Wednesday February 19, 2014



Chair Amanda Pai called the meeting to order at 1:38 p.m. in the Sooner Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.


Officers present – Amanda Pai, Chair; John Bishop, Chair-Elect; Chris Cook, Immediate Past Chair; Cecilia McEwen, Recording Secretary


Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator


Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Karen Stark, Tim Winkelman, Suzie Brewer, Kim Haddad, Syndy Petross, Carmen Eppler, Vicki Michener; Informational Staff Association: Bruce Alcock, Debbie Copp, Elaine Bradshaw, Kendall George; Organizational Staff Council: Cathy Yeaman, Jackie Downing; Administrative Staff Council: Nick Key


Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: David Houck, Eric Grubbs, Carolyn Taylor, Julie Hamburger; Informational Staff Association: Debbie Gentis, Shane Smith; Organizational Staff Council: Justin Daniels, Betty Love, Debbie Reddell, Reta Tarver; Administrative Staff Council: SueAnna Miller


Guests present — Danielle Steely




On motion by Jackie Downing, the minutes of the January 15, 2014 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.




Amanda met with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs last week and passed along our recent Blood Donation/Volunteerism resolution to Les Hoven in HR and they are reviewing it now.  The FY 15 proposed state budget was announced with a reduction in state appropriations for higher education. The President is working hard in hopes that higher education will not be cut as much as what has been proposed.  Amanda asked if there was any change to the possibility of outsourcing OU jobs and he reiterated that this is not and will not happen for any departments on campus. Some Oklahoma state agencies are transitioning from a monthly to a bi-weekly payroll schedule for their employees. She asked if this was something OU has considered and he was not aware of any such conversations.




Administrative Staff Council:  Nick Key said they met with Frank Henry to discuss food and other arrangements for the Staff Week picnic. Based on feedback from staff, they have elected to move away from the Taste of OU theme and focus instead on a family style picnic meal with brisket, chicken, corn, and potatoes. This change will also help them streamline lunch service by simplifying the menu and ensure that food is hot throughout lunch service.  Weather permitting; they will hold the Brooks Mall on the east side of the Armory. They are still awaiting a response from Development concerning potential sponsorship of the meal. 


Hourly Employees Council:  President David Houck reported by email that Staff Week is on schedule in terms of the Ice Cream Social but there will be six less containers of ice cream this year. They will monitor the situation and compensate if a shortage occurs. Election Committee is on schedule and Awards Committee has received all of the nominations.  The recent announcement of further budget cuts was brought up and a discussion followed. Another member mentioned persisting rumors of outsourcing jobs and labor as a result of budget cuts. HEC is very concerned about these issues would like to explore ideas in terms of how staff governance committees might be able to help on behalf of the University and the State of Oklahoma as a whole.


Informational Staff Association:  President Bruce Alcock reported that they did not meet.


Organizational Staff Council:  President Cathy Yeaman reported that they discussed designating the OSC savings account specifically for the Family Assistance Funds and leave all remaining OSC funds in the checking account. Rhonda Hill presented an update on Staff Week Bingo.  She has secured McCasland Fieldhouse for the morning Bingo and Couch Cafeteria for the afternoon event.  Fran Stephens has contacted Integrity Gaming to secure the bingo board and confirm delivery/pickup times.




Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they met and the menu was decided, Anniversary/Retiree list has been sent out for approval and are awaiting information for final list.  Music entertainment is being done by Koretta McArthur, banner designs were discussed and designs will be presented at the next meeting.  Merit Award pictures will be scheduled after Spring Break.  The committee is on schedule with their task timeline. 


Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that due to the severely low temperatures the committee decided to meet by email. They are currently working on a newsletter with the Staff Week co-chairs to announce events at Staff Week.


Staff Initiatives Committee:  By email Chair Dan Hough reported that they did not meet.


Staff Week Committee:  Co-Chair Jessie Tate reported by email that they discussed and decided on bright blue shirts for committee members, so that they may be recognizable and easy to find during Staff Week events. They have begun to collect prize donations and have started signing vendors up for the Health Fair. The committee has also decided to do an additional giveaway during the Health Fair; the item has not yet been selected.




Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported; I. Annual Enrollment, Preliminary numbers show a surprising jump in enrollment from the PPO to the HMO. HR staff will continue to review the numbers and share information on them. II. Strategic Plan, Three discussion points have emerged as the two groups continue to meet. They include tobacco regulations and the possibility of implementing wellness incentives/differential for tobacco users; a pilot program that revolves around utilizing the onsite health centers; and the university’s contribution strategy, looking at possible changes in salary tiers and/or dependent coverage contributions.  III. ACA 30-Hour Compliance,The biggest concern to OU at this time with the ACA is the requirement to offer coverage to anyone who works an average of 30 hours per week within the measurement period. HR staff is working to create a tracking/monitoring program. For example, students and adjuncts are not currently eligible for coverage. Going forward, if they work 30 hours per week on average, they would be. Options being studied are reducing the maximum number of hours part-times would be allowed to work or using temps from outside source. This would have a significant effect on PEAK program. The penalties for not offering this coverage would be staggering for OU budgets and, while the penalty phase has been pushed back to 2015, it will continue to be an area that HR staff study/review vigorously.  IV. Wellness Update, Vapor/E-cigarettes are now banned on all state property, including OU, as of Jan. 1. Team is working to get signs changed/updated to reflect this change. Team has set a goal of reducing chronic conditions on all campuses by 10%. Have set up a semester long pilot program on all three campuses with includes one-on-one health and wellness coaching for a number of employees. Has changed vendors for health screenings to Catapult. This will allow for more thorough and more frequent screening. Team is trying to build incentive program to go along with it.  V. Director’s Update, Announced that Nick Kelly has left OU to pursue another option with City of Oklahoma City and, as a result, there are transitions happening with HR staff. He believes that simplification and communication are key components as we move forward with strategic plan and that it is very important to understand what is important to employees in terms of their benefits. Understanding that is key to ensuring that changes are valuable. ACA is going to require consistent and diligent review by HR staff as we prepare its continuing impact.




The following reports were linked to the February agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report


Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for November 2013






Staff Merit Award Form:  Amanda created an ad hoc committee to possibly make the form available to submit online and ways to get better participation.






As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:17 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,


Melissa Lane

Administrative Coordinator


Cecilia McEwen

Recording Secretary