |


September 07, 2006  - Police: 29-Year Postal Worker Used Position To Get Drugs to Sell -"Six central Indiana men have been arrested on suspicion of being involved in a marijuana ring, including an Indianapolis postal worker accused of using his position to distribute the drug, authorities said. Bradley Polley, 50, a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, is accused of having marijuana that originated in Canada shipped from California to the Indianapolis postal branch where he worked, police said. "He would give them valid addresses ... so as not to raise a red flag, and when those packages would come, Polley would take them directly off the line for his truck and then take the marijuana to sell himself," said Maj. Randy Schalburg of the Hamilton County-Boone County Drug Task Force." Polley has resigned from USPS. Mass.: Mail Carrier Caught With Cocaine, Syringes and undeliverable mail | 


September 04, 2006  - ‘God Bless America' Poster Yanked from Post Office Lobby - "The God Bless America poster that used to hang in the Lompoc (Calif.) post office lobby is now in the back room out of public view. That's the way Lompoc resident Matt Hughes likes it. Post office employees were as offended as Hughes, not by the poster but by the postmaster's decision. The poster had been hanging on a wall above the customer service area since 2001. It was placed there, where clerks accept packages from customers, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “The post office is not an appropriate place for people to be speaking for or against god,” Hughes said. “Not in a way that makes it appear that the government is sharing this opinion. People are free to do whatever they want in public, but the people at the post office don't get to use the post office to share their religious beliefs because it gives the appearance that the government is endorsing their beliefs.”  |


September 15, 2006 - Removal of 'God Bless America' poster triggers national outcry - Nearly two weeks after a story detailing the ordered removal of a God Bless America poster from the lobby of the Lompoc post office, the public continues to voice outrage over its removal. The controversy has spread nationwide, showing up on Web sites and blogs, including the main page for Fox News, where apparently many of the responders heard about the incident. The Lompoc Record and Santa Maria Times have received an unusually high number of responses to the story, receiving e-mails from places as far away as Detroit, Mich., Boston, Mass. and Pensacola, Fla. Lompoc resident Matt Hughes requested the sign be taken down, citing his belief that such a religious message had no place in a government office. Hughes, an atheist, has been a vocal proponent for the separation of church and state.   | 


September 02, 2006 - Mystery Shopper Evaluations Should Not Be Used to Discipline Window Clerks - From Gary Kloepfer, National APWU Assistant Maintenance Director : "This is a summary of Arbitrator Michael Wolf’s decision "This is a summary of Arbitrator Michael Wolf’s decision in case C00C-4C-D-05085599. The issue in this case involved the discipline of an employee under the mystery shopper program. The Union took the position that the discipline was improper in light of the Postal Service's position that the Mystery Shopper program was only to be used as a diagnostic tool and not the source for disciplinary action."   |


September 30, 2006 - NALC : Postal Reform Falls Short as Congress Adjourns for Election Recess -"Last night, and in the early morning hours of today, we came within an eyelash of accomplishing our goal of enacting meaningful postal reform, at least in the Senate. In the final analysis, letter carriers could not support the bill that Senator Susan Collins was pursuing because it would have established a three-day waiting period for injured letter carriers before they could go on continuation of pay.  NALC sought to hold up the Senate bill because of the COP issue... No conference committee was ever established and the bill that nearly passed the Senate was essentially a new version of the bill that none of our allies in the House, Democrat or Republican, had even seen. Indeed, few members of either the House or the Senate ever received a final version of the bill. Neither did the NALC or any of the other interested stakeholders  |   

September 30, 2006

OIG Audit: USPS Actions to Locate and Track Employees After Hurricane Katrina

Mailman saves house

Automated Postal Center Will Be Relocated
Colorado: Postal Inspectors Find More Threatening Letters
Seven Airlines Awarded USPS Contracts

Preparing for the Postal Rate Hike

September 29, 2006 - USPS Integrated Financial Plan 2007 - Workhour Reductions
"The FY 2007 plan reduces workhours by 40 million from the estimated FY 2006 total in spite of adding 1.9 million delivery points. The FY 2007 planned workhour reduction target is equal to approximately 20,000 full-time equivalent employees. The workhour reductions are a product of process improvements, capital investment programs, and a projected volume decline. The FY 2007 workhour plan follows seven consecutive years of productivity improvements." USPS Transformation Plan 2006-2010- "The Postal Service continues to use comprehensive studies of bargaining and nonbargaining unit jobs to establish and maintain wages and benefits comparable to the private sector, which is in keeping with its statutory mandate. In negotiations with unions, the Postal Service has applied the principle of moderate restraint of wage growth in seeking to address wage rates that exceed comparability standards."  |

September 29, 2006 - Jaffer Scandal Just Won’t Go Away

While much of the report is rather sensational, detailing instances of Mr. Jaffer’s alleged excessive drinking and inappropriate behavior toward female USPS employees, a far more interesting picture of USPS corporate culture emerges from between the lines. Mr. Jaffer’s reckless spending and “lack of candor” should be viewed as part of the operational culture of the USPS. Azzezaly Jaffer was just living large because he had swallowed the prevailing party line. Maybe the USPS does operate like a Fortune 100 business. Just like Enron, Fannie Mae, or Tyco.  |   

September 29, 2006 -

Friends delivering help to ailing postal worker

Mailman accused of delivering marijuana on route   |   

Postal workers mourn death of co-worker

Richmond man gets eight years in postal robbery shooting

Neither Snow, Rain, nor Gloom, but What About the Stoop?

