Staff Association Executive Committee: 12/4/19 Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the Staff Association Executive Committee meeting held on 12/4/19
Sherrie Borowsky, Joanne Brown, Bruce Bumbarger, Noemi Fernández, Sara Goddard, Bob Harper, Nikoletta Millas, Rose Marie Moses, Alexis Schafsnitz, Elana Wolff, Charles Young
The meeting opened with an announcement that Anhara Disko has taken a position at another institution and so will be rotating off the committee. We extend our thanks to her for her participation on SAEC and for her efforts on behalf of the staff.
- No recent meeting
- In concert with IBX, the idea is being considered of sponsoring a “bookmobile” style visit featuring different wellness stations, possibly including breast cancer screening. The question was raised about the possibility of including HIV testing (no), which led to a discussion of screening vs. testing.
- With Anhara’s departure, we need to appoint an additional staff representative. Sara will contact Chuck Crawford to see what is needed to arrange for a new representative.
Safety (Rose Marie, Joanne)
- Mentioned monthly building tours taken by committee members, conducted with Safety and Security – one location per month, checking for hazards, potential problems.
- Clarification of process followed with weather-related closures – decision process led by Tom King and Claudia Kent, working with counterparts at BMC – the aim is to make a decision by 5 a.m.
- Reminder that E.M.S. allows for posting notes on whether venues are accessible.
AAC (Sherry, Noemi)
- Mentioned two meetings in particular – one devoted to a presentation by Admissions which focused on the size of the student body, and another that looked in detail at different areas of the College budget.
- Continued focus on reaching GAAP break-even with the budget for fiscal year 2020–21, which will be presented to the Board of Managers at their April, 2020 meeting.
- Noted committee discussion on finding ways to report information to staff without violating committee confidentiality.
- Closed with announcement that Mitch Wein and Deb Fullam will lead a presentation on College finances and budget on 12/16 in the Bryn Mawr Room.
Working Group on Benefits (Sara, Joanne)
- The December Board meeting will take the form of a retreat focused on consideration of the size of the student body, and its impact on a number of areas, including College finances and the educational experience. The discussion will feed into the ongoing strategic planning process.
- As work concludes on the revised child-birth/parental leave policy, separate concerns of staff and faculty, as well as shared concerns, have been looked at. The information is being studied by senior staff to see which of the suggestions will be incorporated in a final policy. Sara and Joanne have the impression that there is some support for the suggested changes. They noted that the need to bring the policy into legal compliance had led to its consideration ahead of some other issues of concern to staff. With the draft now largely complete, work on other items of interest will hopefully proceed.
Open Forum Planning (Noemi)
It was suggested that campus committee representatives submit short reports which can be shared with attendees via the HC All-Staff list and a daily digest link. Noemi will prepare a Google doc for assembling the reports.
SAEC Working Groups (Noemi)
- Noemi continued discussion of two planned working groups, one of which would focus on issues of governance (both within the Executive Committee, and between the staff and other segments of the College governance structure. The other group would look at the question of community/employee relations, including with Human Resources and between different constituencies – staff/staff, staff/faculty, staff/students, &c.
- Committee members were asked to express their interest, if any, in serving on one of the groups.
- The process by which chairs of the committee would be chosen was considered, as well as the question of whether the chairs should act as liaisons to senior staff (governance group) and HR community (community/employee relations).
- We also discussed whether staff who are not members of the Executive Committee should be invited to join the working groups (yes); this was seen as having potential to allow staff to experience the Executive Committee, with an eye to further participation.
Executive Committee membership
It was decided that Dave Harrower, staff representative to the Strategic Planning Committee, should be asked to join the Executive Committee as a full member.
Comment board messages
We discussed developing a mechanism to assign questions received on the comment board to the relevant working groups, and decided that we should speak with the President and her staff about the most effective way to keep them informed of comments we receive.
The following comments were 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).
- Out of curiosity, I read the minutes from your October 2019 meeting and not once did I see a discussion about salary. I see a few comments from other staff who are concerned, and feel salary needs to be addressed. It has been over twelve years since anyone has received a raise of over 2%. Twelve years. There are no answers for staff on when this will change. Next year? Five years from now? Never? Perhaps you can be the voice for us all and give us some sort of information on when we can expect a change. Maybe looking into an outside labor organization would be a good idea.
- It's a shame that our all-staff meetings aren't equipped with enough chairs for everyone to sit. It really discourages people to go in my department. I know the new dining set-up has less chairs, but I believe we should fill spots in throughout the room so that everyone has an opportunity to sit.
Submitted by Bruce Bumbarger