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Support Staff Council
June 10, 2008
Attendance: Sarah Bailey, Pam Bennett, Debbie Combs, Peggy Harrison, Kathy Maham, Susan Malott, Ginny McTighe (Alt), Dean Murphy, Stephanie Myers, Tracy Nichol-Martens (Alt), Joyce Stephens (Alt), Diana Summers (Alt), Holly Davenport – PSC Liaison, and Dorothy Salsman – reporting for Dr. Betty Roberts - Admin Liaison.
Guests: Cheryl Trelow, Joyce Lawson, Jennifer Kunkel, Jeff Yoder, Monica Cantrell, Patty Roberts, Tara Napoleone, Shelia Schneider, and Sandy Christ.
Stephanie Myers called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m.
Welcome and Introductions
Stephanie welcomed all attendees to the meeting, and each person introduced themselves.
Approval of May Minutes
A few corrections were requested for the minutes of the May 13, 2008 meeting. Stephanie asked that corrections to be sent to her by email.
Flex Tim – Jeff Yoder
Employees attending from Human Resources included Jeff Yoder, Cheryl Trelow, Jennifer Kunkel, and Joyce Lawson.
Jeff advised that an email had been sent to staff previously regarding the already lenient UCM flex time policy.
He had two key items regarding the flex time policy that he wanted to present to the SSC. The first key item was that flex time did not include hours spent working from the home for support staff employees. No policy currently exists for support staff employees that work at home. The second key item was that flex time did not mean working less than 40 hours per week. Flexibility is an advantage to this plan. For example, the 40 hours per week could be: 4 (9 hour) days, Friday off, and 4 hours vacation time.
With the cost of fuel increasing, carpooling is a big concern. VP’s are encouraged to consider allowing employees to participate in the flex plan. The department must look at how their area operates and decide if this is a viable option. HR has a form that must be completed between the supervisor and the employee for the summer months. Forms can be completed for a period of time, not just for a week. When schedules change a new form is required. During a week with a holiday, employees scheduled to work 4 (10 hour) days must work and report 3 (10 hour) days for the week and employees will claim 10 hours holiday. Employees using the Kronos time reporting system must also show 3 (10 hour) days worked. If there are problems with this system reporting in this manner, employees are advised to contact Tina or Kim in Payroll.
Some employees are taking advantage of the flex time policy, and it is working out well. Employees are welcome to call HR with additional questions.
Treasurer’s Report – Susan Malott
Susan gave account balances: Foundation Survival House $3,080.04, SSC account $331.32, Foundation Educational Award $52.03. The Fall 08 Educational Awards went to Stephanie Woerth and Crissina Kemp.
Professional Staff Council (PSC) Report – Holly Davenport
Holly spoke about the last professional staff council meeting. A hot topic was the Task Force on Compensation that included the discussion of benefits. The Bowling for the Green was also discussed. The PSC have not decided yet on their goals and objectives for the year.
Administrative Liaison – Dorothy Salsman for Dr. Betty Roberts
Dorothy reported that Administration and Finance are working on the budget, accomplishing verifications, reviewing salaries, etc. The amounts for salary increases are contingent upon the governor’s signage, and it is not unusual for the signage to happen until late June. There is talk in the senate house about a $96,000 additional amount to be given above the state amount of which a portion will be to increase salaries of lower level employees. The approved amount for pay increases is 4% on average and $880 for those employees making less than $22,000/year. The governor has approved an additional $96,000 for UCM’s state appropriation.
Facilities awarded a one year extension on the current contract.
The Morrow/Garrison renovation/construction is moving along well.
A firm was hired to conduct a campus climate survey. The confidential survey was sent via email to all UCM employees and they are urged to participate.
Bleachers in the Multi were replaced. There are other construction projects going on as well.
Master Plan Committee Report – Sarah Bailey
Sarah reported on the May 28 meeting for the UCM Master Plan Joint Committee.
