Case Western Reserve employees earning $50,000 or less per year will receive a 20 percent discount on 2015-2016 parking rates as part of a series of initiatives President Barbara R. Snyder has launched in response to staff suggestions.

The rates themselves will grow 2 percent over 2014-2015 costs for all users, an increase smaller than recent previous years. In addition, those earning less than $50,000 have a second cost-saving option: a 50 percent discount on RTA passes.

The measures follow this summer’s Friday early release program, which President Snyder announced in April.

“We received many thoughtful comments and suggestions from this year’s surveys,” President Snyder said, “and we are working to act on the best of them. These efforts represent our attempt to find other meaningful ways to convey appreciation for the community’s continuing dedication to the university.”

Surveys administered over the past academic year showed that faculty and staff feel the university is moving in a positive direction. Nevertheless, they also cited compensation as a key concern. If larger raises were not possible, several staff noted, perhaps the administration could find other ways to recognize employees. Because the most common suggestion involved additional paid time off, the university’s efforts began with early release Fridays. Under this program, staff can leave at 3 p.m. on eight designated Fridays (June 5, 12, 19 and 26, and July 10, 17, 24 and 31). For offices that serve the public or those where deadlines or other circumstances require employees to work full Fridays, supervisors and staff are to collaborate to identify comparable alternative arrangements.

Another commonly cited concern involved the cost of parking. Under next year’s model, those earning $50,000 or less will pay lower rates than in 2014-2015. For example, those whose rates were $100 in 2014-2015 would be $102 in the coming fiscal year (July 1-June 30). For those earning $50,000 or less, the new rate would include the 20 percent discount ($20.40). As a result, their rate would be $81.60—nearly $20 less than this year.

Given that some ride the bus and/or rapid trains to work, the option of half-price passes from the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority also was added for those earning $50,000 or less per year. Because of funding considerations, employees may choose only one of the two options.

The new rates take effect July 1 and operate through June 30, 2016. To learn more about the parking fee structure, visit case.edu/access-services/parking/parking-rates/. For details about how to get the discounted RTA pass, visit case.edu/access-services/other-transportation/public-transportation. In both cases, employees can call 216.368.CARD to speak to someone directly.