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Wednesday, November 16, 2016



Chair Matthew Rom called the meeting to order at 1:37 p.m. in the Scholars Room of the Oklahoma Memorial Union.
Officers present – Matthew Rom, Chair; Debbie Copp, Immediate Past Chair

Officers absent – John Bishop, Chair-Elect; Emilie Bozek, Recording Secretary

Staff present – Melissa Lane, Administrative Coordinator

Representatives present – Hourly Employees Council: Ross Mehl, Cecilia Holmes, Crystal Ary, Nick McCracken, David Kizer, Suzie Brewer; Informational Staff Association: Carl Sinclair, Elaine Bradshaw, Sarah Connelly, Chris Cook; Organizational Staff Council: Kristi Wright, Marissa Pierson, Jackie Downing, Daveena Stratton, Julia Rouse, Betty Love; Administrative Staff Council: Chris Kobza (Proxy)

Representatives absent — Hourly Employees Council: Kristen Holmes, Dalton Brasington, Liz Cooley, Stephanie Gerhard, Julie Hamburger, Hope Abraham; Informational Staff Association: Corey Helms, Francey Freeman; Administrative Staff Council: David Goodspeed, Breion Rollins

Guests present — Sue Anna Miller and Rhonda Hill


The agenda was adopted with an addition to New Business of Staff Senate Statement in Response to Recent Events at OU, on motion by Kristi Wright.


Nicholas Hathaway, Executive Vice President and Vice President of Administration and Finance, University Budget Update


On motion by Kristi Wright the minutes of October 19, 2016 Staff Senate meeting were accepted with a change to the Announcements to contact the CART office not the Parking office.


Administration Meeting with Nick Hathaway: Met on October 20 and discussed budget challenges expected in FY18. Also discussed effects of the implementation of the new FLSA rules on Staff Senate and the University community as a whole. Finally, discussed ideas for the Staff Week Picnic.

Faculty Senate Meeting: Attended the Faculty Senate meeting on November 14. The meeting focused on ways to better recruit and retain faculty, especially with limited financial resources. The Faculty Senate also examined the effects of academic fees on the ability to recruit and retain graduate students. The Faculty Senate passed a resolution providing support for President Boren’s handling of recent events on campus.

Administrative Staff Council:  Proxy Chris Kobza reported that they had representatives from Human Resources to give the Administrative Staff Representatives an overview of the benefit changes and answer any questions that the representatives had.  They also had Chris Kobza from IT provide a brief summary of the password change policy and insight into that.

Hourly Employees Council:  President-Elect Ross Mehl reported that met and discussed their Holiday Raffle and it is looking good. If you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets, please see someone from HEC, tickets are $1 each. They discussed the impact that the new Non-Exempt employees would have on HEC and the representation of Staff Senate. A motion was made not to change the name of HEC and passed unanimously. All HEC members were encouraged to attend Staff Senate.

Informational Staff Association:  President Carl Sinclair reported that they met at 3 Partners Place and received a tour of the OU Innovations Hub.  After the tour, they had a short business meeting. Changes to the ISA By-laws were approved. They had two new volunteers for ISA council but lost another member of the council (left for work outside OU). Announcements included OU Password Policy, Secret Santa, Veterans Day at the Student Veterans Association, and the National Weather Festival.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Kristi Wright reported that they met and an announcement was made that bingo will be held Monday, April 24th. Under new business, they voted to change the name of their family assistance fund to Operation Comfort and Joy. Discussion took place on putting out the call for families’ names in need earlier, and it was decided this would be done immediately. Their next meeting is a potluck at the Theta M. Dempsey Transportation Operations Center on December 8th; Doug Myers will be their guest speaker.


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

Communications Committee:  By email, Chair Patricia Koonce reported that they did not meet this month.

Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Daveena Stratton reported that they discussed cancer insurance being offered as a benefit to employees, and also discussed what a paid maternity leave policy initiative would look like for OU employees. They will be further researching both to see how these benefits would impact the University.

Staff Week Committee:  By email Co-Chair, Cathy Brister reported that they met and decided to do the Health Fair again.  The committee will be working on a new location for this event.  The theme this year is “yOU make the difference.”


Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported that they discussed the following:

I. Benefit Enrollment 
Enrollment will open on Oct. 31 and run through Nov. 11. Benefit fairs are scheduled the week of Oct. 24-28 and the Regents meet that week and are expected to approve the benefits plan for 2017.  Retiree enrollment is set to start on Nov. 14 and will run 21 days which is in line with Medicare enrollment. Several of us repeated our concerns about the employee-only category being the only one with increases. Dental coverage will become optional as each employee will pay $5 per month for dental insurance. If an employee elects to decline the dental insurance, they will not receive a premium as used to happen with health insurance.

II. Wellness
The Fun Run went very well, and the new course was well received. The standing desk program will again be offered with open enrollment set for Oct. 21-31. They hope to increase the number of desks available because of the popularity of the program.

III. Retirement Updates
Still waiting on final IRS “expedited” review to determine how long new employees will have for the one-time OTRS decision. Need to begin thinking about how do we go about bringing defined compensation benefit back to new hires. Expect to begin those conversations in January as preparations for FY 2018 begin to take a more solid shape.

IV. Annual report
They received the first draft of the annual report for EBC and made minor changes to it.


The following reports were linked to the November agenda:

Staff Senate Foundation account report

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for August 2016


FLSA Changes on Member groups: Matthew Rom presented how currently employees are placed into member groups.  This process is based on your title, which then places you into a job family by Human Resources, and then these families are assigned to member groups by the Staff Senate.  There was a motion on the floor made by Jackie Downing to retain employees in their current member groups based on their broadband family as assigned by Human Resources and not by how they are paid.  The motion was seconded and opened to the floor for discussion.  The majority of the discussion was for leaving the groups how they currently are.  The motion passed on a majority vote.

Matthew Rom then asked the member groups to look at their current constitution to make sure they are in line with this new motion by the way they define their membership. After looking at all of the Constitutions, it appears as if HEC and OSC need to go back to their groups and update their definitions of membership to match how the Senate defines member groups.  Matthew asked the groups to report back to the Senate once action is taken.

Staff Senate Volunteer Opportunities: Discussion was tabled until next meeting


Staff Senate Statement in Response to Recent Events at OU:  A statement was handed out to everyone in attendance.  A motion was made by Suzie Brewer to adopt the statement.  After discussion in favor of adopting the statement, the motion passed unanimously.


Suzie Brewer brought up some concerns she has with the new health insurance plan with Cigna.  It does not seem that the mental health coverage is as good as the Blue Cross and Blue Shields plan.  Debbie Copp is going to talk to the Employee Benefits Committee at their meeting on November 17 and see if she can find a solution.


As there was no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:13 p.m.

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  December 21, 2016

Respectfully submitted,

Melissa Lane
Administrative Coordinator

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