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  Melissa Lane
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Wednesday April 20, 2016



Chair Debbie Copp called the meeting to order at 1:31 p.m. in the Sooner Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – Debbie Copp, Chair; Matthew Rom, Chair-Elect; John Bishop, Immediate Past Chair; Emilie Bozek, Recording Secretary

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Kristen Holmes, David Kizer, Ross Mehl, Chuck Wantland,  Dennis Erfourth, Cecilia Homles; Informational Staff Association: Dan Hough, Carl Sinclair, Richard Snelling, Priscilla Crawford; Organizational Staff Council: Betty Love, Kristi Wright, Daveena Stratton, Chase Abbott, Marissa Pierson, Julia Rouse; Administrative Staff Council: Sue-Anna Miller, Paul Arcaroli

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Judy Oliger, Sharrie Sanders, Stephanie Gerhard, Liz Cooley, Eric Grubbs, Donna Stephens; Informational Staff Association: Corey Helms, Sarah Connelly


On motion by Betty Love, the minutes of April 20, 2016 Staff Senate meeting were accepted.


Chair Debbie Copp thanked all the groups that made the 2016 Staff Week one of our best. Special thanks to the Staff Week and Awards committees for their hard work to make the week special. Asked Staff Senate reps to reach out to people who volunteered and were so key in making the week great. She also talked about upcoming changes and impacts of the Department of Labor rulings on overtime and FLSA. The original rules were issued a year ago and final numbers were made office earlier today. There are two tests to determine exempt status – job responsibilities and salary. The pay rate, which had been $23,660, was raised to $47,476 and the effective date was set for Dec. 1. If a person makes less than that new amount, his/her salary must be raised to that amount if job responsibilities fit in the exempt status. If not, then they become eligible for overtime pay. She shared the date for the HR webinar about these changes and mentioned the impact it could have on Staff Senate member groups. When the new figures were originally proposed (with a higher salary level), there were 1,600 people it could have affected. Debbie suggested we all just watch closely what is happening in terms of salary matching, transitioning people from a monthly to biweekly pay period and impact on Staff Senate groups and be ready to take action if necessary.


Administrative Staff Council:  President Sue-Anna Miller reported that they have not met since the April Staff Senate Meeting.  Efforts this month were focused on the Staff Week Picnic.  ASC had around 65 volunteers who showed up and helped at the Picnic, and around 730 staff members attended.  The picnic did well in spite of having to be moved indoors due to rain, and most people seemed to like the change in the menu.  ASC will meet again in the next couple of weeks and continue talking about officer positions for next year.

Hourly Employees Council:  President John Bishop reported that he addressed the HEC Board and thanked them for their service during his tenure as President of HEC and as Chairman of the Staff Senate.  Communications Committee:  The HEC website is up to date and looking good.  HEC is working to get more members and activities on the Facebook page.  They are currently in the process of elections and everything is running smoothly. Staff Week Ice Cream Social:  The event was a huge success and the guest scoopers, volunteers and OU Staff had fun at the event.  It was well planned / organized and HEC worked great as a team.  Holiday Committee:  They received a $150 hunting knife as a donation for annual Holiday Raffle.  The committee is already at work soliciting donations and prizes.  They are reviewing who will be the recipient of their Holiday funds this year.  They are also looking into working with other member groups and their holiday projects.  Elections:  HEC held elections for Secretary / Treasurer:  Emilie Bozek was unopposed and was unanimously confirmed for the next academic year.  There were two nominations for President Elect, Liz Cooley and Ross Mehl were both considered for the position.  Ross Mehl was elected by the HEC Board as President Elect for the next academic year.  HEC member Chuck Wantland stated that he can serve as the HEC Staff Senate Representative for this year but would need to be replaced for the next year.  The remaining HEC business for this academic year (election results and new members) will be conducted by email.  A motion was made and approved to not have a June meeting. 

