Civil Service Council Meeting Minutes
March 6, 2013
The March 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: Regina Brown, Patrick Brumleve, Elizabeth Cheek, Mickel Cordes, Anita Eckhardt, Diane Frew, Shari Garnett, Tina Gerecke, Vera Gibbs, Carolin Harvey, Randy Lowe, Jason Phillips, Jesus Rosado, Anthony Travelstead, Julie Virgo. ProxiesJudy Simpson for Karin McClure.
Others present: Jim Bigogno, Jay Brooks, Sheryl Lloyd, Mary Nippe, Teri Ricci.
The minutes of the meeting on February 6, 2013, were corrected under Members Present to reflect that Regina Brown was absent and Randy Lowe was present. Minutes were approved as corrected.
Carolin Harvey reported that President Poshard will give his State of the University address at 2PM this afternoon.
Carolin Harvey reported the constituency heads met on February 20. She mentioned to Chancellor Cheng about having Jon Shaffer from University Housing at the February Council meeting. She also mentioned the Education Assistance awards, the upcoming flea market and the Council elections. Carolin told the Chancellor that the Council is looking forward to meeting with her at the open forum on April 19. Chancellor Cheng reported to the constituency heads on the tuition and fee increase, the new housing construction and the endorsement of the strategic plan, all of which were on the Board of Trustees agenda for February.
Board of Trustees
Carolin Harvey reported that she went to Edwardsville for the February 28 Board meeting, but it was not held because they lacked a quorum. The meeting was rescheduled for April 3 in Carbondale. Also, one of the retiring Board members, John Simmons, sent a letter to the Council, which was circulated to members. Mr. Simmons expressed his appreciation of the Council's past support.
Carolin Harvey welcomed back Jay Brooks. She reported that she has been unable to contact Gary Beer about serving as Jay's substitute when he is unable to attend meetings of the Association or the Council. Judy Simpson mentioned she would contact Gary and have him contact Carolin.
Jay Brooks reported that the next meeting of the Association is scheduled for March 13. He will have a report for the Council at the April meeting. Jay expressed his appreciation to have been asked to serve.
Mary Nippe reported: 1) SURS counselors will be on campus April 9-11, with a general session scheduled for April 9; 2) Workers Compensation, which is currently handled by CMS, is going to be turned over to a third party beginning July 1. Representatives from HR will be attending training and may have more information next week. It is unclear what changes will take place internally for the University because the workers comp coordinator does a lot of work on behalf of CMS. Mary does not believe employees will see any difference with respect to processing claims, although there will be changes for the HR staff.
The following Council committee report was submitted with the March 6 agenda: Elections.
Carolin Harvey reported the committee did not meet, but reviewed the draft minutes and agenda via email.
Budget reports were emailed to all members prior to the meeting.
Anthony Travelstead reported the committee met twice since the last Council meeting. The first meeting was called to put together the vendor mailing for the flea market, which was done in an attempt to save duplicating costs. He indicated there were envelopes distributed to Council members prior to the meeting; one includes copies of the flea market flyer, which Council members should post in their offices and communities. The second envelope contains tickets for the Old Main Luncheon Buffet fund raiser that will take place on April 17. Anthony also circulated a sign-up sheet for help on the day of the flea market, which is scheduled for April 27.
Anthony Travelstead reported the payroll deduction campaign has been approved, so that information will be going out in the next week or so. He noted that Karin McClure was approached by someone who has been contributing for years to the program and volunteered to write up a short statement on why she contributes (the person does not have children in the program). The statement can be included in the upcoming Council newsletter. Carolin Harvey suggested contacting former recipients of the award to see if they would be willing to make a one-time donation that could go directly into the Foundation account.
Diane Frew reminded all those wishing to stand for election to turn in their candidacy forms by March 11.
Patrick Brumleve reported that information on the open forum with the Chancellor will be going out shortly, as well as a mini newsletter. If anyone has any information to submit for the newsletter, let him know. Carolin Harvey asked if questions will be solicited from employees in advance of the open forum. Patrick responded that the format for the open forum will be the same as before, i.e, questions will be solicited.
Range Tina Gerecke reported the committee has not met; however, she asked those members of the committee who have not reviewed the letter on the July 1 salary increase to send her their responses. She will see if she can get the request submitted in time for the April 3 Board of Trustees meeting.
Staff Excellence Award
Diane Frew reported that the Excellence award recipients will be announced in April.
The following Council committees did not meet or had no report: Bylaws and Civil Service Benefits.
The following constituency committee reports were submitted with the March 6 agenda:Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory, Parking and Traffic Appeals, Traffic and Parking, University Joint Benefits and UWPA.
