Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

March 19, 2015

Student employment initiative detailed

Staff Association Council (SAC) members learned about Human Resources’ new student employment initiative at the group’s March 11 meeting.

Since January, student employment at Pitt, including job applications, hiring and time keeping for University jobs and federal work-study positions, has been handled through PRISM TRKS (time record keeping system). So far this term there have been 4,497 student applications for 355 positions, with 274 students hired.

Stephen M. Ferber, assistant vice chancellor for Human Resources, told SAC the system is “95 percent working … We still have people issues” concerning who is designated as the official supervisor versus who is asked to approve time cards — and with the timely student completion and supervisor approval of those cards.

“This is our semester to work all the kinks out of the process,” he said, and to try to get rid of more of the paper forms that remain. “I don’t want to have paper on-boarding of students,” he said. “I don’t want to have things going up and down Fifth Avenue.”

HR plans to publicize this new use of PRISM TRKS more widely in the fall, and to continue to refine its features.


In other SAC news:

• SAC President Rich Colwell characterized Pitt Day in Harrisburg on March 4 as successful, despite the fact that Pitt faculty, staff and other community members were two and a half hours behind schedule for this annual lobbying event due to traffic caused by an accident on the Turnpike. But Colwell questioned why more staff members did not attend. “It’s the time of the year,” volunteered one SAC member. “If it were in the spring, closer to graduation,” it would be easier to get time off, she said. “I have problems even coming here now,” another added. “I’m on the arts and sciences schedule of half-hour lunches. To ask for a day off… .”

• SAC still needs a chair for its committee to organize Pitt’s Kennywood Day, set for July 19. “We really would like to find someone,” said Lindsay J. Rodzwicz, vice president of public relations.

Colwell suggested that the duties might be shared by multiple co-chairs, and said SAC administrator Marcie Johnson will help with committee activities.

• Parliamentarian Lynn Rosen said SAC members will vote in April on the reinstatement of an employee relations liaison position for the group; the person will hear grievances from members and seek information from the appropriate Pitt office. SAC’s previous liaison was eliminated when the bylaws were rewritten two years ago. Now Associate Vice Chancellor Ronald W. Frisch “challenged us to add that back into our structure,” Rosen said. She cautioned that the liaison will not be an ombudsman or a staff advocate but rather someone who can help get staff questions answered. The employee relations liaison will have a two-year term.

• Frisch, in attendance at the meeting, noted that the online anti-sexual harassment training link sent to staff via Read Green recently was “truly a voluntary program.

“As of Friday [March 6] we have more than 9,000 people who have completed it,” representing more than half of those who received it. “This is hopefully the first of many online programs we’re going to introduce to you.”

—Marty Levine