MINUTES 11/11/04

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Margie Foshe, Linda Jennings, Glenda

    Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Nancy Schuneman, Andy   

    Small, Donna Smith, LaRonda Thuestad and Rachel Turner.  


Absent:     Gay Campbell and Michele Crase


Guests:     Jodi Tyrrell and Nancy Apperson


I.                    Call to Order


The regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council was called to order at 8:35 a.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2004, by President Donna Smith.


II.         Approval of Agenda


A motion was made to accept the agenda with minor changes. The motion was seconded and passed.   


III.        Approval of Minutes of October 14, 2004, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with one minor change. The motion was seconded and passed.


IV.        Treasurer’s Report


The treasurer’s report was presented for discussion. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report. The motion was seconded and passed.


V.         Announcements/Correspondence


A.         Smith passed around correspondence from a constituent who had questions about the salary increment.  Smith forwarded the correspondence to HRS for a response.  Smith said that she has heard that supervisor training cannot be made mandatory for newly appointed supervisors.  Tyrrell said that is not true and in fact HRS is starting focus groups as a first step in developing mandatory supervisor training.  Smith said she had lunch with Shey Lowman, Paul Stoddard, and Craig Markus in their discussion, they pointed out that the State of the University address did not mention the various constituency groups on campus.     


B.         Jodi Tyrrell said the salary range minimums increased by 5% for all non-negotiated employees.  She said it only affects between 60 and 70 employees.  Tyrrell also invited Council members to the Third Annual Human Resources Open House on November 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  She said there would be lunch items available and door prizes.


C.         Marcia Dick passed around the SUCSS 53rd annual report.  She also reported that NIU received an award from the Annuitant’s Association for increasing membership.  She also reported that there was a brunch held for student athletes on October 31 for academic excellence.  She said there are 400 student athletes and 173 of them have a 3.0 or better GPA.  Dick also pointed out that many people are not aware that those who retired after July 2004 were also eligible for the pay raise.


D.         Theresa Kinniry passed around photos of the Council of Councils event.

E.         Rachel Turner passed around two versions of the Council group photo so that each Council member could pick which picture they would like to have for himself or herself.  She also told the Council that since she has moved to a new office, her e-mail address has changed and she will e-mail the Council with the updated address.


F.         Sara Clayton announced that Monday, November 15, and Thursday, November 18, there would be a reception in the Skyroom at the Holmes Student Center in celebration of International Week.


VI.        Committee Reports


A.         Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits – No report.  Did not meet.


B.         Elections and Appointments.


1.         Rachel Turner reported that all of the committee vacancies are filled, but there are still openings on the Commission on the Status of Minorities and also on the Commission on the Status of Women.  We will continue to seek representatives for both commissions. 


C.         Public Relations.


1.         The Public Relations Committee met on November 4.  The committee is continuing work on the handbook for new OSC members.  Theresa Kinniry  presented a draft copy of the handbook to the Council for their assistance in gathering information, and also for their input into the content and appearance of the handbook.  Once the information is received, Kinniry will update the current version and present it to the Council at a later meeting for final approval.


2.         Nancy Schuneman reported that the committee chose January 15 as the deadline for the Operating Staff Dependent Award for the spring semester.  Schuneman has written an article for the next OSC newsletter to let constituents know about the award.


3.         Jay Monteiro is working on the update of the OSC pamphlet.  He also reported that the newsletter will be coming out in early December.


            D.         Visiting Committees/Guests.


Nancy Apperson from the Employee Wellness Office attended the meeting to explain the fitness release time proposal.


1.         Apperson explained that the proposal is to allow 30 minutes of release time, with written approval by a supervisor, for all employees, to allow them to participate in fitness activities.  The 30 minutes would have to be taken either at the lunch hour, or at the beginning or end of the day.  Participants would be required to show proof that they have enrolled in an organized fitness program, and must sign in or otherwise show proof of their participation in the fitness program for accountability purposes.  Apperson pointed out that at this time, approval would probably be limited to programs offered here on campus such as the FIT program or other programs offered by the OCR.  She said that if there are employees who already have a membership in a fitness club off campus, it might be considered, but right now they are looking at on-campus programs.  Apperson said that Illinois State University has offered the program for a number of years.  She said the idea was conceived as a means of cutting down on health care costs because studies have proven that exercise makes employees more physically fit and therefore less prone to illness, which translates into reduced health care costs.  Apperson asked the Council for its support of the program.  A motion was made and seconded to recommend that employees be given 30 minutes a day for five days a week to participate in a fitness program.  Smith will send a letter directly to the University Benefits Committee supporting the proposal.


E.         EAC  


1.         Clayton reported that they spent most of the time discussing changes to the bylaws and the constitution.  She reported that the E-testing is likely going to be easier for everyone and NIU is on board with it, but some state universities are resisting it.  Tyrrell said NIU totally supports the E-testing.  Clayton also pointed out that the EAC received compliments on the SUCSS web page. 


            F.         UAC – No report.  Did not meet.



            G.         University Council.


1.         Clayton reported that Faculty Advisory Committee to the IBHE is looking at the issue of low state funding to public universities because public universities are receiving less and less funding from the state and are being forced to raise tuition and other costs to make up the deficits.


2.         The Academic Policy Committee is looking at cost for textbook prices.  It was noted that royalties on materials published by NIU faculty and staff go to the NIU Foundation.


3.         The UC also discussed parking problems in Lot 20.  Clayton said there are 1.58 blue spaces on campus for every permit sold so there ought to be enough space.  Also noted was the problem of driving on sidewalks.


4.         Clayton also pointed out that by Fall 2005 the catalog will be on line.  Marcia Dick pointed out that visually impaired students often rely on paper copies and she expressed concern that this be taken into consideration. 


H.         Special Events  No report.  No meeting held.


VII.       Old Business


A.         Council of Councils


1.         Andy Small thanked the Council for their help with the event.  He said that Paul Stoddard and Shey Lowman were considering doing something similar with their respective constituencies.  Small said that maybe at some point in the future, all three employment bodies may want to work together on issues affecting employees.  Small said Eastern Illinois University will host the Council of Councils next year.  He said an e-mail list of all the participants in this year’s event will be put together if anyone is interested.


            B.         Assistance Groups


2.         Smith asked for volunteers to create a pool of names for an assistance group in the event a disciplinary hearing is needed.  The people named on the list would be contacted to participate in a formal hearing process as part of the disciplinary procedure.  Tyrrell said a mediation program is being looked at and that several people have already been trained as mediators.





VII.       New Business


A.         Evaluations     


1.         Smith pointed out that if a supervisor fails to complete an evaluation on their subordinate, there is no consequence.  This is important because evaluations are the only record of the employee’s performance and if no evaluations are present in the employee’s file, this may create a problem when the employee is considered for a merit raise or is considering changing jobs.  Small pointed out that the Council attempted to address this problem several years ago.  At that time, it was decided that HRS would send reminder letters to both the employee and the supervisor.  This practice continues today. It was decided that Smith would send a letter to the University Council expressing the Council’s concern about this issue.


2.         Smith asked for the Council’s recommendation on whether to eliminate the Student Affairs Professional Staff Advisory Committee.  The committee has not met for several years and other committees are capable of addressing needs of their constituency.  The Council voted to eliminate the committee.


3.         Small asked the Council if it should acknowledge the recent decision by food service workers to join the AFSCME union.  After some discussion, it was decided that the Council has an obligation to remain neutral on these issues and the food service workers are part of our constituency just as other union employees are.


VIII.      Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 10:10 a.m.



Respectfully Submitted,



Theresa Kinniry

OSC Secretary