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USPS finances

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal 2019 (Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019). Here are some highlights:

• Revenue. Operating revenue was $71.1 billion, up 0.7 percent from the previous fiscal year. The increase was driven largely by price changes and continued growth in shipping and packages, where revenue increased 6.1 percent. This more than offset revenue declines in First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail stemming from declining volumes.

• Volume. Total mail and package volume was 142.6 billion pieces, down 2.6 percent. First-Class Mail volume declined 3.1 percent and Marketing Mail volume declined 2.1 percent, while package volume grew slightly at 0.3 percent. This continued a multi-year trend of declining mail volumes and increasing package volumes, although package volume growth slowed considerably during the year.

• Expenses. Operating expenses for the year were $79.9 billion, an increase of 7.3 percent compared with the prior year. This was driven by an increase in workers’ compensation expense of $3.5 billion, of which $3.4 billion was the result of changes in discount rates outside of management’s control.

• Net loss. The net loss for the year was $8.8 billion, an increase in net loss of $4.9 billion compared with 2018.

“We continue to adjust to declining mail volume and remain focused on leveraging our unique and unrivaled network to gain new customers and grow profitable revenue in the increasingly competitive package business,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.

“However, revenue growth in our package business will never be enough to offset imbalances in the Postal Service’s business model, which must be addressed through legislative and regulatory reforms in order to secure a sustainable future.”

The Postal Service’s Nov. 14 news release has more information.

Going the extra mile

Do you know a Postal Service employee who is going the extra mile for customers during this year’s peak delivery season?

If so, USPS wants to hear from you.

The organization is collecting stories and photos of employees who do whatever it takes to get the job done during the holidays.

These materials will be published through Peek into Peak, a #PostalProud communications initiative that showcases employee contributions.

From Oct. 1-Dec. 31, Peek into Peak is featuring employees who answer the question, “How do you go the extra mile to spread holiday joy?”

In addition to highlighting employees describing their own efforts, USPS wants to hear from workers who are impressed with colleagues who might be too shy — or too busy — to participate.

“Throughout the Postal Service, there are unsung heroes who quietly go above and beyond the call of duty to help the organization serve customers during the holidays, our most important time of year,” said Customer Experience Vice President Kelly Sigmon. “This is your opportunity to shine a light on these employees and recognize them as role models for others.”

To participate, email a photo of the employee and a description of why he or she deserves recognition to Remember: You can also describe your efforts and include a photo of yourself.

Submissions could be published on the Peek into Peak pages on Blue and LiteBlue as well as other communication channels.

Peek into Peak is part of the organization’s broader efforts to empower and engage employees and deliver world-class customer experiences, two core strategies.

Easy does it

Do you need help figuring out which health care, dental and vision plan is best for you during open season?

If so, you can use Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans on the Open Season LiteBlue page to compare available options.

Once you’re ready to make a change, use PostalEASE to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) or the USPS Health Benefits Plan (USPSHBP).

You can access PostalEASE from the Benefits Enrollment Changes section of the Open Season LiteBlue page or by calling the employee service line at 877-477-3273 (select option 1). The Federal Relay Service number is 800-877-8339.

To make changes to your dental or vision plans, log on to the BENEFEDS site or call 877-888-3337 (TTY: 877-899-5680).

To enroll in a flexible spending account, use the FSAFEDS site or call 877-372-3337 (TTY: 800-952-0450).

Open season, the annual period when you can make changes to your health coverage, began this week and ends Monday, Dec. 9.

Total packages

Here’s Link’s latest “News Quiz,” a weekly feature that invites readers to test their knowledge of recent stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Approximately how many packages per day does USPS expect to deliver through the remainder of this year?

a) 8 million
b) 8.5 million
c) 20.5 million
d) 28 million

2. What’s the title of this year’s USPS holiday TV advertisements?

a) “Bringing the Holidays Home”
b) “Bringing Home the Holidays”
c) “Home for the Holidays”
d) “Home Is Where the Holidays Are”

3. Fill in the blank: (Blank) provides training to more than 29,000 USPS frontline supervisors and managers.

a) Analytics University
b) Engagement Most Valuable Player
d) None of the above

4. Which topic(s) does Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan address during her latest “Business Focus” video?

a) Competing for the package business
b) Employee safety
c) Recent stamp releases
d) All of the above

5. True or false: To mark Veterans Day this week, USPS provided employees who served in the military with special lanyards.

a) True
b) False

Answers: 1) c. 2) a. 3) a. 4) d. 5) b. USPS provided employee who are veterans with special badges and badge clips.

Look for a new quiz next week and share your feedback with Link at