Staff Feedback Committee

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Staff Feedback Responses

March 2024

The Staff Feedback Committee received five questions/concerns prior to our March meeting. Some questions were similar, so we have grouped and edited accordingly.

    There were two questions in this category:

    I feel very fortunate to have a facility like the West Center on campus for my fitness needs. However, as a paying customer, I have noticed a steep downfall in the level of cleanliness there.
    It appears that an outside company has been sourced to regularly clean, but I have concerns about the extent to which they're cleaning, if at all. Some of the things I have observed: clumps of hair that sit for days on the locker room floor, overflowing trash cans, no paper towels or cleaner with which to clean machines and equipment, dirty toilets, and built-up grime around the faucets.


    Recently, Winthrop hosted a regional volleyball tournament in the West Center, and it won't be the last big event they host this year. I wonder about the perception thousands of visitors will have on this university when they observe that unsanitary space. I want to emphasize that this concern/complaint is in NO WAY directed at West Center staff, as I know they work hard; this is directed at whatever company is doing the cleaning.

      Custodial (in house and outsourced) is stretched thin across campus. Facilities is aware of the West Center issue and is working with campus leadership and HR to address it. Low staffing within house custodial meant we had to expand the coverage of our outsourced custodial group who is also having issues with hiring, turnover and employees not coming in to work (same issues we have).  Their management team is working to resolve these issues and are responsive when we point out service issues. For events, we are also working with special events to ensure timely notice of events so we can arrange staffing to support them, but there are similar issues. 

      Over the last two years, we have done a fair amount of pothole repair work on campus. Currently we are scoping out locations for this summer. Depending on the overall condition of the Sumter driveway to Dinkins we may be able to do it this summer or it may take a more extensive repair/replacement, we will take a look at it. Note there are other entrances into this lot on College Ave.


      We have talked to SCDOT and the City about pedestrian safety along Oakland. The challenge with adding another crosswalk is that it will be at a mid block/not at a light and so we need to funnel people to that crossing location versus them crossing anywhere - knowing that not everyone will cross at a light or crosswalk. The speed limit along Oakland was recently reduced to 30mph and we have talked about other traffic calming measures for the corridor but those usually entail going to 1 lane each way which is not feasible from the city’s point of view or adding fencing along both sides to force people to the crossing point. It is something we are working on but at this time we do not have a solution.

    There were two related questions in this category:

      Often, filming companies and political groups bring requests to us with very little lead time and/or confirm their dates at the last minute.  So, while there is an effort to let campus know of these events with as much advance notice as possible, sometimes there just isn’t much time! 

      Winthrop Police Department has been including weekly parking closure notifications in the Daily Digest – keep an eye out for those updates!

      Specifically with the filming event from the first question – this was one of those last-minute confirmations, so there was not enough time to list it in the Daily Digest.  University Events did send an email, but again there was not much time.  For this event, the filming crew was escorted by members of UE and WUPD for safety.

    There was one question in this category:

      Patrice Bruneau, Assistant Vice President of Computing and Information Technology, provided a live response to this question at Staff Conference, as well as some general updates about the phone systems. 

      They are aware of the 15-minute time-out issue and are working with our service provider and network technician on a solution.  The issue stems from the newer technology of the phone system not working well with our old infrastructure. 

      There are plans in the works for a new phone system, but the estimated timeline for it is unclear at this time.


September 2023

The Staff Feedback Committee received 9 questions/concerns prior to our September meeting. Some questions were similar, so we have grouped and edited accordingly. One question included an item that was also the subject of a Challenge Card, which we will be addressing in real time during our October Staff Conference meeting.

    There were three questions in this category:

      Please be reminded your supervisor and/or HR should be made aware if conditions in your office present a health risk. The question did not provide information on whether or not there had been an attempt to seek permission from a supervisor or HR to work remotely or in another office during the time the A/C was broken.

      Facilities is experiencing staff shortages, however, employees are encouraged to contact Facilities Management if bathrooms are not being cleaned. James Grigg will be doing a comprehensive facilities update at our December Staff Conference meeting.

      Winthrop made an appeal to the state to ask that Sodexo be allowed to fill the vending machines as a part of their contract. The request was denied, so the RFP process will start soon for a new vendor.


    There were three questions in this category:

      Any employee at any time can discuss with their manager the possibility of a modified work schedule to be approved.

      From Section 19-701.01 of the State HR Regulations:


      1. No agency shall have less than a 37.5-hour workweek. Generally, the core hours that an agency shall remain open for business are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

      The Flexible Work Schedule guidelines provide the option for supervisors to approve flexible work schedules for employees.  We suggest that employees speak to their supervisor about the possibility of a flexible schedule if they are interested in work hours that are different than Winthrop’s adopted regular operating hours.

      The Compensatory Time, Overtime, and Official Workweek Policy includes Winthrop’s regular operating hours for University offices – 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  While, it is true that Winthrop has operated with these regular work hours for many, many years, the operating hours are based on the State HR regulations stating these to be the core hours that an agency shall remain open.      

      As mentioned at the last Staff Conference, HR is continuing to work with the state on a remote work proposal and will provide updates as they are available.

      Below is the data requested regarding headcount.  This is information that is readily available and updated twice each year.  HR stated they are pleased to share it whenever requested.

      F/S Headcount - Spring

      This data coincides with additional research conducted by members of the Staff Feedback Committee. We offer this info to demonstrate that this is an issue that extends beyond Winthrop:

      According to EDSmart data “The Great Resignation”, also known as the Great Reshuffle, Great Attrition, or Big Quit continues strong in 2022.

      This pandemic-era labor force trend has created a nearly unprecedented churn in the U.S. labor market.

      Almost half of the nation’s employees are “job seekers”.

      A total of 48 million people quit their jobs in 2021. In the last half of 2021, 25.6 million people “quit” their jobs–quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by an employee. As of March 2022, 8.6 million people quit their jobs this year.

      We have more info that will be shared at a future Staff Conference meeting.

    There were two questions in this category:

    Both were in reference to the need for a software coordination strategy.

    Response:  The chair and vice-chair will discuss this with the President at our next meeting with him and respond at the October Staff Conference meeting.