Staff Advisory Council

January 2011

January minutes
Staff Council Meeting Location: Paresky 220
Friday, January 28, 2011 Time: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

In Attendance: Martha Tetrault, ex officio, Danielle Gonzalez, ex officio, Colleen Bethoney, ex officio, Erwin Bernhart, David Boyer, Lisa Briggs, Dawn Dellea, Jenny Dewar, Sheila Mason, Lynn Taft, Kim Tremblay, Teresa Waryjasz

Absent: Gisela Demant, Maggie Driscoll, Mark Kimball, Derrick Robertson, Roberta Sweet

Agenda:

1. Pending policies
• Telecommuting
• No add’l pay for add’l work for exempt staff

2. Sick leave bank policy?

3. Update on Benefits Committee – wellness initiative; retiree health benefit, tuition reimbursement

4. Snow day notification and practices

5. HR newsletter message from MT and other items

6. Changes on campus; input/updates, what works, what is missing?

Minutes:

1. Other information
W-2’s were being mailed today.
The Council would again like to discuss making policy that the default is paperless so that the employees can elect to have mail instead of current default being paper mailed.

2. Pending Policies

Telecommuting
This policy needs to be revisited and brought forward for senior staff’s review from 2008 discussion. There is a need for this to be a firm arrangement with guidelines.

No add’l pay for add’l work for exempt staff
Current policy states that exempt / administrative staff cannot hold more than 1.0 FTE or be compensated for additional jobs on campus. This continues to be a sensitive issue which the Council would like to review further.

Background Policy Check
A full policy has been drafted and is currently being reviewed by legal counsel and the Legal Compliance Committee. The proposed policy would recommend conducting background checks on new hires only.

Exempt Staff Sick Days
Exempt/administrative staff do not currently have designated sick time. However, if there is an extended personal illness or absence which is more than 10 days and medically necessary 100% of earning will be paid for up to six months through the College’s Short-term Disability Policy. Occasionally employees need time away from work to care for immediate family members. Immediate family for purposes of sick leave is defined in accordance with the guidelines established by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Under the new administrative handbook exempt staff can use up to three consecutive days and be paid. Currently longer absences require using vacation leave. The question is whether the college should adopt a similar policy to that in place for non-exempt staff setting aside paid time for family illness.
Majority agree that this needs to be reviewed. Members of the council agreed to review policies at peer schools to see what their policies are and share with the committee next month.

Benefits Committee Update
Martha reiterated that we were fortunate that we only had a 5.7% increase in our 2011 healthcare premium. A proposal is being submitted to Sr. Staff for a major Wellness Initiative. If approved will be launched on campus later this spring/summer.

Retiree Health Benefit
The value and purpose of the benefit is being reviewed in an attempt to move it onto a regular cycle. Increased twice since 1994. This was never intended to be long term. What is its value now and is it still working; should it be increased and if so based on what set of factors?What are consequences to other budget items in the fringe benefit budget?

Tuition Reimbursement Policy
The tuition reimbursement policy was discussed. The discussion centered around whether it should be just for educational courses which are job related for professional development or for non-job-related courses supporting an employee’s desire to choose a different avenue.

Snow Days
The discussion centered around who is considered essential staff. Essential staff is comprised up of Campus Safety, Faciilties, Dining Services Staff, Children’s Center, Health Center and some staff in the libraries. There was concern that the 2002 memo Snow policy was very unclear. Martha will go back and review that memo.

Next scheduled meeting:
February 16 @ 10:00 a.m., Paresky 220

Reported by C. Bethoney


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