Questions and suggestions from the staff to management
may be submitted in confidence to the Delphi Coordinator.
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, and on the Delphi
Web site. Staff Notes Monthly publishes questions
and answers of general interest to staff, and the Delphi
Web site has a log of all questions submitted since 1995.
Delphi Questions: Employee
discounts, contractors, shipping procedures, hiring confidentiality,
CG fitness center
Delphi Question #575 (received August
2): In previous years,
the Employee Activities Committee (EAC) helped sponsor discounts
for employees with local businesses and vendors. I recently
joined a local workout center and was disappointed to learn
that UCAR/NCAR isn’t on its list of employers whose
employees receive discounts on monthly rates. Can you tell
me why EAC no longer works with local companies to provide
this type of discount?
Response (received August 27): EAC welcomes new discounts,
especially those that promote the well-being of UCAR employees.
Since pursuing new discounts takes so much time, EAC members
can only actively pursue a limited set. However, if any employee
wishes to pursue a new discount, we encourage the interested
employee to contact the vendor for information and details
about that discount. We also ask the employee to write a
description of the discount and how employees can obtain
it, and then submit all the above to firstname.lastname@example.org.
EAC will not keep track of discount participants. (Such as: “Get
25 friends and qualify for a discount.”) Nor will EAC
handle any funds. Any discount must be completely between
the employee and the vendor. Discounts must also fit guidelines
of promoting the well-being of UCAR employees. Examples of
this would be anything that promotes fitness, communication,
recreation, health, and many other activities.
Once the employee has done the footwork, EAC will gladly
add the discount to our Web
—Barbara Holub, EAC Discount Coordinator
Delphi Question #576 (received August
6): I recently heard
that contract employees are not allowed to participate in
our all-staff celebrations. I understand that they are not
allowed to have a drink or a plate of food. But can’t
we take them something? It just seems mean not to share with
the few contract workers who may be working that day. The
security staff who really help us out during these events
come to mind, as well as the cleaning people who have to
work harder to clean up after the events.
I know we hosted a retirement party for Ron Wicker (former
security manager) before he left. How is it that we can host
a party for one contract worker but not share with other
contract workers when they are at the location where an event
is hosted? And why is it such an issue anyway? It’s
just a few drinks or plates of food.
Response (received August 10): UCAR’s practice of
not sharing food and beverages with outside contractors is
a commonly accepted business practice, and one that is consistent
with the wishes of our security and custodial contracting
organizations. We have recently reviewed this practice and
are comfortable with our current policy. The referenced retirement
party was contracted and paid for by a third party, not UCAR.
UCAR of course does not determine who may partake in refreshments
in instances of events paid for by others.
—Steve Sadler, Director, Safety and Site Services
Delphi Question #577 (received August
24): With ACD having
moved to FL0, most of NCAR’s laboratories and divisions
that receive sizable shipments via FedEx, UPS, or otherwise
are located at the Center Green or Foothills campuses. Why
is it that NCAR retains its official shipping address (not
mailing address) at the Mesa Lab? Typically, most of the
shipments are delivered by semi-trucks up the hill to the
Mesa Lab, sorted, and then packed up on another semi-truck
to be hauled to Foothills and Center Green. In addition,
UPS shipments sometimes get delayed by several days
because there is an apparent agreement that all UPS
shipments (except overnight shipments) must go to the Mesa
Lab, even if one tries to have them shipped to Foothills.
Aside from the environmental impact this policy is causing,
it often causes precious time delays for urgently needed
parts or tools for many research groups.
