September 1999

Staff Advisory Council Minutes

Thursday, September 9, 1999

LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Debbie Bennett, Jan Blazi, Dan Brazo, Emily Cassidy, Tammy Chapman, Debra Clark, Debbie Fox, Norma Frost, Connie Gard, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Linda Hansen, Mike Manijak, Rose McMahon, Norma Mezykowski, Sue Penrod, Terron Phillips, Phyllis Shelton-Ball, Marcy Simons, Fred Sonneborn, Leona Strickland, Dona Waters and Melodie Wise. 
Absent: Angeliek Anderson, Victoria Cotton, Gina DeLaruelle, Janet Dillon, Beverly Harbor, Pam Jobin and Doris Smuda.
HR Liaisons: Rich Nugent, Sarah Misener and Wendy Mott
Dan Brazo, Chair called the Council meeting to order at 1:07 p.m.
Rich Nugent announced his new position in Human Resources to Assistant Vice President and Sarah Misener's new position to Director, Employee Relations and Development. Sarah will now be the Human Resources liaison to the Staff Advisory Council on a full time basis. Rich thanked the council for their great work and all of their support. The Council thanked Rich as well as presented him with a gift. The Council welcomed Sarah Misener as the new HR liaison.
Dan Brazo introduced the new Council member for District 11. Marcy Simons, University Libraries, who will be replacing Rachel Boyd. Rachel Boyd was promoted to exempt status. The Council welcomed Marcy. 
A Council member mentioned looking into relief for victims of the recent earthquake in Turkey and if the Council would like to participate. Dona Waters found out that the relief for Turkey will only accept money. If the Council wanted to send actual items, they would need to pay for the shipping and send it themselves; it was agreed that this would be difficult to do. If anyone would like to send money to the Turkey relief fund on their own the address is:
American Red Cross
St. Joseph County Chapter
3220 Jefferson Blvd.
South Bend, IN 46545
Dan Brazo informed the Council that Fr. Malloy sent a letter to Dan and the Council regarding the staff drug policy. Dan distributed a copy of the letter to Council members. Fr. Malloy asked if the staff is satisfied with the present policy and if not to discuss this and make a recommendation on how to deal with this matter looking to the future. Dan mentioned since only a short period passed between the time of getting the letter and today's meeting he suggested a special meeting for the Council to discuss. After a brief discussion, the Council agreed to have a special meeting on September 23 at 1:00 p.m. in the Notre Dame Room, LaFortune Student Center. Phyllis Shelton-Ball offered to scan the new drug policy that HR handed out and e-mail it to the council so that they may in turn e-mail it or make copies for their districts and get their feedback. Each council member will decide how they will communicate this to their districts. Sarah Misener mentioned that the old policy and the new policy are only slightly different, however, they accomplish the same thing. The new policy incorporates the new pre-employment testing and some legal terminology. Rich Nugent said the new drug testing system, which involves taking a small clip of hair, gives a three month check. A letter will then be written to Fr. Malloy with any recommendations. If a Council member is unable to attend the special meeting on September 23, please forward any information to another Council member so that it may be discussed at the meeting. I. Approval of the Thursday, August 12, 1999 Minutes 
Leona Strickland pointed out that there was nothing mentioned about the staff tuition reimbursement benefit. After discussion that addition will be made along with the correction of the date and times for the Women's Committee Fair and a few other minor changes made to the minutes. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor of the minutes with these changes.
II. Update on the Human Resources Policy Manual 
Sarah Misener shared with the Council that the new Policy Manual is done and will be taking the place of the Manager's Guidebook. Sarah discussed a change that would be of interest to employees regarding posting for jobs. In the new Policy Manual an employee must be free of corrective action for 12 months and in the current position for 12 months in order to be considered. Sarah explained that as with the previous policy statement of six months, Human Resources will consider certain circumstances when the 12 month criteria is waived. A Council member asked if the corrective action paper work will still be on file for two years and Sarah confirmed that it would. Another Council member asked if verbal warnings were included as part of corrective action and Sarah explained that coaching/counseling is not corrective action. Corrective action, as contained in the Staff Employee Guidebook, begins with a first level warning.
