Health System Academic and Research Employee Council Meeting Minutes
February 21, 2002

Location: VP Conference Room - McKim Hall

With the majority of the Council representatives present, as well as the invited guest, the meeting was called to order, the guest speaker introduced, and official Council proceedings commenced.

Mr. Jay Scott, Associate Dean for Finance for the School of Medicine, was this month's special guest. Mr. Scott made a presentation which focused on two major points. The first discussion focused on a recent electronic memo that was distributed to all Department and Center Administrators regarding some employee concerns regarding strong fragrances, both perfume or cologne and scented candles, in the work place. A complaint was made by an employee regarding apparent respiratory affects sustained as a result of these fragrances, and the Administration was looking at this closely. The Administration is currently formulating a policy to address this concern as they understand the importance of a good environment, both for the employees as well as our patients. It is also considering amending the dress code policy to include guidelines with regard to personal fragrances. As for scented candles, they also represent a breach of the fire safety code, and open flames are prohibited in all situations excluding a laboratory setting. Mr. Scott said that once the policy has been developed, it will be published for all to review.

The second item Mr. Scott wanted to review, and the primary reason for his attendance at this meeting, was the Rewards and Recognition Policy. (The following will serve as a brief overview of the presentation made by Mr. Scott. For specific questions, and a complete overview of the policy, please refer to the SOM Policy section of the School of Medicine web site.

The Rewards and Recognition Policy (RRP) is a program that was developed on a State government level with the input of numerous agency employees, including several from the University of Virginia, to allow for various means of recognizing staff members for performance ranging from single incidents of great service to sustained exemplary service. The rewards are broken down into two major categories, Instant Awards and Planned Awards, and have three levels of acknowledgment.

  • Instant Awards refer to the acknowledgment of a single act that your supervisor wants to show their appreciation for your efforts (i.e. doing a great job helping a patient with a problem or doing a great job planning and coordinating a meeting or seminar).
  • Planned Awards refer to those activities that meet a criteria that is established in advance and the goals are met (i.e. improved productivity of an individual or team).
  • The three levels of rewards are: Level One-up to $200 and/or one day of comp. leave, Level Two-up to $500 and/or 3 days comp. leave, and Level Three-$1000 and/or 5 days comp. leave.

Awards up to $500 or 3 days off are initiated and awarded on the department level, following Dean's review, and awards above that level require prior approval from the Dean's office. Of course, these financial awards are subject to departmental fund availability. A complete listing of the seven Award categories can be found on the web site noted above, as well as the forms required for submission to the Dean's office. The policy was rolled out in December 2001 and Mr. Scott has held several training sessions for Department and Center Administrators. If you, or your supervisor, have specific questions, please refer to the web site or contact Mr. Scott's office.

Without further questions for Mr. Scott, he retired from the proceedings and Anda Webb led the discussion. Mrs. Webb's main point was regarding the Commonwealth's Budget activity in Richmond. In a word, the outlook is bleak. There will be an across-the-board cut-back in funds allotted by Richmond this year; all areas will be effected. Just how much of an effect will not be finalized until mid-March, so look for an answer at future Employee Council meetings.

Link to the proposed cuts

Mr. Bill Vining next led the discussion by acknowledging and applauding the efforts of Jay Scott, Tom Gausvik, and others that led to the creation of the Rewards and Recognition Policy.

  • April 17th at 1:30 in Newcomb Hall will be the New Employee Orientation and Resource Fair. This is a great opportunity for all UVA employees to see what services are offered to support them and their activities as UVA employees and their families.
  • The Annual Service Awards Program will be held May 21st at Cabell Hall. This is the program that acknowledges those employees with 10, 15, and 20 years of Service to the University. And on June 13th, the OMNI Charlottesville will host the Program to honor those with 25 or greater years of service to the University.
  • The Outstanding Contributor Award ,the highest award presented to staff members, will also be awarded at the OMNI. Nominations for this award are accepted through March.
  • UVA TRIP update: arrangements are being made for the November 2002 trip which is slated for Greece. Bill hopes to have flyers ready by the next meeting with complete details and deadlines.

NEW BUSINESS: To expound on Mr. Scott's discussion of the fragrance issue, a letter from Dean Carey was read asking for our Council's input on the matter. While the council did not have any specific recommendations for the Dean, it was hoped that matters such as this could be addressed on a local level and a suitable compromise attained to provide a suitable and beneficial environment for our employees and out patients. It was also noted that concerns such as this be directed to the E.O.P. office for assistance in resolving the problem. It is a very personal and sensitive issue, and we look forward to seeing what the Administration will offer in their new policy.

The New Inclement Weather policy, which was distributed to all Medical Center Administrators by Patricia Van Hook, was read at the meeting. In summation, it notes that the grace period allowed will be consistent between the Academic departments and the Medical Center. If an inclement weather situation should arise, please refer to local media or the weather phone line (924-SNOW) for updates and grace periods.

Without further business for review, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be March 21st at 10:00 in the VP Conference Room in McKim Hall.