Staff Senate
Staff Senate Minutes
April 17, 1997

Absent: Susan Babb, Kenneth Clark, Pat Green, David Medlock, Mike Rhodes, Gloria Wyatt

Excused: Sam Brackstone, Ginny Davis, Connie Diffee, Hope Eubanks, Lannelle Gay, Helen Johnson, Janet Mitchell, Marcia Taylor

  1. The meeting was called to order and roll was called.
  2. The minutes for the March meeting were approved as written.
  3. Committee reports:
  4. Finance Committee:
    Our budget funds haven't been charged for the nomination mailings yet.
    Election Committee:
    Nomination forms and information were mailed April 7-9. Some of the information provided by Human Resources has been reported as incorrect, including employees placed in the wrong job classifications. If you know of anyone with this problem, please encourage them to contact the personnel office to correct their records. All I can do is use the information which they provided; I have no way to verify or correct it. Additional information is on our web page.

    The Election Committee will meet May 5th and 6th to count nominations. I'd like to ask for four or more volunteers who aren't up for re-election to be added to the Election Committee.

    Issues/Review Committee:
    Nothing to report.
    Ad-Hoc Bylaws Committee:
    The committee will get going again after the current elections.
    HR Sub-committee:
    A recent job change by an employee was reviewed. The employee's duties in the new job didn't allow for an automatic raise. The Mercer study results have been distributed at the higher levels, and are being reviewed. In addition there were a couple of action issues:
    • The leave accumulation policy was brought up. Our leave accrual policy is determined by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), and is similar to the state leave policy. