January 2000

Staff Advisory Council Minutes

Monday, January 31, 2000

LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Angeliek Anderson, Deb Bennett, Jan Blazi, Dan Brazo, Emily Cassidy, Deborah Clark, Gina DeLaruelle, Deb Fox, Norma Frost, Connie Gard, Rita Grontkowski, Beverly Harbor, Pam Jobin, Norma Mezykowski, Sue Penrod, Terron Phillips, Marcy Simons, Doris Smuda, Fred Sonneborn, Leona Strickland, Dona Waters and Melodie Wise. 
Absent: Tammy Chapman, Victoria Cotton, Janet Dillon, Linda Hansen, Mike Manijak, Rose Leonardo-McMahon, and Phyllis Shelton-Ball. Currently district #10 is not represented.
HR Liaisons: Sarah Misener and Pam Zarazee.
University Guest: Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C.
Dan Brazo, Chair called the Council meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.
I. Approval of the Thursday, December 9, 1999 Minutes 
Connie Gard made a motion to accept the December 9, 1999 minutes. Gina DeLaruelle seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor of the motion.
II. Committee Reports 
-Communications Committee
Nothing new to report.
-Parking Committee 
Deb Bennett announced to the Council that the next meeting will be held Wednesday, February 2, 2000. 
-Parking Appeals Committee 
Dan Brazo stated that this committee met in January. The committee is made up of a Rector, a graduate student, 2 undergraduate students, and a nonexempt staff member. The committee is responsible for sorting through the tickets and deciding the validity of the issues involved with the ticket. The ticket appeals are divided amongst the members. The committee discusses tickets that have unique issues associated with them. The committee meets every two weeks.
-Elections Committee 
Deb Fox gave the Council an update on the current election taking place for the even numbered districts. Deb stated that seven current members will remain on the Council, three new members will be seated at the February Council meeting and three run-off elections are taking place. Two districts had no self-nominations, so the second letter went out to seek self-nominations in District #10 and District # 26. Deb stated that the deadline for submission of ballots is Monday, February 7, 2000 for those districts involved in a run-off election. 
The Council discussed District #17 and District #18 which make up the Building Services area. The discussion centered around the idea of having one representative from the day shift and one representative from the night shift. Deb also noted to the Council that these districts seem to have some delays in receiving any mailings that come from the Council. 
Due to this issue, Deb told District #18 that she would allow the self-nominations to be accepted up until a few days past the deadline.
Deb received two self-nominations from this district. Sarah Misener added that she has recently looked into the mail distributing process in Building Services, and asked the Council for any additional information they may have regarding this situation and she will again look into it. 
Deb also reminded the Council that if you are a current Council member and are interested in continuing to serve on the Council, you must self- nominate yourself. 
The Council briefly discussed the district make up of the Council and added that they will put redistricting on a future agenda.
- Women's Committee 
Melodie Wise shared with the Council that the "The Evening of Reflection" with Chandra Johnson, Assistant to the President, went very well. There were twenty-one people who attended this event in December. 
Melodie informed the Council that the Lunch & Learn Series will start the first week of February. The flyers were distributed to all nonexempt employees. 
Melodie also shared with the Council that March is National Women's History month. She added that an exhibit will be displayed on the second floor of the Hesburgh Library noting the celebration. A movie during the lunch hour will also be a part of the celebration taking place in March. 
The Ad-Hoc Women's Committee is working to establish a book club. There will be a meeting held on Tuesday, February 8, 2000 at the Hammes Bookstore to choose the first book. If you are interested in attending or need more information contact Dona Waters at 631-5555. 
The self-nomination forms will go out to all non-exempt staff for the three vacancies on the women's committee in February and the names will be drawn at the March Council meeting. The open positions on the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee are two year commitments. In addition, the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee has an opening for a Staff Advisory Council member.
- Promotion Committee 
The suggestion was made to have the Council sponsor some walking tours across campus. The Committee is planning to meet to draft the letter for the new orientation packet, which introduces the Council to new employees. 
- Ad-Hoc Staff Picnic Committee 
The purpose of this ad-hoc committee is to get the Council booth set-up and promotion of the Council during the Staff picnic in June. Volunteers interested in serving on this Ad-Hoc Committee include Deb Bennett, Deb Fox, Emily Cassidy, and Marcy Simons.
- Miscellaneous 
The Council is seeking a member to take over the Web page. Dan asked the Council to think about if anyone would be interested in handling this responsibility and report at the next meeting. The Web page responsibility includes updating the monthly minutes, members, and events that are taking place. Dan thanked Rita Grontkowski for all of her assistance in handling the Council's current Web page.
