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Wage employees Staff Senate topic

By Netta S. Smith

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 29 - April 24, 1997

At the April Staff Senate meeting, Sherry Settle of the senate's Policies and Issues Committee gave a report about Virginia Tech's part-time wage employees.

Settle met with Linda Woodard of Personnel to ask questions about wage employees at the university. As of February 1997, Virginia Tech employed 1,100 people in non-student wage positions. These employees are restricted to working 1,500 hours in a year.

Regulations on the 1,500-hour positions limit the number of hours the employee can work, but Settle said that is the only concrete limit on use of the positions. The positions may be used to supplement the work load of other positions, to meet short-term or seasonal needs, or for any other job that does not require a full-time employee. Settle said that the last phrase, "any other job that does not require a full-time employee" makes it possible for the university to designate almost any position as a 1,500-hour wage job.

Settle said that only a few hundred individuals remain in part-time wage positions for longer than one year. In some cases, she said, wage employees use up their 1,500-hour allotment in less than a year and go on unemployment. The office where they were working must pay the unemployment benefits and often hires someone else to replace the former worker. Some former wage employees have been hired through a temporary agency to continue the work they were doing before their hours ran out.

In other business, the senate received a slate of officers for 1997-98 from the Elections and Nominations Committee. Spencer Allen has been nominated for a second term as president. Terry Lawrence has been nominated for vice president, Joy Thorn as secretary/treasurer, and Nancy Phillips and Delbert Jones as parliamentarian. The senate will vote at the May meeting, which has been moved to May 22 because of Staff Appreciation Day on May 15.