October 2006

Staff Advisory Council Minutes 

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

1:00-3:00 p.m., 234 Grace Hall
Present: Maureen Marnocha, Penny McIntire, Jennifer Ihns, Christy Miller, Bobbi McMahon, Joy Schosker, John Mackowicz, Patricia Smith, Sharon Konopka, Fred Sonneborn, Diana Singleton, Kevin Jones, Paul Hendershott, George Young, Kathy Troth
Excused:  Lorie Marsh, Sheila Breining, Kathy Stopczynski, Peggy Van Kirk, Maryellen Fetherolf    
Unexcused: None
Visitors: Denise Murphy, Dee Dee Sterling
HR Liaisons: John Whelan
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by Christy Miller.
II. Approval of the September 14th, 2006 Council Minutes 
With noted changes, Diana Singleton made a motion to approve and George Young (second).
III. Committee Reports
Parking Appeals Committee
The committee has met twice already.  The first meeting was an introduction.  There are six people on the committee.  The second meeting was to review some appeals.  The first month or two of the school year is always the busiest for this committee.  The committee will meet approximately once per month for the rest of the year.
Promotions Committee
Christy Miller took over the Team Captain role for the Relay for Life.
Website Committee
No updates.
Benefits Committee
The committee met once this summer.  On August 9th, they met with three dental vendors to understand their programs. 
Childcare Committee
A survey will be going out soon that will ask faculty and staff about child care.
Redistricting Committee
The team is still working on this information but plan to have this completed by end of December so that it is ready for the elections.
IV. Additional Business
Benefits Presentation by Denise Murphy:
Denise Murphy, Director of Compensation and Benefits in Human Resources, walked through the new program of employee benefits that become effective January 1, 2007.
Key changes:
Instead of just the family or single options, a new tier has been added to include employee plus one.
HRI dental has been dropped and a second Delta Dental program has been added.
The health benefits programs have been adjusted to make preventive care more affordable.
The health programs have also been restructured to encourage use of urgent care facilities rather than the emergency room for non-emergencies.
Generic drug costs will be reduced.
Flexible spending grace period has been extended until mid March.
Open enrollment will begin on October 25th and end on November 10th.  Open enrollment will be completed electronically except for individuals in positions where there is limited access to a computer.
United Way Presentation by Dee Dee Sterling:  
The University is adding the Notre Dame Employee Compassion Fund which is designed to help Notre Dame employees who have crisis situations.  Employees who donate to the United Way can elect to have a percentage of their donation go directly toward the Employee Compassion Fund.
Review of Town Hall Meetings:
Some groups did not feel that the communication of the invitations were clear enough and therefore not all employees attended.
SAC members thought the times of the sessions were convenient.
Some people went reluctantly but were happy they did.
Employees were generally very positive about the Town Hall Meetings and thought the information was interesting.
Some SAC members shared that employees in their districts felt that the charts were not easy to read or understand.
Some SAC members shared that employees in their districts were skeptical of the Town Hall Meetings.  They felt that these sessions were good to hear, but they will look for tangible results before feeling good about things.  
Some thought that this was too good to be true and that it was a set up for future bad news.
One SAC member commented that John Affleck-Graves makes people feel like they are the most important person on campus.
A SAC member commented that Notre Dame should not let John Jenkins speak because his words and tone make people feel inferior.
SAC members generally thought that Tom Burish was also exceptional.
One SAC member commented that employees at Notre Dame are just not used to good clear communication and therefore they are cynical about events like the Town Hall.  As time goes on, they will see that this is a very positive step for all staff members.
As for the frequency and timing, most SAC members believe that once per year would be good and that they should continue to occur at the beginning of the school year.
Several individuals said that the new HR call center, “Ask HR,” has been very helpful and a big success for Human Resources. 
V. Adjournment
With no further topics to discuss, Patricia Smith made a motion to adjourn.  The motion was seconded by Jennifer Ihns and passed.  The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Human Resources