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SAC Minutes July 14 2010

SAC Minutes July 14 2010

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Published by: Staff Advisory Council at DU on Sep 20, 2010
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STAFF ADVISORY COUNCILMeeting July 14, 2010
Executive CommitteeChrista Bruning, President,Christa.Bruning@du.edu, x13170 Nicky Bruckhart, Vice President,nbruckha@du.edu, x14241Kate Martin, Treasurer,Kate.Bidstrup.Martin@du.edu, x12247Kate Johnson, Webmaster,kate.johnson@du.edu, x16515Saskia Sawyer, Secretary,Saskia.sawyer@du.edu, x12704Members in attendance:Kathy Aliaga, FacilitiesAshley Beaudry, The Women¶s College Nicky Bruckhart, Athletics and RecreationChrista Bruning, University CommunicationsSarah Childs, Human ResourcesLinda Daubers, Graduate School of Social Work Jan Drobnick, Daniels College of BusinessAnne Gross, AdmissionsCheryl Jackson, Morgridge College of EducationKate Johnson, University CommunicationsGayle Keahey, Law SchoolWilliam Kiniston, Natural Sciences and MathematicsMark Kintgen, represented by Nancy Detain, Penrose LibraryKate Martin, Student LifeMarty Neary, DU BookstoreSamantha Oehlerking, Department of Computer Science,Lynne Reed, University CollegeBonnie Rodriguez, FacilitiesSaskia Sawyer, University AdvancementThe meeting was called to order.1.
 
I
ntroduction of the Council Members.2.
 
Announcement: Staff Appreciation picnic is tomorrow, July 15
y
 
1025 RSVPs
y
 
Remind staff to bring canned food to donate to Food Bank of the Rockies3.
 
Guest speaker ± Chancellor CoombeRE: Staff moral: Chancellor¶s office getting mixed feedback about the status of staff moral across campus. The feedback received differs from Senior Administration¶sfeedback, which is more positive. Either leadership is not sensing an issue or there is acommunication break-down. This is something that urgently needs to be addressed andwill be addressed.
 
1.
 
Can there be some type of cap on the yearly parking increases for staff?
I
t seems a bitridiculous that staff have to pay in excess of $300 to park close to where they work?
 A:
Parking revenue is needed to off-set the building costs, this is what determines the parking rates. I will look into the current financial situation / debt situation due tothe parking garages. DU is trying to stay beneath what other universities charge. I will push Craig Woody to keep the costs for staff down. A sliding scale could be possible. Linking it to salary does not make sense as the pay range is enormous.
2.
 
Why do employees need to pay for parking? Could that be eliminated to make up for no merit increases in the past? Could employees have a choice between free RTDand free parking to cover the loss of parking revenue?
 A:
Need the revenue stream to pay off debt on the parking structures. We will not giveup RTD as DU is trying to push people to use alternative transportation. If less people sign up, the current price we¶ve negotiated with RTD will go up tremendously.
3.
 
Healthcare has increased in the co-pay as well as in prescriptions, and also in thenumber of months supply for one co-pay.
I
n three different areas the health insurancehas increased this year. Was this a deal worked out with Kaiser due to no increasesthe previous year? This increase seems excessive.
 A:
Kaiser proposed a 20% price increase which we negotiated down, while agreeing to an increase in co-pays. This increase is a result of the new federal law. It is indeed excessive, but we work very hard on keeping the costs down, especially for the bottomhalf of the salary range. DU still covers the majority of the costs.
4.
 
Why does each department have to pay for their own employees for the picnic if it¶san overall staff appreciation picnic? Shouldn¶t the University pick up the tab?
 A:
Yes, the University should pick this up. SAC should be asking for a budget next  year.
5.
 
For the staff picnic could we look at having a university-wide casual day soemployees can truly enjoy the sun and could play volleyball, etc. like a true picnic?A: skipped6.
 
Would Human Resources consider acknowledging employees¶ years of service in ameaningful way, not just a mass booklet listing, but perhaps a letter or certificatefrom the Chancellor for 10, 20, 30, years of service? Maybe a pin or something?
 A:
Yes, SAC should push for this. This usually does not come out of the Chancellor¶soffice.
7.
 
Does the chancellor have a strategy for retaining staff? Does he worry as the economyimproves that people will leave in mass?
 A:
No, I am not worried. The strategy is to look at turn-over rate numbers, which is gathered and analyzed by HR. These numbers are low, relative to other universitiesand businesses in the region. Action is taken when an occasional glitch occurs. A general retention strategy is: salaries, benefits and general work environment. Weare doing a great deal at that level. It is the total package that counts.
 
 It is difficult to compare ourselves to other schools in the area as there is only Registhat is comparable.
8.
 
I am very interested in pursuing the discussion on the rewards for staff that are herefor the long term versus those who accept positions in order to get a quick MBAthen move on.
 A: It is OK to have employees who join DU because of the tuition benefit. It enablesus to recruit quality people who otherwise maybe would not have been interested in joining us. When I was Provost, I extended it to 20hrs and added more flexibility to it. It is a great benefit. As for rewards for long-time employees: currently you accrue more vacation time,there probably should be a more enlightened approach to salaries. The salaries donot keep up with the market, which is especially true for faculty. Therefore we see adisadvantage for people who have been here the longest. We will look into salaryaccrual based on years of service.There will be a 2% merit increase linked to the normal PEDS in February (Deanscan add more). After next year it will be back to 3+%. Having no merit increase causes a twofold problem: it is not just the financial part that hurts; it is the feeling of not being appreciated, and not being rewarded for good work that causes the most problems.
9
.
 
Why are staff retreats (such as bowling, happy hours) OUTS
I
DE of the campus tohelp staff retention, improve moral etc., not supported (aka. reimbursed)? Whatwould the Chancellor¶s suggestion for team building be?
 A: The policy was put in place as a result of escalating costs and departmentsabusing the system. We are now in a different financial situation; it might be time toreview this policy and give back some flexibility.
10.
 
Would the Chancellor consider the option to buy additional vacation time? Thiswould not cost the university money but would offer more flexibility to employees,especially during school breaks.
 A: Unfortunately we would run into issues with our insurance policy. We have a fairly flexible vacation policy in my opinion. If you disagree, please let me know (SAC to look into this issue).
11.
 
Could another holiday be added to make up for no merit increase in the past (such asPresident¶s day, which especially affects employees with children as schools areclosed)?A: skipped12.
 
Would the Chancellor re-consider offering more flexibility during the summer break to staff? The opportunity to leave at noon on the few Fridays in July/August wheneven the summer classes are finished would have an amazing impact on staff morale.
 A: The work load in the summer is very uneven across the units, which would make such a policy unfair. Better to look into having casual Fridays campus wide.

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