StaffSenateLogo

Staff Senate
Annual Report 2008-2009

Introduction

Staff Senate’s purpose is to facilitate communication and cooperation between the classified staff, the Administrative leadership, Faculty Senate(FS), Professional Council (PC), and ASMSU (students); to promote improvement of higher education in the State of Montana; to promote and provide for improved working conditions and professional welfare of the staff; to assist in the development of staff training programs and policies; and to carry out such other goals and activities deemed to be consistent with the overall purpose of Staff Senate and the Administration of MSU.  

Staff Senate has no union/bargaining unit affiliation.  Staff Senate's constituents are the classified employees of MSU. They comprise approximately 1153 staff in 183 titles from 5 categories of employment, working locally and remotely; from all union/bargaining unit affiliations, as well as non-union/bargaining unit covered positions; State and auxiliary funded staff.  In existence since 1976, Staff Senate's activities are increasing with the growth of Shared Governance at MSU.  

In October, 2004, we assumed full partnership in Shared Governance (with Administration, FC, PC, ASMSU, and Staff Senate) and opened our office in Hannon Hall.  We are an active member of, and take a leadership role within, the Montana University System Staff Associations (MUSSA).

Staff Senate's voting membership is comprised of eleven classified staff members, elected by their peers. Non-voting memberships are filled by classified employees who serve as Staff Senate representatives on University committees. These committee representatives are selected from MSU classified employees at large. Members’ commitments of time are offered voluntarily, with their supervisors’ support.

Operations and a half-time administrative associate were discretionarily funded through the generous support of the Division of Administration and Finance until December 2008.   Beginning January 2009 operations and a half-time program coordinator were directly funded through the Division of Administration and Finance.  The position remained vacant from January until May 2009 until a qualified candidate was hired.

Focus

Staff Senate strives to tie classified staff priorities into the mission, goals and strategy of MSU, the MUS, and the Board of Regents. We place great emphasis on communications with our constituents, partners, and governing bodies. A concurrent goal is to ensure our research, presentation materials, and inputs are relevant within the context of others’ objectives.

As Staff Senate’s role expands, we bring to the Shared Governance and MUSSA forums our belief in the benefits of consolidating experience and strengthening communication to build foundations, and fulfill objectives. We remain highly supportive of Shared Governance, recognizing its effectiveness as a collaborative medium for pursing mutual goals and resolving problems.

Year in Review

Staff Senate continued ongoing efforts to foster recruitment and retention of classified employees and to effectively represent the positions of classified employees with the University, the Commissioner’s Office and the Board of Regents.  We completed a major rewrite of our by-laws, upgraded the job classification for our paid employee and hired a new employee into that position as a Project Coordinator. We increased the effectiveness of Staff Senate Committee Representatives as our voice in Shared Governance by including them (through the by-laws revision) as voting members of Staff Senate and formally (again through a change in our by-laws) added an Off Campus elected representative to Staff Senate to improve our ability to reach all classified employee segments.  The Administration & Finance Division provided base funding for the Staff Senate salary and operation costs in FY10 assuring more stable funding in the future – a significant change from the previous one-time funding of the Staff Senate operation.  In light of the change of economic conditions locally and across the nation, we tabled action on our Recruitment Outreach Initiative (ROI), deciding instead to focus on retention activities.  On the local level, Staff Senate was instrumental in promoting the addition of a Streamline bus commuter route to Livingston, in direct support of MSU classified employees, and ensuring that the Dependent Premium Waiver was not lost by employees who received across the board pay increases (which had system wide impact). Indirectly through meetings and discussions with MSU Human Resources on VEBA we helped develop the idea for the HR-sponsored education series “Solid Finances in Shaky Economic times” which has been extremely well received by employees. We continued research and analysis highlighting the unique situation created by the high cost of living in the Bozeman area and its impact on MSU classified employees through the 2008 update of our MSU Within the Community Context study.  At the system level, Staff Senate attended major meetings of the Board of Regents and coordinated with our MUSSA counterparts when presenting the classified perspective to the Regents as regularly scheduled during the January and March Regents meetings.  Our annual MUSSA Retreat was held in conjunction with the September 2008 Regents meeting in Butte.