USPS Prepares for Disaster
Betha Named as New Portland Postmaster

New Orleans: USPS Sets Up Call Center for customers with mail problems

Montana Postal Workers to protest Consolidations

September 28, 2006 - APWU Sets Oct. 26 for Nationwide Day of Picketing

In accordance with a resolution adopted by delegates to the union’s 18th Biennial Convention, the APWU National Executive Board has selected Oct. 26 for a nationwide day of picketing to protest ill-advised postal consolidations. The coordinated informational picketing is intended to highlight the potentially damaging effects of the USPS consolidation plan, and to expose how Postal Service policy panders to major mailers. The Oct. 26 date was selected to give local unions the opportunity to seek support from elected officials and candidates prior to Election Day, Nov. 7.    |   

September 28, 2006 - NALC May Withdraw Its Support for Postal Reform Bill

Bush administration's demands could destroy Postal Reform - We learned this week that the White House is still aggressively pursuing contentious changes in the Senate version of the reform legislation. The Bush administration’s proposed changes, if adopted, would leave NALC no choice but to actively oppose passage of the pending Postal Reform. I am deeply troubled that the Bush administration appears determined to destroy the strong bipartisan consensus surrounding comprehensive postal reform. NALC has worked long and hard for reform, but we will not support a bad version of the bill. Indeed, we must be ready to do everything we can to defeat any bill that financially cripples the Postal Service or threatens our collective bargaining interests.  |   

September 28, 2006 - NALC: Critical elections may change direction of the nation (PDF) With the 2006 mid-term elections just a month away, the NALC is mobilizing its resources in an unprecedented way to help elect pro-letter carrier candidates across America. Working people—letter carriers included—know that something has gone wrong in the U.S. economy and the current leadership in Washington is not even trying to fix it. “Over the long haul, only a stronger labor movement, fighting to protect workers and get a better deal from the bosses, can turn this situation around,” NALC President Bill Young said. “But if that is going to happen, a change in political direction is essential.” Mail Handlers: Message On Voter Registration   |   

September 28, 2006 - Tampa APWU President Questions USPS Decision to Close REC  - ...the U.S. Postal Service’s recent announcement to employees that they have made a decision to close the Tampa Remote Encoding Center (REC) no later than March 2, 2007. This decision will impact almost 600 employees; including data conversion operators, maintenance technicians, and supervisors. But why Tampa? Why now? The Tampa REC site has been here since 1995, and was one of the original 55 sites nation-wide. It is one of the most productive facilities in the country, and the employees there have keystrokes-per-hour and error rates far better than Postal Service’s national standards. Why toss out a highly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced staff in Tampa today, only to relocate and hire new untrained recruits somewhere else - and spend millions of dollars in the process?  |   

September 28, 2006

Postal Service Wins Awards for Two Children's Games

Postal Bulletin : Rural Carrier EMA Rate Schedule, Workplace Harassment , more..

Maryland: Postal workers brace for possible consolidation

Postal truck rolls over in serious accident

USPS, customers still at odds over mailboxes in Mississippi
Preparing for the Postal Rate Hike

Mail recovery items ending up on eBay, at flea markets
Mail Mix-up

Pitney Bowes Wins Deal to Manage USPS Atlanta Surface Transfer Center

Continental Airlines Signs $258 Million USPS Contract

Former Hayworth postmaster admits taking postal money

Former Postmaster Falsely Accuses Customers for $32,000 Shortage
Harmony postmaster focused on continuing good service
How Telcos Can Offset Postal Rate Increases

September 27, 2006 - Finally Polo Shirts for Window Clerks Beginning November 18th - The American Postal Worker Magazine -  The American Postal Worker Magazine - Vendors will be allowed to take orders on this style of shirt early in October, and they will be allowed in the workplace beginning Nov. 18. They are, of course, covered by the National Agreement, and can be purchased using the Sales and Service Associate uniform allowance. While the exact cost of each shirt has not been announced, we expect them to be in the $30-$35 range. (click picture for larger view) The article doesn't address if the issue of wearing polo shirts everyday was resolved. Also, several readers have noted:  window clerks uniform allowance has increased only $50 over the last 25 years.   |   

September 27, 2006

Post office, firm get bomb threats

GM Extends Agreement with USPS to Test Fuel Cell Vehicles for Mail Delivery

- USPS Expands Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Testing to West Coast

Post  Office To Offer Postage, Pizza

Editorial: Going Postal On Taxpayers

Denver: USPS Confident No More Threatening Letter Will Be Delivered

USPS Propose Rule: New Standards for Domestic Mailing Services
NAPUS: Preliminary NPA for 2007

September 26, 2006  - Postal Service Curbs Mail Carrier's Good Works

Star Press readers showered Kathy Bland with cards, $10 checks and boxes of dog bones after a recent article revealed the 21-year mail carrier had saved close to 800 neglected and abandoned animals along her route, paying with her own money for them to be rehabilitated and placed in loving homes. The United States Postal Service had a less positive reaction. It sent one district-level and one regional official to discuss "safety issues" with Bland on Monday morning in Yorktown. The verdict of the two-hour meeting, said Bland: no more media interviews in her post-office uniform, no more candy for the neighborhood children, no more temporarily stashing needy strays in the office break room.

