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Staff Questions Answered

Why can't Staff Council run a ListServ so staff can send/receive information?

Staff Council has been trying to get an All-Staff email list going for some time now. The great news is that we just launched such a service via Google Groups! Tell your friends and colleagues to sign up so they can stay in the know! Contact us if you need the instructions to sign up re-sent to your Smith email.

Are Staff allowed to take Interterm classes?

Yes. Smith students, staff and faculty may register for non-credit interterm classes and workshops begining Friday, December 5. Some workshops are already taking registrations now. To view the classes and workshops offered and to register go to http://www.smith.edu/interterm. Staff need to discuss the schedule of the class they would like to take with their superviser to make sure it will not interfere with getting their regular work done.

Why was retirement changed from being based on a percentage to being a flat amount?

Smith does provide a percentage for retirement and not a flat amount. As stated on the Benefits page on the Human Resources website, "Smith will contribute 9 percent of eligible earnings up to a specific amount of earnings (the integration level). The integration level is established each year, and it is $59,774 for 2014. Above the integration level, Smith will contribute 13.3 percent of eligible earnings." Read more

What do you do when you think there is an injustice in your office? What do you do when you can't talk to your supervisor about it?

You should always start with your supervisor, but Human Resources staff are a good resource for these kinds of issues, and can help. Staff Council is also a place you can always bring questions or ask for advice. Council officers or chairs of relevant committees are always willing to listen and connect you with the resources or tools to help.

Could the Schact Health Center for Health and Wellness be utilized by employees for the flu shot and other routine care through our health care provider?

The short answer is no. The Schact Center is a student health services. The building and staffing would have to be much larger to provide health care for the entire campus.

What do you do if you feel like the budget in your area is being misspent?

Ideally you would talk with your supervisor about the issues you see since they will be the most knowledgeable about the decisions being made and are the ones to request more money if that is what is needed. If that doesn't seem feasible, you can always talk with your supervisors supervisor or one of the staff members who sit on ACRA.

Are there options for Smith employees who want to invest their retirement in a socially responsible (SR) fund?

Yes. Currently there is one SR fund which is a large growth, all-stock fund called the Neuberger Berman Socially Responsible Fund. Voya offers other SR funds that include both stock and bonds, but employees would need to ask HR to include them in our available options.

Is it possible to have the "free-with-Smith-ID bus routes during the semester continue when the college is closed (e.g. during the summer), so that staff members who are in the opt-out program can still use the bus for free?

Unfortunately, no. The current agreement for no-fare buses on Five College Routes is limited to the academic year and results from a large fee charged by PVTA. There is no independent funding to subsidize the costs of summer buses at this time.
PVTA encourages the purchase of monthly passes when the free buses are not running.

Is there a process for recycling used furniture and equipment?

Yes! Smith College has a policy in place for furniture reuse, which is posted on the Purchasing website homepage and contracts page. Purchasing will post an eDigest announcement shortly to inform employees that are not yet aware of the existing policy.

Whom do I call if maintenance outside a building is needed?

Outdoor plant issues: Jay Girard, landscape manager, jgirard@smith.edu. Grass/infrastructure: Bob Dombkowski. Grounds section supervisor, bdombkow@smith.edu

Is there a Smith staff discount for Enterprise?

YES! The online code is: L480303. If the code does not work, you can call Enterprise directly, tell them you are a Smith College employee, and the discount will be applied.

Where is the discount page for Smith employees?

Many businesses offer Smith employees a discount without any special code- just mention that you work at the College. We are currently discussing with Human Resources whether a discount page makes sense and if so, who should maintain the list of discounts available for Smith employees. Since the discount page had not been updated for several years and many businesses listed no longer existed, the decision was made to take down the page for now.