Civil Service Council Meeting Minutes

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Library front overview

March 7, 2012

The March meeting of the Civil Service Council was called to order by Carolin Harvey, President.

Roll call of the members was taken by Elizabeth Cheek.

Members Present: Patrick Brumleve, Elizabeth Cheek, Mickel Cordes, Anita Eckhardt, Diane Frew, Shari Garnett, Tina Gerecke, Vera Gibbs, Carolin Harvey, Susan Howell, Randy Lowe, Karin McClure, Jason Phillips, Jesus Rosado, Anthony Travelstead, Karen Waldron. Members Absent: Joyce Davis, Vicki Nelson.

Others present: Mary Nippe, Teri Ricci.


The minutes for the meeting on February 1, 2012, were corrected under the Board of Trustees report to indicate the next meeting is scheduled for March 22. Additionally, the heading of the minutes should read, February 1, 2012. Minutes were approved as corrected.


Council President 
Carolin Harvey reported the constituency heads met on February 13, and Chancellor Cheng reported: 1) she met with the IBHE and submitted the University’s budget for [FY13], as well as to the state legislature. The budget was determined by the performance-based funding guidelines; 2) she is watching the legislation about transfer hours from community colleges and the hiring of annuitants; 3) George Reed, the Executive Director of IBHE, [was] on campus February 24; 4) the Communications building is number three on the state capital budget list; 5) Leadership Day [was on] February 21 at the Student Center. There [was] an overview of the new customer service training; a presentation by Lipman-Hearne on the new marketing plan; and an update on the strategic plan; 6) training is going well for Desire 2 Learn; 7) there are several dean searches in process. Each constituency group will be provided with the “Guidelines for Search Committees”; 8) construction on the new Student Services building should be completed by December 2013. A committee has been formed to determine which offices will be moved to Woody Hall after the current occupants have been vacated; 9) upgrades will be done on Faner, the Agriculture building and on the roofs of the green house and Communications. Neckers will receive electrical upgrades. The library is in the process of moving books back to the library. This is being done over two fiscal years using the current labor force. The new Technology building at the airport will come in under budget and on time. The demolition request for the triads has been submitted; 10) over 100 SIU staff volunteered for the Polar Bear event. The number of citations and ER visits was down based on the volunteers; 11) the new graduation ceremonies were discussed extensively. The event should take approximately two hours; 12) International Programs is attempting to increase enrollment. Distance education is doing well.

Board of Trustees 
Carolin Harvey reported the Board will meet on March 22 in Carbondale.

School of Medicine Civil Service Council 
Sheryl Lloyd submitted her report: 1) HB5531 is being closely watched. They were unable to use their listserv to distribute information about that to their employees; 2) there will be a “Casual Day” to raise funds for the Red Cross that will be donated to the Harrisburg tornado victims.

Human Resources (HR) 
Mary Nippe reported: 1) SURS counselors will be on campus April 10-12 for individual retirement counseling for those employees within four years of retirement. Information went out today by email and by letter to those without SIU email. There will also be a general retirement session on April 12; 2) a representative from T. Rowe Price, administrator of the state of Illinois deferred compensation plan, offered presentations on saving for retirement. The sessions were not as well attended as they had hoped, but HR will attempt to schedule more sessions for the future, either by webinar or whenever they are in the area; 3) benefits choice will likely be a repeat of last year. Contracts are being negotiated, which means plan provisions are being negotiated. HR does not expect that benefits will be decided by May; 4) HR has been extremely busy with retirements; 5) a bill to watch is HB5531, which would eliminate the 50% tuition waiver for children of [employees].


The following Council committee reports were submitted with the March 7 agenda:Elections.

Jason Phillips reported the committee met and set the agenda.

The Council and Education Assistance budget reports as of January 31, 2011, were emailed to all members prior to the meeting.

Education Assistance 
Anthony Travelstead reported the committee met on March 6 to discuss plans for the April 28 flea market. He distributed flyers to Council members, as well as a sign-up sheet for volunteers. The committee is looking for a food vendor and has some leads. They would like another non-profit in order to help the community.

