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Minutes - February 21, 2002

Members present: Phyllis Akmal, Glen Baum, Janet Bensman, Alison Louise Brown, David Brown, Helen Burnette, Johnny Castilleja, Joanna Castillo, Mary Clare, Marlis Dagg, Linda Davis, Phillip Dubov, Mike Farmer, Jeff Flagg, Robin Fradenburgh, Debbie Gaunt, Royce Gehrels, Joni Goan, Andrew Gordon, Kenneth Grant, Kathy Guajardo, Christy Habecker, Margo Hamby, Marcus Horton, Gladys Jackson, Martha King, Shona Krchnak, Donna Maga, C. W. Matthew, Alan McKendree, Earl McMannis Jr., Cheryl McVay, Lou Montgomery, Bruce Moore, Peggy Mueller, Greg Murphy, Sam Owens, Chuck Pearson, Amy Pinkston, James Piper, Ana Raley, Alicia Reffett, Karen Rogers, Christopher Ruggeri, J. R. Schlesinger, Donna Seago, William Sederholm, Frank Simon, Stella Smith, Joe Sosler, Jerry Spillar, Linda Stacavich, Harriet Sullivan, Sarah Supulski, Kitty Villa, Dalton Wall, Glen Worley

Members absent with notification: Pat Alfano, Phil Gavenda, Sandra Godfrey, Hollis Levy, Jim McElroy

Members absent: Schuyler Hupp, Bo Lawrence, Maria Martinez, Mary Beth Mercatoris, Carolyn Miller, Philip Mullins, Mike Rosebery, Ann Seago, Dana Springs, Phyllis Waelder, Gonzalo Zapata

Human Resource Services: Kyle Cavanaugh, Linda Casarez, Debra Kress

Guest: Liza Scarborough, EVPP

Welcome:

Chair Frank Simon called to order the regular meeting of the UT Staff Council at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 21, 2002 in Main 212. 58 Staff Council representatives were present.

Announcements:

Chair Frank Simon welcomed and introduced Amy Pinkston, newly designated second representative from District 110.

Chair Frank Simon announced that Kevin Hegarty, UT Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, was called to testify at the Joint Interim Committee on Higher Education Excellence Funding today. Mr. Hegarty hoped to be back from the committee hearing in time to present his scheduled talk "Funding the Future of UT Austin" multi-year budget plans at the latter part of the UTSC meeting today. See: http://www.utexas.edu/spotlight/funding_presentation.html [Note: Mr. Hegarty was unable to meet with the Staff Council because of the lengthy committee hearing. His presentation will be rescheduled.]

Minutes from the previous meetings:

The minutes from the January 17, 2002 and January 31, 2002 meetings were approved.

Chair's report:

Chair Frank Simon made several announcements. He congratulated the entire UT Staff Council for adopting Bylaws.

The McDonald Observatory will open its new, expanded Visitors' Center in Fort Davis, TX on March 2. UT staff receive 20% off admission tickets to all tours, exhibits, and activities with UT ID.
News from Human Resource Services:

The UT Excellence Award amount was increased this year to $1,500 for the thirty UT staff members who receive the award. The amount was $1,000 in previous years. A new award, UT Outstanding Supervisor, has been created. Two UT supervisors will be recognized and will receive $1,500 in this new Excellence Award. Excellence Awards and Service Awards will be presented at the Annual Staff Recognition Program on May 1, 2002 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Erwin Center. Staff members, supervisors and directors are encouraged to attend to congratulate and support staff members receiving recognition.

For active duty reservists the University will supplement the difference between the employee's active military pay and regular pay from the University, if the employee experiences a reduction in pay. This is a permanent policy.

Human Resource Services is investigating domestic partner benefits which would require legislative changes to the Family Code of the State of Texas. The UTSC Insurance Committee is also working on this issue. Human Resource Services is investigating establishing an emergency loan grant for staff members similar to the student emergency loan fund. The Employee Assistance Program would serve as the initial point of contact. The UTSC Miscellaneous Benefits Committee is also considering this issue.

For the UTSC: Frank requested more representatives volunteer for UTSC Working Committees and Ad hoc Committees to make the committees more effective in conducting business and to involve more representatives in the work of the UT Staff Council. See the list of officers and committees on the UTSC web and notify the officers to volunteer for a committee (rfsimon@mail.utexas.edu, bruce.moore@bus.utexas.edu, pmueller@mail.utexas.edu).

