March 5, 2009 Minutes

1. Call to Order - The Staff Senate held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in Plaster Student Union, Room 317. Kelly Barnts, Past Chair, called the session to order at 1:34PM. Executive Officers attending were - Casey Comoroski-Senate Chair, Konya Knackstedt-Chair-Elect, and Cathy McFall-Parliamentarian.

2. Roll Call -

Present: Cindi Barnett, Kelly Barnts, Corbin Campbell, Donald Clark, Patrick Day, Marian Green, Norm Griffith, Lisa Langston, Steve Lowery, Sue McCrory, Janelle Melton, Dennis Perry, Teresa Steele, Jaime Trussell, and Lynette Walker

Absent: John Avery, Debbie Branson, Tabitha Haynes, Lenord McGownd, Sue McCrory, and Terry Plank - No proxies present for absent senators.

Guests: Dave Richards, Anne Baker, Bobby Sawyer, and Kathryn Wall

3. Approval of Minutes - Minutes of the February 5, 2009 were approved with changes - motion by Cindi Barnett and second by Steve Lowry with the following changes:

  • Change new employee orientation training session on Monday’s at 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in Human Resources Training room.
  • Page 3 of 3 change spelling of “On a side not” to On a side note.
  • Add guest to attendance roster adding Dr. Tami Jahnke

4. Guest Speakers - Casey Comoroski welcomed guest speakers – David Richards and Anne Baker from Meyer Library. David Richards explained “The University Archives” effort to locate the historical records of the university and the preservation of such materials. The University Archives is a part of the Special Collections department in the library. The charge of this department is to identify, acquire, and preserve records of enduring value. If any department has anything of rare or historic interest they are to contact Anne Baker and she will visit the department to look at the items and determine whether they would be appropriate for archival. The speakers extended an invitation for Staff Senate to hold a future meeting in their area so that senators may view the special collections and archives.

5. Announcements

  • Casey Comoroski has received a resignation from Senator Ron Boaz.
  • Norm Griffith, will represent the Staff Senate on the Employee Handbook Committee which will hold their first meeting next week.
  • Cindi Barnett gave an update on the new location for the upcoming Recreation Center at the current tennis courts to the west of Blair Shannon. Further details will be determined at an April 7th meeting with the architects. The project is proposed to be complete in Summer or Fall of 2011.
  • Casey Comoroski announced that applications for expiring senators will be opened in April. A listing of the applicants for expired and resigned senators with their areas of representation will be divided by the executive board with voting at the May meeting.

6. New Business -

  • Dennis Perry addressed the senate regarding the issue of equity raises for FY 10. Concerns were discussed regarding the fact that the step system has been eliminated for classified staff reaching the top of their pay range. Old step system verses new equity based system. The main concern voiced was that employees who have been with the university for ten years or more and had not reached step nine in the old system and are not at the median range in the new system that those employees should be given an equity raise to keep them more in line with comparable salaries. Other concerns were performance appraisals were still required but not associated with pay raises to recognize employees for high quality work performed. Konya Knackstedt said that faculty promotion and tenure will continue despite the economic situation and budget constraints. Opinions were voiced that if faculty could be compensated why classified employees are left out to get further behind in regard to salary equity.
  • Casey will invite Lyn McKenzie from Human Resources and Joycelyn Tinsley from Payroll to attend the April meeting to explain pay raises and the equity issue.

7. Staff Senate Picnic - Discussion ensued regarding possibly cancelling the picnic due to financial concerns or charging participants for actual cost from Sodexo. After much discussion it was determined that we should continue the picnic to keep morale up among staff. Pat Day made a motion and second by Lynette Walker that we continue the picnic with investigation of current cost. A date was set for June 5th, 2009 11:30 – 1:30 p.m. The picnic will replace the regularly scheduled meeting on June 4th 11:30 – 1:30 p.m. Staff Senate secretary will reserve the space located at the corral area between the Plaster Student Union and Carrington Hall. Recognition of outgoing senators and committee recognitions will be presented at the picnic in addition incoming senators and officers for the new year will be announced.

8. Staff Senate Service Awards - Casey reported that the Executive Board presented staff concerns to Dr. Nietzel regarding the service awards and how they were selected. It was suggested that the following be implemented:

  • Someone from staff senate be represented on the selection committee
  • Recipients be notified before event so that they will be present for the award
  • Excerpts from the nominations be read so that staff know what the recipient has done to deserve the award.
  • That the award is not given for service to the university that is NOT a part of the recipients regular work duties that they get paid for. (the award is for going above and beyond)
  • That all divisions are given at least one award making the distribution even; example one from Financial Services area, one from Student Affairs, one from Administrative Services, etc. (concern that one division is receiving most of the awards)
  • The Staff Senate Chair be included on the selection committee.

Suggestions were also made that the awards be decreased from six to three and the leftover money be used by Staff Senate. A motion was made by Pat Day and seconded by Jaime Trussell to proceed with the award reducing awards from six to three if the funds for the awards come from the Staff Senate budget. (it was noted that if the funding is from another source that the university may want to continue with the current number)

9. Adjournment - The Staff Senate meeting was adjourned at 2:36 p.m. with a motion by Teresa Steele and second by Norm Griffith.

10. Next Meeting - The next Staff Senate meeting will be held Thursday, April 2 in Plaster Student Union Parliamentary Room.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Cathy McFall

Minutes approved May 7, 2009