Operating Staff Council Meeting

Minutes 10/11/07

Holmes Student Center, Room 406 – 9 A.M.


Present:            Elizabeth Buck, Judy Burgess, Gay Campbell, Sara Clayton, Marcia Dick, Linda Jennings, Glenda Jones, Theresa Kinniry, Jay Monteiro, Danell Nixon, Andy Small, Alan Smith, Brenda Smith, Karen Smith, LaRonda Thuestad


Absent:             Jesse Tellez


Guests: Sean Vincent Burke, Tim Griffin, Tara Mitchell, Nancy Schuneman, Ros 

Snell, Heather Tody


I.          Call to Order


President Jay Monteiro called the regular meeting of the Operating Staff Council to order at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 11, 2007.


II.        Approval of Agenda


One item was added to the agenda. A motion was made to accept the agenda as amended. The motion was seconded and passed.


III.       Approval of Minutes of the September 13, 2007, Meeting


A motion was made to accept the minutes with several corrections.  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.        Monteiro passed around Illinois State University (ISU) Newsletter. 


B.           Monteiro passed around the Secretary Advisory Council (SAC) minutes.  SAC members presented their proposal regarding a sliding scale for permit 

pricing to the Parking Committee.  The Parking Committee was not totally against the idea, but they currently do not have the necessary software to process permits this way.  Should they get the software, the committee is willing to revisit the issue.


C.           Marcia Dick reported that the Faculty Senate is looking at changing the grievance procedure. The changes would include making the term of service two years,   
      and updating procedures for recusing oneself if necessary.


D.         Gay Campbell passed around proofs of the OSC photo so that Council members could choose which photo they liked the best.


E.           LaRonda Thuestad invited the Council to a pork chop dinner at the VFW in Rochelle on October 13, 2007.  Proceeds from the dinner will be used to 

            offset legal costs for a citizen’s group fighting against landfill expansion in Rochelle.


F.            Glenda Jones said money is still needed for the June Anderson fund.  Anderson was a homeless woman who spent time on campus. When she 

                        passed away earlier this year, a fund was established to offset funeral and other final expenses. Jones said a total of $850 is needed to purchase a

                        headstone for Anderson.  So far $575 has been raised. An account has been set up at the NIU Credit Union so that Council members can make a

                        donation if they wish.


VI.       Committee Reports


            A.        Personnel/Staff Development/Benefits  - No Report


            B.        Elections and Appointments


Campbell presented a Committee Interest Sheet from Alan Smith for the Parking Appeals Committee.  The Council voted to approve Smith’s appointment to the committee.  


            C.        Special Events – No report.


            D.        Public Relations –


                        Nancy Schuneman reported that:


-          The Dependent Award winners were chosen.  Also, Schuneman will meet with Dana Gaucher, NIU Scholarship Coordinator, to try and find a way to better publicize the Dependent Award. Clare Williams is also interested in making the award an endowment. Karen Smith suggested the Dependent Award winners and their parents be invited to the annual OSC Awards Banquet held in the spring.  Schuneman contacted Barb Rice and Steve Cunningham and the idea has been approved.


-          The committee is continuing to work on the brochure. Schuneman asked if we might consider changing the current logo on the brochure. Andy Small said the current logo was voted on approximately 10 years ago.  After some discussion, it was decided that Schuneman should contact Media Services to find out if there are specific guidelines that must be followed regarding NIU logos. New logo designs can then be considered by the Council. K. Smith also asked the Council to think about what information we might want to include in the brochure.


E.                 Visiting Committees/Guests –


Ros Snell and Tara Mitchell from Human Resource Services reported on the Business Enterprise Program.  The program is for minority and female business owners from the state of Illinois. The program is designed to encourage university departments/offices to consider purchasing supplies from one of the vendors in the program.  Vendors will be in the Regency Room in the Holmes Student Center (HSC) on October 24, 2007, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to display their products.


