• Reply to: Postal Service Flexes its Workforce Flexibility   1 year 7 months ago

    Our District hasn’t even started to comply with the contract regarding the use of RCAS to perform clerk work. PSE in our office was let go to allow more work for RCAs. RCAs continue to work on the window in many offices, and are used as hub clerks in many offices. PSE hiring is at the cap, so offices needing PSE help are told no hiring until attrition drops us below the cap. So, rather than moving PSEs to career to allow for more PSEs, more work is shifted to RCAs. Carrer hopes for PSES is just a pipe dream and will result in rapid turnover.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Flexes its Workforce Flexibility   1 year 7 months ago

    Here in the Sacramento District, they are over the cap in both F1 and F4. At the P&DC, the senior MDO has two sons and a daughter working as PSE’s as well as having two of them up as 204-b’s. From my perspective, the way the Sacramento District is doing things, it is costing the USPS more than ever before.

  • Reply to: Postal Service Flexes its Workforce Flexibility   1 year 7 months ago

    My experience is that the Postal Service, true to form, has bastardized the wording of the contract to abuse and misuse these new provisions, for their own convenience. Kentuckiana District has already EXCEEDED the Hiring Caps for the usage of PSE clerks, and regularly utilizes these employees in excess of 8 hours in a service day, to the detriment of available ODL (APWU CBA Art. 8.4.g, 8.5.g). Additionally, hiring opportunities for these PSE positions are poorly advertised. As a result, the quality of applicants has been severely limited. There ARE a few gems, but most of what I see coming in are Young people with little experience, no ambition, (frequently related to Postal Employees, especially Supervisor relations) or the “walking dead” – older folk, who can pass the drug test, but are unprepared to meet the physical demands of the position. Without a significant hope for career employment, treated as second class citizens by Management and Co-Workers alike, most of these PSE employees quickly drop down to the lowest tolerable levels of performance, perpetuating the stereotype of worthlessness. I will come back and shae some thoughts on the misapplication of NTFT rules when I have more time.

  • Reply to: Partnerships for the Ages   1 year 7 months ago

    Actually I think your article is completely absurd from the very beginning. The USPS doesn’t “burden” the taxpayer because we don’t use tax money. We are also not a “business” but a Constitutional “service” for the people. If we would get BIG government out of making decisions against us we would be fine. The prest day Congress is a good example of how confussed this country is and what bad shape we are in economically. What is moderization within the Postal system? It seems management feels that spending millions of dollars on machinery that raises costs instead of paying a worker a decent wage to do a proper job. By creating jobs the USPS would also increase the economy by giving people money to spend. Also, the Post Office only makes money from the products it sells: stamps; Express mail; Priority mail; Fist Class mail, etc… And yet all mail is treated the same except for Express which is garanteed. By forcing the Post Office to consolidate offices the gas money alone for trucks to carry the mail from smaller closed down offices to hub offices and then back again surely shows waste. And yet your article says that the Post Office needs to modernize; then why are they not converting the over night trucks to bio-fuels? The Post Office also has it’s own watch dog group that won’t allow the USPS to expand their products. Look at the Japanese Post Offices for example, they have ATM’s; Internet Service, etc… which make more money for them than the mail. Well, needless to say I could go own for quite sometime, and since I recently called the OIG with some points of interest on improvement and was hung up on; I will simply say: Look at Post Master General Donahoe’s pay check- $800,000. More than even a Congress person makes. So, where’s the money going you ask?