September 26, 2006  - Postal Worker Pleads Guilty to Searching, Reviewing Child Pornography on USPS Computer - Morris E. Hall, 58, a window clerk from Jamestown, Kentucky pled guilty on September 6, 2006 to one charge of receiving child pornography.  According to an Affidavit filed at the time of Hall’s arrest, federal agents became aware of Hall’s unlawful activities as a result of routine monitoring of USPS computers beginning in October 2005 at the Jamestown, Kentucky, Post Office. To determine if Hall was actively searching the internet for child pornography, web logs for Hall’s account number were pulled and reviewed. In addition, investigators used the web logs to determine the amount of time Hall spent using the internet through his Postal Service assigned number.   |   

September 26, 2006  -

Eleventh-Hour Debate Over Parcel Rates Could Kill Postal Reform
New EEO Hotline Available
DMA Calls for Cooperation From Mailing Community on Postal Reform
Postal carrier saves heart attack victim

Postmaster victimized by fraud fights back with protection seminar

Post office turns down Murtha, mobile-home park
'I see ... misfortune in your delivery ...'

September 25, 2006  - Commitment to injury-reduction programs paying off for USPS

The U.S. Postal Service is steadily becoming a safer place to work. Last year, slightly fewer than 64,200 injuries were reported by Postal Service workers, down from 71,433 in 2004 and 79,514 in 2003. Workers’ compensation payments for 2005 injuries also fell to about $60 million, about half the amount of payments for new injuries of the previous year, and down to a level not seen since 2003, according to Labor Department statistics. The change is due to several programs and improvements the agency has initiated in the past several years... For all their recent efforts, however, the Postal Service appears frustrated by one mail-sorting machine it introduced in the early 1990s and which, at least according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), poses a risk of injury to those operating it. The Postal Service has spent millions on the machines and it is committed to its use,” said [Loyd] Reeder, a frequent blogger on the DBCS topic. “So what should be done now is follow the recommendations that NIOSH has made for the machines’ use.”|   

September 25, 2006 - Burrus - Enough of Excessive Postage Discounts for Mailers

While mailing-industry spokesmen wage a constant propaganda tirade against the salary and benefits received by hard-working postal employees, behind closed doors these phonies demand continued excessive discounts in order to pad their own profits. This is hypocrisy at the highest level. Some of these discounts are so extreme that if postal employees were paid the same value for the work we perform, our wages would surpass $75 per hour! am disappointed that the postmaster general has joined forces with these private, for-profit entities at the expense of the American citizens who employ him. As a member of the USPS Board of Governors, he is bound by its credo, which states, “The Governors are chosen to represent the public interest and cannot be representatives of special interests.” |   

September 25, 2006  - Students fault safety of Dear Santa letter program
A student group at Brien McMahon High School says that the nationwide Dear Santa program, though well-intentioned, exposes children to danger.

September 25, 2006 - Former Postmaster Relief sentenced in pill swapping case

- Carolyn Sturgeon, 60, former acting postmaster in Malden, pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product — a mailed package containing the prescription painkiller Oxycodone. According to a probation report, Sturgeon had a drug addiction when she was working as a replacement postmaster in Malden, about 30 miles south of Spokane, in July 2005. Investigators wrote in court filings that she opened a package from a pharmacy, removed all 84 tablets of Oxycodone, replaced them with the same number of her Synthroid pills and resealed the package for delivery. Had the recipient had taken the synthetic thyroid pills as the label directed, she might have died, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas O. Rice wrote.  |   

September 25, 2006

Postal Service says graffiti-covered mailboxes have been replaced

Sawyer residents plead for post office
Mississippi: Time for a real post office
With a bite here and there, it's not easy being a mailman

Former USPS Mail Hauler sentenced to prison

September 24, 2006

Maryland : Cumberland Postal workers rally

Olympia waves goodbye to postmark of its own

Mail theft suspects still sought
Anthrax Makeup In 2001 Attacks Widens FBI Net

Is Mail Safer Since Anthrax Attacks?
Bristol Post Office to close permanently in January
U.S. Postal Service takes customer complaints in Chicago