Informational Staff Association:  President Dan Hough reported that they met and discussed the successful Staff Week Art Show and had a report from their constitution review committee.  They discussed their upcoming elections and made plans for the general meeting in June.   They ended the meeting with a discussion of President Boren's forum on the budget.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Betty Love reported that they had a guest speaker – Jan Duke from Property Control shared information regarding disposal and redistribution of equipment purchased through OU.  Anything that is no longer needed that was purchased with funds from OU, even if it is considered broken, must be sent to Surplus; they will decide if it can be thrown away.   Departments may contact Property Control for an appointment to visit the facility; all items are free to departments for departmental use.  The facility is open to the general public on particular Wednesdays and items are sold at that time.  The funds generated from the sales have paid for different projects/programs at OU.  Crimson Corner was purchased using funds from Surplus. Go to the website for more information.  Rhonda Hill reported the success of Staff Week Bingo and the fundraiser.  There was an estimated crowd of 500 or more for the morning session and over 250 for the afternoon session.  They raised $307.00 for the OU Employees Assistance Fund selling tickets for donated items.  They discussed the possibility of purchasing more bingo cards to assure we have cards for staff who attend the event.  This year we ran out of bingo cards in the morning session.  Fran called Integrity, the supplier of our bingo machine, and they were kind enough to deliver extra boards at no charge!   They discussed the award nomination form and process.   We decided to table the item for now and visit the topic in the fall.


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

Communications Committee:  By email Chair Gina Powell reported the Staff Communications Committee met by email. The committee is working on the newsletter to request nominations for staff merit awards.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  By email Chair Marilyn Korhonen reported that they heard reports on policies related to contributions to retiree health insurance and the shared leave program. No action was taken. This was the final meeting of the year for SIC.

Staff Week Committee:  By email Chair Cathy Brister reported that they met to discuss the Staff Week events.  We felt that it was a successful week and we all look forward to helping next year.


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported the following: I. Consulting Services: An RFP has gone out to select a new consulting service and Segal has been informed OU will be selecting a new consultant. No complaints about Segal but think, with current climate, it makes sense to have a consultant that has a local presence and understands the “lay of the land” in Oklahoma. Also must have a good track record and have adequate resources. Decision was to have been made by April 27.  II. RFP 2017: RFPs for medical, retiree medical and pharmacy (as a separate piece) will be going out soon. Advisory committee will be appointed to assist with the review of these.  III. University Budget Issues: Salary and benefits represent 67% of OU budget so it will probably be an area that is looked at for cost-saving measures. As the financial picture for FY 2017 gets clearer, EBC may be asked to recommend some cost-saving measures. It will be our charge to find the least negative options, the best of bad options. Among the ones we talked about: 1.) Establish a waiting period for participation in the DCP plan for new hires 2.) Find ways to save money in the medical plans for current employees and retirees – Going to self insured was a very good thing to have done … could produce savings if we looked at lowering the rate we build up the reserve 3.) Temporary reduction in what the University contributes to DCP (presently is between 8-15%). We are higher than what local market currently provides. Would look at this as a proportionally driven change (based on salaries) and it would be a low priority option … will seriously consider only if other options don’t produce a big enough amount of savings … also will make decisions on the least impact to those who have the least amount of time to react before retiring. Current DCP rates are: 1.) pre 1995, 15% -- approximately 1,000 people in this group on all campuses 2.) 9% optional – don’t get into OTRS 3.) 8% above $9,000 – get into OTRS  IV. SVRI/Retirement Update:  A total of 146 of the 375 employees eligible for the plan opted into it (92 staff and 54 faculty). Most will be retiring in June or July while another group selected Dec. 22. Our fee structure is going to change. Also will continue to do education effort on the voluntary contributions. V. Wellness: Will continue working to create more ways for employees to get involved with the effort. Will have a presence at Norman and OKC campuses during Staff Week. Will keep looking and possibly offer  an online program including one that is focused on lowering blood sugar by diet changes. IV. Director updates: Expect that consult and evaluation team will be selected and announced at May meeting.


The following reports were linked to the May agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for January 2016





As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:12 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,
Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

Emilie Bozek
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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