• Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    But do you know how much of a pain it is to handle? We are talking about counting each individual piece, logging who mailed it, who it is supporting/opposing, and fax it to the BMEU everyday. There couldn't be any more handling involved if you tried! There is no way we are making money on this, yet a potential cash cow is there. With all of the analysts out there, did any of them ever analyze how many hours and dollars are spent with this inefficiency?

    If there really is a need to keep track of it, why not just handle it like a "Open and distribute" tray where you scan a tag and the mailer knows it has made it to it's destination.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    I am a ten year Part Time Flexible (PTF) clerk working more than 40 hours per week with NO hope of ever making regular due to the "decline of mail volume." I work six days a week EVERY week and I have worked 13 days in a row every fourth week for over four years. That translates to three days off per month. Yes, some days I do not work an eight hour day but, I still have to go to work and NEVER have a scheduled day off. My day ranges from 3:00AM begin tour (BT) to 1:30PM BT and I work split shifts, which may require my day to be stretched over a 12 hour period. Now, why would I use sick leave?

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    Keep to the core seems to be a common theme. It's a good point. A lot of business management advice says that businesses should do what their good at and leave the rest to others. If the core is going away, however, will the Postal Service have to shrink?

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    Campaign mail may be a bit of a pain to handle but it's an important part of our election process. There are some things the Postal Service can do to improve the way that campaign mail is handled, such as consolidating the manual log into an automated recordkeeping system, and developing better processes for accepting, processing, and documenting political mail inquiries and their resolution.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Being a clerk for nearly 18 years, the answer is simple to me. The workforce is growing older. Automation was supposed to make our jobs easier, it has in fact made them MUCH more difficult...PTF's used be hired on a regular basis. Normally the PTF's were young and strong...as a new group was hired in, those before them would "move up" and no longer have to do the "grunt work". Very few jobs remain in the clerk craft where employees are not required to be on their feet for eight hours a day lifting heavy buckets and/or trays of mail repeatedly. I am a 44 year old female in fairly good health, but the job has gotten so much more difficult since I started in my late 20's. I go home nightly with sore aching muscles and swollen feet and legs...Often I find it impossible to work a full month without taking a day or two off due to physical stress and exhaustion. Bottom line is, I seriously don't know how much longer I'll be able to work at this extremely physically demanding job...

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    Where I am at, we have to seperate all of the political mail, count the pieces, log in who it is from, who is paying for it, etc, then fax the log. With all of this extra handling, combined with almost all of it being sent at standard class but treated as first class, are we really making money off of it?

    Treat it like any other standard mail, and then worry about pushing it. Enough with the inane logs.

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    i dont understand why a few of these blog entries ask the question should we go after growing mail volume by doing..... do whatever it takes to grow mail volume, i dont care what it is. send out teams to get the word out way before elections are even thought about and grow the volume!

    also i dont get why the quote in the story it says that promoting and having everyone vote by mail would only raise "a few hundred million dollars". hello wake up at the wheel, right now we could use a few hundred million dollars and the volume.

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    The Postal Service does not need to get into the banking business. We have enough to deal with managing our own budget without having to deal with a Postal Savings System ala the 30's and 40"s. We got out of that busines for a reason. Let's concentrate on our core business and the needs of our customers and leave banking to the bankers.

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    Good lord we have an outdated business model - we carry information on little pieces of paper by driving to their house six days a week - regardless of whether or not we actually have information for them. We still have people in the postal service who think that by embracing and supporting electronic communication USPS will somehow take away from our "core mail business" - like anything USPS does will prevent that anyway. And now the question of the day is whether increasing annoying political mail will increase mail volume?? Thank you Cliff Claven.

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    this is a bad idea under current rules they have set up the system to get rates lower then non profit and they follow no rules on size making every piece having to be delt with by hand none of it can be prossed by machine and this cost us way more then we bring in money wise ask any carrier and political mail is the worst part of the job hands down

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    One article I read said that in 2006, of $3.14 billion in campaign spending, $707 million went to direct mail. The same article estimated that for 2008 campaign spending for direct mail alone would be between $800 million and 1 billion, and that was for national campaigns. I haven't seen anything that included state and local campaigns.

  • Reply to: Local Political Campaigns — The Forgotten Mail Volume Generator   4 years 11 months ago

    This is a timely posting. In light of the signifcant current volume decline, the Postal Service needs to work really hard to find new ways to grow mail volume. This seems like a good opportunity to explore and pursue. And I agree that direct campaign mail has a higher revenue potential than official ballot mail. And it has less controversial issues to boot! I am wondering if there is any data on what percentages (it may vary with type of campaigns) of total campaign advertising budget is typically spent on direct mail. This may give us a sense of the opportunity at hand. Any thoughts?