Discussion at the meeting included the need for a new science building as the current building is not designed for current teaching practices and has major structural issues. The committee did review the benefits of new construction vs. renovation. Residential Life Planning included a review of current student demands vs. facilities available. The basic overview being that although there is a surplus of beds available, the facilities are not designed to meet student needs. Students no longer want to reside in semi suites. The location of a consolidated arts district was also reviewed. One goal of the master plan was to more clearly define the edges of campus and provide a visually pleasing entrance for prospective students, visitors, employees, donors and/or employers. The need for a visitors’ center was recognized along with additional green space and possible locations for parking. The goal of this meeting was to provide 4-5 options and recommendations to present to the Board of Governors on Wednesday, June 18. The next committee meeting is June 17 to finalize the presentation. Sarah pointed out that the final decision would be made by the BOG from the options presented. Questions involved the times of next town meeting and if anyone could attend the meetings. Sarah suggested that Carole Nimmer be contacted on times, location and policy. Dorothy Salsman pointed out that the BOG meeting was open to be public.
Survival House Committee Report – Stephanie Myers for Gretchen Reynolds
Stephanie reported that the Survival House requested 6 oscillating fans so the air conditioner could be used only when really needed. The fans were purchased by the committee.
Task Force on Compensation Report – Shelia Schneider
Sheila reported that the Governance Group on Compensation is almost ready to submit their proposal. Sheila and Becky White are both support staff representatives on this committee. The task force is currently looking at the UCM benefit plan and also reviewing the Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) benefit plan. It was Sheila’s opinion that the UCM plan was better than the SEMO plan, in particular when including a spouse or family in the plan. Sheila sent an email earlier today regarding the SEMO benefit package and a pdf file of SEMO’s plan. The 2006 SEMO basic plan provided an annual contribution of $450 to employees using the Cafeteria Plan approach. Sheila’s opinion was that we should keep the current UCM plan. She thought a specific contribution amount should not be used from year to year and we don’t want a specified amount to come up short with any possible changes in the future.
Cheryl Trelow, HR, stated that medical claims were only up 2.8% for FY08. The next time percentages become available is in September. HR is looking at the Cafeteria plan approach for employees, but it would be taxable. Cheryl also stated that HR is not required to review the money spent on health insurance each year. A question was put to Sheila as to how UCM handles medical premiums for part-time employees. Cheryl replied that employees that work less than .8 can purchase insurance premiums at full cost. A question was directed to Joyce Lawson regarding if she knew the percentage of support staff employees that were electing insurance for their spouse or family (not just themselves). She replied back on June 12 to Sheila that that percentage was less than 16% of 239 support staff employees. Therefore; the majority of employees electing medical insurance get insurance for themselves only.
Another question for Joyce: Is the biggest percentage of UCM employees electing coverage for spouses/families part of the support staff or professional staff? No answer has been received yet. It was stated by Joyce that a lot of employees don’t elect any medical benefits at all due to already having a military insurance plan in effect for one example. Sheila reported the Task Force is moving along but not as quickly as they had hoped. Sheila is requesting responses regarding the benefit package from all support staff. She wants to represent the entire support staff and give good feedback to the committee.
Cheryl posed a question to employees regarding the current medical benefits through Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). Are complaints mainly due to the plan or to the cost? She reported that from HR’s view, BCBS is working out well. The customer service has been great. Another question was posed to Cheryl: Are any changes anticipated to the retiree plan that was initiated about 2 years ago? Cheryl’s response was no for now.
Bowling for the Green – Kathy Maham
Kathy reported invitations were sent via email to professional and support staff employees and also using the classified ads. The July 10 event will also be advertised in the UCM NEWS published monthly, available to faculty, staff, and emeriti. Invitations were approved by Campus Activities and were posted in the approved areas and in other departmental locations after receiving approval from the department. A separate email was sent requesting donations for the silent auction and basket raffles. Some donations have been received for the silent auction along with some baskets for the raffles. The council was asked to help spread the word about the event to get more individuals and teams to sign up.
Support Staff Council Goals for 2008-2009:
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 12 from 1:30-2:30 in Union 117.