IX. Holiday Hour Proposal Motion and Vote 
Dan asked the Council for any questions on the proposal. Dan gave an overview of the proposal, and the Council discussed it in detail. The Council redesigned a few sentences in the proposal. The proposal is as follows:
JANUARY 31, 2000
ISSUE: Non-exempt staff are required to work 40 hours per week before receiving over-time pay for any hours in excess of 40 hours. Under certain circumstances, staff may have worked beyond their normal schedule, but lose their overtime pay because a University-recognized holiday falls during that same period. 
Example: A home football game is scheduled on Saturday, November 21. An athletic department employee and/or food service employee, who normally works Monday through Friday, works ten hours on Saturday and six hours on Sunday. These 16 hours would be considered overtime if the remaining work week schedule was fulfilled. However, because Thanksgiving holiday falls on November 26 and 27, it results in days off for the employee. The employee is subsequently paid only the regular rate for the time worked on the previous Saturday and Sunday. He/she loses the 0.5 portion of overtime for the 16 hours on Saturday and Sunday. If the employee earns $12 per hour, the overtime pay rate is $18 per hour, or $288 for those hours worked. The actual pay becomes $192 because of the time lost due to the holiday. This is a relatively significant loss for the individual during this pay period.
After discussion with the Staff Advisory Council, it is evident that this issue is rather widespread and leads to some less than satisfactory results. A reluctance to work overtime during weeks with holidays is a major concern, leading to con- ceivable difficulties in staffing and poor employee morale. This difficulty is generally outweighed by staff loyalty and/or mandatory attendance. In addition, non-exempt employees often feel obligated to work the holiday in order to counter the overtime pay that is lost. Certainly it is not the intention of the University to take employees from their families on the holidays because of pay concerns. 
SOLUTION: Rectification of the above issue appears simple. The University should count mandated holidays as hours worked, thereby preventing the individual from losing overtime pay (1.5 x hourly rate). This policy would not apply to vacation or sick leave, which should remain as hours not worked. 
COST: Detailed cost analysis is beyond the scope of this proposal. However, consideration of its implications are not undue, because of the number of staff affected and the minimal number of holidays where this variance occurs. It is our belief that the level of staff satisfaction would far outweigh any cost to the University.
Deb Bennett made a motion to accept this proposal and submit it to Sarah Misener, as the representative for the University Administration. Melodie Wise seconded this motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of the motion.
X. Update to Council on the Annual Report Draft 
Dan passed out a draft of the annual report, and asked the Council to review the Annual Report for editing as well as content information.
Please review and bring back any corrections to the February Council meeting, or you can email or send comments to Jan Blazi. If there are major changes we will discuss at the next meeting, otherwise we will vote on the annual report at the next meeting. Sarah Misener stated that she will ask for bids on the printing of the Annual Report.
XI. Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., Executive Vice President Visit 
Dan reviewed the six questions submitted to Fr. Beauchamp with the Council. The questions were as follows:
1. What do you personally think of the Staff Advisory Council and our accomplishments?
2. What do you have in mind for the future of the Staff Advisory Council?
3. How does the Staff Advisory Council remain a recognized group in your opinion?
4. As a member of the Notre Dame Community, I am asked to give to the United Way on an annual basis. I don't have a problem with making a donation but what I don't understand is that we discard perfectly good office equipment and furniture that could be used by the very same agencies that the United Way funds. Why doesn't Notre Dame make every effort to contact those agencies to find out their needs and provide them with our surplus instead of dumping perfectly usable equipment/furniture etc. into the dumpsters? It was most upsetting to many of the staff seeing this done throughout the campus during the various office moves to the Main Building, Grace and Flanner Halls. If liability is the reasoning behind not doing this, then why not charge the said agencies $1.00 and call it a purchase? 
Also, many of our Catholic schools are using antiquated computers. For instance, the students of Our Lady of Hungary are using very outdated Apple 2e computers. It would be a benefit to them to have the old computers that Notre Dame has replaced with newer systems.
5. When the football team is in a bowl game, the athletic stadium crew has to work on Christmas Day to load VIP's and park their vehicles in the stadium from approximately 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Taking individuals away from their families on the most important day of the year for such a trivial task when the bowl game is usually not played until four or more days after
Christmas day seems to be senseless. Would you encourage change in this policy (say perhaps load/park the day after Christmas) so that stadium employees can be home with their families on Christmas day?
