Minutes of HCSC Meeting: March 7, 2005

Present: Frank Werdann (presiding), Avery, Beyer, Brunetta, Freeland, Gaynor, Georgia, Hammon-Card, Huneke, Losie, Miller, E., Moriarty, Pelligra, and Wyckoff

1.  The meeting was called to order at 9:02 a.m.

2.  The draft minutes of February 7, 2005 were discussed.  A revision of the committee name was asked for in the last bulleted item of #2.  Names of volunteers to sub-committees will be added as names to the regular committee memberships.

A motion was made and seconded that with these revisions, the minutes of February 7, 2005 be approved as presented.  The motion passed unanimously.

3. Suzanne Gaynor reported on the recent work of the Professional Development Committee:

  • Met twice since the Staff Council meeting in February
  • Frank Werdann, Chair of Staff Council has received copies of their minutes
  • Organized returned survey results by topics/interest and themes
  • Have started soliciting  qualified, in-house speakers (at no cost)
    • Manny Pelligra for a workshop on leadership skills
    • Mike Haehnel, conflict resolution
    • Mark Van Laeys, fitness
  • The "brownbag" workshops have been scheduled for:
    • Wednesdays from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
    • April 13th, May 11th and June (date TBA)
    • location(s) TBA
  • Evaluations forms are being worked on
  • The committee is discussing best ways to advertise
  • Cabinet should be notified for informational purposes AND asked to encourage staff participation
  • Other suggestions discussed included:
    • highlighting individual departments (introducing respective staff and having them  explain their main job responsibilities)
    • an "open" meeting for current supervisors that would allow an opportunity for   discussion of supervisory issues and concerns, in confidence and private
  • The Professional Development Committee requests to have Manny Pelligra become a permanent member of this committee because of his previous experience in the professional development field.  He has agreed to do so.
  • The question was raised as to what number of sub-committee members need to be present at a meeting to provide legitimacy to the meeting.  After discussion, it was decided that a quorum will be needed.  A quorum will be defined as anything over half of the sub-committee members in attendance.
  • A suggestion was made to construct a web-page specifically for use by sub-committees.  This will allow for posting of their committee memberships and minutes.
  • Much discussion evolved around a proposal for a “suggestion box.”  It was concluded that staff already have the opportunity for offering suggestions through the Staff Council.  The original proposal was then tabled.

4. Chair Werdann provided an update on his conversation with Karyl Clemens regarding mailing Hartwick correspondence to home addresses.  Karyl reported that the mailing in question was for the holiday season and after considering costs of doing separate inter-campus mailings to college employees and off-campus mailings to community members, it was concluded that by using bulk postage rates for all to be mailed off-campus resulted in overall savings.  Karyl is willing and available to talk to anyone who has additional questions or suggestions.

5. Discussion turned to the subject of Staff Council meeting reminders.  It was decided that Chair Werdann would send out some notices to staff reminding them that we would be pleased to have them join us for meetings of Staff Council and sub-committees.  Also, that their suggestions and comments for future agenda items are welcomed.

6. Gladys Freeland reported discussion results from the Planning and Events Committee meeting whereby discussion centered on the upcoming campus-wide garage sale.  Results  included:

  • Discussion of the logistics
  • It will be a three-day sale (Friday, June 10th through Sunday, June 12th
  • The committee is assuming that the sale location will be the parking lot between the new residence halls and the Johnstone Science Center
  • Anne Moriarty will be pricing the cost of the tent
  • Tables will be rented from Taylor Rental
  • Since Manny Pelligra has moved his membership to the Professional Development Committee, Nancy Wyckoff has volunteered to serve in his stead on the Planning and Development Committee for the purpose of planning the campus-wide garage sale only.
  • President Miller will be paying for associated equipment costs for the sale and he has asked the committee to provide him with an estimated budget of these costs.
  • The president will be sending out the campus announcement for the garage-sale.  His memo will incorporate specifics provided to him by the Planning and Events Committee, including reiteration of the message that a new policy for campus storage will be implemented after the sale that will include some type of minimal storage cost.   
  • Offices selling items will need to provide the necessary  sales personnel for their area
  • The committee is hopeful that there will be enough volunteers to ensure that each individual will only need to commit minimal hours to working at the sale of the three-day period.
  • Staff Council is taking the “lead” in overseeing the organization and logistics of the sale, but council members will not be responsible for the sales of merchandise for others.
  • Each participating department should be polled for a representative’s name to be used as a contact individual.
  • The sub-committee will still need to determine:  needs for signage, security, and individual office commitments.
  • It was noted that on June 11th there will be an athletic hall of fame induction (alumni will probably start arriving late afternoon) for the induction and banquet.
  • Staff Council would be pleased to receive donations from any areas that choose not to participate but have items that can be sold.  All proceeds from these donations would be used to fund future Staff Council events.

7. Ellen Miller reported the following decisions from Cabinet pertinent to our proposed recommendations for changes to employee benefits as previously noted in Staff Council minutes of January 13, 2005.

  • Tuition Remission—approved as originally proposed, with one exception.  There will be NO waiting period for actual staff members to use the tuition remission benefit. They will be allowed to take courses immediately at no cost.  The waiting period will still be in effect for spouses/dependents and costs will be pro-rated according to recommendations presented.
  • Vacation policy—the College will be doing away with its “use or lose” vacation day policy.  A new policy will be implemented in the near future.  The Office of Human Resources should have it ready soon (probably sometime in April or May).  The new policy will state that employees can carry a maximum of up to 50 vacation days at any one time.  The effective date of the new policy will be the date of the announcement from the Office of Human Resources.
  • Long term care—there will be a campus sign-up period for long-term care in April 2005 for a July 2005 start time.
  • Graduate level work—Discussion within the administration concluded that if and when Hartwick has a graduate level program in Education up and running (MAT) that they will reconsider the proposal to provide support for graduate level work.  Currently there is not funding available to assist with expenses associated with taking graduate level courses elsewhere.

8. The next agenda item was the question of whether domestic partners should be offered benefits other than health and dental insurance.   The issue was discussed and resulted in the following motion being made and seconded:

Staff Council supports having the College extend  all benefits to domestic partners afforded under legal guidelines.  The motion passed unanimously.

9. Per an employee request, Ellen Miller led discussion regarding overtime pay for non-exempt, hourly employees.  The issue in contention is whether to pay overtime at the rate of time- and-a- half vs. straight time compensation after 35 or 40 hours.  Ellen provided a bit of historical data noting that Hartwick used to pay after 35 hours until two years ago, at which time they started paying after 40 hours to align with New York State regulations.   After much discussion, the committee concluded that it needs further conversation on the subject matter.  It will be discussed again at the next meeting along with the exploration of options for a compensory time policy for Hartwick staff. 

10. Ellen updated the committee on the proposed smoking policy which mandates that individual’s  smoking outside a campus building must be at least 25 feet from the building.  It was duly noted that there are some on-campus buildings (dormitories) that allow student smoking.  The logic behind this rationale is that the dormitory is a student’s “home.”  There has been some discussion about revising the policy to state there will be no campus smoking.    Student Senate and the small Staff Council committee (from last year) would like to remove smoking receptacles from the campus. 

11. The meeting was adjourned at 10:23 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Donna Avery

Donna L. Avery