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October 13, 1994

Senior administrators to address Staff Council's Oct. 31 Assembly

Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor, Provost James Maher and Senior Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance Ben Tuchi will be the guest speakers at Staff Association Council's (SAC) annual fall assembly on Oct. 31 from noon to 2 p.m. in the William Pitt Union Ballroom.

The topic of the fall assembly will be "Serving Your University" and will focus on how staff can support the mission of the University.

SAC President Darlene Harris said at SAC's Oct. 12 meeting that the assembly will be an unique opportunity for staff members to meet with three of the University's top administrators and hear them address issues of concern to staff.

"People will definitely have the opportunity to speak to all of them directly," Harris said. "They will be part of the question-and-answer session. After every speaker there will be a question-and-answer period." Harris also said that the assembly will be linked by satellite to the regional campuses and urged SAC members at the regional campuses to secure a room where they can watch the assembly and provide feedback of their own.

Release time has been granted for staff wishing to attend the assembly. If there are any questions about release time, staff members should have their supervisors check with department chairpersons or deans.

"We encourage everybody who can to come to the assembly," said Gwen Watkins, chair of SAC's program and planning committee. "That is the only way you're going to know what is going on and show the administration that you're interested in things." Senior Vice Chancellor of Health Sciences Thomas Detre also has been invited to speak at the assembly, but he has been out of town and has not yet responded to the invitation, according to Harris.

In other business: * It was announced at the Oct. 12 meeting that SAC, in cooperation with the Pitt Athletic department, will sponsor a Faculty, Staff and Family Appreciation Day at the Pitt vs. Temple football game on Oct. 29 at 1:30 p.m. For the single price of $20, two adults and as many as five children will be able to attend the game. One adult must be a member of the University staff or faculty.

Advance tickets can be ordered by campus mail from Gate 1, Pitt Stadium or by dropping off a completed application at Gate 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Advance tickets also can be ordered through the U.S. mail by writing: Pitt Ticket Office, Box 360080, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-6080. For more information call: 648-8300.

"You really can't beat it," said Watkins. "Because it is only $20 for a family to go."

* SAC members heard from Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Darlene Lewis that a total of 734 grievances or inquiries about grievances were handled by the Office of Human Resources from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30.

Of that total, however, only eight formal grievances were filed. One of those formal grievances was redressed, two denied, four withdrawn and one is still going through the process.

There also were 247 informal grievances handled, 88 early interventions, 218 general inquiries and 174 supervisor inquiries.

* SAC member Carol Kenderes, a member of the Pitt Board of Trustees audit committee, reported that there has been discussion within the committee about increasing full-time employees' hours from the current 37.5 hours to 40 hours per week.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Lewis said that the change is "a big issue," but that nothing has been decided. She did not know if employees would be required to work 40 hours for the same salary as they currently receive for 37.5 hours if a change is ordered.

Lewis also said that a memo concerning Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation will be going out to staff members sometime within the next two or three weeks. Lewis declined to elaborate on the memo's content.

–Mike Sajna

Filed under: Feature,Volume 27 Issue 4

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