Human Resources wanted the Policy Manual to serve as a dual purpose: 1) as a policy manual in the supervision of exempt and non-exempt employees and 2) to serve as a guidebook for exempt employees and supervisors. Sarah added that there will be a new Staff Employee Guidebook completed around the first of the year to be distributed to all non-exempt employees and this book will be compatible to the Policy Manual. Sarah added that depending on revisions there could be information sessions when it is released. The new Policy Manual and the soon to be revised Staff Employee Guidebook will both be put on the web.
A Council member asked if the statement, "at the discretion of the supervisor" will be used in the Staff Employee Guidebook. Sarah said that statement may appear in the manual, but sensitivity to it was noted. Distribution of the Policy Manual will begin September 13. Employees receiving the manual will attend an information training session that gives them a tour of the manual, as well as calling their attention to the legal aspects of the policies and what their responsibilities are as supervisors. 
Sarah shared with the Council how changes to the manual will be communicated. A summary of the revisions will be mailed out and the employees will take out the old and replace it with the new; manual holders will be expected to keep their manual up to date. In November new revisions will go out regarding the sick pay wording so that it will complement the Family Medical Leave Act Policy (FMLA).
Sarah added that nonexempt employees who oversee others and manage an office have been identified and will receive a manual as well. Sarah asked that if Council members know of someone who should attend a session and receive a manual to please have them contact Human Resources. 
Rose McMahon asked if the bookstore will be receiving any manuals and Sarah said that they would. 
Sarah Misener informed the Council that there is a new updated list available with a Human Resources generalist assigned to every department across campus to be contacted for any reason. The list will be included with the distribution of the minutes and will be printed in the October Staff News Letter.
III. Committee Reports 
- By-Laws - Dan Brazo shared that the by-laws committee had completed their job and therefore it is officially disbanded.
- Communications Committee - Emily Cassidy informed the Council that there is nothing to report at this time.
- Parking Committee - Deb Bennett informed the Council that there is nothing to report at this time.
- Elections Committee - Deb Bennett explained that Marcy Simons (District #11, University Libraries) was the only one to self nominate, therefore gaining the position. 
- Women's Committee - Melodie Wise reported that Marcy Simons had already been on the Women's Committee prior to being on the SAC. Now that Marcy is on the SAC the committee needed another non-SAC member and Marjorie Wosick was the next person to be appointed and she accepted. Rita Grontkowski reported that the Women's Committee fair is October 19 from 10:30 - 3:30 in the Ball Room, LaFortune Student Center. An invitation for this event is scheduled to go out to all women who are nonexempt, exempt and faculty around October 1. There will be several booths to visit, as well as five presentations that will take place. A member of the Council asked if men were invited and if not, why not. Rita confirmed that men would not be invited and that they were following the some invitational practices as used for luncheons and other events sponsored by the Women's Committee. If men attended there would be no problem with that, however, a formal invitation would not be mailed to them. Rita added that there would be posters and flyers put up around campus informing people of the fair. Sarah Misener mentioned the male participation may be questionable at one of the talks presented bythe Security Department on Rape, Aggression and Defense (RAD). Dan Brazo asked that maybe that could be printed on the flyer/posters. Tammy Chapman asked if information regarding the fair would be sent to supervisors to inform them of this so that they may allow their employees to attend. Tammy pointed out that this could increase awareness because many of the supervisors are men. Rita and Sarah added that men being invited and coming to the fair would be discussed further at the next Women's Committee meeting Friday, September 10. 
There will be a booth representing the Staff Advisory Council and the Women's Committee together. The display will be used that Emily Cassidy made for the Staff Picnic. If Council members are available to help work the booth for ½ hour to an hour please sign up with Melodie Wise. 
