Staff Senate Minutes
University of Nebraska at Kearney
March 20, 2007 - 10:30 a.m., MONA, Yanney Skylight Gallery
Present: Administrative: Bressington, Kauders, Schroeder
Managerial/Professional: Benitz, Morehouse, Schaffnitt
Service: Geiger, Gilbertson, Uden
Office: Beerbohm, Weed, Meier.
Recognition of Employee of the Month-Lisa Neal, Manager of Application Development, Information Technology Services
Recognition of the Department of the Month-ITS Helpdesk
Guest Speaker, Amy Elwood, Twin Rivers
Two Rivers Public Health Department serves as a prevention, education and referral service for individuals and organizations in Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Gosper, Harlan, Kearney, and Phelps counties. It is the fourth largest district in the state and serves nearly 94,000 people. Ms. Elwood presented information on general disaster preparedness – including information on Pandemic Flu. What is the flu pandemic? A flu pandemic is an outbreak of a brand-new flu virus that occurs around the world! Pandemics are different from seasonal outbreaks of flu because pandemic flu spreads more easily from person to person. What’s being done? Surveillance/Reporting in schools, Parental information, Education, Lab tests reporting, Public Information. Be prepared! Stock up with water, food, medications and emergency supplies at your home – Don’t wait to prepare! Stay at home if you are sick – Wash your hands many times during the day – Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or use your upper sleeve. 20 – 40% of the workforce will be gone w/Pandemic Flu – determine functions of employees, cross-train - Alternate work schedules – suspend non-critical functions. Additional information is available at their website:http://www.tworiverspublichealth.com/default.htm
I. Call to Order - Benitz
II. Open Floor – Staff members are welcome to have open discussion with Senate
III. Adoption of Agenda – Kauders, Beerbohm
IV. Approval of Minutes – deferred until minutes are received and reviewed
V. Financial Report – Audrey Kauders – Approved Bressington/Schaffnitt
VI. Correspondence – none
VII. Unfinished Business
1. January Staff Appreciation - was a great success – Some confusion with new employees as to whether they should attend – An individual invitation will be sent next year
2. Leadership UNK –the latest draft is with Mr. Lakey for final review and approval. 10 staff will be able to participate – If anyone is interested in participating please contact Linda Clark or Dee Ellingson
3. Parking Updates – Mr. Lakey presented to the Chancellor’s Cabinet for review – nothing new to report at this time
4. Vacation/Sick leave – John reported that on March 9, 2007, the University of
Nebraska Board of Regents revised the university’s vacation and sick leave
policies. Campus Human Resources Directors asked that we alert you to these
changes. See changes below:
New policy: The amount of vacation time that can be accumulated at the University of Nebraska effective April 1, 2007, is 280 hours. Employees who have accrued vacation balances in excess of 280 hours as of April 1, 2007, will not lose those hours of unused vacation. However, effective April 1 he or she will not accrue any additional vacation leave until their balance drops below 280 hours.
Background: The policy change was necessary in order to comply with the Nebraska Supreme Court decision last year in the Roseland v. Strategic Staff Management case. The Court ruled that vacation benefits granted by an employer are like an earned wage which cannot, once earned, be forfeited by an employer’s policy (the “use it or lose it” rule).
New policy: There is also a change in sick leave policy that only impacts Office/Service Staff. The new policy caps sick leave accumulation at 1,440 hours (180 days) at all times.
Background: This change also was necessary to comply with the Roseland ruling. Previously employees could accumulate above the maximum limit of 1,440 hours throughout the year, but the balance was adjusted back to 1,440 at the end of each calendar year.
Note: Office/Service staff who retire (or their beneficiaries) will continue to receive a supplemental salary payment equal to one-fourth of their accumulated sick leave up to a maximum of 360 hours. The change in policy merely re-labels the payment. Instead of calling it a payment for sick leave, it will be called “a supplemental payment equal to one-fourth of their unused accrued sick leave up to a maximum of 360 hours.”
VIII. Committee Reports
a) Election Committee – Jami Schaffnitt –Reported to the Senate that all nominations are in and those individuals are being contacted about accepting the nomination.
b) Employee Recognition Committee –No Report
c) Performance Management Committee – No Report
d) Procedures Committee – No Report
Professional Development Committee – Cheryl Bressington – Jane Peterson is training her on podcasting potentially to use as a device for future professional development sessions. Just a reminder on upcoming dates; August 2 – Poker Walk – October 11 – Evening Cooking Cardiologist – Leadership UNK will begin in September for those interested.
e) Mentoring Committee – Bruce Uden –Meeting tomorrow –The committee has decided to no longer offer items for sale for Administrative Professionals Day.
f) Office/Service Dependent Scholarship Committee – No Report
g) Information Technology Advisory Committee – No Report
h) Strategic Planning Committee – No Report
i) IX. New Business
a) Upcoming Election – The by-laws changes have been accepted and changed as follows: Ballots reflecting the nominations will be disseminated by the first Thursday following the third Tuesday in March.
b) July 1 Celebration – To be held Friday June 29 – To be called “UNK Day Breakfast” at 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!
c) End of year report - Brandon will compile with highlights from the minutes as well as goals set and accomplished by the Senate. He asks that budget be brought to him as well!
X. Staff Senate Roundtable – Staff members update the Senate on events happening in their offices/departments
a) Fauneil – Jerry just returning from Holland and Czech Republic
b) Jan – Preparing for Summer and Fall
c) Joni – Preparing for Educator’s Employment next week and excited to announce that UNK will be participating in the first Statewide efair to be held April 2- 30, 2007 – All campuses in Nebraska will be participating
d) Mike conducting day to day operations – Mantor hall’s first floor has been re-carpeted
e) Deb G. – Dreading summer!
f) John – Employee Evaluations due May 1 – form has changed and hopefully will be easier to use. Reception for the new VCBF Barbara Johnson this afternoon.
g) Jami – Talent Show – Dance Team try outs all coming up soon – Chris Cable and Julie Roberts Concert – April 26 – watch for details!
h) Bruce – Working on tree trimming and removal – Wrestling went well – Please keep Tyler Anderson in your prayers –
i) Mark – NCAA taking up a lot of time! Very labor intensive – Basketball will be on ESPN2 Saturday night at 5:00! Busy with State Speech, Indoor Track, Mr. Basketball. This coming Sunday will be the 1st Sunday since January that nothing is scheduled!
j) Cheryl – Creating a Diversity sub-committee and will be asking for members.
k) Deb – UN System is in the headlines with 36 lawsuits for sharing copyrighted files – Kearney received no violations. Still not recommending using Vista – Not all applications are compatible. Office 2007 can be installed on university-owned machines – consider attending a preview session firs. Still working on wireless –If you want, Deb is offering to post any documents from Staff Senate on Blackboard – just send them to her.
l) Brandon Benitz – There has been some discussion about membership on committees. Several members of the Mentoring Committee have elected not to serve. Probably need to re-evaluate the committee membership. Decided to create a resolution thanking everyone involved with the past ice storms. Audrey and Deb have volunteered to draft for the Senate.
a) Staff Senate is always seeking nominations for Employee and Department of the Month! All nomination forms are available on-line on the Staff Senate webpage
b) Staff are always encouraged to attend Staff Senate meetings – open comments are now happening at beginning of meetings
c) Next Meeting –April 17 @ 10:30 a.m. at in the Sandhills Room of the Nebraskan Union
XII. Adjourn – meeting was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.