Wednesday April 17, 2013


Chair Chris Cook called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. in the Regents and Associates Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.


Officers present – Chris Cook, Chair; Amanda Pai, Chair-Elect; Fran Stephens, Immediate Past Chair; Cathy Trujillo, Recording Secretary


Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator


Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Carolyn Taylor, David Houck, Cindy Simpson, Cecilia McEwen, Julie Hamburger, Suzie Brewer, Laura Shoopman, John Bishop, Carmen Eppler, Kim Haddad, Sena Golden, David Kizer; Informational Staff Association: Connie Smith, Bruce Alcock; Organizational Staff Council: Jackie Downing, Betty Love, Justin Daniels, Chris McNabb; Administrative Staff Council:  Robbie Wahnee


Representatives absent — Informational Staff Association: Gordan Carrie, Priscilla Crawford, Elaine Bradshaw; Organizational Staff Council: Reta Tarver, Nancy Matthews; Administrative Staff Council: Jennifer Doughty


Guests present — Debbie Copp, Dan Hough, Jessie Tate, Cathy Yeaman, Doug Myers, and Lezlie Marsh




On motion by John Bishop, the minutes of the March 20, 2013, Staff Senate meeting were accepted.




Chris met with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs they discussed the budget situation and he remains optimistic that there will not be a need for another reallocation. President Boren is still hoping for a salary program. Nick is concerned about future increases to health care costs for University faculty and staff. The increases next year may be drastic in comparison to previous years. He indicated that he will work hard to keep the increases as minimal as possible. Finally, we discussed "research" staff and their status in the system as faculty.


Chief Human Resources Officer and Vice President Les Hoven is scheduled to come to our May meeting.




Administrative Staff Council:  Vice President Robbie Wahnee reported that Von Allen, Director of Development at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center was their speaker.  They prepared for the Taste of OU and are ready to go.


Hourly Employees Council:  President Carolyn Taylor reported that John Bishop has been selected to serve on the Staff Senate Nominating Committee.  John was also nominated by the HEC to be a candidate for the Staff Senate Chair-elect and Cecilia McEwen was nominated as Staff Senate Secretary.  They also discussed possibilities for filling vacancies in groups IV and VI.  Kim Haddad reported that things are on track for the Ice Cream Social to be held from 10 to 2 on Thursday, April 25th.  They discussed having the tables and chairs delivered to the Armory on the 24th, so that they will be ready to be set up on Thursday for the Craft Fair and Ice Cream Social.  It was determined that one nominee on their ballot was no longer an hourly employee, Suzie Brewer will correct the ballot and take it to printing services for printing and distribution.  Member Tim Winkelman brought up an issue for discussion.  Facilities Management employees were informed that as of July 1st, they will no longer be allowed to take comp time. Employees will receive payment for approved overtime, but they will no longer be able to accrue comp time, which has been very beneficial.  David Houck has looked into the issue and will continue to do so.  They will discuss this again at the May meeting. 


Informational Staff Association:  Member Dan Hough reported that they discussed upcoming elections and events for the remainder of the year. They have plans for the Staff Week Art Show. After the meeting, Kendall George led a tour of the data archive facilities in Four Partners Place.


Organizational Staff Council:  Representative Betty Love reported that they had a luncheon to recognize the 2013 staff merit award nominees and recipients.  They made their final BINGO arrangements and OU’s Printing Services has donated some buttons and table tents to publicize OSC during Staff Week.




Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they met last week and prepared all the awards and name tags for Ceremony.  This week the committee and guests did a walkthrough of the ceremony and had a luncheon meeting to go over assignments before and after the ceremony.  The Awards Committee is ready for next week. 


Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that the committee met and completed the newsletter to announce Staff Week. The Staff Senate Facebook page will make daily posts during Staff Week and will also announce winners during each of the events.


Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Dan Hough reported that they have met twice since the last Staff Senate meeting.  On March 25, they were joined by Sue-Anna Miller from Facilities Management and Paul Arcaroli from HR.  Sue-Anna discussed some details of the career paths program used by Facilities Management.  Paul was able to give some insight on how HR would view such a policy.  Paul then discussed the plans for updating and promoting the Employee Discount program.  HR is updating the system to make it more useful and will be promoting it more when that is done.  There are also plans to implement a Craigslist type system as part of the program.  They also discussed other ways to provide perks to staff that did not require additional funds.  The committee also met on April 15.  They finished up the proposal for blood donation/volunteering which they will have ready for the May Staff Senate meeting.  They also discussed finishing up the proposal on career paths.  Eric Sourie is no longer with HR and Paul Arcaroli has been assigned as the HR rep.


Staff Week Committee:  Chair Jessie Tate reported that publicity finalized the flier and the proclamation from the city of Norman was received. They agreed to spend the money raised on additional grand prizes. Committee members signed up for events to fill spaces where needed.




Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they discussed: I. BCBS 2014 Renewal Initial Discussions: Expect 3-4% automatic increase because of Health Care Reform Act measures. Preliminary numbers have PPO going up 10% and HMO 20%. Adding the deductible to HMO for 2013 plan year helped keep increase down in that plan. Our HMO is not like the HMO’s of the past – networks are virtually the same. The university contribution is based on the PPO so the financial impact could be significant. Currently about 3,300 are on HMO with around 7,100 on the PPO – that’s employees only, not dependents. Will continue to stay involved in the discussions and watch the numbers.  II. Dependent Attestation:  Have had 95% compliance (following up with those who haven’t responded) and took around 40 people off. Which has saved about $150,000and they plan to do this every two years.  III. Payflex Debit Card Change: As of April 1, 2013, we will need a PIN to use the debit card. Not all vendors will require you to use debit card but it is up to the vendor.  IV. Wellness Incentives for 2013 and 2014: Have had the most positive impact on blood pressure, diabetes and weight loss and the improvements have helped keep our rates down. Will continue to work to add incentives including access to additional health clubs in the area. Just received the Excellent rating from the Certified Healthy Campus initiative.  V. Retirement Updates – OTRS, Fidelity, Retiree Medical: Changes in OTRS will go into effect on July 1 and OU HR personnel working with the Norman and OKC campuses to make sure all affected take the appropriate steps. Actually has more of an impact on the folks in OKC. Fidelity fees will drop to $65.00 January 1. Have had more retirees choose the opt out on the retiree insurance plans.




The following reports were linked to the April agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report


Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for September 2012










As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:07 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,


Melissa Lane

Administrative Coordinator


Cathy Trujillo

Recording Secretary