IV Promotion of SAC 
Jan Blazi will be keeping track of attendance of the Council members at meetings because of the somewhat low attendance numbers. After two absences, absent member(s) will be contacted to help try to keep attendance up at the meetings. Dan Brazo stated that they all understand if our job is not allowing us to attend, but to please call someone (the chairperson preferably) if you cannot attend a meeting. 
A list of ideas for the PR committee was passed out to the Council. Dan asked if anyone had a chance to solicit feedback from their districts. Jan Blazi heard back from her district and the majority of the responses were positive. Deb Clark shared that it is very difficult to communicate to her district because of the different shifts. The Council shared some ideas that may help her with her communications. It was also suggested that Deb talk with Phyllis Campbell and see what worked for her when she was a representative. Sarah Misener mentioned to Deb to also talk with Sharon Hawkins, HR Generalist for Building Services, and see if she can help. 
Emily Cassidy asked if the Council would go around the room and describe how each representative communicates to their district and see if anyone is doing something that might help others. The Council agreed to do so beginning with Rita Grontkowski. 
 - Rita described it was difficult because her district is so spread out but she tries to use e-mail.  
 - Tammy Chapman uses e-mail.  
 - Rose McMahon posts something up in the break rooms, but she is still new at this. 
 - Melodie Wise uses e-mail, hard copy and posts information on the bulletin board.  
 - Connie Gard's district is all around campus and she uses e-mail and puts hard copy in custodians mail boxes since they don't use e-mail. 
 - Deb Clark relies on the StaffNews letter publishing the minutes because of the difficulty trying to communicate with her district.  
 - Norma Frost has just one building and she posts information in each break room and has a pocket available in the break rooms for questions anyone might have. 
 - Deb Fox uses e-mail.  
 - Dan Brazo's group is spread out and he has quarterly meetings, personal contact and relies on the Staff News Letter minutes.  
 - Jan Blazi mails information in hard copy form to everyone inviting them to call her or come and see her if they have any questions, as well as, relies on the minutes in the Staff News Letter.  
 - Dona Waters types up a short note and puts it in her districts mail boxes after a meeting. 
 - Mike Manijak posts a memo in each of his areas and is available on Fridays from 12-12:30 for questions. 
 - Terron Phillips reads what he takes back to them and is considering doing meetings. 
 - Leona Strickland uses e-mail, luncheons with people and sends some hard copies too.  
 - Emily Cassidy uses e-mail, hard copies, an occasional meeting, and sends a quick review of the SAC meetings out to her district, then the minutes as a more detailed follow up. Emily also sends a form letter to new employees in her district introducing herself. 
V. Holiday Hour Proposal Further Discussion 
Due to time constraints, Dan asked that this be put on next months meeting agenda. At that time the Council will discuss going ahead with the proposal to the officers or holding it, but a conclusion is necessary.
VI. Set the Agenda for the Thursday, October 21, 1999 Meeting 
 I. Approval of the Thursday, September 9, 1999 Minutes 
 II. Committee Reports
- Communications Committee
- Parking Committee
- Elections Committee
- Women's Committee
 III. Further Discussion of Promotion of Staff Advisory Council 
 IV. Holiday Hour Proposal Further Discussion 
 V. Go back to Prioritized List 
 VI. Set the Agenda for the Thursday, November 11, 1999 Meeting 
Connie Gard asked for Human Resources to do a presentation on the matrix/zones. Connie also asked what is the time frame to discuss retirement and the Council agreed to look that up at the next meeting when going over the prioritized list.
The Council asked that the original proposal for Holiday Hours be included with the minutes along with the HR Generalist list.
Sarah Misener shared with the Council that Human Resources is moving to Grace Hall September 23 and 24 and will be running on limited mode those two days.
Deb Bennett made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:00 p.m. and Sue Penrod seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all Council members in attendance were in favor of the motion.
Communications Committee