Present: Elizabeth Buck, Judy Burgess, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Michele Crase, Marcia Dick, Ada Hetland, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Dena Olson, Andy Small, Donna Smith, and LaRonda Thuestad.
Cunningham, Eric Smith, and Jodi Tyrrell
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by President Sara Clayton 8:35 a.m.
II. Approval of Agenda
A motion was made to approve the agenda as amended with the meeting room number changed and the Secretarial Advisory Council report and the OSC Newsletter added to New Business. The motion was seconded and passed.
of Minutes of December 12, 2002, Meeting
A motion was made to accept the minutes as amended with one spelling change. The motion was seconded and passed.
IV. Treasurer’s Report
Elizabeth Buck distributed copies
of the Treasurer’s report for the six-month period ending 12/31/02.
A motion was made to accept the report. The motion was seconded and
1. Clayton passed an invitation to the Economics Department New Year’s party on January 22, 2003, around the room.
2. Donna Smith passed around a copy of the ISU Newsletter for each Council member to examine.
3. Joe Koch passed around a half-page article from
the Rockford Register Star about a new scholarship at ISU funded
by a janitor in memory of his
4. Jodi Tyrrell announced that the SUCSS has agreed
to change the scoring of the new Secretary exams following a statewide
review of the low scores
and passing rate for Secretary II’s, IV’s, Staff, and Administrative. Human Resource Services should be getting new tests back by January 13, 2003,
with corrected exam scores for about 200 people. This would be approximately every test taken since September 1, 2002, in those classifications.
5. Smith announced that movement is happening again
with the Grievance Committee and that she will have a more thorough
report at the next Council
VII. Committee Reports
A. Personnel/Staff Development/Benefits. No report.
B. Elections and Appointments
This committee will have a report at the next scheduled OSC meeting.
C. Public Relations
Joe Koch announced that the committee did not meet, but that the nomination
packets for Outstanding Service Awards for Civil Service Employees
of Northern Illinois University have gone out and the color brochure is ready for distribution. Michele Crase distributed copies of the brochure to
each Council member.
D. Visiting Committee/Guests
Andy Small introduced Steve Cunningham, Associate Vice President, Administration
and Human Resources, and Eric Smith, Associate Director of
Compliance and Labor Relations at Human Resource Services. Cunningham and Smith answered any questions the Council members had about any
employee benefit issues. Smith distributed hard copies to each Council member of procedure No. 7-8, Grievances and Arbitration, and procedure
No. 7-18, Rules: Conduct and Discipline from the Northern Illinois University Business Procedure Manual.
Cunningham repeated that the Operating Staff Council has good credibility
with the administration and with its constituents. The Council thanked
for his kind words, but wants to maintain its integrity by only forwarding truthful and accurate information to the constituents whom they represent,
whether union or not, and not try to sway anyone in a certain direction.
As discussion continued, Cunningham reminded the Council that salary increases
are always important to NIU. The administration has made it an
absolute priority this year, even with the budget crisis and constraints. As everyone is now aware, the fiscal crisis is very severe. No full-time
employee has been laid off and the administration is working to make sure it doesn’t happen during this tight spot. Most departments are managing by
not refilling any position unless absolutely necessary. Everyone must accept CMS benefits and no one knows what will happen with the new
administration in Springfield, since they could be more aggressive with benefits. When looked at in conjunction with the other state universities in
Illinois, Civil Service employees at NIU are ahead of the curve in security and in benefits.
While Union organizing is occurring, however, the general rules of campaigns
for administrators are: cannot give wrong information about things,
cannot threaten a bad outcome based upon what happens, or cannot promise a good outcome based on what happens. All units have political clout -
the university, the union, and the individual. If any department’s work schedule is interrupted to the point of concern because of Union
representatives, they are to let Cunningham, Smith, or Tyrrell know. Change occurs all the time by everyone and it is important that communication is
in a timely and concise manner.
E. EAC. No report.
F. UAC. No report.
G. University Council. No report.
H. Special Events Committee
LaRonda Thuestad will be meeting with John Gordon, Director of the Convocation
Center, on Friday, January 10, 2003, and will bring a report to the
next Operating Staff Council meeting.
VIII. Old Business
A. Special Newsletter for Benefits
Small reported on the sub-committee meeting of January 6, 2003. Attending
that subcommittee meeting were Eric Smith and Jodi Tyrrell from HRS.
The committee felt they would like to prepare a special edition newsletter for distribution to the Civil Service clerical employees. This newsletter
would be a “Did You Know” or an “FYI” edition for our constituents.
Many people may not be aware of exactly what their benefit may be in a
particular area. Small has asked either President Peters or Anne
prepare a formalized response on pay issue concerns to put in the newsletter. Civil Service employee benefits are based on CMS issues and statues.
The subcommittee would like to do a series of publications on these issues. The Operating Staff Council serves as an advisory council for civil service
employees and needs to be of help to their constituents. General group discussion followed on our purpose as Operating Staff Council. Judy Burgess
will put together an information sheet about the OSC that can be posted throughout the campus community.
Glenda Jones led a discussion concerning the mission of the Operating Staff
Council and its reason for functioning to represent our constituency.
discussion restated the importance of “getting the word out” and letting people know we are here and how we can help. Smith read that “The
Council’s role is to promote the general welfare of Operating Staff employees through action in a communicative and advisory capacity to the NIU
administration as well as any other applicable group, agency, or individual. It shall function as a source of direction, information, and two-way
communication for the Operating Staff.” Koch informed the Council that through the years people have appeared to the Council for direction and help
and that the Council walked with them through each step of the process, even though the case may not have been settled the way the employee
wanted it concluded.
It is the general consensus that the Council has not been communicating
with their constituents well enough. They have made a firm commitment
communicate on a more consistent basis what the actual benefits are through the Civil Service system, CMS, HRS, and the Council.
IX. New Business
A. Secretarial Advisory Council Report.
Tyrrell informed the Council that the mission of the SAC is to identify
issues and/or concerns that impact the secretarial workforce at Northern
University. One discussion at the last meeting of the SAC was the change in scoring on the new Secretary exams. The SAC also asked Tyrrell to
speak for them at the Operating Staff Council meeting about some of the discussions that take place during their meetings. One item they discussed
was the accumulation of vacation and the inconsistency that exists between Civil Service exempt and non-exempt employees and even between
SPS and Faculty, or between business units and within business units. Currently, exempt Civil Service employees reach the vacation maximum after
nine years of service, while it takes a non-exempt employee 14 years to acquire the same benefit. After discussion, the Council forwarded the
subject to the Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits sub-committee for study. The SAC is looking into the way sick leave is used across and within
business units. They have also asked Human Resource Services for additional drop boxes across campus and are looking to address all issues that
affect the secretarial workforce on a daily basis.
Joe Koch announced that Sandy Little, Development Office, and Gigi Beaird,
HSC Accounting Office, have volunteered to help with the publication
of the Northern Staff News on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. The Council was pleased to learn of this, and formed a sub-committee for the
newsletter. Jay Monteiro will chair the committee and members will be Gigi Beaird, Joe Koch, Sandy Little, and Donna Smith. Monteiro will call a
meeting before the next regularly scheduled Operating Staff Council meeting.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 11:30 a.m. The motion was seconded and passed.