Minutes for August 4, 1999
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Meeting Minutes - August 4, 1999
The Staff Senate met on Wednesday, August 4, 1999, in the Senate Room of the University Center, with PeeWee Roberson, President, presiding. Senators present were: Cory, Curlee, Flores, Graham, Nava, Nichols, Pirkle, Saiz, Schuessler, Smith, Trischitti, Weaver, Wheeler, Clawson, Samarripas, Segura, Tillack, Billingsley, Burns, D., Whyburn, Bell, Ellis, Sjue-Hall, Hunter, Kinghorn, Little, Meriwether, Prado, Welch, White, Widener, Crosby, Flores, Garcia, Lira, Sandoval, Chavez, Stubbs and Thomas. Senators Ables, Williams, and Harris were excused.
Recognition of Guests
President Roberson called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. and welcomed the alternate senators: Sims, Cates, Segran, Stow, Barnett, and Lacy, and special guests: Jim Brown, Director of Personnel and Dave Gruver, Manager, Wage and Salary Administration.
Presentations by Guests
Jim Brown spoke to the group about the difference between the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) and the Texas Retirement System (TRS). He noted that those individuals in the ORP come under eligibility criteria that are set up by The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, who receives its authority through the State Legislature. The ORP was set up to accommodate faculty in retaining their retirement program across state lines which, in turn, allows an institution of higher learning to recruit faculty from out of state. He noted that if the stock market does well, this plan does well, if the market falls so does the retirement funds of the individual under this plan. He noted that if an individual is eligible to be in the ORP and is vested and then leaves employment and returns to work in higher education, that individual must come back under this same plan. It was noted that if an employee is not eligible to participate under the guidelines in ORP and they want to change the criteria, they should write to their State Representative. The eligibility requirements of those who have the option to take this retirement plan are outlined in OP 70.07. Mr. Brown further noted that the TRS is a defined benefit plan, which provides a guaranteed annuity for your retirement years based on years of service to the institution. This is an excellent plan under which an individual knows how much is going to be coming each month after retirement.
Mr. Brown said that through reading previous minutes he noted that the Staff Senate had also been interested in whether or not a staff salary survey had been done amongst the Big XII schools, and how Personnel determines competitive wages for University employees.
He noted that at Texas Tech University there are three major markets: (1) National, (2) Regional), and (3) Local. TTU is competitive within these three markets. Some jobs require national recruiting and are unique position, which means that the positions require that the University look outside the local and regional areas, i.e., faculty positions and higher administration positions. In the national category advertising is run in national magazines, such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and magazines relating to specific professions. To make sure that TTU is competitive, Personnel participates in three or four, private and public institutional, major surveys. TTU competes nationally and not just with the Big XII schools.
The Regional Market would possibly include Fort Worth, Dallas, Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, etc, where available positions would be advertised. Mr. Brown noted that in the regional market are jobs that are considered in the middle of the job classifications, as well as in the middle of the pay plan. These positions are specific jobs, technical, semi-professional jobs. Personnel subscribes and looks at regional markets and surveys, as well as related job descriptions to determine the pay scale in these position.
TTU participates in local market surveys to make sure that TTU remains competitive in the local market. These positions are advertised through the TTU and TTUHSC job lines and locally.
Mr. Brown noted that although Personnel does not do a survey just indicative to the Big XII schools, it looks at surveys that include these schools, plus others. The Personnel Department is aware of what the Big XII schools are paying its staff. However, he said that it is important to remember that we are an institution of higher learning of the State of Texas, therefore, TTU will never be equal to the pay scale of big corporations. He told the group that when looking at the pay scale, it is important to remember the benefits package that is given to each employee. The benefits package is excellent at TTU. The bottom line is that TTU tries to remain competition.
It was noted that TTU and the TTUHSC have a unified pay plan so that they are not in competition with each other. Dave Gruver shared with the group that over the last 3.5 years; pay grades have increased substantially. Greater flexibility has been given in the hiring of individuals in that individuals can now be hired in the first one-third of the pay range, based on experience, as shown in the Pay Plan. This gives management greater flexibility in looking at individuals and the experience brought to a job.
