Council discusses Family Leave, adopt-a-spot
Ken Gagnon, Media Relations
At its November meeting, the OS Council discussed the proposed Family
Leave Plan and ways for faculty and staff to help improve the state
The council devoted a significant amount of time to discussion of
the Family Friendly Leave proposal. Currently operating staff can
use sick pool days for their own medical emergencies. Under a new
proposal, the use of sick pool days would be expanded to include
time for family medical concerns and additional bereavement leave.
“Sick pool would retain its current purpose for use by staff
for their own medical reasons,” Council Chair Stephanie Higgs
said. “(But) if you have a bereavement situation where you
need additional days, then we’re proposing you can tap into
your sick pool days.”
The OS Council proposed a separate Family Leave Plan different from
PAT Family Leave Plan only because the two employee groups accrue
sick time differently. They are similar in use, however.
Higgs said the final drafts of the PAT and OS Family Friendly Leave
proposals must be accepted by the USNH Board of Trustees.
Some issues with the operating staff still are being discussed,
in particular, the number of sick days that can be used for family
leave and the conversion method for days designated for family leave
use. For instance, in a three-to-one conversion, one day of earned
time donated by an employee would translate into three days of sick
pool/family leave time. However, Higgs told the council that the
proposed number of days and conversion factor might be too high.
“They may say 10 days at a three-to-one conversion is too
much,” Higgs said. “It may be seven days, or there may
be a two-to-one conversion. That’s still great, but we’re
going to go in asking for 10 at three-to-one.”
Also under discussion were plans to improve both the physical state
of campus and university operations. The council was updated on
a proposed employee suggestion plan that would allow UNH faculty
and staff to propose ideas to improve UNH. Suggestions would go
to a suggestion committee and then potentially to department heads
for review. Employees would receive a financial reward for suggestions
that are used.
“This is a suggestion program where you see something that
can be improved, whether it be quality, efficiency, the image of
the university, a way to save money, a way to gain money, and you
submit it to the suggestion committee,” Higgs said.
An early January implementation of the suggestion form is being
planned, and Higgs said Christina VanHorn with Human Resources was
hard at work on the creation of the final suggestion form.
The OS council also discussed the new Adopt-a-UNH-Spot program that
encourages people to commit to cleaning or maintaining a certain
spot on campus. Departments can download the Adopt-A-UNH-Spot application
2004/november/adoptaspotapp.pdf. The form also will be available
on the OS Council Web site: http://www.unh.edu/os-council/index.html.
The form should be filled out and sent to Patrice MacNevin firstname.lastname@example.org,
862-4854, Facilities Business Service Center, 6 Leavitt Lane. Council
member Mark Ernst, a representative of the Grounds and Roads department,
requested that any Adopt-A-UNH-Spot clean up of leaves or trash
on campus be properly bagged.
The council also reviewed plans for an upcoming open house for the
OS Council. Those who attend can learn more about the OS Council
and how it works, as well as meeting the individual representatives.
The open house will be held in the Thompson Hall Board of Trustees
Room on Dec. 16 from 9 to 10 a.m. Refreshments will be served. A
shuttle for employees who work at West Edge will be available that
morning. Please call Patrice MacNevin at 2-4854 if you would like
to reserve a spot on the shuttle.