December 1998

Staff Advisory Council Minutes

Thursday, December 10, 1998

LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Deb Bennett, Jan Blazi, Rachel Boyd, Dan Brazo, Emily Cassidy, Deborah Clark, Janet Dillon, Deb Fox, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Linda Hansen, Pam Jobin, Frances Leedy, Mike Manijak, Don Newsom, Diane Schlatterbeck, Doris Smuda, Fred Sonneborn, Dona Waters, and Joshua White. 
Absent: Rhonda Barkley, Amy Belke, Tammy Chapman, Victoria Cotton, Gina DeLaruelle, Wanda Lansford, Norma Mezykowski, Sue Penrod, Leona Strickland, and Melodie Wise.
HR Liaisons: Roger Mullins, Rich Nugent, and Pam Zarazee.
Dan Brazo, Chair, called the Council meeting to order at 1:09 p.m. Dan introduced and welcomed two new Council members to their first meeting, Dona Waters and Frances Leedy. Dona Waters replaces Jeff Korros, who was promoted to an exempt status from District #28. Frances Leedy replaces Deanna Zukowski in District #25 who relocated to Arizona. 
Dan thanked Chuck Klein, who is a past Council member, for stopping in at the meeting to wish everyone a happy holiday.
Roger Mullins, Associate Vice President for Human Resources thanked the members of the Council for their participation in the Staff Advisory Council and the success they have had in the last year. Roger stated to the Council that their ideas, concerns, and opinions on various issues discussed in the meetings are appreciated by the University. Roger also wished each Council member a very happy holiday season.
Roger took a few minutes to field some questions from the Council. Roger responded to the Council on the status of the Tuition Reimbursement Proposal. Roger stated that the proposal was favorably received by the Officers. The question is funding and timing. Roger stated that the proposal may have a different look than what was proposed, but will get back to the Council during the 1st quarter of 1999. 
A Council member asked Roger about the possibility of the University paying non-exempt support staff on a bi-weekly basis versus semi-monthly. Roger stated that a task force was developed to investigate this issue and based on the results it is unlikely that the University would go to a bi-weekly pay.
Another Council member questioned Roger as to how the Employee Complaint Procedure is going. Roger shared the concern that the complaint procedure is not being utilized to the degree Human Resources would like to see. To date there have been less than a half dozen times the complaint procedure has been used. A Council member asked Roger about changing the July 1st date to date of hire for purposes of vacation, etc. Roger stated that Human Resources is actively working on this and is generally in favor of the idea. The implementation issues are the greatest complexity at this time. 
Roger again thanked the Council for their time and effort and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 
I. Approval of the Minutes from the November 12, 1998 meeting.
Deb Fox made a motion to accept the November 12, 1998 minutes. Don Newsom seconded this motion. A vote was taken, and all Council members present were in favor of the motion.
II. Ad-Hoc Women's Committee Update
Rita Grontkowski shared with the Council that the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee sponsored an "Evening of Reflection" by Chandra Johnson, Assistant to the President and Assistant Director for Cross-Cultural Ministry in Campus Ministry on December 2nd from 7 pm to 9 pm in the Hesburgh Lounge. Approximately ten employees attended and the program was very good.
Rita stated to the Council that Amy Belke is coordinating the next Lunch and Learn program sponsored by the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee. The program will focus on women's safety issues on campus and will feature speakers from the Security Department on Monday, February 8th from 3 pm to 4 pm; Tuesday, February 9th from noon to 1 pm; Wednesday, February 10th from 10 am to 11 am; and Thursday, February 11th from 10 pm to 11 pm. Location yet to be determined. More information will be coming in the February edition of the StaffNews.
The elections for the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee will be held sometime in February with a notice going in the February StaffNews.
III. Elections Committee Discussion for January Elections 
Deb Fox shared with the Council that the 15 odd numbered districts are up for reelection in January 1999. Deb stated that the self-nominations will go out in early January. If an election is necessary, that will follow in mid-January. Deb added that the elections committee also consists of Deb Bennett and Gina DeLaruelle. The Ad-Hoc Women's Committee also volunteered to help in any way they could with the elections. Deb mentioned that the By-Laws state that a Council member can only run for two terms. There are a few Council members that fall into this category of serving two consecutive terms. Dan Brazo, District #1; Sue Penrod, District #9; Rachel Boyd, District #11; Don Newsom, District #13; and Diane Schlatterbeck,
District #29. The Council discussed the idea of revising the By-Laws to cover the possibility that some districts may not have self-nominations.
Dan Brazo told the Council that Leona Strickland volunteered to represent District #5 on the Council and will run for election in January. 
The Council discussed the date of the February meeting and would like it to be rescheduled for Thursday, February 11, 1999 rather than Thursday, February 4, 1999 due to elections. This would mean that all new Council members could be seated at the February 11, 1999 meeting. The meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday, February 11, 1999 from 1 pm to 3 pm in the Undergraduate Admissions Meeting Room in the basement of Grace Hall.
IV. Brief Discussion of 1998 Annual Report 
Dan asked the Council for their input, suggestions, or ideas regarding the format and content of this report. The Council discussed the attendance log being part of the report, and thought it was not a good idea to dwell on absenteeism problems. The Council suggested adding a line to the self-nomination forms and ballots regarding the attendance expectations of being a Council member.
Dan stated that the Executive Council will work on the Annual Report in a similar fashion as 1997's report. Rita Grontkowski stated that she would develop an appendix for the 1998 Annual Report addressing the development and successes of the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee.
V. Open Forum Discussion on Council Priorities and Planning for Future Meetings 
Dan reviewed the Prioritized List of Staff Issues from October 1997 with the Council. The Council listed the following as updated ideas for possible topics to discuss, in no particular order:
* Supervisors/Promotion: fair performance evaluation and continuous update of the Classification Project by Human Resources
* Sick Leave (various issues) - FMLA education to staff
* Hire date versus calendar date
* Funeral policy - expanding coverage and addressing travel time
* Life Insurance for other family members
* Retiree Benefit Enhancements
* Insurance Premiums being reduced for husband and wife versus family or child coverage
* Pension increase in the formula
* Unused benefit dollar amount being increased for staff who do not take Notre Dame's insurance
* Meal Plan Discounts for staff members
* Better Early Retirement Options for long-term employees
* Expanding the campus phonebook to non-exempt staff
* Overtime recognized on a daily basis rather than on a 40 hour weekly basis 
* Update of Employee Staff Guidebook
* Specific analysis of the matrix and how many Service Maintenance, Office/Clerical workers fall in each zone 
Rich Nugent offered to the Council that Rita Winsor could come and share some specific details with the Council regarding the matrix. Rich also stated to the Council that he will have an update at the January meeting regarding the progress of the Staff Guidebook.
VII. Set Agenda for the January 14, 1999 meeting 
The Executive Council will meet to put together an agenda. Pam Zarazee will mail it out to all Council members in advance of the January 14, 1999 meeting.
Dan thanked all of the Council members for their participation and wished everyone a safe and joyous holiday season.
Pam Jobin made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Emily Cassidy seconded this motion. A vote was taken, and all present Council members were in favor of the motion.
Respectfully Submitted,
Communications Committee