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Wednesday June 18, 2014



Chair John Bishop called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – John Bishop, Chair; Cecilia McEwen, Recording Secretary

Officers absent – Debbie Copp, Chair-Elect; Chris Cook, Immediate Past Chair;

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: David Houck, Eric Grubbs, Carolyn Taylor, Suzie Brewer, Kim Haddad, Jake Wetherington, Julie Hamburger, Carmen Eppler; Informational Staff Association: Dan Hough, Elaine Bradshaw, Kim Thomas, Shane Smith; Organizational Staff Council: Cathy Yeaman, Jackie Downing, Betty Love; Administrative Staff Council: Nick Key, SueAnna Miller

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Karen Stark, Tim Winkelman, Syndy Petross, Vicki Michener; Informational Staff Association: Bruce Alcock, Kendall George; Organizational Staff Council: Justin Daniels, Debbie Reddell, Reta Tarver

Guests present — Lezlie Marsh and Danielle Steely


On motion by Sue Anna, the minutes of May 21, 2014 Staff Senate meeting were accepted with a correction to the spelling of Jerri Askins name.


It has been a very busy month.  I service as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Gang Investigators Association.  During the first week of June I hosted my 18th Annual Oklahoma Gang Investigators Conference in Oklahoma City.  Immediately following the conference, I was assigned to two days of mandatory self-defense tactics for OUPD.  The two day defensive tactics class disturbed my plans for the Standing Committee luncheon and my meeting with Nick Hathaway.  My sincere apologize for the scheduling conflict and missing the time to share my sincere appreciation to the Standing Committees and all those who serve.  Again, Sorry I missed the luncheon and thank you all for your service. 

In addition, I have been busy with several Staff Senate projects.  I am in the process of appointing a representative to the Shared Leave Committee, Carmen Eppler. 

The Provost requested a Search Committee for a new Dean for the College of Earth and Energy.  The following people were nominated: Cathy Trujillo, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Nicholas Key, Information Technology, Nancy Matthews, College of Continuing Education, Luanne Howk, College of Earth and Energy, Ameil Shadid, College of Earth and Energy, Juna Stovall, Center for Public Management, Cathy Yeaman, Advanced Programs

The University of Oklahoma has been working hard, despite a 5% budget cut, to give pay raises to all OU Employees.  According to information being shared by Payroll, OU Employees will received a 2% pay raise or $1,000 dollar annual raise, whichever is greater. 

In addition, I have been working to increase Melissa Lane’s salary to match that of her counterpart, the Faculty Senate Administrator.  I will continue my efforts until we have equal pay for equal work between the administrators.

And I am literally jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.  In my abundant spare time, I am now beginning a new adventure as a Firefighter.  I begin training tomorrow night with the Slaughterville volunteer Fire Department.  It’s not easy being an adrenalin junkie!

Administrative Staff Council:  President Nick Key said they have not yet met this month.

Hourly Employees Council:  President David Houck reported that there were some issues with the May 14th minutes that had to be resolved so approval was postponed until these issues are corrected. They changed their July meeting time and location to accommodate the upcoming July luncheon. There was some further discussion regarding the Staff Merit Awards nomination forms but no formal action was taken.

Informational Staff Association:  By email President Bruce Alcock reported that they met but did not have a business meeting this month.

Organizational Staff Council:  By email President Cathy Yeaman reported that they thanked members for their outstanding support throughout the year.  Justin Daniels presented Cathy Yeaman with a plaque of appreciation for her service.  Elections for 2014-2015 were held and confirmed.  Betty Love reminded members to Dump the Pump on Thursday, June 19th by riding the CART buses for free

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

Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported that they met and worked on the newsletter for staff merit award nominations. The committee will wait to send the newsletter to staff so that it includes the link to the online application.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Dan Hough reported that they did not meet in June.  They did receive feedback from human resources on the questions about staff turnover from ISA.

Staff Week Committee:  Co-Chair Paige Smith reported by email that they did not meet.


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported by email that they discussed the following: I. Health Insurance Update:claim numbers looking good. Will continue to evaluate and negotiate. Our increases are still well below national averages. We will be looking at options to reduce increases and will be given those options at June meeting. That meeting has been pushed back a week to give us more up-to-date info. We also will get more info on the impact of self-funding our health care costs.  II. Strategic Plan Update, hope to start looking at models soon. Need to simplify our plan, keep it affordable and continue to provide high quality care. Much more to come on this one. III. ACA Update, working with local consultant on tracking and reporting. Allowed maximum 30% failure in 2015 but drops to 5% in following years. Working to ensure all possible high impact areas have been identified.  IV. Student Health Insurance, rates and plans will remain the same for 2015. Renewal complete and materials should be out soon.  V. Wellness Update, met with Full Plate Living representative, along with OU Rec folks, to look at the possibility of offering their online courses. Works on concept of changing the look of what is on the plate rather than eliminating foods. We would incentivize the program by reimbursing employees at least 50% of the cost, similar to Weight Watchers program. Provided a fun activity for Staff Week at each campus. A total of 224 employees participated.  The next activity starts June 2, the Healthy Sooners Scavenger Hunt. This is an eight week activity.  Last meeting it was mentioned that a pocket card with questions to ask your doctor might be helpful for employees. Will continue to work on this one. VI. Updates from Director, encouraged committee to continue offering input and discussion, as well as share any comments with him or Angela.  New HR Website expected to roll out next month and enrollment updates. VII. RPMC Committee, meets quarterly and working toward helping employees make better financial decisions, retirement and benefits choices through continuing education. For example, planning for health-related costs that could be as much as $300,000 annually. VIII. Other business, now that Cameron employees are on our health insurance plans may add reps based on what by-laws allow. Meghan Stallings from Cameron University sat in on this meeting.

Ad Hoc Committee for Staff Merit Award Form:  Debbie Copp reported by email that they have not met since last Staff Senate meeting but did receive clarification from Vice President Hathaway on special awards, the landscaping one and the housekeeping one. (1) Both will be selected by Staff Senate member group. (2) A staff member nominated for landscaping or housekeeping award who is not selected for either of those awards is eligible for consideration for other staff merit awards given by that member group. Revised form will include a way to indicate if nomination is for special award ONLY or special award AND merit award.  Plan to get communication started with committee again shortly.

Health Insurance Working Committee:  Sue Anna Miller reported that the committee has not met.


The following reports were linked to the June agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for November 2013



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

Election of Recording Secretary for 2014-2015: John Bishop said the nominating committee was recommending Cecilia McEwen for the position of Staff Senate Recording Secretary for 2014-2015.  John Bishop called for nominations from the floor.  There were none.  Suzie Brewer moved to accept the nomination by acclamation.  The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.



As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:08 p.m.


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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