September 23, 2006 - New National League of Postmasters President Seeks Better Postal Pay - Barely one month on the job, the new president of the National League of Postmasters is gearing up for consultations with U.S. Postal Service headquarters about pay, benefits and budgeting. This year for the first time, the league will enter those consultations jointly with the National Association of Postal Supervisors and the National Association of Postmasters of the United States, said the new league president, Charles Mapa. The consultations — not the same as union “negotiations,” since postmasters are part of management — are mandated to begin within 30 days of completion of talks with the largest union, which are set to end no later than November  |   

September 23, 2006

Carrier with Character

APWU: Contract Negotiations Update
Mail Handlers Contract Negotiations Update No. 6

Pickets go up at post offices

Postal Worker Saves Man
eNAPUS: Postal Reform to be Kicked to Lame Duck Session (PDF)
Why It Pays To Organize

September 22, 2006 - USPS Honored for its Pay-for-Performance Program - The Performance Institute, a non-partisan government research group, presented USPS its “Excellence in Human Capital Management Award” for 2006 yesterday. The annual award recognizes federal departments and agencies that use innovative approaches to harness the energy and ideas of their employees. USPS earned the award for its Pay-for-Performance program, which provides financial awards to 75,000 postal employees who attain management goals. The Performance Institute said the Pay-for-Performance program helped increase USPS net income by $11 billion, offsetting 24 years of previous losses.   | 

September 22, 2006 - Letter Carrier Celebrates 47 years of Delivering Mail

In 1956, Charles Sinclair joined the Army and was trained to be a Morse code interpreter and interceptor. He returned to his hometown in 1959 and took a job with the post office, and rest is history. Sinclair, 67, who recently marked 50 years as a federal employee with 47 of those years in the postal service delivering mail in Framingham. And he's worked plenty of long hours. In fact, one particularly long shift in 1962 is infamous in the Framingham post office. "I once spent 30 straight hours on the clock," he said.  Sinclair is not the longest serving mail carrier in the postal system. A man in Worcester has been delivering the mail for 64 years and Sinclair has no aspirations to challenge that man's mark  | 

September 22, 2006

NY Postal Worker Writes Book: 'Deep Inside Liteblue'

New Jersey: Masked Men Rob Postal Truck Outside Post Office

New Mexico : Gunman robs Chimayo post office
Photo: Potter and American Airlines Chairman/CEO
New Anthrax Theory Offered
Letter carrier publishes children's book
Former postmaster pleads guilty to stealing prescriptions from mail
Some Question PMG's May 6 Postal Increase Date
Stamps.com Kicks Off NFL PhotoStamps

San Jose Postman Helps Elderly Woman

Four Direct Mail Horror Stories
FedEx Profit Rises 40% In 1st Quarter


September 21, 2006  - NRLCA President Donnie Pitts' Statement  on Opening Day of Contract Negotiations - More than ever, we want a collective bargaining experience that works. We want to have an open and honest dialogue about the issues that confront us from this day forward. We want to be frank with you and we expect no less from the Postal Service. We recognize that much is at stake. We are cognizant that the Postal Service will be negotiating four separate contracts simultaneously but we cannot let that fact detract, in any way, from the commitment we give to you, and expect in return, to make every bargaining session, every meeting a productive one. I was comforted, Mr. Potter, by the words you shared with those in attendance at our National Convention in Charleston. I know you want a negotiated agreement, too. And I sensed -- and hope I am right on this -- that you will give your chief negotiator and spokesman the leeway to go the extra mile to make a negotiated agreement a reality.  | 

September 21, 2006 - UPS and Teamsters Meet Two Years Before Contract Expirations
Trying to avoid a repeat of a 1997 strike that hobbled the United Parcel Service for two weeks, UPS management gathered in a Detroit hotel with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 238,000 of the shipping company's drivers and other ground-delivery employees. Among the most pressing issues on the table: employee pension plans and healthcare benefits. Investor worries over rising labor costs at the company have hurt UPS share price of late and are a major concern for management during the negotiations. For the teamsters, union president James Hoffa had the following to say regarding the negotiations: "This is our most important contract, one we want to work on without the pressure of a strike. You don't want to be doing this under the gun."   | 

September 21, 2006

Potter Says USPS Must Be Ready for May 6 Rate Increase

Postal workers mourn death of co-worker
American Airlines Signs Five-Year Deal With Postal Service

Canton letters could get loopy

Mailing tea bags may brew trouble for Postal Service

OPM announces medical, dental, vision premiums for 2007

State Sues Company for falsely promising postal jobs
USPS Gains Share in Air Freight Market
Mail Woes Plague Mundy's Corner Residents, Postal Workers

September 20, 2006  - Former Union Steward Arrested For Representing Postal Employees in Legal Cases?? - From PR reader: "Steven Millard is a former union steward. While employed by the Postal Service he began representing postal employees in MSPB and EEOC cases. He continued doing this after he left the employ of the Postal Service. Earlier this year, he was arrested for allegedly violating 18 USC 205 and 18 USC 1001. These statutes were designed to prevent the conflict of interest inherent in having an attorney employed by the government sue the government in federal court on behalf of a third party. The untold story here is the impact of his arrest on his clients. The federal judge ordered Mr. Millard to cease all contact with his clients. This means not only that Mr. Millard could no longer represent these people, but also he could not even tell them what had happened. Even so, under current MSPB and EEOC case law, Mr. Millard’s clients are held responsible for Mr. Millard’s failures and, as a result, many such cases have or will be dismissed."  | 

