January

Health System Academic & Research Employee Council Minutes Thursday, January 18, 2001

**** PART I ****

Present: Kanisha Adkins, Kathleen Ashe, John Aufill, Kelly Bell, Leigh Ann Bush, Daweslyn Butler-Carey, Ginny Dean, Donna Ferneyhough, Pat Harlow, Sharon Heyka, Jim Kennan, Dr. Jay Levine, Della Marsh, Lynn McCutcheon, Terry Moore, Monte Parsons, Sue Pearce, Jean Snoddy, Gina Steppe, Jim Stork, Jill Tatum, Mary-Leigh Thacker, Bill Vining, Eleanore Wade, June Wade, Pat Williams and Mike Wilson.

Dr. Jay Levine was the first speaker. He wanted to announce that the red Health System lot at Scott Stadium is now fully implemented. There have been a few problems. The buses have been overcrowded at times; they have been adding buses to help with this. Communication of any problems is important; communication led to the identification of these problem times. They will continue to refine the schedule as needed. People have decided to use the red lot. The service is pretty good, and they are now out of available spaces. The number of spaces cannot be increased until the new permit year, which begins June 1, 2001. Hopefully, more spaces can be added at that time. There is a new lot on Grove Street. Please get the word out to people in your department. The Health System has leased the lot for 2 ½ years. It is across the railroad tracks from the helipad. It is a fully paved and fenced lot with 172 spaces. It has lights also. It is only a 5-minute walk from the front door of the hospital to the lot. Employees in the first four categories have been placed. Categories A through D were for hands-on care givers. Category E is for patient care service administrators (PCSA) and managers. Most already have spaces. Category F is for weekend staff; these employees are normally given transponders for the garage. Since most of the priority employees have been given parking, these new spaces are available to those who do not provide hands-on patient care. The ETA will provide rides to this lot between 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. with an on-call shuttle. There is no cost for the ETA. Another option is the Fifeville shuttle, which has a stop at the corner of Grove and 9th St. in the early a.m. and evenings. The cost for the Fifeville shuttle is .25 each way. Applications for the new lot must be received by 1/26/01. Please hand-deliver your application; don't rely on messenger mail. The parking fee is $50 per month. This is the standard fee for Health System lots; UVA can deduct it pre-tax from payroll checks. The spots will be assigned by category within the priority system, and then by employment date. The lot will be oversold, like other lots. This is to accommodate as many employees as possible. There is a certain percentage of employees that will be sick or on vacation each day. Currently, there is not an emergency phone in the new lot. They are working on this. There is a question of jurisdiction (UVA or Charlottesville), since the lot is leased. They do want to install a phone there eventually. A question was raised about how long the M11 lot will be open. MR6 is in the planning stages. If it is funded and authorized in this legislative session, the spaces could be lost this summer. If it is not funded and/or not authorized, the spots could be available longer. A group made up of representatives from both UVA and Charlottesville are working together to develop a plan for Jefferson Park Avenue (JPA). They want to add a sidewalk from West Main to Cabell, along with a bike lane. The plan is also to add a coordinated traffic light system to improve the flow, and keep bicyclists and pedestrians safe.

