Current Issues

Fall 2013 Why is Security on foot? In response to a question about why Security is on foot and doesn’t use any vehicles, SAC gathered information from Terry Gorman and Security and relayed that to the questioner.
Fall 2013 Are lunch plans available for staff commuters? At the request of a staff member, SAC looked into the possibility and cost of a commuter lunch plan for staff similar to the commuter lunch plan for students. Bon Appetit does not have a cost effective plan to offer staff that would save staff money over the cost of individual lunches.
Fall 2013 Can retiring staff keep their email? At the request of a staff member, SAC is investigating whether the college’s email policy provides for access for retired staff members. SAC has learned that the college email policy is being worked on.
Fall 2013 Can retired staff use the Leonard Center? SAC is investigating what the policies are regarding retired staff usage of the Leonard Center as well as whether swimming lessons could be offered to families during the academic year. The usage policy for the Leonard Center states "Retired faculty/staff are allowed to keep their membership to the Leonard Center indefinitely-this is just one of the perks of working at Macalester College. However, that faculty/staff member is NOT allowed to continue having a +1 member attached to his or her membership. The main reasoning behind this is that we need to keep control on the number of individuals using the Leonard center, since it is extremely busy, and we want to protect the usage of the facility for current faculty, staff, and most importantly students."
Fall 2013 Are there massage opportunities available for staff? SAC is looking into whether massage opportunities could be made available to staff like they are to students.
Spring 2014 What's the latest on Campus Parking? Several staff have brought up concerns about campus parking and the new electric vehicle charging stations and reserved spaces along with handicapped spaces. SAC has scheduled a soup chat for April 30 featuring Suzanne Hansen, Nathan Lief, and Terry Gorman to discuss campus parking.
Spring 2014 Can we change the room reservation process? SAC has made a request to Reservations to see if the process of reserving a room can be centralized. The current system requires that certain rooms be reserved through a specific department instead of through Reservations. This is confusing and time consuming. So far, no resolution has been reached.
Spring 2014 What's New with Kathy? SAC recently invited Provost Kathy Murray and Director of Employment Services Bob Graf to their meetings.

Highlights of Meeting with Provost Kathy Murray

Concerns about Staff Job Security
It is difficult to police all supervisors in terms of completing performance evaluations, but Provost Murray is optimistic that we get a good compliance rate overall. If someone is concerned about job security they should first talk with their supervisor. Then Bob Graf in Employment Services. It would not be inappropriate to contact the Line Officer.

Color Coded Pay Bands
Employment Services is currently re-evaluating these.
Department Coordinator Positions and Pay Levels
A process to create different job levels/ pay scales for Department Coordinator positions has been discussed but no action has been taken.

Staff Development
Opportunities such as January Thaw will continue to be offered, but individual staff development responsibility lies within individual departments.
Spring 2014 What's new with Bob? SAC recently invited Director of Employment Services Bob Graf to their meetings.

Highlights of Recent Meeting with Bob Graf, Director of Employment Services

Ergonomics - Sit-Stand Workstations
Employment Services has been updating their approach and response to ergonomic concerns across Macalester. Any employee who identifies or feels a need for this type of assistance should contact Employment Services to discuss. The process or approach taken by Employment Services is to find an appropriate solution at an appropriate expense to meet the needs presented.

Related to the topic of ergonomics, is the growing popularity of Sit-Stand work stations. While the Sit-Stand station may be an appropriate solution for a given situation, there are a number of things that can be done to help solve an ergonomic concern that are far less expensive than a Sit-Stand station. For employees who are interested in exploring a Sit-Stand station, but do not have a formal medical necessity, the expense would have to be approved and incurred as a department expense.

Performance Appraisals
Performance appraisals have not been viewed as a mandatory practice across Macalester. Despite that, Employment Services is actively working to change that perspective by helping leaders understand the potential influence feedback can have for shaping a culture and building highly functional working relationships. For employees who do not receive performance feedback in the form of a review, Bob encourages those folks to talk to their supervisor directly. If that is not successful or not possible, employees should feel free to talk to Bob for additional help.

Compensation/Pay Band Color System
It is a well-known fact that the previous staff compensation program rolled out 3-4 years ago, with an array of colored bands, has confused many people and is in need of upgrading. Employment Services is actively working to re-establish a functional program, however, creating a compensation program takes a great deal of time and collaboration. Bob states that employees can expect to see formal communication of changes later this summer or early fall.

Professional Development Funds
Employment Services continues to offer money for individual development, however given budget cuts last year, new parameters were established in an effort to spread the money out amongst a greater number of eligible staff. The current policy allows for one event per individual per year with a maximum reimbursement of $600. The information is available on the Employment Services webpage.

Vacation/Sick Time Donations
There was once a policy where employees could donate vacation or sick time to other employees, however is was discontinued due to complexity in understanding and administrative concerns. In the last six years, there have only been 2 or 3 people who have actually taken advantage of the program. Employment Services understands the value of a program like this, but has not taken the time, given other priorities, to focus on updating the program to something that is easier to understand and administer. Perhaps in the future.