Meeting Minutes: December 12, 2012
Location: Perkins Student Center
SSAC Members Present
Marge Hadden (District 1)
Kathy Murphy (District 2)
Staci Truitt (District 3)
Laura Gleason (District 4)
Derrick Allen (District 5)
Ladonna Miller (District 8)
Kimberly Doucette (District 9)
Cathy Corsi (District 10)
Carol Brower (District 12)
Lisa Collins (District 13)
Susan Zarebicki (District 6), Linda Nimtz (District 7), Theresa Henderson (District 11)
Tom LaPenta (Assistant Vice President, Labor Relations); Richard Rind, Director of Parking and Transportation Services.
Tom introduced Richard Rind, and welcomed everyone to the December luncheon meeting at the Perkins Student Center Galleria.
October 2012 minutes were approved.
Questions for Richard Rind
Q: An announcement was made over the summer that parking would be limited at the Student Services Building, which has a gated lot and a general lot, which upset a number of constituents. If one wanted to park it would be limited, ideally with enough parking for everyone. People at the gated lot didn’t know it would be limited, and now are paying $100 more for parking, although there are plenty of spaces in the general lot.
A: Richard stated that the changeover at Pearson to restricted went smoother than expected, and after they took the waiting list people, they then opened the lot up to others which wish to park there. Anyone who wants to switch over to this lot can be prorated the parking fee and there are spaces available as of December 12, 2012. There are only two waiting lists on campus for staff—Academy Lot over by the firehouse at the Academy Building, and Amstel Gate. All other lots are available for staff. He stated that one of the big complaints from last year was people were circling looking for spots at Pearson, which was a very uncomfortable situation. This model is likely to be expanded to Lot 19 where the parking situation that used to exist at Pearson currently exists. The next year should go even smoother, based on what was learned from the Pearson lot. They will most likely continue in this restricted parking direction for lots. Richard also stated that anyone who hasn’t completed the survey that was emailed should do so, it is everyone’s opportunity to complain or complement to Parking Services.
Q: Laird red lot has a Megabus that runs out of that lot, and a constituent is concerned about safety in that lot early in the morning, especially since many of the riders are not UD students or employees. The constituent was concerned about safety.
A: Richard stated that the Megabus was very well received by the community, and that there are cameras up that that location, and they are keeping a close watch on that site. They are not aware of any issues, and if there are any that come up to keep him in the loop. He said the ridership statistics are staggering, it is so well received. He also stated that people who utilize the Megabus purchase day passes, too.
Q: Now that there is no free parking, is there any way you can increase the Winter shuttle service?
A: Richard stated that the Winter service is the same as usual, they just decrease the number of Express busses, everything else is the same. He also stated you can change your pass just for the month of January.
Q: Someone stated that the target date for some of the construction projects on campus are to happen the end of this year, and it looks like in some cases that will not happen--which would affect various lots on campus. Specifically, the lot across from the General Services Building. It was noted that the circling for spots is currently happening in that lot. Are there any other options for the construction workers?
A: Richard said they pay to park as much as employees, and noted that Lot 54 is usually open and available for parking at any time, and it is just across the street.
Q: It was asked if maybe there could be at least two 15-minute parking spots in the GSB lot, to facilitate parking for the Credit Union.
A: Richard stated that there are currently two parking spaces at the farther loading dock at the building, which could be used. But, it is a good idea because the Credit Union is really only a short-term parking place, and it would push two cars across the street, but they would look into it.
Q: There are often events where there are 500-1,000 people at Carpenter Sports Building, and they used to park at Hollingsworth Lot and they wouldn’t be ticketed. It used to be that a request would be submitted to Parking and they wouldn’t ticket the event.
A: Richard stated that you can still do that, and the cost is $.20/space, and that it can be done via their website using an online form.
Q: Is there not a way that we can’t have a day pass that a department can use for various visitors throughout the day? At a cost of $3 per pass, it can get expensive.
