Staff Congress
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MARCH 6, 2006


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

*Denotes member was absent

Guests: Gene Caudill-Staff Regent & Director of Physical Plant, Roger Barker-Director of Human Resources, Harry Gunn-Office of Document Services

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

Mr. Harry Gunn of the Office of Document Services did a presentation about an RFP that is out for document technology.  He discussed the process, the objectives, the technology changes, and the cost-savings.  One question was asked of Mr. Gunn after the presentation.

Question: What will happen to the personnel in the copy center?
Answer:  There are two full-time staff in the copy center.  He doesn't know what will happen, but MSU will encourage those staff to remain in their positions or will encourage a conversation with the vendor.  They are looking at the cost of outsourcing the copy center.  There has not been a definite decision made yet because we don't know what the cost will be.  The responses are not due back from the RFP until March 9.  Rep. Liles noted that MSU has some experience with this already with the XBS contract.  Xerox has an employee who is stationed on-campus and spends 100% of his time dealing with the copy machines.  This situation would be very similar.  Until we get the proposals back, we will not know if it is an option to outsource the copy center.  There were four staff in the copy center, but two retired.  One was hired back in a part-time position and one person was hired for a temporary position.  MSU has not made a commitment as far as hiring full-time people back.  There are two full-time people in the copy center now.  It is a very anxious time for the staff involved.  No decisions have been made yet.  Rep. Thacker said his concern for the two employees in the copy center is if they work for the vendor, will their retirement carry over or will they be left out in the cold as far as their retirement system is concerned.  Rep. Liles said this is an issue that would have to be looked at if that decision were made.  We are not to the point yet of knowing if there will be an issue.

Motion: To approve the February 6, 2006 minutes as submitted
  Proposed:  Rep. Hinton Seconded:  Rep. Kegley
Called for Vote: Passed


Chair's Report Chair Jessie reported that the President's Council had two meetings scheduled since our last meeting and both of those meetings were canceled.  The Board of Regents met last Thursday and Chair Jessie attended.

Chair Jessie spoke with VP Walters a couple of times since our last meeting.  Retirees tuition waivers and educational bonuses were the two topics of conversation.  Those are still sitting with him and nothing has been done at this time.  He said they are still waiting on the budget process to work on those. 

There was a question about where our April 3 meeting would be held.  If nothing changes, our meeting will be in the Riggle Room as usual.

Vice-Chair's Report No Report
Secretary's Report Secretary Crisp reported that $62.06 was spent during February for refreshments, leaving a balance of $2,201.67 in the supply account.


Committee Reports

Credentials and Elections Rep. LaFontaine reported that the committee met and discussed the election of representative and regent candidates, set a time line, and updated and printed the nomination packet.  The nomination packets were mailed to all staff late last week.  As of today, there have been four nominations for staff representatives.  Three have been received by Rep. LaFontaine and one has been received by Rep. Kristie Williams.  The question was raised about Rep. Kristie Williams serving as a collection resource for nominations, but she has decided not to run for re-election so there is no conflict of interest.

Shortly after the last Staff Congress meeting, Martha Patrick called to inform us that we are okay for an online election this year, but with Datatel being implemented in January 2007, it is very questionable and very unlikely that we can have online voting for 2007.  We might have to go back to using machines or paper.  We are very far down on the totem pole as far as when online voting will be available again.  SGA has the same situation.  Gerome Stephens who is the supervisor of student government or coordinates their elections, went to a conference in Boston the weekend before last, and he was checking to see what options are available.  We can either go with an off-campus company or there is a company in Lexington, called Harper Enterprises, who rents machines to county courthouses for general and state elections.  Rep. Thacker said the SGA used to have voting machines, but they were sold.  Chair Jessie noted that technology was supposed to move us forward not take us back.

University Standing Appointments Rep. Liles reported that there was a discussion previously about the Job Reclassification Review Committee and if business could be conducted if they were short a member.  Two recommendations will come up in 'New Business'.  The committee is recommending that Rep. Ed Beam be appointed to the Job Reclassification Review Committee and that Kay Hampton be appointed to the Service Committee.
Fiscal Affairs No Report
Personnel Policies and Benefits No Report
Employee Benefits No Report


Regent's Report

Staff Regent Caudill reported that the Board of Regents met.  Two of the main items that came out of that meeting were:
1.  The enrollment report was not as bad as some thought it might be, but it is not good.  Enrollment is what is driving our budget.
2.  There was a recommendation to increase tuition between 8 and 13% for the next two years.  That was approved by the Regents.  The amount of the tuition increase will be based on what we get from the state allotment.  Hopefully, the legislature will pass a pretty good budget and we won't have to go to 13%.

