Staff Congress
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DECEMBER 5, 2005


Ed Beam Rosemary Hinton *Donna King Pam Moore Doug Snedegar *Terry White
Lisa Caskey Phillip James Margaret LaFontaine April Nutter Stephanie Stewart Elizabeth Williams
Rhonda Crisp *Kristie Jenkins Jeffrey Liles Darlene Ramey Todd Thacker  
*Ray Crum David Jessie Rhonda Mackin *William Salazar *Cindy Thompson
Shannon Harr Linda Kegley Amy Moore Dallas Sammons Jonell Tobin

*Denotes member was absent

Guests: Gene Caudill - Staff Regent & Director of Physical Plant

Chair Jessie called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m.  A quorum was present. 

Motion: To approve the November 7, 2005 minutes as submitted
  Proposed:  Rep. LaFontaine Seconded:  Rep. Ramey
Called for Vote: Passed


Chair's Report Chair Jessie asked members if they received the email about the Administrator Evaluations and did anyone see any changes (deletions/additions) they would like to see made.  Also, are there questions about the survey we would like to have answered.

Suggestions for changes and questions we would like answered included:

1.  There should be a drop-down list of administrators so that employees can evaluate any administrator or all administrators.  Some offices have contact with several VP's.
2.  A field should be added asking if the employee works for the VP they evaluated.  The direct evaluation might carry more weight than the indirect evaluation.
3. The results should be posted online so that employees will know if the results were favorable or unfavorable.
4.  Will the results be used to determine raises for the administrators?
5.  There should be a space added for comments.
6.  Employees should only be allowed to evaluate the administrators one time and safeguards should be in place online to guarantee this.

Chair Jessie reminded members that a motion needs to be made during 'New Business' if we want these changes and questions submitted to VP Walters.

Vice-Chair's Report No Report
Secretary's Report Secretary Crisp reported that $62.06 was spent during November for refreshments, leaving a balance of $2,392.25 in the supply account.


Committee Reports

Credentials and Elections Rep. LaFontaine reported that Kim Fultz has changed jobs and her EEO category has changed from Service/Maintenance to Secretarial/Clerical.  Because of this job change, she is no longer eligible to serve on Staff Congress in the Service/Maintenance category.  Rep. Fultz has resigned her seat on Staff Congress.  The committee will meet to discuss options of how to fill the position left vacant by her resignation.
University Standing Appointments No Report
Fiscal Affairs No Report
Personnel Policies and Benefits Rep. A. Moore reported that a recommendation was sent to the committee that was developed by faculty and some staff about copyright materials or patents written while someone is an employee of the university.  The committee reviewed it, but no recommendation was given.

Regent's Report

Staff Regent Caudill said the board had a workshop last week.  They discussed release time and supplemental pay and the proposed UAR's  regarding this.  Hopefully, Staff Congress will get to review the UAR's.  According to information he received, 10% of faculty get release time from classes and the university has to bring in adjuncts or part-timers to teach these classes.  The UAR will state that the Provost or Deans will have authority to approve this.  Release time is if a faculty member has a 9 hour work load and they get released from teaching one, two, or all three classes for doing some other duty and they still receive their full pay even if they are not teaching.  The Faculty Regent gets release time and the Chair of Faculty Senate gets six hours of release time which means that person only has to teach one class and get full pay.  Faculty members are allowed to be released one day a week from teaching duties to do consulting work.  Legal advisors to the board ruled a year and a half ago that release time is not paid.  Supplemental pay for academic administrative staff can be up to 20% of their salary.  The next Regent's meeting is December 16.

Rep. Liles said the issue of Staff Congress officers getting paid has come up before and some people feel they shouldn't be compensated.  It's not as if staff get something and faculty get nothing though.  Faculty don't get paid, but they get release time; that amounts to much more than the compensation received by staff. 

Old Business 

Rep. P. Moore brought up the sick leave pool and how some staff still feel that it appears the pool leave is misused and they have questions about how the sick leave is granted.  Chair Jessie said Roger Barker in Human Resources is supposed to be looking at the process.  He will ask him the status of this.  The Employee Benefits Committee hasn't heard anything about it.  Rep. Sammons said the Employee Benefits committee does not have a vote; the final decision is up to the Director of Human Resources.  The UAR is vague and needs to be revised.  The entire process needs to be revised.  Rep. A. Moore said the committee needs to review the requests and have a say or they should not be consulted at all.  Staff Regent Caudill said he feels supervisors should be consulted before sick leave time is granted.  He feels supervisors should have to sign off on sick leave pool requests and FMLA requests.

New Business 

Motion: That Employee Benefits look into the UAR governing the sick leave pool request policy
  Proposed:  Rep. P. Moore Seconded:  Rep. LaFontaine
Called for Vote: Passed

Rep. Liles brought up that in past meetings, business has come up and we have voted the same day.  Other organizations such as Faculty Senate will bring up an issue and then have a second reading at the next meeting before taking a vote.  He feels we should consider doing this for the professionalism of the body.

Rep. Stewart asked how much detail is put into background checks that the university does before it hires someone.  Staff Regent Caudill said a lot of universities are doing background checks now.  A preliminary check in the state of Kentucky can be done for $75 and a more detailed check nationwide can be done for $175.

Rep. Thacker asked what happened to the classification review committee.  Chair Jessie said he is the chair of that committee and he hasn't heard anything.  He will ask VP Walters about this when he meets with him.

Staff Regent Caudill asked about the status of the consulting firm looking at our classifications.  We haven't heard anything back yet.  Chair Jessie will ask VP Walters about this when he meets with him.

Rep. A. Moore asked if anything had been heard back about the educational bonuses.  Chair Jessie will ask VP Walters about this when he meets with him this week.

Rep. Thacker asked if we had heard anything on the tuition wavier issue.  Chair Jessie will ask VP Walters about this when he meets with him.

Rep. LaFontaine asked if anyone has heard anything about the inclement weather policy for this year.  Rep. Sammons said Dr. Moore makes the call on this.  Rep. Liles said there is a demo for a cell phone communications system on Wednesday.  With this system, it would be possible to receive an alert if campus is closing due to the weather.  Anyone with a cell phone could request to get these alerts.  Staff Regent Caudill said he heard that the new administration doesn't believe in closing school for any reason unless it is catastrophic, so the inclement weather policy should not be an issue this year.

Motion: That we notify VP Walters of our opinion on the Administrator Survey and see if changes can be made. 

(See Chair's Report for list of changes/questions.)

  Proposed:  Rep. P. Moore Seconded:  Rep. LaFontaine
Called for Vote: Passed

Discussion - None


Rep. Liles announced that the annual campus giving campaign closes the last day of December.  Anyone who hasn't given yet should give before the holidays. People in the accounting area at the Foundation will work through the holidays to tally everything.  The campaign is going well except for the overall results.  Payroll deductions are great but the overall total is down.  There have been a lot of other things going on that people have given to this year.  Members should remind their constituents to give.  A final reminder will be mailed.

Rep. Sammons announced that the residence halls will close Saturday, December 17 at 4 p.m. and will reopen January 12 at noon.  Housing will be moving back to Thompson Hall over Christmas Break.

Rep. LaFontaine asked if there has been any feedback about open enrollment.  There hasn't been yet.  Rep. James reminded everyone that FSA funds can be spent through March 15 and employees have a month after that to submit claims.

Rep. Tobin announced that there will be an open house December 12 at the West Liberty Campus from 2-5 p.m.

Motion: To adjourn
  Proposed:  Rep. P. Moore Seconded:  Rep. Kegley
Called for Vote: Passed

Minutes submitted by:  Rhonda Crisp, Secretary