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Know your employee ID number and USPS PIN: Your key to self-service HR


Employees can complete benefits, retirement and separation transactions at personnel kiosks, through PostalEASE online via Blue and LiteBlue or by phoning the new HR Shared Services Center toll free.

It's all part of PostalPEOPLE, a joint effort by Human Resources and Information Technology, which helps us reduce costs by standardizing HR systems and better using our resources through the Shared Services Center. It helps engage employees by giving them self-service options to make more informed decisions about their benefits. And, all these goals are part of the Postal Service's Strategic Transformation Plan 2006-2010.

To access PostalPEOPLE, you'll need your employee ID and your USPS PIN.

Don't know your Employee ID? Look on your latest earnings statement. It's at the top, near your name.

Don't know your USPS PIN? Visit the PostalEASE Web site or call PostalEASE at 877-4PS-EASE (877-477-3273). Once you've provided the necessary information, your USPS PIN will be mailed to you.

2005 financials released: USPS finishes 2005 debt free

Record revenues of $70 billion and record mail volume of 212 billion pieces allowed the Postal Service to finish 2005 with a $1.4 billion surplus - a surplus that's been used to reduce our once $11 billion debt to zero and maintain stable rates since 2002.

But despite the strong financial and productivity records of recent years, we are facing a modest increase in postage rates in January.

The price change was compelled by 2003 legislation requiring the Postal Service to put aside more than $3 billion into escrow each year beginning in 2006. Without that requirement, postage rates most likely would have remained at current levels until 2007.

Although the postal financial news is positive and the 2006 forecast projects a surplus from operations, Postmaster General Jack Potter cautioned that because of the anticipated $3.1 billion escrow requirement, the Postal Service will likely have a net deficiency approaching $2 billion.

Give me Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty and U.S. Flag stamp.The Postal Service is getting a jump on the January price change by issuing the nondenominated First-Class Mail definitive stamp Lady Liberty and U.S. Flag in Washington, DC. The stamp went on sale earlier this month and features two of the most recognized symbols of the United States - the Statue of Liberty and the American flag.

Carl and Ann Purcell of Alexandria, VA, took separate photographs of the Statue of Liberty and the American flag and combined them to create the montage used in the stamp art.

Super Stamps for 2006: Super heroes, super sluggers and super stars

Super Heroes 2006 stamp sheet.

What do Batman, baseball, Brooklyn's Verrazano- Narrows Bridge, Hattie McDaniel and Harley Davidson have in common? They're all American icons being highlighted on 2006 commemorative stamps.

The stamps honor comic book super heroes, baseball sluggers, America's longest bridge span, the first African American to earn an Oscar and America's love affair with motorcycles.

Favorite children's book animals, the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and Wonders of America are other featured topics. Benjamin Franklin, Sugar Ray Robinson, Katherine Anne Porter and Judy Garland are among the distinguished Americans to be commemorated.

To see and read more about next year's stamp images, go to 2005/sr05_054.htm.

A FAST Deployment: Drop Shipment Appointment System retired

The Drop Shipment Appointment System (DSAS) is officially retired. It's been replaced by Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST), an online appointment- scheduling tool that simplifies drop shipment scheduling and encourages customers to provide accurate and timely information when scheduling appointments. FAST has been deployed nationally to 800 facilities - including all business mail centers.

Hundreds of FAST users were trained and application support teams were available onsite at locations to help get the system running. Successful deployment occurred on schedule - except in Louisiana District, which was affected by Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana District facilities now open to drop shipments are using FAST. Facilities that aren't open will go live on FAST as soon as they're able to receive drop shipments.

To learn more about FAST, visit the Network Operations Web site at !ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_16OV.

Sioux Falls sees better mail flow with surface visibility

Surface Visibility barcode.All eyes were on the Sioux Falls, SD, Processing and Distribution Facility when it became one of the first plants nationwide to implement Surface Visibility.

Surface Visibility allows the Postal Service to track individual handling units (trays, tubs and sacks) from origin to destination using a series of barcode scans on the handling units, containers and trailers used to move the mail.

Scanners are used to collect the data. They also can alert employees if they are placing a handling unit into the wrong container or a container onto the wrong trailer. The system lets the destinating plant know how much mail is on the way and when it will arrive.

QuickConnect: Meeting the need for speed

QuickConnect image.Have you noticed a new icon on your desktop? It's QuickConnect. It can speed up your connections to postal applications.

Information technology equipment and applications are helping USPS run virtually every aspect of the business. Connecting to these applications rarely is an issue at larger sites. But at dial-up sites, waiting for applications to respond can be agonizing.

QuickConnect originally was intended for low bandwidth sites (56K or below). However, anyone having performance issues with applications found on the QuickConnect menu can now try it to see if it helps.

Information Technology is committed to moving all offices to a high-speed Internet connection. Until then, dial-up users have QuickConnect.

Request QuickConnect through eAccess. Once your manager or supervisor and your district information services manager approve your request, you'll have access. Simply check the icon and select the desired application.

Learn more about QuickConnect at the IT Web site - http://it - under IT Spotlight. If you need assistance, call the IT Help Desk at 800-USPS-HELP. When prompted, say "PPP."

Postal Employees' Relief Fund still accepting donations

For many of us, the holiday season has been time spent with family, friends and loved ones - sharing good food, holiday music and the joy of the season.

This year's hurricane season has made celebrations like that difficult for some USPS employees. Uprooted from their s and scattered across the country, many of them have spent this holiday season reflecting on the changes in their lives.

The Postal Employees' Relief Fund (PERF) was set up as a way for USPS employees to help each other after a natural disaster hits. And you have responded like never before - nearly $1 million has been donated to PERF since Hurricane Katrina hit at the end of August.

You can make your contribution by visiting and clicking the "Donate Now" button, or by sending a check or money order payable to:

PO BOX 34422
WASHINGTON DC 20043-4422

You also can select PERF for your Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) contribution. PERF's CFC code is 9891.