COVID-19 vaccines

The Postal Service is updating employees on the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

The organization’s goal is for everyone to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible if they choose to do so. Currently, the supply of vaccines in the United States is limited, but more vaccines should become available soon.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others are providing recommendations to federal, state and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. The collective recommendation is that USPS employees be considered during the Phase 1B rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in state and local jurisdictions.

While the Postal Service continues to strive toward a standardized priority opportunity for employees who choose to get the vaccine, the organization urges employees not to delay their own access to a COVID-19 vaccination.

States — and in many cases, local jurisdictions — have their own plans for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first. USPS urges employees to review the information on their state and local public health websites, sign up for alerts and schedule a COVID-19 vaccination at the first available opportunity.

The Postal Service will continue to provide updates as more information regarding access to COVID-19 vaccinations for employees becomes available.

New VP

Sheila B. Holman joined the Postal Service last week as marketing vice president, overseeing branding, industry engagement, innovation and marketing insights, and stamps.

Holman will also support the Retail and Delivery, Logistics and Processing Operations, and Commerce and Business Solutions organizations that are concentrated on improving efficiency and driving business growth.

Her other duties will include focusing on customers and industry to grow revenue, and ensuring that USPS brand, marketing, sales and industry strategies and messaging are consistent.

Holman, who has more than 25 years of marketing experience, previously served as chief marketing officer for the Framebridge home decor company; global vice president for Marriott International; marketing vice president for the Travel Channel; and area marketing and sales manager for the Coca-Cola Co.

In her new role, she will report to Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Steve Monteith.

Required learning

Two of the seven training courses that Postal Service employees are required to complete each year are now available.

The courses are part of the organization’s Regulatory Compliance Training program, which was previously known as Strategic Learning Initiatives. The training is intended to help USPS achieve its objectives and satisfy compliance with legal requirements.

The courses now available are:

• Political Activity and the Hatch Act; and
• Understanding the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

The remaining five courses will be released later in the year:

• Heat Stress Recognition and Prevention;
• Providing Communication Accommodations;
• Reasonable Accommodations Committees;
• Reasonable Accommodations Human Resources Annual Program; and
• Enhanced Recognition and Reporting of Suspicious Transactions.

Employees can use the HERO system to register and complete the courses. The Learning and Development Blue page has additional information.

Passwords are so 2020

Uncomplicated passwords — like ABCDEFG and 1234abcd — might be simple to remember, but they’re very easy for hackers to guess.

In fact, among all accounts breached worldwide last year, 123456 was the password used by 23.2 million people, according to the National Cyber Security Centre in the United Kingdom.

It’s little wonder that online security experts advise users to ditch passwords for hard-to-hack passphrases.

Here’s how to create a secure, memorable passphrase:

• Select an easy-to-remember phrase. Let’s use “Be CyberSafe” as an example.

• Change some letters into special characters or numbers to increase security and originality — B3_Cyb3rS*f3.

• Then add a unique identifier to distinguish passwords across different accounts — B3_Cyb3rS*f3_w0^k.

Keep passphrases written on paper stored in a safe location and never share them with anyone.

Additionally, to keep USPS computer systems safe, be sure all passphrases used on the postal network comply with requirements in Handbook AS-805, Information Security.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have more cybersecurity best practices.

Scanning snapshot

Chart displaying postal scanning data next to image of postal worker scanning mail

A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.09 percent during the week ending Jan. 15, down almost half a percentage point from one week earlier.

The data was collected Jan. 20.

Western Pacific led the four areas with a rating of 96.96 percent, while Atlantic ranked fourth with a 94.96 percent rating.

Among the 67 districts, Western Pennsylvania, part of Atlantic Area, ranked first with a 98.02 percent rating, while Philadelphia Metro, also part of Atlantic Area, ranked last with an 85.3 percent rating.

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.”

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s Jan. 14 edition features an overview of this year’s USPS mailing promotions for business customers, along with the latest updates to the organization’s policies, procedures and forms.

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