MINUTES 2/12/04

8:30AM Ė Holmes Student Center 406


Present:†† Elizabeth Buck, Judy Burgess, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Ada Hetland, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Dena Olson, Andy Small, and LaRonda Thuestad.


Excused:Michele Crase, Theresa Kinniry, and Rachel Turner.


Guests: ††† Marlene Bryant, Tim Griffin, Donna Smith, and Jodi Tyrrell


I.                    Call to Order


The meeting was called to order by President Sara Clayton at approximately 8:35 a.m. in Room 406 of Holmes Student Center.The first order of business was a letter given to Clayton from Ada Hetland, announcing her resignation from the Operating Staff Council, effective March 30, 2004.Section 7.31 of the OSC By-Laws states, ďShould a vacancy occur during a term, the vacancy shall be filled by the candidate who received the next highest number of votes in the most recent OSC election.ĒClayton appointed Donna Smith to fulfill Hetlandís term beginning with the April 8, 2004, meeting. The School of Nursing will host an Open House for Hetland on April 5, 2004.††††


II.†††††††† Approval of Agenda


A motion was made to revise the agenda with Council of Councilís 2004 meeting added to Old Business.The motion was seconded and passed.†††


III.††††††† Approval of Minutes of January 8, 2004, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with a correction to a misspelled word.The motion was seconded and passed.


IV.††††††† Treasurerís Report


Treasurer Elizabeth Buck distributed copies of the treasurerís report for the seventh-month period ended 1/31/04 for the Councilís perusal.After discussion of expenditures, a motion was made to accept the Treasurerís report. The motion was seconded and passed.


V.†††††††† Announcement/Correspondence


1.†††††††† Clayton distributed the annual Council picture to each member.


2.†††††††† Clayton distributed copies of four articles discussing the raise given to NIU clerical staff.††† Those articles were as follows:February 11, 2004, MidWeek; minutes from the ††††††††† Secretarial Advisory Council meeting held January 14, 2004; FY04 Salary Increment †††† Guideline Memorandum from Human Resource Services; and the January 16, 2004, ††††††††††† article from Northern Today.


3.                   Donna Smith passed around a copy of the Illinois State University Civil Service Newsletter OpenLine.[jeb1] 


4.                   Clayton also distributed copies to the Council of the United Educators Newsletter, Safety Dispatch.One may access all the issues of UE Safety Dispatch through the Members Only Library at the UE website.If you do not currently have a username and password, go to www.ue.org and click the ďMembers Only LibraryĒ button.Choose ďClick here to registerĒ on the right and complete the online form.Past Safety Dispatches have covered many topics, including athletics safety, crisis planning, alcohol and drug abuse, and dorm safety.††


5.                   Marcia Dick passed around the Gift Opportunity brochure that Founders Library has just printed.This brochure is good until 2010 because there are no specific timelines in the book.Dick also passed around a flyer announcing Beth Finke, Visiting Author at NIU on March 3, 3004.Dick suggested the best time to attend during the activities would be 3:30 p.m. at the Duke Ellington Ballroom.Many groups in the campus community helped bring this young woman to campus. Ms. Finke became blind because of diabetes that was not cared for when she was a child.Dick reported that she is an interesting speaker.


6.                   Dick reported that the Civil Service Employees Association, IEA-NEA has a website for anyone interested in more information.The website is www.CSEA-NIU.org.


7.                   Clayton passed around a copy of the advertisement from University Resources for Women regarding a support and information group about bullying.Those meetings are scheduled for April 7, April 21, and April 27, 2004, from 12:00-1:00 pm at Blackhawk East.


8.                   Buck distributed copies of a table written by Margie Foshe, Administrative Aide in LA&S, showing health insurance premium increases by year since 1999.Ms. Foshe would like the Council to bring the issue to the University Benefits Committee.



VI.††††††† Committee Reports


††††††††††† A.†††††††† Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits†††


††††††††††††††††††††††† Hetland informed the Council that the committee met and discussed health care issues. ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† There are many people on campus who are concerned about this issue, and have been ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† contacting Hetland.Hetland informed the Council that she had contacted Deborah ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Haliczer, Director of Employee Relations, with this concern.Health care costs are going ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† up everywhere and seem to be a nation-wide concern.Haliczer sent Hetland a copy †††††††††††††††††††††††††† of the Agenda for the next meeting of the University Benefits Committee showing that ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† concerns about health insurance reimbursements and premiums was included.Council ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† entered into further discussion of this issue and would like for the sub-committee to †††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† continue with study and research to find what options, if any, are available to employees.

