May 2004

Staff Advisory Council

Thursday, May 20, 2004

1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Notre Dame Room, LaFortune 
Present: Don Anglin, Julann Bauer, Dawn Bell, Bettye Bielejewski, Lisa Buckland, Karen Casey, Becky deBruyn, Maryellen Fetherolf, Jim Gloster, Jennifer Ihns, Annette Klimek, Barbara Klowetter, Sharon Konopka, Stephanie Maenhout, Susan McGonigal, Roberta McMahon, Angela Miller McGraw, Joy Schosker, Irene Stines, Kathy Stopczynski, Holly Webb, Troy Webb, and Lisa Yates
Absent (Excused): Jane Nielson
Absent (Not Excused): Sharon Harwell and Terrell Ward-Thomas
HR Liaisons: Barbara Villarosa and John Whelan
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. by chairperson, Stephanie Maenhout.
II. Approval of the April 8, 2004 Council Minutes
A motion was made by Bobbie McMahon and seconded by Karen Casey to approve the minutes from the April 8, 2004 Staff Advisory Council meeting as presented. The minutes were unanimously approved.
III. Committee Reports
Elections: Lisa Buckland volunteered to fill the opening on the SAC Elections Committee. Stephanie Maenhout indicated that a special election is needed to appoint representatives to District 27, Security and Band; and District 22, North Dining Hall. Stephanie stated that she would talk with John Whelan about moving the Career Center from District 27 to the Flanner Hall district. 
Promotions: Susan McGonigal distributed copies of the proposed SAC brochure to be distributed to new hires. She asked for feedback regarding content, layout, and design (including suggestions for a new logo) before the next meeting. One initial comment was to include the Notre Dame Mark.
A brief discussion was held regarding ways to communicate with constituents to keep them informed of important issues. The following suggestions were made:
Send e-mails or forward copies of meeting minutes to constituents. 
After every SAC meeting, prepare a newsletter and distribute it to constituents highlighting discussions of the meeting and issues raised. 
Prepare a letter highlighting meeting topics and issues and then ask the department administrative assistant to copy and distribute.
Coordinate an event like an ice cream social for non-exempts as a way to promote SAC. This would provide an opportunity to socialize with more people in an unstructured environment.
Arrange for a regular spot in NDWorks for sharing information about SAC. Stephanie indicated that she would follow-up with Gail Mancini to determine if this would be possible.
Budget Discussion: Stephanie Maenhout distributed a copy of the year-to-date SAC budget and indicated a negative variance of approximately $95. She stated that a request has been made to increase the budget and to determine why it was cut by $1,000. John Whelan will report on these budget items at the next meeting. A discussion ensued on ways to reduce costs and minimize expenses. The following suggestions were made:
Eliminate postcards and distribute the proposed SAC brochure to all constituents as a mean of communicating SAC information and district representation contact numbers. 
Have SAC representatives prepare the annual elections mailing.
Parking Appeals: Stephanie Maenhout reported that the committee is meeting on a bi-weekly basis.
Parking Committee: Stephanie Maenhout reported that the committee met last week to discuss the proposed changes to the Kontrol Kard gate system, which will soon be obsolete. Stephanie indicated that results of the recent survey regarding a sensory system resulted in an overwhelmingly negative response to having to pay. Other alternatives will be investigated. Stephanie reported that with the Graduate students no longer being able to park in the B lot, this has freed up 300 more parking spaces. She stated that a subcommittee has been formed to study the handicap parking on campus. Stephanie will follow-up with Security on a concern regarding public parking at Legends, especially during the noon hour, creating limited and sometimes no parking spots for employees.
Women’s Issues: Holly Webb and Susan McGonigal highlighted upcoming activities sponsored by the committee such as “Learn the Salsa” in May, take a tour of the Joyce Center in June, and enjoy a walking tour of campus in July. Lisa Buckland suggested a future tour of the Power Plant, which could be combined with a tour of the Fire Department.
Benefits Committee: Susan McGonigal highlighted the discussions held at the first meeting of the newly created Benefits Committee. Some areas for review by the committee include offering more tier options for medical benefits, changing the vacation accrual start date, considering sick pay/salary continuation for short-term illness, investigating consumer-driven HSA’s, and reviewing the current retiree programs. Susan stated that the committee offered to present to SAC the findings of the survey that was discussed at the meeting, comparing Notre Dame’s benefits to that of other universities and organizations of similar size. The Council thought the survey information would be helpful to know and will follow-up with an invitation to Denise Murphy.
Web Page: Stephanie encouraged representatives to visit the SAC Website as many changes have been made to the home page. 
IV. Review Goals for 2004
Professional Development: The “Fish” videotape will be viewed at a future meeting.
V. Open Discussion
A few questions and concerns were raised by Council members as follows:
Why do we have to have Social Security Numbers on Medical and Prescription Cards? (Stephanie will follow-up with John Whelan.)
The recent letter and accompanying Pension Statement and in particular the assumption regarding the 3% annual increase was disturbing to some staff. (Stephanie will follow-up with Denise Murphy and request clarification.)
Rumor of the mandatory retirement age at Notre Dame increasing to 70 years of age. (Stephanie will follow-up with John Whelan.) 
Inability to print an online activity list from Medco Health. (Stephanie requested a copy of the Medco letter so she can follow-up with Denise Murphy.) 
Stephanie indicated that she is arranging a presentation for the July meeting on LifeWorks, Notre Dame’s Employee Assistance Program, with one of LifeWork’s representatives as well as a Work Like Website demonstration by Jessica Brookshire.
Julann Bauer announced that Dave Harr recently signed a contract with Marriott Downtown to provide linen service, bringing St. Michael’s Laundry to full capacity. As of October, staff will work a 40-hour workweek, 12 months per year. Additionally, Julann conducted a local survey, which resulted in St. Michael’s being the lowest price in town.
Stephanie stated that she will follow-up with John Whelan to arrange for a group picture at the June meeting.
The Council agreed to develop a list of suggestions and ways to recognize employees that can be shared with administration. 
A brief discussion regarding unknown area merchant discounts resulted in the Council agreeing to gather a list of merchants and related discounts that are available to Notre Dame employees, e.g., Batteries Plus gives a 5% discount and Perkins on 31 North provides a discount (percentage unknown).
VI. Set Agenda for June 10, 2004 Council Meeting
The following items were identified as potential activities, discussion topics, or presentations for the June meeting:
Group Picture
John Affleck-Graves Presentation
LifeWorks and Work Life Demonstration (June or July Meeting)
Fish Video
VII. Adjournment
Without further business by the Council, motion was made by Don Anglin and seconded by Lisa Yates to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara Villarosa