**** PART II ****

Dave Ripley, Chief Compensation Officer, Human Resources, was the second guest speaker. He was invited to address exempt vs. non-exempt status of employees. Non-exempt employees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Exempt employees are not subject to the FLSA. There are certain tests that must be met for a position to be non-exempt. These tests are applied to each position, not to each title or band. Your status is determined by your job duties. In bands 3 & 4, there are some employees who are exempt, and some who are non-exempt. For example, Sr. Fiscal Techs, and other grade 8 employees who are now in band 3, are exempt, but others in band 3 are non-exempt. As the new work profiles are rolled out, HR will look more closely at exempt status. Departments can also call, and request HR to look at the status of particular positions. The state and university are conservative in applying the tests. By law, any employee who supervises 2 or more other employees can be exempt. UVA does not necessarily do that with positions in the lower bands (i.e. housekeeping supervisors). UVA may decide that they want to pay overtime to housekeeping supervisors, and the FLSA provides that flexibility. The FLSA was written in 1938 for a manufacturing environment. It doesn't really fit higher education that well. There will be an across the board review of individual positions as we transition to the new system. Employers are not required to provide any compensation for overtime to exempt employees. Non-exempt employees receive overtime pay or overtime leave. Employees must obtain supervisor's approval in advance of working the hours. HR recommends that supervisors obtain non-exempt employees' written approval to give leave in lieu of pay. It was pointed out that some departments only offer overtime leave for hours worked over 40; Dave still recommended having the employee provide written permission. The supervisor can also adjust the work week if the employee is required to work late one day, and let him leave earlier another day. The employee should show actual hours worked each day on his timesheet, and check the Scheduled Work Week (SWW) column. Adhering to the FLSA is important; contact HR to report any problems so supervisors can be educated. There should be a more stable way to address status issues. Training of supervisors is important. Dave handed out a FLSA Desktop Manual that will distributed by HR.

Other HR issues:

  • There are no plans to mandate the order in which an employee must take leave. There is an existing policy that if you bubble in more sick leave than you have, leave will be taken in the following order: compensatory, overtime, family personal, annual, and finally, leave without pay.
  • Employers can mandate that overtime leave is used first, since the value of the leave increases with each raise the employee receives.
  • It is suggested that employees don't wait until the end of the year to use their leave. Employees are not supposed to have more than 40 hours of comp time, but this isn't controlled. Many employees have more than 40 hours. We (employees and supervisors) need to do a better job managing leave.
  • There is no truth to the rumor that agency 207 (academic) employees will begin to use the online time and attendance (OLTA) call-in system used by agency 209 (medical center) employees. We don't yet know what will happen with Oracle, the new integrated system. They will start planning for the implementation of the HR system piece in 7/01, and it will be implemented in 7/02. The reason that the hospital switched to OLTA was so that nursing staff could charge their time to different units. Some divisions (facilities and housing) already use timeclocks.
  • HR continues to train supervisors and managers on the new compensation plan. There continues to be an opportunity for employees to make comments. They can appeal to employee relations. Employees need to realize that just because you do your job, it doesn't mean that you will get more money. There may not be money. If a department doesn't have funds, they can't give an increase. The employee might already be paid over the market rate. Supervisors, managers, and also employees will need to go through more arduous work to document performance throughout the year.
  • There is a satellite benefits office on the 6th floor of the West Complex staffed by Bessie Bracey. The office has all the benefit forms and many others. Some forms are also online at the HR website. The office supports agency 209 (medical center) employees, but for the most part benefits are the same, so the same forms are used.
  • Agency 209 (medical center) has some exempt employees that work an 80-hour work week, but the non-exempt employees have a 40-hour work week. Agency 207 (UVA academic) stayed at a 40-hour work week for everyone.
  • A question was raised about the market data for the new compensation plan. The state uses Watson Wyatt data. This has data on 4,000 to 5,000 positions. The difficulty is the state's reluctance to put the data out. Not all state agencies have the data yet. On 2/9 and 2/11, they will begin training approximately 400 HR staff, and then the data will be released. Supervisors and managers will not have the opportunity to match their positions to the data. This will be done at the UVA level. Other local employers will provide data for bands 1, 2, and 3 positions in April 2001. The determining factor for these bands will probably be the local data, as most applicants for these positions are local. For the higher bands, UVA will probably use the national data. UVA wants to buy the Watson Wyatt compensation plan, so they can benchmark positions to the market. The old job classes will disappear, and there will be standardized occupational codes. It will be a learning process for all with big changes.
  • The salary reference data is only 1 factor. Although most people think that they are underpaid, most employees who are paid mid-band or higher are okay. UVA has their employees classified higher than most other state agencies, and pays better. The market data should be made available to supervisors and managers eventually. If employees ask, supervisors can share the data. Employees should not contact HR directly. Don't rely on the salary data on dot coms. Often times, the data is purchased from 3rd parties and not verified.
  • A policy was drafted over the holidays for up to $1,000 bonus per year. The policy is being reviewed by the management advisory group, and then will sent to the VPs with their recommendations. It will probably be April or May before the information goes out. Any bonus would be included with regular pay, and taxed at the regular tax rate. In addition to potential bonuses, there will be recognition awards eventually. Employees will still receive year end increases on 11/25.

