Staff Congress
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7 February 2000

Scottie Barker, Sharon Beller, Larry Besant, **Thelma Bumgardner, Vincent Butler, *Joy Cecil, **Dan Connell, Patty Eldridge, Lois L. Hawkins, Stephanie Stewart, Rosemary Hinton, Betty Sue Hurley, David Jessie, Della Johnson, Linda Kegley, Velda Mabry, Rhonda Mackin, **Bill Mains, Zach McClurg, Pam Moore, Carole Morella, *Joel Pace, Belva Sammons, Dallas Sammons, **Wilma Stegall, Larry Stephenson, **Jack Templeman, Todd Thacker, Madonna Weathers

*Prior Notification **No Notification

Guests:    Roger Barker, Director, Office of Human Resources

                Tim Rhodes, Director, Office of Financial Aid

The meeting was called to order by Chair Thacker at 1:03 p.m. Minutes of the January 3 meeting were reviewed.

MOTION: January 3 minutes were accepted.

                   Proposed: Rep. Weathers

                   Seconded: VC Stephenson

Called For Vote: Passed

CHAIR’S REPORT - The SACS visiting team will be here in the early part of March so the Staff Congress Meeting on March 7 will be moved to the Crager Room. The recommendation of the Tuition Waiver has been forwarded to VP Dailey and Roger Barker. Mr. Barker is calculating a cost estimate of this benefit to the University at this time. Discussion on the Delta Dental Plan cost changes were discussed with Mr. Barker and he will present a report to Staff Congress today.






Standing Committee on Appointments – The Committee resubmits Lora Pace’s nomination to serve on the Scholarship Committee. The Committee found no conflict of interest due to husband being employed in the Office of Financial Aid. Tim Rhodes, Director of Financial Aid, addressed this issue stating that one committee member would not have a broad influence on changing the committee’s thought on either a scholarship process or on an individual student’s outcome. Mr. Pace’s role is to prepare an appeal when it comes into the office, this requires pulling a student file, entering grade point average, etc., no student contact is made.

Called For Vote: Passed


Founders Day Committee opening. Standing Committee Chair talked with Sue Luckey concerning this position opening. Mrs. Luckey stated no one had contacted her about this opening. Committee Chair contacted several offices with no responses. Position responsibilities include planning the Founders Day activities. This position must be filled by someone from the Academic area.

MOTION:    Rep. Besant nominated to serve on this committee.

                       Proposed: Rep. Morella

                       Seconded: Rep. Jessie

Called For Vote: Passed

University Benefits Committee position to be filled, Professional Exempt Management Grade 1 or 2 category.  The Committee nominates Daryl Grimes

Called For Vote: Passed


University Benefits Committee position to be filled, Staff position. The Committee nominates Stephanie Stewart to this position.

Called For Vote: Passed

Student Media Board has a position open. The Committee nominates Jamie Hornbuckle.

Credential and Elections Committee – Committee has been asked to replace Dick Greene on the Staff Congress At-Large category for the remainder of this year. The committee nominates Kenny White to fill the position in the At-Large category for the remainder of this year.

Called For Vote: Passed

Fiscal Affairs Committee – Committee met and has requested information from Angela Martin concerning salary increases.

Personnel Policies and Benefits Committee – The Committee has results from the survey that was sent out dealing with Tuition Waivers for Retirees and Vision Care Plan. Approximately 1,008 surveys were sent out with 387 being completed and returned. This is 39% response rate, which the Committee felt was very good.  The results were:

Vision Care Plan

YES 329     NO 4     No Comment Marked 7     Maybe 2

$5 194     $10 107     $15 28

Depends On Coverage 5     No Amount Marked 1     Maybe 2     No Comment Marked 1

Tuition Waiver

YES 298     NO 65     Retirees Only 6     No Comment Marked 17     Don’t Care 1

The Committee will be working with the Office of Human Resources on a vision care plan that will cover more than eye exams. This survey did show that if a co-pay is involved on any vision care plan the employee does not want to pay the premium.

