Numbers are in

Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett reviews the Postal Service’s year-end financial report in a new “Dollars and Change” video.

USPS recorded $70.6 billion in total revenue in fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018), up 1.5 percent from the previous fiscal year.

Total operating expenses for the year were $74.4 billion, up 3.1 percent. This left the Postal Service with a net loss of $3.9 billion for fiscal 2018, an increase in net loss of $1.2 billion from one year earlier.

Several factors contributed to the net loss, including declining First-Class Mail volume and increased fuel and transportation costs. Salaries and benefits also increased.

USPS is “actively taking steps to manage the business,” Corbett says, noting the organization’s efforts to grow its package service, upgrade equipment and boost the value of mail.

Long-term financial stability requires legislative postal reform, a favorable outcome from the Postal Regulatory Commission’s 10-year pricing review, and continued efforts by USPS to innovate and become more efficient.

“With these changes, we can put the Postal Service back on solid financial footing,” Corbett says.

Hidden history

Scene from "Green Book."

“Green Book,” a critically acclaimed new film about a memorable road trip through the Deep South in the 1960s, has a postal connection.

The movie is based on a travel guide that Victor Green, a New Jersey letter carrier, began publishing in the 1930s. The publication, originally titled The Negro Motorist Green Book, listed businesses that would welcome African-American travelers.

“It helped thousands of African-Americans travel through unfamiliar cities during difficult times,” said Jenny Lynch, the Postal Service’s historian and manager of the corporate library at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

“Green Book,” set in 1962, tells the real-life story of an unlikely friendship that developed between Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a black jazz musician, and Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American nightclub bouncer who used the book to chauffeur Shirley on a concert tour.

“[Green’s guide] was something that gave a lot of African-Americans a little bit of peace in traveling because they could plot their journeys [and] they knew exactly where they could stay,” Ali told ET Canada recently.

In addition to the film, Green’s travel guide has inspired a stage play and a documentary.

The movie, which received five Golden Globe nominations last week and is an early favorite in next year’s Oscar race, is bringing renewed attention to Green’s publication, as well as the role of postal employees during the civil rights era.

In addition to supplying Green with information for his guide, black postal employees broke barriers in the workplace and helped pave the way for the creation of an African-American middle class.

Said Lynch: “Many African-American postal workers were leaders in effecting positive change in their communities.”

New year, new stamps

USPS has announced releases dates

The Postal Service has announced release dates for some of next year’s stamps, along with the cities where the dedication ceremonies will be held:

  • Hearts Blossom, Thursday, Jan. 10, San Juan, PR
  • Lunar New Year: Year of the Boar, Thursday, Jan. 17, Houston
  • Black Heritage: Gregory Hines, Monday, Jan. 28, New York City
  • Cactus Flowers, Friday, Feb. 15, Mesa, AZ
  • Alabama Statehood, Wednesday, Feb. 23, Huntsville

USPS announced these stamps, along with several other planned 2019 releases, in November.

Keep it secret

Passwords

The holidays are a time to exchange gifts, not login passwords.

The Postal Service wants employees and contractors to remember that it’s against the organization’s rules to allow others to use your credentials to access USPS systems, applications and electronic devices.

Sharing login information could potentially compromise accounts and put the Postal Service at risk.

Similarly, you should never use the passwords of employees who’ve left the organization.

Managers are responsible for canceling employee access to systems, applications and electronic devices that are no longer required.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages and USPSCyberSafe.com have additional tips and information.

Reasonable accommodations

Reasonable accommodations

The Postal Service wants employees to know about their right to reasonable accommodations.

A reasonable accommodation allows a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of his or her job. Accommodations vary widely and can include modifications to equipment, facilities and work schedules.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires all federal agencies — including USPS — to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified job applicants and employees with disabilities.

The Postal Service has District Reasonable Accommodation Committees (DRACs) that can evaluate requests.

USPS is mailing postcards to employees’ homes this month to educate them about reasonable accommodations.

The Employment Rights LiteBlue page has more information, including a Reasonable Accommodations FAQs section.

Employees can also refer to Handbook EL-307 Reasonable Accommodation, An Interaction Process and Publication 316, Reasonable Accommodation in the U.S. Postal Service: A Guide for Employees and Applicants.