Staff Senate Minutes - (approved-11/17/09)

A regular meeting of the Staff Senate was held on Wednesday, October 28,  2009 at Strand Union Building Room #236 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.  The following, marked with an X, were present.

Elected Members:


Steve Beasley


Gale Kinzie


Jan Bradley


Raechell Nielsen


Mary Engel


Jeannette Radcliffe


Deb Harrison


Kevin Thane


Neil Jorgensen


Justin van Almelo


Donna Kelly


Bill Van Horn

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

Appointed Committee Members:  Ron Brekke, Kristine Mashaw, Beth Littlefield, Shari Curtis, Kathy Sobrepena, Mandy Hansen, Carol Shannon, Phyllis Bock, Sandy Tetro, Sharon McIlhattan, and Michael Dean.  Guest Barb Wheeler, Director Employee Wellness joined the meeting at 10 a.m.

A motion, made by Jeannette and seconded by Gail, to approve the September 23, 2009 minutes, was unanimously approved. 

Kevin welcomed new members Jan Bradley, Neil Jorgensen, Justin van Almelo, and Deb Harrison.  He requested that each member introduce themselves and share what their roll with Staff Senate was.

Phyllis Bock is the Presidential Search Committee representative and with the job offer to Waded Cruzado her committee has completed its task.  She reported that President Cruzado will be visiting campus in December and is planning on being on board in January.  Phyllis noted that the concerns of staff were heard by the committee, the consultants and the Board of Regents.  She suggested that the Staff Senate draft a welcome letter.

Kevin is the chair of Staff Senate and an UPBAC (University Planning, Budget & Analysis Committee) committee member.  UPBAC was formed to guide and coordinate the University's annual planning and budgeting process, and provide the President by the end of May each year, a balanced budget plan and related proposals and reports for the upcoming fiscal year.

Kathy Sobrepena is the representative on the Recreational Sports and Fitness Advisory Board, the purpose of the Board is to represent the recreational interests and needs of the students and the university community.

Shari Curtis, Carol Shannon, and Ron Brekke, are MSU Benefits Committee members, who represent the collective interests of all MSU classified employees and retirees concerning the various group benefits that are available to them; serve as a source of information for, and input from, MSU employees and retirees concerning these benefits; advise the MSU voting members of the MUS IUBC (Inter-unit Benefits Committee) on all matters relating to these benefits; and represent MSU on the Montana University System Inter-Unit Benefit Committee.  Ron shared notes from the October 8 & 9 IUBC meeting, for detail see the MSU Benefits Committee report.

Beth Littlefield, Provost's Classified Luncheon Steering Committee, representative along with Keith Toler, organizes a bi-annual luncheon for classified employees.  The most recent lunch had approximately 180 attendees who came to hear MSU chapter of Engineers without Borders.

Kristine Mashaw is the Strategic Planning Committee representative.  This committee advises and assists UPBAC in maintaining the five year horizon on the institution's strategic plans; evaluates the outcomes of strategic initiatives and tactics related to the institution's five year vision and reports those outcomes to UPBAC; evaluates new strategic initiatives and make recommendations to UPBAC; and monitors environmental factors that might impact the five-year plan and recommends to UPBAC changes to the plan.

Mandy Hansen is the University Facilities Planning Board representative.  This committee serves in an advisory capacity to the President and develops, recommends, and maintains policies related to the development and utilization of campus facilities and grounds.  Which includes new construction, signage, landscaping.  It oversees the Public Arts Committee which is responsible for art in the public areas on Campus.

Donna Kelly is the Parking Appeals Board representative.  This committee hears and rules on all appeals of parking violations in context with the consistent and accurate application of the published University Parking Regulations.   Annually reviews the University Parking Regulations.   Donna is also an elected Staff Senate member.

Deb Harrison is the newly elected off-campus Staff Senate representative.  Deb is located at the Western Ag Research Center in Corvallis.

Anna Greenberg is the Campus Sustainability Advisory Council representative.  As reported by Joan Ford, this committee provides a university framework to coordinate & advise on sustainability efforts on a campus-wide basis; advises the President regarding national, regional, institutional and community-based sustainability efforts; explores and proposes methods to fund campus sustainability initiatives and improvements.  The committee reviews, analyzes and determines funding support for sustainability proposals, including performance measures, progress reporting, etc.

Jeannette Radcliffe is chair elect of the Staff Senate.

Jan Bradley is a newly elected Staff Senate member.  She works as a custodian for Facilities Service and has been employed by MSU for 28 years.

Sandy Tetro is the VEBA (Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association) representative.  This committee oversees the post-retirement health reimbursement plan. 

Bill Van Horn is the Space Management Committee representative.  This committee develops policies and plans for allocations, conversions and growth; monitors, adjudicates and reports on assignments and utilization of spaces requested.  Reviews and judges all plans for changes that may affect the use, configuration, allocation or capacity of any classroom or class lab space (including both Registrar and non-Registrar allocated classrooms).  Bill is also an elected member of Staff Senate. 

Raechell Nielsen is an elected member of the Staff Senate.

Justin van Almelo is a newly elected member of the Staff Senate.  He works in computer security for the Information Technology Center.

