Fall 2016 Town Hall Summary

The First Danforth Staff Council Town Hall was held on Monday, October 17, 2016 from 2–4 pm.

Topics included the history of the Staff Council, an introduction to the Staff Ombuds, and announcements on Learning & Development opportunities, New hiring strategies for staff, and parking and construction.

Documented below is a summary of responses to questions submitted by staff in advance and during the Town Hall.  Many Human Resources questions fell under similar categories.  Responses from HR have been grouped accordingly.

Administration is aware that there is a lack of consistency in this area and are developing effective plans.  A direct message from the Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration and Vice Chancellor for Human Resources went to management to set expectations in this area. ‘The Resource’ will post the letter sent to management so all employees will be able to view the expectations.

If employees are not receiving performance evaluations, they are encouraged to speak with their supervisor. If not satisfied with the outcome of speaking with their supervisor, the employee is encouraged to speak to a higher level supervisor or contact Human Resources. Currently, HR has expanded the Performance Management training sessions offered to supervisors. Seven extra training sessions, in addition the six existing sessions, have been announced. New Manager Orientation also addresses the importance of performance evaluations and provides guidance on how to effectively evaluate employees.

On the Danforth Campus, several types of leave are available to staff for family leave. Family Medical Leave (FMLA) is the principal leave that is used for staff members needing time off. It entitles eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off for children, including adoption and foster placement, for either parent. If an FMLA-eligible employee exhausts their 12 weeks of FMLA, but requests additional time off, they are eligible to apply for a Departmental Leave of Absence, which provides up to another 12 weeks of job-protected time off.

Employees that do not meet the requirements of FMLA may request a non-FMLA for pregnancy, childbirth and recovery from childbirth. In all cases, employees would use their sick and/or vacation time to receive pay while out on leave. After these balances are exhausted, any remaining time off is without pay. A key difference between staff and faculty is that while staff accrue generous amounts of sick and vacation time, faculty are not eligible for either. Faculty members are entitled to Family Medical Leave under federal law. Additionally, there are Parental Leave policies in place for faculty because they are not eligible for sick or vacation time. Parental Leave policies for faculty vary based on tenure status and length of service and this leave runs concurrently with FMLA.

All policies and handbooks are available online at https://hr.wustl.edu/policies/Pages/default.aspx .

The Supervisor’s Manual was recently added to the ‘Manager’s Tools’ page at https://hr.wustl.edu/Pages/ManagersTools.aspx

There were multiple parking-related questions at the October Town Hall, the responses to which have been put on hold due to WUSTL’s East End construction projects.

However, at the March 15, 2017 DSC Town Hall we will have a team comprised of individuals from Parking, Construction and Public Affairs to speak to concerns and address questions related to parking and other implications of the East End construction.


Concerns were expressed over why staff needs to pay a fee to use the Gary M. Sumers Recreation Center. These fees are to offset the new building. Additionally, students also pay for use via their built-in student fees. Peer institutions do charge staff, often significantly more than we are being asked to pay at WashU.

An annual pass to the center is $200 ($16.66 a month) and can be paid for via a monthly payroll reduction. A five-day trial membership is available. The membership includes the following:

  • Access to all athletic facilities on campus, including Sumers, Millstone Pool, and the South Forty Recreation Center
  • Complimentary access to all BearFit exercise classes.
  • Access to all services in the Zen Den