Shari Garnett submitted an amended report for Elections (included as an appendix to the minutes).

Outstanding Civil Service Employee 
Patrick Brumleve reported the committee discovered that a committee had been formed to revamp the excellence awards without any notice or input into the decision [by the constituencies]. The new award combines the A/P and civil service awards into a “Staff Award.” Therefore, there could be only one recipient, which could be either A/P or civil service. Carolin Harvey noted that of the applications that have been submitted, only one is a civil service person. So, there is a possibility that the award could go to both an A/P and a civil service person; however, even though what Patrick has reported is correct, on the website it says one civil service and one A/P, and at this time, that wording is still on the website. Patrick noted that another website has “and/or.” Carolin indicated the committee is waiting to see what the response is [from the administration]. She commented that the Council began giving the award in 1980, which means approximately 30 awards have been given. There are 1800 civil service employees, and only one was nominated. This does not look good for civil service. Patrick believes the publicity for the award was very poor. The majority of Council members indicated they never saw any information on the award. Patrick added that the A/P representatives on the committee were taken by surprise as well. Theoretically, there could be no A/P staff member given an award, either. Carolin indicated the committee would keep the Council informed on this issue.

Public Information 
Elizabeth Cheek reported the committee will be meeting shortly. Carolin Harvey asked if any other Council members would like to be on the committee. Diane Frew volunteered.

The following Council committees did not meet or had no report: Bylaws, Civil Service Benefits and Range.


The following constituency committee reports were submitted with the March 7 agenda:Recreational Sports and Services Advisory.

Chancellor's Advisory Review Board 
Karen Waldron reported the Board heard two cases last week. Both were found to have no merit for appeal.

Parking and Traffic Appeals 
Elizabeth Cheek reported the committee met on February 17 and heard 22 appeals; 7 were granted; 1 was denied; 12 were no shows; and 2 were reduced.

University Joint Benefits 
Karin McClure reported the committee did not have a quorum when it met on February 28, so the meeting was informational only. Kim Kavish (Springfield HR) reported there are 40 plus retirements in the works there, and she is constantly meeting with people. She met with 30 people as a group that she had not previously met with individually. Kim expressed concerned about the number of people leaving, as some departments may be almost completely wiped out. Bruce Appleby (Annuitants Association) reported on two pension proposals; one is the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) proposal, which is six pages long, and the other is by the Civil Federation (not the same as the Civic Commission of Chicago) and is 57 pages. It is more unfriendly toward employees than the IGPA. Karin noted that at President Poshard’s presentation, he discussed the IGPA proposal in more detail. Basically, it calls for a 3% increase in employee contributions. The President reported the normal cost of the pension is approximately 20%, but varies from year to year. Next year, it will be 20.5%. Currently, the state contributes approximately 12.5%, and employees contribute the other 8%. This plan, if passed, would eventually cut the state contribution to 6.2%, and the other half would be divided--3% added on to what employees already contribute, and 3.3% contributed by the employer. Karin indicated that there are other aspects to proposal, and she can send a link to Council members. Mary Nippe clarified that this would be the case if employees did not elect to go with the defined contribution benefit. Karin added that the plan also seeks to address the Tier II participants and how poor their situation really is currently. The plan would give everyone the option of going with a hybrid of the defined benefit and defined contribution plan. It is expected that a lot of Tier II employees would switch over. Current employees would have that option, but it would be mandatory for new employees.

The following constituency committees did not meet or had no report: Advisory Committee to Director of Public Safety, Affirmative Action Advisory, Chancellor’s Planning and Budget Advisory, Computing Advisory, Honorary Degrees, Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory, Naming University Facilities, Ombudsman Advisory Panel, Student Center Advisory, Traffic and Parking, UWPA.


