Office of the Vice President
for Administration

Salaried Staff Advisory Council

Minutes June 15, 2005

Please submit agenda items for the August 17, 2005 meeting to Julie Skeen by August 10, 2005.

The meeting was called to order at 2:35 p.m.

SSAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Marge Hadden1 Marlene Osborne 10
Mayra Focht 6 Kimberly Doucette 14
Michael DeMauro 7 Mary Ann Brown 16
Maggie Brumit 8

Members Absent: Kaci Madison-Beasley (#2), Katherine Kuck (#4), Wanda McCracken (#9), Gwen RoBison (#11), Charlene Mylin (#15), Paige Seppanen (#17)

Members Excused: Susan Katz (#3), James Elfers (#10), Mark Ressler (#12), Patti Hall (#13)

Others Present: Maxine Colm, Tom LaPenta, Julie Skeen

Minutes
The April 13, 2005 minutes were approved as written.

Old Business
Ms. Focht reported that the constituent proposal to restrict students from parking in certain lots beyond 7:30 a.m. (rather than 8 a.m.) had been sent to James Grimes, Senior Assistant Director, Public Safety.

Constituent Concerns
A constituent of Ms. Brown, who works in Townsend Hall, suggested expanding shuttle bus service running to the north side of campus and returning to the south side of campus during summer months to accommodate students. The suggestion will be relayed to Charlene Benson, Director, Supporting Services.

Ms. Brown also raised a safety concern observed in the side parking area of the Fred Rust Ice Arena. Because of the area’s design, pedestrians are inclined to walk behind parked vehicles where they are not clearly visible to drivers. Children are especially vulnerable in this respect. Mr. LaPenta will bring the situation to Public Safety’s attention.

Ms. Brumit noted that the No Left Turn sign at the Lot #1 exit can be obstructed, which presents a safety hazard to drivers leaving the lot. New, more visible signage is suggested. Mr. LaPenta will look into the matter.

Ms. Brumit also noted the lack of signage in buildings regarding newly installed Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) as well as contact information on those employees trained in their use. Currently, such information is found only on the Web site Occupational Health and Safety, Automatic External Defibrillator Program. Mr. LaPenta will contact Robin Elliott, Director, Occupational Health and Safety, regarding the placement of appropriate signage. Ms. Doucette suggested publicizing the new AED program through UDaily articles with a link to the AED Web page. Mr. DiMauro suggested that the names of employees who have received formal AED training off-campus be included in the contact list.

Mr. DiMauro reported a perception that the merit raise system fails to reward top performers when supervisors recommend a uniform raise for all their employees, regardless of their job performances. Dr. Colm responded that UD provides supervisory training which includes performance evaluations. Further, departments receive a merit increase pool which allows for discernment among employee performance levels. Mr. LaPenta noted that blue-collar unions represent the other end of the spectrum, with any increase given across-the-board without regard to individual merit.

Mr. Ressler forwarded a constituent concern regarding free parking for UD employees in downstate and other remote locations. Dr. Colm responded that parking is not an issue in these areas where there is ample space and few employees. She again noted that free parking, north and south of the main campus, is available to those who prefer not to subscribe to paid parking. To the constituent’s suggestion that only students be required to pay for parking, Mr. LaPenta explained that all student expenses, including parking fees, must be balanced in order for UD to remain an attractive choice.

Ms. Doucette inquired about employee feedback on benefit changes. Dr. Colm stated that response has been positive, especially for the new vision plan. The new faculty contract has been overwhelmingly approved.

Ms. Hadden raised a constituent concern regarding the recent letters and union authorization cards sent to some UD salaried staff by the labor union, AFSCME. This union has represented custodial and kitchen staff at UD since 1967. Mr. LaPenta replied that AFSCME has been informed by the law firm representing UD that it is not permitted to dump hundreds of letters in UD’s internal mail system. In an era of declining union enrollment, AFSCME has periodically tried and failed to organize UD staff.

Dr. Colm discussed the fact that annual salary increases and benefit upgrades granted faculty are routinely given to salaried staff.

Mr. LaPenta noted that AFSCME employees will not receive the new vision benefit effective July 1, 2005. He also indicated that salaried staff have the unique advantage of sharing their concerns directly with Dr. Maxine Colm, Vice President for Administration.

Ms. Hadden asked what form a union organizational drive would take. Mr. LaPenta replied that there may be scattered efforts to create interest among staff. Ms. Brumit stated that working at UD has been wonderful and much more enjoyable than the private sector.

Employees who wish to discuss matters related to the AFSCME letter may contact Mr. LaPenta at 831-8306. He is available to speak with employees individually or in groups in their work location.

Announcements
Dr. Colm extended her wish to all for a pleasurable summer.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas LaPenta

Reviewed by Marge Hadden as authorized by SSAC.



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