Chancellor's Advisory Review Board
Judy Simpson reported the Board met twice this year and reviewed three cases; none merited [appeal].
Chancellor's Planning and Budget Advisory
Carolin Harvey reported: 1) the Chancellor mentioned the fee increase that was going to the Board of Trustees, as well as other items that were on the Board agenda (new housing facilities by the Towers, the strategic plan; purchase of new furniture for the new Student Services building); 2) as of May 31, Chartwells will no longer service the University. Requests for Proposals are out for new vendors. Future food service providers will not be exclusive; rather, the Student Center will have a list of vendors that can be used for other events; 3) the Chancellor reported that applications are up considerably for this year; 4) the strategic plan, once it is approved by the Board, will be placed on the web; 5) the Higher Learning Commission will be on campus April 27; 6) Vice Chancellor Kevin Bame reported that reappraisals will not be requested for the FY13 budget. Instead, they will be processed as received.
Diane Frew reported that the Celebrate Women luncheon is scheduled for March 7. Proceeds will go towards scholarships for women.
The following constituency committees did not meet or had no report: Advisory Committee to Director of Public Safety, Affirmative Action Advisory, Computing Advisory, Honorary Degrees, Naming University Facilities, Recreational Sports and Services Advisory, Student Center Advisory.
Judy Simpson (for Karin McClure) reported that the AFSCME contract has been agreed upon. The contract includes negotiations for retiree health benefit costs. It had been ruled previously that AFSCME did not have the right to negotiate on behalf of retirees, but this has been included in the contract. Last week, there were several amendments to the pension reform bill, one of which would raise employee contributions by 5%; another would raise the retirement age to 67; and a third would severely cut the cost of living allotment. All were soundly defeated, but the issue is not gone. Also still in play is [an amendment] to end the use of unused sick time for service credit.
SURS Members Advisory (SURSMAC)
Mary Nippe distributed copies of the changes made to retiree health care, which were to go into effect July 1, 2012; however, because of the ongoing AFSCME contract negotiations, implementation was postponed until agreement is reached and has been voted on by the membership (see appendix).
Mary Nippe reported that the SURS website has undergone several enhancements. She distributed a handout in which she attempted to highlight the major tabs that run across the website to give employees an idea of all the information that is available. Mary indicated that videos are available that employees can view on many of the different questions SURS receives about making plan decisions, using the benefits estimator, etc. They have increased their security, so if an employee has not used their member access in a while, they will be asked to select from a number of security questions. As was mentioned previously, AFSCME has a tentative agreement. HR has not been given any information on health care benefits, but they expect [premiums] will go up. As soon as HR receives the information, they will get it out to everyone. Mary reported that the next SURSMAC meeting is scheduled for April 2. At the last meeting, there was much discussion about educating retirees on the changes that will occur to their health care; this is something HR will attempt to do. There is a smaller committee of SURSMAC that will work on ways to touch base with retirees and let them know what is happening. HR may have a meeting/forum so that people in this area can come to SIU; HR may host and have people from SURS attend. Mary noted that educating retirees is a priority for both SURS and CMS.
Mary Nippe reported that the pension reform bills are all out on the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA) website, as well as the SURS website under the Legislation tab. There are summaries of all the proposed bills. The proposed bill that would eliminate service credit for unused sick leave would also eliminate the value of employees' vacation payouts being calculated into their monthly retirement annuity. Currently, SURS looks at the highest four years or the last 48 months and then adds in the value of employees' vacation. This boosts the average monthly salary, which in turn boosts the annuity. Eliminating this benefit would make a significant difference, so that bill is one HR will be watching. Mary noted that all these changes would be for new hires entering the system.
The following special/other committees did not meet or had no report: Academic Calendar, Employee Advisory Committee to the Merit Board, Strategic Planning, Signage.
1. Carolin Harvey reported that a committee was formed to work on planning for the Council of Councils meeting, which they would like to be held in Carbondale in 2014. The members of the committee are: Mickel Cordes, Anthony Travelstead, Vera Gibbs, Diane Frew and Teri Ricci. Carolin indicated that the committee needed to begin planning, particularly if they are going to request funding during FY14. She asked the committee to meet, elect a chair and make a determination as to the funding request. She would like the committee to have a dollar figure by May or June because the request will need to come to the Council before going to the Chancellor.
2. Shari Garnett asked about whether the issue of the change in the calendar was brought to the Chancellor. Carolin Harvey responded that at the constituency heads meeting, she gave the Chancellor a copy of the chart that had been prepared and mentioned what the Council discussed. She asked the Chancellor to respond to the question at the open forum.