Chapter 1: Compliance with Statutory Policies
A. Fundamental Service to the People
(39 U.S.C. 101(a)) link to the previous page link to the next page

a. General

The Postal Service faces the challenges of continuing to grow the business and developing new technology while rapid changes in demographics, attitudes, and economics continue to reshape our society. Diversity Development plays a major role in helping the Postal Service adjust to these changes, continuing as a high-performing service provider that fully develops and capitalizes on its diverse human potential.

Overall, Diversity Development’s mandate is to ensure that all Postal Service employees, customers, and suppliers are respected, understood, and included. The Postal Service must be a learning organization, where diversity serves as a catalyst for greater innovation and exceptional levels of customer service and operational efficiency.

In 2003, Diversity Development will focus on three principal strategies: investing in our workforce; strengthening succession planning; and building the business. In an effort to align our strategies with operations and effectively respond to the challenges posed by the Postal Service’s transformation imperatives, Diversity Development will implement the following four initiatives:

(1) Increase representation of all groups at all levels in the organization.
(2) Achieve an environment free of harassment and discrimination.
(3) Enhance workforce management.
(4) Strengthen customer and community relations.

These initiatives will help the Postal Service honor the diversity of its employees, customers, and suppliers in a way that allows the Postal Service to develop people, pursue reform, manage costs, grow revenue, and improve service.

b. National Diversity Recognition Program

The Postal Service National Awards Program for Diversity Achievement recognizes individuals and teams that demonstrate exemplary efforts to encourage and promote diversity within the organization.

In 2002, there were more than 1,280 nominations in the following categories: Individual, Team, Leadership, Partnership, and the Dot Sharpe Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, the Postmaster General’s Excellence in Diversity award recognizes individuals who help advance the vision of diversity within the Postal Service.

These Diversity awards serve as inspiration to employees and managers to help ensure that the Postal Service remains an inclusive and diverse organization, which is the key to attaining strategic organizational goals.

c. Employment of Individuals with Disabilities

The Postal Service uses regular competitive procedures in selecting individuals with disabilities for employment. Individuals with severe disabilities receive noncompetitive employment consideration through referrals from individual state departments of vocational rehabilitation or the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2002, the Postal Service's career workforce included 46,467 employees with reported disabilities and 7,021 employees with targeted disabilities.

Equal Opportunity Publications hailed the Postal Service as one of the top 20 government agencies for individuals with disabilities. Careers and the Disabled Magazine also gave the Postal Service an outstanding employer award. Each year, the Postal Service submits an Affirmative Employment Plan and an Accomplishment Report for Individuals with Disabilities to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Affirmative Employment Plan is disseminated to Postal Service field installations where each installation head is responsible for its implementation.

d. Veterans’ Employment

The Postal Service is one of the largest employers of veterans and disabled veterans in the nation. At the end of the year, the Postal Service employed some 223,796 veterans, including 73,899 who are disabled because of injuries received while in uniform. Of that number, 18,529 have disabilities of 30 percent or more. The Postal Service prepares an annual Accomplishment Report and Plan Certification for disabled veterans and submits it to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

e. Affirmative Employment Program

The Affirmative Employment Program (AEP) provides national guidance and administers the Affirmative Employment Plan of the Postal Service. During 2002, Diversity Development implemented the following initiatives to encourage the retention of a diverse Postal Service workforce:

(1) Streamlined and standardized the AEP Multi-Year Plan Report
     process in alignment with the new organization structure.
     With concurrence of the EEOC, the number of reports
     required for the AEP Multi-Year Plan dropped from 372 to 96.
(2) Emphasized identifying and removing barriers, and providing
     technical guidance at the national level to improve the AEP
     planning process.
(3) Initiated automated reports, established tracking and development
     of web-based AEP-related training for rollout in early 2003.
(4) Completed and submitted the AEP Multi-Year Plan 2002–2005 to
     the EEOC. These reports addressed the next three years of
     the Affirmative Employment Plan for handling sexual
     harassment, discrimination complaints, recruitment and
     hiring, employee development, promotions, separations,
     retention, program evaluation, and workforce representation.
(5) Published and distributed the Affirmative Employment Plan and
     Accomplishment Report for individuals with disabilities to
     Postal Service management and the EEOC.
(6) Published and distributed the Affirmative Employment Plan and the
     Accomplishment Report for disabled veterans to Postal Service
     management and OPM.
(7) Published Postal Service policy statements in the Postal Bulletin on
     the following topics: diversity; affirmative employment; equal
     employment opportunity; the National Women’s Program; and
     sexual harassment.
(8) Enhanced and revised the Affirmative Employment Activity Report,
     which is used to monitor field activities.

