OPERATING STAFF COUNCIL MEETING
MINUTES 11/13/03
8:30AM – HSC 406

Present: Elizabeth Buck, Judy Burgess, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Dena Olson, Andy Small, LaRonda Thuestad, and Rachel Turner

Excused: Gay Campbell, Michele Crase, Ada Hetland, Jay Monteiro

Guests: Victoria Clausius, Donna Smith, and Jodi Tyrrell


I. Call to Order

The regular meeting of the civil service Operating Staff Council was called to order at 8:40 a.m. on Thursday, November 13, 2003, at Holmes Student Center, Room 406, by President Sara Clayton.

II. Approval of Agenda

The agenda for the November 2003 meeting was approved with the following changes: Move Council of Councils to Old Business (VII – C) and move 2004-05 University Holiday Calendar to New Business (VIII – A). The motion was seconded, and passed.

III. Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of October 9, 2003, were approved with the following changes: Announcements/Correspondence (V – 3) Second sentence should be changed to …January 2004 to December 2007. The motion was seconded, and passed.

IV. Treasurer’s Report

Copies of the treasurer’s report ending October 31, 2003, were distributed for the Council’s perusal. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. It was seconded and passed.

V. Announcement/Correspondence

1. Clayton informed the OSC that the Supportive Professional Staff Council President had inquired about information concerning the OSC budget.

2. Clayton announced that there was an Open Forum with Tom Morelock, Executive Director of State Universities Civil Service System, at the SIUC Student Center, on September 24, 2003. Morelock will also be coming to NIU for an Open Forum.

3. Donna Smith shared a copy of the ISU Open Line Newsletter.

4. Marcia Dick passed around her copy of the Academic in Excellence 2003 program that she attended that is supported by Verizon. NIU athletes are doing well; the Men’s Tennis team had the highest GPA of all the teams.

5. Clayton announced that the University Benefits Committee would be meeting in the Founders Library later that day.

6. Clayton announced there was a visitor at the meeting and asked her to introduce herself, which she did. Tori (Victoria) Clausius is from the Student Insurance Office.

VI. Committee Reports

A. Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits. No Report.

B. Elections and Appointments

Jennings announced university committees that had vacancies. Tom Dick will serve on the Campus Security and Environmental Quality Committee. The Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation has a vacancy for operating staff representation to serve a term of two years. Smith informed the Council that because this is a commission appointed by the President, there are no specified number of operating staff members to be appointed. The Campus Recreation Council and the Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities also have one vacancy each.

Jennings also announced that the meeting rooms for 2004 have been requested for the OSC meetings. Holmes Student Center Room 406 is the requested location. They will let the Council know when the rooms have been assigned. The January 2004 meeting will be in the Diversity Office at the Human Resources building.

C. Public Relations

Joe Koch announced that Jay Monteiro will take over putting together the newsletter. Koch announced that Nancy Schuneman is the chair of the Operating Staff Outstanding Service Award Committee. Dependent Award Committee Chair is Linda Jennings. Dick asked if freshmen are eligible for the award and what are the criteria. Freshmen are eligible. The student must be the dependent of an NIU Operating Staff employee or Operating Staff retiree.

Because there have not been many applicants, Andy Small volunteered to call the Northern Star and set up a meeting for Koch and Jennings to promote the award. The deadline for the application is Friday, January 16, 2004.

D. Visiting Committees/Guest

1. Larry Sallberg, the representative to the SURS Member Advisory Committee, gave a report on SURS. He said that the Governor had finally relented in trying to combine SURS with the other state retirement agencies and would allow SURS to continue with their current board and its investment authority. SURS’ investment returns have exceeded those for ISBI four out of five times for fiscal years ending 1997 through 2002. This does not mean, though, that the governor will not attempt to take over control of SURS at a later date. We have to be diligent concerning our retirement.

Sallberg also wanted to make the Council aware that the Annuitants Association is constantly monitoring the SURS and what the governor or legislature may have on their agendas concerning SURS. He urged everyone to join the Association. As long as an employee is eligible to receive SURS at a future date, they are eligible to join the Annuitants Association. You don’t have to be retired.

Sallberg stated that he had been appointed to another three year term and thanked Council members for their support.

2. Steve Cunningham, Associate Vice President for Enterprise Planning and Human Resources, attended the meeting to discuss Permanent Layoff Policies and Procedures for Operating Staff (Civil Service) Employees and FY04 Salary Increment Guidelines (January 1, 2004 – Distribution).

Cunningham stated that he came because he didn’t want the development of the procedures to give the message that there is an impending layoff because that is not the case. President Peters reported at the University Council meeting that, hopefully, the state budget is leveling off and the worst is over. Seasonal layoffs will still occur and reorganizations of departments can still result in layoffs. The buffer zone for the university is getting very thin. When layoffs occur, seniority is exercised first in the department, then the college, the division and the university, in that order.

Implementations of increments have been made entirely from internal funds not state funds. The plus component is still an objective. There will be guidelines for that process. The January increment is based on your current salary as of December 15, 2003. Probational employees are eligible if they were hired before January 1, 2003.

E. EAC. Clayton reported on the latest happenings for EAC. Senate Bill 0063, the Extra Help bill, will go to the veto session of the Illinois Legislature.

F. UAC. Clayton gave a brief report.

G. University Council

Smith stated that the grievance procedure is still in the works.

H. Special Events Committee.

LaRonda Thuestad announced that there are people who have signed up to be on various committees.

There was a discussion about whether or not to move the StaffFest back to the Holmes Student Center or keep it at the Convocation Center. A vote was taken and it was decided to move the event back to the HSC for 2004. The date of the event will be Thursday, August 5, 2004.

VII. Old Business

A. Newsletter

B. Council of Councils

There were about 30 people at Northeastern Illinois Council of Councils’ meeting on October 17, 2003. Four people from NIU attended: Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Ada Hetland, and Andy Small.

NIU volunteered to host the meeting for 2004. Andy Small volunteered to chair the committee. The tentative date is October 15, 2004.

Some of the issues that were discussed were extra help, which is being looked at now by the board; SPS, which is called AP (Academic Professionals) on other campuses; eighty positions statewide have been laid off at UIUC, Southern, UI, but, so far, not at NIU.

Clayton was asked to explain the Pilot Program. It is a program currently being implemented to facilitate hiring people to fill vacant positions in an area of specialization in a timely manner. Usually a résumé is required. IT positions have been added to the pilot program. Currently, IT job classifications are being reviewed to try and make them less specific thereby making it easier to fill these special positions.

Dick reported that Tom Morelock, Jeff Brownfield and Dennis Smith attended the meeting and made presentations.

Small said that Northeastern is a very small but attractive campus. There are only 4 buildings. Chicago’s Channel 11 (WTTW) broadcasts from the NEIU campus.


C. Illinois Education Association - NEA

Theresa Kinniry distributed a draft of the letter that she, Koch and Dick composed, regarding what the OSC wants to send to civil service employees regarding the union. She asked the Council members to peruse it and send any changed to her immediately. The Council wants to urge all employees to be aware of what they are signing.

VIII. New Business

A. 2004-05 University Holiday Calendar

A motion was made and seconded to approve the calendar.

B. Open Forum with State Universities Civil Service System

Clayton previously announced that there had been an Open Forum at SIUC. She asked for a vote on which of the two available dates (December 8th or 12th) Council members would prefer for the forum. Members voted for Friday, December 12th as the date. Clayton will try to reserve the Sandberg for 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

IX. ADJOURNMENT

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 11:43 a.m. Motion seconded and passed.


Judy Burgess
Temporary OSC Secretary