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February PAT Council Meeting

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
February 13, 2008

The SPPC has appointed a committee to examine UNH’s policy regarding benefits for unmarried partners in light of the state’s enactment of a civil union law, Phil Hammond, the PAT representative to the SPPC, reported at this month’s PAT Council meeting.

The committee is charged with looking at the existing policy and perhaps crafting a new one that redefines who is eligible. Presently, married couples and same-sex partners are eligible for benefits. Unmarried heterosexual couples are not.

One option for a revised policy would be to include any couple in a legally defined relationship, a move that would still exclude unmarried heterosexual couples but would honor civil unions. Another scenario would be to expand eligibility to any couple in a formal relationship, whether that is a marriage, civil union or a couple living together.

Or, the committee could opt to leave the policy as it is. The deadline for submitting their recommendation is June 30, 2009.

The SPPC is also looking at the university’s termination policy and how it compares to other employers.

There was a brief discussion on telecommuting, touching on the issues surrounding the idea of UNH employees being able to work from home. One problem mentioned was how to decide who gets to telecommute and who doesn’t. There is also the question of liability.

Currently, with the exception of the Office of Sponsored Research, the university doesn’t have a telecommuting policy. The SPPC will continue to discussion the concept.

In other news, PAT representatives Rob Anderson, Mary Essley and Karen Gilbert volunteered to serve on the Staff Excellence Awards’ selection committee. And Tammy McGlone will replace Jon Plodzik as the alternate representative to the SPPC.

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