SELS-Sensor Enabled Location System

SELS is the pilot project system that was implemented in the Portland Oregon P&DC in January 2021. Commonly referred to by the employees at the Plant as “the tracking system”.  In October of 2019 the USPS put out a standard operating procedure (SOP) manual. At that time, the USPS stated the reasons for this system is “to improve processing operations, automatically capture operational zone work hours, and to locate high value competitive products within mail handling and processing environments”. 

 The 2019 SOP claims that the Electronic Badge Readers or EBR’s (Time Clocks) that are currently in use are nearing a point of needing replacement.  The badges/tags issued will be used in conjunction with timecards during this pilot program. Allegedly the buttons on the badges will be able to call a supervisor or maintenance.  I have yet to speak with a member who has been given instructions on how to use the badge for those purposes and do not believe that the Portland tags are able at this time.   The service has stated that this system will not be used for disciplinary purposes, does not generate, store or use “Personally Identifiable Information”, and that bathrooms and administrative offices will be left out.  

The APWU has submitted a dispute regarding SELS at the national level. Lamont Brooks, Director, Clerk Craft Division requested information (RFI) that resulted in answers to 48 questions submitted by the APWU. 

 Question #8. Can there be any discipline issued to APWU represented bargaining unit employees as a direct and/or indirect finding, related to sensor technology? USPS Response: This is still a proof of concept. No disciplinary actions will be taken at this time.

 Question #12. What information is being captured on the sensors/tags during the pilot?

USPS Response: The sensor tags being used in the SELS pilot do not currently have the ability to capture and store information. The sensor technology system tracs items such a battery performance, button press, zone presence accuracy and precision, durability, sensor enabled calculated work hours, and the location of high value assets.

 The SOP and RFI for the pilot project have been provided to the stewards at the Portland P&DC.  A local request for information for Motor Vehicle Services has been submitted. Contact the local office or a steward if you have any questions.