March 2008


Staff Advisory Council 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Notre Dame Room, Lafortune Center
Present:          Mo Marnocha, Laura Gerber, Penny McIntire, Andrew Mason, Amie Davis, Joy Schosker, John Mackowicz, Marie Revak, Patricia Smith, Sharon Konopka, Diana Singleton, Victoria Chidister, Janice Owens, Char-anna Koblick, Adele Almaguer, Kathy Stopczynski, Joe Wheeler, Kathy Troth, Barb Wadley
Excused:         Shari Herman 
Unexcused:     Rebecca Reeves, Frederick Sonneborn
HR Liaison:    John Whelan
I.                   Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 1:04 p.m. by Patty Smith.
II.                Approval of February 14, 2008 Council Minutes
Joy Schosker made a motion to approve the minutes and Diana Singleton seconded.
III.             Committee Reviews
Benefits Committee
            No news.
By-laws Committee 
No news.
Parking Appeals
No news.
Election Committee
Notices went out to unrepresented districts.  A run off will be held for Athletics district as two individuals expressed interest. 
Promotions Committee  
A Relay for Life fundraiser will be held at Hacienda on April 16th.  Proceeds of each meal will be provided to the Relay for Life.
            No news.
Webpage Committee  
No news.
Compassion Fund
HR website has posted a copy of a letter from a compassion fund recipient.
IV.       Additional Business
·        Discussion of Presentation by CLAP
o       SAC had a lively discussion about responding to a request by students from the Campus Labor Action Project to attend the April SAC meeting and present a proposal to change the vacation policy at ND.  SAC ultimately voted that the students could attend and make a presentation, but that their presentation needed to be limited to sharing their proposed changes to the vacation policy.  The conversation by SAC included some strong concerns about students trying to insert themselves into staff matters, but ultimately the feeling was that there was no harm in listening to what they have to say.
·        Denise Murphy – Discussion of Employee Benefits
o       Questions were raised about Medco’s customer service to employees.  Denise asked for people to notify HR if concerns.  HR regularly raises customer service issues to Medco.  30-day and 90-day prescriptions have been a problem with some people.
o       Several people asked if ND would consider an early retirement program, similar to the one from a few years back.  Denise said that there was not a plan to do this, but she would pass the information along for review.
o       ND’s funeral leave policy was raised as an issue.  SAC sent a letter to Denise suggestions.  Denise said Hewitt is reviewing all of ND’s benefits as part of a comparison to the external market, including funeral leave.  Based on the information received from Hewitt, a review will be done on the funeral leave policy.
o       Vacation accrual was raised.  Denise said that prior to the change, information was gathered from many sources, including local organizations and companies, other universities and focus groups with ND employees.  ND’s system needed to change because of new employee and payroll database system.  The majority of organizations have accrual programs like ND’s new program.  Denise said there will be a full blown communication to campus about this.  Sick time has not changed in any way.
o       SAC reps shared with Denise that the most effective way to discuss benefits issues and changes with employees is to come to department meetings.  Denise agreed with this approach and said she would pursue this.
o       Denise shared that the pension formula is not changing.  Denise said that ND compares well with other organizations.  HR is planning an education program for employees to discuss retirement.  
o       A question was asked about whether ND can increase the benefit for retiree health insurance.  Denise said that ND’s program is competitive with other organizations and there is no plan to make any changes at this time.
o       Denise shared information about the non-Notre Dame tuition benefit for employees that will now reimburse employees $1,500 per year for courses at an accredited institution while working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree, up from $750 per year.  In addition, the service eligibility for this benefit was changed from three years to immediate eligibility for all full-time employees.  The policy also adds up to $750 reimbursement to all full-time employees for job-related certification, skills or trade training.
V.        Adjournment
With no further topics to discuss, Mo Marnocha made a motion to adjourn at 3:15 p.m.  The motion was seconded by Char-anna Koblick and passed.
Respectfully submitted,
Human Resources