MINUTES 10/13/05

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Gay Campbell, Marcia Dick, Margie Foshe, Jason Hutchison, Linda Jennings,

Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Nancy Schuneman, Andy Small, Julia Sober, LaRonda Thuestad, and Rachel Turner.  


Absent:      Sara Clayton


Guests:     Steve Cunningham, Tim Griffin, Jodi Tyrrell


I.                    Call to Order


The regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council was called to order at 8:40a.m. on Thursday, October 13, 2005, by President Rachel Turner.


II.         Approval of Agenda


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


III.        Approval of Minutes of September 8, 2005, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with a recommendation to clarify changes. The motion was seconded and passed.


IV.        Approval of Minutes of September 22, 2005, Special Meeting


            A motion was made to accept the minutes.  The motion was seconded and passed.


V.         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. 


VI.        Announcements/Correspondence


A.         LaRonda Thuestad passed around a “Thank-you “ card for the food and building service workers at the StaffFest luncheon.  Several members of the Council had not yet signed it.


B.         Marcia Dick reported that the library’s penny campaign fundraiser would continue at the last home game against Ball State.  The water bottle containers will be placed around for people to donate their pennies.


C.         Joe Koch reminded the Council that the new Barsema Alumni and Visitor Center would host an open house on Homecoming, with guided tours and free give aways.  Margie Foshe told the Council that the College of LA&S will have a tent at the Homecoming football game and there would be free give aways there as well.


D.         Turner passed around a copy of the Annual report for the University Benefits Committee.  She also sent around a memo about the new Medicare benefit situation.  She also sent around an e-mail about the Family Military Leave Act, which allows family members of a soldier to take leave if the soldier is deployed.  Turner also passed around the official resignation letter from former president Donna Smith. 


E.         In her meeting with President Peters, Turner reported that a search committee will soon be formed to find a new Provost.  Turner said the OSC will have a rep on the committee.  She also said there is a lot of interest in who will replace Jim Hacking at the SURS office.  Turner said it is likely that OS will get a raise in January.

VII.       Committee Reports


A.         Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits


Dick presented the latest version of a letter for break usage time flexibility.  There was some confusion about what exactly we were proposing .  After some discussion, It was decided that the proposal should be addressed by the Wellness office and the Council should support them in that effort.


The second issue had to do with asking the administration to extend the summer four-day work week by starting it on May 15 and continuing until August 15.  It was noted that August 15 may be too late since departments have to get ready for new students.  Koch made a motion that the matter be referred back to the benefits committee for further consideration. 


B.         Elections and Appointments.


Ballots were distributed to the Council so that a new second voting member, as well as an alternate, for the University Council could be elected.  The spots were left open with the departure of former President Donna Smith and the subsequent election of Turner to President.  Dick was named the second voting member and Linda Jennings and Sara Clayton tied for the alternate position.


C.         Public Relations


Committee chair Jay Monteiro reported that six applications were submitted for the  OS Dependent Award.  Ashley Buie and Steve Clark were named this year’s recipients of the awards.  Monteiro will contact them and invite them to the November meeting of the Council.


            D.         Visiting Committees/Guests


Steve Cunningham said that flu shots will be available, but that employees will have to go to the DeKalb County Health Service office to get them.  They will not be at NIU anymore. 


He said the 1% January increment will likely go through.  He also said that the supplemental clerical increments are being looked at and to include a broader class of positions.


Cunningham said the Public Act on Medicare only applies to those people who were hired prior to March 1, 1986.  Anyone hired after that already pays into the system.  Cunningham said it only affects about 379 people on campus.  Cunningham said the plan is being administered through the SURS office. Cunningham will get clarification on who should be contacted for more information regarding the act.


Cunningham also said that Public Act 94-004 from SURS eliminated the money purchase option for new employees as of July 1, 2005.  The new act only funds SURS at 50% for the next two years.  Cunningham said that Illinois has the greatest unfunded liability in nation.  The governor has established a new advisory commission on pensions.  HR will track this group. 


E.         EAC  No Report.


F.         UAC  No Report.


            G.         University Council


Dick reported that President Peters said there will be some capital funding which could mean renovation and upgrades, especially to the Stevens building.  She said money was also obtained for the chiller on west campus.  A request was made at the meeting to install handicap accessible doors at Cole Hall.


Dick also said there was talk of making the campus more bicycle friendly as more and more people opt to ride bikes to campus.  She also pointed out that there is some discussion about having a bus shuttle service to the train station in Elburn.  Someone mentioned that with the construction of the new Athletic and Academic Performance Center, an entire outdoor running track will be lost.  Eddie Williams said that discussions are underway to make plans for a new track.


Dick said that Brian Hemphill was asked to conduct an assessment of student housing on campus. 


H.         Special Events


Thuestad reported that she looked into the cost of purchasing new shirts.  She said that the Polo-style shirts are close to $20 each.  She said the T-shirts purchased in 2000 were only $8.17 each.  Other options are being looked into.


VIII.      Old Business –


            A.         Mail Distribution


Turner drafted a letter addressing the fact that many operating staff do not get their mail on campus.  This is an ongoing process and the letter is the first step in trying to find a solution.


            B.         Meeting Attendance


Koch reported that there is currently nothing in the constitution or bylaws about meeting attendance.  Koch said we may want to discuss it.  It was decided that the Executive Board might want to address the issue.


            C.         Ride-Share Program


Jodi said she will check with SAC.


D.         Turner, Theresa Kinniry and Jason Hutchison attended the Council of Councils meeting at Eastern Illinois University.  Kinniry said that Tom Morelock spoke about the E-testing system that recently went on line.  Hutchison said he learned a lot and was glad he attended the event.  There were approximately 100 people in attendance.  The next Council of Councils meeting will be held at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 2006.


IX.        Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.