Wright State University Staff Council Minutes
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The WSU Staff Council met on Wednesday, March 12, 2008, at 2:30 pm, in Room 267 University Hall.
Present: Council Members: Barbara Bullock, Mary Healea, Joanie Hendricks, Fran Keeley, Vickie Slone, Tami Smith, Chris Wydman,
and Convener, Bill Rickert.
Guests: Linda Sykes, Sharon Shaw
1. Payroll Issues
Linda Sykes, Payroll Manager, was invited to speak regarding an employee who did not get paid due to her supervisor not approving her timesheet on time. She first explained that a small payroll staff processed 12 monthly and 26 biweekly scheduled payrolls for $107M in wages during 2007, which also includes the many different payroll deductions that employees request, along with federal, state, local, and school district taxes.
Linda said that Payroll’s purpose is to pay employees on time, but they need help from all employees to accomplish this. She said that many employees don’t submit their timesheets for approval on time, and many supervisors don’t approve timesheets on time for the Banner deadline. When this happens, Payroll sends a voicemail or an email to those whose timesheets were not received by the deadline.
Linda suggested that if an employee’s approved timesheet misses the deadline, they should print it out, get it signed by their supervisor, and take it to payroll as soon as possible. Their pay will be done at the next check run.
Linda then spoke specifically about the unclassified-hourly employee who completed and submitted his/her timesheet on time, but the supervisor didn’t approve it until 30 minutes past the Banner deadline. That employee did not receive an email, so was not paid for two more weeks. Linda suggested that the employee can check online to see if their timesheet has been approved, and can also check their pay online.
Linda said that a Payroll staff member will now be going to employee orientations to give each new employee a packet of information including instructions about submitting timesheets, etc. She also suggested that all approvers should set up a proxy on Wings to approve timesheets when they are not there to do so. Council members expressed a need to adjust the system so that an employee who does everything correctly can be assured of timely pay. Linda said she would look into that.
A final payroll issue raised was that some classified staff had stopped accruing leave when their limit was reached and didn’t realize it. It was asked if the leave summary could be included on the pay stub. Linda said it may not be possible with the base Banner system we have. She said that she would request there be a comprehensive benefit statement, so staff can reasonably track their pay and leave.
2. Compensation/Pay Raises
Bill said that pay raises were anticipated in this difficult financial year because of other budget cuts made. The amount of the increase is unknown at this time, however.
Sharon Shaw, Compensation Manager, spoke regarding compression problems with classified pay ranges. The University has raised the bottom of pay ranges to be able to hire good employees, so those who had previously started at the bottom of their range will now have pay equal to or only slightly higher than new employees. Over time this compression problem has built up, and she is working to devise ways to correct the problem. This year the University is considering making a minor adjustment.
The Council requested to see data indicating this compression problem, and Sharon said she would prepare information for the Council (attached).
It was mentioned by several Council members that student employee salaries are not far below classified salaries due to the minimum wage increases in the last 18 months and another one coming. Students also get a 25 cent raise after each 500 hours of work. Staff members are becoming increasingly concerned about the student wage increases that have been much greater that the increases for classified staff. It was explained to Council that Human Resources does not have anything to do with student employee salaries. Council was informed that this situation has been brought to the attention of senior administrators.
3. Human Resources Issues
Bill Rickert talked about the Human Resources issues that had been discussed in previous Council meetings:
Bill distributed hard copies of revised pages from the Human Resources website. The Contact Us page now lists staff in HR with a description of each person’s area of responsibility, phone number and e-mail address. A page has been added listing the HR Representatives with their phone numbers, email addresses, and which colleges/departments they serve. Tami Smith thanked Bill for the much improved HR website.
Bill said that the university is looking into getting short-term disability at a group rate that can lower costs and also be available for people whose pre-existing conditions might keep them from obtaining individual coverage.
In response to staff requests for an advocate, Albert Bondurant, Director of Organizational Development and Learning, will respond to staff questions and concerns. He will meet with the Classified Staff Advisory Council (CSAC) soon.
4. Staff Survey Update
Barbara Bullock, Chair of the Unclassified Staff Advisory Council (USAC), said there was a 55% response rate to the online staff survey that was sent to both classified and unclassified staff members. She said a summary of the combined results showing specific recommendations should be completed before CSAC’s meeting in April. Some of the top issues seen were:
The WSU Staff Council might serve as an advisory council to HR, helping to clarify staff needs and concerns and to identify possible solutions.
5. University Closures and Sick/Vacation Leave Time
Following a recent closure, staff members have been asking about pay. Bill Rickert explained that if an employee is on sick or vacation leave on a day when the university closes due to inclement weather, that employee does not get university closure pay for that day. This is explained in the Emergency Closure Procedure, which is listed as a Miscellaneous Procedure on the Wright Way Policies and Procedures Index webpage. This procedure directs Human Resources actions.
6. Banner Training
Time prevented discussion, but all agreed that comprehensive, ongoing training is essential.
7. Rewarding Good Ideas from Staff
Bill said a staff person proposed rewarding staff members for good ideas they suggest. He asked the Council to think about this and the following questions to discuss at the next meeting: What could the prize be for a good, feasible idea? An A parking place for a month was suggested. How often should a prize be given? Who will judge the submitted ideas?
Council members requested that the Council meet more often, possibly once a month. A meeting was set for Wednesday, April 9, 2008, at 2:30-4:00 in Room 267 University Hall. Refreshments will be served. The agenda for that meeting will include:
The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 pm.