Staff Senate Minutes - July 18, 2000
Employee of the Month: Kristi Milks, Institutional Data & Analysis.
Directors -- Kathy Livingston and Ron Roth
Managerial/Professional -- Dave Bargen, Tim Danube, Tim McMullen, Bonnie Mumm
Office/Service -- Dee Ellingson, Carol Hines, Dannien Jones
Ex Officio -- John Lakey
Directors -- Terry Gibbs and Deb Huryta
Managerial/Professional -- none
Office/Service -- Dennis Choplin
Guests: Brenda Jochum, Jan Mitchell, and Billy Rayburn
- Call to Order
- Adoption of Agenda. Hines (Danube).
- Minutes and Correspondence
- Minutes of the June 20, 2000 meeting were approved as printed.
- Unfinished Business
- OSAC Merger Finalization
- Bylaws Revisions
Mumm noted she had good news and bad news. The good news is that our problem is solved on the matter of how to deal with an extra director position following the merger. The bad news is that Terry Gibbs called and stated he would have to resign his membership on Staff Senate. His work schedule does not allow him to make it to the meetings. Terry was a valuable member of the committee and will be missed. Mumm noted she did talk to him about his input and hoped if his work schedule changes he would run again. McMullen stated he hoped that any discussions about the director position didn't push him to this decision. Mumm stated she asked him that and he indicated that it was because of his work schedule.
Mumm noted Deb Huryta's position is completed this fall and now we can go ahead and elect a director to fill that position. Livingston's term ends is 2001 and Roth's in 2002. The new member would serve till 2003 and we would be in the correct rotation. McMullen stated that at the last meeting, he had presented the by-law changes prepared by the committee. Senate members had made recommendations for two revisions to those by-law changes. The first was to clarify/define administrative directors in the membership section. It was added - reporting directly to vice chancellors. The other revision was wordage in the subcommittee composition. We changed the wording to individuals instead of members and added strongly recommend that all four groups of Staff Senate be represented. McMullen noted that the committee has made the revisions and is now presenting the revised bylaw changes to the Senate for consideration. Mumm reminded everyone that in the bylaw changes presented at the last meeting, there was one new committee added - the Scholarship Committee and two sub-committees added under Professional Development - Making a Difference Committee and the Mentoring Committee. McMullen noted the bylaws changes also defined what a sub-committee was and changed the bylaws to incorporate the new Staff Senate composition. Ellingson stated also in the changes was reference to the minutes going out to the campus prior to approval. Mumm asked if there were any questions concerning the bylaw changes. Livingston/Bargen made the motion to remove the bylaw changes from the table. Motion carried. Then Bargen/Roth moved to approve the bylaw changes with revisions as prepared by the committee. Motion carried. The complete bylaw changes are stated below:
Membership: Staff Senate, representing four staff employee groups, is composed of twelve members: three elected by administrative directors (reporting directly to vice chancellors), three elected by members of the managerial/professional staff, three elected by office staff and three elected by members of service staff.
Staff Senate Committees: Standing sub-committees and ad hoc committees must consist of at least four individuals, be chaired by a Senate member, and it is strongly recommended that all four groups of Staff Senate be represented.
Making a Difference and Mentoring are standing sub-committees of the Professional Development Committee.
Office/Service Dependent Scholarship Committee: The Office/Service Dependent Scholarship Committee manages and oversees funding related to the scholarships awarded to the dependents of office and service employees.
Minutes: Senate minutes are to be provided to Senate members via e-mail for review. Members will be notified of a deadline of at least three days to suggest changes to the minutes. Prior to the next regular Senate meeting, after the deadline has passed and the modifications have been made, the minutes are released to the campus via e-mail. Upon request, paper copies will be provided to employees without access to e-mail. Final approval of the minutes will be voted on at the next regular meeting.
