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February 2000

Delphi Questions: EAC status, worker's compensation

Question #441 (received 20 October):

EAC activities

Discounts (ongoing)
T-shirt sales (ongoing)
Spring Fling (May)
Book fair (dates vary)
Up-the-Hill Race (September)
Craft fair (November)
Awards ceremony/holiday party (December)
Children's holiday party (December)

EAC members

Wendy Abshire (COMET)
Tina Arthur (UNAVCO)
Joan Chiszar, chair (MMM)
Bob Campbell (SCD)
Cheryl Cristanelli (HR)
Karla Edwards (F&A)
Jennifer DeLaurant (ATD)
Craig Hartsough (COMET)
Leslie Smith (ACD)
Anne-Marie Tarrant (RAP)

EAC Web site

I have spoken with quite a few people who are concerned about the potential demise of the EAC. If I've heard right, there are only four members of the EAC at present.

The EAC has brought us many benefits, aside from the social events it has organized, cell phone offers, Internet deals, health club access, discounted tickets, etc. Is there a way to bring the services of the EAC to the attention of the rest of the UCAR/NCAR community; is there a way that we can get more staff involved, by breaking their arms, threatening their jobs, etc.? Seriously, if people are not willing to volunteer, could someone be hired for the job, or could someone's job include this responsibility? These are all suggestions I have heard from other parties.

I have seen this group go from a very enthusiastic, active position to one with no accolades, no rewards, no recognition. How could we beef up the EAC?

Answer (18 November):

Unfortunately, the information that the questioner received is true. In September of this year, the EAC membership reached an all-time low of only four active members. After learning about the situation and with input from several EAC members (both current and former), I discussed the state of the EAC membership with the UCAR Management Committee (UMC). While the level of staff participation remains insufficient to carry out all of the current activities, the number of members has risen during the past two months. Currently, there are 10 active members. Their names and division/program affiliations appear below.

As the questioner so accurately pointed out, the EAC provides many benefits to UCAR/NCAR/UOP staff. It organizes and oversees a number of activities per year, including the Spring Fling, the Up-the-Hill Races, and the children's holiday party. These combined functions represent more than 20 different tasks that must be completed during the year. When membership reached a critical low, the EAC contemplated canceling certain activities. The four dedicated members decided against taking such a step and agreed instead to oversee multiple functions to make sure no activity was canceled. Their expectation was that other employees soon would join the committee and that the work could be spread among a larger number of members.

The EAC was meant to be a large group. The EAC policy, 1-1-13 [see the UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, states, in part, that "the EAC strives to maintain a minimum of 20 active members. EAC members can expect to spend a reasonable amount of their UCAR work time, with approval of their supervisors, and may volunteer additional personal time to plan and conduct EAC activities." To achieve this policy objective, the current membership needs to double. I have asked UMC members to appoint at least one person from their division or program to serve on the EAC. With their help and the cooperation of staff, I am confident the EAC will become a healthy committee once again.

I encourage UCAR employees to consider volunteering a small fraction of their time to this activity. There are many advantages to being a part of the EAC. Among these is the opportunity to interact with employees in other parts of the organization. Any staff member or visitor interested in obtaining additional information about the committee should contact Joan Chiszar, EAC chair, or any other EAC member. Their contact information is provided below. Employees may also wish to visit the EAC Web site.

--Edna Comedy, associate vice president for human resources and employee relations

Question #442 (received 23 November):

My question concerns the use of sick leave vs. "making up the time" for job-related repetitive stress injury under workers' compensation.

[Safety and Site Services] evaluated my situation and determined that I needed to go for x-rays. I was then sent to physical therapy for several weeks, with sessions each lasting one hour plus about a half hour for travel between the office and the session. To lessen the amount of time away from work, I tried to schedule the therapy sessions at noon, the beginning of the day, or the end of the day, but those hours were not always available.

Instead of being allowed to use sick leave (which I have available) for this required therapy, I was forced to make up the time by working even longer hours. This didn't help the repetitive stress injury for which I was going to physical therapy in the first place.

Why can't people use their sick leave for physical therapy under workers' comp? If I needed to go to therapy for an injury received at the gym, I could use sick leave.

Answer (23 November):

UCAR's sick leave policy does allow employees to use sick leave under workers' compensation. The Sick Leave policy UCAR Benefits Manual states:

Thus, sick leave may be used for a doctor's appointment covered under workers' compensation. As with any use of sick leave, employees are asked to give advance notification whenever possible. Employees and supervisors should use common sense when scheduling sick leave for doctor's appointments; if practical, employees should schedule appointments to minimize disruption of the work day. If desired, employees may schedule doctor's appointments outside of working hours or work with their supervisors to rearrange their schedules to eliminate the need to use sick leave.

Because this was submitted as a Delphi Question, a formal response has been given. Human Resources routinely answers questions such as this, and the writer is encouraged to contact HR for further assistance.

--Bob Roesch, HR director

Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted in confidence to the coordinator, Janet Evans (ext. 1114, ML room 517). They should be submitted in written form, preferably via interoffice mail in a sealed envelope marked confidential; they must be signed. Detailed procedures for submitting questions are given in the UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, section 4-1-2. Questions and answers of general interest to staff are submitted to Staff Notes Monthly by Janet. They may be edited for publication. For more information, including links to questions and answers published in Staff Notes Monthly and a log of all questions submitted since 1995, see the Delphi Service Web page.

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu
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