Staff Advisory Council Minutes
Thursday, July 13, 2000
Notre Dame Room - LaFortune Student Center
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Angeliek Anderson, Dan Brazo, Deb Fox, Norma Frost, Connie Gard, Rita Grontkowski, Bobbi McMahon, Norma Mezykowski, Lou Parks, Sue Penrod, Maria Pozzi, Marv Pruett, Samantha Qualls, Valerie Schroeder, Marcy Simons, Doris Smuda, Kathleen Stopczynski, Leona Strickland, Cindi Sykes, and Melodie Wise.
Absent: Debra Bennett, Dona Coggins, Beverly Harbor, Kay Herrity, Terron
Phillips, Fred Sonneborn, and Pam Jobin. District #3 and #22 are currently going through the election process and District #25 is currently unrepresented.
HR Liaisons: Sarah Misener and Pam Zarazee.
Dan Brazo, Chair called the meeting to order at 1:10 pm.
I. Approval of the Thursday, June 15, 2000 Minutes
Leona Strickland shared with the Council some feedback from her district regarding the Staff Recognition Dinner.
Samantha Qualls made a motion to accept the minutes with the following changes:
¨ Cindi Sykes clarified that a member of her district noticed that nonexempt were not invited to a singles gathering and that a member of her district recommended the idea of having a nonexempt singles group.
¨ Dona Coggins was listed twice in the attendance area as Dona Coggins and Dona Waters.
Leona Strickland seconded this motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of this motion.
II. Committee Reports
Deb Fox shared with the Council that Deb Bennett is handling the election of District #22 and will update the Council at the August meeting. Norma Mezykowski is in the process of sending out a second request for self-nominations to members of District #3.
This committee had the opportunity of meeting over the past month. They discussed the idea of having some open Council meetings in the future. These open meetings would allow a Council member to bring a member of their district to observe a Council meeting. Melodie Wise stated that in each monthly StaffNews article for the Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues she will preface the article with a summary of what the Council is working on or discussing. Marcy also suggested doing an article each month, which would feature a specific Council member and a photo.
The Council discussed the draft letter that new employees would receive in their orientation packets. The Council verified that the Council logo would be included on the letter. The Council made a few wording suggestions to the letter. In addition, they asked that the list of all Council members, numbers, and emails be sent with the letter. The Council made the decision to have Human Resources send the letter to new employees upon completing their 90-day probationary period. If you have any other suggestions on the letter, please contact Melodie Wise no later than Friday, July 21, 2000.
Nothing to report at this time.
-Parking Appeals Committee
Dan Brazo stated that this committee does not meet over the summer and he has received minimal tickets to review over the past few weeks.
-Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues
Marcy Simons shared with the Council that George Rugg, Curator, Special Collections contacted her to ask if Archives could keep the display the ad-hoc committee on women's issues developed for the Library. Marcy also reported that the committee is starting a new lecture series involving
notable women across campus. Marcy told the Council that Dean Carolyn Woo, Mendoza College of Business has committed to being the first speaker for this series. Marcy reminded the Council that next Wednesday, July 19th the Lunch & Learn program will consist of a tour of The Snite Museum of
Art. Marcy also shared with the Council that the Lunch & Learn on August 16th will be on the topic of Dealing with Teenagers.
-Ad-Hoc Committee on Alcohol and Drug Testing
Rita Grontkowski explained to the Council that this is actually a task force for the University. Leona Strickland stated that the Council members have been assigned to subcommittees within the task force to complete some research. Rita Grontkowski is on the subcommittee looking
into the scientific methodologies of testing. Leona is on the subcommittee looking into researching other private institutions to see what kinds of drug/alcohol testing policies they have. Sarah Misener is on the subcommittee researching local organizations and their policies. Due to the nature of all the research being done, the next meeting has not yet been scheduled.
-Ad-Hoc Committee on Redistricting Committee
Dan Brazo stated that this committee has not yet met. Dan committed to having this committee meet prior to the August Council meeting.
Dan Brazo told the Council that the Executive Committee met on Tuesday, July 11th. Dan explained to the Council that the Council's budget of $1,500 became effective on July 1, 2000. Dan proposed a change in the by-laws from the title of Secretary to Secretary/Treasurer. A discussion took place on this issue. A motion was made by Valerie Schroeder to change the title, Secretary to Secretary/Treasurer in the by-laws. Norma Frost seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of this motion. Dan stated that this will be considered the first reading on the recommended change in the by-laws. The second reading will take place at the August meeting.
III. Non Notre Dame Tuition Reimbursement Update
Pam Zarazee, Human Resources shared with the Council that 33 employees applied for this new benefit. Of those applying 85% were nonexempt and 15% were exempt. Pam stated that the schools these individuals are attending include Bethel, Davenport, IUSB, Ivy Tech State College, and Penn State University (correspondence course). The degrees being sought include 52% bachelors, 21% associates, 18% certificates, and 9% masters. A Council member asked about what happens to the funds that are unused. Pam stated that she would look into this question. Sarah Misener stated that she anticipates the applications to continue to rise as more and more employees learn of and become eligible for the benefit. A council member asked Pam to clarify the benefit reimbursement. Pam stated that this benefit provides reimbursement to eligible employees for only one course (limited
to three credit hours) each spring, summer, and fall semester with at maximum reimbursement amount of $750.00 per eligible employee per academic year. The academic year would begin in August of each year through July of the following year.
