THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA

 

STAFF SENATE

 

(NORMAN CAMPUS)

 

Wednesday October 17, 2012

 

There was a modest crowd that gathered in Beaird Lounge of the Oklahoma Memorial Union to listen to President David L. Boren speak.  President Boren spoke about the University’s current and past budget situation, plans for the future, and his appreciation for all of the staff on campus, and then answered a few questions from staff.

 

The rest of the reports were provided via email.

 

CHAIR’S COMMUNICATIONS

 

Chris met with Nick Hathaway, Vice President for Executive and Administrative Affairs on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, where they discussed the logistics of the October 17, 2012 meeting with President Boren.

 

Human Resources provided the following enrollment update:  Annual Benefits Enrollment will be held October 29 through November 9.  Benefits Fairs are scheduled on the three campuses: Norman, October 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Zarrow Hall Community Room

 

REPORTS FROM MEMBER GROUPS

 

Administrative Staff Council:  President Jennifer Doughty reported that they did not meet.

 

Hourly Employees Council:  President Carolyn Taylor reported that a short byte of information was submitted to the Staff Communications Committee to be used in their next newsletter. Also, the new HEC membership information will be sent to Dan Hough to update the Website.  A sign-up sheet was passed around for the committees for the Staff Week Ice Cream Social, HEC Elections and Staff Merit Awards.  The remainder of the time was spent sharing ideas about their annual Holiday Project.

 

Informational Staff Association:  President Gordan Carrie reported that they discussed ways to boost participation. Chris Cook told them about what goes on at Regents' meetings. There was not a quorum.

Organizational Staff Council:  President Amanda Pai reported they decided to look into doing a raffle fundraiser to support local charities this holiday season. They also decided to continue with the tradition of soliciting donations for OU families.  66 responses were received to the survey that was distributed to all of OSC. They will consider these responses when planning future meetings. There were a lot of great ideas, one suggestion was to allow employees to donate blood without having to use their paid leave. They decided to do some research and report back on what they found at the next meeting. Then they discussed their budget proposal for the 2013 Bingo session. It was decided to request the same amount as last year, but instead of asking for funds to buy OneCards they will buy more prizes for the afternoon session.

 

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

 

Awards Committee:  Chair Liz Cooley reported that they discussed food menus and options, Clarke Stroud, Provost Office, Faculty Senate, UOSA and Interpreter were contacted to let them know the date of the ceremony and discussed decorations, gift and entertainment.  The budget was reviewed and will be finalized soon. 

 

Communications Committee:  Member Tamarra Grayson reported that they reviewed and edited member group descriptions.  Three of the four edits were completed. 

 

Staff Initiatives Committee:  Chair Dan Hough reported that they discussed two items: 1. Roberts Rules of Order Training – HR does not currently have anyone on staff who can teach the class.  They are looking for someone who would do so at an affordable rate.  They would like to schedule at least two sessions of about 25 persons.  Committee members agreed to see if they can find someone interested in teaching the class.  2.  Leave accrual rates for interrupted service – Committee members reported results of a survey of 12 peer institutions.  No institutions were found to allow counting previous service with a break of more than three years; most were much less.  The OU policy is 90 days.  The committee recognizes the incentive to award continuous employment by the current system and does not recommend changing the policy at this time.

 

Staff Week Committee:  Chair Terri Smith reported that they discussed the fall fundraiser and the amount of money they have been making from the sale of shirts/jackets etc. in previous years versus other means of fundraising.  They voted to raise funds by working concession stands during basketball games.  The timeline for the theme contest was set and they are currently accepting themes through the website.  They will choose the winning theme at the November meeting, and then begin the logo contest.

 

REPORTS OF SPECIAL (AD HOC) COMMITTEES

 

Employee Benefits Committee:  Debbie Copp reported I. Wellness Program UpdateThe results have been positive and the thought is that some of the results from these efforts helped keep our 2013 health care increases lower than national average. Program will be going through some changes over the next few months with the expectation that it will make things more user-friendly. II. OU Contribution StrategyFaculty Senate had asked for an update on the contribution strategy for health insurance and we got the same presentation. OU spends a similar percentage on health care costs as other organizations but the way it is spent is very different. OU’s contribution strategy is employee centered with a significantly higher percentage going toward employee costs. OU pays around 94% for employee while employee pays around 6% and around 58% for dependents while employee pays around 42%. The overall average is about 75% and that is very close for most places for overall costs. The difference is that most organizations pay around 75% for employees and 60-65% for dependents. There is NO discussion at this time to change this because of the issues with salary increases and the lack of a pay plan. This information was provided as an update only. III. Fee disclosure reminderAsked all of us to spread the word that, with our September quarterly statements from Fidelity, we will begin to see a fee for our investments and that in January we will see a more detailed fee breakdown. The important part of this for people to understand is that we have always had fees – we just haven’t been given that information before. If you are concerned about this or have people you work with who are concerned, please contact the HR department so that the folks can explain what the fees are. IV. Voluntary Retirement Incentive PlanPassed by the OU Regents at the September meeting, this is merely a mechanism that allows department administrators to present a plan to offer voluntary retirement in their departments to address very rare and strictly defined circumstances. The plan would have to be approved by the OU President before it could be offered in a department-by-department way (no campus-wide blanket program) and it must be an economically viable option. If a plan is submitted and approved, it would have to be offered to any retirement-eligible employee in the department and then the department administrator would approve or deny the requests. The anticipation is that this will be used very rarely and that the Regents’ action merely set up a process for future needs. V. Benefit Fair/EnrollmentFor the Norman campus, the Benefit Fair will be Monday, Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Room at Zarrow Hall (corner of Brooks and Elm).  Enrollment for 2013 will be held Oct. 29 through Nov. 9. Rates for 2013 can be found at:

http://hr.ou.edu/Documents/Files/2013RateSheet.pdf

 

OTHER REPORTS

 

The following reports were linked to the October agenda:

 

Staff Senate Foundation account report

 

Minutes of Employment Benefits Committee meeting for May 2012

 

NEXT REGULAR MEETING:  November 21, 2012

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Melissa Lane

Administrative Coordinator

 

Cathy Trujillo

Recording Secretary