Wouldn’t it make sense to drop the Mesa Lab as the
official shipping address and cancel the “special” UPS
agreement that all UPS shipments must go to
Response (September 20): Thanks for the question. While
true that a single division moved to the Foothills campus,
there remains a significant presence of all the other UCAR
divisions, programs, and employees at various sites. As long
as UCAR maintains multiple sites, daily “redistribution” trips
are required. Moving “central receiving” to another
site will not reduce the number of
UPS delivers daily to the Mesa Laboratory at 10:30 a.m. (business
days only). Packages are normally logged in, processed, and
delivered before the close of the same business day. However,
some packages arrive without any identification. This delays
delivery while Logistics Operations researches where to deliver
the package. Unfortunately, moving central receiving or changing
the address will not alleviate identification issues, which
constitute the majority of
While the Mesa Laboratory may not be perfect for central
receiving, it remains the most viable alternative among existing
sites. Storage, handling, and processing space is severely
limited at other sites. There are insufficient docks and
lifts at other locations. Moving central receiving to another
existing location would jeopardize the health and well-being
of Logistics Operations employees by increasing the amount
of manual lifting required. It is not economically feasible
to have independent delivery to each UCAR site as that
would require additional staffing, space, and equipment.
In summary, for all its apparent drawbacks, the Mesa Lab
will remain our central receiving facility for the foreseeable
Logistics Operations strives to make all deliveries in a
timely manner. If you have time-sensitive deliveries, feel
free to contact Logistics Operations at ext. 1151 ahead of
time and they can be on the lookout for your package. If
you experience any problems, please contact Kerry Slaven
at ext. 1151.
—Steve Sadler, Director, Safety and Site Services
Delphi Question #578 (received August
29): Are there policies
and procedures in place regarding confidentiality in the
hiring process? It seems that there is information leakage
ranging from who is in the applicant pool to who has made
the interview process, especially involving in-house applicants.
These leaks are troubling, considering the “Does your
supervisor know that you are applying for this position?” question.
Are hiring committees screened to see if members have taken
HR’s Hiring Information, Resources and Enlightenment
(HIRE) training session? Are the members quizzed on their
relationships with the applicants? Shouldn’t committee
members recuse themselves from portions of the hiring process
if they have relationships with applicants?
Response (received September 10): Human Resources makes
every effort to maintain the integrity of UCAR’s hiring
processes, including the confidentiality of those applying.
This topic is discussed and emphasized during Hiring Information,
Resources and Enlightenment (HIRE) training. HIRE training
is mandatory for hiring supervisors who are then responsible
for the actions of all committee members.
When there are internal applicants it is often unavoidable
that there is a professional relationship with some
or all of the panel members. On occasion, interview panel
members or the chair ask for guidance when they are acquainted
with an applicant. HR advises individuals to recuse
themselves from a process where there may be a real or strongly
perceived conflict of interest, and to use their best judgment
Your question is a good reminder to staff that confidentiality
during any UCAR hiring process is essential. If an employee
has serious concerns about a particular hiring process, he
or she is encouraged to speak with HR about those concerns.
—Nancy Wade, Employment Administrator, HR
Delphi Question #579 (received September
4): I understood
there was to be a fitness center at Center Green. I heard
this in 2005, and then in 2006 I understood that we were
awaiting recommendations from the Computer Facilities Planning
Committee before proceeding. Can you tell me if we will be
getting a fitness center at Center Green and, if so, what
the current timeline is?
Response (received September 6): There are still plans for
a fitness center
at Center Green. As plans for the new supercomputing center
developed, the possibility of utilizing the Mesa Lab computing
room facility and its existing infrastructure needed to be
evaluated and compared with the costs of providing a new
divisional computing center at Center Green. The full utilization
of NSF-owned facilities is particularly important. In addition,
the evaluation will also include recommendations for cost
allocation and management methods. These recommendations
will be presented to the President’s Council this winter.
Following the review of these recommendations, the design
of a new fitness center could begin as soon as spring 2008.
—Marion Hammond, UCAR Facilities Manager for
Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may
be submitted in confidence to the Delphi Coordinator Marc
Genty. 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, and on the Delphi
Web site. Staff
Notes Monthly publishes questions and answers of general
interest to staff, and the Delphi Web site has a log of all
questions submitted since 1995