  • Reply to: Partnerships for the Ages   1 year 7 months ago

    Would you be able to point out or link to where the white paper has been published? I was unable to locate it on your site.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    Workshare discounts have already created a hybrid postal service. Parcel select, EDDM, ECR, and presort discounts, as well as the contracting out of most of the mail transportation has created this hybrid model.
    It has helped costs in some areas but increased it in others…
    For example many presort discounts far exceed the cost savings to the USPS to do this same work with its current equipment. The elimination of this daytime/evening work has resulted in lower equipment utilization rates as many machines now only run between the hours of 10PM and 6AM. This has resulted in increased costs per letter for DPS processing. Most of the utilization rate declines are because of a higher share of presort volume rather than actual mail volume declines.
    ECR mail (which is designed and given discounts for avoiding the mail processing network) actually often costs more to deliver than the combined costs of processing it into the DPS stream at the plant and delivering it. That is why significant amounts of this “last mile” mail arrives at the station and is sent upstream to the plant to be DPS processed and sent back the next day.
    More hybridization of the USPS model will result in a less efficient last mile and will increase overall costs rather than decrease them.
    The final plant in the system is vital to maintaining the current efficiency of our “last mile” delivery network. Anyone advocating bypassing this part of the network for letter processing is ignorant of actual delivery and processing costs and efficiency.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    Unfortunately, our nation’s policymakers do not look strategically at reform of the Postal Service. It seems to me that we should be debating and deciding what universal service means in this current age of digital communications. Once we have decided this, reforming and shaping the Postal service to meet that obligation would make more sense than keeping a bloated infrastructure in place because we can’t let go of what the USPS used to be and provide. Do we really need physical delivery to the door six days a week when so much communication occurs digitally? Maybe it is time to allow the Postal Service to relax its delivery standards. It is competing with “instantaneous” messaging, and it simply can’t win on speed even with overnight delivery of first class mail. Maybe value is where it excels — and if that is the case, perhaps 50 or 60 cents for a stamp is still a good deal. It is time to revise today’s “understood” meaning of universal service and make it more relevant and realistic for the world we now live in.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    This is not good for the American public. If this model is adopted the American public will have to pay for that last model as the most unprofitable part of the business. Why sell off the profitable pieces and keep the most expensive piece the delivery which has the least volume variable costs if you have to delivery to every house every day. Why is no one looking at the Postal Service as a fundamental service of government supported by appropriations of taxpayer money to support universal service at a low cost. Look at the privatized posts in other countries and the rates that their citizens pay. It is obvious that with privatization the costs for everyone will rise and a few individuals will make large profits. That concept is not in the best interest of the American Public.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    Is it such a crazy thing to just freeze payments to the PAEA(Medical Benefits Pre-fund)and freeze payments to CSRS and FERS till the overages have been corrected?

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    The current proposals aren’t new and they aren’t particularly innovative; the ideology has been around for years. One might add that the only reason the proposals don’t advocate also privatizing delivery is that the current delivery infrastructure doesn’t readily add itself to that – yet. Give it a couple of years and delivery will be included in the package.
    None of these proposals acknowledge much less address the value of public goods or the necessity for maintaining neutral infrastructure. Privatizing the postal system would likely lead to monopoly or semi-monopoly control of the postal network with many of the same problems we’re currently seeing in telecommunications. I’ve written extensively on this subject including this recent post at STPO:http://www.savethepostoffice.com/betrayal-without-remedy-unwinding-postal-service

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    These proposals fall short in one key area: the mailing industry is a dying business. What private sector company would make any investment to enter this market? Where the private sector already operates — in upstream activities through worksharing — the margins are extremely thin. The consolidation within the printing industry illustrates what a shrinking industry this is.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    One problem is the way UPS and Fedex show when the package gets to us. We have seen packages that customers call about and UPS/Fedex show that we have them, only to see them show up on a pallet from them two or three days later.
    If the packages get to us in the morning we take them out that day. If they come in after the carriers have left on their routes, the packages will go out the next day.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    I don’t believe that….at our Post Office they are delivered the day UPS drops them off on our loading dock…at worst…if they drop them off later in the day they are then delivered the next day.

  • Reply to: Does a Hybrid Postal Model Have Merit?   1 year 7 months ago

    I’ve had small packages from UPS sent through the USPS and I can tell you that process adds a week to the delivery time. It gets to my town in 2 days and then takes a week to cross town through the USPS. That part of the system needs to be addressed with hybrid services.
    I do love the USPS, and I hope you can work it out!

