MINUTES 11/10/05

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Margie Foshe, Jason Hutchison,

Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Joe Koch, Jay Monteiro, Andy Small,  LaRonda Thuestad, and Rachel Turner.  


Absent:      Nancy Schuneman, Julia Sober


Guests:     Tim Griffin, Jodi Tyrrell, Lon, Kathleen and Stephen Clark. 


I.                    Call to Order


The regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council was called to order at 8:40a.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2005, by President Rachel Turner.


II.         Approval of Agenda


A motion was made to accept the agenda with one change.  Steve Cunningham was supposed to attend, but will not be able to attend until the December meeting. The motion was seconded and passed.   


III.        Approval of Minutes of October 13, 2005, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes. 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.         Turner passed around a letter from Athletic Director James Phillips informing staff that free tickets were being offered for the football game on November 23.  The letter was sent via e-mail to staff.  There was a follow-up e-mail encouraging supervisors to allow employees to attend the football game if they wish.  The e-mail was only sent to Deans, Directors and Chairs, and the Council recommended the e-mail be sent to all employees.


B.         Turner also passed around a letter from the Graduate School regarding nominations for honorary degrees.  Any person at NIU can submit a nomination.  Two honorary degrees are awarded each year.  A committee determines the recipients and selection is based on a variety of personal and professional achievements.


C.         Turner also passed out copies of the Council’s group photo that was taken at the October meeting.  A copy of the photo will be included in the archives.


VI.        Committee Reports


A.         Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits


Marcia Dick presented a letter requesting that the summer work schedule be made a permanent benefit instead of being decided on a yearly basis.  The letter also requests that the summer schedule begin two weeks earlier in the middle of May, and end the first full week of August.  The Council’s position is that by making the benefit a permanent one, staff will be better able to plan for day care and other issues.  It was suggested that the wording of the letter be changed to make the request more flexible.  The Benefits Committee will continue to work on this.


Turner asked the committee if there were still plans to host a benefits fair this spring.  Clayton will meet with Deb Haliczer from the Wellness office to try to work out details.


B.         Elections and Appointments.


Ballots were distributed to the Council so that a Council member could be elected to serve on the search committee for the new Provost.  Sara Clayton was elected to serve on the committee with Andy Small as the alternate.


C.         Public Relations  - No Report.


            D.         Visiting Committees/Guests


Stephen Clark was at the meeting to receive a certificate and congratulations on being named one of the recipients of the Operating Staff Dependent Award.  Clark is a graduate student in the College of Law and hopes to pursue a career in the U.S. Marine Corps.  Clark will receive $250 for the fall semester, and $250 for the spring semester.  Clark is the son of Kathleen Clark who works as an internal auditor on campus, and Lon Clark who works at Media Services. 


Ashley Buie was also named a recipient of the award.  This is the second time Buie has been named a recipient.  Buie was unable to attend the meeting. 


The money will be sent to their respective accounts and will be applied toward any outstanding debts.  Any monies left over will be sent directly to the recipients.


E.         EAC 


            Clayton reported on the EAC meeting, held October 5 & 6, 2005, at Eastern Illinois University.


            1.  The FY2006 final appropriation for the SUCSS was approved by the governor and set the FY2006 budget at the current FY2005 level.  The Merit Board approved the FY 2007 budget request to the IBHE, which includes an 11% increase over the current budget level.


            2.  On October 3, the Systems Office official released the E-test system for use.  It includes 30-40 exams.


            3.  SUCCS has entered into a relationship with the University of Illinois Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations and the Department of Psychology to support their classification plan management business operation.  Two part time faculty and 2 graduate assistants will actively provide support to the various business operations related to class spec development and exam construction.


            4.  A demonstration of a new Computerized Job Analysis Survey Instrument was presented.  This electronic instrument is designed to collect and tabulate basic job information from subject matter experts in any designated classification category.  It will reduce significantly the resources and time needed to collect information of this nature and develop the initial proposals for class spec and exam revisions.


            5.  During FY2005, there were 66 written charges for discharge and one Notice of Demotion served.  There were subsequently 15 requests for hearing.


            6.  During FY2006, there have been 12 written charges for discharge served.  There have been 2 requests for hearing.  The committee was also informed of the Board’s action to begin utilizing independent arbitrators from various professional associations as hearing officers.


            7.  Election of EAC members was held at UIUC, UIC, DSCC and SIUE, all previous EAC members were reelected.


            EAC meetings for 2006 are:  Jan. 19 & 20 at UIUC; April 20 & 21 at Northeastern; July 13 & 14 at WIU; and October 3 & 4 at SIU-SM (Council of Council will be on October 5 at SIU-SM).  Merit Board meeting will be held on November 16 at the Systems Office.


F.         UAC  No Report.


            G.         University Council


Dick reported that there was an ongoing discussion about the Academic Advising Center, which was created to advise undecided majors.  The faculty is concerned about the lack of faculty oversight for the office.  The faculty presented a resolution at the University Council meeting to reaffirm faculty rights and responsibilities because they did not believe the shared governance procedures were appropriately followed in the upstart of the new center.


H.         Special Events


Thuestad reported that she has purchased a few prizes for next year’s event.


VII.       Old Business –



            A.         Meeting Attendance


Koch reported that there is currently nothing in the constitution or bylaws about meeting attendance.  Small said there used to be a stipulation that if there were 3 unexcused absences in one year, the member would be removed from the Council.  Kinniry pointed out that there should also be some type of stipulation regarding excused absences as well since technically a Council Member could call in every month and receive an excused absence, but they would still not be fulfilling their obligation as a Council member.  After some discussion, it was decided that the Executive Board should draft a policy for Council review.


            B.        Mail Distribution


Turner presented a draft of the letter regarding the problems with operating staff not always getting their mail.  It was pointed out that more emphasis should be placed on the issue of timeliness of mail delivery.  It was also pointed out that we should not demand an explanation of the procedures that are currently followed, but rather we should just express the Council’s concern.  The letter will be revised again.  One will be sent to the Building Service department and one to Food Service since these are the two areas where the problem seems most prevalent.


            C.         Ride-Share Program


Tyrrell said she will check into putting this information on the HR website.


VIII.      New Business –


A.         Succession


Koch pointed out that the Bylaws do not address the proper procedure for succession such as when the president leaves.  It is not clear if the VP should step into the president position, if a special election should be held, or if there should be some other procedure followed.  After much discussion, it was decided that there should be procedures in the bylaws.  The executive committee will look into this.


B.         Informal Council Forums


Turner suggested that the Council might want to consider having a day once a semester when constituents could come and visit with the Council members and express any concerns they have in an informal setting.  She said that maybe we could set up something in the Blackhawk and advertise the event in the newsletter, as well as with flyers near the Blackhawk.  Turner will look into doing this for the spring semester.


C.         Sports  Teams


The idea of possibly organizing an Operating Staff sports team was discussed.  Currently there are leagues on campus and this might be something that people would be interested in.


IX.        Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 10:23 a.m.