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Wednesday September 17, 2014



Chair John Bishop called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. in the Sooner Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – John Bishop, Chair; Cecilia McEwen, Recording Secretary; Debbie Copp, Chair-Elect; Chris Cook, Immediate Past Chair

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Eric Grubbs, Cecilia Holmes, Suzie Brewer; Informational Staff Association: Dan Hough, Corey Helms, Gordan Carrie, Sarah Connelly, Priscilla Crawford; Organizational Staff Council: Justin Daniels, Jackie Downing, Matt Rom, Kristi Wright, Deborah Skeel; Administrative Staff Council: Paul Arcaroli

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Karen Stark, Kim Haddad, Synthia Petross, Jake Wetherington; Informational Staff Association: Richard Snelling; Organizational Staff Council: Julia Rouse; Administrative Staff Council: Michael Giesecke

Guests present — Julie Hamburger, Sue Anna Miller, Danielle Steely, Cathy Yeaman, and Betty Love


Scott Miller, BIT

John Bishop, United Way Campaign

ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES OF June 18, 2014 and July 16, 2014

On motion by Jackie Downing, the minutes of June 18, 2014 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.

On motion by Suzie Brewer, the minutes of July 18, 2014 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.


John welcomed the new representatives to the Staff Senate and welcomed our returning representatives and our new Presidents and Secretaries from our member organizations.  

It has been a very busy summer and a beginning to a new semester.  We have already had two fantastic home football games and our football team is on its way to a fantastic season.  

Since our last meeting I have stayed busy with Staff Senate and my many other adventures.
I met with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs on August 12, 2014.  They talked about their family adventures of the summer and what they expected for the upcoming year.   Hathaway and I talked about the OU pay raises and how the pay raises positively affected our staff's morale.  In addition, they discussed raising the salary of our Staff Senate Administrator, Melissa Lane to match the pay of the Faculty Administrator.  I am pleased to report that Melissa's pay now matches the pay of the Faculty Administrator.  They also discussed the rumors of outsourcing OU Custodial and Facility Management jobs.  OU is always looking at ways to save money and improve efficiency. There are no plans to outsource any of the OU Custodial or Facility Management positions.  Lastly, they discussed the ever increasing health costs and insurance premiums that OU employees are paying for health care.  The Employee Benefits Committee is working hard to address the costs and premiums and we continue to look for ways to reduce those costs.  Debbie Copp is on the EBC and doing a great job.  We are optimistic that the EBC will find a way to address these concerns. 

Staff Senate Welcome Luncheon held at the University Club at OMU on August 20, 2014.  We had a small turn out for lunch.  Those that attended had a great meal, wonderful deserts and great conversation.  I want to thank those who attended.

I want to thank all the members of the Staff Senate Committees for their continued hard work.  If you are interested in working with our wonderful committees, please see me our one of our Committee Chairs after this meeting.  We always need help and are looking for volunteers.  

Administrative Staff Council:  By email President Michael Giesecke said the officers met on Aug. 25 to discuss goals for the year and potential agenda items for the first meeting. It was also decided to send out a survey to ASC members regarding various aspects of meetings and mission. Survey results will be used to guide the planning of future meetings and activities. 

Hourly Employees Council:  President Elect John Bishop reported that they welcomed the new members followed by brief introductions.  The reading and approval of the past minutes were tabled for the October meeting.  The October meeting was scheduled for a lunch meeting at the OU Transportation Operations Center on October 8, 2014 at noon.

Informational Staff Association:  President Elect Dan Hough reported that in their first meeting of the new year it was primarily an organizational meeting as they needed to fill some spots on the ISA Council. Debbie also needed to appoint Staff Senate and Faculty Senate reps.  She had done some recruiting prior to the meeting and had some new faces at the meeting.  They also talked about their meeting date, time and location. For now, they have decided to stay on the first Wednesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. and will meet in the conference room at 4 Partners Place.  Next meeting is set for 2:30 p.m. October 1, 2014, at the School of Art. They will have a guest speaker in Victor Youritzen.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Justin Daniels reported that they welcomed everyone and explained duties for the executive committee. Location and speakers for upcoming meetings discussed.  They also discussed having a pancake breakfast fundraiser at Applebee’s to be scheduled sometime in October. 


