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Labor update

Workers hands sorting mail

The Postal Service and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract that covers more than 43,000 employees represented by the union.

“This agreement is balanced. It addresses both parties’ bargaining objectives in a financially responsible manner,” said USPS Labor Relations Vice President Doug Tulino.

The tentative agreement is subject to a ratification vote by the union membership, a process that will take several weeks. Upon ratification, the agreement will expire at midnight on Sept. 20, 2022.

Code blue

The Postal Service is adding QR codes to all blue standard and Priority Mail Express collection box labels to provide customers with information on nearby Post Offices.

To use this new feature, customers can use the camera on a mobile smart device, or the QR code reader available on the USPS Mobile application, Informed Delivery application, or another QR code scanning application.

When the customer scans the QR code, he or she will be taken directly to “Find a Post Office,” which will display 10 nearby Post Offices in order of proximity to the collection box. The information that will be presented to the customer includes:

  • Post Office addresses
  • Hours of operations
  • Distance and directions to the Post Office selected

The QR code feature is part of the Postal Service’s larger efforts to make mail more convenient for consumers and to satisfy the needs of merchants who want efficient, economical shipping services.

Made of Hearts

The Postal Service will release its Made of Hearts stamp Thursday, Jan. 23.

The stamp, part of the Love series, features horizontal lines of red and pink hearts on a white background. Toward the center, red hearts in varying sizes replace pink hearts in a formation that creates one large red heart, the focal point of the design.

Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp and served as art director.

The Postal Service issued its first Love stamp in 1973. Although the stamps are released early in the year, they are not just for Valentine’s Day and can be used for many occasions.

The stamp will be available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.

Higher learning

Man wearing glasses writes with a pen while sitting at a desk.

The Postal Service is reminding employees that they are eligible to receive tuition discounts from several colleges and universities.

More than 20 higher education institutions offer discounts. Most of these institutions offer undergraduate and graduate programs that can be completed online, and in many cases, the tuition discounts are also available to USPS employees’ immediate family members.

Additionally, a range of other businesses and organizations — including automotive repair, mobile telephone service and insurance providers — offer discounts to Postal Service employees.

The USPS Employee Deals LiteBlue page lists all available discounts.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

The Postal Service’s seven areas and most districts saw their scanning scores slip during the week ending Jan. 17, pushing the national rating to 97.75 percent — down more than a quarter of a percentage point from one week earlier.

But not everyone was down.

Two Eastern Area districts — Western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley — and Southern Area’s Arkansas District raised their ratings.

Western Pennsylvania’s rating was 98.44 percent, allowing the district to zoom into third place from the 26th spot one week earlier. In Ohio Valley, the rating increased to 97.73 percent, which moved the district to 39th place from 53rd during the week ending Jan. 10.

Arkansas raised its rating to 97.99 percent, climbing from 43rd place to 29th.

The Postal Service has 67 districts.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Year in review. The Postal Regulatory Commission has released its latest annual report, summarizing the agency’s activities during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

The report is available on the commission’s website.

Southern stories. The Postal Service recently mailed Southern Area Update’s latest issue to employees in the area.

The newsletter, which is available on Blue and LiteBlue, features articles about last year’s Military Working Dogs stamps, employee engagement and other topics.

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