Operating Staff Council Meeting – Oct 4, 2004



Members in attendance: Stephanie Higgs, Jennifer Dube, Patrice MacNevin, Jim Layne, Gerri Sanders, Charlene Hill, Mark Ernst, Lori Parent, Toni Searles, Julie Johnson-Dubois, Shirley Norton


Guests: Scott Yates-Campus Journal, Linda Leavitt and Jim Malo- Grounds and Roads, Sharon Demers-HR, Phil Hammond- PAT Council, Lonn Sattler- OS SPPC



Next regular meeting: MONDAY, November 1st, 8:30-10:00am, Board of Trustees Room, T-Hall

OS Open House: Thursday, December 16th, 9-10am, Board of Trustees Room, T-Hall


President’s Staff Meeting Update (Jim Layne):

Rep Layne reported an increase in the prospective budget for 2006 and 2007. Other focuses at the President’s meeting were issues dealing with sexual assault on campus and how opinions differ among certain student organizations, as seen in The New Hampshire news articles. Layne also reported that interest was expressed in reinstituting the President's Commission on Women's Studies and searching for people to be on that commission.


Adopt-a-UNH-Spot Proposal Update (Patrice MacNevin):

The council further discussed an Adopt-A-Spot program as a way for UNH employees to assist Grounds and Roads personnel in keeping the “backyard” of campus looking good as Grounds and Roads resources are focused primarily on maintaining the most visible landscape. The department has expressed interest in drawing up a list of sites which could then be adopted and cared for by a community member. The adopting party would seek the approval of Grounds and Roads for any plantings. Small jobs that could be "adopted" include raking leaves into piles for Grounds and Roads to collect or picking up cigarette butts from building entryways. In the next couple of weeks, a master list of potential adopt-a-spot sites will be compiled, with the emphasis on clean-up and maintenance instead of planting (which poses problems re appropriate plants and maintenance). The goal is to introduce the program as part of a “Fall Cleanup.” Councilors suggested many ways to broadly advertise this program around campus.


Family Friendly Leave Proposal Update (Stephanie Higgs/Lonn Sattler):

This proposal was drafted jointly with the PAT Council and recently presented to the OS SPPC. SPPC Council representatives raised concern over extracting this type of time off from the time off pool since this might compromise the earned time concept. It was acknowledged that time off needs have changed over the past 17 years since the last plan update for which the current plan does not adequately meet. The OS SPPC decided to move forward with formulating a Family Friendly Leave proposal independent of PAT since the programs are fundamentally different. The SPPC decided to move forward quickly on this with the first meeting on this to be held by the end of October.


Followup Discussion to Last Month’s Allan Braun/Candace Corvey visit (All):

In a followup discussion to last month’s visit by Allan Braun and Candace Corvey, members were informed by Rep Patrice MacNevin that a quarterly meeting has been scheduled with facilities employees and the idea of a newsletter is being pursued by Allan and Michele Hayes. Chair Stephanie Higgs will contact Allan and pass along suggestions for the newsletter which were presented by other reps during this discussion. These suggestions included having a “question of the month.” Rep Gerry Sanders stated that facilities management needs to understand that constant communication of the plan and the administration’s commitment to it are essential. Rep Jen Dube expressed concern that neither last month’s Campus Journal writeup nor the Council’s minutes accurately reflected the content of last month’s meeting. Specifically, she noted that the concern expressed by a Rep regarding UNH employees being managed by non-UNH employees had not been covered. Another concern not  mentioned in the minutes was that some work being done by non-UNH employees was not being done well, nor was there any advice provided on what departments should do in those situations. Chair Stephanie Higgs stated that she believes both the Campus Journal article and the Council’s minutes attempted to cover the gist of the meeting and the concerns but could not possibly cover every issue expressed. Guest Phil Hammond, PAT Council Chair, suggested that the OS Council might want to write to the President, in its advisory role, to ensure she is aware of quality concerns. It was decided that, for the moment, any concerns of this nature would be gathered by Reps Lori Parent and Jen Dube and sent to Allan via email.


Other Business (All):
Council members discussed the issue of district representation and whether or not it was important to reside in the district a rep represents. This discussion was tabled for November when next year’s membership and elections will be covered.


Rep Julie Johnson-Dubois gave an update from the Transportation committee. She stated that all employees should have received a parking regulations book. If anyone needs a book, he/she should contact Parking Services directly. Julie also inquired as to whether updates re the Transportation Committee’s achievements and next steps can be attached to the OS minutes and it was agreed that they could be.


Final planning was done for the Benefits Fair. Brunch for two at Acorns was suggested as a raffle prize for the OSC table. Rep Lori Parent will pursue. Further planning for the OS Open House in December was discussed. The Open House will be on Thurs., Dec 16 from 9-10. Rep Julie Johnson-Dubois will look into the possibility of having a shuttle transport employees who work near the West Edge lot.


The council’s next meeting is Monday, 11/1 from 8:30-10:00.


For more information about the Council, please visit:  http://www.unh.edu/os-council/.