A new on-site AEP evaluation process was implemented in 2001, as an internal review procedure to measure, assess, and verify progress toward achieving a discrimination-free workplace. In 2002, an on-site evaluation team reviewed diversity and AEP achievements at 32 sites in performance clusters with the greatest challenges. The team’s reports included best practices and recommendations for improvement.

The Diversity Reporting System (DVRS) provides detailed statistical reports on Postal Service employees that include profiles by Grade level groupings, new hires, promotions, separations, development activities, and trends. Statistical information from DVRS is provided by request to the GAO, EEOC, Congress, and other external and internal customers.

The Postal Service also administers the National Hispanic Program, the National Women’s Program, and the Special Emphasis Program. These programs focus attention on the special needs, obstacles, and concerns of current and future employees who are the subject of these programs. Major accomplishments are described below:

1. National Hispanic Program

The National Hispanic Program, through its field network, continued to address the issues of under-representation of Hispanics in the Postal Service and the goals of the organization.

The National Hispanic Program sponsored or attended recruitment and community outreach activities nationwide. Program specialists participated in seminars on test-taking and the correct preparation of Postal Service Form 991, Application for Promotion or Assignment. They also formed a recruitment network for the following developmental programs: Associate Supervisor Program (ASP), Career Management Program (CMP), and Advanced Leadership Program (ALP).

Although 7.6 percent of ASP participants (Level 1–14) were Hispanic, they represented 9.6 percent of the training graduates. Hispanic participation in CMP (Level 15–18) was 15.3 percent, also exceeding the 6.3 percent of Hispanics in the applicant pool. Hispanic representation in ALP (Level 22–above) was 5 percent versus the 5.6 percent of potential participants, representing near parity.

In support of corporate goals, the National Hispanic Program either sponsored or actively participated in several national events that involved the Hispanic National Bar Association, National Organization for Mexican American Rights, the National Hispanic Leadership Institute, Hispanic Employment Program Managers, and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. These outreach activities have helped develop our employees, introduced the Postal Service to these organizations and communities, and established the Postal Service as a leader among businesses in addressing the needs of the Hispanic community.

The National Hispanic Program through its field network and partnerships with Hispanic organizations and associations, and community relationships, were instrumental in strengthening loyalty to the Postal Service brand in the Hispanic marketplace. They assisted other functional areas in promoting awareness of Postal Service products and services, and have provided resources for producing Spanish language materials that help bridge communications between the Postal Service and the Hispanic community.

2. National Women’s Program

The Postal Service continued pursuing programs and actions to improve the participation and success of women in all levels of its workforce. These efforts are designed to help identify and remove barriers that have resulted in under representation of women in various programs, actions and job levels.

National Women’s Program efforts and events take place both at Headquarters and in performance clusters in the field. Major accomplishments include:

(a) Revision and publication of the National Women’s Program policy
(b) The Family Financial Planning Expo that assisted all employees
     with personal financial planning.
(c) The updated National Women’s Program website with information
     on recruitment and career development and hyperlinks to websites
     of particular interest to women.

The National Women’s Program will continue to track, analyze, and report on women of all races in the Postal Service workforce. When data suggests women face barriers in recruitment, promotion and retention, the Program will take actions to eliminate those barriers.

More broadly, the National Women’s Program will pursue programs that:

(a) Prepare women with skills and knowledge to be productive and
     successful in the Postal Service;
(b) Identify opportunities for women to develop their careers and
     themselves within the Postal Service; and
(c) Ensure a Postal Service culture that values the abilities and
     participation of everyone.

3. Special Emphasis Program

The Special Emphasis Program focused on recruitment, retention, and promotional opportunities for African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, people with disabilities, veterans, and white males. White females and Hispanics are addressed by the Women’s Program and the National Hispanic Program. Major accomplishments of the Special Emphasis Program in 2002:

  • Developed a Multi-Year Strategic Plan and update for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, per Executive Order 13216.
  • Developed employee career conferences as part of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to promote an inclusive work environment.
  • Developed four diversity publications to educate the public on historic figures featured on stamps: Publication 354, African Americans on Stamps; Publication 512, Women on Stamps; Publication 154, People and Places of the Pacific on Stamps; Publication 295, Hispanic People and Events on U.S. Postage Stamps.
  • Partnered with national special-emphasis organizations to increase multicultural access to Postal Service employment opportunities, products, services, and supplies. The Federal Asian Pacific American Council recognized the Postal Service for its commitment to the Asian community.

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Chapter 1 Table of Contents

A.  Fundamental Service to the People

B.  Service to Small or Rural

C.  Employee Compensation and
     Career Advancement

D.  Postal Cost Apportionment and Postal
     Ratemaking Developments

E.  Transportation Policies

F.  Postal Service Facilities, Equipment,
     and Employee Working Conditions