The University of Tennessee
Employee Relations Committee
INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE
Wednesday, September 19; 1:00 pm
Room 102, Morgan Hall
Present: Angela Berry, Ginny Bleazey, Danielle Browning (alternate with Gina
Galyon), Alan Chesney, Joe Dipietro, Gina Galyon, Mike Herbstritt, Cheryl
Hodge, Ken Johnson, Dianne Trent, and by telephone conference call, Billy
Hanks, and Susie Nicholson
Absent: Hollis Davis and Joey Morton
1. HR 128 and Other University Training Issues – Linda Francisco, Executive Director,
Employee and Organizational Development
Linda Francisco, Executive Director, Employee and Organizational Development (EOD),
made a presentation about the programs offered by EOD. She also talked about HR 128
(Human Resources Policy 128) and distributed copies of Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) for HR128. This policy strongly recommends employees receive 32 hours of
training per year. Dr. Francisco urged all employees to participate in this program. She
said most of the Veterinary School and Extension Services have a high level of
participation. She noted classes fill up very quickly, and recommended anyone interested
in a closed class to put his/her name on the waiting list; if enough people show a desire
for the class, EOD will add another section. Dr. Francisco also offered to conduct training
classes on site for any department that is interested. She may be reached at
Dr. Francisco explained the use of the Additional Credit Request Form. This form may be
used to apply for additional credit for workshops and programs attended outside the
university system. This form is available at
Dr. Francisco then discussed the Career Development Fund, which is available through
EOD to assist staff members with expenses incurred from outside training. The program
offers partial reimbursement for career and job-related activities. Further information is
Dr. Francisco said the Career Development Fund is supported by donors; she encouraged
staff members to contribute, especially those who have benefited from the program.
Several of the representatives said it is very hard for them to attend training classes, due
to the lack of staff to fill in when they are gone. Some felt there were not enough
employees in some areas to complete the duties required.
Joe DiPietro expressed concern for this issue, and said he would work to assist employees
who want to take training classes.
2. Old Business
Paystubs by Electronic Mail – Virginia Bleazey
Alan Chesney reported he has talked to the Payroll Office about this issue, and it is
not a feasible option at this time.
3. Temporary Parking Permits – Angie Berry
Angie Berry asked if one person in each department could be given a handful of
temporary parking permits so they would have them readily available when unexpected
visitors drop by their office. This would prevent employees from having to run to Morgan
Hall to pick up permits, sometimes leaving offices empty.
Joe DiPietro indicated he would discuss this possibility with Mike Keel, Director of Services.
Dr. DiPietro said there may be space concerns involved. He will report back to this group.
4. Full Benefits for Part-Time Employees – Billy Hanks
Billy Hanks said he had received an email from an employee who a 30-hour per week
employee in the Enhanced Family Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). The employee
asked if it is possible to have all of the benefits that full-time employees receive.
Alan Chesney explained a regular university employee must be at least 75% (30 hours
per week) to receive health benefits. If the employee is funded on a grant, as are EFNEP
employees, he/she is not eligible for insurance. Dr. Chesney asked that the employee
contact him to discuss the matter.
5. Benefit Access On-Line – Virginia Bleazey
Virginia Bleazey asked if it is possible for employees to have viewing access to their own
benefits package on-line.
Francie Brodman, Senior Benefits Specialist, Benefits and Retirement Services, was
contacted, and replied: There is a program in IRIS to view benefits packages. From the
IRIS main page, the route is: Human Resources, Personnel Management, Benefits,
ZPR_BEN_STATE- Employee Benefit Statement: at this point, enter employee six-digit
number, click green check-mark in upper left corner (execute), click “print preview” in
lower left corner. The statement will pop into the window and may be viewed or printed.
Persons in each office who are authorized to enter the IRIS system may pull this report
6. Appealing a Work Assignment – Virginia Bleazey
Ginny Bleazey asked if there a method in place for appealing an assignment. She related
a situation where person A was a full-time employee, as is person B. Person A is no longer
with the university. All of person A's duties have been assigned to person B with no
increase in pay, and no reduction in the amount or quality of work for either position.
Person B's supervisor told person B that the supervisor would "hate to see person B
receive a failing mark on their evaluation for failure to complete assigned tasks" if person
B did not produce the work of A and B. What, if anything can be done?
Alan Chesney said it is up to office managers to assign work for the employees. If an
employee feels the workload is too much, he/she should discuss this with the direct
supervisor and continue up the chain of command. Employees may contact Human
Resources Employee Relations (974-6018) to discuss their concerns.
7. Mission/Vision Statement of the University – Virginia Bleazey
Virginia Bleazey expressed concern regarding the apparent conflict between Chancellor
Crabtree and President Petersen regarding Dr. Petersen's Mission of the University
Document. She asked for clarification, and for Dr. Joe DiPietro’s view of the situation.
Joe DiPietro and Alan Chesney noted the President and the Chancellor have a difference of
opinion concerning the finances and management of the university. They are talking
extensively and working together toward a solution. Dr. DiPietro assured the
representatives this will not affect the day-to-day operation of the Institute of Agriculture.
The result will be a more effective university.
8. Election of Employee Relations Advisory Board Representative
Virginia Bleazey was unanimously elected to serve on this board.
Mobile Mammography, October 4 & 5, Circle Park, call 544-9069
AUTumn Festival, Friday, October 12, T-Recs, 11:30-3:00. Those interested in
volunteering to help should call Carol Raxter, 974-6533.
With no more business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned.
THE NEXT INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE MEETING WILL BE HELD
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2007; 2:00 PM
102 MORGAN HALL