Staff Congress was not involved in a discussion on a new policy about tuition and scholarships.  Chair Jessie said that there was a comment made at the Board of Regents meeting about the sliding scale on the raise of tuition being brought before the Fiscal Affairs Committee of Faculty Senate for their approval or questions.  It was not brought before Staff Congress.  Chair Jessie and Staff Regent Caudill questioned Mr. Walters on why we were not involved in that and he is supposed to have an answer sometime today after the VP meeting.  At this time, we have no direct clear answer on why we were left out. 

Old Business 

Rep. LaFontaine mentioned that at the last meeting, Rep. Thacker brought up the disproportionate number of Professional/Non-Faculty members in the At-Large category.  At that time she reported that the Credentials and Elections Committee was looking into it.  She and Rep. Snedegar have gone through the minutes archive and it appears there were by-law changes voted on and approved by Staff Congress in 2000 that were never printed on the Web page.  The by-laws were never updated to reflect the approved changes.  They haven't been able to find an updated version.  Some of these changes affect the proportion of candidates in categories; however, seeing there is an Ad-Hoc Committee in place now to review the by-laws and our current election process has already begun, it is their recommendation that we leave the current elections as is until the Ad-Hoc Committee can report on their findings and make any suggestions.  We can make any necessary changes at that time.  She will put this in the form of a motion if need be.  The information has already been sent out for the call for nominations.  We should leave this election as is and wait for the Ad-Hoc Committee to report their findings and make a recommendation and go from there.

Questions and comments included:

Chair Jessie:  What would that do to the make-up of our numbers?  Would it change, based on what we are losing membership wise?

Rep. James:  What the by-laws say now is 12 staff representatives shall be elected to the At-Large category.  The changes that were supposedly made in 2000 say it should be ten instead of 12.

Rep. Snedegar:  We are actually performing the election by what the by-law changes were, but the by-laws don't reflect it.  We actually have ten members.

Staff Regent Caudill:  There used to be a limit of how many from each category could be at-large.  That was in the original by-laws when Staff Congress was first established and he doesn't remember it ever being taken out.

Rep. Sammons:  It was changed.  Several categories had decreased and we couldn't get people to run.  At that time, there was an Ad-Hoc Committee to look at the distribution of the way the representation was on the congress.  Human Resources gave the Fiscal Affairs Committee and the By-Laws Review Committee (Rep. Sammons was on this committee.) a list of staff by category and they went through it and redid the percentages.  Based on those percentages, they changed the number of people from each category in the At-Large category.  Those numbers have probably changed since then.  Because of the possibility of the change in ratio of employees in categories, the committee said this should be reviewed every three years. 

Chair Jessie:  Were people moved at that time to try to make this come into line?

Rep. Snedegar:  There was some shifting done.  In the Professional/Non-Faculty category, it used to be 40%; now it is 45%.

Rep. King:  The Ad-Hoc Committee was charged with looking at the by-laws because the question had come up about moving the elections, but also they are going to review the entire by-laws to see if any other changes need to be made.  When they were given that assignment, they were told that it would not affect this years election, so based on that, any changes made will affect next years election not this years election.

Rep. LaFontaine:  The current make-up of Staff Congress is:

2 Executive Managerial - 1 up for election
6 Professional/Non-Faculty - 3 up for election
4 Secretarial/Clerical - 1 up for election
4 Service/Maintenance - 2 up for election
2 Skilled Crafts - 2 up for election
2 Technical/Paraprofessional - 1 up for election
10 At-Large - 3 up for election

The make-up of the At-Large category:
(5 Professional/Non-Faculty - 0 up for election)
(2 Technical/Paraprofessional - 2 up for election)
(1 Executive Managerial - 0 up for election)
(1 Secretarial/Clerical - 0 up for election)
(1 Skilled Crafts - 1 up for election)

Rep. James:  The by-laws do need to reflect the changes that were made in 2000.