September 20, 2006 - National APWU Slapped With Unfair Labor Charges

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a complaint on April 28, 2006, alleging that the American Postal Workers Union, had committed certain violations of Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act when its Executive Vice-President Cliff Guffey threatened and disciplined employees for engaging in activities protected by the Act. The complaint alleges that during telephone calls Guffey threatened employees with discipline if they continued to complain about a terms and condition of employment; threatened employees with discipline if they continued to use the APWU's email system to engage in protected concerted activities; threatened employees with termination if they repeated his comments; and issued oral warnings to employees for engaging in protected concerted activities. On August 31, 2006, a NLRB Administrative Judge ruled that APWU "engaged in certain unfair labor practices."  | 

September 20, 2006  - Congress Request Postal Policies Covering On-Duty Alcohol Use-  Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) who chairs the House Committee on Government Reform, and the committee's ranking minority member, Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), sent a letter to Potter requesting a pile of records linked to Jaffer's case. But they also requested "copies of any polices in effect during the period covered by the Inspectors General's investigation regarding employees on duty alcohol use. They wanted USPS to explain "circumstances under which exceptions or deviations to any of these policies are allowed if such exceptions or deviations are not explicit in the regulations." After Jaffer case, USPS rewrites rules on expenses -The new guidelines limit alcoholic beverage purchases at official postal functions to beer and wine. | 

September 20, 2006 - Rural carrier beats ticket for not being in driver's seat - Myra Lawlor, a 19-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service, was cited last January after a Bellows Falls police officer saw her sitting in the middle of the front seat of her car as she drove from house to house, reaching through the passenger's side window to put mail in mailboxes. Lawlor fought the $194 ticket, and Vermont Judicial Bureau Judge Stephen Fine ruled last week that Lawlor was exempt from a Vermont law that requires drivers to be directly behind the steering wheel at all times. He said states can't interfere with the "efficient operation" of federal agencies, such as the Postal Service.  | 

September 20, 2006 -

Payroll checks stolen from mail in Maryland

September 19, 2006   - Postal Service downplays risk after loss of laptop
The U.S. Postal Service has notified 4,500 businesses across the Southeast, including the city of Port St. Lucie, that a laptop holding their account information was discovered missing in August and may have fallen into the wrong hands. The laptop is protected by two passwords and contains no financial records that would allow a thief to access customers' bank accounts or credit cards, postal spokesman Bob Anderson said. The Postal Service notified businesses and governmental agencies with postal accounts in case someone tries to use the account information to pose as someone he's not, Anderson said.    | 

September 19, 2006  

Postal Hike Could Spur One Medium: Mail

U.S. Postal Service Signs on as Exclusive Shipper for eFashionSolutions
USPS money orders stolen

Postal Employee Secretly Videotaped Family In Their Bathroom
Letter: Put the poster back up where it belongs

ATF Wants You To Know About Suspicious Mail or Packages
Canada Post introduces ' Permanent'  postage stamp

Thurston mail now sent to Tacoma

Letter carrier blames laziness for failure to deliver mail

Week's Laziest Public Servant award goes to postal employee

After Five Years USPS now has 6,100  Blackberry users
First-Class voter notices sidetracked in mail mix-up

Mail carrier’s trial in credit card fraud set

September 18, 2006 

Mike Causey: Pre-Retirement Sickos

United Mail delivers big results
Anthrax case grows colder
Official says rural Alaska deserves subsidized air service


September 17, 2006  - Pedaling the Post - Carriers Delivering Mail by Bicycle

Chris Hubble used to drive an old jeep to deliver mail in Tampa. One day about 10 years ago, he noticed a letter carrier on a route in St. Petersburg delivering mail on a bicycle." That's what I want to do," Hubble said. So he applied for a transfer. Now Hubble, 38, works as a letter carrier for the Open Air Station in St. Petersburg. The downtown post office is the only station in Florida and one of a few in the country to deliver mail by bicycle, according to Open Air Station manager John Phelps. Carriers have used bikes since the Open Air post office opened in 1917, he said. Today there are 23 letter carriers using bicycles who range in experience from five months to 26 years. The station also has six vehicle routes. Many carriers said they wouldn't go back to driving a regular mail truck.| 

September 17, 2006  - Bad form for changes of address

About a year ago, the Postal Service moved to a different forwarding system, one that centralized basic features. It used to be that your change-of-address card went directly to the letter carrier, who quickly knew you were gone. Under the new system, the cards -- or the Web requests -- are often sent to a central forwarding system (CFS, in Postal Service-speak). The forwarding unit in turn scans in the requests for the ``remote encoding center'' (REC) in Selma, Calif., which puts them in the Postal Service's system. As mail comes in, the new address is inked on the envelope. When requests are handled this way, the letter carriers are not the first to know. They're not told where the people are moving. They do get a notice that someone has moved -- and that mail should be forwarded. So the Mountain View man interviewed several letter carriers at the La Avenida Avenue branch ...  ``I talked to all these postmen who told me how screwed up the whole system was.   | 

