Thursday, March 7, 2013

As mail travels through the DPRCS

As mail travels through the DPRCS, large items, such as packages and mail bundles, are removed from the stream. As the remaining mail enters the first machine for processing standard mail, the Advanced Facer-Canceler System (AFCS), Sony VGP-BPS26A Battery pieces that passed through the DPRCS but do not conform to physical dimensions for processing in the AFCS (i.e. large envelopes or overstuffed standard envelopes) are automatically diverted from the stream. Mail removed from the DPRCS and AFCS is manually processed or sent to parcel sorting machines. Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery In contrast to the previous system, which merely canceled and postmarked the upper right corner of the envelope, thereby missing any stamps which were inappropriately placed, the Advanced Facer-Canceler System locates indicia (stamp or metered postage mark), Sony VGP-BPL22 Battery regardless of the orientation of the mail as it enters the machine, and cancels it by applying a postmark. Detection of indicia enables the AFCS to determine the orientation of each mailpiece and sort it accordingly, rotating pieces as necessary so all mail is sorted right-side up and faced in the same direction in each output bin. Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery Mail is output by the machine into three categories: mail already affixed with a bar code and addressed (such as business reply envelopes and cards), mail with machine printed (typed) addresses, and mail with handwritten addresses. Additionally, machines with a recent Optical Character Recognition (OCR) upgrade have the capability to read the address information, Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery including handwritten, and sort the mail based on local or outgoing ZIP codes. Mail with typed addresses goes to a Multiline Optical Character Reader (MLOCR) which reads the ZIP Code and address information and prints the appropriate bar code onto the envelope. Mail (actually the scanned image of the mail) with handwritten addresses Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery (and machine-printed ones that are not easily recognized) goes to the Remote Bar Coding System. It also corrects spelling errors and, where there is an error, omission, or conflict in the written address, identifies the most likely correct address. When it has decided on a correct address, it prints the appropriate bar code onto the envelopes, similarly to the MLOCR system. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery RBCS also has facilities in place, called Remote Encoding Centers, that have humans look at images of mail pieces and enter the address data. The address data is associated with the image via an ID Tag, a fluorescent barcode printed by mail processing equipment on the back of mail pieces. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery If a customer has filed a change of address card and his or her mail is detected in the mailstream with the old address, the mailpiece is sent to a machine that automatically connects to a Computerized Forwarding System database to determine the new address. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery If this address is found, the machine will paste a label over the former address with the current address. The mail is returned to the mailstream to forward to the new location. Mail with addresses that cannot be resolved by the automated system are separated for human intervention. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery If a local postal worker can read the address, he or she manually sorts it out according to the ZIP code on the article. If the address cannot be read, mail is either returned to the sender (first-class mail with a valid return address) or is sent to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery Georgia (formerly known as Dead Letter Offices, originated by Benjamin Franklin in the 1770s) where it receives more intense scrutiny, including being opened to determine if any of the contents are a clue. If no valid address can be determined, the items are held for 90 days in case of inquiry by the customer; Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery and if they are not claimed then they are either destroyed or auctioned off at the monthly Postal Service Unclaimed Parcel auction to raise money for the service. Once the mail is bar coded, it is automatically sorted by a Delivery Bar Code System that reads the bar code and determines the destination of the mailpiece to postal stations. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery Regional mail is trucked to the appropriate local post office or kept in the building for carrier routes served directly from the P&DC. Out-of-region mail is trucked to the airport and then flown, usually as baggage on commercial airlines, to the airport nearest the destination station. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery At the destination P&DC, mail is once again read by a DBCS which sorts the items into their local destinations, including grouping them by individual mail carrier. At the carrier route level, 95% of letters arrive pre-sorted;[130] the remaining mail must be sorted by hand. Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery The Post Office is working to increase the percentage of automatically sorted mail, including a pilot program to sort "flats". Although its customer service centers are called post offices in regular speech, the USPS recognizes several types of postal facilities, including the following: Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery

main post office (formerly known as a general post office) is the primary postal facility in a community.

station or post office station, a postal facility that is not the main post office, but that is within the corporate limits of the community. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery

branch or post office branch, a postal facility that is not the main post office and that is outside the corporate limits of the community.