- Forum July 12 at 10 a.m. - Report
Mumm mentioned that many Staff Senate and OSAC members were present. Although only three other individuals attended, we did explain the purpose of the meeting and there were a few questions. The meeting went well and hopefully those attending got their questions answered. Mumm noted that we did give UNK employees the opportunity to have things explained.
- Disbursement of Minutes of Senate Meetings
Mumm stated that we have decided to disburse minutes prior to their approval and noted that Ellingson does note that the minutes are not approved yet when she sends them out via e-mail to the whole campus. The issue that needs to be discussed is the detail of the minutes. Mumm read a portion from Robert's Rules: In keeping the minutes, much depends upon the kind of meeting, and whether the minutes are to be published. In the meetings of ordinary societies and of boards of managers and trustees, there is no object in reporting the debates; the duty of the secretary, in such cases, is mainly to record what is "done" by the assembly, and not what is said by the members. In another section it states: When the minutes are to be published, in addition to the strict record of what is done, as heretofore described, they should contain a list of the speakers on each side of every question. Mumm stated the question is some members do a lot more talking than others do and we just want to make sure members are comfortable with the detailed minutes. She noted she would not want someone not speaking up because you felt it was going to be published and everyone on campus would know what you said, even though we are all representing a certain constituency and they should know what we are voting on and what we are doing. She noted she is concerned that people do not speak up and she wants to be sure it is not because of the minutes. She asked members to voice their opinions. Bargen noted he had already expressed his feelings. He said this is a public meeting and anyone can come and sit in on the meeting - so our comments are already public and it doesn't bother him to have them published. Roth noted that is part of working in a democratic society and that it didn't bother him. He noted you have an obligation when you join an organization like this to take a position. Mumm said she just wanted to be sure what was wanted. Lakey noted that as secretaries change, there are different ways they do minutes and he didn't want to intimidate the next person from becoming secretary if they feel it is a detailed job. Roth stated that was a good point and maybe we should provide general guidelines for the secretary. It is important that significant points be expressed and it is a judgement call if you list that person's name beside it. That involves a lot of common sense. It might not hurt to have some general guidelines or review things with incoming secretaries. Mumm noted that with Faculty Senate minutes you can notice a difference in styles when the secretaries change. Mumm noted if members are comfortable with the detailed minutes, we will continue with them.
- Committee and Search Reports
- Employee Recognition
- SAFE Award
Bargen/Livingston noted there are seven applications for the award. So now it is up to OSAC and Staff Senate Executives Committees, who serve as the selection committee, to get-together and discuss those nominations. The award will be given at the Fall Convocation. Bargen stated they were happy to get that number of applications for the pool.
- June 30 Celebration
At the Employee Recognition Committee meeting, they discussed ideas for improvement for next year. They will again request the tent and next year try to have the entertainment stage in the shade or even under the tent. Next year the event will take place on July 2nd, which is a Monday. Committee members thought the timing this year was bad; the event fell on the Friday before a holiday weekend and that might have affected the turnout since some employees took the day off. This year they solicited for a variety of entertainment and will do that again next year. Bargen asked for ideas from Senate members. Jones asked if the breakfast hours could go from 7:30-8:30 a.m. That way people who go to work at 8 a.m. wouldn't feel they had to come early. Jones stated people that came at eight this year felt it was over when they arrived. Bargen stated they started at 7 a.m. in hopes of getting more facilities employees. Mumm asked if the change would be all right with Human Resources. Lakey noted although it hasn't been an issue, it could become one. Jones asked if 7 a.m. was actually the break time for facilities employees. Lakey noted they have not policed that strictly, but it could be looked at both ways. They have not had to address the issue.