September 16, 2006 - NAPUS Leaders Concerned About USPS Plan to Cut  Workhours  "NAPUS leaders are very concerned about the surprise announcement this week on how the Postal Service plans to cut $1.1 billion from the budget. The biggest concern is the announced plan to decrease the work hour budget by 40 million hours. Postmasters nationwide are already facing unrealistic budgets in their offices and further cuts could only worsen the current staffing and work hour shortages that many offices are facing. NAPUS National President Dale Goff will discuss the proposed cuts with USPS officials as soon as a meeting can be set up."  | 

September 16, 2006

Mike Causey: Postal Workers' Pay Ride is Automatic

Indictment handed down for crash that maimed postal worker

MS: More than Year After Katrina, 3 Post Offices Still Working Out of Trailers

Former letter carrier pleads guilty to theft
Canada: Flea bite halts postal service

September 15, 2006 -  Mail Handler Contract Update #5 - The Postal Service’s financial condition often is a key factor in bargaining, and there are both positive and negative indications about the Postal Service’s financial health. Moreover, the Postal Service likes to disparage its financial prospects as bargaining heats up, by highlighting the negative and ignoring the positive. One thing is certain, however: given all of these claims by the Postal Service, another tough round of bargaining can be expected.  | 

September 15, 2006 - North Carolina: Growth in Town Strains Postal Service
"The population of the northwest Raleigh community Brier Creek has skyrocketed over the last year, and it is putting a strain on the post office. Brenda Fox says mail service in the Brier Creek area is sloppy. She says her calls to the U.S. Postal Service did not help. Residents suspect a parade of temporary carriers is not familiar with the names and numbers. The postal service says they have no trouble filling positions, but they also say they are always hiring."  | 

September 15, 2006

Wisconsin: Postal Service considering new distribution center
ADVO Shareholders Back Merger

September 14, 2006 - APWU: USPS Rate Proposal Shifts More Costs From Major Mailers to Individual Customers - Testimony submitted on Sept. 6 (to PRC) shows that new rates requested by the Postal Service would increase excessive discounts to major mailers who presort their mail, and, as a result, force small businesses and individual customers who do not presort their mail to pay more. As a result of the Postal Service’s flawed methodology, Kobe says, the proposed rates would provide corporate presort mailers with vastly inflated discounts relative to the costs the USPS avoids. The Postal Service has predicted that 18 billion letters will be mailed at these discounted rates in 2008. If not corrected by the Postal Rate Commission, this one excessive discount would cost the Postal Service approximately $600 million per year, Kobe said following her testimony.  | 

USPS BOG Approves FY 2007 Plan That Assumes Rate Increase in May

“The union representing Postal Police accuses the Postal Service of turning a blind eye to security.  While many businesses have increased security since the 911 and  anthrax attacks, the Postal Service has been cutting back.  So says John Dukes, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Labor Council #2. “Well, we had over 14 hundred postal police positions before 911. And we just went down to 700 throughout the country.”  In Philadelphia, the number of postal  police officers has fallen from more than 70 in 1999 to 39. Dukes says another round of firings will reduce the local force to 15 as of October first.   Why? “What they tell us is the postal police positions, through technology and all now, that they actually don’t need the positions.” But Dukes believes the Postal Service is merely cutting corners, with little regard for safety.”   | 

September 14, 2006 - GOP, Dems embrace post office legislation
"Post office naming is now the most common form of legislation, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS). An analysis by The Hill shows that in 15 years the two parties have achieved parity in the practice. Of the 267 naming bills passed since the beginning of the 102nd Congress, 133 were sponsored by Democrats and 134 were sponsored by Republicans. Since Congress named its first post office after an individual in 1967, it has ignored United States Postal Service guidelines on naming facilities after individuals – specifically that the individual must have been deceased at least 10 years with the exception of deceased U.S. presidents or Postmasters general." It often comes as a surprise to congressional staff that USPS does not have a comprehensive list of those that have already been named for individuals either through legislative or administrative action,” stated the CRS report  | 

September 14, 2006 - About that 75 grand a year

Newspaper Editor Backtracks on Statement about Postal Workers Earning $ 75 grand a year - "We’ve heard from several local postal employees who were angry about my column  “An oxymoron: Government business” that ran on the opinion page Aug. 23. What particularly raised their ire was the statement that postal workers make an average of $75,000 a year. ... let me say right away – no postal worker in the tri counties makes 75 grand a year. But that number, through an extrapolation, was not pulled out of the air. It came directly from Jack Potter, postmaster general of the United States, at a special postal summit called by the National Newspaper Association in Washington just a month ago. I heard it with my own ears. Again, if any reader concluded from the column that your local mail carrier actually makes that kind of money, let me assure you she doesn’t. I’m happy to clear up that misunderstanding."   | 

September 14, 2006 -

Postal Bulletin 9/14/06 Issue: PostalPEOPLE, Notice Left Operations, more...

