Advocate Educate Appreciate

Advocate

The Staff Senate represents all classified and non-student wage employees at George Mason University.  Working closely with University administration, we address concerns that have an impact on the quality of work-life for the Mason community.  The work of the Senate is accomplished through open and continuous communication with its constituents.

Educate

The Mason Staff Senate works collaboratively with the administration, Faculty Senate, student government, and other university departments to gather and disseminate information on behalf of our constituents.  Once common areas of concern are identified, we work to bring about change that will benefit constituencies across all Mason’s campuses.

Appreciate

With support from the administration, the Mason Staff Senate sponsors annual staff appreciation events, the outstanding supervisor award, and participates in the employee of the month award program.  Staff recognition is paramount at Mason and the Senate works hard to foster Mason’s culture of recognition, making Mason a great place to work

Mason Lobbies and State Government Relations to be Highlighted at November Staff Senate Meeting

Mason students, faculty, and alumni visit the Senate Chamber of the Virginia State Capitol during Mason Lobby Day in Richmond. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Mason students, faculty, and alumni visit the Senate Chamber of the Virginia State Capitol during Mason Lobby Day in Richmond. | Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Wednesday, November 5
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Fairfax, Research 163; Arlington, Founders Hall B119; and Prince William, Bull Run Hall 254

Guest Speakers:

Mark Smith, Director, State Government Relations, Government and Community Relations
Kevin Jackson, Jr., Student Government – Secretary of Government and Community Relations, Mason Lobbies

Guest speakers begin at noon, followed by time to ask questions, express concerns, or offer accolades about issues concerning the Staff Senate. The Staff Senate business meeting begins at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome, and registration is not necessary.

 

Outstanding Supervisor Award Recipients 2014

The Staff Senate is pleased to announce this year’s Outstanding Supervisors. Chosen from a competitive pool of over a dozen nominees, the two winners, Brian Gantt, Director, ITU Finance & Procurement, and Betty Zimmerman, Assistant Director, Graduate Admissions, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, exemplify the Mason spirit with their outstanding leadership.  Read more about these outstanding supervisors in this Mason News article.

2014 Outstanding Supervisor Award Recipients
Outstanding Supervisor Award

Brian Gantt (far left) receives the Outstanding Supervisor Award at Fairfax Campus. |Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Photo by Lisa Bair

Betty Zimmerman (second from left) receives Outstanding Supervisor of the Year award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable Mention

A third candidate receives honorable mention, David Gibbs, former Head of Collection Development and Preservation, University Libraries, for his past dedication to the Mason community.

Honorable Mention, David Gibbs (third from left), former Head of Collection Development and Preservation, University Libraries | Photo by Michelle Polchow

Nominees

A round of applause goes to all the nominees. Each a winner in the eyes of those they supervise.

Nominated for this year’s awards were:

  • Susan Brionez, Office Manager, Assistant to Associate Dean, Volgenau School of Engineering
  • Marquita Chamblee, Director, Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Education
  • Eileen Gallagher, Associate Director, Contracts, Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Whitney Gaston, Director, Admissions and Advising, College of Health & Human Services
  • Tim Harps, Event Services Manager, Prince William, Student Centers
  • Brian Platt, Chair/Associate Professor, History & Art History
  • Jerrelyn Madden, Clinical Coordinator, Student Health Services
  • Samantha McCullogh, Administrative Assistant, Institutional Research & Reporting
  • Joy Taylor, Director, Learning Support Services, DoIT – Learning Support Services
  • Andrias White, Events Manager, Admissions

Lisa Bair Named October Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month ceremony

President Ángel Cabrera presents the Employee of the Month award to Lisa Bair at a ceremony at Fairfax Campus. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

A heartfelt congratulations to Lisa Bair, former office manager for the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, newly named human resources and administrative specialist in the Environmental Science and Policy Department, and Mason Staff Senator for being awarded the October 2014 Employee of the Month award.

Read more about Lisa in this Mason News article.

Do you know a superstar? Make sure her or she gets the deserved recognition and submit a nomination for Mason’s Employee of the Month.  Additional information can be found on the HR awards page.

Contact Reward & Recognition at awards@gmu.edu with questions.

You Asked, We Listened . . . and Found the Answer: Parking Rates for Part-time Staff

A Mason staff member recently contacted the Staff Senate asking about parking rates for part-time and new employees. The question:

As a part-time wage employee, I am requesting the university consider reduced parking fees for part-time and intermittent staff. We do not occupy parking spaces as full time staff members, so it would be appropriate and fair if we had reduced parking rates!

We referred the question to Josh Cantor, Director or Parking and Transportation. Here’s his response:

Your email to the staff senate and parking was forwarded to my attention. It is a topic that has been discussed with the senior administration and budget office from time to time. Some schools do have a scale where one’s salary is a factor in parking rates. At Mason and like most universities, Parking & Transportation is a self-funded auxiliary, meaning they do not receive tuition dollars or funds from the state budget. Thus, all of our expenses, which are nearly $16 million per year when you include debt service on past construction, operations, shuttle service, CUE bus subsidy, maintenance and projects, must be paid for by revenue generate by Parking and Transportation. Each year, the aim is to price permits at the lowest level that allows us to create enough revenue to pay all the bills. In many years, the fund has had a deficit of $400,000 to $1,000,000, and we’ve drawn upon maintenance reserves to avoid raising the fees even higher. Those reserves are limited and are needed for millions of dollars in garage repairs that need to be done in the next 10 years.

When the topic of a reduced rate for part-time, wage, or lower paid classified has come up, the concern is if the price is dropped for one group, that’s lost revenue that will require another group to be charged even more. The other concern that has been voiced is that to be fair, one should really take household income into consideration when looking at one’s ability to pay (similar to how financial aid is decided for students), but we don’t want to be in the business of looking at w2’s, etc.

Our Approach is to offer an array of parking options, ranging from the West Campus permit, which is less than half the price of a general permit), the Field House permit, which is $100 less than a general permit,  to the reserved, higher priced options. We also offer free shuttles, free CUE bus rides by showing your Mason ID, and bicycling options. We know that not all options meet everyone’s needs, but the hope is that there is a solution, although one does have to make a choice and weigh his or her convenience, finance, and personal preference into making a decision.

On a similar issue, we have been asked about payroll deduction for part-time, wage, and adjunct faculty. The state sets which classifications can have payroll deductions. We have started to work with Human Resources & Payroll and Fiscal Services on a potential solution in which employees not eligible for payroll deduction could have an automated payment plan.  It would require a lot of resources, both in personnel and in financial systems, but this is something we think is worth pursuing.

Long story short, your question has been discussed but with our financial situation and the desire to hold prices down, decreasing parking rates for part-time employees would result in an increase for full-time employees and students.

Come to the Staff Senate October General meeting to hear more about parking from Josh Cantor, guest speaker.

Do you have a question for the Staff Senate?  Go to our Comments, Concerns, Ideas?  Share them! page. Then check back in future issues of this newsletter for answers.