May 1999

Staff Advisory Council Minutes

Thursday, May 20, 1999

LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Deb Bennett, Jan Blazi, Dan Brazo, Tammy Chapman, Gina DeLaruelle, Janet Dillon, Norma Frost, Connie Gard, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Beverly Harbor, Pam Jobin, Wanda Lansford, Norma Mezykowski, Terron Phillips, Leona Strickland, Dona Waters and Melodie Wise. 
Absent: Rachel Boyd, Emily Cassidy, Debra Clark, Victoria Cotton, Deb Fox, Linda Hansen, Mike Manijak, Sue Penrod, Doris Smuda and Fred Sonneborn.
HR Liaisons: Rich Nugent, Rita Winsor (for presentation only) and Wendy Mott.
Dan Brazo, Chairperson, called the Council meeting to order at 1:10 p.m. 
I. Approval of the March 11 and April 8th, 1999 Minutes
Pam Jobin made a motion to accept the March minutes. Gina DeLaruelle seconded. All were in favor. Pam Jobin made a motion to accept the April minutes. Connie Gard seconded. All were in favor.
Rich Nugent asked if he could take this time to answer a question that was posed to him. The question was how much money has been spent on the compensation project? Rich showed that one million in 97/98 was spent to start the project. In 98/99 half a million was spent above and beyond the regular increase percentages. In 99/00 half a million is budgeted totaling two million dollars put toward the compensation project which is above and beyond the regular increases given. Rich explained that the priority for the money in the beginning was the employees with the most years of service and the furthest away from the market. And today the priority is the same with an emphasis on office/clerical and technical groups since they are the furthest from the market on average. A Council member asked if we are working with more or less employees at the University since the compensation project started? Rich was not sure off hand but, will check with Doug Hemphill on the numbers. A Council member asked for the exempt employees, how can they be at 110% and get the regular 2.75% raise and an additional 1.25%? Rich explained that exempt increases are performance based and if the departments budget allows for it and the supervisor feels, based on the individual's performance, they deserve it then that decision for an additional increase above 2.75% is made. A Council member asked if non-exempt is at 110% then how do they keep making more. Rich explained that they will get (per this year's figures) a 2.75% raise and any other amount of increase for non-exempt is performance based. If a person is at the maximum for the level then any more dollars would be paid in a lump sum.
II. Ad-Hoc Committee Reports 
The Women's Committee reported that they will have a flyer to hand out at the Staff Picnic at the Staff Advisory Council booth. A Women's Fair is being proposed to take place October break week. A networking committee is working on a book as well. 
The By-Law Committee reported and Jan Blazi asked that they be approved at the June 10th meeting and that will go on the agenda.
The Staff Picnic Committee reported that the deadline for the logo (as noted in the flyer that will go out to all non-exempt employees) contest is Wednesday, June 2. The Council will get together and vote on the logo Tuesday, June 8. At that time a schedule will be made available by Deb Bennett so that Council members can sign up for times to cover the brownie table for the picnic. A discussion took place regarding how to organize the staff issues under discussion on the flyer. After some changes Gina DeLaruelle made a motion to accept the flyer, as revised. Wanda Lansford seconded. All were in favor. Human Resources will supply the labels, as well as, get the printing done of 2,000 flyers to be mailed out to all non-exempt staff by May 24. Norma Frost will get the prize for the logo contest in place of Frances Leedy. The Parking Committee had nothing to report. The Election Committee reported that there is a new election taking place for District 3 with a deadline to close nominations May 26. Also, there is a new election taking place for District 25 with a deadline to close nominations May 28.
III. Discussion of Amended Priorities Issues 
This discussion took place while preparing the flyer for the Staff Picnic. 
IV. Sick Leave Policy 
Rita Winsor, Director, Benefits and Compensation in the Department of Human Resources, gave a brief presentation in regards to the current Sick Leave Policy followed by discussion with the Council. Rita began by explaining that she has reviewed six surveys regarding other Sick Leave Policies and there appears to be no norm for the leave design. The range of plans are all across the board. She then proceeded to discuss the Notre Dame Plan.
She pointed out that the accrual schedule for sick leave is on page 48 of The Staff Guidebook. Sick time is accrued on scheduled paid hours with a minimum of 20 hours/week for hourly and semi-monthly. The maximum accrual is 720 hours which equals 90 days at 100%. The policy extends the use of sick time for two personal days, five family illness days (immediate family) and then the employees own illness. Rita gave an example of a typical Short Term Disability coverage paying a 60% benefit. Some plans have waiting periods, but for the example it was assumed that there is no waiting period - 1,040 hours (6 months) times $10 an hour = $10, 400. The wage of $10,400 is then multiplied by 60% (which is a typical coverage) = $6,240 gross. At Notre Dame, the plan is 720 hours (maximum) times $10 an hour = $7,200 gross. Notre Dame's sick bank is 100% pay back and has first day coverage. A Council member pointed out that the maximum was used in the example but many people have not yet accrued the time they may need so, they are looking at less than $7,200 gross. Rita pointed out that the current plan does reward service. Rita also added that the Disability Retirement provision under the Employee Pension Plan which pays the accrued benefit with ten years of service is also available. Human Resources is looking into various types of sick leave plans. Paid Time Off (PTO) plans which include holiday, vacation, sick etc. all in one bank is one example. A plan such as this would require a more formal time reporting policy and practice. A Council member pointed out that it is difficult for everyone to be sure that sick time is turned in and reported to Human Resources. Human Resources has also looked into Long Term Disability plans but is concerned with the social security offset which may lead to no benefit.
After Rita's presentation some questions/comments took place. A Council member asked if it is OK for a supervisor to ask for a note from a doctor if an employee is out one day. A reply was given, if the supervisor feels it necessary to ask or if there is a history of absenteeism then it is OK. A Council member asked why do they need to let their supervisor know in advance when they are using their personal days when they may need to use it for an emergency or some other reason. A reply was given that from input at open forum sessions held to develop the sick leave plan it was determined that these days should be managed by supervisors to be able to support operational needs. Rich Nugent added that if it was a "bonafide emergency" and preapproval did not take place then the supervisor should consider that.
V. Set Agenda for the June 10, 1999 Meeting 
I Approval of the May 20th, 1999 Minutes
II Ad-Hoc Committee Reports
-Approval of the By-Laws
III Continue Sick Leave Policy Discussion 
IV Update on Proposal on University Holiday Hours
V Set the Agenda for the Thursday, July 8, 1999 Meeting
Because the Staff Picnic is on June 10 (the same day as the next SAC meeting) the meeting will begin at 1:15 and go to 3:00.
Dona Waters asked the Council if at the July meeting a few members of the Security Department can come and do a Drunk Driving Presentation. It will be on the agenda for July 8.
Pam Jobin asked if all the furniture thrown away when the students leave could be donated or have something else done with it. Rich Nugent will check with Alan Bigger and find out how that process works. 
Rich Nugent informed 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 adjourn the meeting. Pam Jobin seconded this motion. A vote was taken, and all present Council members were in favor of the motion.
Respectfully Submitted,
Communications Committee