A: Richard said that the same pass can be used for various people, as long as the visitor brings the pass in before they leave.
Q: Is the Center for the Arts Garage being used more?
A: Richard said it was and they are currently looking at plans to multipurpose the lot, especially since Elkton Road is now changed to South Main Street.
A discussion about possibly color coding the parking validating tickets was possible, because it is difficult to ascertain the value under pressure when a large group is being validated.
Q: The $5 Friday at the Student Center, who is the UD trying to grab?
A: Richard stated that we are trying to grab no one in particular, it’s just a special rate incentive to get people to utilize the garage. It has been very successful, and they will probably continue to be promoted. It was a special idea that came out of Alumni week, and we decided to offer it to people.
Regarding the mortgage assistance program that has been discussed previously: There is $5,000 mortgage settlement assistance for City of Newark houses in certain areas, which we are ALL eligible for; the other is the UD program that nonexempt staff are not eligible for. Tom talked with Roby (Al Roberson) about this because he has the UD history on this and also to Rich Elliott, who both stated that this is a faculty recruitment tool that started back in the 1950s and was based on obtaining a mortgage at a rate a little lower than the market. The faculty that were hired back in the day that obtained administrative jobs in addition to being faculty would get recruited, and this was one of the recruitment tools that was used. It eventually got too expensive, so the really big benefit (the low interest mortgage) the UD cut off, and they had to do something in place of it which was the assistance in buying a house. For whatever reason, they did not restrict it to people who were moving into the area. The point is it has already been cut off once, they got rid of it and put something a lot cheaper in over the last decade, and there has been talk about getting rid of that for professionals but they haven’t done anything as of yet. This particular benefit will never be expanded to nonexempt staff for the main reason that staff do not usually relocate to this area for their job, they are already in the area. Also, this benefit which has been severely cut back will most likely be cut back more in the future—not expanded. The only people who use this are faculty who took the big professional jobs. It can be part of their recruitment. Very few professionals use it, and the ones who do know about it are usually recruited for the big jobs. When Tom looks at this program and the panoply of benefits we receive, when you look at everything we get amazing benefits even without this program.
Tom will check back with Parking Services to see if they needed a second on the Parking Appeals Committee—he received notice and will find out if they need someone else.
Everyone was asked if they liked their new group name, and the new name of SSAC was approved: Nonexempt Staff Advisory Council (NSAC).
It was asked who was in charge of the lights for the lots? In the Wyoming lot, some lights are very dim, in the evening it is hard to see the area, to check to see if anyone is around. Richard stated that it should be requested of the Grounds Department to check the brightness of the lights, and offered to look into the situation.
Marge suggested that during the Winter when it gets dark early, it would be nice to have more of a police presence between 4:30 and 5:15 p.m. at the Laird lot for safety, since so many female employees park in the red lot which is a fair distance away from Clayton Hall. Richard said he would pass it along to Public Safety, but also stated that escort service is available for anyone who feels uncomfortable walking to their vehicles in the dark.
Ladonna asked about the policies regarding compensation on holidays, versus compensation on extreme weather emergency days: Why do the Extreme Weather Policy and the Holiday policy compensate at different rates? What is the explanation of the thought or intent behind this difference in compensation? Tom stated that the reason for the double time on weather emergencies (which doesn’t really apply to anyone in this room) is the carrot and the stick, because the problem that was run into over the years was everyone called off. How do you get skilled workers, custodians, police, etc., to come in to keep this place running? If you come in and you’re in the essential group you will get twice your pay. If you don’t come in, you don’t get paid. That wouldn’t happen to staff, it happens basically to the union employees. If they only get half pay, they won’t come in. So, they decided that if they give them twice the pay, they come in. Holidays is just not the same thing—it’s not the same as a foot and a half of snow with the wind blowing and you’re out there shoveling the snow. We’re not going to go to double-time for holidays.
Meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.