MINUTES 6/8/06

8:30AM – Holmes Student Center 406


Present:    Elizabeth Buck, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry,

    Joe Koch, Nancy Schuneman, Andy Small, Julia Sober, LaRonda Thuestad, and Rachel



Absent:     Marcia Dick, Margie Foshe, Jay Monteiro


Guests:     Tim Griffin, Jodi Tyrrell, Steve Cunningham


I.                    Call to Order


President Rachel Turner called the regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council to order at 8:35 a.m. on Thursday, June 8, 2006.


II.         Approval of Agenda


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


III.        Approval of Minutes of the May 11, 2006, 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.         Turner passed around an increment worksheet from Steve Cunningham.


B.         Turner passed around a list of items from the Secretary Advisory Council meeting that might be of interest to the Council.    


C.            Turner also passed around a card from Judy Burgess thanking the Council and the  

Outstanding Service Award Committee for selecting her as one of this year’s winners of the award.


D.            Turner also passed around a sympathy card for Burgess expressing our regrets

                          about the death of her father. 


E.             Jodi Tyrrell said the HR Director Advising Committee has been revived.  They will be   

                          working with the Systems Office to try and figure out what their role will be.


F.             Tyrrell said work is continuing on the E-testing program.  Tests are being implemented

                           for the Building Services and Admissions Record Series.


VI.        Committee Reports


A.                  Personnel/Staff Developments/Benefits


Sara Clayton reported that 537 people attended the Benefits Fair this year.  She said Deb Haliczer is preparing a report about the event and Clayton will receive a copy.  It is hoped the event can be held annually.


B.         Elections and Appointments


Joe Koch reported that letters went out to all the candidates for the Council.  Re-elected to the Council were Elizabeth Buck, Jay Monteiro, Andy Small and Rachel Turner.  Judy Burgess was also elected to the Council as the newest member.  Gay Campbell was also elected to fill the position left vacant when Jason Hutchison resigned from the Council last month.    


Koch passed out forms to Council members to submit their nominations for the four officer positions on the Council.  The following members accepted nominations:  for President Rachel Turner; for V.P. Gay Campbell, Theresa Kinniry, Marcia Dick, Judy Burgess, Jay Monteiro, and Sara Clayton;for Secretary Judy Burgess, Marcia Dick, and Theresa Kinniry; and for Treasurer Elizabeth Buck, Glenda Jones, Jay Monteiro, and Nancy Schuneman.  Voting will take place at the July meeting.  Koch pointed out that Council members who will not be able to attend the July meeting will have the opportunity to vote absentee. 


Koch also reported that he has had 5 responses regarding Committees and Commission vacancies.  


C.         Special Events


            LaRonda Thuestad reported that over 800 reservations have been made so far for the StaffFest in August.  Thuestad said the menu is the same as last year.  Schuneman is in charge of soliciting donations from local businesses for door prizes.  Schuneman asked Council members to help solicit prizes.  She said she has a form letter that can be sent to businesses if needed.  Thuestad pointed out that $170 is available for door prizes, but it would be helpful to have more donated prizes. 


Turner said she has only received one departmental picture so far.  She said maybe a member of the Council can go around to various departments this summer and take pictures of Operating Staff members.


D.         Public Relations


Julia Sober reported that the committee is still working on updating the OSC brochure.

Clayton pointed out that the Council is in its 35th year and wondered if the Council wanted

to produce a special edition of the brochure as was done on the 25th anniversary of the

Council.  It will be considered.   


            E.         Visiting Committees/Guests. –


Steve Cunningham was present at the meeting to discuss increments and also the evaluation process.  Cunningham said there will be a 3% increase across the board for all Operating Staff and Supportive Professional Staff, effective July 1, 2006.  He said faculty are still merit-based raises and will be handled accordingly.  The NIU raise is consistent with other state universities. Cunningham said raises are difficult because there are so many issues affecting them, like cost of living increases and merit.  He said that hopefully merit will be a component in the future, but this year it was decided to make the increase across the board.  He said the university has seen a 16% cut in the budget the last four years and NIU has had to absorb those cuts.  Cunningham said the president is very concerned by employee wages because he knows the pressures employees are facing.  Hourly employees will see the increase in their end of month check for July and all others will see the increase in their mid-month July check. 


Clayton pointed out that Western Illinois University got a 4.5% increase this year.  Cunningham said he was not aware of that.  He also said there will likely not be a 1% additional increment in January 2007 as there has been the last two years.


Clayton also asked that if an employee is doing exceptional work, would it be possible to give the employee a raise based on merit.  Cunningham said there would have to be justification for the raise.  He said if it is just a one-time bonus type situation, an additional pay form could be filled out with the justification.  Cunningham also said the salary ranges for Operating Staff will be looked at in the near future because of the compression issues associated with that.


Cunningham said that evaluations are currently required to be completed by supervisors once a year.  If the evaluations are late, a letter is sent to the supervisor reminding them of the need to complete the evaluation.  Cunningham said that in his conversations with supervisors, he has found that many supervisors would like a more variable time frame in which to evaluate an employee’s performance.  He asked the Council to consider this issue and let him know what the Council’s recommendation would be. 