UT System Employee Advisory Council officers made a presentation to the UT Board of Regents on February 13, 2002. "This is one of the best organized presentations ever made to the board, and we look forward to working with council on the issues that you have brought before us," Charles Miller, chairman of the Board of Regents, told the employees. "The board is deeply interested in the well-being of employees and in addressing issues that are of concern to them." Press release: http://www.utsystem.edu/news/2002/BORFeb2002-EACIssues02-13-02.htm

The deadline for Issues Proposals to be submitted to the Issues Committee for consideration at the next UTSC meeting is March 7 (Linda Stacavich, Chair of the Issues Committee, for questions; lstac@mail.utexas.edu).

Vice Chair's report:

Bruce Moore stated that with the Bylaws now adopted, the Vice Chair is charged with responsibility for committees of the UTSC. He is reviewing committees, membership and responsibilities. All committee reports should be sent to the three officers: (rfsimon@mail.utexas.edu, bruce.moore@bus.utexas.edu, pmueller@mail.utexas.edu) 7-14 days prior to the scheduled UT SC meeting each month.

Recorder/Secretary's report:

Peggy Mueller, in accordance with the newly adopted Bylaws, requested volunteers from the UTSC representatives for the Assistant Recorder/Secretary position. This person would assist at meetings and with the proverbial "other duties as assigned." Please contact Peggy: pmueller@mail.utexas.edu.

Committee Reports:

Bylaws Committee has been asked to study and make recommendations concerning the four areas the UTSC agreed to revisit during the process of adopting Bylaws.

Committee on Committees prepared a cover letter and nomination form to send to all UT benefits-eligible employees to request nominations for consideration for nomination to University committees. The Committee on Committees has not been able to schedule meetings with appropriate individuals to discuss University Standing Committees. Frank Simon will list this as an agenda item for the next UTSC officers meeting with President Faulkner. Peggy Mueller resigned from this committee effective February 7, 2002.

Issues Committee met on January 8 and February 12 to consider Issues Proposals and has 5 for consideration today during new business. The UTSC will work towards making Issues Proposals available on the UTSC web (the form for submission and a tracking chart).

Compensation and Classification Committee met on January 8 to discuss the Universal Living Wage issue referred to it. The committee is gathering reports and information for consideration.

Grievance Committee reported on documents received and also on obtaining information about the grievance processes at UT for faculty, students and staff.

Insurance Committee is working on domestic partner benefits.

Miscellaneous Benefits Committee is working on issues referred to it.

Parking and Traffic Committee met with Dr. Bob Harkins, director of Parking and Transportation Services, to establish a basis for future communication and to discuss the purpose of the UTSC committee.

New business:

Issue Proposals submitted to the Issues Committee were introduced by Chair Frank Simon, then discussed and voted upon by the representatives.

2002-1 Title of Proposal: Improving our 403-B plan choices
Representative: Jeff Flagg
Action: referred to the Retirement Committee

2002-2 Title of Proposal: Employee Compliance Guide acknowledgement
Representative: Kathy Guajardo
Action: referred to the University and Public Relations Committee

2002-3 Title of Proposal: Access to staff education benefit
Representative: Margo Hamby
Action: referred to the Miscellaneous Benefits Committee

2002-4 Title of Proposal: Pay for disabled parking
Representative: Jerry Spillar
Action: tabled on advice of the UTSC Parking and Transportation Committee. The Parking and Transportation Services Department is currently reviewing.

2002-5 Title of Proposal: Prorated staff education benefit for part-time employees
Representative: Cheryl McVay
Action: referred to the Miscellaneous Benefits Committee

Margo Hamby moved that the UTSC recommend to President Faulkner that all current UTSC representatives continue to serve until April of 2003 at which time elections would be held in accordance with the UTSC Bylaws (representatives in odd-numbered districts would be elected in April 2003). After second and discussion, the motion passed with 37 yes votes, 14 no votes and 1 abstention.

Alan McKendree, the UTSC liaison to UT's 2001 Orange Santa program, gave a report on activities this year.

  • Program applicants: 287 (232 in 2000)
  • Families served: 353 (302 in 2000)
  • Total number of children in families served: 1,111 (935 in 2000)
  • Number of Orange Santa volunteers: Approximately 400 (240 in 2000).

After discussion by the Staff Council, the Executive Committee was asked to write a considered response to the University's Office of Relationship Management and University Events concerning the Staff Council's involvement in the program for 2002.

The meeting adjourned at 3:55 p.m.

The next regular meeting of the UT Staff Council is Thursday, March 21, 2002, 2:30 p.m., Main 212.

Peggy Mueller
Recorder/Secretary
March 6, 2002

Minutes approved March 21, 2002




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