Chair Jessie:  The changes are on the Web site in the Minutes Archive.  How we are running this election is going by the changes of the by-laws in 2000.  How we carried out the elections did change, but the by-laws were just never updated.  We are doing it right, but we just didn't have it right on the by-laws.  The by-laws definitely need to reflect these changes.

Rep. A. Moore reported that she and Rep. Thompson met with the Service Committee regarding our recommendation for the pinning ceremony awards.  Her understanding was that they are going to take our recommendation under consideration as far as what gifts are given and try to come up with alternatives.  They did decide that day that they want to try to get the pins re-worked to have a new look.  They thought the pin wasn't very attractive either.  She doesn't know any other outcomes of that meeting.

New Business 

Rep. A. Moore reported that the Employee Benefits Committee is meeting this week with a company who is coming to do a demo of the Long-Term Care Rider of an Insurance Policy.  She will report back how that goes.

Rep. A. Moore also reported that Dan Seth had brought forward that he wanted us to look at urging St. Claire Regional Medical Center to go to a "Urgent Care Center" on their "Fast Track" at the Emergency Room.  He has since found out that this is something that Dr. Andrews is working on.  Employee Benefits has dropped it since Dr. Andrews is handling it.  He has a lot more pull.

Rep. A. Moore reported that Employee Benefits has been meeting the last couple of weeks about the sick leave UAR.  There were copies up front for everyone to pick up.  What was given out is a marked up copy that shows all the things that the committee recommended changing.  Basically, there will be some procedural changes if this passes.  At this time, someone applies to the sick leave pool and Human Resources gets the information and passes on very basic information to the Employee Benefits Committee as far as what the illness or injury is and the length of time requested from the sick leave pool.  The Employee Benefits Committee always felt it was very difficult to make a decision not knowing any more information regarding each case than that.  Their proposal is that when someone applies to the sick leave pool, the decision will be made by the Director of Human Resources.  If the individual is unhappy with that decision, then they can appeal that decision to the Employee Benefits Committee who will make a decision at that time.  Their thought was if someone is appealing, they will voluntarily give up more information and that would allow Employee Benefits to be better educated about it and plus there would be more confidentiality for the individuals applying if just the Director of Human Resources were making the decision.  Hopefully, it will be a win-win situation.  Since the policy has not been reviewed since 1992, the committee updated some verbiage and added some things that have always been assumed, but were never stated within the policy. 

Motion: To approve the changes to the sick leave pool policy, UAR 304.01
Discussion: Rep. LaFontaine asked if under 'Guidelines & Procedures, Number 2, Part D' is it Kentucky Teachers Retirement System Disability Retirement or is that a typo.  Should the last word be retirement or insurance?

Staff Regent Caudill mentioned that one of his frustrations as a manager is they have no input.  Managers have information that not even Human Resources has and he feels that should be considered.  Comments and questions included:

Rep. A. Moore:  The committee discussed that a lot and basically they couldn't come up with a good reason why he thinks that.  If this is a benefit to employees that has always had days available for the pool, why would we take into consideration personal views? 
Staff Regent Caudill:  If someone has been a constant abuser of sick leave days and it has been documented in their personnel file, then it should be considered. 
Chair Jessie:  On the days employees get from the pool, there is a 90 day maximum, doesn't this still have to be signed off on by the supervisor? 
Roger Barker:  Cases are numerous where people get approval after the fact. 
Chair Jessie:  Doesn't the supervisor still have the right to sign or not sign a leave form when it goes through?
Roger Barker:  It is approved when the committee says it is approved. 
Chair Jessie:  So whether the supervisor signs that sick leave form or not, they are going to get those days?
Roger Barker:  Yes, absolutely.
Staff Regent Caudill:  No, that's not what David is asking.  You can approve 90 days, but do supervisors still have the right to approve or deny them being off for sick time.
Roger Barker:  If the committee approved sick leave pool days, the employee gets the days off with pay whether the supervisor signs the sick leave request at that level or not.

