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14 May 2015

SAC Agenda May 14th

In attendance:

Rose Maio, Trish Tancredi, Jessica Brangiel, Dorothy Kunzig, Paula Dale, Lynn Grady, Michael Kappeler, Donnie Franklin, George Darbes, Luis Alvarez



All Staff Meeting Thursday, April 16th follow-up.

Feedback on the all staff meeting was positive.  Submitting questions ahead of time worked out well.

2)Follow up on Memorial Day proposal and MLK Day considerations?

The MLK Day proposal is still in discussion and will be discussed again at the faculty meeting on Friday, May 15th. 

3)    Follow-up from last month – Comparison of time off

It would be helpful if SAC did a comparison study to provide to HR of paid time off/holidays at peer institutions.  This way Swarthmore would have something to measure against in regards to additional holiday time.  (specifically Memorial Day, Labor Day, MLK day)  This study could then be relayed to the new president.

A smaller working group has completed this review.  Thank you to Lynn Grady, Trish Tancredi, Jessica Brangiel, Barbara Mann,  Sharon Green, Nikole Senecal, and Pamela Borkowski-Valentin for the time spent compiling the data.  A special thanks to Barbara Mann for all of her time entering the data into a detailed spreadsheet.  The review included 34 peer institutions and compiled data on both holiday time as well as total paid time off.  Rose has shared this spreadsheet with Tom Stephensen, Connie Hungerford and Pamela Prescod-Caesar.  The report will also be shared with incoming President Valerie Smith and the broader community at large.  There was a suggestion to present the data in the dense spreadsheet more visually so it can be more easily and quickly interpreted.  The working group will convene again to discuss options and both a visual representation as well as the total report will be linked from the SAC website.  Swarthmore landed in the middle of the 34 institutions with some institutions having more holiday time off and some having less and some institutions having more total paid time off (sick, personal and vacation) and some having less. 


Paula Dale will give an update on the new parking citation process and fines designed to protect faculty-staff parking spaces.

A new policy on parking adjudication will go into effect on July 1, 2015.  The new policy will be shared with ACC and then publicized to the Swarthmore Community.  It will also be linked from the Parking website.  The new policy includes changes to fines, changes to policy for unpaid tickets for staff, faculty and students, an explanation of the boot/tow notice and clarification regarding policies for parking in visitor spaces. 

A question was raised about the difficulty for staff to obtain parking in designated faculty/staff spaces especially if a staff member leaves for lunch or a break.  Answer: there is enough faculty/staff parking on campus for all permit holders however faculty/staff are not guaranteed a spot in a lot that is closest to their office/building. 

A question was raised about the lack of notification of a current Swarthmore athletic event which made parking for evening staff very difficult.  Answer: this event and its anticipated effect on parking was not sufficiently publicized. It was recommended that the host department send out a notice via the faculty/staff digest for any event that will impact staff parking, even if the event takes place after usual business hours.  Supervisors are reminded to share this information with any staff without convenient access to email. 


Questions received:

1).From January minutes - Suggestion:  I recently found out that there are certain businesses that extend discounts to employees aside from Marriot which Joe C. told us about;  Haab Oil...I know about...but College doesn't seem to make it known...Swarthmore Hardware, who else...Butch told me of someone the other day but I don't remember who it was.  Butch asked Ralph to work on getting a list...but this seems a good venue for getting some further info.  (Scott Arboretum sends out a list annually of places that give SC employees 10 or 15% discount.  Think it is a good list to know about.  

Discussion took place on different vendors that offer discounts including Verizon & AT&T. SAC to solicit for volunteers for a small subcommittee that would be interested in working to compile information on other vendors that might provide discounts to Swarthmore staff. Perhaps the information can be captured in a Google Doc but it will need to be regularly updated for accuracy.

SAC still plans to solicit volunteers for a small subcommittee to take on this project.  Questions were raised on how to maintain this information going forward as options for discounts change.  This is not an HR responsibility because these discounts are not College benefits but are courtesies extended by various companies either in recognition for the College’s business or because Swarthmore is an institution of higher education (for example the Joanne Fabric Store discount extended to students, educators etc.)  Discussion will continue on how to maintain and update this list going forward. 

2). There are many times when staff folks hit the top of their vacation time and are forced to take a day off or lose the time.  My department head has raised this issue before with HR and hit a stonewall.  I would like to have you raise it...requesting the opportunity for staff to cash out 1 week per year of unused vacation time which may allow them to get on top of things financially and perhaps actually manage to take an actual vacation for a few days.  Having employees take off days to avoid losing time is not an effective way to run a department....doing this service would possible avoid this problem...and it would certainly raise morale for disgruntled employees that don't have the money to pay their bills let alone vacation...especially in winter when heat is expensive and working is necessary.

Swarthmore does not cash-out accrued vacation time in lieu of using that time; vacation time is considered a benefit and is not intended for use as supplemental income.  Vacation time is granted to allow staff time away from work with pay. Staff members are encouraged to plan time off in advance with their managers to ensure proper coverage. If there are extenuating circumstances and a staff member has reached the accrual cap and unable to take the time, a manager with the approval of the senior staff member may request an extension for a limited period for the time to be used.   Pamela Prescod-Caesar suggested that the person who placed this request with SAC instead take the request to his/her Senior Staff representative, since any change in the vacation policy would need to be discussed and decided by Senior Staff.


Additional discussion:

A question was raised about how communication was handled regarding the departure of a member of the HR team.  Pamela sent an email to all managers and supervisors to inform them of the transition in HR and who to contact during the interim.

A special thank you to Janis Leone for listening to the frustrations expressed regarding the technical difficulties with the reservation system for the free chair massage opportunities made possible by the Committee for Work Life Initiatives. 


Future Meetings - Thursday, June 11th 10:00 am