The below message comes from Charlie Cash, APWU Industrial Relations Director. This message and the informed actions became effective as of Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
I wanted to provide an update involving the various self-service applications related to HR on LiteBlue. These include the payroll direct deposit and allots as well as eOPF (electronic Official Personnel File).
As most are aware, in late 2022, some postal employees had their direct deposit and allotments misdirected to fraudulent accounts. At that time, the Postal Service shut down access to changing direct deposit and allotments. They also shut down eOPF because the Postal Service was concerned about the amount of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that is in an eOPF. The Postal Service has since moved to Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to help with security. When MFA was instituted, the Postal Service turned the ability to change payroll direct deposits/allotments back on. However, after a few weeks, it was turned off again because another security risk was identified.
Late last week, I met with the Postal Service on the issues related to Cyber Security and where they are headed. Below is an update on what I found out.
Starting tomorrow, March 21, 2023, the Postal Service is implementing new security procedures to help with MFA and registering for MFA. Once the new MFA process are tested, the access to payroll changes will be reopened for all employees to use. It is expected to be available within the next 7-days.
eOPF is another story. At this time, eOPF is not expected to be available for up to six months. Many records have handwritten documents with social security numbers and other PII. Based on standard best practices, documents with PII should not be transmitted over the internet. The Postal Service is currently identifying documents with this type of information and redacting this information. Once completed, eOPF will be reopened.
In the meantime, employees can call HRSSC to request a copy of their eOPF. The Postal Service is currently taking the position that the first copy is free and any additional requests will be at the expense of the requester. Let me be clear, until eOPF is up and running, the APWU doesn’t agree that anyone should be charged for a copy of their personnel file. I am in continued discussions on eOPF access. I made it perfectly clear that anyone being required to pay for a copy of their OPF is unacceptable.
Until LiteBlue is fully functional, employees can call HRSSC to address their direct deposit needs. Also, they should be allowed to use a postal computer to change direct deposit if they request to do so. If management denies anyone access to a computer, please email Lee Branca at firstname.lastname@example.org so Industrial Relations Department can track these issues. As soon as I have been informed that the LiteBlue direct deposit/allotments have been reopened I will share with the field.
In the meantime, the APWU encourages all employees who have not signed up for MFA do so. This is another level of security that will protect you from any bad actors on the internet. It will be required in order to access the LiteBlue self-service applications. The APWU fully supports the MFA initiative.
The APWU has filed a national dispute on those who had their direct deposits stolen. However, local action should still be taken and I have attached information I previously sent out on that issue.
The number of those who had their direct deposit stolen is less than 1% of our total membership, but an injury to one is an injury to all. The APWU will continue to pursue an appropriate remedy for those who had their direct deposits stolen.
I will provide further updates when additional information is available.
Industrial Relations Director