Browsing: Postal Service

Postal Service: Almost 16K EAS employees eligible for early-out

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Some 15,600 U.S. Postal Service managers. supervisors and postmasters are getting notice this week that they qualify for the mail carrier’s latest early retirement  offer. The offer applies to eligible field employees covered by the Executive and Administrative Schedule, USPS spokeswoman Patricia Licata said in reply to emailed questions from Federal Times. That figure (15,580, to be exact) represents about one-third of the 42,239 field EAS employees on the rolls as of last week. For the Postal Service as a whole, the ranks of the EAS workforce numbered 50,346, excluding the USPS inspector general’s office and the Postal Inspection Service.…

NARFE, federal employee unions object to Senate postal bill

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Two federal employee unions, along with the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, are wading into the fight over postal legislation. In a joint letter to members of a Senate committee released yesterday, NARFE, the American Federation of Government Employees, and the National Treasury Employees Union objected to provisions in a Senate bill pertaining to the federal workers’ compensation program and the U.S. Postal Service’s hopes of revamping its participation in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. You can read the letter here; whatever the merits of the arguments, it’s safe to say that the opposition of three organizations…

Postal Service IG launches review of agency conference spending

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The Postal Service’s Inspector General’s office is launching a review of conference spending at the agency. The office said that conferences can be an effective method of communication or they can be abused. Agencies have made great strides to reduce those costs by promoting teleconferencing and reducing the number of meetings, the office said in an Aug. 21 announcement. “We are conducting research to determine if the Postal Service properly accounted for and evaluated Postal Service initiatives to reduce meeting and conference costs,” the announcement said. The inspector general’s office is also asking attendees at recent Postal Service conferences and…

Politics pays off for the Postal Service

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News that the U.S. Postal Service’s financial picture is improving (although it’s all relative when you still post a $740 million quarterly loss) reminded FedLine of a recent inspector general’s report looking at one roaring success: political mail. This will come as no surprise to anyone who had to empty a mailbox in a battleground state, but last year’s general election was a huge winner for the USPS bottom line. In comparison with the 2008 election season, revenue from a torrent of candidate and other political mailings more than doubled to $508 million, far beyond the initial goal. This was not happenstance, as the Postal Service had…

As prospects dim for postal reform, Senate bill already encountering flak

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Only days after it was introduced, a proposed Senate overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service is taking its lumps from both organized labor and the mailing industry. “This bill is fatally flawed,” Cliff Guffey, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said in a Friday statement denouncing the legislation as a betrayal of USPS employees. The Association for Postal Commerce, which represents business mail users, has some “significant issues” with the measure, such as its idea for widening the Postal Service’s discretion in applying an inflation-adjusted cap on rate increases for standard mail and other areas where it dominates the…

Mailers girding for postal rate increase fight

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The mailing industry is regrouping for battle over the possibility of an emergency rate increase request from the U.S. Postal Service. After lying dormant for the last 2-1/2 years, the Affordable Mail Alliance, made up of nine trade groups and companies, issued a news release yesterday stating that the USPS Board of Governors “is set to decide on the matter imminently.” The board, which is scheduled to meet in closed session next Tuesday, ordered postal management to study the possibility of an “exigent” rate increase earlier this spring after abandoning plans to end Saturday mail delivery. At this point, no…

Issa unveils modified postal bill

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Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has just released a “discussion draft” of a bill intended to put the U.S. Postal Service on a more stable, long-term financial footing. The bill, which has not yet been introduced, bears some resemblance to the measure that the California Republican unsuccessfully pushed in the 2011-2012 session of Congress. It would, for example, temporarily replace the USPS board of governors with a presidentially appointed panel of five outside executives who would have the power to shake up the agency’s top management and take any steps necessary under the…

TSP Board withholding results of security review prompted by 2011 hacking attack

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Last year, following the disclosure that 123,000 Thrift Savings Plan accounts had been hacked, the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board launched a wide-ranging assessment of its computer system security. That “Tiger Team” task force review is now complete, but the board isn’t making the findings public. Instead, the agency is withholding the entire report on the grounds that disclosure “could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law,”  Amanda Haas, a Freedom of Information Act officer with the board, said in a response today to Federal Times’ FOIA request. Haas did not immediately reply to a request for more information…

Lawyer: Postal Service board members risked "removal" over ending Saturday mail delivery

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Members of the U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors risked losing their jobs if the agency persevered with ending Saturday mail delivery following passage of a final fiscal 2013 spending bill. That was the warning delivered by an outside law firm April 5–four days before the board pulled the plug on the plan. Proceeding with five-day mail delivery “would entail a number of risks,” Jeffrey Bucholtz,  a partner with King & Spalding, wrote in a 17-page opinion prepared for the Postal Service’s legal department. “First, violating a federal law would likely supply cause for the President to remove the Governors.”…

As Postal Service seeks to reopen pay talks, NAPS, other employee groups, say, "Nope."

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Under orders from his board, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe is gamely trying to reopen pay talks with employee organizations after the collapse of efforts to end Saturday mail delivery. Good luck with that. The U.S. Postal Service’s “untenable” financial position “demands urgent action to ensure the near-term viability of our great institution,” Donahoe said in a Tuesday letter to Louis Atkins, president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors. (NAPS provided the letter to FedLine with permission to post it online.) “In light of these extraordinary circumstances, I request your cooperation in reopening consultations concerning the pay and benefits of…

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