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

Budget Forum Scheduled for October 1

Provost David Wu and Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance J.J. Davis will hold an open budget discussion on Wednesday, October 1, from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. All members of the university community are invited to attend. The budget discussion will provide an opportunity for the Mason Community to learn more about the budget climate and will serve as a follow-up to the budget forum that was held in early September.

The Budget Forum will be accessible as follows and will also be archived for online viewing after the event:

  • Fairfax:  Research Hall, Room 163
  • Prince William:  Bull Run Hall, Room 254
  • Arlington:  Founders Hall, Room 322
  • Front Royal:  Academic, Room 219
  • Loudoun:  Signal Hill, Room 101

The previous budget forum held on September 4 may be viewed online.

For further information, contact Laura Bell at lbell@gmu.edu or Kathy Jayne at kjayne@gmu.edu.

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  considers reduced parking fees for part-time and intermittent staff members. 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 nor 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 that parking generates. 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 don’t want to be in the business of looking at w2’s, etc.

The approach we have taken to try and meet the needs of many 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, up 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.  We’ll forward your question to the appropriate department for an answer.

 

Budget and Parking to be Discussed at October Staff Senate General Meeting

Staff Senate General Meeting
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
12:00 – 2:00 pm
Fairfax, Research Hall 163. Videoconferenced to Arlington, Founders Hall B119, Prince William, Bull Run 254, and Front Royal Academic 219

Guest Speakers:

J. J. Davis, Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance will discuss the university’s current budget. (12:00 – 12:30)

Josh Cantor, Director, Parking and Transportation, will discuss the current status and the initiatives in Parking and Transportation. (12:30 – 1:00)

Guest speakers begin at noon, followed by time for constituents to take the microphone to express their concerns or accolades. The business meeting begins at 1:00. All are welcome, and registration is not necessary.

William David Gibson Named September 2014 Employee of the Month

Employee of the Month ceremony

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

Congratulations to David! Known for his expertise in university policy and procedure and his outstanding attention to detail, David embodies what makes Mason a great place to work!

David, who works for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, enjoyed meeting with Dr. Cabrera whom he described as very gracious and warm.  David’s 3-year-old son Dylan was also in attendance to see his daddy rewarded for his hard work and dedication to our students and our community.

The Staff Senate commends David for his efforts and appreciates all he does to make the Mason Nation a better place!

Global Professional Staff Exchange Program Selects Winners

From left, Jennifer Smith Hamilton of University Libraries is shocked when she hears from Rita Rowand of the Office of Global Strategy that she is a winner in the international staff exchange. | Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University

Jennifer Hamilton, Gifts Coordinator, Technical Services, University Libraries, and Cheryl Welch, Support Manager, APTDIE, College of Education & Human Development, were selected as this year’s recipients of the Global Professional Staff Exchange Program.  From a robust set of applications, these two were chosen to expand their world view, professional development and global higher education knowledge by working abroad for a week.  Jennifer will travel to the University of Basel in Switzerland this fall.  Cheryl will visit Mason’s new Songdo, Korea, Campus next spring in what will be her first trip abroad.

In September, Olivia Poisson from the University of Basel will be hosted by Mason’s Office of Global Strategy and other administrative offices on Mason’s Fairfax Campus.

Read more about Jennifer and Cheryl in this Mason News article.

Read more about the program at Mason’s Office of Global Strategy website.

The 2015 GPSE program application period will be held late spring 2015.  Look to both the Staff Senate and the office for more details as the time nears.

Looking Ahead: Events for Mason Staff, August 2014

The August Staff Senate newsletter is out!

Newsletter Montage August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Mason’s Newest Staff Senators

Please welcome these stellar Mason employees to the Staff Senate!

Fairfax Campus
Wajahat Ahmed, Human Resources and Payroll
Jocelyn Hanly, Admissions
Amanda Kennedy, FAST, Fiscal Services
Francina Osoria, Division of Special Education & disAbilities Research/CEHD
Amanda Shoemaker, Student Centers
Alex Walsh, English

Arlington Campus
Lauren Clark, Arlington Information

Prince William Campus
Emily Robinson, Hylton Center for Performing Arts, College of Visual & Performing Arts

At-large
Joe Hinrichs, Environmental Health and Safety
Cloud Spurlock, INTO Mason

Re-elected Senators
Megan Kirk, Human Resources and Payroll
Marit Majeske, Hylton Center for Performing Arts
Stephanie Zeher, College of Education and Human Development

Continuing gratitude to these dedicated senators:

Andrew Addison, Events Management, Arlington
Lisa Bair, Academic Advising & Transfer Center, Fairfax
Susan Brionez, Volgenau School of Engineering, Fairfax
Andrew Bunting, Admissions, Fairfax
Rubi Chavez, University Police Fairfax
Amanda Corrigan, School of Art Fairfax
Jennifer Hamilton, University Libraries, Fairfax
Laura Harrison, Provost’s Office, Fairfax
Doug Hernandez, University Libraries, Prince William
Lindsey Lowenberg, Provost’s Office, Fairfax
Dean Naldrett, Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center, Prince William
Stephanie Payton, Orientation, Family Programs & Services, Fairfax
Nicole Roth, History & Art History, Fairfax
Brett Say, Rehabilitation Science, College of Health & Human Services, Fairfax
Alfred Underwood, DoIT – Classroom & Lab Technologies, Arlington

And a fond farewell to:

Stephanie Barnett, Criminology, Law and Society, Fairfax
Christina Sanders, DoIT, Fairfax
Kevin Diffily, Volgenau School of Engineering, Fairfax
Jacqueline Inskeepm University Life, Prince William
Patrick Ledesma, Events Management, Arlington
Stacey Remick-Simkins, English, Fairfax
Paul Wieber, University Police, Fairfax

Announcing . . . The New Staff Senate Logo

The Staff Senate is pleased to share it’s new logo!  Designed for us by students in the School of Art, the idea behind the logos is the Staff Senate’s three initiatives–to advocate, appreciate, and educate staff–holding the Mason staff community together.  Whenever you see this logo, know that the Staff Senate is working hard to serve your needs!

Staff Senate Logo

Washington Post Names Mason as one of the Top Workplaces in the D.C. Area

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 7.57.38 PMGlad they asked us!  We know Mason is a great place to work, now so do all the Post readers!  Read the Washington Post article here.