STAFF SENATE MINUTES
IV. Chair/Committee Reports:
a. CUSS – Clacie Hubbard reported the following from the latest CUSS meetings:
-Due to the new regulations established by the Department of Labor, Fair Standards Act (FLSA), a few USM employees were affected and their job groupings were changed from Exempt Staff to Nonexempt Staff status. The State of MD General Assembly has now passed the bill, introduced by the USM, to grandfather the affected employees in the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) if that was the retirement plan they already belonged to before the FLSA change. Approximately 15 employees will be grandfathered into the ORP. Judy is going to try and find out what job groupings these employees belonged to and report back to the senate.
- The revised Nonexempt Salary Structure has been approved by the Chancellors’ Council. It will move to the Finance Committee on 3/27/05 and then to the full BOR on 4/8/05. There is positive thinking that the BOR will approve it and that it will become effective 7/1/05.
-Open Enrollment is still a huge issue with no dates determined as of yet. There is a lot of hearsay and speculation. The General Assembly may reduce the COLA from 2% to perhaps 1% to cover additional costs for health benefits – still under discussion. The Legislature can cut the budget or keep as is; but cannot increase the budget. The Presidents are all very concerned over the upcoming high cost of the health benefits. The health benefits will run for the fiscal year 2006, 7/1/05-6/30/06. Vendors’ rates will most likely rise creating an increase in the premium rates.
b. Membership – Becky Rosing-Johnson reported that ballots hope to be out this Friday, May 13. Overall, most committees are represented.
c. PR/Communications- Doug Jones reported they resent an email to invite staff to the reception for the BOR staff awards reception that was held.
d. Payroll/Human Resources – Karen Wilson reported she sent out another email asking for suggestions for staff development training. Several Senators suggested some customer service training for employees. Karen is going to add that to the list.
e. President- Melissa Thomas reported that at the last President’s Advisory Team meeting it was reported that a small rocket was launched at Wallops Island in a joint venture with the Henson School. The “Big Event” was a big success as reported by the SGA and well rec’d by the community. Brent Skeeter is next Forum chair.
V. Old Business:
a. Modifications to the Staff Senate by laws- The recommended modifications were reviewed by the senators. It was agreed it was worth the extended process to make the changes. Due to the time constraints and necessary postings they will have to be handled by the next group of Senators and next Staff Senate Chair.
B. Contingent Conversions – Melissa Thomas is going to follow up with Alan Selser to see what can be done to let contingents know where they stand in the conversion process. It is felt by the Executive Committee this would be very informative for contingent staff.
c. Staff Picnic – The Executive Committee unanimously agreed that a July date is best for staff employees.
VI. New Business:
a. VP of Student Affairs Candidates- Senators are encouraged to attend some of the meetings for the candidates of VP of Student Affairs next week.
b. Clacie mentioned that the Office of Diversity is offering several workshops on search committees. If anyone would like more information please contact the Office of Diversity.
VII. Other Business/Announcements:
a. Next meeting is at 9:30 A.M. on June 1, in the Pocomoke Rm, GUC
Motion to adjourn made by Brenda Boggs, Judy Lowe second.
Meeting Adjourned 1110.
Lucy Hearn, Secretary