Cunningham said if an evaluation contains a low score in every area, the supervisor is contacted by HR just to make sure there is not some more serious issue going on with the employee.  Jones asked if there is a requirement that the employee evaluation be signed by the employee.  Jodi Tyrrell said there is currently no policy that says the evaluation must be signed, however, she said the supervisor will usually indicate on the evaluation that the employee chose not to sign.  Cunningham and Tyrrell also pointed out that an employee has the right to write a rebuttal to the evaluation if they feel it is unfair. There is also no requirement in the statues that evaluations be completed unless the employee is in a probationary period. Cunningham also pointed out that while evaluations are important, he feels the working relationship between employees and their supervisors ought to be an interactive process where problems are identified and dealt with as they arise instead of being saved up for the evaluation period.    


Linda Jennings pointed out that on the employment roster on the HRS web site, many of the jobs are SPS as opposed to OS and there was some concern that OS jobs were being converted to SPS positions.  Tyrrell pointed out that there hasn’t been much turnover in the OS positions so there aren’t very many available.  Cunningham said there is a very involved process in changing OS positions to SPS positions and it is rarely done.


            F.         EAC 


The Systems Office reported that as of April 10 they have done 1000 E-tests.  The Systems Office won an award for the E-testing program.


Clayton said the Systems Office will be randomly selecting individuals to do a job analysis survey.  HR will give the names of employees to the Systems Office.  The questions will be computer-based and will ask employees about their day-to-day duties on the job. The information will be used to help with the testing process, job classifications and job descriptions.  Tim Griffin suggested that HR may want to let people know about this in advance so that they are not surprised by it if they should be chosen to participate.  The survey will likely be only for those classifications that are being reviewed or developed.


There were 7 appeals for dismissal.  Two resigned, one settled and one university withdrew.  The university that withdrew was NIU.


Clayton said that SIU used to do all the employee evaluations at the same time, but it was very confusing so now they do them on employee’s anniversary date.


Clayton said that UIC has started the Pilot Program.  She said that in January there were 135 in the Pilot Program and in April there were 155.


The next EAC meeting will be July 13 and 14.


            G.         UAC Three committee meetings.


                        External Affairs


1.         Several legislative bills were discussed.  The legislation includes Baccalaureate degree completion programs between 4-year universities and community colleges, ISAC funding and the MAP 2 grant program (Monetary Award Program Plus) , pensions, data collection, and energy efficiency.  Harper College petitioned to be made into a 4-year institution. The request was denied, however, they are now offering a nursing degree and are partnering with NIU School of Nursing.


2.         The FY 07 state budget is $45.8 billion, with $48 million for higher education, of which $26 million is for universities.  The General Revenue budget for NIU for FY07 is $103,927,000.  The range of increase for public state universities is 1.2-2%, with NIU at about a 1.2% increase.


                        3.         Two new federal Pell grants were established:  the Academic Competitiveness

Grant (ACG) and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants (SMART Grants).


4.         The American Competitive Initiative (ACI) will provide funding increases for Fermilab and help position it for the possible selection as host-site for a multi-billion dollar International Linear Accelerator.  Fermilab and locations in tow other countries are being considered for this site.  The project, slated for 2010-2011, would provide beneficial opportunities in Physics for NIU, if Fermilab is the host site.


                        Academic and Student Affairs Committee



1.             Virginia Naples spoke about salary differentials between male and female    

professors in her department.  The issue was forwarded to the Faculty Salary Equity Task Force for discussion and review.


2.              Recommendations for faculty promotions and tenure were made.  Appointments    

with rank and tenure were recommended for the Associate Dean of the Grad

School (Bradley Bond), Chair of the Department of Computer Science (Raimund K. Ege), and Provost (Raymond W. Alden III).  Appointment of Mary Monroe as Interim Dean of the Libraries was recommended.


3.              Requests for a new degree program, a PhD in Art Education, and new program        

                                    specializations in Physical Education and Nursing were made.


                        Finance and Facilities Committee


1.         Recommendations were made for FY 2008 budget.  The committee proposed at 6% faculty and staff salary increase.  For FY 2007 the committee recommended the internal operating budget (including 1.2% GR base increase).  The committee  also looked at FY 2007 tuition rates.  The committee proposed a 7% increase for continuing undergraduate students, law students, and graduate students, and a 10% increase for new students.  Those students in the “Truth in Tuition” program would not be affected by the proposed increases.


2.                   Various funding allocations were recommended for far west campus development, off-campus lease agreements, and equipment.


3.                   A presentation regarding plans for the Academic and Athletic Performance Center was given.


H.                  University Council No Report.


VII.       Old Business – None.


VIII.      New Business  -


Clayton attended a meeting of the Workplace Issues Committee of the SPS Council. 

Some of the issues discussed included supervisors who should not be supervisors, evaluations not being done, and mandatory supervisor training.  The committee also discussed the possibility of employees evaluating their supervisors.  Tom Krepel attended the meeting and asked the committee to provide him with more information and to present a plan.


Turner asked if the Council wanted to set up a special meeting with President Peters since he has been unable to attend the last several meetings.  It was decided that since the invitation was just an informal one, and there were no pressing issues that needed to be discussed, that the Council would just continue to invite him until he is available to attend a meeting.


IX.        Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 10:55 a.m.


Respectfully Submitted,




Theresa Kinniry

OSC Secretary