CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE PERSONNEL ADVISORY COMMITTEE


MINUTES
January 14, 2004


Roll Call

Bonnie White welcomed the guests to the meeting. It was noted that, due to the special emphasis of the meeting (the MAP survey) the Committee would likely not address all the agenda items of the day. It was agreed that any matters not addressed would be deferred to the next meeting's agenda.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Eileen Baker suggested the alteration of one word and, with this change, moved that the minutes of the meeting of December 12, 2003 be approved. Bob O'Driscoll seconded and the motion passed.

OLD BUSINESS

Kerry Evans reported that Nancy Topel had resigned her position on CEPAC and that Dan McGuire had been elected, through the current election process, to take her place. Sara France moved that Dan's term run for the remainder of Nancy's committment plus a full three year term continuously. Sharon Pielaet seconded, and the motion passed. Bonnie White welcomed Dan and the other new members, Clara Sprague and Matt Blazicevich, to the Committee.

Dawn Watkins reported no change in the status of the twice-monthly checks issue.

Bonnie White gave a brief update on the November Board of Regents meeting. She recounted how CEPAC had gone to the meeting prepared to present its fee waiver policy amendment suggestions but this had coincided with MPEA's unexpected acceptance of a fee waiver component to its contract. Unexpectedly, the Board of Regents had questioned CEPAC about MAP - hence the current survey. Bonnie stated that Staff Senates (CEPAC equivalents) from University of Montana and MSU-Billings had made presentations about current issues on their campuses (salaries/benefits, and staff motivational programs) and Bob O'Driscoll had informed the Regents that the TIP Program had been adopted on the Bozeman campus.

Bonnie White reported that a copy of President Rourke's letter regarding "email for everyone" had been obtained for the CEPAC record. Preparation of a campus mailing in this regard was postponed to February's meeting.

The Presidents' Office has confirmed that claims on the CEPAC budget should be properly prepared, ready for submission, and sent to Susan Fraser, President's Office.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Sharon Pielaet reported that the Affirmative Action Committee had not met this academic year. However, the Affirmative Action office has been involved at length in policy making at the institutional level, not just policy for Affirmative Action. The office has also been involved in investigating several discrimination and other type complaints. Affirmative Action also managed 130 professional searches this past year.

MAP SURVEY

The survey was administered on-line between December 12 and 31, 2003. MSU-Bozeman classified staff were invited to participate via an email announcement on the MSU classified listserv. There were 827 addresses on the listserv, not all of whom are necessarily covered by MAP. Personnel and Payroll Services estimate 800 classified staff at MSU-Bozeman are active in MAP, excluding new staff not yet participating as of December, 2003. The survey consisted of various questions requiring "yes/no" answers, or a numerical "ranking", plus seven areas where comment was solicited. Full details

A compilation of the numerical data, and copies of recipients' textual comments, were circulated to CEPAC members and the MAP administrative staff prior to today's meeting. At the meeting, Sara France was asked to give a report on the survey. Sara presented an interpretation of the data and a synopsis of the themes conveyed by comment. It was agreed that CEPAC's aim is to keep the campus community informed of the outcome of the survey as the process progresses (eg as reports are submitted to President Gamble, the Board of Regents), and to build on the information made available on-line. The Committee and Personnel and Payroll staff were invited to comment on Sara's presentation, with this end in mind. (Bonnie White reminded the meeting that the Board of Regents is due to elect a new chairman this month, and that this could have implications for CEPAC depending on the commitment to classified staff of the person chosen).

Susan Alt acknowledged that the MAP Program requires refinement. Susan emphasized that MAP is a combination of Classification, Recruitment, Compensation and Evaluation processes. She stressed the importance of identifying over which elements the Bozeman administration had control and change. She asked to work with CEPAC on the report for the Board of Regents, to provide a beneficial, combined effort. She also spoke of a report she was making to the MUS Labor Management Committee in which she would like to include survey data. Susan suggested that an edited version of the complete (and bulky) raw textual data would be preferable for the Regents.

Susan went on to ask CEPAC's assistance in formulating professional development and training programs (in association with the University's Five Year Plan). She felt that this was appropriate since many survey respondents had mentioned the need for training in their comments. Susan said that she has applied for a budget adjustment to provide funding for training programs, but was uncertain as to how such a request will be received.

Susan described her discussions about forming a MAP Advisory Committee for the Bozeman campus (reporting to the existing four-campus committee). She envisions the committee being made up of CEPAC and Professional Council members and nominees from the Vice Presidents. Members would ultimately be appointed by the President. Susan hoped that CEPAC would not see such a committee as detrimental to CEPAC's efforts. Sara France commented that CEPAC's role is one of information gatherer/disseminator and of mediator in progressing the reasonable refinements identified by the classified staff. Sara assumed the proposed MAP Advisory Committee would be functional in implementing change and, therefore, saw no conflict of interest between CEPAC and the proposed MAP Advisory Committee. Although an Advisory Committee does not yet exist, Sara recognized that immediate changes to the MAP Program are unlikely anyway.

Susan further commented that the Professional Council has been asked to research supervisor evaluations within MAP and, since CEPAC's survey identifies the lack of an evaluation tool for supervisors, wondered if our efforts could be combined. Susan noted, however, that Professional Council were not as far advanced as CEPAC in this process and acknowledged CEPAC's desire to present its survey findings to the Board of Regents in March.

Martha Sellers remarked on the very good response rate to the survey, and her pleasure at the constructive nature of the comments. She acknowledged the need for improvement in information dissemination, but remarked on the dilemma of how to achieve this when staff was generally discouraging of contact with Personnel.