Letter carrier pleads guilty to theft
New Mexico: Shut post office riles residents
Postal plan upsets court, county officials

Web stamps aren't worth a lick

Prize wins fan for postal automation
Advo Stockholders Approve Valassis Merger Agreement

Comergent Helps Pitney Bowes Deliver Postage with Images On Demand

700 Electric payment checks missing in Ohio

Answers elude anthrax inquiry

September 13, 2006 - Couple moving to Minnesota sends all belongings via Postal Service - About 23 years ago, Steve and Barbara Slater moved to Alaska in a unique, and in their opinion, money-saving way. They sent all their belongings via the U.S. Postal Service. Now 23 years later, and about to move to Minnesota, the Slaters are once again doing the same thing. They say they consulted with a moving company, and were told it would cost approximately $17,000 to do the job. Instead of paying that amount, the Slaters chose to use the Postal Service, bringing over two hundred boxes into the downtown Post Office.   | 

September 13, 2006

Jerry Lane Named VP, Area Operations, Capital Metro Area

Postal worker honored for good deed on job
Texas: New postal facility to open
Judge: restitution first, then plea deal for clerk charged with theft
Mixed-Mail & Parcel Sorting Technology Provides New Business

September 12, 2006 - Mailers Council Asks Congress to Let USPS Manage Its Operations

 "In its campaign to keep postage affordable despite continuing declines in mail volume, the Mailers Council on Sept. 8 sent letters to every member of the House and Senate and asked them to oppose any legislation that would prevent the U.S. Postal Service from closing outdated and inefficient mail processing facilities. ."   | 

September 12, 2006

Postal overhaul languishing despite compromise offer
Former Postmaster appears in court for embezzled funds
Bottle Bombs Found in Mailboxes
eNAPUS: Postal Reform, Jaffer (PDF)
Army Honors Postal Service
Postal offices introducing senior pen pal programs

Shareholders File Class Action Against ADVO | Valassis Expects to Cancel Advo Merger

September 10, 2006 - Post office returns mailbox to senders
The Postal Service has reduced 42,000 boxes to scrap metal since 1999. About 295,050 boxes remained standing as of 2005. The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks accelerated the removals. Officials took out scores of boxes around landmarks such as the US Capitol out of concern that explosive devices could be placed inside them. But in most of the areas that have had boxes removed, the issue was less about homeland security than lack of use. In Lakewood, the boxes simply became too expensive to maintain for so little business, Post Officer In Charge Steve Ham said. Not only do mail collectors have to make fruitless trips to underused boxes, but they must also deal with graffiti and random objects dropped inside, he said.  | 

September 10, 2006 -

Video:  Mail Carrier Maureen DePrince Benefit

Passports Made Easy: Du Quoin Postmaster Turns Studio Photographer

Postal access for disabled stalls
DMA, Other Groups File Rate-Case Testimony With PRC

September 09, 2006

APWU: Contract Negotiations Update

Man who assaulted postman gets 2 years
Newspaper Group Say USPS Hasn't Made Case For Rate Hike
Missing Mail in Beaumont Has Put One Woman Behind Bars

Postal Inspectors Investigate Post Office Break-ins

September 08, 2006

Postman Michael Renzo Honored by Congress for Saving Elderly Customer

Postal workers to collect books for Cops 'N Kids reading center

Charleston REC postal workers send mail on right path
Photo 2001: Postal Truck Sits in Rubble of World Trade Center
Mail Handlers Contract Update No. 4

September 07, 2006 - APWU: Postal Service Falls Short in Attempts to Get Public Input on Consolidations - "In testimony submitted to the Postal Rate Commission on behalf of the APWU on Sept. 1, Margaret L. Yao, an expert and senior associate at AmericaSpeaks, sharply criticized the USPS for failing to adequately consult with the public on its network consolidation plan. Yao concluded that Postal Service's Public Involvement Plan was "needlessly flawed" and that the "deficiencies of the current adversarial approach have invited scrutiny, delay, frustration, and cynicism." Yao provided an in-depth report on the five public meetings organized by the USPS in areas slated for consolidation of local postal facilities." | 

September 07, 2006 - USPS July Financial Results Released

"USPS revenues for July were $5.5 billion, or 0.5% under plan and 4.1% more than July 2005. Expenses for the month were $5.8 billion, or 0.4% over plan and 4.3% more than same period last year (SPLY). The net loss was $268 million before the escrow allocation. The net deficiency after the escrow allocation was $518 million. Year-to-date (YTD), revenue through July was 0.6%, or $364 million higher than plan and 3.9% above SPLY. Expenses through July were 0.5%, or $295 million higher than plan and $2.4 billion above SPLY. YTD, mail volume is 0.8% above SPLY." USPS Reports Net Deficiency of $268 Million in July  |

September 07, 2006 - Attacked with saw, he's back

The last time he walked onto a subway platform to go to work, Michael Steinberg was almost killed, the victim of a frenzied power saw attack. Yesterday, the postal worker took a big step back into the Manhattan station where he nearly lost his life - a step he said was vital in trying to get back to normal. It wasn't easy: Steinberg, 64, was hit by a frightening flashback almost immediately.  |

September 07, 2006  - Lack of Postal Reform Leads to Blame Game - With time running out for Congress to approve a postal reform bill, some mailers are questioning whether the Direct Marketing Association—both the leadership and the members—failed to work as effectively as possible to improve the chances of the legislation being passed.

