I. Old Business
II. Cathy Conover was our guest speaker today. She is MSU's lobbyist and works with the Commissioner's Office in Helena.
She lobbies for the univ. interests, goes to committee hearings, communicates information back to MSU, etc. Some of the things she
is working on is the 1). Veterans Preference law. They are studying this legislation in regard to point factoring, asking others for input
and looking at the draft for the pros and cons. 2). Pay Bill (last time was HB13) for classified pay. 3). The appropriation bill (last time
was HB2) 4. And Long Range Planning bill which is construction, maintenance and renovating of buildings. The funding is being looked
at for this bill. For this bill they will ask the univ for a wish list of priority building requests.
MSU requests are #1. Maintenance of buildings at Northern #2. Maintenance of buildings at Billings #3. Renovating the Renne Library at
MSU is further down the list.
The MSU renovation will be approx 7 million dollars and will be bond funded. The other two are cash requests. Someone asked about the
inside of the library i.e. books and periodicals and Cathy said that is a separate issue but they are hoping for technology funding for those
Then Cathy talked about the pay plan. Two presidents, George Dennison and Mike Malone, have sent a letter to the governor asking them to
do more for classified employees. The current proposal by the gov. of 1-3% has been turned down by the union. This letter talked about how the
average pay increase is only 2.5%, many people have 2nd jobs, health ins. has caused MORE out of pocket increases, recruitment and retention
problems and how morale is so low. ( Addendum: Deb Chard asked President Malone to write this letter -- it wasn't his
idea as we were led to believe at the meeting .)
Patty Gunderson said the current Governor's proposal was unacceptable to MPEA and they are going to take the cause to legislature.
A question: What if MPEA settles for the 1-3%. How could we handle breaking away from the BOR and legislature and make univ sys versus union.
It would be quite an issue. Also brought up: Why can't we go back to the across-the-board raises? This would make morale better. This has been
expressed to President Malone. Cathy says this would be the most palatable to employees. Cathy wants to work closely with the MPEA lobbyist,
Tom Schneider . The Dept of Admin (Helena) has a negotiation team that meets with the unions in the fall before the legislative session and the plan
is to reach an agreement BEFORE the legistive session. But it didn't happen this time.
III. Standing Committe Reports
IV. New Business
Darcy Halpin -- sitting in for Bluette Phillips