Staff Council discusses emergency leave, long hours

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Staff proposed some employees could donate extra leave, but this could cause awkward office environment, president says.

 By Ansley Lewis

The wildly important goal (WIG),“7 Habits” training and staff weekly work hours dominated the Staff Council meeting Friday.

Analisa Garza, Staff Council president and MESA program coordinator, presented those topics, which had been discussed Oct. 2 at the Unified Staff Council meeting, to the 11 out of 13 members present at the Staff Council meeting.

After getting a headcount of members who had successfully completed the “7 Habits” training, Garza introduced the issue of staff who are working more than the contracted 40 hours per week and the emergency leave bank.

Jacob Martinez, Staff Council president-elect, said it is now the norm for most staff to work more than 40 hours a week.

Garza said the council received a letter last year inquiring about the staff emergency leave bank.

“Last year, an employee wrote that they would like to be able to donate their leave to a specific person,” Garza said. “We discussed some good and bad things — pros and cons — of that situation.”

Garza said the council has received only one letter regarding this issue, which is not enough to prove staff are requesting more leave and not getting it.

Garza added she was not sure how donating leave would affect the dynamics of departments.

“Say there is a department of six people and someone’s ill; four people in the department are donating leave, and someone is like, ‘I don’t really want to donate leave,’” Garza said. “What does that do to the dynamics of the department?

“They shouldn’t feel as if they have to donate that, and, at the same time, it’s putting everybody in an uncomfortable position.”

Garza brought up the possibility people might begin soliciting co-workers for their leave.

“There are a lot of issues we want to research more before really picking this up and going with it,” Garza said regarding the soliciting of leave and the emergency leave bank.

Garza said the council would need to determine a clear rubric and limitations.

The council also discussed who would chair its various committees.

The committees fall into three categories: election, employee of the month and special event committees.

Special event committees include, but are not limited to, the Veteran’s Day, scholarship, turkey give-away and angel tree committees.

The next Staff Council meeting is 2:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in the faculty lounge.

For more information, call Garza at 210-486-1825.


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