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    WHY IS OIG CONSTANTLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT CRAFT EMPLOYEES ARE DOING? CRAFT EMPLOYEES CALLING IN? REALLY ? LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE YOUR SUPPOSED TO BE INVESTIGATORS NOT MGMT'S PUPPET. WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM OIG USPSIS & USPS. WHEN YOU MAKE THE MGMT PART OF THE TEAM STARTING WITH JACK POTTER ON DOWN START FOLLOWING THE RULES & HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE HOSTILE WORKPLACE THEY'VE CREATED. I GUARANTEE THAT SICK LEAVE WON'T BE USED NOT EVEN HALF AS MUCH AS IT IS NOW. START INVESTIGATING THINGS THAT WILL REALLY SAVE MONEY SUCH AS WHY A PERSON WHO SITS IN AN AIR CONDITIONED OFFICE ALL DAY (6HRS) GET $100,000 YR SALARY AND A 2HOUR LUNCH WHILE SOMEBODY GETTING SPIT ON & CHASED BY A DOG HAS TO HABITUALLY SKIP ALL BREAKS INCLUDING LUNCH JUST SO THEY CAN PLEASE THESE PEOPLE. BECAUSE WHEN MGMT ISN'T HAPPY YOU KNOW IT. MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO ABUSE PEOPLE FOR NUMBERS.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    To me, the fact that the postal service doesn't offer short term disability is shocking to say the least. I would love to know how many disabled veterans that the post office employs. To crack the whip on people who the postal service new was disabled and would have higher levels of doctors appt's than the average person is ludicrous. If the postal service wanted to stop the injuries and have more people show up to work they would have mail stations set out in the comunities where the letter carrier could walk in and deliver the mail to the sustomers box from the back of the box, no more falling into holes in peoples yards, no more slipping on painted porches (unless of course its a rural area and mounted deliveries are the best option). Also, having mail delivery monday through friday would put us in a better position with moral for the almost 84% of the carriers that have an off day other than saturday sunday. I would be willing to bet that saturdays are in conjunction with the most called in set of days of the week. This really isnt rocket science, everyone wants to be off for the weekends with their kids, friends or family, well almost everyone.
    Combine what ive said with the others who are commenting on FERS employees loosing their sick leave when they retire and i think you have a real recipe for fixing the sick leave.

  • Reply to: Click-N-Ship® — Have You Used It?   4 years 11 months ago

    One thing that I don't like about Click and ship is how you cannot change the Zip code for which the package is dropped off. In a large office, a few packages that have a wrong Zip won't make much of a difference, but I am in a level 11 office. If somebody tries to drop off a package at my office with a neighboring Zip, I do not receive the revenue. If I can change the Zip, I can assure that my office is getting all the revenue that I deserve. Another way small offices get the short end of the stick.

  • Reply to: Click-N-Ship® — Have You Used It?   4 years 11 months ago

    Some of the "raving fans" of Click-N-Ship are taking advantage of the USPS beyond comprehention. Many packages are classified "Media Mail" of which the contents are not. Ebay sellers are the biggest abusers. Many packages are not weighed properly therefore creating loss of vital revenue. And lastly many mailers are using the free Delivery Confirmation of which the package does not qualify for due to size.
    I wish McDonalds, Home Depot and Walmart would allow me to shop and use the "honor system" to pay for products and services like the Postal Service does. But, they know better and so should the USPS. I am honest but many are not. If Click-N-Ship continues then every piece of mail should be verified over the counter. If not we will continue to be abused and the revenue due the USPS will not be collected.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    The reason there are so many abuses of sick leave should be obvious;

    One group (CSRS employees) are compensated for unused sick leave while the other group (FERS employees) are not. I suspect if you conducted a survey you'd find that the vast majority of sick leave abuse ties directly to FERS employees. I know a whole lot of CSRS folks who rarely use sick leave because it is money in the bank at retirement time. Conversely, the folks who retire under FERS receive absolutely nothing for all the unused sick leave they've accumulated during their career.

    It isn't really very difficult to figure this one out. Change the law so FERS retirees receive some compensation for unused sick leave when they retire and ninety percent of this problem goes away.

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    Good point.

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    Thank you cadavidlin. The OIG is trying to use all forms of social media to help it carry out its mission. As the OIG studies particular issues, we are planning to use closed invitation-only forums on occasion. Your suggestions for using the forums are very helpful. I agree that engaging all levels of the Postal Service might produce some very interesting ideas.

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    I think JN has a great suggestion. USPS should follow the contractor/agent model. It should leverage its retail infrastructure to sell other banks' financial instruments and basic banking services. The Postal Service is in the business of offering public services and binding the nation together but not in the business of competing with the private sector in businesses it does not know that much about. JN's suggestion seems to be a win-win proposition. And it's politically more palatable.

    Thanks.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    this is in reply to sun city gal.

    I work in the same PO you do, but I read postal regulations. TACs/eRMS won't even accept partial day leave for EAS (exempt) employees. Open the ELM to part 519.7. It states:

    519.72 Policy

    Nonbargaining unit exempt employees are paid on a salary basis. This means that under the FLSA they are not considered to be hourly rate employees. Therefore, partial day absences are paid the same as work time. While exempt employees are expected to work a full day, they may request time off to attend to personal matters during the workday, including time off due to conditions covered by FMLA. If approved, the time off is “personal absence time” and is not charged to annual leave, sick leave, or LWOP.

