Wednesday June 19, 2013



Chair Chris Cook called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m. in the Scholars 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, Kim Haddad, Sena Golden; Informational Staff Association: Gordan Carrie, Connie Smith, Priscilla Crawford, Bruce Alcock, Elaine Bradshaw; Organizational Staff Council: Reta Tarver, Jackie Downing; Administrative Staff Council: Robbie Wahnee


Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Carmen Eppler, David Kizer; Organizational Staff Council: Nancy Matthews, Betty Love, Justin Daniels, Chris McNabb; Administrative Staff Council: Jennifer Doughty


Guests present —Dan Hough, Cathy Yeaman, Paul Arcaroli, Vicki Pollock, and Lezlie Marsh




Les Hoven from Human Resources




On motion by John Bishop, the minutes of the May 15, 2013, Staff Senate meeting were accepted.




Chris did not meet with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs as scheduled, but they did exchange a few emails. Concerning the budget, the State increased the funding of higher education 9 million dollars of which OU got 15%, but we had a $6 million increase in fixed costs. Chris asked about reallocation, Nick did not say there would be one.


There will NOT be an across the board salary program this year. Some money has been earmarked to correct faculty compression and inversion but will be merit based.


The health insurance increase looks certain to be over 10%, but the administration will be working hard to minimize the impacts of these increases. A lot of work remains here.




Administrative Staff Council:  Vice President Robbie Wahnee said that they sent an email call for nominations and voting for officers.  Their new officers are: Pres: Nick Key, IT, VP:  Sue-Anna Miller, FM, Sec/Treas: Diana Biggerstaff, HR, and PROXY: Jeralyn Woodall, IT.  They finished off the year with so many OU employees, helping with the tornado victims, FEMA Corp, and Red Cross volunteers – keeping them housed, fed, and clothed in many instances.  GO OU!


Hourly Employees Council:  President Carolyn Taylor reported that members of Staff Senate were urged to attend the June Staff Senate meeting as we will be voting for a new President and Secretary.  Vicki Pollock, who is now a member of the Staff Initiatives Committee, discussed the issue brought from the HEC regarding Facility Management employees no longer having the option to receive comp time. The committee will be gathering more information.  Officers were elected for the new term starting in September, Suzie Brewer has been elected as Secretary/Treasurer and Eric Grubbs has been elected as President designate.


Informational Staff Association:  President Gordan Carrie reported that there was not a quorum for officer and council elections so elections will be done by email. They further discussed a summer or fall fund raiser, and ate a lot of pizza.


Organizational Staff Council:  Representative Jackie Downing reported that they elected new officers and representatives, briefly discussed possible changes to their bank account, and then toured the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium athletic facilities.




Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they did not meet.


Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that they met by email and they are working on the next newsletter.  The newsletter topic will be a welcome to staff and announce the new Staff Senate Chair, Amanda Pai.


Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Dan Hough reported that the Staff Initiatives Committee has met twice since the last Staff Senate meeting.  At the June 3 meeting they discussed the Senate's questions about the blood donation/volunteerism proposal and sent answers and modified the proposal for today's Senate meeting.  They also discussed the plan to do away with comp time at Facilities Management and made plans to research the issue.  They discussed possible ways to boost staff morale, including allowing staff to leave early on Friday if doing a good job.  The Committee also met on June 17.  Breion Rollins presented information about the Healthy Sooners program and suggested some possible changes/additions to the program.  They also discussed the blood donation/volunteerism proposal and decided to carry on discussion of career paths to next year.  This was the last meeting of the year.  They reviewed their accomplishments for the year and members were encouraged to sign up for the committee next year.


Staff Week Committee:  Chair Jessie Tate reported by email that they did not meet.




Employee Benefits Committee:  By email Debbie Copp reported that they discussed: I. The news is not good. In addition to increases that are mandated in the Affordable Healthcare Act, our claims experience continues to look bad. There will be increases in health insurance costs and EBC will continue to explore ways to keep increases as low as possible. Additional info on this will be coming in the weeks ahead as they have to make a recommendation in August for September Regents' meeting. One piece of good news is that all other insurance rates will stay the same as last year.




The following reports were linked to the June agenda:


Staff Senate Foundation account report


Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for April 2013




Staff Initiatives Committee Blood Donation Proposal: After discussion a motion was made by Robbie Wahnee to send the topic to member groups for further discussion. 




Approval of recommended nominations to University and campus councils, committees and boards:  The list of recommended nominees was linked to the agenda.  David Houck moved to accept the slate of nominees the motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Election of Recording Secretary for 2013-2014: Amanda Pai said the nominating committee was recommending Cecilia McEwen for the position of Staff Senate Recording Secretary for 2013-2014.  Chris Cook called for nominations from the floor.  There were none.  John Bishop moved to accept the nomination by acclamation.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.


Election of Staff Senate Chair-Elect for 2013-2014: Amanda Pai said the nominating committee was recommending Robbie Wahnee and John Bishop for the position of Staff Senate Chair-Elect for 2013-2014.  Chris Cook called for nominations from the floor.  A vote was taken by ballot and the Chair Elect will be John Bishop.




Sena Golden was asked by another employee if the Senate had looked at why employees have to take some personal leave days over the holiday break.  After discussion a motion was made by Carolyn Taylor for the SIC to look into mandatory paid leave during Christmas Break.  The motion passed with one opposed.


John Bishop urged everyone who has a storm shelter to make sure and register it with the city they live in.




As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:46 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,


Melissa Lane

Administrative Coordinator


Cathy Trujillo

Recording Secretary