September 07, 2006 - Postmaster Charged In Gambling With Postal Funds - A federal grand jury in Phoenix has returned a one count indictment against a postmaster for misappropriation of postal funds. Lawrence Moreno, 65, of Lakeside, Arizona, was the postmaster for the Whiteriver Post Office, in Whiteriver, Az. During the period of November, 2003 through May, 2004, Moreno removed approximately $66,110 from the Post Office in increments of approximately $50 to $600 a day and did not return the money to the Post Office or deposit the money in the Post Office's bank on behalf of the Post Office. Prosecutors say Moreno ultimately took the Post Office's money to a local casino and lost the money while gambling with it. Moreno attempted to hide the unlawful conversion of the money by maintaining records indicating that the money was in fact in the Post Office in the form of stamp stock and had been deposited in the Post Office's bank on behalf of the Post Office.  |

September 07, 2006

NLRB Decision Regarding Weingarten Rights

Mail carrier arrested for felony dog theft |

New Zealand: Gold Rush Stamp Reveals Hidden Nuggets
Stamps.com Launches Photo NetStamps
Federal Workers to Get Enhanced Dental and Vision Insurance

ADVO Moves Forward With Proxy Meeting Plans

September 06, 2006

NALC: COLA of $790.00 in Sept. 22 Pay Check  |  Pay Chart (PDF)
ABX Unit Gets 4-Year Postal Service Pact
Mayor recants post office criticisms
ADVO Planning to Go Forward With Merger with Valassis

PMG's Father Dies at 79: Was Career USPS Employee
Postmaster General Praised Big Spending Official
With Friends Like These...
New rules outlaw older postage meters
Top 3 Reasons Not to Use USPS's Global Economy Parcel Post
Mailboxes Are Victim of 'Net

September 05, 2006 - U.S. Colleagues Aid Injured Mail Carrier
"Anthony Alizio doesn't know Maureen Buscher DePrince. He never met her. But as a letter carrier, Alizio was moved when he heard of the tragic accident in Ventnor that cost Buscher DePrince her legs, and perhaps her sight. "This tragedy touched all letter carriers as we are out in the streets of America daily dealing with all types of hazards," said Alizio, an Arizona mail carrier who found out about the incident during the National Association of Letter Carriers biennial convention in Las Vegas two weeks ago. By setting up a makeshift table at the convention, friends of Buscher DePrince raised $45,000. The association agreed to match it dollar for dollar." Support from around the nation helps. "It's nice to know so many of them care. Postal employees have been very supportive," [Maureen's father, Joseph] Buscher said." |

September 05, 2006  -

USPS Seeks New Vendor for Headquarters Fitness Center |

Uniontown postmaster enjoys community
The postal worker who loved fountain pens
Mail delivery takes stamp and safety
Postal Service plans to unveil Oklahoma stamp
Village readies to reopen PO destroyed by fire

September 04, 2006

Paralyzed after crash, rural carrier working to put the past behind her

Fire damages Macomb postal facility

Advo Inc. accuses Valassis of trying to renegotiate merger

September 02, 2006

Postal Service misfires with its 'motorcyle' postmark
The post office is in a pickle over the spelling of motor-sickle.
See Image Here

Ex-postal worker blames drug addiction for failure to deliver mail  |

Sheriff's office sets Web link to claim lost mail

SW Area VP Letter: Postal Service striving to improve

Orleans people question decision to reduce window hours

September 01, 2006  - Ask President Burrus: Lost of Seniority Bidding on Jobs Within Sectional Center  - "I would like to see the national union negotiate job bidding within a sectional center, such as in 460-461-462 or 473 or 475. I live in zip code 46038, but I work in 462. There are bids available in 460, but I would lose all seniority to go there. I can understand not allowing nationwide bidding because of local seniority, but bidding within 30 miles does not seem to present a problem."  |

September 01, 2006  - Mail Carrier Injured When Lightning Hits Tree - A postal worker is recovering from a close call after a lightning strike on Thursday. According to witnesses, lightning hit a tree, injuring a mail carrier who was walking nearby. An onlooker saw the incident and immediately called 911. Firefighters arrived within four minutes and began working on the woman. Linda John was taken to the hospital and held overnight for observation.  |

September 01, 2006 

Mail Handler Contract Update #3
FTC Stamps Out Postal Job Scam

PRC OKs Paid Circulation Proposal

UPS Pilots Ratify Contract

City's Postal Leader Lauded

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