Wednesday, September 3, 2003

11:30 am Š Ellison Hall Conference Room


Informational Staff Association Annette Schwiebert called the business meeting to order at 12:00


ISA Council Members and Officers present: Grettie Bondy, Lisa Bowles, Sherrell Campbell, Joan Goth, Dan Hough, Susan Lauterbach, Debra Levy-Martinelli, Bill Moakley, Sophia Morren, Dawna Nelson, Marilyn Nicely, Annette Schwiebert, and Connie Smith.


ISA Council Members absent: Lenore Arlee (teaching class), Derek Arndt, Anna Launer Love, Marko and Sherbon (vacation).


ISA members present:, Pam Leader, Beth McCoy, Pam Neal, Bev Reeser, Tony Robertson, Herbert Spencer, Jane Travis, Catherine Webb, and Susan Whyatt.


Guests: Anthony Barrens, Staff Senate Chair and Barbara Perry, Staff Senate Office


  1. Introduction of members and guests. Each person was asked to introduce himself or herself and tell their favorite restaurant.
  2. With a motion by Dan Hough and a second by Connie Smith the minutes of May 7, 2003 annual meeting were approved.
  3. PresidentÕs Communication

į      Annette expressed her pleasure at all the new faces. She said she wants to establish a welcome committee to recruit more members to actively participate in ISA.

  1. Treasurers report
  2. Staff Senate report was presented by Connie Smith
  3. Activities Coordinator position is vacant because Johnnie Margaret McConnell has changed jobs and is no longer in ISA. Annette asked for volunteers. Sherrill Campbell volunteered. Sophia Morren, Beverly Reeser, and Susan Lauterbach volunteered to be helpers.
  4. Sophia Morren moved by acclamation for the election of 2 new ISA council members- Grettie Bondy and Lisa Bowles.
  5. President Annette Schwiebert formed a new Welcome Committee which Connie Smith will chair. Dan Hough, Jane Travis, and Debra Levy-Martinelli will be on the Committee. The Committee will publicize ISA, call and send e-mail to increase interest participation by ISA employees.

Speaker: Nick Kelly

            Nick Kelly, Manager of Benefits talked about what to expect for health care benefits in the coming Calendar Year. He said the University went way over budget when the University was self-insured. During this time there were more catastrophic illnesses and more people who went to the doctor than anticipated. OU had to bear 100% of an 8 million dollar deficit. The past enrollment period covered only for 6 months. OU employees have a new enrollment period of 9/22 to 10/14 to re-enroll for the 2004 calendar year on HealthChoice. There is a new plan called Basic, which reduces insurance premiums but has a greater risk of total out-of-pocket costs.

            Nick said that we are doing an RFP for calendar year 2005. It involves the OU consultant (Mercer) and the Benefits Committee as well as governance groups to find out what is important. He said the bids may not be as good as the state plan, because the state plan is non-profit and because there are fewer insurance companies than 10 years ago. OU may not be attractive as a client. The average age is older than most employers, we have easy access to medical care, and are very likely to use medical services.

            There is a new option from Delta Dental that will offer a higher benefit for people who used the planÕs preferred network of dentists. The University is not planning to use the state dental plan as it is more expensive.

            Questions included: Could a wellness program decrease costs? Response was probably not, maybe in the long run but hard to measure. Connie recommended that flu shots be given by Goddard at location of University Departments. Nick mentioned that the issue of dependant coverage being subsidized by OU was addressed by the Employee Benefits Committee. The fact that individual coverage is 100% is unusual for employers and OU could not afford to subsidize dependant coverage and cover the employee at 100%. Nick said spouses were the most costly dependents and this is the primary reason dependant coverage costs more. Beth McCoy mentioned that one reason state employees are more satisfied with HealthChoice than OU employees is because dependant coverage is subsidized and the dental coverage offered was superior (offers orthodontia) to OUÕs coverage. An ISA member expressed concern that if too many OU employees switch to private insurance for dependants, to decrease personal costs, OU will be even less attractive to potential insurance companies. However, Nick said that this (dropping of dependence coverage) has not been the case so far.

            After NickÕs presentation Connie Smith raised the issue of bereavement leave in addition to paid leave. She had researched other UniversityÕs policies and found that bereavement leave was included in their benefits package. The Council also discussed short term leave and the changes rules on the use of this leave over the years. The benefit of allowing accrued paid leave to roll over to short term leave was discussed.

Grettie made a motion, seconded by Sophia that we invite someone from Human Resources to a future meeting to explain historical changes in short term disability (now called extended leave).