††††††††††††††††††††††† Our basic benefits all come from Central Management Services and are negotiated by ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† AFSCME.We do have a say, however, on how providers in our area honor those †††††††††††††††††††††††††† benefits.


††††††††††††††††††††††† On another matter, Hetland asked Dick if she would chair this committee until the end of ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the fiscal year.Dick agreed, with the provision that a new chair be elected for the †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† committee in June.


B.                  Elections and Appointments


Linda Jennings reported that nomination/candidate data forms for Council membership have been sent out. They are due in by Friday, March 12, 2004.Jennings discussed the ballot form and asked for suggestions and/or corrections on layout and content. The Council voted to make the deadline for ballot returns May 12, 2004. The deadline will not be extended.


C.                  Public Relations†††


Joe Koch said the committee had a quick meeting and discussed the Northern Staff News, the Outstanding Service Awards, and the Dependent Awards.


Jay Monteiro asked that all articles for the Newsletter be sent to him by March 15, 2004.






D.                  Visiting Committees


Marcia Dick gave the Athletic Board report to the Council. Dick distributed a copy to each Council member.Dick reported that NIU has over 400 athletes and 188 of them have a GPA better than 3.0.Womenís Basketball for last fall was 15th in the country for a high GPA.Dick reported that Womenís Gymnastics ranks 21st in the country for a high GPA, compared to 68th four years ago. General discussion followed.


††††††††††††††††††††††† Marlene Bryant, Retirement Counselor and Administrative Assistant from Human †††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Resources Services, distributed a handout from the SURS website to each Council ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† member regarding service credit for unused Sick Leave and Medicare Eligibility. Bryant †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† explained that when an employee retires with SURS, oneís unused sick leave is used ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† toward service credit. There are three types of sick leave used when one leaves NIU.††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1] Extended illness leave, part of the Family Medical Leave Act, which gives an employee ††††††††††††††††††† 20 days on the year they retire if it has not been used.2] Prior to 1997, NIU employees †††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† were earning compensable sick days.Those are the sick leave days that if not used †††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† when one leaves the university, actual cash is received.While one receives actual cash ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† for half of those unused sick days, the other half go toward additional service credit. 3] †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† From 1997 to current, employees earn non-compensable sick days.Those have no †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† actual dollar value when one leaves the university, but they are sent to SURS for †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† additional service credit. The Illinois Pension Code for SURS sick leave states that an ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† employee can use their unused sick days toward one year of service credit. The Pension †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Code chart can be accessed at www.surs.org.


††††††††††††††††††††††† In 2003, SURS proposed a rule that would formally establish a two-year service credit ††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† schedule for unused sick leave. This rule came before the Joint Committee on †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Administrative Rules [JCAR], a legislative committee that reviews all rules prepared by †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† state agencies, on November 18, 2003.JCAR unanimously voted to oppose the ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† proposed rule, stating that the statute limits sick leave service credit to one year.In ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† response to this legislative determination, SURS has amended the rule to conform to the †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† JCAR objection.


††††††††††††††††††††††† For those participants who made a retirement decision based on the two-year service †††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† credit for unused sick leave, they must send a copy of the agreement to SURS no later ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† than April 22, 2004.This will not apply for a retirement date beyond January 22, 2008.†††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† The SURS Board of Trustees has added a law change to its legislative priority list for ††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2004 that implements a two-year schedule for service credit for unused sick leave.


††††††††††††††††††††††† The state of Illinois will decrease the amount of funding to the State University Retirement †††††††††††††† System by 13.8% in fiscal year 2005.Sale of bonds will allow the state to make pension †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† contributions for the next four years and reduce the amount of money coming from the ††††††††††††††††††††††††† General Revenue Fund by $215 million.The 13.8% decrease in funding reflects a †††††††††††††††††††††††††††† reduced state pension liability, not a reduction in the support system.


††††††††††††††††††††††† The Federal law reads that if you are eligible for Medicare through yourself or your ††††††††††††††††††††††††† spouse or former spouse, you are required to enroll.Medicare, Part A, is the †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† hospitalization part. Medicare, Part B, is the doctorís portion and one must be enrolled. †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† There is an enrollment period when one turns 65 and a premium to be paid.Check the ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† website at www.ssa.gov to learn details. After retirement, Medicare is primary and the ††††††††††††††††††††††††† other health care plan is secondary. Bryant announced a pre-retirement seminar on †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† March 31, 2004.

