All sorts

USPS has added a new machine at several mail processing facilities to help move packages faster.

The Robust Bulk Universal Sorter is capable of processing Priority Mail packages and oversized First-Class Mail packages that other machines can’t handle.

Fitted with two dumpers, the sorters feature a middle point where an employee uses an overhead scanner that directs packages to two belts on each side of the machine, improving efficiency.

“This new machine … reduces damage to packages and allows us to dispatch to the stations faster,” said Scott Gantner, an operations industrial engineer at the Chicago Processing and Distribution Center, one of four facilities where the machine has been installed.

Since the sorter was added to the plant in August, it has received praise from employees.

“It’s a very efficient machine. I really like it,” said Mail Processing Clerk Mike Huey.

The Robust Bulk Universal Sorter is part of the Postal Service’s ongoing efforts to grow its package business. This equipment set also includes the Universal Sort System, a highly automated machine for handling the organization’s growing volume of non-machineable pieces.

USPS has added other equipment, too, including Automated Delivery Unit Sorters that are being rolled out to 30 facilities this year.

Honoring sacrifices

The Postal Service dedicated its Purple Heart Medal Stamp on Oct. 4.

The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the president of the United States to members of the military who have been wounded or killed in action. By issuing the stamp, USPS wants to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military.

“The members of the United States military come from all walks of life, but they are bound by a willingness to serve their country. And when a service member answers our country’s call, they give up a lot,” said Greater Indiana District Manager Todd Hawkins, who led the dedication.

The ceremony was held at an American Stamp Dealers Association stamp show in Noblesville, IN.

The stamp — which is available at Post Offices and usps.com — features a purple border matching the brilliant purple of the medal and its ribbon.

The Purple Heart was first established by then-Gen. George Washington during the Revolutionary War and called the Badge of Military Merit, consisting of a heart made of purple cloth.

It was discontinued after the war, but reinstated in 1932 on the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth.

The new version of the award consists of a purple heart of metal bordered by gold and suspended from a purple and white ribbon.

In the center of the medal is a profile of Washington beneath his family coat of arms.

Relocation expenses

Couple unloads boxes from moving van.

Postal Service employees who submit relocation authorizations from Nov. 22-Dec. 31 will not receive expense disbursements or reimbursements until Jan. 2, 2020.

USPS established the Nov. 22 deadline to ensure the organization has adequate time to record and report all relocation expenses for 2019 tax purposes.

All relocation expense reimbursement requests submitted after Nov. 22 will be processed for payment on Jan. 2.

Employees should refer questions to their relocation counselor or send an email to the USPS relocation team.

The Relocation Blue page also has information.

News Briefs

Cybersecurity event

Cybersecurity stream. The Postal Service will offer a livestream of a National Cybersecurity Awareness Month event on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

The event will be held at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, and feature speakers who will offer insights on trends in cybersecurity, as well as tips from the CyberSafe at USPS team.

To view the stream, employees should go to uspslive.usps.gov/#/login. Employees should check with their manager or supervisor before viewing the stream.

Link mobile. USPS wants managers, supervisors and others to tell craft employees about Link mobile, the Link site’s mobile-friendly version.

Link mobile offers the same content available on Link’s desktop version — including news reports, feature stories and informational videos — but in a format that’s easy to read on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

The site is helpful to employees who don’t have regular access to postal computers but want to stay in the know.

Employees can access the site at www.usps.link, where they can also subscribe to weekly emails with the latest Link highlights.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.