OPERATING STAFF COUNCIL MEETING
8:30AM – HSC 406
Present: Elizabeth Buck, Judy Burgess, Sara Clayton, Michele Crase, Marcia Dick, Ada Hetland, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Dena Olson, Andy Small, and LaRonda Thuestad.
Excused: Gay Campbell and Donna Smith
Guests: Steve Cunningham, Tim Griffin, Jodi Tyrrell, IEA Representatives, Midweek, Daily Chronicle, and
The meeting was called to order by President Sara Clayton at 8:32 a.m.
A motion was made to approve the agenda as amended with several additions under new business as follows: A. Open Meetings Act, B. Parliamentarian. The motion was seconded and passed.
III. Approval of Minutes of April 10, 2003, Meeting
A motion was made to accept the minutes with the following corrections: third sentence in treasurer’s report should read as, “At the time the ANB account was started, the NIU credit union did not have checking accounts.” The second correction on page 2 under Elections and Appointments was the correction to the spelling of Tyrell to Tyrrell. The motion was seconded and passed.
Elizabeth Buck distributed copies of the Treasurer’s report for the fourth quarter ending 4/30/03. Elizabeth checked with the NIU Credit Union and was told it takes a $25.00 deposit to open an account. Andy Small made a motion to transfer the OSC checking account to the NIU Credit Union. Motion was seconded and passed. Buck will transfer the account. After discussion, a motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report as presented. The motion was seconded and passed.
1. Clayton attended the May 5, 2003, Board of Trustee’s meeting (BOT). The BOT announced that NIU’s tuition was to increase - Freshman/Sophomore – 9%, Junior/Senior/Graduates/Law School – 12%. For undergraduates, the more credit hours taken the cost goes down. There is to be a five-year surcharge for upgrades for technology. Starting Fall 03 and Spring 04, the cost will be $100 per semester, for FY05 through FY08, the cost will be $250 per semester.
2. Judy Burgess wanted it noted that Clayton had done a great job at the Operating Staff Awards
3. Clayton distributed copies of a Media Advisory and also copies of President Peters’ e-mail of May 6, 2003, concerning the budget. Also distributed was the brochure from the OS Banquet.
4. Theresa Kinniry announced that the Pheasant Room will be open for a four-day week for
summer. The Blackhawk Room will be open four days a week from 6:30am until 3pm.
5. Marsha Dick announced the library schedule for summer. Founders will have regular hours Monday thru Friday, closed on Saturday and open Sunday 1-5pm.
6. Clayton announced that the summer work schedule for the week of July 4 would stay as a regular work week with 7.5 hours Monday thru Thursday.
7. Clayton announced that Rachel Turner, from Media Productions, would be taking over the OSC website. Clayton feels Ms. Turner will contribute a lot of great ideas for the website.
VI. Committee Reports
A. Personnel/Staff Development/Benefits.
Ada Hetland reported that the committee met on May 7, 2003. Discussion was on a suggestion from the Wellness Fair, concerning the bereavement leave policy. Currently an employee is allowed three  days for immediate family members. The suggestion was to increase this to five  days for immediate family members. A recommendation was made to forward this to the University Benefits Committee.
Also, it was discussed that information concerning HB3511 (the termination of the current board of SURS and the governor appointing a new board) should be put in the Northern Staff News. Marcia Dick will write an article on HB3511 for the newsletter.
B. Elections and Appointments
Michele Crase announced the election results. Re-elected to the council were Jay Monteiro, Andy Small, Elizabeth Buck, and Gay Campbell. The newly elected member is Rachel Turner.
Crase announced the information for committee vacancies is currently in the mail.
C. Public Relations
Joe Koch reported that the committee met last week to discuss the next Northern Staff News. It was decided that future copies will be black and white as it decreases production time and cost.
Discussion followed on the concern for the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). Linda Jennings volunteered to write the information and post it on the Operating Staff List-Serv as well as possibly an article for the Northern Staff News.
D. Visiting Committee/Guests
Several members of the Civil Service Employee Association (CSEA), along with members from the Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) met with Council members. The spokesperson for the CSEA, Leslie Pergament-Nenia read a prepared statement indicating a concern over going a second year with no pay increase. The CSEA indicated to the council that despite the budget problem statewide, they felt that NIU has the resources to allocate a minimal increase for staff. The CSEA made the request for the Council to do an independent study of how NIU allocates the funds. At this time they presented to the Council signed petitions with 197 signatures.
Steve Cunningham indicated that President Peters and the BOT place a high priority on salary issues on campus. Clayton also indicated that in the meetings where she had met with the President, she felt that salary issues were a high priority of the President. Past council president Burgess supported Clayton’ s statement.
Andy Small made a motion for the Council to accept the letter and signed petitions as presented and forward the information, as well as any concerns, to President Peters and the BOT. Motion was seconded and passed.
Clayton reported Judy Rathgeber, SURS representative, held the last quarterly meeting on April 24-25, 2003, at Eastern Illinois University. SURS was at the meeting and indicated that five new counselors have been added to help handle all the calls. The Saturday retirement session will be held in Urbana with a $20.00 fee per person, check with SURS on dates and registration.
Other items being reviewed are the extra-help and temporary positions, discharge and demotion procedures, and layoff procedures. Tom Morelock indicated a concern for HB0063 (Extra-Help), if working over 900 hours could become permanent in positions without proper testing, etc. There is a possibility in the future that all testing would be done electronically. Tim Griffin asked about the people who could not type and was told that a touch screen system might be a possibility.
Clayton also indicated UIUC is looking into voluntary layoffs (10-day furlough) to help with the budget there.
F. UAC. No report
G. University Council.
Koch attended the meeting in late April. Several announcements were made.
Sue Willis was re-elected as President of the Faculty Senate and executive secretary for University Council. The Faculty Senate was to create a new handbook and make it available on line. Curt Behrens is newly elected as a faculty advisor. NIU won the Chancellor’s Cup, which is an honor. On May 1, 2003, the House held the second reading on appropriations with President Peters in attendance. A special meeting was held on May 5, 2003, in regards to raising tuition and placing a cap on admissions. An announcement was made that enrollment was frozen as of May 1, 2003. Applicants after this date could be deferred to January 1, 2004. The grievance procedures were presented and assigned to committee. Patricia Henry will be placing a questionnaire on affordably and diversity of faculty on the IBHE website.
It was noted that Romualdas Kasuba from Engineering and Robert Wheeler from the Provost’s office would be retiring. Dan Griffiths would be leaving the Graduate School, since a permanent Dean has been hired.
H. Special Events Committee
LaRonda Thuestad reported that she has received numerous questions regarding parking at the Convocation Center for the event. It was decided to put a blurb in the Northern Staff News about free parking for the event. Dena Olson indicated that the event flyers for the retiree’s have been mailed.
Thuestad passed around a list of merchants for Council members to sign up to solicit for donations for the event.
VII. Old Business
A. Grievance Committee
Tabled until next month.
VIII. New Business
A. Open Meetings Act
It was suggested that the Council take a look at the by-laws concerning the Open Meeting
Act. Since we are more an advisory council than a decision making council, it was questioned as to whether it pertains to us as a Council.
Small suggested that we operate under the Open Meeting Act and post the Council meetings and agenda in the Northern Staff News, and possibly on the web as well.
Clayton made a motion to appoint Donna Smith as parliamentarian for the Council for a year. This appointment would be a non-voting member. Motion made and passed.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 a.m. The motion was seconded and passed.
Acting OSC Secretary