Civil Service Council Meeting Minutes
February 6, 2013
The February meeting of the Civil Service Council was called to order by Carolin Harvey, President.
Roll call of the members was taken by Patrick Brumleve.
Members Present: Patrick Brumleve, Elizabeth Cheek, Mickel Cordes, Anita Eckhardt, Diane Frew, Shari Garnett, Tina Gerecke, Vera Gibbs, Carolin Harvey, Randy Lowe, Karin McClure, Jason Phillips, Jesus Rosado, Anthony Travelstead, Julie Virgo. Members Absent: Regina Brown.
Others present: Matthew MacCrimmon, Jon Shaffer, Jennifer Watson.
Carolin Harvey welcomed University Housing Director Jon Shaffer, who provided an overview of his plans for housing. He then answered questions from the floor.
The minutes of the meeting on January 9, 2013, were approved as presented.
Carolin Harvey reported the constituency heads will meet on February 20.
Board of Trustees
Carolin Harvey reported she plans to attend the Board meeting on February 28.
Carolin Harvey reported she spoke with Jay Brooks, and he has agreed to be the representative for the Association. She called for a motion to approve Jay’s appointment. Mickel Cordes so moved; seconded by Karin McClure. Motion carried. Carolin reported that Gary Beer, who is a recent retiree, also expressed an interest in representing the Annuitants Association. She suggested that he act as an alternate during the times that Jay is unable to attend meetings. Council members agreed this would be a good idea. Carolin indicated she would contact Gary to make sure he is agreeable, and then she will report back to the Council next month.
Jennifer Watson reported that SURS counselors will be on campus April 9-11. Letters will be sent this week to anyone within four years of retirement eligibility. Tina Gerecke asked Jennifer if she had an update on the August retiree situation (with retirees being unable to continue working for the University). Jennifer responded that she has no news at this time. The legislation gives a deadline of August 1, 2013, but there are several stipulations, and not all retirees will be an increased cost to the University. Also, as civil service employees, they still have rights. This does not mean that a position could not be eliminated based on budget cuts, as that can happen to anyone; however, that person would have potentially some type of seniority rights. Jennifer suggested anyone who has questions on this issue can contact HR.
Jason Phillips reported the committee met and set the agenda.
Budget reports were emailed to all members prior to the meeting.
Anthony Travelstead reviewed and presented for approval the Proposed Changes to the Operating Policies for the Education Assistance Program/Education Assistance Committee (included as attachment 1 to the agenda). Proposed changes were approved.
Anthony Travelstead reported that the income generated over the fall semester from fund raisers, donations and interest income netted just over $4900. The committee is recommending an award of $200 for each of the 24 eligible applicants for the spring 2013 award. He noted that there were 25 applicants, but 1 applicant did not meet the criteria for the award (the sponsor was not an employee of the University). Recommendation to approve 24 applicants for an award of $200 each was approved. Anthony also moved that the remainder of the funds generated from the fall semester be transferred to the Endowment Fund. Motion carried.
Anthony Travelstead reported: a) the spring flea market is scheduled for April 27. A sign-up sheet will be passed around next month for Council members to sign up to work. There was discussion within the committee about cutting some of the costs for the flea market, so they will be looking to reduce some of those costs; b) the committee is looking at possibly having another luncheon buffet fund raiser through the Old Main Restaurant; c) he has been talking back and forth with the Foundation about a payroll deduction campaign. It is in the final stages of approval, and hopefully by the next Council meeting, it will be approved and he will have something to bring in for final Council approval before disseminating it out to the constituency.
Diane Frew reviewed and presented for approval the Proposed Changes to the Election Procedures (included as attachment 2 to the agenda). Carolin Harvey suggested the sentence beginning, “In the case of a tie vote” be amended to read, “In the case of a tie vote, the tie will be broken by the flip of a coin if between two candidates and by lot if between three or more candidates and shall be done in the presence of the candidates who are tied, the Council President and/or designee, and Election Chair.” She noted this would alleviate any concerns should the president be involved in a tie vote. Proposed changes, as amended, were approved. Diane reported that the committee will be meeting immediately following this meeting to approve the election schedule. Carolin asked Council members to urge employees in their sectors to consider running for the Council.
