Speaking Out

The following was sent to Clint Davidson, Vice President for Human Resources, and to Almanac for publication.--Ed.

Protesting Benefits Mailing

Two Saturdays ago I spent almost a whole morning trekking to my post office through a rubble strewn ghetto of substandard housing (and people) in dubious safety to pick up a package the yellow call slip claimed was too large for my mailbox.

It was a fortunate coincidence that this was one of the six or seven Saturdays in every calendar year that I have "free." The post office keeps such items only 10 days before returning them to sender.

How shocked I was to find the package was--the health provider choice packet from your office.

Sir, I am enraged! How dare you--how dare you--inconvenience us in this manner regarding policies detrimental to us, imposed on us by your department without our consent?

How dare you spend $4.00 per packet of University money--that is, our money to send these packets (and the open enrollment information which preceded them and went to far more University employee addresses) during a period when whole departments and units of the University are being eliminated, and University employees terminated in large numbers?

What of employees with second and third jobs, or young children and elderly relatives to care for--people with no "free," Saturdays at all? They will most likely never get their packets or open enrollment information at all, and will be severely handicapped in choosing appropriate health care for themselves and their families.

I hope your desk is inundated with undeliverable and returned envelopes of both mailings.

How can you ethically call yourself a human resources executive and have no understanding of how people live--and no compunction about wasting the funds of the institution whose good you were pledged--however briefly--to protect and maximize

-- Frances G. Hoenigswald, Library Clerk, Biddle Law Library

Response to Ms. Hoenigswald

I am advised the mailing of benefits materials to the homes of faculty and staff prior to open enrollment has been the preferred communication mechanism for many years. We know that many of our employees do not have individualized office mailing addresses and sometimes receipt of mail at work is not easily assured. Additionally, many have said that spouses receive and handle family business matters such as benefits, therefore mailing to the homes better insures the proper inclusion and participation of the spouse. Lastly, presently there is not a confirmed office location mailing for all staff. Given the importance of the receipt of open enrollment information this year and the knowledge that many of our staff would need information in order to make a timely selection decision, these mailings were, again, sent to homes.

The distribution mechanism of open enrollment material is a topic that will be reviewed following open enrollment, including decisions with our health care providers and vendors. The concerns you raised will be shared. Thank you.

-- H. Clint Davidson,Vice President, Human Resources


Volume 43 Number 34
May 13, 1997

Return to Almanac's homepage.

Return to index for this issue.