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19 November 2019


Staff Advisory Council Meeting 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 


Listening to and lifting staff voices to build an informed community.


Attendees:  Greg Brown, Susan Romero, Trish Tancredi, George Darbes, Luis Alcarex, Molly Lawrence, Gary Beauford, Jenna Rose, Oliver Hollocher-Small, Roderick Wolfson, Pamela Prescod-Ceasar, Melanie Leeds, Ashley Turner, Diane Fritz , Pamela Borkowskik, Diane Fritz, Paula MacDonald, Susan Eagar



Tuesday, Nov 19 SAC meeting, Bond Memorial Hall, 9-10:00 am

Tuesday, Dec 3 Winter Gathering, Lang Concert Hall, 10:00 am – Noon 
                                            followed by a reception in LPAC Lobby

Tuesday, Dec 17 SAC meeting, 101 S. Chester Room 002, 9-10:00 am

Tuesday, Jan 21 SAC meeting, Bond Memorial Hall, 9-10:00 am


Guest: Greg Brown, VP of Finance and Administration, to discuss benefits and compensation


How can we communicate this information for our colleagues?

  • Human Resources provided information sessions and workshops to help answer these questions.

  • Human Resources website provides information and a Benefits FAQ 

  • The Staff Advisory Council has posted notes on this


Notes from Greg Brown’s talk at SAC

  • Because of increasing health care costs college needed to add cost to most plans.  Increase this year on overall health plans is 6%. The High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) came out of the rising cost of insurance. College wanted to keep it free to employees. However, overall, the college wants to look more like its peers. We’re currently 93% - 7% employer/employee pay and they’re looking to make that 85%/15%. College needs to do a better job communicating how much these plans really cost. HDHP - costs monthly $725 for a single person, $1600 for employee + spouse, $2000 for family.

  • Decisions came from the Faculty Staff Benefits Committee 

  • Income tiering is complicated for HR but it’s the goal. It’s not simple to administer but may be the fairest way. 

  • There’s a lot of unknowns about what Healthcare will look like for the country going into 2020 because of politics.There’s a lot happening outside of campus that has a big effect on what out health insurance at the college looks like.


Discussion that came from GB’s talk (after he left):

QUESTION: Can seniority, not just salary tier factor into healthcare costs? 

ANSWER: That gets hard fast. Higher paid folks in a paid grade are generally the more senior employees. Our plans need to be non-discriminatory so we have to prove that this wouldn’t hurt newer people coming into the college. We need to give the same benefit options to all.


QUESTION: People feel blind-sided by the changes to health care plans.  Many people were surprised when it was announced that the POS plan was going away and are looking for more transparency. How do we best communicate these changes? Perhaps SAC/ Staff/Fac Benefits Committee could host a forum this spring? People want their input heard.

ANSWER: Health renewal doesn’t line up with budget cycle so HR doesn’t have a sense until August what the numbers will be. In prior years HR reacted to budget numbers. When HR saw healthcare numbers they decided to wait a year to eliminate POS. To help with communication, HR has had smaller departmental conversations but not with everyone. They had a number of sessions earlier and the one thing that came out of that was don’t touch the retirement plan. Other benefits, like healthcare, were up for molding. If there’s anything HR can do in terms of transparency - let them know! The more they can bring this whole conversation back to the budget will help. 


QUESTION: Can we get a salary/benefits FAQ up on the SAC website? Can there be a general FAQ section on the website?

ANSWER: FAQs already exists on the HR page. SAC gets a lot of the same questions over and over. Can SAC link to that page? But maybe it will help to get people to go to one central location to get all sorts of information. Can SAC print out this information for supervisors to have on hand for people who don’t check their email frequently and/or are technology averse? Public Safety will often print out info for their staff. You can always stop over at HR to get an answer. 

QUESTION: How can we incentivize people to get information? Lots of people are so focused on just their job - how do we get people to look up info/ spread info/ be aware that it’s out there? 

ANSWER: Supervisors are already being prompted to tell their staff that certain deadlines are coming up. EVS has rounds before the shift starts so information gets relayed. If we do a Spring Forum can people submit questions beforehand? Have people read things as a background? 

  • There are people asking questions who aren’t in the room. How do we get THOSE voices in the room? Can there be a moderated panel? Something where people can ask questions? Who shows up and asks questions?

    • Some people in the room feel like decisions have already been made so what’s the point of asking the questions. But some research on this has gone back 3-4 years.  

  • Spring Panel of President’s staff as panel?

  • Part of the meeting would be to show people where this information is. 

  • What are people actually asking? People are upset over their raises going straight to rising health care costs. Having a forum on how we price health insurance may not answer the questions people are really asking. 


For Discussion: 

Child care update:

  • Looking to partner with Trinity cooperative daycare center. They do want a more formal partnership with the college. How can we offer slots to fac/staff? Looking at available spaces - Trinity is looking to expand. Conversations have been happening over the last year. ERG - Employee Resource Group - parents group have also brought issues forward. 

    • Right now it’s focus is on infant and toddler care - preschool. 


Total Benefits Statements - Looking to next year to roll out.

  • 2 years into new system.

  • There’s an app to sign up for open enrollment but most people used the website. Anyone know of anyone who used the website?


Total Compensation Summary

  • In the past, the college provided a Total Compensation summary in MySwarthmore to show the salary and benefits amounts for each employee.

  • There are plans to bring that back and are working with ITS. It could come out in the next year or two.


Staff Compensation Committee

  • SAC received a proposal to create a staff compensation committee with membership from the staff, senior staff, and Board of Managers.  


Staff Discounts:

  • Revisit this discussion that we had in the past regarding the responsibility of maintenance of this information.

    • Sub-committee may want to contact Procurement and have that information live on the Procurement website with a link from the SAC website