November 12, 2013
1. Fall Coffin Break Follow-Up
a. The event went well despite technical issues.
b. The afternoon session was not as well attended, perhaps due to the weather.
c. In general, the afternoon sessions are less attended; we will re-evaluate after next year.
2. Follow-Up after Retreat with Human Resources
a. HR Director was receptive to ideas from the Council.
b. We may hold another retreat with HR in the spring if enough questions arise, or may invite Chris to the next Staff Council meeting after the luncheon with the President in case questions arise.
a. Date is December 18.
b. Staff Council assists with some of the work for the event.
4. Committee Reports
a. Updates were received from the Faculty Meeting representative.
November 7, 2013 Retreat with Human Resources
1. Summer Hours
a. Staff Council received a suggestion from a staff member that the college consider extending Summer Hours until Labor Day
i. Many students are back by Labor Day, and departments directly supporting students have become busier by then, and cannot extend those hours.
ii. However, departments with less direct impact from students returning may, with their department head’s approval, consider extending them.
b. Another question arose regarding whether or not staff had any flexibility of work schedules within those Summer Hours; the announcement sent annually allows that with the department head’s approval as long as the department can remain open during the shorter core Summer Hours schedule.
2. Gorse Benefits
a. A staff member asked whether or not there is equity between faculty and staff on benefits for Gorse tuition
i. Gorse benefits are income-qualified; discounts for Mount Holyoke employees, both faculty and staff, are based on household income.
ii. Independent of this college benefit, Gorse also offers multi-child discounts for the 3rd and subsequent child enrolled.
3. Bereavement Policy
a. A staff member asked if there could be specific provisions for at least a day of bereavement time for close relatives other than those listed in the policy.
b. Human Resources staff have already reviewed this, and the policy will be updated shortly on the online Staff Handbook.
c. Note that the six allotted personal days may also be used for any leave necessitated by someone who is close to you, but does not meet the criteria as defined in the college’s policy.
4. Performance Development Program
a. Human Resources is tracking returns to assure consistent completion across campus; some departments are in a different cycle based on the workload cycle.
b. Human Resources is developing a training program for staff based on the needs identified through these forms, and will utilize resources already available locally.
c. In unrelated news, Human Resources is kicking off a leadership development program.
5. Merit-Based Pay Increases
a. This topic continues to be one that is discussed in numerous forums.
i. In order to have a merit-based pay program to be equitable, there have to be identified meaningful distinctions between what is considered laudatory performance, and performance that is average.
ii. An inconsistently-managed program can actually lead to decreased moral.
b. The college continues to monitor salary levels in all positions against the market to assure staff are paid fairly, and adjustments are made when salaries dip below that value.
i. This assessment is based on local and national salary data and is ongoing.
6. Tuition Benefits
a. Staff members taking a course at Mount Holyoke are eligible for one course/semester tuition free, with additional benefits for staff enrolled in the Frances Perkins program.
b. Additionally, staff may take a course at another institution and may be eligible for reimbursement for $500/semester if they meet certain requirements.
i. This amount was raised recently from $250, but Human Resources will review our peers to assure we remain within the norm of this kind of benefit with other institutions who may offer tuition benefits.
October 8, 2013
1. Mountain Day Follow Up
a. For the first time we are aware of, we ran out of pie. We will increase the order for next year.
b. The hour-long shifts worked well for Staff Council members.
2. Annual Staff Council Retreat with Human Resources
a. Topics submitted for consideration were reviewed
3. Fall “Coffin Break” Final Planning
a. October 31 at 8:30am and 2:30pm in the Great Room in Blanchard
b. Topic to be Haunted MHC with a guest speaker from the Archives
4. Discussed handling of Staff Council emails; co-chairs will respond to those that need an immediate response referring anything that requires Council consideration to the next meeting.
5. Winterfest: Save the date, December 18, 2013
6. Committee Reports
a. Alcohol & Drug Advisory Council: Staff Council rep provided an update on that meeting.
7. Next Meeting of the Staff Council: November 12, 2013
September 10, 2013
1. Minutes from the June meeting were approved.
2. Staff Council’s annual retreat with Chris Abbuhl, Director of Human Resources planning
a. A few suggestions for topics were reviewed.
b. Will solicit additional agenda topics from the staff.
a. The budget for the event was transferred to the Staff Council area.
b. We are reviewing our role and obtaining the date to prepare for what the Staff Council traditionally handles.
4. Fall Coffee Break
a. Looking at October 31 for a date; checking at the availability of the Great Room and for any potential conflicts.
b. Will again host two breaks, one at 8:30am and one at 2:30pm.
c. Will approach a few presenters who may be of interest to the staff.
5. Mountain Day
a. Mountain Day is announced that morning; Staff Council serves pie to staff from 11am – 1p.
b. We will set up a Doodle poll so members can volunteer to staff the table.
6. Staff Meet & Greets
a. In August a staff member arranged a meet and greet for staff at the Yarde House which was fairly well attended. Faculty have a similar event that they organize for newer faculty members.
b. Staff Council will announce future events through the monthly staff blast.
a. Assignments of 2013-2014 Staff Council member committee and role assignments.
8. Next meeting is scheduled for October 8.