Staff Association Executive Committee: 10/2/19 Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the Staff Association Executive Committee meeting held on 10/2/19
Sherrie Borowsky, Joanne Brown, Bruce Bumbarger, Anhara Disko, Noemi Fernández, Sara Goddard, Bob Harper, Nikoletta Millas, Rose Marie Moses, Alexis Schafsnitz, Elana Wolff, Charles Young
AAC (Sherrie, Noemi)
Sherrie noted that the first meeting began with an overview of the previous year, followed by a look forward and goal setting for the current year. Noemi reported that there will be a serious push to reach GAAP break-even this year, with a need to find $600,000 in savings. Strategies to accomplish this include looking for items “at the fringes” that could be cut (e.g., duplications in software purchased by departments rather than through centralization in IITS). A question was raised/concern was expressed as to whether cuts will be distributed equally across departments.
Met once in the spring, but has not met yet this fall. Nothing significant to report so far. Looking ahead, possible initiatives include monthly themed events, a focus on work/life balance, and an attempt to more clearly define the committee’s mission.
Safety (Rose Marie, Joanne)
Concern regarding the length of time that is taken to file Workman's Compensation claims; feeling that the process needs to be streamlined with an aim to allowing for more timely filing. Some thought is being given to decreasing the role played in the process by the HR department.
Noted a decision to eliminate P-card hard copy statements as a resource savings initiative. Discussion of the new composting machine in the Dining Center and the need for clarification on use and acceptable materials, with a general agreement on the need for better communication.
Working Group on Benefits (Sara, Joanne)
Opened with a discussion on the interim parental leave policy. There will be a period for public comment through the end of October, with a public information and discussion meeting for staff on October 8 in the Multicultural Center in Stokes. Beyond that, the committee is working toward the new medical benefit year. The national overall increase in healthcare costs is projected to be 6.1% in 2019, which is expected to have an impact on Haverford's medical benefits costs as well. The idea was raised of polling staff to determine which benefits are perhaps not used and could be eliminated to cut costs. There was a brief discussion of the possible implementation of a cafeteria plan style of benefits, which may be in the pipeline for the future, but no expectation for the current year.
Fall Staff Association open staff meeting
Will be led by Noemi and hosted by the Staff Association, rather than President’s office. There is a need to set a date (possibly November 18) and set the agenda. We will work with supervisors to have them encourage their staff to attend.
Strategic Planning Steering Committee
A committee is being organized for this effort. Two staff members will be part of the committee, one of whom will be selected by the SAEC after nominations are solicited and received. Target date for presenting our selection is early November. Sara will oversee this effort.
Council on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Wendy has put out a call for nominations and has asked for SAEC input on nominees. Individuals should ideally already be involved and interested in the effort, regardless of whether it is part of their work responsibilities. It was noted that selecting nominees from the community at large (not just the Executive Committee) is a good idea, with the proviso that there would an expectation of regular reporting to the committee.
Review of SAEC meeting with Wendy
General feeling that meeting went well. One member noted that we need to avoid coming across as being “too abrasive”; some feeling was expressed that the college is moving toward a more “corporate“ stance. To push back on this, there was general agreement on the need for better practice in having conversations on difficult subjects, and an emphasis on developing procedures for good process.
General discussion on conditions for Dining Center staff
- Still an issue with lack of computers for use by DC staff, coupled with poor conditions in the break room available for staff (no windows, poor ventilation, used and worn furniture, TV that doesn’t work)
- Question raised as to who works with DC staff when they need to go through investigation and clearance around child abuse
- What role can SAEC play? Agreement that we will move forward with this.
Comment board messages
The following comments, received up to the date of this meeting through the anonymous comment board accessible from the Staff Association webpage ( https://www.haverford.edu/staff-association ), were discussed:
- The mortgage program, currently offered to faculty and senior staff , should be extended to ALL staff . Thank you.
- Taken directly from the employee handbook:
"In establishing salary, the College considers several relevant labor market factors such as compensation of similar positions at institutions of Haverford’s size and quality and geography in an effort to remain competitive"
Translation: the longer you have been at Haverford College, the less you are paid.
THIS NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED. This is what salary bands are created for. Salary in general needs to be addressed. MANY staff work numerous jobs, outside of Haverford, just to put food on the table. Shameful!!
Submitted by Bruce Bumbarger