Rep. Thacker thinks there should be a comma between KERS, KTRS, & Disability Retirement.  They are three different entity's.  Rep. James said it is saying if you are drawing retirement.  It says 'or'.  It means KERS or KTRS Disability Retirement.  Roger Barker said it could be changed to say Disability Retirement on either KERS or KTRS.  Chair Jessie thinks that would read better.

  Proposed:  Rep. A. Moore Seconded:  Rep. James
Called for Vote: Passed


Motion: To appoint Ed Beam to the Job Reclassification Committee and Kay Hampton to the Service Committee
Discussion: Rep. Liles said to the best of his knowledge these individuals have been contacted and have agreed to serve.  Chair Jessie said Stephanie said they both agreed to serve.
  Proposed: Standing Appointments Committee Seconded:  None Needed
Called for Vote: Passed, 1 nay


Staff Regent Caudill asked Mr. Barker what the status of the classification firm is.  Mr. Barker said a survey on the salary information from all the benchmarks has been sent out.  There is a date for the consultant to give all the salary information back.  He thinks the date is March 24.  The consultants are reviewing our classification system to see if our factors still make sense, etc.  The ultimate outcome of this search will be a generalized compensation survey that should be generalizable across all our pay grades and also a study on whether or not our classification system is still appropriate.  That should come by the end of April at the latest.  He will be working with the cabinet to try to set a time when they can hear the consultants report.  A paper draft report will be out and a finalized report will be out similar to the one in 1998 that Mercer did.  A paper document will be the final product; that will be by the end of May at the latest.  The report to the cabinet will be sometime in April.  Staff Regent Caudill asked if the intent is not to use this for any budget purposes this year then.  Mr. Barker said that decision has not been made, but most likely it will not have budget impact this year.

Rep. LaFontaine asked the Human Resources employees at the meeting about FSA account purchases and reimbursements.  She said it was her understanding that we had until January 31 to incur medical expenses on the 2005 FSA and until the middle of March to request reimbursement on that.  Mr. Barker said employees have until the 15th of March to incur charges and 90 past that to file claims.  No one should lose money on their FSA and everyone should have an FSA.

Rep. Harr asked if there is a provision that those running for staff regent come to a Staff Congress meeting and talk about why they are running so we can ask questions of them.  Chair Jessie said at the last regent election we had a forum.  Rep. LaFontaine said there is no provision for a candidate to come before Staff Congress.  We have the forum.  Chair Jessie mentioned that we do have an open meeting though; anyone can come to a Staff Congress meeting if they want.  Rep. Nutter asked if we could invite Regent candidates to come to the April meeting.  Chair Jessie said he will get a list of Regent candidates from Rep. LaFontaine and invite them to the April meeting.  Rep. LaFontaine said the deadline to submit nominations for representative or regent is Friday, March 17.

Rep. White mentioned that at the last meeting we talked about ways to increase advertising.  One way was using the All-A Classic.  The regional tournament is getting ready to start.  Are we going to do anything for that?  Rep. Sammons said they are going to give away housing grants.  Her office has already received phone calls about this and they don't administer those, Financial Aid does that.  Rep. Liles said that NCAA by-laws limit what we can do.  In the past, our interpretation was we can't do anything that will bring funds back into the school.  We host the regionals and that is the best thing we can do to get people here.  We work with Jim Wells hand-in-hand to make sure that anything we are doing will not result in an NCAA violation.  Rep. LaFontaine mentioned that any university employee going to the games should wear MSU paraphernalia.


Chair Jessie announced that Founders Day is March 14.

Rep. Harr announced that the Gala is April 29.  Let him know if you have items to donate to the silent auction.  It is good advertisement. 

Rep. LaFontaine announced the deadline for Staff Congress election nominations is Friday, March 17, sample ballots will be distributed on March 28 and paper ballots will be available on April 3.

Rep. Liles announced that Saturday, March 11 is Open House.  Spread the word to family, friends, etc.

Rep. Liles announced that we now have Completer degrees for folks who already have a two-year degree from a KCTCS school.  They can complete a four-year degree online.

Rep. LaFontaine reminded everyone that Spring Break is March 21-24.

Rep. White mentioned that we should announce open house at the regional tournament.

Motion: To adjourn
  Proposed:  Rep. James Seconded:  Rep. LaFontaine
Called for Vote: Passed

Minutes submitted by:  Rhonda Crisp, Secretary