Staff Senate Minutes - (approved 09/23/09)

A regular meeting of the Staff Senate was held on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 at Strand Union Building #236 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.  The following, marked with an X, being a quorum of elected members, were present.

Elected Members:


Steve Beasley


Rose Cain


Mary Engel


Diane Helgeson


Donna Kelly


Gale Kinzie


Robert Monnin


Raechell Nielsen


Jeannette Radcliffe


Kevin Thane


William Van Horn



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

Appointed Committee Members:  Ron Brekke, Beth Littlefield, Sandy Tetro, Michael Dean, Phyllis Bock, Shana Wold, Shari Curtis, Carol Shannon, and Kristine Mashaw, were in attendance.

A motion, made by Bill and seconded by Jeannette, to approve the June 10, 2009 minutes with correction, was unanimously approved. 

VEBA, a handout of the most recent contract, dated November 2005, was distributed at the meeting.  The contract automatically renews and is the most current according to MSU Bozeman Human Resources.  Discussion was held.  It was suggested that VEBA become one of the Staff Senate goals.

Dependent Premium Waiver(DPW), Kevin reported that, to the best of his knowledge, this issue has been resolved.  A sliding scale for future DPW issues was suggested.

Temporary Chemistry Labs, a proposal for an NIH grant is expect this fall.  Kevin volunteered to verify if the grant will be submitted or not.

Shared Governance:
MSU Presidents Search, Phyllis reported the Committee is on schedule.   The Committee has reviewed all applications and narrowed the candidate pool.  The consultants are checking references and screening the candidates.  The next step is off-site interviews.   Information located on the web at (
Association of Shared Governance Leaders (ASGL), Kevin reported ASMSU is getting ready for the fall, Faculty is working with the union, and Professional Council is in summer mode.  The group is planning on meeting weekly beginning September.
Board of Regents, Kevin noted that according to HR, MUS hiring policy states a new hire’s pay must be equal to or lower than the lowest rate being paid at MSU for the same title.  Discussion included: retention once the economy recovers; fairness; the fact that duties within a job title are not always equal.  It was suggested that this policy be investigated further and perhaps become one of the Staff Senate goals for this fiscal year.

Elections will soon be distributed both electronically and manually shortly.

Move-In-Day is Wednesday August 26th, Kevin encourage everyone to wear their “Supporting Student Success” button starting the 26th through the week during Catapalooza 2009.

Committee Reports:

Kevin asked Staff Senate members for any items they thought might reduce the budget.  He asked if the $86,000 Streamline budget item was of value.  The members noted Streamline helped reduce traffic volume and save employees and students money.  Several members suggested voluntary furlough vs. mandatory furloughs.  The question of furloughs prompted the discussion of the effect of unpaid time off and how it would affect vacation, sick, retirement and other benefits.

Other Business:
Kevin noted that a onetime $450 payment to employees earning $45,000 or less was distributed in the August 11th paycheck.  However, union employees did not receive this payment; it is being held up due to union negotiations.  He also noted that professional staff were caught in a Banner snafu and did not receive the payment.

A motion, made by Raechell and seconded by Jeannette, to adjourn the meeting at 10:45 a.m., was unanimously approved.

Next meeting:  Wednesday, September 23, 2009 Strand Union Building SUB #236 9:00to 11:00 a.m.