Sean Vincent Burke was present at the meeting to receive the Dependent Award certificate. Burke is a Biology Major in the Honors program. He hopes to become a Biology teacher.  He is the son of Jack Burke from Materials Management and Juanita Burke.


Heather Tody was also present at the meeting to receive her Dependent Award certificate. Tody is a May 2007 graduate of NIU and is currently attending NIU School of Law. She hopes to work in corporate and organizational communications.  She is the daughter of Alan Tody from Information Technology Services (ITS).


            F.         Employee Advisory Council (EAC)


The Employee Advisory Council (EAC) met at Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Carbondale on October 5 and 6, 2007.  Sara Clayton reported that:


- Tom Morelock gave an update on the e-tests for the secretary series. He said all the pre-testing has been done.


- There are also some proposed changes in the discharge rules.


- SURS is reconfiguring their website.


- Clayton was re-elected as the EAC representative for NIU for a four-year term.


            G.        UAC – No Report.


H.                University Council –


Monteiro reported on the University Council meeting.


-          President Peters talked about Homecoming weekend. He encouraged everyone to be safe.


-          There is no word yet from the state on capital improvement monies.


-          The State of the University Address is now online. Peters encouraged everyone to read it.


-          The Strategic Plan is ongoing.


-          The True North fundraising campaign is ongoing.


-          Ethics Training is coming up. K. Smith said the test cannot be completed in less than 30 minutes. She also said that those employees who refuse to take the test can be terminated or denied employment.


-          Monteiro had previously sent a list of the proposed holidays for FY 2008, to Council members for recommendations. Some Council members recommended that January 2, 2008, be made a holiday. Other Council members recommended that the two days prior to the proposed start date also be made holidays. Monteiro presented the recommendations to the University Council, but they were not accepted. 


-          Raises should appear on the November 15, 2007 check, retroactive to July 1, 2007.  The increment increase is 2% Across The Board, 1 % merit, based on a satisfactory employee evaluation, 1% merit at the discretion of the department, and ½% in January for Critical Retention.  Local media have reported that university employees will receive a 4.5% increase. After much discussion, the Council recommended that Monteiro get clarification from Steve Cunningham regarding the increment distribution. Notification about the increments should be sent to employees at the end of October.


-          A task force has been created to review the incident at Virginia Tech and to determine if the information might be relevant to NIU’s own emergency plan.


VII.     Old Business


A.                 HSC Employee Appreciation Luncheon


It was decided that the Council would host an informal pizza party to thank those employees who didn’t get to fully participate in the StaffFest luncheon because they worked that day.  However, attempts to coordinate the event have been unsuccessful. After some discussion, it was decided that nothing would be done this year, but ideas will be considered for next year’s event on ways we can thank the employees who work the StaffFest luncheon.


B.                 Religious Holiday Closure


A constituent had previously complained about the fact that December 25 is designated as Christmas Day on the university holiday closure calendar. The constituent was offended by the implication that the university was recognizing a Christian holiday, which is in violation of the law about separation of church and state.  The matter had been referred to Human Resource Services, but the person assigned to look into the issue was unexpectedly hospitalized so no further action has been taken.  Alternate names for the day are under consideration.



C.                 Council of Councils


Small and Brenda Smith attended the event. Both reported that the various breakout sessions were very good. Small said the three state legislators who spoke at the event were from Chicago State University.  Small also said that only six or seven schools were represented and only about 35 people attended. He also said that none of the state universities represented volunteered to host next year’s event.  Morelock said he would like to see the State University Civil Service Systems (SUCSS) office get more involved with the Council of Councils, and has even offered to host the event. An effort will also be made to schedule the event so as to coincide with the annual EAC meeting so that EAC representatives will be able to attend.


VIII.    New Business


            A.        Increments


See University Council notes.


IX.       Adjournment – A motion was made at 11:35 a.m. to adjourn.