E.                  EAC


Clayton reported that EAC met on January 22 and 23, 2004, at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. Five incumbents were re-elected and EAC now has 20 members, with the addition of a new member from the State University Retirement Systems office, Mike Sheppard.Clayton was reelected as Secretary of EAC and will serve on the Election Committee.EAC voted to move their October 13 & 14, 2004, meeting from Northeastern Illinois University to Northern Illinois University.This would correspond with the Council of Councilís meeting planned for October 15, 2004, at NIU.††


SURS Ė in January 2004 there was a payout for retirement of 7.5 million, while the payout the year before was around 90 million.The rate to be given to contributors at the end of August will be 8%.The systems office has a new Information Technology person, Bob Curry, who has redesigned the SURS website.


The following universities are participating in the Pilot Program:SIU-Carbondale, Edwardsville, Illinois University, Northeastern, Northern Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Chicago State, Governorís State, and SUCSS.The Extra-help bill has died in the Senate.Tom Morelock will be creating a work-study committee to look at the extra-help rules.The next EAC meeting is scheduled for April 15 & 16, 2004, at UI Ė School of Medicine, Peoria.


Minutes from the Merit Board are now on the web.The next Merit Board meeting will be May 19, 2004.



F.†††††††† UAC.No report.



G.†††††††† University Council†††


††††††††††††††††††††††† Koch reported on the January and the February 2004 meetings. In the January meeting, †††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† President Peters announced that the money saved during the Christmas shutdown was ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† significant.Nothing was said about a recision for FY2004 or 2005.President Peters †††††††††††††††††††††††††† announced that the Higher Learning Commission is visiting the campus on February 23-††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 25, 2004.The commission will be on campus for an on-site evaluation in order for NIU to ††††††††††††††††††† retain accreditation.The Illinois Board of Higher Education [IBHE] has the budget and †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the Governorís speech is scheduled for February 28, 2004.The federal budget has been ††† ††††††††††† passed and there should be money for NIU. President Peters announced the Presidential †††††††††††††† Policy Lecture Series to begin this spring.The Supportive Professional Staff Council, the †††††††††††††††††††††† Operating Staff Council, and the Faculty all received one more voting member on the †††††††††††††††††††††††† University Council.


††††††††††††††††††††††† The February 22, 2004, meeting was chaired by Dean Harold Kafer from the College of †††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† Visual and Performing Arts.President Peters and Provost Legg were in Washington, †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† D.C., meeting with the Legislature.†† The Grievance Procedures draft for NIU faculty and ††††††††††††††††††††††††† staff were sent to the Rules and Governance committee.The recommendation for a new ††††††††††††††††††† grading system was also sent to committee.Koch reported that Pat Henry made a report ††††††††††††††† for the Faculty Advisory Council to the IBHE.The Rules and Governance Committee †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† recommended three actions that the University Council approved:

1.                   That the name of the Presidentís Commission on Sexual Orientation be changed to the Presidentís Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

2.                   That the University Benefits Committee membership be changed to add a designee for the Director of Human Resource Services.

3.                   That a Task Force be appointed to develop a procedure for students to pursue grievances against faculty and staff.††††††††††


H.                  Special Events Committee.No report.









VII.               Old Business


A.               Wellness Fair


Clayton distributed a sign-up sheet for each Council member to sign indicating their preference for times and jobs for the Wellness Fair that will be held March 24, 2004.We will have two tables this year.The day will run from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.††



VIII.††††† New Business


††††††††††† A.†††††††† Council of Councilís Meeting††††††


††††††††††††††††††††††† Andy Small announced the meeting to be held at Northern Illinois University on October †††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 15, 2004. The Sky Room at Holmes Student Center has been reserved for the day. Bus †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Tours and Food Service for a Continental Breakfast and lunch have already been †††††††††††††††††††††††††† reserved.EAC and Tom Morelock have been informed of the date.Small would ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† like to see a number of speakers outline the state of education in Illinois, as well as ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† nationally.Small reported that there is still a lot of work to be done; i.e., parking †† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† arrangements, overnight accommodations, packets of information for each registered †††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† delegate about Northern Illinois University and the Council, souvenirs, etc.Small asked †††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Council members to let him know where they want to work.



IX.                ADJOURNMENT


†††††††††††† A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 a.m.†† Motion seconded and passed.††







Gay Campbell

OSC Secretary††

 [jeb1] I reworded Jodiís statement.Does it make sense now?