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Chapter 1 Compliance with Statutory Policies
agencies on a fee-for-service basis. NEEOISO completed 99% of all investigations, reduced the average time to issue a merit decision to 30 days, and processed more than 11,000 requests for EEO counseling.
E. NATIONAL SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION
Education is the key to Postal Service efforts to assure a workplace free of unlawful and inappropriate conduct. During 2006, the following actions were taken to support ongoing efforts to prevent sexual harassment:
• The Postal Service Policy on Workplace Harassment* was updated and revised to include all claims of harassment. It describes the transition of responsibility from the Postal Inspection Service to the Office of Inspector General. It also incorporates information with reference to the new toll-free number for the Equal Employment Opportunity Office centralized intake center.
• The Postal Service Policy Statement on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identification and Gender Stereotyping** prohibits harassment of all gender nonconforming individuals and requires management action in the face of any such harassment. Poster 157, Our Diversity is Our Strength, was distributed to all postal facilities to reinforce this policy.
• The training program, Harassment: Initial Management Inquiry Process, was developed to give managers and supervisors the understanding and skills necessary to respond to harassment complaints, including how to maintain the appropriate level of documentation. This training complements the June 2005, Publication 552, Manager’s Guide to Understanding Sexual Harassment.
• Workplace Harassment Awareness and Prevention training was developed and conducted for the Office of Inspector General.
* Formerly Postal Service Policy on Sexual Harassment
** Formerly Postal Service Policy on Sexual Orientation
F. DEPENDENT CARE
Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding with the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Postal Service maintained a contract with a vendor to provide a dependent care resource and referral service to management and APWU-represented employees. The service allows employees to get assistance in locating dependent and elder care resources, as well as offering a variety of options to help balance work and home life.
G. COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
The Postal Service joins other federal agencies in the Combined Federal Campaign drive each fall. In the Fall 2005 campaign, postal employees pledged a total of $39 million for calendar year 2006 to the charities of their choice. The average employee gift was approximately $240. The percentage of participation among employees was 24%.
H. POSTAL EMPLOYEES RELIEF FUND
The Postal Employees Relief Fund (PERF) is a humanitarian effort administered jointly by the Postal Service and each of the unions and management associations. PERF is supported financially by Postal
Service employees primarily through the payroll deduction program of the Combined Federal Campaign. Since its inception in 1990, PERF has assisted more than 5,000 employees and provided approximately $7 million in humanitarian grants. PERF continues to serve a vital role in the recovery effort for employees living and working in all parts of the country.
PERF provided valuable support and financial assistance to postal employees and their families throughout the country who experienced damage from house fires as well as property loss resulting from natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The impact of last year’s hurricanes has escalated the number of requests for assistance in 2006.
I. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS
In 2006 the Postal Service maintained significant improvement in its safety program. Accident reduction plans targeted the most serious and prevalent accident causes, employees were provided information on how to avoid injuries and illnesses through safety talks, videos, and publications. The award winning Safety Depends on Me video campaign, part of the Postal Service’s overall employee safety and health communication program, provides employees with safety and health information. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 2006 injury and illness frequency rate for the Postal Service was 5.6 per 100 employees. This is down 7.6% from last year and equates to 3,462 fewer OSHA injuries and illnesses. Since FY 2001, the Postal Service has reduced the total number of OSHA injuries and illnesses by -30,305, a 43% reduction. The Postal Service motor vehicle accident frequency rate was 9.90 per million miles, down 4.1% from last year. Since 2001, the Postal Service has reduced its total number of motor vehicle accidents by 3,278, a 12.7% reduction.
The Postal Service continued to improve emergency preparedness and meet safety requirements mandated by the Department of Homeland Security. The safety and environmental functions supported hurricane response and recovery efforts by conducting safety and health assessments of 80 hurricane-damaged facilities. In addition, protective equipment, safe working guidance for employees, and guidance and resources for decontamination of facilities, equipment, and mail were also provided.
J. VOLUNTARY PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Postal Service continues to partner with OSHA to implement the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). VPP recognizes and encourages excellence in occupational safety and health protection. In order to qualify for VPP certification, a facility must have comprehensive safety management systems, and the employees assigned to the facility must be actively involved in anticipating, evaluating, and controlling potential safety and health hazards. OSHA recognizes only those facilities that have implemented the best safety and health programs. The Postal Service has 100 worksites recommended or approved in VPP. The program is being implemented through the national, area, and local joint labor-management safety committees.
K. ERGONOMIC RISK REDUCTION PROCESS
The Ergonomic Risk Reduction Process (ERRP) is designed to reduce both the number and severity of musculoskeletal disorders, build labor/management teams with ergonomic skill, and cultivate partnerships to identify