Salaried Staff Advisory Council
The meeting was called to order at 2:30 p.m.
SSAC members present were:
Members Excused: Staci Truitt #3, Terry Henderson #11, Lisa Collins #13
Others Present: Daniel Garibaldi, Tom LaPenta, Jerry Cutler, Hannah Messner, Patty Fogg, Brian Freedman, Judy Allarey
Mr. LaPenta introduced Officer Daniel Garibaldi of Public Safety.
Officer Garibaldi has been working with the University for three years. He works for the Police Department which is under the umbrella of Public Safety. In partnership with the community and other local police agencies, UD’s Department of Public Safety works to prevent crime and resolve issues that affect students, faculty, staff and visitors. They also provide trainings, events management, building security, messenger service, student police aides and escorts. The Police Department employs about 50 sworn officers, they have a criminal investigation unit, two K-9s, and five squads assigned to Patrol Divisions with five to six officers in each division. The Department has a Community Resource Unit, and they have four officers assigned to Newark Police Department in their street crimes unit.
Question and Answer:
How is the partnership with Newark police working? The partnership is providing a better overview of handling the student population with off-campus housing and is giving us a better idea of what is going on with our students from the campus including non-students and people with no affiliation to the University who are visiting or living with our students.
A lot of people are interested in the K-9s--do the K-9s live with their handlers? Part of the training is for the K-9s to reside with their handlers, who transport them back and forth from their residence. The dogs are trained to detect a variety of explosives, search buildings, track a missing person or apprehend a suspect fleeing a crime scene.
When freshmen arrive on campus for the first time, does Public Safety talk to them about campus safety? The Community Resource Unit provides freshman orientation, and offers tips on how students can protect themselves and their property.
Are the University Police making more arrests of bicyclists who are running stops signs? Police are being more vigilant with bicyclists. Twice every semester, they try to set up a “safe bike rider booth” along East Delaware Avenue and the crosswalk from The Green, to catch and fine cyclists who are going the wrong way.
Ms. Hadden made a comment that Public Safety did a fantastic job with the “Shots Fired on Campus – When Lightning Strikes” video. To promote safety and enhance preparedness for emergencies, the University of Delaware has acquired the rights for members of the campus community to view the video from its production company, the Center for Personal Protection and Safety. The goal of the UD Police Department is to provide our on-campus community with some strategies and tools to help you act as quickly and appropriately as you can in a shooting incident. The video is available online at: http://www.udel.edu/PublicSafety/shotsfired/
SSAC Lewes and Georgetown Trip
The group also visited the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown, the home for Sussex County Delaware Cooperative Extension and agricultural research and poultry diagnostics.
Employee Recognition Award
The SSAC group came up with different ideas and suggestions for the Employee Recognition Award. Mr. LaPenta will present the group’s suggestions in the next HR meeting.
Here are some of the suggestions:
Buses going back to the Field House at the end of the day are always full. Transportation and Parking have added buses from 2-5 p.m. on weekdays on the express route which appears to have alleviated the problem. Mr. Richard Rind, Director of Transportation and Parking, has personally taken the bus on this route between 4-5 p.m. on multiple occasions in the past two weeks and has not experienced any capacity issues.
A constituent suggested a money-saving tip regarding the fliers and pamphlets that are being sent to employees for upcoming theater and music events. Is it possible to send them as an email attachment to all employees to cut down on the cost of printing? This concern will be shared with the Theater and Music Departments.
Constituents who park in the Center for the Arts garage were able to use the entrance off of Orchard Road because gates were open all summer. The gates are now closed and constituents feel that it is more convenient and will save time for employees if they can continue to use the gate instead of having to wait when students are crossing the intersection of Orchard and Amstel Avenue. According to Transportation and Parking, the gates were open during the summer to accommodate a construction project but were never intended to be kept open permanently as that area is not designed to be a through road. The gates in question are controlled by the grounds department and are generally opened only to allow access to service vehicles. Transportation and Parking had asked Public Safety to use one of their traffic control officers in this area during peak times to control that intersection as the pedestrians vs. cars conflicts can be dangerous and time-consuming. Public Safety had agreed to try to assist in that area.
