ERAC November 14, 2012 Minutes
Executive Summary of Minutes

ERAC Goals

Last time we broke up into three different groups to identify goals we would like to have for this year. In filtering through them, we were able to come up with three primary categories of goals.

  • Awards – how they work, how they are publicized, how people are nominated, how award recipients are determined -
  • Communications – how do we deal with communication among staff
  • ERAC’s charge – difference between what ERAC’s charge is and what ERAC does. Updating the charge and making it more relevant and to align better with ERAC’s activities

Awards will be addressed by the awards committee. Communications will be addressed by Seth, Tom and Glenn. ERAC’s charge would fall under bylaws committee.

Committee Updates

  • Senior Officer’s Benefits Allocation Review report – Toni Lee Febbo was looking for feedback from the members of ERAC’s areas. The feedback included:
    • “pleased no changes to the tuition benefits. One of the reasons many people work at Lehigh is the education benefits for both employees and their families.”
    • “some people were upset about the pension decrease. It would have been easier to stomach getting 2% taken away for pension had they opened up the $5,000 tuition cash grant benefit for non-exempt staff.”
    • “it is difficult for people to put away 1% of their increase for pension when their annual salary increase is generally 2-3%. People are deciding if they should put food on their table or put money in their pension plan.”

    People should be encouraged to go to the open sessions to ask questions and obtain more information.

    The question was asked if a separate session should be held for non-exempt staff. The feeling is that more questions would be asked. That is presuming that only non-exempt staff members are receiving lower salaries and that may not be reality.

    Toni Lee stated that the confirmation of the revised short term disability benefits will be made prior to the open sessions. If folks, especially non-exempt staff members are concerned about not gaining the tuition cash grant and the change in retirement benefits, Lehigh can then say “yes but we gave you an improved short term disability benefit.” We are trying to do something positive for the non-exempt staff that will benefit everyone. Short Term Disability changes will come out in the December Spotlight. The open sessions are December 4th and 5th.

  • Bylaws – we have struggled a bit with consistency of memberships. Some people have not been able to fulfill their duties – leaving at the beginning of their term, midterm or not even start. The bylaws did not consistently say how many people are being added each year, what to do with the vacancies. We are shooting to have six people come on and off every year. For the vacancies someone will be added only to fulfill that term. We are proposing that we elect six people in the upcoming election. There will be six people rotating off. In 2014, 11 people will be leaving their term. We have several alternatives. In order to maintain the consistency of that six per year, ask five people to stay an extra year on ERAC – extend their terms. OR we can have a smaller ERAC board for one year. What that would do is even out the memberships going forward. It was decided that we would ask board members coming to the end of their term to stay an additional year. Ainsley will send an email to the eleven people leaving in 2014, asking if they are willing to stay an extra year.
  • Events/Brown Bags – last brown bag went pretty well. Approximately 48 people attended. The next Brown Bag is scheduled for November 28th. Cards were handed out at the last Brown Bag session for suggestions. We received a lot of suggestions. The events committee will meet to discuss the suggestions and hash out the upcoming Brown Bag sessions.

ERAC representatives from the events committee also participated in the Transportation and Parking Services Advisory Group Meeting. It was suggested there be a Brown Bag session on parking trends. A pedestrian only campus is being discussed. The hang tags are renewed every year to accommodate for the people that leave but don’t turn in their hang tags. Also being considered is something similar to Easy Pass that would track you going in and out. Doing this will allow only one of your vehicles can be on campus at the same time. The Transportation and Parking Services Advisory Group also talked about a one-time fee parking proposal. You can either pay up-front or have payroll deductions as they’ve been doing.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:15 am. Glenn Strause made the motion to adjourn the meeting and Ainsley Lamberton seconded the motion.

Respectfully submitted,
Brenda K. Bachman

NEXT ERAC MEETING will be December 12 in STEPS 102

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