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August 19, 1993

      Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

                         Staff Senate

 

 

                Minutes of the Regular Meeting

 

                   Thursday, August 19, 1993

 

           Room 102 - Phase II - Veterinary Medicine

 

 

 

  Senators Present:  Carolyn Alls, Sheila Blankenship, Joyce Bohr, Janet

  Bryant, David Carper, Joann Craven, Judy Davis, Marge Dellers, Patrick

  Donohoe, Les Fuller, Leslie Graham, Betty Greene, Patty Hall, Mary

  Holliman, Lisa Jansen, Diane Kaufman, Julia King, Margie Lawrence,

  Richard Lovegrove, Don Massie, Bhaba Misra, Margie Murray, Valerie

  Myers, Peggy Rasnick, Lynne Schaefermeyer, Buddy Shaver, Chuck Shorter,

  Charlie Stott, Sherri Turner, Sarah Wheeler, Deb Williams

 

  Alternates in Attendance:  Linda Haney for Diane Patty, Jon Bollig for

  Carlile Price, Sandy Ritter

 

  Guests:  Ron Stephenson-SGA President, Tina Ghabel-SGA Vice President,

  Fred Homan-House Speaker, Richard Alvarez-Director, Public Safety and

  Health, Netta Eisler-Spectrum

 

 

  Call to Order

 

  The second meeting of the 1993-94 Staff Senate was called to order at

  5:34 p.m. by Vice President Stott, who welcomed senators, alternates,

  and guests.  He introduced Ron Stephenson-SGA President.  President

  Stephenson then introduced Vice President Ghabel and House Speaker

  Homan, who will be the SGA representative to Staff Senate.

 

 

  Guest Speaker

 

  Richard Alvarez addressed the group as follows:  He stated that parking

  is an emotional issue.  A big problem for him is communications on

  short notice across the university.

 

  There is a new 100-car faculty/staff lot behind Hillcrest.  Parking

  along the road at Hillcrest Hall has been taken away because it is

  hazardous and is killing the trees.

 

  The lot in Schultz area was intended to be short-term parking.  It will

  be enforced as a two-hour parking area and will have meters.

 

  Lower Stanger lot was intended to be paved at the same time as B-lot,

  but they ran into problems.  They have decided to wait until B-lot is

  finished.  Stanger lot must be completed soon, as the parking lot

  behind Whittemore will be eliminated due to new building.  He hopes to

  have it operating in a few months.

 

  Meters have been located along the Mall and behind Derring for people

  who need to run into buildings and drop things off.  They have also

  posted a "Visitors" sign to encourage campus visitors to use these

  spots.

 

  There continues to be a lot of complaints about state and federal

  vehicle parking.  During the day these vehicles are used for delivery,

  etc.  There are indeed a lot of them that are not being used.  They

  have created an area in the 100-car lot behind Wallace and the back

  side of the faculty/staff B-lot for long-term state vehicle parking.

  Alvarez has created a voluntary program and is working one-on-one to

  try to get the departments to participate.  He requested that any

  senators who have contact with the owners of state vehicles encourage

  them to participate in this program.

 

  There are a large number of handicapped spaces in the B lot.  The

  spaces are there because the state says they must be there.  He asked

  people to help get this information out.

 

  While SUUSI is on campus, parking is a problem, particularly in the Ag

  Quad.  The only place they could put them was in the stadium lot.  This

  year SUUSI participants were very good citizens.  They filled up the

  Wallace lot.

 

  A bike rack program has been put into place.  Alvarez sent out a letter

  addressing the program.  The racks in "purgatory" are being heavily

  used, even during summer months.  There does not seem to be a lot of

  use in the Pamplin area, so they will consider relocating that rack.

  The bike enforcement program will finally begin now that we have

  sufficient storage.  There is a person assigned full-time to

  registration and enforcement.  A sign is being placed in each bike park

  saying "Please walk your bike to the street, riding bicycles on the

  sidewalk is prohibited and dangerous."