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    There needs to be a balance between each. The Postal Service is cutting back too much on the retail help, and pushing too much to automated transactions. There are still people that want to buy stamps, or those that only send out a package once in a great while. A self checkout system is not going to do these people much good. However, they should bring back the vending machines in some of the smaller offices. The office in the town where I work had a 24 hour PO box lobby. It would be great to buy just a couple of stamps after hours when I go to pick up my mail, as ordering it online is not instant and the grocery store is a few miles away.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    I’m actually a big fan of using the online click n’ ship over clerk or kiosk. I can ship and schedule a pick-up right from the comfort of home. I just wish they offered more options to ship and print postage, instead of just Express and Priority Mail.
    When I do go to the post office and have tried to use the kiosk, they are either out of order or I get through and find I need to see a clerk anyway. If I have to make the drive, I prefer to use the clerk.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    I collect hand-cancellation postmarks at every post office I visit. I can’t get those at a kiosk!

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    I found the kiosks difficult to use, and SLOW. In many cases, it’s actually faster to go through the line. Also, the interface looks about ten years old, and uses postal terms that I’m unfamiliar with. If the kiosk worked more like the self-checkout systems, I might use it.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    I like that the automated postal centers are open in the lobby of my post office after hours. It allows me to run in and take care of my postal needs on off hours. The one downside is that if you are shipping a package that is bigger than what fits in the opening of the kiosk, it requires you to stand in line or at least hand off the package to a clerk. Another nearby post office had a kiosk at one time, but then removed it. I’m not sure why and it is disappointing as that PO had more parking available. But with only one clerk working on many days, it almost always has a long line.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    I much prefer the kiosk. Many employees at my local post office locations are much slower than the computer. I like to save the line for complicated shipments.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    Both, Clerk and Kiosks. Yes! I feel that the automated options and the human touch thats-the-equally-right-balance.

  • Reply to: If you have been to a Post Office with a kiosk, but opted to wait for a clerk instead, what was the basis for your decision?   1 year 7 months ago

    I personally prefer to work with a person, but then I’m of that demographic that grew up without a cell phone and remembers when bank clerks knew your name.

  • Reply to: Neither Blizzards Nor Hurricanes Nor Zombies...   1 year 7 months ago

    You are absolutely right. We are tied to FEMA, state EMA’s, as well as the Centers for Disease Control. We have agreements to deliver emergency items including medical neccessities under escort of the US Marshalls if needed. That’s why I say there’s alot more to the Postal Service than the average American understands.

  • Reply to: Neither Blizzards Nor Hurricanes Nor Zombies...   1 year 7 months ago

    This is an excellent article as it deals with issues that most people never ponder until faced with a crisis. People will be expecting and looking for checks, advance payments and documents from their insurance carrier. There are a tremendous amount of documents that still need mailed and not sent via email. Some how, the USPS should be tied in to FEMA on when to deliver and when it is safe. At most storm sites, there are fema tents and instruction sites set up. I would think that the postal service would or should coordinate your services at these same sites for the people displaced. I am sure the safety of the employees is foremost. But you can never minimize the importance of mail returning some semblance of normalcy in a time of crisis. As for delivering around zombies, ….. Suggest you let management figure that one out.

  • Reply to: Neither Blizzards Nor Hurricanes Nor Zombies...   1 year 7 months ago

    I agree Tim, the penny saver is the last thing on our mind in the event of a disaster. However, I don’t think most people understand the Postal Service plays a vital role in emergency preparedness. We have expertise and knowledge unique to our organization, in that we have mastered the routes and addresses of the entire United States. In the event of a natural disaster or biological attack the Postal Service is needed to deliver information and medication to the American public. While the health and safety of our employees is always first and foremost, we are a key player in protecting the public at large. For example, in the event a public quarantine could prevent outbreak of a disease or spread of a biological agent; the Postal Service would play a vital role in delivering information and antidotes to prevent public alarm, panic and further contamination. Of course this would all be carried out in coordination with other first responders but I think we all need to recognize and respect the fact the Postal Service delivers a much larger service than distributing junk mail and penny savers.

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