Office of the Vice President
for Administration

Salaried Staff Advisory Council

Minutes June 10, 2009

Please submit agenda items for the August 12, 2009 meeting to Susie Resler by August 7, 2009.

The meeting was called to order at 2:30 p.m.

SSAC members present were:
Member District Member District
Michael DiMauro 1 John Gleasner 9
Kimberly Doucette 3 Cheryl Cunningham 10
Marge Hadden 3a James Elfers 11
Diane Thisell 4 Susan Zarebicki 12
Sharon Webb 5 Karren Helsel-Spry 13
Blaze Dougherty 6 Catherine Corsi 14

Members Excused:  Patti Hall #2
Members Absent:  Paige Seppanen #7, Ann Woodall #8
Others Present:  Thomas LaPenta, Kim DeShields, Susie Resler

Discussion on the elections was not mentioned in the April, 2009 minutes. SSAC members had discussed how the elections were going to proceed with departments that have shifted and employees are reporting to different departments. Also, some SSAC members did not realize that, in order to be re-elected, they were first required to re-nominate themselves.  Two members did not re-nominate themselves and were not re-elected.  This rule will be emphasized in the future. The April, 2009 minutes were approved with this addition..

New Business
Jim Elfers wanted to know when employees would be notified of their raises. Mr. LaPenta said it would be this month since they are effective July 1. Current election process for odd districts is happening with nomination letters going out Friday.

Old Business

Constituent Concerns
Catherine Corsi said there was some confusion about the cost of First State Basic Insurance which is free to University of Delaware Employees and Retirees regardless of the state in which they live.

Some constituents would like to have a mechanism to comment on their manager’s performance, in their Performance Appraisal process.  Mr. LaPenta indicated that he would share this suggestion with the HR team and J.J. Davis, Vice President for Administration.    

A question arose as to the status of retirement bill specifically the early retirement package of adding 5 years to your age.  Mr. LaPenta spoke with Rick Armitage, Director of Government Relations, who said there was not a high probability that the bill would pass.  The last time such a retirement package was offered, it was extremely costly to the state.

There was a question about living out of state and having to pay something for tuition remission.  Mr. LaPenta said there was no change for employees residing out of state.

Some constituents are quite nervous about job security. Employees are encouraged to speak directly with their managers on such issues.  Employees who do not wish to contact their managers may contact Mr. LaPenta who will speak confidentially to them about their concerns.
Mr. Elfers reminded everyone to use the Grievance Board especially if they feel policy or procedure has been violated.

Ms. Corsi reminded everyone that the SSAC representatives have not been updated online and that the districts need to be redrawn.  Ms. DeShields said she would send all current representatives a current list of SSAC representatives.

Diane Thisell said trees were being removed outside Willard Hall providing the employees a clear view of Deer Park dumpsters.  Employees who work in the area have been told the trees were being removed to create more parking. According to Jeremy Everhart, Project Manager in Facilities, trees were removed because the roots were encroaching on the foundation of the building and Die-back (a disease) was noted causing stress to the trees.  There will be more trees re-planted and a garden is planned.

Mr. Elfers asked about the Chrysler negotiations.  Mr. LaPenta said the University is still interested in the site, but the acquisition may take awhile because Chrysler is in Bankruptcy.  He also asked why the University was not looking to acquire the Newark Country Club.  Mr. LaPenta suggested we ask J.J. Davis, Vice President for Administration at a future meeting to discuss these topics. 

Sharon Webb asked if there were any exceptions to the Nepotism Policy.  Mr. LaPenta said he did not envision any exceptions to this policy.

Committee Reports/Matters

All commented on how successful the Employee Picnic was and received only praises from their constituents.  2,900 people actually consumed 3,500 meals. The administration would like to make it bigger and better next year.

Swine Flu notification was extremely well handled.  Representative received positive comments from their constituents.  Mr. LaPenta said many employees worked long hours in this effort.

Kim DeShields, Human Resources mentioned that the service awards are going to be outsourced.  Her office is taking bids now.  Ms. DeShields said employees would be able to choose their award online and the gift would be sent directly to their home.

Next meeting, Jenny Sparks from Public Safety will speak about parking issues on campus.

Meeting adjourned at 3:10pm

Respectfully submitted by,
Susie Resler.

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