Staff Senate Minutes (Approved July 22, 2009)

A regular meeting of the Staff Senate was held on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at Strand Union Building SUB #168 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  The following, marked with an X, being a quorum of elected members, were present.

Elected Members:

 

 

Term Ending

 

 

Term Ending

X

Steve Beasley

6/30/2010

X

Rose Cain

6/30/2009

X

Mary Engel

6/30/2011

A

Diane Helgeson

6/30/2009

A

Donna Kelly

6/30/2010

X

Gale Kinzie

6/30/2010

 

Robert Monnin

6/30/2009

X

Raechell Nielsen

6/30/2011

X

Jeannette Radcliffe

6/30/2010

A

Kevin Thane

6/30/2010

X

William Van Horn

6/30/2011

 

 

 

Attendance Code Key:  X = Attended     A=Apologies for Absence       Staff, Joan Ford, was in attendance.

Appointed Committee Members:  Ron Brekke, Shana Wold, Sandy Tetro, Shari Curtis, Judy Van Andel, and Kristine Mashaw, were in attendance.

A motion, made by Mary and seconded by Gale, to approve the April 22, 2009 minutes with corrections, was unanimously approved.  A motion, made by William and seconded by Mary, to approve the May 27, 2009 minutes with corrections, was unanimously approved.

Business:
Dependent Premium Waiver – HR currently feels that there are about 10 people that lost the benefit due to the raise.  Direct action of our Staff Senate will result in reinstatement of the Dependent Premium Waiver (DPW) for those who lost it because of the 3.6% raise received in October.  When Staff Senate raised this issue at the Board of Regents (BoR) meeting; they stated that the BoR did not intend to have the raise affect these people.  IUBC is working on a policy to draw the affected folks back into the DPW program.  It is the intent to address it quickly before the first pay cycle for the new fiscal/benefit year.

VEBA – a copy of the most recent contract and an e-mail explanation was forwarded to Kevin.  Staff Senate will get it scanned and forward to the Staff Senate listserv.

Board of Regents - Kevin, Jeannette, and Joan attended the Board of Regents (BoR) meeting in Great Falls on May 28 and 29.  A 3% tuition increase for resident students was approved; the vote was split 4 to 3.  Student leadership from both UM and MSU lobbied supporting tuition increase to help preserve the quality of the institution.  The Governor spoke for a tuition freeze.  MSU-Bozeman will increase non-resident tuition by $600.  The Regents approved an increase up to 3% on existing fee but tabled new fees for a later discussion.

Montana University System Staff Associations (MUSSA) had a lunch meeting on Friday, May 29 with the BoR and gave a short update on MUSSA activities.  We commended the Regents budget process which was implemented for the first time this year and offered support for their efforts to be fiscally responsible.  We reiterated the need to retain the employees and offered the fact that there were only 5 vacant classified positions at MSU-Bozeman.  MSU-Bozeman reported on on-going work on Dependent Premium Waiver and VEBA.  We also commended the Commissioner’s office and the Regents on handling the search for a new MSU President in an open and inclusive manner that is representative of shared governance.  The President’s search committee includes a classified employee.
Other items discussed at the BoR included updates on the K through College Initiative working to foster communications and collaboration at all levels of the education continuum and the Writing Assessment project to evaluate the writing skills of college bound high school students.

Shared Governance – a small MUSSA contingent (UM-Shelley Hiniker plus MSU-Kevin, Jeannette, and Joan) attended the Board of Regents meeting in Great Falls.  It was noted that others may not have been available to attend because the meeting was close to the Memorial Day holiday and/or fiscal year end.
The Presidential search committee has launched its website (http://www.academic-search.com/search.html).
Elections will soon be distributed both electronically and manually shortly.

Outreach: 
Kevin and Jeannette made a presentation to Financial Aid.  Jeannette will be making a new employee orientation presentation on Friday June 12th.

Committee Reports:

A motion, made by Rose and seconded by Raechell, to adjourn the meeting at 10:25 a.m., was unanimously approved.

Next meeting:  Wednesday, July 22, 2009 Strand Union Building SUB #236 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.