 

  The Family Motor Coach Association convention was successful with a

  minimum of problems due to police, parking office, physical plant, and

  a lot of classified staff behind the scenes.

 

  Senator Murray asked if he had any numbers on how many were here.

  Alvarez responded that there were 4,800 and with the vendors there were

  well over 5,000.

 

  Senator Misra commended Alvarez for the handling of FMCA.  He did

  express one concern that people are parking illegally on yellow lines

  and loading docks and ramps.  People are blocking areas that vehicles

  need to get to for loading purposes.

 

  Alvarez said that with new ADA regulations, parking on sidewalks is

  prohibited by anybody at any time.

 

  Senator Williams asked for clarification on the street that is being

  closed to parking along Hillcrest.  She asked if there are signs there

  now that state there is no parking allowed.  He is not sure whether

  there are signs there yet, but there have been yellow lines painted on

  the road and the signs will be in place soon.

 

  Senator Williams asked if we have a tow-away policy for people who are

  parked illegally and in handicapped areas and on sidewalks?  Alvarez

  clarified that we do have a policy and, for handicapped parking, it is

  enforced rigidly.  They don't like to tow because of damage to

  vehicles.  They call DMV and run the tag and try to locate the owner to

  have them move their vehicle.  But if you are blocking a traffic lane

  or you are in a handicapped area, then you can expect to be towed.

 

  Senator Wheeler asked what the university would do about getting

  pedestrians across Perry Street when the Whittemore lot is closed.

  Alvarez responded that they may have to put crossing guards on Perry

  Street.

 

  Senator Alls asked a question concerning the paving of B-lot.  Are

  there going to be the same amount of spaces or will they be eaten up

  with landscaping?  Alvarez stated that there will be a gain in spaces

  through efficiency.

 

  Senator Alls also asked for the policy on courtesy passes for student

  workers, etc.  Alvarez stated that the policy will not change.  They do

  not feel that these passes interfere.  There are a number of student

  leaders receiving courtesy passes.  These issues will be brought before

  the Parking/Transportation Committee again when it reconvenes.

 

  Senator Evans stated that at McBryde they don't have a loading dock.

  When 18-wheelers come to deliver equipment, they often park on the

  sidewalk.  Alvarez stated that parking on the sidewalk was caving in

  the steam tunnel.  He asked Senator Evans to please send him a profs

  note with his problems and concerns.

 

  Alvarez requested that when you have complaints or problems, contact

  Mr. Lynch for a response or solution.  Give him an opportunity to

  address them first.  His ID is LYNCHAC on profs.

 

  Senator Donohoe asked about the three planters placed at Norris Hall.

  One of them was damaged and he wanted to know if they would be removed.

  Alvarez stated that he had not heard of the problem.

 

  Approval of Minutes

 

 

  The minutes of the July 15, 1993, Staff Senate meeting were approved

  with the following additions and corrections:  Senator Graham's name

  was added to "Senators Present"; page three, line five, sentence should

  read "Senator Schaefermeyer stated that there are a lot of services

  provided by CNS"; page three, fourth paragraph, "Sandy Patty" sentence

  should read "Senator Schaefermeyer requested clarification that once

  you serve the six months' probationary period, you do not serve another

  in that position"; paragraph five, line 3, omit SGA; on Alternates in

  Attendance:  correction of name from Doris Sumter to Lorrie Sumpter.

 

 

  University Councils, Commissions, Committee Reports

 

  Communications Committee met on August 4. They basically introduced

  themselves.  Richard Lovegrove will make sure that Spectrum gets

  notification of Staff Senate meetings.  Tony Sutphin will get an

  updated list of senators and alternates and get the governance letter

  given by Personnel Services given to new employees updated.

 

  Elections and Nominations met on August 11.  They primarily met to

  become acquainted and discuss the purpose and mission of the Committee

  and to go over the calendar for the upcoming year.  Notes will be

  distributed at the next meeting.

