Effective June 28, 2008, part 541 of Handbook PO-603, Rural Carrier Duties and Responsibilities, is revised to establish standard procedures for conducting formal reviews of delivery point sequencing (DPS) letter mail processing on rural routes. Additionally, part 535 has been revised to update the time allowances provided in Column R, specifically for edit sheets and Computerized Labeling and Address Sequence System (C.L.A.S.S.) label maintenance.
Handbook PO-603, Rural Carrier Duties and Responsibilities
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5 Inspection, Count, and Adjustment of Rural Routes
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53 Rural Route Mail Counts
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535 Mail Count Forms
535.1 Form 4239
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[Revise item r, as follows:]
r. Column R – Other Suitable Allowance
(1) A reasonable time allowance may be claimed for unusual conditions, or for other services rendered on a daily or weekly basis that are not accounted for under the normal work functions. This does not include time for vehicle breakdowns. Management must authorize items for which time is claimed under this heading. These items must recur daily or weekly. Weekly safety talks must be conducted, and the actual time required (usually 5 minutes per week) recorded in column R.
(2) The actual time required to place Central Markup System/Computerized Forwarding System (CMU/CFS) mail in the designated location is credited in column R.
(3) The actual time required for full completion of the additional data required on the edit sheet and maintenance worksheet for C.L.A.S.S. (Computerized Labeling and Address Sequence System) will be recorded in column R. The entries should reflect the average weekly time needed for completion of this additional data. Time spent for regular completion and submission of the edit sheet is not entered in column R.
(4) Where no office personnel are on duty when the carrier returns from serving the route on Saturday, the carrier receives actual time allowance only for those duties performed over and above the normal functions of this day and the following work day. (This does not include time spent counting mail or completing count forms.)
(5) Those carriers who serve a nonpersonnel rural unit receive a minimum allowance of 15 minutes daily for each unit served. Boxes located in these units are not included in the route totals on PS Form 4241. Additional time above 15 minutes claimed for servicing a nonpersonnel unit must be explained in the Comments section.
(6) Personal time, or time used for purchasing and checking stamp stock, should not be entered. These times are credited when the evaluation is processed at the Information Service Center (ISC).
(7) No entries are made in this column for those routes using USPS-owned or -leased vehicles. The ISC will automatically credit appropriate time allowances as indicated in 535.23. Time spent waiting for vehicle repair or tow while on the route is not a recurring function, and is not granted.
(8) All entries in column R require explanation in the Comments section.
Note: No entries are made in this column for those routes with collection compartments, or Parcel Post lockers located in centralized delivery equipment.
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54 Compensation Adjustments
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541.4 Automation Processed Mail
[Revise 541.4, as follows:]
541.41 Additional Compensation
If a carrier on a route being compensated under DPS letter standards is required to case all or a significant portion (125 pieces or more) of its DPS letter mail, due to machine failure or other problems, additional compensation will be provided in accordance with the following formula:
Additional payment procedures will be the same as outlined in Article 9.2.N of the National Agreement between the USPS-NRLCA.
Note: Carriers should notify their manager immediately when they receive DPS letter mail requiring casing. If a manager is not readily accessible, the carrier should note the number of DPS letter pieces they are required to case and report it to his or her manager at the first opportunity.
541.42 Formal Review of DPS Letter Mail Processing
If a route receiving DPS letter mail experiences an increase or decrease in the quantity of the DPS letter volume in relationship to the total letter volume of the route as compared to the latest mail count (or adjusted base following a DPS letter mail formal review), the assigned carrier may make a written request for, or management may elect to schedule, a formal review of the DPS letter mail processing for the route.
A formal review of the DPS letter mail is initiated by the assigned carrier or management by submission of a DPS Letter Mail Formal Review Request/Notice. The formal review will consist of a twelve (12) day count of all letter mail received on the route and must begin within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the formal review request or written notification. No formal reviews will be conducted in the month of December. All formal reviews will be conducted in accordance with appropriate procedures.
If the DPS letter mail formal review indicates a route is experiencing an increase or decrease in the quantity of DPS letter volume in relationship to the total letter volume of the route, which is equivalent to or greater than one (1) hour (60 minutes) in the evaluation of the route’s hours, management will prepare a Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description, effecting a base hour change for the time associated with the resulting variance in the percentage of DPS letter volume. The Form 4003 will be processed to be effective on the first day of the pay period in which the DPS Letter Mail Formal Review Request/Notice was received.
When a base hour change is effected based upon the results of a DPS letter mail formal review, the resulting route data will become the adjusted base. All subsequent DPS letter mail formal review data will be compared to this adjusted base until the next rural mail count or base hour change resulting from a DPS letter mail formal review.
If, for any reason, management takes a route off of the automated letter mail sort scheme, Form 4003, Official Rural Route Description, will be prepared to appropriately adjust time allowances and processed to be effective on the first day of the pay period in which the automated processing is discontinued.
[Delete 541.44 and 541.45.]
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We will incorporate these revisions into the next printed version of Handbook PO-603 and into the next online update, available on the Postal Service™ PolicyNet Web site:
(The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet Web site is http://blue.usps.gov/cpim.)