6. How far is the University Administration willing to back women's issues, both financially and whole heartedly with the ideas that the women's committee currently has on the table including networking strategies, their own newsletter, developing new conferences and seminars specific to women. 
Dan welcomed Fr. Beauchamp to the Council meeting. The Council members went around the room and introduced themselves and shared what districts they represent. Fr. Beauchamp shared with the Council that typically the issues on campus dealing with staff stem from an unintentional lack of communication. Fr. Beauchamp went on to say that he feels the Council's primary, and most important, role is to be a means of communication for other staff. He added that another role the Council has is to present input to Human Resources on various issues and policies on campus. Fr. Beauchamp went on to say that the Council's input in the reclassification project was valued. In addition, the Council has been asked to give input into the drug testing policy, vacation scheduling, and also football tickets. Fr. Beauchamp stated that his first and foremost reason for attending this Council meeting is to thank each member for their efforts. He also wanted to encourage continued participation, because the Council will continue to have an impact in the future. 
Fr. Beauchamp added that the Council can continue to get exposure and increase promotion of the Council through the constituencies they represent. Vehicles like StaffNews, having the minutes made available, and being visible at University events are all good ideas. Having brochures and pamphlets available that explain the purpose of the Council is another opportunity for the Council. The most important thing is that the nonexempt staff know what the Council does and what role they have.
Fr. Beauchamp encouraged Council members to personally go to the people represented, seek input, let them know that the Council is an avenue of communication where items of concern can be brought forward. 
A Council member asked Fr. Beauchamp if he ever gets feedback from staff regarding the Council? Fr. Beauchamp stated that he and Fr. Malloy have referred issues back to the Council. If it is a policy question, it can be up for discussion and there may be a better way of doing things. 
Fr. Beauchamp responded to question number five stated above. He stated that the issue is when the team has to play in a January 1st bowl game. 
The team usually has to go on or around Christmas due to the bowl regulations. If the team must be there for a January 1st game, the players and coaches also have to be away from their families on Christmas. They have to be there typically by Christmas night. The football team schedule designates the routine. "V.I.P.'s" (assuming this means Officers), get to
the bowl game 3 or 4 days later than the team. Fr. Beauchamp stated that he recognizes the issue and everyone would prefer to leave the day after Christmas. What staff need to realize is that virtually the whole department is moved to the bowl location. The bowl restricts the schedule. If we can avoid traveling on Christmas day we will. 
Fr. Beauchamp responded to question four stated above. Fr. Beauchamp stated that there is a procedure in place regarding disposal of office furniture and equipment. Having said that, he acknowledged that it may not be flawless. However, the procedure is that if the equipment can be recycled elsewhere on campus it is; if not, a number of charities are contacted, including recycling old computers. Fr. Beauchamp stated that the furniture in Hayes/Healy was sold in bulk to a single buyer because the cost of moving the furniture would have been more than the furniture was worth. Fr. Beauchamp offered to check into the situation where furniture and equipment was disposed of rather than recycled in the move from offices in Hesburgh to Grace.
A Council member took a moment to thank Fr. Beauchamp and the University Administration for the suggestion, development, and support of the Women's Committee. Fr. Beauchamp reiterated the importance of this committee and the important aspects this committee serves on campus. 
A Council member asked Fr. Beauchamp if there are any groups across campus that you want to hear from? He responded by indicating that currently the Faculty are covered by the Faculty Senate, the non-exempt staff by the Council, and the Students by their associations. The Council member felt that a group of Exempt independent contributors are missing a voice in University issues. Fr. Beauchamp stated that this very issue is not just specific to Notre Dame and is something we must continue to address. 
Fr. Beauchamp ended his time with the Council by thanking each of the Council members for the good work that they each do.
Deb Bennett made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3:04 p.m. Gina DeLaruelle seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of this motion. 
Set Agenda for Thursday, February 24, 2000
I. Seating of New Council Members 
II. Approval of the Monday, January 31, 2000 Minutes
III. Committee Reports
- Elections Committee
- Executive Committee Elections
- Communications Committee
- Parking Committee
- Parking Appeals Committee
- Ad-Hoc Women's Committee 
- Promotions Committee
- Ad-Hoc Staff Picnic Committee Openings
Ad-Hoc Committee on Drug Testing 
VII. Tuition Reimbursement Benefit Policy Review
VIII. Staff Advisory Council Promotion Discussion
IX. Redistricting Discussion
X. Set agenda for the Thursday, February 24, 2000 Meeting