OPERATING STAFF COUNCIL MEETING
MINUTES 2/13/03
8:30AM Ė HSC 406

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.

Guest:    Tim Griffin
 

I.     Call to Order

        The meeting was called to order by President Sara Clayton 8:40 a.m.

II.     Approval of Agenda

A motion was made to approve the agenda as revised, adding Campus Parking as a visiting committee and adding Office Privacy Policy, Proposal for 35-hour Work Week, and SPS Employment Survey under New Business.  The motion was seconded and passed.

III.     Approval of Minutes of January 9, 2003, Meeting
 
        A motion was made to accept the minutes as presented.  The motion was seconded and passed.

IV.     Treasurerís Report

Elizabeth Buck distributed copies of the Treasurerís report for the seven-month period ending 1/31/03.  A motion was made to accept the report.  The motion was seconded and passed.
 
V.     Announcements/Correspondence

        1.      Clayton passed the following announcements around the room:
                · Invitation to the University Writing Center Valentineís Day Reception on Friday, February 14, 2003, from 2:30-4:30 p.m.
                · Memo from the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women announcing the seventh annual Martha Cooper Journalism Award. 
                 Submission deadline is March 21, 2003, 4:30 p.m.
                · Memo from the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women announcing the Wilma D. Stricklin Award for the Enhancement of the Climate for
                  Women on Campus.  Nominations must be received no later than noon March 7, 2003.
                · Booklet from Information Technology Services about file sharing and the acceptable use of technology at NIU.

        2.     Marcia Dick gave information and handouts to the Council members on the Government  Pension Offset and told about the website and Newsletter
                where members could go to find  more information on the subject.

        3.     Donna Smith passed around a copy of the ISU Newsletter for each Council member to examine.  Smith announced that Sue Willis sent changes to her for the Grievance Policy that  reorganized the material but did not change any procedures.

        4.     Clayton announced that she and Bev Espe, President of the Supportive Professional Staff  Council, will be meeting with Sue Willis, Executive Secretary of the University Council, about a  second voting member from both Councils for the University Council.

        5.     Smith announced the Vice Provost open forums for the university community. They are as follows:  Paul Bauer, February 14, 1:45-2:45 p.m., HSC Sky
                Room, George Bishop, February 18, 2:15-3:15 p.m., HSC, Room 305, and Earl Seaver, February 26, 2:15-3:15, HSC, Room 305.

VII.     Committee Reports

        A.     Personnel/Staff Development/Benefits.

            Ada Hetland announced that the subcommittee met last week.  Hetland heard from Scott Mooberry, the Operating Staff representative on the University
            Benefits Committee, about the payroll issue.  Mooberry had a meeting with Ken Mundy, Payroll and Compensation Manager, regarding the inquiry on the
            bi-weekly vs. semi-monthly payroll schedules.  Mundy said that a semi-monthly payroll is a more effective use of time and resources to end the 24
            predictable pay periods at the beginning and end of each of the different types of years [tax year, budget year, fiscal year, and academic year.]  Also,
            converting to a bi-weekly payroll schedule would require a complete overhaul and restructure of the PeopleSoft system.  The semi-monthly payroll is
            permanent.

            Hetland announced that the University Benefits Committee tabled the Dental Benefits issue.

            Hetland distributed a Vacation Benefits comparison table she created to each Council member, showing two options for Non-exempt employees.  After
            discussion, the Council decided to leave the issue alone.  Hetland will communicate this decision to Jodi Tyrrell at Human Resource Services.

        B.     Elections and Appointments

            Michele Crase asked for any further changes to the election material.  The motion was made to accept the election material with changes.  Motion was
            seconded and passed.  The material will go to the printer tomorrow, February 14, 2003.  The list of committee vacancies will be ready for distribution by the
            next Council meeting.   Crase also informed the Council that she puts short blurbs concerning awards, elections, etc. in the Campus Notes section of the
            Northern Star.   Crase reported that all Council meetings for the next fiscal [except January 8, 2004] have been scheduled in Holmes Student Center, Room
            406.

        C.     Public Relations

            Joe Koch announced that the committee had a short meeting and that the Northern Staff News is being put together and should be ready for distribution in
            early March 2003.   Koch was asked about the past OSC Presidentís plaque for the Sky Room.  Andy Small volunteered to work on getting the plaque
            displayed.  Council participated in general discussion about Northern Today, and their concern about good communication to their constituents, especially
            those who have no access to computers.  The general consensus was that the electronic distribution process leaves a large segment of the operating staff
            ignored.  The Council decided that anyone with comments or suggestions should email Clayton and she would forward to Melanie Magara, Assistant Vice
            President of Public Affairs.

            Clayton announced that she and Crase had met with Dr. Eddie R. Williams, Executive Vice President, Business and Finance and Chief of Operations, to
            discuss Civil Service operating staff issues and the Outstanding Service Award.

