Staff Advisory Council Minutes
Thursday, June 10, 1999
LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Debbie Bennett, Jan Blazi, Rachel Boyd, Dan Brazo, Emily Cassidy, Tammy Chapman, Debra Clark, Gina DeLaruelle, Debbie Fox, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Pam Jobin, Mike Manijak, Sue Penrod, Fred Sonneborn, Leona Strickland, Dona Waters, and Melodie Wise.
Absent: Victoria Cotton, Janet Dillon, Norma Frost, Connie Gard, Linda Hansen, Beverly Harbor, Wanda Lansford, Norma Mezykowski, Terron Phillips, and Doris Smuda. District #3 and District #25 are currently unrepresented.
HR Liaisons: Rich Nugent, Rita Winsor, and Pam Zarazee.
Dan Brazo, Chair, called the Council meeting to order at 1: 15 p.m.
I. Approval of the Minutes from the May 20, 1999 meeting.
Jan Blazi stated that the minutes did not reflect the discussion on the status of the Tuition Reimbursement Proposal. The discussion consisted of Rich Nugent informing the Council that the cost estimates for the Tuition Reimbursement Proposal were being finalized and that he would be meeting with Father Beauchamp for review in the near future. Gina DeLaruelle made a motion to accept the May Council minutes with the above addition. Emily Cassidy seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor.
II. Ad-Hoc Committee Reports
The By-Laws Committee began by having a discussion regarding the updated By-Laws that were sent out to all Council members for their review. The Council addressed the issue of attendance of Council members. A Council member stated that the by-laws do say that a Council member can be removed from their Council seat with 2/3 vote of the Council assuming the absences are un-excused. The Council also addressed the need to review the districts and look at the possibility of redistricting which may in fact improve attendance. The Executive Committee stated that they will take a closer look at absences. It was suggested that the redistricting issue be discussed at a future Council meeting.
The Council discussed the term limits of Executive Officers. Toby Green stated that based on her research, term limits for Executive Officers from other University's are typically 2 or 4 year terms. The suggestion was made to have Executive Officers be allowed re-election up to a maximum of 4 consecutive years while serving on the Council.
The Council also stated that the Communications Committee should be a Standing Committee.
Toby Green made a motion to accept the first reading of the by-laws with the changes discussed above. Dona Waters seconded this motion. A vote was taken and 17 members were in favor of the motion and 1 Council member chose to abstain. Jan Blazi told the Council that she will make the corrections to the By-laws as recommended above for the second reading to take place at the July 8, 1999 meeting.
Picnic Committee: Dan thanked the members of the Ad-hoc Picnic Committee for everything they did to promote the Council at this year's staff picnic.
The Ad-hoc Picnic Committee included Janet Dillon, Deb Bennett, Norma Frost, and Gina DeLaruelle. Deb Bennett also thanked Emily Cassidy for putting together the Council poster.
Gina DeLaruelle stated that 17 entries were received for the Staff Advisory Council logo contest. The winner was Rita Egendoerfer from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry who received a $50 gift certificate to the Bookstore. Rich Nugent stated that he will review with the appropriate person(s) the approval of the logo. A Council member suggested that thank you letters be sent out to all staff who participated in the logo contest.
Deb Fox, Vice Chair, read aloud the suggestions placed in the Suggestion Box at the Picnic. The Suggestion Box contained two anonymous letters.
The Council felt it would be appropriate to acknowledge and respond to these letters via the StaffNews. The Executive Committee stated that they would work on the response to the letters received in the Suggestion Box.
A Council member suggested putting together the Ad-Hoc Picnic Committee earlier in the year. Also the suggestion was made to have a photographer present at the time the logo contest winner is announced. The Council stated that the logo will probably be used on the Council's webpage and on the brochure.
Parking Committee: Deb Bennett informed the Council that there is nothing to report at this time.
Elections Committee: Deb Bennett shared with the Council that there were no self-nominations for District #3 and District #25. A letter will be sent out to the two districts unrepresented to inform them that their districts will go unrepresented on the Council until the next election, unless a non-exempt employee from one of those districts nominates themselves within 5 days of receiving the letter.