Membership

Staff Senate (elected members)
Name Position Represents Term # Ends
Thane, Kevin Chair Classified Professional 1 6/30/10
Radcliffe, Jeannette Chair Elect Secretarial/Clerical 1 6/30/10
Nielsen, Raechell Member Classified Professional 1 6/30/11
Harrison, Deb Member Off Campus Rep 1 6/30/12
Kelly, Donna Member Secretarial/Clerical 1 6/30/11
Van Horn, Bill Member Secretarial/Clerical 1 6/30/11
Bradley, Jan Member Service Maintenance 1 6/30/12
Kinzie, Gale Member Service Maintenance 1 6/30/10
Jorgensen, Neil Member Skilled Crafts 1 6/30/12
Beasley, Steve Member Skilled Crafts 1 6/30/10
van Almelo, Justin Member Tech/Paraprofessional 1 6/30/12
Engel, Mary Member Tech/Paraprofessional 2 6/30/11
Staff Senate Committee Representatives (appointed members)

Name

Position

Represents

Term#

Ends

Binco, Becky

Staff Senate Rep

Building Naming Committee

1

----

Greenberg, Anna

Staff Senate Rep

Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee

1

30-Jun-11

McIlhattan, Sheron

Staff Senate Rep

Debt Planning and Management

1

30-Jun-10

Dean, Michael

Staff Senate Rep

Facilities Services Advisory Committee

1

30-Jun-10

Van Andel, Judy

Staff Senate Rep

International Programs

1

31-Dec-09

Shannon, Carol

Staff Senate Rep

MSU Benefits (no union req)

1

30-Jun-11

Curtis, Shari

Staff Senate Rep

MSU Benefits (union exempt)

1

30-Jun-10

Brekke, Ron

Staff Senate Rep

MSU Benefits (union)

2

30-Jun-12

Brekke, Ron

Staff Senate Rep

MSU Benefits Subcommittee IUBC

2

30-Jun-12

Heck, Diane

Staff Senate Rep

Parking & Transportation Advisory Committee

1

31-Dec-09

Decker, Irene

Staff Senate Rep

Parking Appeals

2

30-Jun-11

Kelly, Donna

Staff Senate Rep

Parking Appeals

1

30-Jun-11

Paceley, Merry

Staff Senate Rep

Personnel Board (union exempt)

1

30-Jun-10

Koelzer, Jean

Staff Senate Rep

Personnel Board (union)

1

30-Jun-10

Bock, Phyllis

Staff Senate Rep

Presidents Search Committee

-

----

Sobrepena, Kathy

Staff Senate Rep

Recreational Sports and Fitness Advisory Board

1

31-Dec-09

Van Horn, William

Staff Senate Rep

Space Management Committee

1

30-Aug-11

Littlefield, Beth

Staff Senate Rep

Provost's Classified Luncheon Steering Committee

-

----

Toller, Keith

Staff Senate Rep

Provost's Classified Luncheon Steering Committee

-

----

Mashaw, Kristine

Staff Senate Rep

Strategic Planning Committee

1

31-Aug-11

Dysart, Terry

Staff Senate Rep

To Improve Productivity Program

1

30-Jun-09

Hansen, Mandy

Staff Senate Rep

UFPB Public Arts Committee

-

----

Hansen, Mandy

Staff Senate Rep

UFPB University Facilities Planning Board

1

30-Jun-10

Wold, Shana

Staff Senate Rep

University Marketing Committee

1

30-Jun-10

Thane, Kevin

Staff Senate Rep

University Planning, Budget & Analysis Committee

1

30-Jun-12

Tetro, Sandy

Staff Senate Rep

VEBA Committee

-

----

Meeting Dates and Locations

2009

Room

2010

Room

July 22

SUB 236

January 27

SUB 236

August 26

SUB 236

February 24

Wilson-Bradley

September  23

SUB 236

March 24

Wilson-Bradley

October 28

SUB 236

April 23

SUB 233

November 17

SUB 236

May  26

SUB 236

December 9

SUB 236

June  23

SUB Bobcat Grill

StaffSenateMotto