Legislative Advisory 
Karin McClure reported there are three bills in the House; two are being stalled by the Higher Education Committee, and the other (HB5531) went directly to the Executive Committee. There are a couple of amendments that could be attached. It was mentioned that instead of eliminating it entirely, a salary cap could be placed (possibly $50,000); so, someone making under that amount could still get the waiver. Elizabeth Cheek asked Mary Nippe how that proposal would work if both parents are employees. Mary responded she was unsure. Karin reported there is another amendment that would address the community college waivers, which are not handled the same way. Usually, when there is talk of an amendment, there is talk of grandfathering in either current employees or at least the students who are currently receiving the waiver. She has not heard anything about this possibility. Karin also reported that the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability unanimously voted to allow supplemental [health insurance] for downstate HMO providers. This means that an HMO must be provided for those in downstate Illinois, though it does not necessarily mean that Health Alliance or anyone in particular would get the contract.

Search Committee for Assistant Provost and Chief Information Officer (CIO) 
Jason Phillips reported the committee has completed its task and made its recommendations to the Provost. He expects a hire in the very near future.

Search Committee for Dean of College of Agricultural Sciences 
Tina Gerecke reported the committee has recommended four names to the Provost, and she believes they are in the process of setting up [open forums].

Search Committee for Dean of College of Applied Sciences and Arts 
Shari Garnett reported the committee has recommended three names to the Provost.

Search Committee for Dean of College of Education and Human Services 
Mickel Cordes reported the committee has made its recommendations, and the Provost is looking for volunteers to escort the candidates through the final interview process.

Search Committee for Dean of Library Affairs 
Susan Howell reported the committee met and set its agenda. Applications will be accepted until [March 9] or until filled. Carolin Harvey asked Susan if she is representing the library on the search committee or just the Council. Susan believes she is representing both. Carolin reported that the issue was brought to her attention that the library has its own council and its own representative. The Provost’s office selected Susan to be the library’s representative, as well as the Council’s representative. She believes this seems as though civil service is cut out of a vote, especially since most of the employees in the library are civil service. She is unsure how to address the issue, but believes if the Provost’s office already knew Susan was the library representative, they should not also have selected her to represent the Council. Mickel Cordes suggested contacting the Provost’s office and asking that they select another person to represent civil service out of the names the Council initially submitted. Carolin responded she could do that, but it does not mean it will be done. Tina Gerecke commented that from her previous experience in the Provost’s office, they have always looked for ways to limit the size of [search] committees. They can get so large, and it makes it difficult to get everyone together. She doubts there was any malicious intent. Carolin responded that she would still call and see if another person could be selected, noting the other two names were Karin McClure and Patrick Brumleve.

The following special/other committees did not meet or had no report: Academic Calendar, Employee Advisory Committee to the Merit Board, Search Committee for Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Strategic Planning, Signage and SURS Members Advisory.


Carolin Harvey reminded Council members to submit their bios for posting to the website.


Carolin Harvey read Joyce Davis’s resignation from the Council. A motion was made and approved to accept her resignation. Carolin indicated that Joyce’s seat on the Council was set to expire this year, anyway. She suggested Joyce not be replaced at this time on the Council or on the Council committees on which Joyce served since new committee assignments will be made in a few months. Carolin mentioned those continuing Council members may want to begin thinking about on which committees they would like to serve.


1. Carolin Harvey expressed appreciation to Teri Ricci for attending the meeting, noting she is welcome to attend future meetings if she is able.

2. Jason Phillips asked about the status of the Council luncheon. Carolin Harvey responded that the Kaskaskia-Missouri Rooms of the Student Center [have been reserved for the meeting in May]. Randy Lowe noted the meeting was scheduled for May so that incoming Council members, as well as any civil service attending the meeting, could be oriented about the Council. Carolin reminded committee chairs to prepare a brief description of their committee to present that day.

3. Carolin Harvey reported that Elizabeth Cheek will replace Joyce Davis as chair of the Public Information Committee. Elizabeth will work with the Chancellor’s office to schedule a date for the open forum. Human Resources and Labor Relations will be contacted once the Chancellor’s availability has been determined.