A discussion took place regarding the anonymous letter that Dan Brazo received. The Council again emphasized the need to promote the Council and look at the districts across campus. The Council requested making an agenda item to discuss the Staff Advisory Council's continuing existence in the next two months.
Rich Nugent explained to the Council that Human Resources also receives anonymous letters from time to time. Human Resources does not respond to anonymous letters. If an employee feels strongly about a specific issue, that individual should contact the appropriate person in their department or Human Resources and the matter can then be addressed. Anonymous letters are not able to be addressed.
Communications Committee: had nothing to report.
Dan asked Rich Nugent to thank Wendy Mott for her assistance with the minutes during Pam Zarazee's absence.
Women's Committee: Melodie Wise explained that the women's committee is currently working on a proposal to submit to the Council regarding the fair they are planning during Fall break. A copy of the activities and information will be distributed to all Council members when it is completed. Melodie told the Council that the Lunch & Learn held in May had very good attendance with approximately 55 staff participating.
III. Continue Sick Leave Policy Discussion
Rita Winsor joined the Council meeting to listen to the discussion and answer any questions from the Council regarding the University's sick leave policy. A Council member suggested that upon retirement, if an employee has the maximum 720 hours in his or her sick bank, the University should pay the employee out for those hours. Another Council member suggested that upon reaching the maximum 720 hours the University could buy some of the hours back from the employee as a reward for good attendance. A Council member recommended that it would be nice to allow an employee the option of giving their unused sick hours to another employee in an emergency situation. Rita Winsor thanked the Council for their suggestions and made note of them. Rita Winsor stated the main issue involved with paying out any accumulated sick time is that some departments do not follow the appropriate procedure for recording sick time for their staff. The Council suggested giving a statement to Human Resources indicating their feeling on the importance of departments accurately reporting sick time across campus. Rich Nugent stated that the majority of departments are doing the right thing and having the opportunity to train on the Human Resources Policy Manual will be a positive step. A Council member suggested that a time card system for all employees would be the only way to count time fairly across campus. Rita Winsor told the Council that a new time keeping system is being introduced to certain departments of the University and should allow more accountability in the system.
A Council member asked what Human Resources would recommend if an employee is aware of a department who does not monitor sick-time. Rich Nugent recommended the employee follow the appropriate chain of command within the department to address the problem. Rich Nugent stated that Human Resources obviously campaigns for individual departments to follow the policy. Rich Nugent added that Human Resources is currently working on a Human Resources Policy Manual. The Human Resources Policy Manual will be distributed to all individuals with supervisory responsibility and each of those individuals will be offered the chance to attend training on the manual. This will be a great opportunity for Human Resources to work with departments in getting up to speed on policies utilized at the University.
A Council member asked if it is an occurrence if an employee is out on the Family Medical Leave Act. Rita Winsor responded by stating if the employee is out on an approved Family Medical Leave the absences are not counted as occurrences. Rita Winsor also briefly discussed the intermittent component of the Family Medical Leave Act.
A Council member stated that under the attendance and punctuality policy any occurrences a person has are during a rolling 12 month period. A non-exempt staff member does not get a clean attendance and punctuality record at the beginning of each year. Rich Nugent clarified that the policy states six occurrences of failing to work as scheduled during any 12 month period is considered excessive by University standards and is grounds for corrective action.
IV. Update of Proposal on University Holiday Hours and Other Issues
Time ran out and this agenda item was tabled until the July 8, 1999 meeting.
V. Set the Agenda for the Thursday, July 8, 1999 Meeting
I. Security Presentation by Jeff Korros and Richard Kazmierczak
II. Approval of the Thursday, June 10, 1999 Minutes
III. Ad-Hoc Committee Updates
IV. Update of Proposal on University Holiday Hours and Other Issues
V. Promotion of Staff Advisory Council
VI. Set the agenda for Thursday, August 12, 1999 Council meeting
Gina DeLaruelle made a motion to adjourn the Council meeting at 3:06 p.m.. and Leona Strickland seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all Council members present were in favor of the motion.