Key Notes – Volume 03 Number 46

Postal Service Reports $5.6 Billion Loss for Fiscal 2016 – The U.S. Postal Service, having faced years of financial hardship, posted a $5.6 billion net loss for fiscal 2016, despite an increase in revenue this year.  USPS reported $610 million in controllable income this year, down from $1.18 billion in FY 2015.  Controllable income, which adjusts for compensation costs outside of USPS’ control, excludes the $5.8 billion the agency paid to pre-fund postal workers’ retirement benefits. Since 2006, the Postal Service has been required by Congress to pre-fund retiree health benefits.  Without the pre-funding mandate, the Postal Service would have recorded a net income of about $200 million in fiscal 2016.  Postmaster General Megan Brennan urged the lame-duck Congress on Nov. 15 to pass postal reform legislation in the months remaining until President-elect Donald Trump takes office.  Source:  Federal News Radio

NALC statement on USPS’ Fiscal 2016 Report – Fredric Roland, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers said, “The pre-funding issue can be readily addressed if Congress acts on practical, targeted postal reform.  There is a strong consensus within a coalition consisting of the Postal Service, postal unions, businesses, mailers and industry groups, as well as key legislators, for a reform package that all stakeholders can buy into, including addressing pre-funding, allowing USPS to use its invaluable networks for some new products and services, and adopting best private-sector practices in investing the USPS retiree health benefits fund. Our coalition will work with Congress to overcome the short-term impact of the rate roll-back and move legislation.”  Source:  NALC

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus – The U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it with a reply to your child’s letter, complete with a North Pole postmark.  Click here to see a step by step process for your child to get a letter back from Santa.  “Letters from Santa” must be received by the Anchorage, AK, postmaster no later than Dec. 15. Santa’s helpers at the Postal Service will take care of the rest.  Source:  USPS

No One In Charge – On December 8th the U.S. Postal Service will no longer have a functioning Board of Governors.  That’s the day when the term of James Bilbray, the sole remaining presidential appointee on the board, finally ends.  While President Obama has made several appointments to the BOG, they have been blocked by Senator Bernie Sanders.  The USPS board has not had a legal quorum for two years now, and has been governed by a slightly dubious “Temporary Emergency Committee” since then.  Now the USPS Office of Inspector General has issued a report on USPS Governance, calling attention to the very serious consequences of the absence of a functioning board- not the least of which is the fact that both the PMG and IG will no longer have anyone to report to- and there is no one with the statutory authority to remove either of them!  Source:  PostalNews

Holiday Disaster Looms as UPS Workers Vote to Strike – Aircraft maintenance workers at United Parcel Service have overwhelmingly voted to go on strike in a decision that could paralyze shipments during the busy holiday season.  Under the law, the union must have government approval to go on strike. A board of officials appointed by the president would be responsible for making that decision, and that process can take up to 30 days.  Source:  MSN

PMG Salary is $286,000 – The chief executive of the U.S. Postal Service was paid less than one tenth of what her counterparts at competitors UPS and FedEx received last year.  Postmaster General Megan Brennan’s salary during Fiscal Year 2016 was $286,137, the USPS revealed today in a financial statement (Page 72 of this PDF). The total value of her compensation was $904,784, mostly from a nearly $600,000 increase in the value of her pension (perhaps because she reached 30 years of service with the agency).  Source:  Dead Tree Edition

Augmented Reality, and the Digital Marketing Equation – Connected technology, the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (AR): these are all terms used to describe the trend towards joining the real-world with internet world.  A variety of digital elements are now being incorporated into existing print and real-world mediums. Integrating augmented reality into marketing materials and products is the perfect portal to creating that experience.  Source:  IoT