Awards Committee:  By email Chair Liz Cooley reported that they appointed a Secretary, new members were introduced, and an overview of the Sub-Committees, discussion of the budget, and entertainment for the ceremony will remain the same.  They also made assignments to the committee for our next meeting in October. 

Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that the group met and elected officers. The committee discussed the newsletters they will send for the year. The committee worked on the welcome newsletter from the Staff Senate Chair and will get final approval and send to staff soon. The committee will work on the staff merit award nominations newsletter at the next meeting.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Kristi Wright reported that they discussed old business. Marcy Fleming, HR committee rep stated that HSC Legal and the Risk Management office are currently reviewing the personal car wording that was initiated by the committee last year.  Discussion was held about new issues and the committee was encouraged to review the staff handbook to see if anything needs to be reviewed.  Also the chair asked about the discount program and whether anything had been done about the requests we made a couple years ago to promoting the program. Marcy Fleming discussed that a new iPhone app would be coming soon to help locate local businesses that offer a discount to OU employees.

Staff Week Committee:  Chair Paige Smith reported by email that they did introductions for everyone on the committee and discussed a fall fundraiser of sweatshirts/hoodies/long sleeve shirts, and signed up for sub-committees.



Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported by that they discussed the following: I. Organization business: Elected Don Clothier as chair and Will Wayne as vice chair. Voted to create an official seat for a Cameron University rep on EBC as those employees are now on our insurance plans.  II. 2015 Renewal: Final numbers were not in but a rate will be proposed to the OU Board of Regents at their October meeting.  III. Strategic Plan Update: This group continues to meet and look at long term options. Currently up for discussion is a $25.00 “No Tobacco” surcharge and the elimination of the $50 health insurance waiver. Any changes proposed by the group must be approved.  IV. ACA Update: Continues to be a major work item for HR staff. Communication is being planned for distribution to all three campuses and HR will be working with governance groups to explain all the changes this compliance will require.  V. Wellness Update: Annual 5k is scheduled for Sept. 27. Intramurals in all sports are now an option for faculty and staff as a “Move More” challenge to encourage exercise for employees will begin Sept. 29.  VI. Director Updates:  We have experienced a 10% decline in enrollment in HMO over last three years. He brought us up to speed on the payroll changes that are going into effect on the HSC campus ONLY. Effective June 2015, all employees will switch from a monthly payroll to a biweekly one. Change required for a number of reasons including the need to track hours worked through a new Time Attendance and Leave System.

Ad Hoc Committee for Staff Merit Award Form:  Debbie Copp reported that they did not meet.

Health Insurance Working Committee:  Sue Anna Miller reported that representatives from Segal Consulting were present to discuss progress on issues previously raised by members of the committee as well as the upcoming Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance renewal.  Segal has developed some alternatives for the University to consider, such as the possibility of self-funding our health insurance and the development of new medical plan design options.  Most of these changes would not go into effect, if adopted, until 2016.  The committee encouraged a strong education program to inform employees of the new options and give them the information needed to allow them to make good choices for their specific needs.  Some wellness initiatives, such as the application of a smoking versus non-smoking rate, may go into effect as early as 2015.  In addition, implementation of on-site clinics to provide easy access to employees for routine and low-level urgent care is being researched, which may be able to provide less-costly options for these types of services.  The current contribution strategy is also being examined and the possibility of reducing the number of salary tiers.  The goal of such a move would be to provide stronger support for family coverage in order to attract and retain talent at the University as well as to move us closer to how other schools fund employee and family coverage.  These changes will require long-term planning and the committee recommended a strong communication program.  Overall, Segal and the University have been very supportive of the suggestions provided by members of the Health Care Strategic Plan Working Committee, and for me personally, it has been an honor to be a part of this committee.


The following reports were linked to the September agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for May 2014





Tip a Cop tonight from 6-9pm at the Garage restaurant, tips benefit the Special Olympics

CART/Fleet Services is hosting a United Way Campaign on October 3  


As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:25 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  October 15, 2014

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

Cecilia McEwen
Recording Secretary

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The University of Oklahoma Staff Senate, Norman Campus, 905 Asp, Norman, OK 73019 (405) 325-4672  | 
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