        D.     Visiting Committee/Guests

            Campus Parking Committee member, LaRonda Thuestad, distributed to the Council a FY03 summary from the Parking Committee.  As Council members
            were perusing the summary sheet, Thuestad showed on a campus map the two summer projects that will impact the parking situation.  One project is the
            installation of the chiller plant in Lot 4, by the Campus Life Building. That project will take 50 parking spaces.  The other summer project is Gilbert Drive.  It
            will be closed for the summer and a complete new road will be built.  Parking on Garden Road is always an issue, and the City of DeKalb has issued 377
            parking tickets around Anderson Hall and Barsema since the beginning of the semester.  Thuestad informed the Council that the cost of parking permits
            would not be increased for the coming year.  She also reiterated to the Council that Ron Pearson is always on top of the parking situation on campus, is
            always looking for possible new parking spaces, and is doing an excellent job as Director of Parking.  Thuestadís report informed the Council that the
            Huskie Bus Service is the 2nd largest mass transit system in Illinois, second only to the Chicago Mass Transit System.  The Parking Committee is also
            looking at the possibility of a bike path through campus with more bike racks and special lanes for bicycles.

        E.     EAC

            Clayton reported on the EAC meeting held January 29 and 30, 2003, at SURS in Champaign.  Everyone is happy with Tom Morelockís leadership.  He
            has made several operational changes, such as updating the computers, and has hired a new person to work in the Compliance, Policy Analysis, and
            Development Division.  The Merit Board is very pleased with the newsletter the Systems Office is sending out.  The newsletter can be found on the State
            Universities Civil Service System web page.  The Board discussed Senate Bill 0063 Ė extra help hours.  The bill states that anyone working over the
            900-hour limitation will automatically become a permanent status employee with seniority accrual retroactive to the original start date of the extra help
            assignment.   There was only one discharge hearing; it was at the SIU School of Medicine.  Elections were held at the meeting with Alice Costa re-elected
            as Chair, Sharon Coleman re-elected as Vice Chair, and Sara Clayton elected as Secretary.  The April 2003 meeting is scheduled at Eastern Illinois
            University and the July 2003 meeting is scheduled for ISU.  Director Morelock asked EAC to look at state statutes and to discuss goals for the future.  The
            Systems Office will hold an orientation on May 21, 2003.  The Council decided to reserve a van and to open the orientation to other civil service employees
            to attend with OSC members.

        F.     UAC.  No report.

        G.     University Council

            Koch gave an overview of the January 2003 meeting to the Council.  The majority of the Presidentís announcements concerned the budget.  The hard facts
            are that the state budget deficit is expected to be around $4.8 billion, which includes a $1.25 billion shortfall for FY03 and $3.6 billion for FY04.  There is a
            universal hiring freeze on all code state agencies [which does not include NIU] as well as a freeze on the purchase of automobiles for those agencies.  The
            budget shortfall cannot be dealt with purely by budget cuts; some additional taxes will be necessary as well.  A bill has been filed in the state senate to cap
            public university tuition. There may very well be a recision this fiscal year [NIU has planned for this].   Locally, NIU has a voting position on the
            Metropolitan Planning Organization.  The minutes of this meeting can be accessed in their entirety on the University Councilís web page.

            Koch also gave a summary of the February 2003 meeting.  On a state level, the FY04 budget may be presented in April and could be in place by July.  The
            presidentís and chancellorís of the public universities are to appear before the House Appropriation Committee with different budget scenarios.  President
            Peters and his staff will be spending time in Washington to lobby for the FY04 budget.  NIU is working with the City of DeKalb on future growth issues and
            President Peters appeared before the DeKalb Growth Summit.  Northernís growth is dependent on economic growth in DeKalb and Sycamore.   After
            much discussion, the University Council voted to cancel classes on the Wednesday morning before Thanksgiving.   This will be an academic closure, not an
            administrative closure.  This vote brought closure to a discussion the University Council had on a possible Fall Break proposal.

        H.     Special Events Committee

            LaRonda Thuestad distributed to Council members a draft of the Staff Fest Event 03 and asked each member to peruse it for mistakes.  Thuestad had a
            meeting with John Gordon, Director of the Convocation Center, on Friday, January 10, 2003, and gave information about the facility rental contract and the
            subcommittees for the event.  Chairs for the Decorating and Prizes committee are still needed, so a signup sheet was passed around the Council.

VIII.     Old Business

        A.     OSC Newsletter

            Jay Monteiro announced that the deadline for articles is the first of the month prior to publishing.  The Newsletter is currently in Publications and should be
            distributed around the first of March.

IX.     New Business

        A.     Office Privacy Policy

            Koch distributed copies of the Office Privacy Policy that was approved by the Faculty Senate on February 5, 2003.   This policy will be going to the Rules
            and Governance Committee, but will be tabled until the March meeting of the University Council.   After discussion of the policy, the Council agreed that it
            was reasonable.  Questions concerning application of this procedure may be addressed to the university privacy officer, Ken Davidson.

        B.     Proposal for 35-hour Work Week

            Led by Andy Small, the Council discussed the concept of fewer hours in the workweek as a possible help to offset the budget crisis.  Several Council
            members remembered when the university reduced work from 40 hours per week to 37.5 to help with the last budget crisis.  The item was tabled until a
            future date.

         C.     SPS Employment Survey

            Small distributed a copy of the Supportive Professional Staff survey and the confidential executive summary.  This information was brought to the Council for
            them to better see what the SPS feels are work issues.  The SPS Council has referred the summary to the Workplace Issues Committee, who will analyze
            the report and come back to their Council with recommendations.

X.     Adjournment

        A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 11:30 a.m. The motion was seconded and passed.
 

Respectfully submitted,

Gay Campbell
OSC Secretary