Health System Academic & Research Employee Council Minutes

Thursday, December 14, 2000

Present: Jane Adair, Kathleen Ashe, John Aufill, Kelly Bell, Leigh Ann Bush, Daweslyn Butler, Kathleen Foster, Gigi Herold, Jim Kennan, Nancy Kriigel, Della Marsh, Melinda Mason, Lynn McCutcheon, Nancy Moore, Terry Moore, Monte Parsons, Deborah Riddell, Jean Snoddy, Gina Steppe, Mary-Leigh Thacker, Bill Vining, Eleanore Wade, June Wade and Pat Williams

Daweslyn Butler announced that our guest speaker, Lisa Waterbury, could not attend. She will come to the 1/01 meeting.

Jim Kennan was the first speaker. UVA was approached by people in Southwest Virginia to explore opportunities in the region. Crutchfield has established a large call center there. A major issue is the health of the people - cardiovascular, cancer, etc. Local legislators, Crutchfield, President Casteen and the Deputy Secretary of Health from Washington recently met together to discuss clinics, telemedicine, continuing medical and nursing education. There are not enough nurses and family practitioners. There is a program to increase student interest in health careers. Jim also provided the following updates: · Jim relayed the food service concerns that were raised at the last meeting to Ron Bouchard. In the new cafeteria, they are working to improve the flow with adjacent areas. The food sanitation concerns were passed on to Mr. English from Morrisons for his review.

  • Recently, two UVA internal medicine physicians have been in the news. Dr. Jack Gwaltney is the subject of an article, Meet Mr. Common Cold in the January 2001 issue of Reader's Digest. Dr. Fred Hayden has appeared on ABC and FOX; he has one of the premier flu operations in the US.
  • The Combined Virginia Campaign (CVC) is doing much better than in the past. There has been a large improvement in participation in the last year or so.
  • Pamela Cipriano from the Medical College of South Carolina is now Chief Clinical Officer.
  • The new Deputy Director of EOP is Kanisha Adkins. The EOP office investigates complaints of discrimination, reviews job searches to insure equal opportunity policies are followed, and provides training to staff and managers. Ms. Adkins earned her BA at VCU and her JD at TC Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. She is a member of the Virginia Bar, has served as a judge, and is also a minister.
  • Dr. Janine Jagger, in Neurosurgery, has been a pioneer in needlestick safety. She has developed a program to decrease injuries and developed pace-setting equipment. Her work has contributed to the needlestick prevention act passed by Congress.
  • Over the last several months, all managers and supervisors have attended a 3-hr. training session on the new compensation plan. Training on the new performance system will take place over the next few months.
  • A legislative briefing session will be held at 12 noon on January 5, 2001 in the Newcomb Hall auditorium. It will be attended by Emily Couric, Paul Harris and Mitch Van Yahres, and offers an opportunity to find out what is going on with the legislators.

Bill Vining was the next speaker. He provided a quick history of the employee councils at UVA. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the medical center formed the first employee council. These employees seemed to be the best informed at UVA. The council also offered a good way to resolve problems. In the early 1980s, Human Resources had grown and expanded their role. The department needed an overhaul, and the Employee Relations Division was formed. Bill became Director of Employee Relations. He felt that a network of employee councils would be beneficial. One council would not be enough because of the different issues faced by the different areas. They decided to form the councils by vice presidential area. The Health System actually has two, because of its size, one for the medical center and one for the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and library. There used to be a 3rd council at Blue Ridge as well.

Currently there are five staff councils. All have by-laws, and are run like this one. The guest speakers are selected based on interest and respond to questions. The employee councils are also solicited to see who wants to be on various UVA committees. Several years ago, the executive employee council, made up of the chairs and vice-chairs of each council, was formed. They meet with Leonard Sandridge every other month to discuss broad issues. He is very receptive to employee concerns.

Bill passed out the orientation package and discussed it with the representatives. Reps can bring up anything. There is no fear of reprisal in bringing issues up. New reps should ask the rep that they replaced if they have materials from past meetings. Regular attendance is important, although it is understood that occasional absences may arise. Try to find another employee to serve as your alternate, and attend if you are unable to attend. If you feel your workload or supervisor is keeping you from attending, talk to your departmental chairs, Jim Kennan or Bill. Reps need to figure out a way to get the information out to those in their departments. Many reps use e-mail. The information can also be shared at department meetings, briefed to supervisors, or posted. Be sure that employees in your department know who their rep is. Get questions and bring them to the meeting. If you don't want to bring the issue up, e-mail it to the chair in advance.

