Pilot program

The Postal Service and a labor union have begun a pilot program for a new career bargaining unit position to transport mail in vehicles that do not require commercial driver’s licenses.

The new postal vehicle operator (PVO) level 6 position and qualification standards were created under a memorandum of understanding between USPS and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU).

PVOs will be assigned to the motor vehicle services in Oklahoma City, which is currently designated a nonpostal vehicle service site.

The full-time and part-time flexible position will be posted internally for APWU career employees who do not have a commercial driver’s license to bid on and externally for noncareer employees to apply.

The Postal Service and the APWU will meet monthly to review results, including the training and retention of PVOs.

The pilot will run for at least six months after it is fully implemented.

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Clever canid

The Postal Service has released Red Fox, the first of the new 23 stamps planned for 2023.

The 40-cent stamp features a common sight in most of the United States. The stamp is sold in panes of 20 and is intended for use by business mailers for circulars, newsletters and catalogs. It can also be used by customers for envelopes and packages.

Ethel Kessler, a USPS art director, designed the stamp, which features a pencil-and-watercolor illustration of a red fox. Its face is from artwork by illustrator Dugald Stermer (1936-2011), whose calligraphic labels appear in the stamp’s white background and provide the animal’s scientific name, Vulpes vulpes.

Foxes are considered intelligent and highly adaptable and can be found over much of Earth. While the red fox is the widest ranging of the species, it can also be colored gray or white but is named for its most common rusty coloration.

The stamp is available at Post Offices and usps.com.

Happy taps

A lead from a letter carrier in Texas has resulted in a shipping deal worth more than $5,000.

Carla Slater, who works at the Addison Post Office, talked with a customer about their shipping needs.

Using her mobile delivery device, Slater submitted the customer’s information through Customer Connect, a joint USPS and National Association of Letter Carriers program that encourages participants to identify sales opportunities.

Corrina McEwen, a senior inside sales representative, followed up with the customer and closed a shipping deal worth $5,300 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

“Carla and her colleagues in Addison had just learned how to submit leads using their mobile delivery devices,” said Dorothy Muir, small-business specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “It is now so easy for carriers to pass on leads with just a few taps on a screen.”

Sales generated from Customer Connect leads are included in the USPS Delivering for Main Street campaign to raise revenue through sales leads from employees.

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead through any of its six lead programs by Sept. 30.

Postal employees with ACE IDs can submit leads through the new Employee Lead Entry site on Blue by selecting the “Submit a Lead” link under “Featured Topics.” Employees who do not have an ACE ID can access the lead entry site through LiteBlue by selecting “Submit a Lead” under the “Resource Index” tab.

Customer 360 users can click on “Submit a Lead” to access the lead entry site on that platform. Letter carriers who use a mobile delivery device, or MDD, can enter leads while on street mode, under option “U.” Business Connect Portal users have to enter a lead through the lead entry site if an activity requires sales assistance or has resulted in a sale.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about Customer Connect and the other employee lead programs: Business Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.