classified unit, a station or branch operated by USPS employees in a facility owned or leased by the USPS.

contract postal unit (or CPU), a station or branch operated by a contractor, typically in a store or other place of business.[132] Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery

community post office (or CPO), a contract postal unit providing services in a small community in which other types of post office facilities have been discontinued.

finance unit, a station or branch that provides window services and accepts mail, but does not provide delivery. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Batteryprocessing and distribution center (P&DC, or processing and distribution facility, formerly known as aGeneral Mail Facility), a central mail facility that processes and dispatches incoming and outgoing mail to and from a designated service area. (275 nationwide.)[130] Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery

An international service center (ISC), an international mail processing facility. There are only five such USPS facilities in the United States, located in Chicago, New York, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco.[133]

sectional center facility (SCF), a P&DC for a designated geographical area defined by one or more three-digit ZIP code prefixes. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery

network distribution center, formerly known as a bulk mail center (BMC), a central mail facility that processes bulk rate parcels as the hub in a hub and spoke network.

An auxiliary sorting facility (ASF), a central mail facility that processes bulk rate parcels as spokes in a hub and spoke network. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Batteryremote encoding center (REC), a facility at which clerks receive images of problem mail pieces (those with hard-to-read addresses, etc.) via secure Internet-type feeds and manually type the addresses they can decipher, using a special encoding protocol. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery The mail pieces are then sprayed with the correct addresses or are sorted for further handling according to the instructions given via encoding. The total number of RECs is down from 55 in 1998 to just 5 centers in April 2009. In 2010, there will be just two remaining RECs open, in Salt Lake City, Utah and Wichita, Kansas. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery

More closures will occur as computer software becomes more able to read most addresses, but a few centers are expected to remain open (see Evolutionary Network Development below).