The council is also currently trying to develop a website with minutes from past meetings, representatives' names, by-laws, etc. The HR website allows employees to find out about what services are available at

Reps can act as an information and referral service (not a guidance counselor) for fellow employees. If employees or co-workers seem to change their behaviors, suggest the Faculty Employment Assistance Program (FEAP). A list of resources for UVA employees is available in the orientation package. Most importantly, thanks for agreeing to represent your department.

Other news:

  • The governor's budget recommended a 3.5% increase as part of the new compensation plan. The 3.5% would be an average increase. It would not be an across the board increase. Unsatisfactory employees would get no increase, contributors a certain %, and exceptional contributors a higher percentage. Each agency would implement these increases. The budget also recommended $5 million to be distributed to employees under other mechanisms of the plan: bonuses, in-range adjustments, and team rewards. These are the governor's recommendations. The legislators can change the final numbers. The session begins in 1/01. Remember there is a revenue shortfall in Virginia. The projected revenues just aren't there. Schoolteachers are not happy with what was proposed for them.
  • Training on the new compensation plan is continuing. The employee information and managers training was in the fall. The next piece is training on the new employee evaluation system. It will be held in February and March. Right now, staff members in HR and HR within departments (like Facilities Mgmt.) are being trained, so that there are as many trainers as possible. Managers' training will be ½ day. Employees will have employee performance standards based on their position descriptions, which have been discussed and agreed upon one year in advance. Employees can give their supervisors input on what they feel their evaluation should be; for example, they can list their accomplishments within the last year. You will also be able to provide input on how your supervisor is doing. This is voluntary on your part. It will not be used to evaluate your supervisor, but for development purposes and improvement. Supervisors have to do better. There shouldn't be any drive-by evaluations. There should be no surprises at evaluation time. With the new system, supervisors will be required to document more, and have more discussions with employees. UVA completed the 1st quarter of changes from the new plan. Managers want to compensate people for work that they are doing. UVA does well, and people are the reason.

Old Business: We discovered that the Medical Center had formed a travel committee, with the assistance of a travel agent, to plan several short trips per year,. The hope is that these short day-trips will help boost morale, and enable staff to get to know each other. Since our council had been thinking of organizing short trips as well, Mary-Leigh Thacker contacted Druen Anderson, one of the co-chairs of the travel committee, to find out what their plans were and whether UVA-207 employees could be included. The committee thought it was a good idea to increase the pool of potential travelers. This would also help keep lower the cost per trip. They changed the committee's name from the UVA Medical Center Travel Group to the UVA Health System Travel Group, so it is clear that both academic (207) and medical center (209) employees and their families/guests are included.

The trips for 2001 had already been selected. They are 1) Inner Harbor -Baltimore, MD, March 31, 2001; 2) white water rafting - WV, 7/01; 3) a play, 9/01; and 4) Grand Illuminations -at Williamsburg, VA, 12/01. There will be an article in the 1/22 issue of the Link on the Inner Harbor trip. They need least 25 people to register to make the trip successful. The cost of the Baltimore trip is $39.00, and may decrease if more people register. The council decided to endorse these joint trips, instead of pursuing trips on their own.

Please review the by-laws, and bring changes to the new meeting. The meeting schedule for 2001 will be sent out before the January meeting. The guest speaker at the 1/01 meeting will be Lisa Waterbury. The 2/01 meeting will cover the new evaluation system. In 3/01, Wachovia and the UVA Credit Union will be invited. We are still trying to get Dave Ripley from Classification and Compensation to come to a future meeting. Daweslyn then asked for suggestions for other speakers. Interest was expressed in having someone come to provide an overview of the 403(b) plans, and perhaps, someone from VRS. Bill suggested inviting Linda Way-Smith, Director of Benefits, to come and do a sample retirement calculation and talk about how VRS works. He said employees could set up individual appointments with Fidelity, TIAA-Cref and Vanguard.

Approval of Minutes: The minutes for the November meeting were approved. There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.