The Personnel Policies and Benefits Committee recommends that the request for Tuition Waiver for Retirees, Spouses, and Dependents be sent to the administration for consideration.

OLD BUSINESS – Rep. D. Sammons has the Staff Congress Web Site ready to up-load on the system.

NEW BUSINESS Roger Barker reported on Flex time within the Office of Human Resources. The basic change is in the beginning and ending hours, the core University business hours are the same. The Office is divided into two specific areas of coverage, they are: (1) Employment and (2) Compensation. At any given time there will be Suzanna Hogge, Michele Hardin, or myself there to fill-in for anyone that is not there.

Mr. Barker discussed the Delta Dental Plan changes that have taken place. The changes came about early in 1999 when negotiations to add the additional coverage employees requested in a survey originating from the Office of Human Resources. Delta Dental replied to the request for services with a recommendation and price that was a network based product. This network-based product offered MSU a much wider coverage in dental at a much lower price. The decision of which policy was Preferred and which was Premier was decided. The Preferred policy is the policy that is lower in cost and has no cost to the employee. The Premier policy is the policy that does have the $2 cost to the employee. Because of this decision the new Delta Dental program became the Preferred and was at no extra cost to the employee. The Premier Plan became the current plan, the plan that was offered in 1999, the cost did not raise ($15), but was $2 higher than the new plan. That is why employees were having $2 deducted from their pay for dental coverage. Due to this happening late in the year employees did not realize or understand what the change was until deductions were taken from their paychecks. The information was in the enrollment packets. Any suggestion on how to assist in drawing attention to this type of information would be greatly appreciated. The University Benefits Committee has looked at this situation and is working on improving communication to the employees of this University.

Suggestions for flagging this information is as follows:

-A one-page flyer at the front of the packet that would list all changes for that particular enrollment period

-Make the flyer a different color from other documents in the enrollment packet

-A colored sheet with changes to benefits and a comparison of old and new benefits placed in paycheck envelopes

Mr. Barker was asked why the HMO co-pay on prescriptions went from $5 for all prescriptions to $5 for generic and $15 for name brand. Mr. Barker stated that the price of drugs has increased and continuing with the old plan would have forced the University premiums to increase. It was not cost effective for the University to continue with the old plan.

Rep. Morella voiced concern that generic drugs were not equal in quality to name brand drugs. Rep. Morella’s stated that doctors were prescribing name brand drugs because that is what people needed and that generic brands were not equal to name brand drugs. Generic drugs are not made up the same way as name brand drugs; these drugs do not impact patients in the same way. Those patients that need a specific name brand drug are then penalized for using that drug instead of generic drug. Telling a doctor to prescribe generic instead of name brand is not wise health choices. What needs to be look at is the quality of the generic drugs being used.

Chair Thacker reported that he had met with VP Dailey. VP Dailey stated that any revision of University policy would start with the Staff Congress Personnel Policies and Benefits Committee. Mr. Barker said a new process of revising personnel policies would be instituted. The way it has been done in the past, Human Resources drafts up the revision submits it to the Vice Presidents, they review it then pass it to legal counsel for review from there it trickles down to Staff Congress. The intent now is to reverse this process starting with Staff Congress and work upward.

Chair Thacker has instructed the Personnel Policies and Benefits Committee Chair, Lois Hawkins, to report all activities to Staff Congress at each meeting. The Committee is to review all personnel policies submitted by Human Resources and recommend any changes deemed appropriate to be brought before Staff Congress for discussion and/or vote.


March 6, 2000 Staff Congress Meeting – Crager Room

MOTION:      Adjournment

                        Proposed: Rep D. Sammons

                        Seconded:  VC Stephenson

Called For Vote: Passed

Minutes by: Lois L. Hawkins, Secretary