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OS Council discusses Family Leave, adopt-a-spot

By 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 of campus.

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 at http://unhinfo.unh.edu/news/campusjournal/archive/
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 macnevin@maple.unh.edu, 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.

 


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Campus Journal is published every other Friday. Deadline for submitting information is Friday noon, the week before publication. The editor can be reached at 862-0574. You may also send information to campus.journal@unh.edu.