Jim Brown noted that each year, Personnel does a Pay Plan review and input is sought from all departments. Personnel looks at positions each year to see which positions are behind in the market salary and tries to determine what changes can be made. The ultimate decision to change the minimum is determined by the upper administration. Personnel is interested in external equity and is concerned with TTU’s employees internally. In answer to a question as to how job descriptions are determined, Mr. Brown noted that Personnel looks at three to four sources to determine the pay scale based on the job requirements. Pay Plan books for FY99 were distributed to those interested and a copy should be in each department on campus. If anyone would like to obtain a Pay Plan book they may contact Dave Gruver in the Personnel department.
President Roberson thanked Jim Brown and Dave Gruver for coming to the meeting.
Approval of Minutes
It was moved by David Tillack and seconded by Maurice Welch that the minutes of the meeting held July 7, 1999, be approved with the following corrections: Gene West asked that we add the following to his remarks: "…the University has allocated enough funds for major projects to anchor the Master Plan. The United Spirit Arena anchors one pedestrian mall, the Carpenter Wells complex anchors another pedestrian mall and the new English, Philosophy & Education complex would anchor the last pedestrian mall. These structures will set the direction for the Campus Master Plan. He told the group the Board of Regents would be looking at approving a four-phase plan for a new Basic Science Building at the August meeting if the A/E firm could get the plan finished in time for the meeting." The information regarding writing social security numbers on the back of checks when cashing should have been listed as an Ad hoc Committee, "Social Security Number on Checks."
The Treasurer’s Report was distributed to those present. After an explanation of the report, it was noted that this report would be found quarterly on the website: http://www.ttu.edu/staffsenate.
Standing Committee Reports
It was noted that any staff member may become involved as a member of a Staff Senate Committee. Anyone interested in serving on a committee should contact Everne Williams.
Bylaws and Constitution
Jessie Sjue-Hall had distributed the suggested changes in the Staff Senate Constitution at the July meeting. Staff Senate members had been asked to carefully review the changes. Therefore, it was moved by Dan Burns and seconded by Maurice Welch that Resolution 99.03, concerning the date of elections for the Executive Board and meeting times for the Staff Senate and Executive Board be accepted on the second reading; the motion passed unanimously. It was further moved by Kerry Billingsley and seconded by Mike Smith that the Bylaws, Article 2, Item D be amended so that the budget cycle matched the budget cycle of the University, i.e., September 1, xx through August 31 xx; the motion passed unanimously.
Dan Burns moved that the Bylaws be accepted on the second reading with the changes noted and Kerry Billingsley seconded it; the motion passed unanimously.
Communication and Public Relations
Craig Wheeler presented a modified Resolution 99.04C concerning the publication of the activities of the Staff Senate to read: "Therefore be it resolved, that the Staff Senate of Texas Tech University record its history, activities and continued service to the staff of Texas Tech through campus-wide publications." It was moved by Kerry Billingsley and seconded by Judy Hunter that Resolution 99.04C be accepted as modified; the motion passed unanimously. Resolution 99.05 expressing appreciation to people who have supported and nurtured the Staff Senate of Texas Tech University was presented and it was moved by Judy Hunter and seconded by Jessie Sjue-Hall that this resolution be accepted; the motion passed unanimously.
The Communication and Public Relations Committee suggested that the Staff Senators donate a dollar toward the Millennium Project, which would go towards the purchase of a brick. The hat was passed during the meeting.
Emily Saiz made a presentation as to how the election committee would proceed with elections for the coming year. It was noted that staff would be asked to vote in person at set polling places on campus. Those who are nominated to be Staff Senators will be asked to sign the form stating that they agree to run. Information on those running for positions in affirmative action categories will be limited to submitting 50 words or less. After looking at the form, some changes were suggested and corrections will be made before distribution. The first information regarding elections for next year will be sent out with the minutes in September.