- Professional Development
Ellingson noted the committee has developed a name for the program; it is UNK Mentor Advantage. She stated the committee has been working very diligently and has developed the questionnaire, resource guide, and mentoring guidelines. She noted these are still in the revising stages and the documents will be looked at again at Thursday's meeting. She said the committee has been divided into working groups and they have been very busy and have come up with some excellent ideas. She noted they are progressing quite rapidly and would like to get it implemented as soon as possible. She commented that they had visited with Lakey yesterday and he stated we could go ahead. The program will rely on Human Resources to supply information on new employees and will be the first contact concerning the program. They will give new employees the questionnaire to fill out and then will forward that to the program co-ordinators. We needed someone to be the initial contact for both mentors and proteges. Currently we have two individuals willing to do this. So once we get the name and the questionnaire from HR we can match them up and get in touch with the mentor and get things started. We will do follow-ups to make sure mentors are contacting their proteges, and at the end we will have an evaluation process to see what kind of job the mentor did. We want to be sure we have mentors that are following through. We would also like to have a short training session for mentors when we are ready to implement the program, provided Staff Senate approves. We want to be sure mentors know what we expect of them and see if they have any questions. At the next meeting, committee members will start compiling a mentor list. If things progress as planned, there would be a kick-off in September to get everyone acquainted. Livingston asked if at this point it is just for office employees. Ellingson stated it would be for everyone. We are trying to make everything generic enough that the information can be used for all staff groups. We know we will have to modify the information as we go, since we may have overlooked some things. Since this has not been done before, we will have to learn and improve as we go. So if anyone has concerns or suggestions, please give them to the committee. Ellingson was asked what would be covered in the training. She noted they would like to go over all the information with the mentors as to what is expected. We are talking a six-month time frame. We would like contact with the proteges the first day, if possible; then once a week for the first month and then once a month for the next five months. We would also like the mentors to offer to take proteges to any special campus events during that time, just to help get them acquainted. Ellingson noted this program is for all staff, but not faculty. Ellingson noted that although we don't have everything ready yet, we have taken the names that Bressington has sent out and have assigned committee members to contact those new employees and see if they need anything until we can get the program going. This program is all voluntary. Mumm noted we do not expect the mentor to be a trainer. The mentor is to be a contact person for the new employee when they need to find out what to do or who to contact. Mentors will not be sitting at the desk training proteges. When asked how mentors will be chosen, Ellingson stated that would be talked about at the meeting on Thursday. We need input from all categories, but will rely heavily on the committee to provide names of individuals they feel would make good mentors. Then we will contact those people and see if they would be willing to have their names on the list. Ellingson noted she would provide more information on that later. Bargen asked if there was a packet of information that Senate members could review. Ellingson stated since they are still revising the forms, she will have to get them to members later, but will do so as soon as possible. Mumm mentioned if we have the name in time, we would even like to contact the person the day before they come to work and give assistance - like where to park, etc. Hines suggested maybe a note on their desk, etc.
- Making a Difference
Ellingson stated the committee has a meeting this afternoon, so she may not have answers to some questions today. There is a lengthy agenda for the meeting. She noted it has become apparent that we are going to need to feed the participants since the event will have to be held in the Fine Arts Building instead of the Nebraskan. So this year for the first time, we will be charging a registration fee to cover that cost of the meal, plus other expenses. The anticipated cost is $10 a person and will be billed to respective departments. Lakey has agreed to do some public relations on the matter to make sure department chairs are aware of the situation and agreeable to the expense. Jochum is close to locking in the featured speaker. If you have the funds, you can always find good speakers ($3500-$5000), but getting someone on our budget is difficult. Shirley Lueth has agreed to come for $500, plus mileage. As to the workshop session, Ellingson listed numerous topics being considered. This has been a process of what will work and what won't work. Shelly Fleck has agreed to help with door prizes; she did an outstanding job last year. Jochum, chair, asked if anyone had ideas for a morning speaker. Members provided several names for Jochum to contact. Jochum asked if anyone thought there would be a problem with the registration fee. She also mentioned that