Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting
Monday, April 4, 2011 8:25 – 9:55 AM
Present: Bettina Cothran (Chair), Wayne Book, Amy Heron, Tommy Little, Dave Millard, Barry Sharp, Marita Sullivan, Teresa Snow, & Vytautas Valencius (Student Rep.).
Absent: Richard Dagenhart, Debbie Lee.
Minutes from 3/7/11 were reviewed and approved.
Marita Sullivan: Update on OHR Staffing
Sharon Ray has resigned as Director of Benefits at GT. OHR will be posting a job announcement both internally and externally. In addition, they will be reaching out to professional organizations to try to get the strongest candidates possible. A search committee will be designated in the coming weeks.
Bettina Cothran remarked that Sharon was an excellent director and will be hard to replace. It is often difficult for state positions to compete with corporate positions. There is a need for greater flexibility for the institute to try to both acquire and retain good employees.
Marita Sullivan: Update on Childcare
Second Childcare Facility:
Members of OHR had a brief meeting with Rich Steele to go over the numbers and look at operational costs.
The Institute’s desire at this time is to see how we can get a 2nd childcare center without contracting out. Currently there is a $2.5 million line item in the capital campaign for a childcare center.
A question was asked whether this would have to go through the BOR. Marita stated that it probably does not need BOR approval
Summer Camps: Database of summer camps is now linked to the GT benefits website. OHR will be sending out posters and postcards to alert everyone. So far, OHR has been getting a positive reaction from employees regarding the website.
School Closing/Day Camps: GT wants to offer campus day camps for certain holidays or breaks which do not generally coincide with the GT holiday calendar. There will be a meeting to discuss this option in the next couple of days. Intent is to pilot the project for FY 2011-2012 for holidays such as winter break, President’s day, etc. OHR developed a spreadsheet of school closings and matched it with the list of dependents to assess the need for common dates.
OHR will be partnering with other campus entities such at the Campus Recreation Center and Ferst Center to develop a plan. Efforts will be made to try to make the options affordable for everyone.
Other Care Options:
Center City Option: Currently OHR is still pricing and evaluating. It may not be fundable for 2011.
‘Backup’ Care: This option needs to be explored further.
Marita Sullivan: Update on Service Anniversaries
Service Anniversaries will continue this year to be honored at the Faculty/Staff luncheon.
In 2012, OHR will take over the awards. They would like to start recognizing more dates
as well as improving the overall recognition of the efforts of GT employees.
Dave Millard stated that GTRI has its own function.
Marita Sullivan stated that they are looking into what could be done at the department level. However, they would want to make sure that there are guidelines in place and that there is consistency in the level of recognition that the employees receive.
Marita Sullivan: Update on Great Colleges to Work For
GT is again participating in the Great College to Work For survey. There will be an institute questionnaire as well as a separate questionnaire that goes out to 600 employees.
The Institute has new programs that they can add this year such as donated leave and summer camps.
Marita Sullivan: Career Development Programs for Faculty/Staff
OHR will be taking over the administration of the Staff Tuition Reimbursement Assistance Program (STRAP) which has been previously administered by separate divisions on campus. There are no updates at this time.
A point was brought up that some universities offer tuition benefits for employee dependents. For example, children of Emory employees can attend Emory for free if they are accepted.
The Faculty Women’s club at GT privately funds some assistance through a scholarship program.
It was suggested that providing tuition assistance might be a good benefit to explore. Even providing the difference between the Hope Scholarship and GT tuition would be helpful.
Action Item—OHR will look into this idea and provide the FBC with information as it becomes available.
Wayne Book: AJC Article on Pension Plans:
Wayne Book brought to FBC’s attention a recent AJC article with dealt with fiscal problems with retirement systems. Currently the Ga. State system seems problematic. TRS seems to be in better shape. This situation should be monitored and appropriate responses given as necessary.
Marita Sullivan: New Benefits for Employees:
OHR will be rolling out new banking benefits for employees in 30-45 days. They are currently working with the treasury office that interfaces with banks to provide extra benefits to GT employees. These options may include free safety deposit boxes, GT branded checks and perhaps no ATM fees anywhere in the nation.
Bettina Cothran also emphasized that efforts should be made to ensure that there were no issues using ATM cards abroad. Some cards do not read properly because they are lacking a chip, or use one different from card chips used in Europe.
Upcoming FBC Meetings for Spring Semester
Meetings will occur in the OHR Conference Rm (220) from 8:25-9:55 on the following dates:
Monday, May 2nd