On February 15th PSU-AAUP received the new "Personal Mail Policy" set forth by Campus Mail Services. This policy stated that Campus Mail Services would no longer allow either outgoing or incoming personal mail. The receipt of personal mail and packages at work is a long standing past practice. On February 22nd PSU-AAUP filed a Division A grievance on the matter.
PSU-AAUP attended the first grievance meeting with administrators about the policy, in which we learned that Mail Services was generally reacting to the number of Amazon packages they were delivering in general, and that there were a handful of employees they strongly expected were receiving personal packages at work.
Generally, administration advised they were not aware of any circumstances of abuse of PSU resources, or of any employee flagrantly running a mail order business through their University office. They also did not know if the number of personal package deliveries has increased from the past, or how much of their delivery to the units consisted of personal packages.
Administration advised they were concerned about the perception the public may have about public employees receiving a private benefit from their employment at a public institution, and the institution’s potential liability when an employee signs for another person’s. However, there were no instances where an employee signed for a package for someone else and the package was subsequently lost, or where the employee filed a claim against the University for the lost package.
PSU-AAUP advised that mail theft and package theft was a real concern for most people, and that for many Portlanders it was not safe to have a package left outside their home. In those rare circumstances when an employee needed a signature for a package, it was generally prudent for the employer to allow the employee to receive the package at work than to force them to stay at home all day to await a package. We shared that being able to receive packages at work was commonplace in the private sector and most employees expect it. We also commented that the anecdotal experience of the mailroom about Amazon packages reflects a changing marketplace. Amazon garners a high percentage of PSU business and does not represent an increase in the number of personal packages being sent to employees at work.
PSU-AAUP generally agrees that the University should not assume any liability for packages that are signed for that are personal. We ran out of time and agreed to meet again.