IV. Web Page Resolution
Pam Zarazee shared with the Council that she gathered Samantha Qualls, Rita Grontkowski , and Jay Yech (Human Resources) and met to discuss the problems Rita was having with updating the web page. Samantha has volunteered to take over the web page for the Council. The transition will
take some time. The Council decided to have the Ad-hoc Committee on Women's Issues continue to update their own web page. Pam Zarazee will work with Jay Yech to get separate passwords for each of the two web pages. Pam also shared with the Council that the Council's web page can be
accessed off the Human Resources web page by just clicking on Staff Advisory Council. Dan thanked Samantha for taking on the maintenance of the Council's web page.
V. Complete Discussion on Retirement Benefits
The Council discussed the issue of retirement benefits at great length. A few questions surfaced during the discussion that Sarah Misener will look into to get the information back to the Council. Dan stated that the Executive Committee will begin drafting a letter of concerns to the University Administration covering the points the Council is concerned about regarding retirement benefits. These points include the high cost of retiree health insurance, the possibility of enriching the current
formula, and the idea of paying out sick days upon retirement. Dan Brazo thanked the Council for their ideas and suggestions. He stated that if any one has any more recommendations on the topic of retirement benefits to email any of the Executive Committee members. Dan stated that the Executive
Committee will put a draft letter together by the next meeting.
Dan opened up the floor to Council members for miscellaneous items.
A Council member stated that the draft letter Rita Winsor shared with the Council in May was not included with the matrix information for the July 1st increases. Another Council member stated that the market rate was also not included on the Personal Compensation statements. Sarah Misener told the Council that she will look into this concern.
Marcy Simons stated that the prize winners from the Staff Picnic were drawn randomly from a hat this week. There were 62 nonexempt winners. The winners will be notified in the next week. Marcy Simons will also include this information in the September StaffNews.
Marcy Simons stated that her district has voiced concerns regarding the job requirements for each position being posted on campus. Sarah Misener explained to the Council that there are not specific job requirements for each level. The level of the position is based on the full position description matched to the market. Sarah stated that she would look into having Paul Henry and Rita Winsor attend the next Council meeting to share some information on the position classification process.
Marcy Simons also asked if the University has a Maternity Leave policy. Sarah Misener shared with the Council that the University does not have a Maternity Leave policy, sick pay and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy, are in place to be utilized for medical leaves. The Department of
Human Resources is currently working on sending out the updated FMLA policy followed by required FMLA policy training in the fall for supervisors. Information sessions on FMLA for non-supervisory employees will follow the mandatory training. Sarah Misener added that the Wellness Division of Human Resources sponsors a Pregnancy Support Group for new and expecting mothers. This group meets every other week. If you would like additional information, please contact Cindy Mullins at 631-3413 or email her at Mullins.firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Council member asked Sarah Misener if the University has any policy placing restrictions on the use of cell phones by employees at the University. Sarah Misener stated that there is not a specific policy on the use of cell phones at the current time, however, use of cell phones during work hours is not different than personal calls on work time, according to the policy. Sarah welcomed the Council to share their specific information individually with her regarding cell phones, so that she can have further discussions regarding this issue.
A Council member asked Sarah Misener about eating lunch at a desk and then taking an hour to run errands. Sarah responded that departments may implement different rules regarding eating at work stations. She pointed out the University's policy on lunch and break periods and suggested that employees with issues should discuss them with supervision.
A Council member voiced concern about getting meeting minutes two days prior to the meeting. Dan Brazo explained that the Executive Committee explained this concern to Human Resources this week and Sarah Misener committed to the Council that they will have a draft version of the minutes
within 7 to 10 days of the Council meeting. Sarah Misener explained to the Council that Sue Prister will be Pam Zarazee's backup for the minutes. Sarah asked permission for Sue Prister to attend the August 10th Council meeting to observe a meeting in order to be able to assist with the minutes when asked to do so. Dan stated that the Council has no problem in allowing Sue to observe the next meeting.
Dan Brazo informed the Council that Rich Nugent will be attending the September Council meeting to address the Holiday Hour Proposal.
Dan Brazo notified the Council that he will be sending a letter to thank Fr. William Beauchamp, C.S.C for all of his support of the Council. Dan also shared with the Council that at some point the Executive Committee would like to have Fr. Timothy Scully, C.S.C. attend a future Council meeting. Sarah Misener stated that she would certainly look into making this happen some time in the future.
VI. Set Agenda for Thursday, August 10, 2000 Meeting
I. Approval of the Thursday, July13, 2000 Minutes
II. Committee Reports
-Parking Appeals Committee
-Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues
-Ad-Hoc on Alcohol and Drug Testing
-Ad-Hoc Redistricting Committee
III. Paul Henry and Rita Winsor to discuss Position Leveling
IV. Discuss and review the Draft of the letter to University Administration on retirement benefits
V. Meal plan discussion
Deb Fox made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:06 p.m. Samantha Qualls seconded this motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of the motion.