Physical Therapy usually has a lot of clients coming in daily and mostly on Fridays for various therapies, and they have some parking spaces allocated for their clients. On busy days, Public Safety would come out and put red cones on additional parking spots closing them off to Central zone parking employees. Constituents feel that Physical Therapy must come up with a better way of accommodating their clients without unnecessarily inconveniencing employees. According to Transportation and Parking, this lot has now closed due to a 12-18 month construction project and there are few, if any, remaining Central zone spaces in this area. The Central zone permits allow parking in any lot designated as Central zone and are not specific to any given lot or building. Employees may contact Parking Services if they need assistance in locating additional Central Zone lots.
Constituent expressed their concern about cyclists running through stop signs on campus, seemingly unaware of the impending danger of moving cars. Can Public Safety issue tickets to cyclists who ignore traffic rules? Bicyclists are obligated to follow the same rules of the road as a person operating a motor vehicle. If an Officer observes a violation he/she can take enforcement action. Every fall and spring the Police Department puts more effort into the enforcement of bicycle safety violations.
A constituent suggested that wellness dollars be implemented as they were before rather than how we receive them now. Mr. Cutler suggests that constituents contact Cathy Corbitt, Director of Wellness, if they would like to have different options for Wellness dollars.
What kind of evacuation plan and policy do we have for earthquake, tornado, or other natural disasters? Marsha Nickle, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the University will be invited to speak with the group.
Some departments, especially those who deal with the general public now have electronic recordings when you call instead of getting a live person. Constituent is suggesting that departments within UD, especially the service units, be given a separate line to call instead of going through the main line, in order to expedite business. This constituent has called HR several times and always seems to get an electronic recording or a voicemail. According to constituent, it almost seems like HR doesn't want to talk to the employees. Mr. LaPenta said that HR receives tremendous number of calls not only from employees but also from students and they are trying their best to respond to everyone.
Will the State of Delaware be increasing the minimum retirement age from 55 to 60? If so, will current employees be grandfathered? There is no change in the retirement age for the State Pension Plan.
What is the status of the compensation and classification review and will exempt/non-exempt employees still drive who participates in the State Pension Plan? Mr. Cutler, HR Director, indicated that they are hoping to roll out some of the initial steps by the beginning of the year, and are working on putting guidelines together between now and the end of the year.
Is it possible for Grounds Services to refrain from working on the grounds from 12-2 p.m.?
The area where the grass meets the metered parking spaces in front of Warner Hall in Robinson Drive, needs to be lowered/flattened. When it rains, the water floods/builds up for at least two to three parking spaces because it can’t drain into the open lower grassy area. Same with snow - there is enough space for the snow plows to push the snow back into the grassy area without restrictions and keeping the metered parking spaces available. This large low laying grassy area could be used wisely for water runoff from the parking area and snow removal without interfering with structures or parking.
Walkways - between gated parking lot on Robinson Drive and Central lots throughout Robinson Drive (in front of Warner and Robinson Halls). Both sidewalks are small squares that are no longer even from weather conditions mostly winter freezing and thawing. This is dangerous and will be even more dangerous as the ground freezes again. They should be secured, evened out or replaced with one solid concrete walkway that is wheelchair accessible on both sides. Neither of the current walkways are wheelchair accessible, nor are the spaces where they go from lot to lot.
Can UD groundsmen mark the curbs this year with orange rods, to allow snow-plowers the ability to see where the curbs are when plowing snow? It seems in recent years there has been a lot of curb damage, and marking the curbs would possibly save the University of Delaware a significant amount of money in future curb repairs for the minor cost of some fiberglass rods.
All Grounds and Maintenance concerns had been shared with Facilities.
Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm