February 1998

Staff Advisory Council Minutes
Thursday, February 19, 1998
LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Present: Rhonda Barkley, Amy Belke, Debra Bennett, Jan Blazi, Rachel Boyd, Dan Brazo, Phyllis Campbell, Emily Cassidy, Tammy Chapman, Gina DeLaruelle, Janet Dillon, Debbie Fox, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Linda Hansen, Mary Anne Hoebeke, Pam Jobin, Chuck Klein, Jeff Korros, Mike Manijak, Norma Mezykowski, Don Newsom, Diane Schlatterbeck, and Fred Sonneborn.

Absent: Victoria Cotton, Sue Penrod, Michael Purnell, Doris Smuda, Scott Uekert, and Deanna Zukowski.

HR Liaisons: Rich Nugent and Pam Zarazee.

Dan Brazo, Chair called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m. Dan welcomed all the new Council members.

I. Seating of the 1998 Staff Advisory Council

Dan asked the Council to go around the table and introduce themselves and tell what department they work in on campus. The 1998-1999 Staff Advisory Council includes:

District #1 - Dan Brazo - Athletics (serv/maint)
District #2 - Jan Blazi - Athletics (support staff)
District #3 - Scott Uekert - College of Arts & Letters
District #4 - Tammy Chapman - College of Business Administration
District #5 - Chuck Klein - College of Engineering
District #6 - Deb Fox - Law School
District #7 - Debra Bennett - College of Science (support staff)
District #8 - Emily Cassidy - College of Science (technicians)
District #9 - Sue Penrod - Registrar
District #10 - Toby Green - OIT
District #11 - Rachel Boyd - University Libraries
District #12 - Pam Jobin - St. Michael's Laundry
District #13 - Don Newsom - The Morris Inn
District #14 - Gina DeLaruelle - Telecommunications
District #15 - Norma Mezykowski - Accounts Payable
District #16 - Fred Sonneborn - Power Plant
District #17 - Victoria Cotton - Building Services
District #18 - Phyllis Campbell - Building Services
District #19 - Rhonda Barkley - Landscape Services
District #20 - Mike Manijak - General Services
District #21 - Michael Purnell - North Dining Hall
District #22 - Janet Dillon - South Dining Hall
District #23 - Doris Smuda - Food Services Support Facility
District #24 - Mary Anne Hoebeke - NITA
District #25 - Deanne Zukowski - Hammes Bookstore
District #26 - Linda Hansen - Development
District #27 - Amy Belke - Student Activities
District #28 - Jeff Korros - Security
District #29 - Diane Schlatterbeck - University Health Services
District #30 - Rita Grontkowski - First Year of Studies

Toby Green encouraged Council members to continuously gather input on topics of interest from the staff in each of their districts.

II. Approval of Minutes from the January 8, 1998 meeting

Toby Green made a motion to accept the January 8, 1998 meeting minutes. Chuck Klein seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all Council members present were in favor of the motion.

III. Risk Management and Safety Presentation on Worker's Compensation

Bob Zerr, Director, Risk Management and Safety thanked the Council for the opportunity to present at their meeting. Bob handed out a booklet titled, Safety Orientation that is given to every new employee during Orientation Bob reviewed the mission statement of the Risk Management and Safety Department, the organization chart, and the department responsibilities.

Bob then introduced Mike McCauslin, Assistant Director, Risk Management and Safety to explain the University's worker's compensation program.

Mike explained that the University's worker's compensation program is self-funded. That is the University handles and pays our own claims. The University's worker's compensation plan is guided by Indiana worker's compensation laws. Mike explained the different kinds of situations that can or cannot be claimed as worker's compensation under Indiana law. He explained that Indiana law requires the University to pay 2/3 of an employee's salary to a current maximum of $448.00 per week ($64.00 per day) based on a seven day workweek . Mike also explained that the University uses the 7-21 rule, which states that lost wages cannot be paid to you through worker's compensation if you are off work less than 7 days due to a worker's compensation issue, but will pick-up those 7 days if you lose wages in excess of 21 days. Indiana law only requires 2/3 payment of lost wages. The University however will allow you to collect 100 percent of lost wages due to a worker's compensation claim, if you have sick or vacation time available. Mike went through an example with the Council.

Mike then discussed the issue of Permanent Partial Impairments (PPI) with the Council. In a situation involving PPI the University uses the formula given by the state of Indiana. Typically a PPI claim would be paid out over a period of time. However, the University in most cases pays out a PPI claim in one lump sum.

Mike explained Risk Management and Safety are currently in the process of writing a formal "Return to Work" policy. Mike also reviewed the forms that are necessary when an employee files a worker's compensation claim. Mike stressed that if you think you have injured yourself on the job, the key is to notify your supervisor immediately, and then begin the process. Indiana has a two-year statute. This means that an employee cannot file a claim for worker's compensation benefits if it is more than two years old. Normal payroll deductions cannot be withheld from an employee's worker's compensation payments of lost wages.

Mike emphasized that Risk Management and Safety offers workstation ergonomic evaluations to reduce or alleviate stress and carpel tunnel problems resulting from poor office equipment design or repetitive motion tasks. Risk Management and Safety then makes recommendations to the department to improve the work environment. Risk Management and Safety also performs training on proper lifting techniques, chemical handling, etc. Mike told the Council that they perform bi-annual or annual tests on all buildings at the University. Mike emphasized that the University accident and injury rate remains high but the rates are getting better and better each year as employees become more aware of their safety responsibilities and utilize their protective equipment.

Mike shared with the Council that they also maintain the safety of the water on campus. He stated that the water does contain small quantities of minerals, such as iron and it is completely safe to drink.

Mike thanked the Council for allowing him to speak with them. Bob and Mike encouraged employees to contact Risk Management and Safety if they ever have any questions regarding safety or health in their working environment.

To summarize the presentation by Risk Management and Safety, the areas that were explained to the Council included:

* Worker's Compensation Act (what is controlled by the state of Indiana and what is controlled by Notre Dame.)

* The benefits of the Notre Dame worker's compensation package are medical coverage, indemnity (lost wages) coverage, sick and vacation usage if available, and PPI (Permanent Partial Impairment) coverage.

* What is defined as a claim denial

* Information on who to contact in the event of a dispute.

* Return to work policies.

* Examples were presented of how compensation is calculated and how PPI are defined and calculated.

IV. Elections of the Executive Committee, Vacancies on Ad-Hoc Committees and Women's Committee Council Members

Chuck Klein read the responsibilities for Chair and asked the Council for nominations. Dan Brazo volunteered for Chair. Toby Green made a motion to close nominations. Phyllis Campbell seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor.

Chuck Klein read the responsibilities for the Vice-Chair and asked for nominations. Phyllis Campbell volunteered for Vice-Chair. Toby Green made a motion to close nominations. Pam Jobin seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor.

Chuck Klein read the responsibilities for the Secretary and asked for nominations. Jan Blazi volunteered for Secretary. Toby Green made a motion to close nominations. Phyllis Campbell seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor.

Dan thanked Phyllis and Jan for volunteering to serve on the Executive Committee and stated that he looks forward to the coming year.

Dan asked for nominations to replace Jennifer Schafer on the standing Communications Committee. Emily Cassidy volunteered to serve on the Communications Committee. The Communications Committee consists of Emily Cassidy, Sue Penrod and Jan Blazi.

Dan asked for a nomination to replace Larry Born on the University's Parking Committee. Debra Bennett volunteered to replace Larry.

Dan asked for a replacement for Tammy Chapman on the Women's Committee. Linda Hansen volunteered to serve on the Women's Committee. The Council members on the Women's Committee include, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Norma Mezykowski, Scott Uekert, Linda Hansen, and Gina DeLaruelle.

Rita Grontkowski stated that the two alternates selected from the non-exempt self-nominations for the Women's Committee have been contacted to replace two of the original members from the non-exempt staff. The two alternates are Cornell Harris, Food Services and Kathy Stopczynski, Building Services.

Dan thanked everyone for volunteering on the various committees. Dan stressed the importance of the Staff Advisory Council to the University. Dan explained how important it is to come to each meeting. If you are unable to attend, please call one of the Executive Committee Members.

A Council member brought up some old business which he would like to have addressed. It included a 1998-1999 update on the matrix by Human Resources, the opportunity for employees to purchase short-term or long-term disability insurance, employee benefit statements and better insurance for retirees. Rich Nugent stated that Rita Winsor is looking into the short-term and long-term disability options, benefit statements, as well as continually looking for the best possible insurance for retirees. Rich will arrange for a meeting to update the Council on plans for the 1998-1999 non-exempt staff compensation information.

A new Council member questioned the possibility of paying out sick-time upon retirement. Dan replied that the Council has discussed this at great lengths and will continue to review this issue.

Pam Zarazee told the Council that the SRA participation appears to have more than doubled among the staff from the start of 1997. At the start of 1997 there was approximately 270 in the Staff Pension Plan and SRA. At the end of 1997 there were around 600 in the Staff Pension Plan and SRA. Pam also informed the Council that i.d. cards will be distributed sometime in the Spring.

V. Set the Agenda for the March 19, 1998 meeting

I. Approval of the February 19 1998 minutes

II. Approve the Council's Annual Report

III. Women's Committee Update

IV. Grievance Procedure Proposal Discussion with the Human Resources Planning Group Sub-Committee (Dave Prentkowski, Director of Food Services, Gary Shumaker, Director of Facility Operations and Chris Carlin, Director of Administrative Services, Business

V. Set the Agenda for the April 9, 1998 meeting

Rita Grontkowski made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:09 p.m. Pam Jobin seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor of this motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Communications Committee