Martha drew the meeting's attention to respondents' comments calling for the abolition of MAP. She felt it imperative to establish, once and for all, a campus-wide clear understanding of whether or not the MAP Program (in some, or all, of its elements) is a permanent fixture.

Martha offered Personnel and Payroll Services' Flexible Pay Option statistics (applications/approvals), see Personnel and Payroll Services' Flexible Pay Statistics. She agreed that it was feasible for Personnel to publish more of this information, perhaps in departmental breakdown, but not to identify individuals concerned. Susan Alt confirmed that summary information could be made more widely available.

The discussion was then opened to the floor.

Dan Wise was offended by the survey's invitation to suggest ways to fund achievement pay. He felt funding should have been in place before the program was introduced and it was not the staff's responsibility to solve this problem. Dan emphasized his support for MAP, but explained that he was also critical of the program. Dan saw the recent lack of communication from the unions over the fee waiver inclusion in contracts as an indication of their working against organizations such as CEPAC. He stressed his understanding (from union representatives) that achievement is not part of negotiated salary. He perceived that the Board of Regents was not supportive of classified issues, that upper university administration does not understand how low morale is, and how MAP has adversely affected this. Dan said Dr Gamble had promised funding for approved flexible pay applications but that the impression persists that there is no money on campus. A lengthy discussion took place on this issue and it was agreed that this would be raised with Dr Gamble in CEPAC's report of the survey outcomes. Dan McGuire later noted that, when a department has funding left at the end of the year they don't use it to reward the staff, "they buy a chair". Dan Wise suggested that, when a bonus payment is made, a note from President Gamble thanking the employee for his/her contribution would be appreciated. Dan was in favor of making all the survey materials available publicly.

Sharon Pielaet asked for clarification of how achievement pay is funded. Martha Sellers confirmed that it is provided to departments by the State if their payroll is State-funded. In departments whose payroll is not State-funded, monies must be found by the department.

Carol Shannon wondered whether survey outcomes were biased because many respondents had known no other system of classification than MAP. She felt that the staff might have lost sight of why and how MAP came about (through staff complaints of unsatisfactory methods of classification). However, survey data show that only about 20% of respondents had worked at MSU for less than the period of time that MAP has been in general operation. It was generally agreed that experience of any program is likely to differ from person to person. Susan Alt thought it important to try to separate staff dissatisfaction with the funding piece from that of the process of each element of MAP. She noted that the university can mandate performance evaluation separate from achievement pay. Martha Sellers pointed out that this might simply result in the use of the same tool. However, Sara France offered that if CEPAC were successful in bringing notice to staff concerns, as identified in the survey (including inadequate evaluation of critical job elements; dysfunction of the "goals" system; absence of a portion by which employees evaluate supervisors) the tool should be modified.

Bob O'Driscoll emphasized that an evaluation tool must be meaningful to both the employer and employee and that the lack of meaning in the MAP performance evaluation process may be contributing to the dissatisfaction. Martha Sellers said that most departments do not understand that the process is not simply "three goals". She was at a loss to know how to better communicate this when staff are reluctant to involve Personnel in the evaluation process. Martha hopes that this survey might assist Personnel in this regard.

The meeting was confused by the conflicting data supplied by respondents (indicating approval of a little less than half of applications submitted) with regard to the application/approval rate of Flexible Pay options as compared to Personnel's data (indicating approval of about 87% of applications). Dan McGuire remarked on Personnel's very high percentage of approved applications and wondered how many departments and supervisors these applications represented. He suggested that there might be a few supervisors who are very familiar with MAP processes (as there were in the previous classification system); might these numbers reflect success from a limited number of sources? Martha Sellers did not think this was the case but said she would research this fully.

At this point, discussion was closed to the floor. Sharon Pielaet moved that the full text of the respondents' comments be made publicly available via the CEPAC web site. Sara France seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Sara France asked for confirmation that CEPAC and the Personnel and Payroll Services representatives present felt the content of the annotations to the numerical data, as presented by Sara earlier in the meeting, were a fair representation of the data received. Ray Byerly asked for clarification from where the annotations were derived. Sara explained that some where statements regarding numerical data, evidenced in the accompanying tables. She said that notes on the comments received were "themes" derived from reading and re-reading the submissions. A vote was taken and everyone was in agreement that the annotations fairly represented the numerical and textual data received.

Sharon Pielaet moved that the numerical data, with the aforementioned annotations, be made publicly available via the CEPAC web site. Sara France seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

A discussion took place regarding how to announce the publicly available data. It was agreed that Sara France would ask for permission to send a message on the President's Listserv (but it was noted that such permission may not be granted since this is a classified staff issue, in which case the MSU classified listserv would be used). As a courtesy, Sara would also send the entire textual comment data, and the numerical data with annotations, to President Gamble and notify him of the publication of the information.

CEPAC then discussed how to proceed to the next step of the survey outcomes process. It was agreed that members would each extrapolate the issues they felt should be addressed by Dr Gamble and/or the Regents. CEPAC would compile these items either by email communication, or a special meeting, prior to February 11th's regular meeting (bearing in mind that the Committee wishes to present to the Regents in March). Susan Alt also requested an early meeting with CEPAC officers regarding her use of the survey data in her report to the MUS Labor Management Committee.

Bonnie White thanked the representatives from Personnel and Payroll Services for the cooperative spirit with which they participated in the meeting, and looked forward to continuing to work together, with CEPAC, in the future. Bonnie also commended Sara France for her work in administering and compiling the survey data.

Time allotted for the meeting having expired, Sharon Pielaet moved that the meeting be adjourned, Ellen Huber seconded, and the motion was passed.


NEXT MEETING FEBRUARY 11, 2004 IN THE BRADLEY CONFERENCE CENTER, WILSON HALL AT 9:00AM


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