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March 4, 2002

Employee Council elects new officers for 2002-03

By Eric Rangus


Don Newsome, an accountant in the Candler School of Theology and current chair of the Employee Council’s membership committee, was chosen as the council’s president-elect for the 2002–03 year during officer elections at the council’s Feb. 20 meeting, held in the Oppenheimer Room of the Glenn Building at Grady Hospital.

Joining Newsome as 2002–03 officers are: Sonia Delbridge (secretary), Fran Wiggins (secretary-elect), Joyce Bergere (parliamentarian), Meredith Honeycutt (treasurer) and Cheryl Sroka (historian).

Alice Miller, vice president of Human Resources, addressed the council and answered several questions about possible benefits changes. Stressing that nothing is final, Miller said University officials have begun discussing adjustments to courtesy scholarships, the retirement plan and retiree benefits.

Miller said one idea is a graduated scale for courtesy scholarships in which employees with 2–5 years of service would receive 50 percent funding, employees with 5–10 years’ service would receive 75 percent and employees with more than 10 years’ service would be funded 100 percent. Employees and dependents currently receiving courtesy scholarships would be grandfathered in.

Regarding the retirement plan, one possibility is dropping the minimum age from 26 to 21 and requiring that employees work at least five years before taking Emory’s contribution with them should they leave for other employment. Miller added there could be a 5 percent increase in base salaries for current employees if this change is made.

Miller said Emory is required to set aside money to pay health care costs for its retirees. With 900 current retirees, these costs are remarkably high, she said. Because of these costs and the desire not to trim its work force, Emory is forced to address its benefits structure.

Diane Cassels, an administrator in Grady’s oncology department, spoke about the “Relay for Life,” which will take place at Druid Hills High School. Employee Council will be sponsoring a team, led by Cheryl Bowie. Participants will walk the track beginning at 7 a.m. on April 19 and continue until the following morning. Cassels said participation is $10, and each participant should raise about $100 in pledges. Each team should consist of 12–15 people. Anyone interested in signing up should contact Bowie at

The third guest speaker was Gloria Weaver of Equal Opportunity Programs. In light of the discussion about benefits changes, Weaver talked about the importance of dealing with change that is outside one’s control. She also discussed how to overcome barriers to diversity.

The next Employee Council meeting will be March 20 in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library.

If you have a question for Employee Council, send e-mail to President Bill McBride at