Barbara White noted that the Committee had decided that they would develop a mission statement and form. The Committee will be meeting on a monthly basis. It was noted that the committee has checked what other university grievance committees are doing and some have listed its operating procedure for grievances so that individuals are aware that there is a grievance procedure available to them.
Traffic and Parking
Maurice Welch reported that there have been over 20 letters of response to the traffic and parking situation. This committee will be meeting twice this month and welcome any comments.
Linda Prado reported that the committee has a copy of the State Legislative Report, which contains all bills passed in the 76th Legislative Session. The URL for the Final legislature Report—76th Legislature is: TTU: http://www.ucf.ttu.edu/org/ or TTUHSC: http://www.ttuhsc.edu./pages/legislate.
President Roberson reported that the Staff Senate Executive Board had a meeting with Liz Lonngren regarding the Master Plan and the Parking Plan. A member of the Faculty Senate and two members of the Student Senate were also invited to this meeting. It was a very congenial meeting and Liz Lonngren apologized for the lack of communication and her presence at the Staff Senate Meeting. It was noted that two projects are currently being worked on: the English, Philosophy Building which is going out for bids and it is hoped that construction will begin this fall. Parking has been designated for those individuals who will be misplaced due to the parking lot being taken away. This issue is being addressed at the present time. The second project to be presented to the Board of Regents is the Science Building, which will be constructed somewhere around the Chemistry building. This building will take up part of a parking lot, however, this is still in the planning stage and the planning will take approximately one year. These are the only two projects that will be going forward this fall. All other items are down the road. The changes to Indiana Avenue and the Credit Union are not on the Board agenda at this time. Even after the Credit Union’s new building is completed, there will be a satellite office remaining in the Administration building.
President Roberson reported that there is an in-house University Traffic and Parking Committee to look into construction of parking facilities. The Staff Senate representative is Maurice Welch and he will bring back information to the Staff Senate meeting. It is hoped that this committee will establish communication between entities and staff will have input to any parking decisions. At this time, no parking plan is on the Board of Regents’ agenda for presentation.
It was noted that all parking lots must be built with auxiliary funding—no state funding can be used for this purpose.
President Roberson asked that all Committee Chairs try to be present at Staff Senate meeting so that they can received any assignments at that meeting.
As per last month’s minutes, President Roberson again noted that Gene West checked the width of the Engineering Circle road and parking with Grounds Maintenance. He was told the new street is the same width as the old, however, ADA parking spaces are being constructed so that there is an indentation in the curb to allow for exit of individuals from their without being in the street when getting out of the car.
Child Care Issue:
No one agreed to research this issue at the last meeting.
United Spirit Arena Opening:
Tours of the Arena will be conducted on September 30, October 1-2. You must obtain a ticket to get in.
Taxes on Gift Awards:
This is a requirement from the IRS.
Drs. Ewalt, Haragan, and Mr. Brunjes to speak in September.
Gloria Hale and Martha Brown to speak in October.
Social Security Number on Checks
Maurice Welch reported that the committee wants to insure there is no impedance of the University functions but wants to protect the security of all employees’ personal information through the following actions: Create a new OP to protect employee privacy to include the following type of content: (a) All University employees will take reasonable and necessary steps to insure privacy of any personal information. Ex: SSN, Drivers license, home address, home phone number, personal account numbers, financial information, etc. (b) Staff Senate to develop a set of recommended safeguards to be implemented, where appropriate, by all employees to protect personal information. Ex: locking records, shredding hard copies, protecting electronic files, reviewing departmental processes, etc. and (c) develop brochure to publicize recommended safeguards.
Staff Senate Executive Board Meeting, Wednesday, August 25, 1999, Llano Estacado, UC, 3:00 p.m.
Staff Senate Meeting, Wednesday, September 1, 1999, Senate Room, UC, 3:00 p.m.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.