ideally, we would like to make this a self-funding event so we don't have to go begging for money every year. The balance of the registration money, after the meal expense, would go to help pay speaker expenses. The Public Sector Task Force would be asked to pay the remaining balance of about $500-$600. Jochum noted the main speaker event would be in the Drake Theatre and the buffet would be at the Health & Sports Center. Bargen thought $10 was pretty reasonable for professional development. Rayburn noted it is just a new concept and has to be sold. Livingston asked if it would be possible to go to the speaker without lunch. Lakey noted this is a registration - not a lunch fee. Livingston commented then they would not be able to just come that day. Jochum noted they would need to pay the registration fee to attend any or all of the conference. Rayburn noted this was a concern when considering this since there have been a lot of walk-ins in the past who have been welcome. However she stated where we have to have it this year has posed a real problem. Hines asked about the food vendors, like Runza or pizza places, which have little stands they can set up. She also mentioned doing box lunches, from different vendors, like those provided for "Walk Out On Your Job". Livingston mentioned some of the pizza places deliver food to the schools. Jochum noted that you have to have Chartwells' OK for those options. Jochum stated she has been having trouble making contact with Chartwells and said we can't wait; we have to get some decisions made. She noted she is also trying to get prices for the buffet lunch. Livingston posed the question to those present who have worked on the event in the past - What do you think the reaction will be to charging a fee and not being able to come at the last minute? Will it really impact the activity? Mitchell felt it could have an impact, but would have a bigger impact if the cost was coming out of the individual's pocket. Mitchell's concern was how do you prevent people from just showing up that day. Jochum noted we have always had a registration table in the past and put it where they have to stop in order to get in the door. Mumm noted the registration fee also helps cover the cost of the speakers. Jochum projected there would be about $300/$400 of the registration free that would be used toward speaker expense. This was based on a projection of 200 attending, with about 40 of those from the public sector. Ellingson noted they are in hopes the increased number from the public sector would makeup any decline from UNK staff. Jochum noted we would have to give Chartwells an estimated number of persons who will attend the lunch. Jochum stated that if walk-ins could provide the departments name and account number, we could bill after the fact. We would just have to be sure we had enough food to cover any walk-ins. Livingston asked if the committee needed any kind of a motion from the Senate. Ellingson noted she didn't think so, the committee just needed input and thoughts/concerns on the matter. Mumm suggested if anyone has any ideas for speakers to let her, Ellingson, or Jochum know.
- Search Committees
- Vice Chancellor of Student Life
Bargen noted there was no report on that search right now.
- Affirmative Action
Livingston noted that three candidates recently interviewed on campus. She stated this was a good pool of candidates and now we would just have to wait for the Chancellor's decision.
- New Business
- Salary Issues - Lakey
Lakey mentioned that through the news media, members are probably aware of one of the major issues at the recent Board of Regents Meeting. Making headlines was a request for additional funding for faculty salaries (for all four campuses) to bring them up to the medium of their peer institutions. Lakey said he has received comments that this is nice for them, but what about staff? Lakey stated we have been trying to get the attention of administration from our campus and Central Administration as to how our salaries compare to the market. He stated that he and Livingston have for several years done salary studies where they have used various surveys and sources to compare UNK salaries to what they feel is the market from which employees are recruited. In most cases, UNK's average salaries are below average. Lakey/Livingston have submitted those reports and feel that over the years they have gained the attention of the decision-makers. In the Chancellor's last two years of budget requests to President Smith, she has made salary improvement dollars her number one priority. Now we also have the attention of Central Administration. Currently Lakey and Livingston are working with people within Central Administration as to what information they need to support UNK's claim that our salaries are below the market average. They are working with the budget analysts at Varner Hall to come to an agreement of what they are going to be using for the comparison of salaries. They need to agree that they are using the right source for the market studies. Lakey noted it has been a struggle for he and Livingston, but he feels encouraged this year. The new class compensation will also help but it will probably be a couple years down the road before you see much change from it. Livingston stated she felt it was important that staff understand that the issue has not been ignored. We have been addressing it and we are making progress. It just takes time!
The next meeting will be August 15, 2000, 10:30 a.m., Art Gallery, Student Union
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m. Danube (Roth).