 

  Policies and Issues has not met yet, however, part of the duties is to

  provide a listing of current members, officers, etc.  They sent out

  notice requesting updates and changes to the mailing list.

 

  Advisory Council-Strategic Budgeting and Planning:  Senator Ballard

  sent Stott a profs note stating that they have met and the only thing

  being looked at is ways of increasing graduate student stipends over

  the next three years.  There is some data indicating that we are

  starting to lose top-notch graduate students because stipends and

  financial aid are not competitive.

 

  Commission on Staff Affairs met last week.  There was a good write-up

  in Spectrum about the meeting.  They looked at the proposed changes in

  the Educational Aid Policy that has been looked at by a task force last

  year.  This policy affects classified staff and faculty.  Faculty takes

  more opportunity of it than classified staff.  Copies of the proposal

  are available.  The policy still must be reviewed by our commission, as

  well as the Commission on Faculty Affairs.  We hope to get it approved

  by the beginning of the second semester.

 

  No reports were given by the remaining councils, commissions, and

  committees.

 

  Vice President Stott requested that reports be submitted in writing so

  that meeting time does not have to be used, unless it is something that

  requires attention by the Senate.

 

 

  Senator Donohoe commented on the Building Committee.  He talked to the

  Secretary to the university architect and she told him that there are

  several building subcommittees that lack representation.  She will

  contact President McConnell concerning the vacancies.

 

 

  Old Business

 

  There was no old business

 

 

  New Business

 

  Senator Kaufman expressed concern that there have been problems in

  contacting Benefits.  Someone in the library suggested to her that it

  would be helpful to have a telephone number that you could call and

  leave a message.  Another suggestion was a profs ID so that employees

  could send them questions.  People are frustrated.  One of the

  library's part-time workers has been with the university for 15 years

  on an alternating part-time, full-time basis.  She decided to work

  full-time, and she wants to know why part-time employees not allowed

  the health-care benefits that full-time employees are given.  They also

  do not have the option of participating in the flexible health-care

  account program.

 

  Senator Williams responded that the way our system is set up right now,

  it cannot handle it.  It is the university's hope to replace and

  upgrade the system.  There are too many deductions for the system to

  handle at this time to take care of all issues

 

  It has been suggested that the university set up an on-line help

  requests and employee-suggestion program for comments and referral.

 

  Other

 

 

  The Incentive Pay Plan was addressed by Vice President Stott as

  follows:

 

  Employees are eligible for one-, two-, or three-step increases.

 

  Training sessions are being held at this time by Personnel Services for

  supervisors, faculty, deans, directors, and administrators.  Tell all

  your classified staff to document all service within your department,

  college, and university.  Bring it to your supervisor's attention prior

  to evaluation, and be precise.

 

  There are still questions on how to evaluate university service.

 

 

  Only 8 percent will be awarded a three-step increase.  If there are

  more people who get exceptional ratings than allocated, some will not

  get the three-step increase.

 

  Senator Williams stated that those who do the best job of documenting

  their accomplishments will be the ones who will get the top raises.

 

  Senator Murray stated that there was a question on whether we could

  obtain booklets on the incentive pay plan.  She has talked with someone

  and all the booklet does is explain how to fill out the form.  What the

  programs are stressing is how to train supervisors and knowing what the

  ratings really mean.

 

  Senator Dellers stated that her understanding is that the evaluation

  forms have to be in Personnel October 1. She thinks they are due in

  Richmond on November 1.

 

  Vice President Stott stated that a lot of employees disagree with the

  evaluation.  If you don't get an exceptional rating or you do get an

  exceptional rating and don't get the three-step increase, it probably

  is not grievable unless you can show that evaluations are arbitrary or

  capricious.  He encouraged staff members to have documentation.

 

  Meeting adjourned at 6:45 PM.

 

  Valerie Myers

 

  Secretary

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