New prices

Stack of USPS-branded package boxes

The Postal Service price changes that were announced last fall will take effect Jan. 26.

The changes include adjustments to Mailing Services and Shipping Services products.

Here are the current and new prices:

  • First-Class Mail letters (1 ounce): 55 cents (no change from current price)
  • First-Class Mail letters (additional ounces): 15 cents (no change)
  • First-Class Mail letters (metered 1 ounce): 50 cents (no change)
  • First-Class Mail outbound international letters (1 ounce): $1.15 (current), $1.20 (new)
  • First-Class Mail single-piece flats (1 ounce): $1 (no change)
  • First-Class Mail single-piece flats and presort flats (additional ounces): 15 cents (current), 20 cents (new)
  • First-Class Mail domestic postcard stamps: 35 cents (no change)
  • Priority Mail small flat-rate box: $7.90 (current), $8.30 (new)
  • Priority Mail medium flat-rate box: $14.35 (current), $15.05 (new)
  • Priority Mail large flat-rate box: $19.95 (current), $21.10 (new)
  • Priority Mail Army/Air Post Office and Fleet Post Office large flat-rate box: $18.45 (current), $19.60 (new)
  • Priority Mail regular flat-rate envelope: $7.35 (current), $7.75 (new)
  • Priority Mail legal flat-rate envelope: $7.65 (current), $8.05 (new)
  • Priority Mail padded flat-rate envelope: $8 (current), $8.40 (new)

Overall, Mailing Services product prices will rise by approximately 1.7 percent.

Shipping Services price increases vary by product. For example, Priority Mail Express prices will increase 3.5 percent, while Priority Mail prices will increase 4.1 percent, on average.

Mailing Services price increases are capped by the consumer price index. Shipping Services prices are adjusted according to market conditions.

A 2020 price change kit and other information is available on the Retail and Customer Service Operations Blue page.

All hands on deck

Doris “Dorie” Miller has made U.S. naval history again.

During a Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony last week, the U.S. Navy named an aircraft carrier after the World War II-era sailor, whom the Postal Service honored with a stamp in 2010.

This marks the first time an aircraft carrier has been named for an African American, and the first time an enlisted sailor has been so honored.

Miller was on board the USS West Virginia the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese planes attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at the Pearl Harbor naval station in Hawaii.

During the attack, he helped carry wounded shipmates to safety, then manned a .50-caliber anti-aircraft machine gun — a weapon on which he had no training — and fired it at enemy planes until the ammunition ran out.

The 22-year-old mess attendant was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions, becoming the first African American to receive the service’s second-highest decoration.

“In selecting this name, we honor the contributions of all our enlisted ranks, past and present, men and women, of every race, religion and background,” said Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly in a statement. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observed, ‘Everybody can be great — because anybody can serve.’”

According to the Navy, the carrier will be deployed in support of major combat operations, crisis response and humanitarian relief.

Miller served in the Navy for two more years until his ship, the USS Liscome Bay, was sunk by a Japanese torpedo in the Pacific in 1943. He posthumously was awarded the Purple Heart.

Miller was one of four 20th-century naval heroes honored with 44-cent Distinguished Sailors stamps a decade ago, along with William S. Sims, Arleigh A. Burke and John McCloy.

Less taxing

The Postal Service now offers a free benefit that makes it easier for employees who use H&R Block to file their taxes.

Employees can now automatically upload information from their W-2 and 1095-C forms to the H&R Block tax preparation company.

The tax information — secured with USPS information systems — is uploaded to H&R Block only if the employee voluntarily opts to do so.

USPS also works with Intuit, the company that operates TurboTax, to offer a similar tax preparation benefit.

The IRS recommends individuals automatically upload information from their employers when possible if they use tax preparation service providers or tax preparation software. This saves employees from having to enter the information manually, which reduces the risk of potential errors.

Carry on

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Fill in the blanks: The Postal Service workforce includes about (blank) letter carriers and (blank) city carrier assistants.

a) 42,100; 166,300
b) 166,300; 42,100
c) 633,000; 42,100
d) 633,000; 166,300

2. What’s the name of the application that USPS bargaining unit employees can use to request unscheduled leave?

a) Employee Leave Request Application
b) Enterprise Leave Request Application
c) Health Leave Request Application
d) Informed Leave Request Application

3. What’s the name of the USPS requisition system that will replace eBuy2, beginning Feb. 29?

a) eBuy3
b) eBuy Plus
c) eBuy Ultimate
d) Informed eBuy

4. True or false: Although the latest Combined Federal Campaign has ended, USPS employees hired after Jan. 12 can make pledges from Feb. 1-Aug. 31.

a) True
b) False

5. Match the employee in Column A with his or her heroic act in Column B.

Column A
a) Letter Carrier Brian Baber (Youngstown, OH)
b) Custodian Michael Bond (Baltimore)
c) Postmaster Shannon Ferraro (Bellevue, ID)
d) Rural Carrier Associate Karen Grubs (Elizabethtown, KY)

Column B
I) Aided a co-worker who suffered a heart attack
II) Guided a wayward Alzheimer’s patient home
III) Helped a driver who crashed a minivan into a tree
IV) Saved a man and a dog from a vehicle fire

Answers: 1) b. 2) b. 3) b. 4) b. New hires can make CFC contributions from Feb. 1-Aug. 1. 5) a. II., b. I., c. IV., d. III.