village post office (VPO), a post office concept beginning in 2011, village post offices are an integral part of the USPS plan to close low volume post offices. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery Many of these will be replaced with village post offices that will fill the role of the post office within that zip code and be located in local business or government centers and operated by those entities as specified in the contract negotiated between the entity and USPS.[134] Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery While common usage refers to all types of postal facilities as "substations", the USPS Glossary of Postal Terms does not define or even list that word.[132] Post Offices often share facilities with other governmental organizations located within a city's central business district. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery In those locations, often Courthouses and Federal Buildings, the building is owned by theGeneral Services Administration while the U.S. Postal Services operates as a tenant.[135] There are approximately 36,000 post offices, stations, and branches in the USPS retail system.[136] Temporary stations are also set up for applying pictorial cancellations. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery In 2004 the USPS began deploying Automated Postal Centers (APC).[137] APCs are unattended kiosks that are capable of weighing, franking, and storing packages for later pickup as well as selling domestic and international postage stamps. Since its introduction, APCs do not take cash payments - they only accept credit or debit cards. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery Similarly, traditional vending machines are available at many post offices to purchase stamps, though these are being phased out in many areas.[138] Due to increasing use of Internet services, as of June 2009, no retail post office windows are open 24 hours; overnight services are limited to those provided by an Automated Postal Center. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery Over a period of years, these facilities are expected to replace Processing & Distribution Centers, Customer Service Facilities, Bulk Mail Centers, Logistic and Distribution Centers, annexes, the Hub and Spoke Program, Air Mail Centers, and International Service Centers. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery The changes are a result of the declining volumes of single-piece first-class mail, population shifts, the increase in drop shipments by advertising mailers at destinating postal facilities, advancements in equipment and technology, redundancies in the existing network, and the need for operational flexibility. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery Until 1912, mail was delivered seven days a week. As the postal service grew in popularity and usage in the 19th century, local religious leaders noticed a decline in Sunday-morning church attendance because of local post offices' doubling as gathering places. These leaders appealed to the government to intervene and close post offices on Sundays. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery Because of this intervention by the government, U.S. Mail (with the exception of Express Mail)[143] is not delivered on Sunday, except in a few towns in which the local religion has had an effect on the policy, such as Loma Linda, California, which has a significant Seventh-day Adventist population[141] Sony PCG-71213M Battery and where U.S. Mail is delivered Sunday through Friday, with the exception of observed federal holidays. Saturday delivery was temporarily suspended in April 1957, because of lack of funds, but quickly restored.[144][145] On January 28, 2009, Postmaster General John E. Potter testified before the Senate[146] Sony PCG-71311M Battery that, if the Postal Service could not readjust its payment toward the pre-funding of retiree health benefits, as mandated by the Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act of 2006,[147] the USPS would be forced to consider cutting delivery to five days per week during June, July, and August. Sony PCG-71312M Battery H.R. 22, addressing this issue, passed the House of Representatives and Senate and was signed into law on September 30, 2009. However, PMG Potter has continued to unveil a plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. The universal service obligation[148]and six day delivery are upheld by Congressional language within Appropriations legislation, Sony PCG-71212M Battery so a reduction in service would require action from the House and Senate.[149] On June 10, 2009, the NRLCA was contacted for its input on the USPS's current study of the impact of five-day delivery along with developing an implementation plan for a five-day service plan. Sony PCG-71811M Battery A team of postal service headquarters executives and staff has been given a time frame of sixty days to complete the study. The current concept examines the impact of five-day delivery with no business or collections on Saturday, with Post Offices with current Saturday hours remaining open. Sony PCG-71911M Battery Chairman José Serrano (D–NY), of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which oversees language mandating six day service, said "While I understand the seriousness of the Postal Service's fiscal issues, I remain supportive of a six day delivery schedule. Sony PCG-91211M Battery I will be in conversations in coming weeks with the senior postal leadership and the postal unions in an effort to avoid service cuts." On Thursday, April 15, 2010, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine the status of the Postal Service and recent reports on short and long Sony PCG-91111M Battery term strategies for the financial viability and stability of the USPS entitled "Continuing to Deliver: An Examination of the Postal Service's Current Financial Crisis and its Future Viability." At which, PMG Potter testified that by the year 2020, the USPS cumulative losses could exceed $238 billion, and that mail volume could drop 15 percent from 2009.[150] Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery On February 6, 2013, it was announced that as a cost-cutting measure to address the continuing financial crisis at USPS, Saturday delivery service would be discontinued except for packages, mail-order medicines, Priority Mail, and Express Mail, beginning August 10, 2013. Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery Originally, mail was not delivered to homes and businesses, but to post offices. In 1863, "city delivery" began in urban areas with enough customers to make this economical. This required streets to be named, houses to be numbered, with sidewalks and lighting provided, and these street addresses to be added to envelopes.