Emory Report

June 12, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 35

University Governance: Employee Council

Guest speakers Mark Hafitz from accounts payable and David Thurston from the bursar's office led off the May 17 Employee Council meeting at Harland Cinema.

Hafitz and Thurston presented an overview of the new automated time and attendance system being implemented for Emory's approximately 5,500 hourly employees. The phone-based system is currently in use at Crawford Long and Emory hospitals. It will eliminate the current method of tracking hours using time sheets.

With the new system, biweekly paid employees will clock in and out by phone. In response to a question about employees without phones, Hafitz said employees can clock in from any telephone in any building, even cellular phones if necessary. That also would help telecommuters. The system also is able to identify where calls originate-this would prevent clocking in from traffic jams, for example.

"The primary goal is making sure people get paid on time and get paid the right amount," Hafitz said. He added that employees using the current, paper-based system sometimes experience delays in getting paid and that work-study students were particularly affected.

He also understood that this represents a cultural change, since nonexempt, monthly paid employees will not be switching to the system.

Pilot groups will begin using the system this fall. The goal is to have all University biweekly employees on it by early 2001.

In other news, the special issues committee announced the creation of four subcommittees: one to investigate adding an ATM machine in the Human Resources building, one to address the habits of employees who smoke congregating too close to building exits, making entry and exit difficult, and two others that will continue work from the 1999-2000 academic year-childcare and promotions and transfers.

The communications committee accepted five volunteers to plan activities for Anniversary Week, scheduled for Sept. 25­29. The planners will be responsible for one day each. The schedule is still tentative, but the itinerary should include the following activities:

Monday, Sept. 25: Meet Your Employee Council Representative event in the Dobbs Center. This would allow members to introduce themselves to constituents and pass out information outlining the Council's responsibilities.

Tuesday, Sept. 26: Brown bag lunches focusing on employee concerns. Ideas include presentations on stress management, benefits, the Office of Disability Services and diversity in the workplace.

Wednesday, Sept. 27: Organizational fair in the Dobbs Center with representatives from different areas of the University, such as Volunteer Emory, parking and community service, and Equal Opportunity Programs, among others.

Thursday, Sept. 28: Town hall meeting with President Bill Chace.

Friday, Sept. 29: Awards recognition luncheon thanking the people and organizations who have contributed to the creation and growth of the Council over the past 30 years.

The membership committee pledged to work on improving the accuracy of the membership roster. It also wanted to encourage recruiting by networking with the people responsible for assigning staff to the Council. The goal is to fill the maximum number of positions allowed in the organization. The committee will also improve its attendance monitoring and speak to members who are frequent absentees.

Regarding this issue, President Susan Cook said that if members know they will miss a meeting, they should either e-mail her or membership committee chair Don Newsome; then they should appoint an alternate to attend in their place. The point being that an absent member cuts off employees in his or her department. Cook also suggested creating an e-mail listserv to distribute information to constituents.

Council members who sit on the University Senate reported on its last meeting, and Cook closed discussion on the University Senate's Resolution for the Georgia flag.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, in 201 Goizueta Business School.

--Eric Rangus

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