University assisting employees affected by mail services changes

By Kevin Cox
November 01, 2005

Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch sent an e-mail to students, faculty and staff Oct. 31, informing them of the university's commitment to assisting university employees directly affected by the recently-announced reorganization of the university's Mail Services department.

Hatch explained that "the University has entered into a contract with UPS to provide enhanced services to the campus community, replacing many of the services that our current Mail Services department has handled in the past. This change will result in the reduction of several full-time Wake Forest employee positions in the Mail Services department."

Stressing that he realizes the impact of the decision on those employees and others, Hatch wrote that "Wake Forest is committed to providing each employee who does not return to the department with the assistance necessary to secure new employment, whether it be at Wake Forest or elsewhere."

He explained that current Mail Services employees are being encouraged to apply for available positions within the new Mail Services department.

Hatch's message follows the university's Oct. 25 announcement that UPS will assume many of the responsibilities of the Mail Services department, while offering additional services and products. The university will continue to operate a Mail Services department, but the department's staff and responsibilities will be reduced.

The university began talking with UPS after learning that its current contract with the United States Postal Service could not continue in its present form. Through that arrangement, the university has maintained a contract post office staffed by Mail Services employees that, among other activities, offers various products and services provided by the United States Postal Service.

The United States Postal Service offered a new but significantly different working relationship with the university during negotiations. The university chose to contract with UPS after determining that the company offered a total package of services to the community that the university considered important.

The new contract with UPS will bring a UPS store to Hearn Plaza in the upper level of the space now occupied by Mail Services in Poteat Residence Hall. In the lower level of Poteat, the university will continue to operate a Mail Services center staffed by Wake Forest employees. The center will coordinate delivery and pick up of departmental mail (incoming and outgoing), outgoing bulk mail and Federal Express services.

The Mail Services department currently employs 11 staff members. This change will reduce the number of full-time Wake Forest employees in that department. The new Mail Services department will employ four full-time individuals to operate the reorganized Mail Services department. Current Mail Services employees are eligible to apply for the positions for which they qualify, and they have been informed of that opportunity.

The university's approach was taken to ensure that all Mail Services staff have an equal opportunity to apply and be considered for the new positions. They may also apply for employment with the UPS store. In addition, the university's Human Resources department is working closely with current employees in the Mail Services department to identify other open positions at the university for which they qualify.

The new UPS store will provide general services and products normally associated with UPS and the United States Postal Service, including postage stamp sales, USPS mail services, parcel shipping, packaging supplies and services, and mailbox services. Other offerings will include Western Union services and products, American Express money orders, fax services, passport photographs and expedited services, laminating and notary public services.

Students will also be able to take advantage of UPS's move-in/move-out services, which provide students with options for shipping their belongings to campus at the start of the academic year and back home at the end of the year.

During the university's winter break, UPS will complete renovations of the campus post office area. The store will open in January 2006. The UPS store will accept Deacon Dollars, university departmental charges and credit cards, in addition to cash and checks.