[152] Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery The number of routes served expanded over time. In 1891, the first experiments with Rural Free Delivery began in less densely populated areas. To compensate for high mail volume and slow long-distance transportation which saw mail arrive at post offices throughout the day, deliveries were made multiple times a day. Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery This ranged from twice for residential areas to up to seven times for the central business district of Brooklyn, New York.[153] In the late 19th century, mail boxes were encouraged, saving carriers the time it took to deliver directly to the addressee in person; in the 1910s and 1920s, they were phased in as a requirement for service.[152Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery ] In the 1940s, multiple daily deliveries began to be reduced, especially on Saturdays. By 1990, the last twice-daily deliveries in New York City were eliminated. Today, mail is delivered once a day on-site to most private homes and businesses. Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery The USPS still distinguishes between city delivery (where carriers generally walk and deliver to mailboxes hung on exterior walls or porches, or to commercial reception areas) and rural delivery (where carriers generally drive).[154] With "curbside delivery", mailboxes are at the ends of driveways, on the nearest convenient road. Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery "Central point delivery" is used in some locations, where several nearby residences share a "cluster" of individual mailboxes in a single housing. Some customers choose to use post office boxes for an additional fee, for privacy or convenience. Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery This provides a locked box at the post office to which mail is addressed and delivered (usually earlier in the day than home delivery). Customers in less densely populated areas where there is no city delivery and who do not qualify for rural delivery may receive mail only through post office boxes. High-volume business customers can also arrange for special pick-up. Sony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery Another option is the old-style general delivery, for people who have neither post office boxes nor street addresses. Mail is held at the post office until they present identification and pick it up.Some customers receive free post office boxes if the USPS declines to provide door-to-door delivery to their location or a nearby box.[157] Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery People with medical problems can request door-to-door delivery.[158] Homeless people are also eligible for post office boxes at the discretion of the local postmaster, or can use general delivery.From 1885 to 1997, a service called special delivery was available, which caused a separate delivery to the final location earlier in the day than the usual daily rounds. Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery Residential customers can fill out a form to forward mail to a new address, and can also send pre-printed forms to any of their frequent correspondents. They can also put their mail on "hold", for example, while on vacation. The Post Office will store mail during the hold, instead of letting it overflow in the mailbox. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery These services are not available to large buildings and customers of a commercial mail receiving agency,[160] where mail is subsorted by non-Post Office employees into individual mailboxes. The Postal Service is the USA's second-largest civilian employer.[4] Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery As of 2011, it employed 574,000 personnel, divided into offices, processing centers, and actual post offices.[4] The United States Postal Service is a Fortune 500 company. Labor unions representing USPS employees include: The American Postal Workers Union (APWU), which represents postal clerks and maintenance, motor vehicle, Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery mail equipment shops, material distribution centers, and operating services and facilities services employees, postal nurses, and IT and accounting;[161] the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), which represents city letter carriers; the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association (NRLCA), which represents rural letter carriers; Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU). USPS employees are divided into three major crafts according to the work they engage in: Mail carriers, also referred to as mailmen or letter carriers, prepare and deliver mail and parcels. They are divided into two categories: City Letter Carriers, who are represented by the NALC, and Rural Letter Carriers, who are represented by the NRLCA. Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery City Carriers are paid hourly with automatic overtime paid after 8 hours or 40 hours a week of duty. City Carriers are required to work in any kind of weather, daylight or dark and carry three bundles of mail (letters in one hand, magazines in the other and advertisements in a mailbag) in addition to parcels up to a total of 80 lbs. Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery Mail routes are outfitted with a number of scanpoints (mailbox barcodes) on random streets every 30 to 40 minutes apart to keep track of the Carriers' whereabouts up until the last 5 minutes of any given workday. City Carriers are also subject to forced "undertime work" called Pivoting on a daily basis. Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery This practice is when supervisors allege that a Carrier's assigned route will take less than 8 hours to complete. Management will then "pivot" the Carrier to work on another route to "create 8 hours or more workload" for that Carrier or, in most cases, work additional "unpaid overtime" on another route. Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery If there is no undertime, management may still instruct the Carrier to "curtail and rotate" (set aside) bulk mail or third bundle carry-out advertisements for the following day to complete the pivot assignment. Pivoting is the most effective tool postal management uses to eliminate overtime costs, Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery based on mail volume projections from the DOIS (Delivery Operations Information System) computer program. City Carrier routes are timed, inspected, adjusted and/ or eliminated based on that same information, controlled by this program and any current PS Form 3999 (office and/ or street observation by a Postal supervisor to determine accurate times spent on actual delivery of mail). Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery With this program, there is no additional time allotted for travel time, bathroom breaks, prep time, select customer service needs and in some cases, lunch breaks. Even though a majority of supervisors have never carried mail, their input determines the daily workload reports of the routes. Sony VGN-P series Battery