Sheron McIlhattan is the Debt Planning & Management Committee representative.  This committee acts in an advisory capacity to the President, as a resource for information and executive decision support.  Develops and maintains a capital plan for institutionally financed capital assets.  Reviews proposed long-term debt obligations; and addresses policy questions regarding such issues as revenue management and/or resources sharing.

Neil Jorgensen is a newly elected member of the Staff Senate.  He is a refrigeration technician in Facilities Services.

Michael Dean is the Facilities Services Advisory Committee representative.  This committee reviews long term maintenance plans, annual maintenance plans, and LRBP project development priorities; advises the Facilities Management Team regarding issues with potential impacts to Campus and/or Office of Facilities Service.

Gail Kinzie is an elected member of Staff Senate.


Wellness Program, Barb Wheeler, Director Employee Wellness joined the meeting at 10 a.m. to answer questions regarding the Wellness Program.  She handed out a “Program Overview” brochure.  The Wellness Program is funded through a portion of the MUS health insurance premiums as an allotment to fund wellness program activities.  There is one University system in Montana and there is one Wellness Program state wide.  The program is on all eleven campuses plus the eight Ag stations.  At MSU there two annual health fairs called WellCheck.

Questions for Barb included:

  1. Are there gym membership discounts for employee located outside of the Bozeman area?  The $50 membership discount to MSU Bozeman Hosaeus Fitness Center was a onetime offer as an incentive to increase participation in WellAwards.  The email notification was intended to target MSU employees living in the Bozeman and surrounding areas with easy access to the Center.  In an effort to be fair to all MSU employees, the Wellness Center is willing to work with employees who live and work at off campus locations without easy access to Hosaeus Fitness Center by offer a discount at their local gyms.  377 employees took advantage of the program at a cost $18,000, which came out of MSU Bozeman’s portion of the MUS health insurance premiums.  Originally, this discount was to be funded by a separate pool of money which did not come through.  However, MSU Bozeman had advertised the discount and had to continue with the offer.
  2. Can MSU employees get WellAward credits for blood lab work performed outside of the Wellness Fair or Student Health Service?  The credit is for preventative screening not diagnostic.  The purpose of using either the Fair or Health Services for blood lab work is to keep the cost of that service low.  There are 47 activities to get credit for WellAwards.
  3. Can veterans use the VA clinic or other clinics for preventative services such blood screening, mammograms and pap smears (preventative checks) instead of their Choices health care provided?  The only restriction is blood work.  Western Health Screening provides a comprehensive screening for $20 if you go through your doctor it would cost $150 to $180.  The results of the comprehensive screening can be shared with your doctor.
  4. Shift workers are typically unable to take advantage of the Wellness Fairs because to the time of day it is offered.  Can the Wellness Center offer different time slots for these individuals or are their other options?  Fasting blood draws can be performed at Student Health Services at a cost $25 drop in plus an addition $5.00 lab fee.  Barb will look into a potential waiver for shift workers.
  5. Can WellCheck hours be extended past 10:30 a.m.?  Purpose is to keep the Phlebotomists busy.  Barb will see if the vendor can reduce staff and stay 10:30 to 11:30.  Willing to work on issues with the shift workers.
  6. Does the national health insurance proposal affect MUS health insurance?  There are no answers at this time because this issue is still up in the air.  The IUBC will be the committee that will discuss this issue if a national health insurance program is adopted.

Elections, a nominating committee of Gail Kinzie, Jeannette Radcliffe, and Kevin Thane convened to verifying votes of new Staff Senate members and discussion of potential officer candidates.  Kevin volunteered his names a chair for a second term.  Jeannette volunteered her name as chair elect for a second term.  Additionally, Bill Van Horn also volunteered his name for chair elect. 

Kevin requested nominations from the floor for chair.  Being none, a verbal consensus electing Kevin to a second term as chair passed.  Kevin then requested nominations from the floor for chair elect.  Being none, ballots for chair elect were passed out to all Staff Senate members present.  Ballots were collected and Joan left the room to count the ballots.  Based on the highest number of votes, Jeannette was re-elected as chair elect for a second term.

Committee reports:
IUBC report presented by Ron Brekke, premiums increased 1% over the last few years.  The cost of health care has increased due to a significant increase in the cost in the price of medical services (an increase in cost per unit).  Ron reported that our plan provider, for the Defined Contribution Pension Plan, which has 22 options, suggested seven additional options which could be considered for greater diversification.  Four of these were chosen and approved.  Prescription Drug Program (URx) has under gone a significant change to improve plan management.  He participates on the plan change committee which will be meeting soon for the 2010/11 plan.  For the full report go on the web at then select Benefits Committee and IUBC Reports (October 10/8-9/09).

Space Management Committee, Bill asked the group for its opinion regarding the use of instructional space; should this space be included in the general pool or should receive special status before re-assignment.  After discussion the consensus was to recommend to the Committee that instructional space should receive careful examination before re-assignment.

A motion, moved and seconded, to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 a.m., was unanimously approved.

Next meeting:  Wednesday, November 17, 2009 Strand Union Building SUB #236 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.