USPS expands eligibility for smartphones to all EAS-18-and-above exempt Postmasters

The Postal Service notified UPMA in December 2016 of its intention to expand eligibility for smartphones to all EAS-18-and-above exempt Postmasters. The notification cited that the reason for the expanded eligibility was to improve overall operational efficiency. Postmasters will have mobile access to real-time actionable information and mobile aware applications and not be dependent on a desktop computer or landline. The projected date of full deployment is Postal Quarter 4 of FY17.

Unfortunately, we have been made aware that some POOMs are instructing Postmasters that they must keep their postal smartphones with them outside of normal business hours and, when contacted, respond to phone calls and emails immediately, 24 hours a day. The deployment of smartphones to Postmasters has not changed existing postal policy, nor has it created policy that would require that Postmasters be “on call.”

There always have been service-related issues and emergencies, such as reports of employee accidents and security alarm notifications. Postmasters understand their responsibilities and have been responsive to these types of issues.

Personal use of your Postal Service-issued smartphone is outlined in Management Instruction (EL-660-2009-10). The policy limits personal use of your postal cell phone, provided such use does not:

Reduce or otherwise adversely affect the employee’s productivity during work hours.

Interfere with the mission or operations of the Postal Service.

Violate the Standard for Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5CFR 2635).

Be aware, you may use your postal-issued cell phone for limited personal use within these guidelines; you have neither a right nor any expectation of privacy. Use of the phone for Internet and email for personal reasons or purposes imply consent to the disclosure of the contents of any files or information maintained or passed through the phone and to monitoring and/or recording of such use, at any time, with or without cause.

Postmasters are responsible keeping their postal-issued cell phones safe and protecting any sensitive and critical information stored on them.

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