There are no consultations with the assigned Carriers on any eliminations or adjustments to the routes either before or after route inspectons.

Rural carriers are under a form of salary called "evaluated hours", usually with overtime built in to their pay. Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery

The evaluated hours are created by having all mail counted for a period of two or four weeks, and a formula used to create the set dollar amount they will be paid for each day worked until the next time the route is counted.

Mail handlers and processors, prepare, separate, load and unload mail and parcels, by delivery zipcode and station, for the clerks. Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery

They work almost exclusively at the plants or larger mail facilities now after having their duties excessed and reassigned to clerks in Post Offices and Station branches.

Clerks, have a dual function by design of where their assignment is. Clerks directly handle customer service needs at the counter and also sort first class letters, Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery

standard and bulk-rate mail for the carriers on the workflooor. Data Conversion Operators, who encode address information at Remote Encoding Centers, are also members of the clerk craft.

Other non-managerial positions in the USPS include: Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery Maintenance and custodians, who see to the overall operation and cleaning of mail sorting machines, work areas, public parking and general facility operations. Transitional employees (TEs), who are hired for terms of 360 days (with the option of appointment to another 360 day term after a 5 day break), Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery

are given the same hourly base pay as a Part Time Flexible carrier, but receive no benefits other than annual leave. Transitional employees may be released by the USPS upon completion of their 360 day term, lack of work, or for "just cause" and can be represented by the NALC.Sony VGN-P21Z/R Battery

Career, Part Time Flexible and Transitional employees (Career, PTF & TE DCOs) at a remote encoding center are still under clerks category but under a different contract than a plant worker or mail carrier and, therefore, are also under a different union (APWU) than the above mentioned Career, Sony VGN-P29VN/Q Battery

TEs and PTFs. There are several differences between working as a carrier or plant worker VS. working at a REC. Even pay is different.

Though the USPS employs many individuals, as more Americans send information via email, fewer postal workers are needed to work dwindling amounts of mail. Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery

Post offices and mail facilities are constantly downsizing, replacing craft positions with new machines and consolidating mail routes through the MIARAP (Modified Interim Alternate Route Adjustment Process) agreement. A major round of job cuts, early retirements, and a construction freeze were announced on March 20, 2009.[162] Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

In the early 1990s, widely publicized workplace shootings by disgruntled employees at USPS facilities led to a Human Resource effort to provide care for stressed workers and resources for coworker conflicts.[163] Due to media coverage, postal employees gained a reputation among the general public as more likely to be mentally ill. Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

The USPS Commission on a Safe and Secure Workplace found that "Postal workers are only a third as likely as those in the national workforce to be victims of homicide at work."[164] In the documentary Murder by Proxy: How America Went Postal, it was argued that this number failed to factor out workers killed by external subjects rather than by fellow employees.Sony  VAIO VGN-FZ31M Battery This stereotype in turn has influenced American culture, as seen in the slang term "going postal" (see Patrick Sherrill for information on his August 20, 1986, rampage) and the computer game Postal. Also, in the opening sequence of Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult, a yell of "Disgruntled postal workers" is heard, Sony Vaio VGN-FZ19VN Battery followed by the arrival of postal workers with machine guns. In an episode of Seinfeld, the character Newman, who is a mailman, explained in a dramatic monologue that postal workers "go crazy and kill everyone" because the mail never stops. In The Simpsons episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday," Sony Vaio VGN-FZ39VN Battery Nelson Muntz asks Postmaster Bill if he has "ever gone on a killing spree"; Bill replies, "The day of the disgruntled postman went out with the Macarena". In the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street, the identity of Kris Kringle (played by Edmund Gwenn) as the one and only "Santa Claus" was validated by a state court, Sony Vaio VGN-FZ39VN Battery based on the delivery of 21 bags of mail (famously carried into the courtroom) to the character in question. The contention was that it would have been illegal for the United States Post Office to deliver mail that was addressed to "Santa Claus" to the character "Kris Kringle" unless he was, in fact, the one and only Santa Claus. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31ZR Battery Judge Henry X. Harper (played by Gene Lockhart) ruled that since the US Government had demonstrated through the delivery of the bags of mail that Kris Kringle was Santa Claus, the State of New York did not have the authority to overrule that decision. Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31SR Battery In the TV series Seinfeld, Newman is an employee at the USPS, which is portrayed in the series as a powerful, nefarious organization. In "The Junk Mail" episode 161 he claims that ZIP codes are meaningless; that no mail carrier has successfully delivered more than 50% of their mail (a feat he compares to the 3-minute mile), Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31ER Battery and that several postal workers go on killing sprees because, as he puts it, "the mail never stops". In the same episode, Cosmo Kramer is abducted by Post Office security men for running an anti-mail campaign after he realizes the Postal Service has become obsolete. Sony Vaio VGN-NR31E/S Battery The TV series Cheers featured John Ratzenberger as Cliff Clavin, a USPS worker and a regular in the bar.The 1997 movie The Postman portrays the United States Postal Service and its returned services to revive the United States economy in a post-apocalyptic world. Sony Vaio VGN-NR31ER/S Battery,Sony Vaio VGN-NR31J/S Battery,Sony Vaio VGN-NR31MR/S Battery

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