    This is why most EAS employees have a high balance on their sick leave.

    You may find the most current ELM at Postal Service Policy net.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Man, I am not complaining but I can't respond to comments that I don't understand. Please, take the time to write in such a way that we can understand what you are saying. As far as management "always being the bad guy", no one is saying that management is always the "bad guy", but neither is craft employees. The fact is this; we are on the same ship and the torpedo that is headed for our ship is a failing economy and loss of revenue. Everyone on the ship needs a clear picture of what happens when the ship begins to sink. Some will survive and some will not. The problem is that with the impending collision everyone is in a panic and a crisis is upon us. During a panic action comes as a result of situation. Reducing sick leave is just one of the ways of keeping this ship called The USPS afloat. What about new streams of income. My city spends half a million dollars a year changing locks on cluster boxes. We have limited space in our stations and some of this space is taken up by notified parcels and hold mail. These are untapped streams of income. Why can't we charge for hold mail, new resident lock changes and re-deliveries on parcels. That is just ONE of many suggestions.

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    RARC is a good host.
    OIG should have more good host like RARC and may try a special section (forums) for case study. It will help OIG hearing more different voices from different levels’ real postal people. It could be a real case study or academic one. Cases may be determined and given by OIG or real managers from different stations around the nation. For better result or for a feasible solution to each case that OIG looks for, due to the natural of our business, cases can also be categorized or divided in different geographic location.

    Participants should have real identity so they could communicate more closely. Managers, supervisors, carriers, clerks and even TEs should be encouraged to participate. If these ideas, suggestions, or solutions are practically and feasibly good and adapted by OIG in order to help solving the problem or improving USPS’ performance, symbolic award should be given for motivating others to involve, to participate.

    Forums should be private and internal. OIG may invite professors or leaders from outside to host the forums. Outside professionals might aid us immensely at all stages in the development of this kind of forum.

    If OIG hosts these forums successfully, subjects of forums may extend to more fields. Besides workflow management and cost-efficiency subjects; we may have strategic decision section, value-chain and supply-chain analysis, planning and control, marketing, customer services and technology innovation. OIG can even try ERP (enterprise resources planning). There are many geniuses among us at our workplaces. I believe they can be encouraged, motivated to contribute more their talents to USPS from management to technology, from customers service to marketing. I also believe that these people can provide more solid support to Postal General in order to improve its performance, overcome its various difficulties, and to help USPS transform to the next level ---- a new industrial technology innovation leader and world class USPS.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    I love all of you who participate in the forum. I am respecting every word that you expressed, and cherishing all ideas or suggestions that you give. I think that is the reason I am here and that is reason I post here.

    So, please! Don't be rude. We should not be emotional while we are all here for discussion. Forums for discussion, in fact, are intended for positive suggestions and possible solutions if members could provide.

    Sick leaves are legit, and are legal benefits to workers. Nothing wrong with sick leaves claiming. If using “stealing” such strong word to criticize sick leaves abuse, it would not help to a solution. Instead, it will lead this forum to another direction.

    We should know that the cost of sick leaves is a part of operating cost. The problem now seems like workers take their sick leaves at wrong time, so it appears that USPS suffers a huge lost due to its recent revenues losses. Yes, you are right, you are “trying to do a job that u were trained to do”. USPS made a big mistake while it trains its managers. They should be trained to know some basic accounting knowledge while they are trained in in-house managerial skills.

    However, if sick leaves can be taken in more manageable manner, it can help USPS to reduce its cost in a long run.

    Assuming that no one takes sick leaves for this year, it will, of cause, make this year’s financial statement looks better. But, don’t forget, sick leaves are legal obligation and financial liability. USPS does not pay this year and will pay in later. Now, you are the CFO of USPS, you have to determine when and how much is appropriate to pay-out will be good to CEO regardless the future of USPS. If the current price (cost) for one hour of sick leave is $2.00, it may be inflated to $2.35 per hour in 2012. What do you think? Pea.

    Further, before you think of sick leave cost, please think of the forever stamps first. Discounting future revenue will result what? When the revenue earned from forever stamps used, what will USPS have for paying for the service the carriers and managers like you provide or performed. Route consolidation may temperately save some costs but it will also be result in more sick leaves claim and injury claim. Some route consolidations were unfair and ridiculous. They ignored limits of human being and aging of carriers. In business, this is a risk attempt. Interestingly, no risk-assessment report is recently found on web. Bundle with other well-planned “improvements”, you may see a general picture of future USPS.

  • Reply to: Banking on the Postal Service?   4 years 11 months ago

    Hi Anglophile,

    Thanks for the links. I think Poste Italiane has also had some success from its banking services. It is always interesting to see how things work abroad.

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