Patrick Brumleve circulated some pictures he had taken from the Education Assistance spaghetti dinner, as well as from the January meeting when the Chancellor was in attendance. He hopes to use some of them in the next newsletter. Pat also reported that an open forum has been scheduled with the Chancellor from 11:30AM-1PM on April 19 in the Delta Room of the Student Center (4th floor). He hopes to begin work soon on a notification/mini newsletter to be sent through the listserv, with paper copies for the Physical Plant and Housing employees.
Staff Excellence Award
Diane Frew reported that announcements will be made in April. Patrick Brumleve added that the process went smoothly; there was no controversy, and everyone was in agreement.
The following Council committees did not meet or had no report: Bylaws, Civil Service Benefits and Range.
Matt MacCrimmon introduced himself, noting he was appointed for a one year term. The committee met for the first time on January 25 and covered several issues, the most impactful being the new password policy.
University Joint Benefits
Karin McClure addressed the issue that was raised earlier about the Return to Work bill. She reported that Kim Kavish (HR director at the School of Medicine in Springfield) discussed the problem this bill creates, especially for the Medical School because they have people who are in specialized positions. It is not easy to find someone to replace a person who retires from such a position. Karin indicated that Representative Biss is open to having a trailer bill in order to push the August 1 date back and allow more time for implementation of the bill, though it is unclear for how long it might be pushed back.
Carolin Harvey indicated that in Karin McClure’s report, it mentions that Jake Baggott had suggested the committee might want to look into other benefits. What does that mean? Karin responded that the committee’s meetings generally consist of reports from Bruce Appleby (the Annuitants Association representative) about what is happening in Springfield. She took Jake’s comment to mean that he wanted to see what positive impact they could make on other benefits. Committee Chair Jim Hunsaker had pointed out that the Extended Sick Leave Benefit (ESLB) policy grew out of a recommendation from the committee. She believes he also would like to be more proactive.
The following constituency committees did not meet or had no report: Advisory Committee to Director of Public Safety, Affirmative Action Advisory, Chancellor’s Advisory Review Board, Chancellor’s Planning and Budget Advisory, Honorary Degrees, Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory, Naming University Facilities, Parking and Traffic Appeals, Recreational Sports and Services Advisory, Student Center Advisory, Traffic and Parking, University Joint Benefits, UWPA.
The following special/other committee report was submitted with the February 6 agenda:Employee Advisory Committee to the Merit Board.
The following special/other committees did not meet or had no report: Academic Calendar, Legislative Advisory, Strategic Planning, Signage, SURS Members Advisory.
NON AGENDA ITEMS
Shari Garnett reported she is the Council representative on the Academic Calendar Committee. She was asked about the holiday calendar and was unsure if that was an issue beyond the scope of the committee. Shari explained that a question was raised about why the Monday of spring break was not included in this year’s holiday schedule. Carolin Harvey asked Jennifer Watson if the Board of Trustees sets the number of [closure] days. Jennifer was unsure, but is aware that the Chancellor has some flexibility; she has “x” amount of days that she can designate for Christmas break, designated holidays and administrative closures. Karin McClure indicated that she had raised the issue with Shari, and since that time has had several people ask about why spring break is not included in the holiday schedule this year. However, the bigger issue is what is happening with the FY14 schedule. Karin indicated she looked back at the holiday schedule as far as what is posted and also looked at the policy. The policy states that there are certain legal holidays that are always given and then there are designated holidays. The Chancellor is able to designate up to three administrative closure days between December 23 and January 2. The norm has been three designated administrative closure days, filling whatever needs to be filled in using the designated holidays, and then if there is a designated holiday remaining, the staff is given spring break Monday. Therefore, the effect has usually been either spring break Monday or Christmas Eve. This year and last year, the Chancellor chose to designate only two administrative closure days instead of three. Karin questioned whether this was an oversight or intentional. Carolin Harvey responded that, given the University’s financial situation, it could be intentional.
Shari Garnett was unsure whether this was an issue under the purview of the committee since it is called the “Academic Calendar” Committee. If not, she believes it is a question many employees have, and maybe the Council could ask someone. Carolin Harvey responded that she could raise the issue with the Chancellor at the next constituency heads meeting. The question could also be raised at the open forum scheduled with the Chancellor on April 19.