Daweslyn introduced Kanisha Adkins, the new Deputy Director of the EOP Office. Karen Holt is the director of EOP, and her office is in Washington Hall. Kanisha Adkins' office is located on the 1st floor of Hospital West in the hall that connects the link to the old cafeteria, around the corner from the security office. She will primarily handle health system issues, but she is second in command over EOP at UVA. The office investigates claims of discrimination. These complaints can be very emotional. Often it is a question of what was intended to happen vs. what did happen. People need to respect each other. The EOP office also reviews the search process for new faculty and provides training on discrimination and harassment to try to educate supervisors and prevent problems from occurring. They are available for consultation; if you have a problem, please contact them. Kanisha will be attending future council meetings as a liaison.

Jim Kennan stated that Dr. Cantrell is concerned about FLSA; it is the law and needs to be enforced. The Board of Visitors will meet this afternoon through Saturday afternoon. Larry Fitzgerald has reviewed the Health System's financial status. It looks good; much better that other academic settings. Leonard Sandridge requested an update on bed status. There is still a severe nursing shortage. UVA continues to try to attract new nurses. The average age of nurses is in the 40s; the average age of a nurse who teaches is 49. Normally there is a shortage every 5-7 years; this shortage is stretching out. Dr. Karen Ruben is the medical director of telemedicine. There is a whole network in SW Virginia making up for a lack of medical coverage in that area. In her spare time, she continues to be a full-time MD at UVA.

Other news:

  • Tuesday, 1/16/01, is the centennial of the School of Nursing.
  • The hospital is also approaching its centennial. There is a new book, Mr. Jefferson's Nurses, which tells the story of how UVA grew. It has now been around for 2 world wars, 2 armed conflicts, a major depression and a recession. In some years, student nurses had to run things.
  • The capital campaign has exceeded expectations.
  • The Health Science Library still has a way to go with their fundraising. The library is now online with VIRGO. It ties in with other libraries. This is a major step forward, led by Linda Watson, head of the library.
  • Dr. R. Scott Jones has been elected President of the American College of Surgeons. He follows in Dr. Muller's footsteps.
  • The Combined Virginia Campaign raised $522,000, which was a big increase. The Medical Center, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Science Library received awards for their level of participation.
  • A legislative briefing was held 1/5 with local legislators. The session has now started; there are many bills for the General Assembly to review in 6 weeks, Bill Vining added that so far, there are 80 HR issues to review. He recommended that we invite Nancy Rivers from Governmental Relations to attend a meeting to provide an update on what passed once the session is over. Some of the legislative information is on UVA's headline news, which you can subscribe to from the UVA web.
  • HR is now meeting to discuss the implementation of the new performance and evaluation system. UVA will look at what other agencies are doing, so they don't have to reinvent the wheel.
  • HR is making plans for the annual service awards. They are currently selecting dates. The day program will be centrally located in Cabell this year. They will honor a 50-year employee this year, and several employees with 40 years of service. Outstanding contribution nomination forms will be mailed out in 2/01.
  • The next new employee orientation and resource fair will be held 3/29 in Newcomb Hall.
  • Issues raised at employee councils do make a difference. The FLSA Desktop Manual is a result of concerns expressed at council meetings.
  • Currently 110 people have signed up to go to Prague. The next two overseas trips should be announced in June 2001.

The minutes for the December meeting were approved, and discussion of the by-laws was deferred until the 2/01 meeting. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.