Non-career employees, or temporary workers who do not receive full employee benefits and privileges, make up a significant part of the U.S. Postal Service’s workforce – about 130,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2016. The USPS uses non-career employees throughout its operations.
King Louis XIV of France did more than usher in a golden age of art and literature and preside over a dazzling royal court at Versailles in the 17th century. He also introduced the world to the inspector general concept, appointing agents to review his military and report back what they found.
Out with the old; in with the new. It's a common saying at the start of the New Year. In the postal world, however, some old things go out at the end of the year, only to return again in the New Year, like postal reform.
And, of course, some things never go away completely, which is a good thing. For example, we continue to get mail delivery to our doors at least 6 days a week no matter what is happening with the U.S. Postal Service's financial condition.
Do you have a stockpile of Forever Stamps in a drawer? Isn't it great to know you can use those stamps any time, and they'll be good no matter how much the postage rate may have changed? You can put them on this year's holiday cards, even if you bought the stamps 3 years ago.
On December 8, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman James Bilbray served his final day. The board is now without any independent governors for the first time since the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 created the governing body, which operates much like a corporate board providing strategic direction to the Postal Service.
While Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman serve on the Board of Governors, the board is also made up of nine independent governors appointed by the president and approved by the Senate.
Location, location, location – it's the mantra of realtors, of course, but is just as important to retailers and service providers, like the U.S. Postal Service. USPS understands the importance of being where people live and shop. It also knows that keeping hours conducive to people's shopping habits increases customer traffic. Cue contract postal units (CPUs), which the Postal Service uses to supplement its 32,000 post offices around the country.
Twenty years ago, E.R. was the number one TV show, Macarena topped the pop music charts, and Independence Day (the original) was the highest-grossing movie of the year. A stamp cost 32 cents, and, oh yes, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG) was created.
On September 30, 1996, President Clinton signed the amended Inspector General Act of 1978 to establish a separate enforcement and oversight agency for the Postal Service, moving that responsibility to the newly created and fully independent OIG.
The American economy runs on trucks. Nearly 70 percent of all the freight tonnage in the United States moves on big rubber wheels. It's not an overstatement to say that without the trucking industry and its drivers, the economy would come to a crashing halt.
But the trucking industry faces a projected shortage of 46,000 drivers in the next 3 years. That's a tough situation under any circumstances, but factor in the continued growth of ecommerce, which is putting a greater number of trucks on the road, and that driver shortage is even more alarming.
With mail volume declining and the mail mix changing, the U.S. Postal Service is adjusting processing capacity and the size of the network to better match the current workload. But getting to the end game has been painful, with plenty of bumps and bruises. Service, in particular, has taken a hit.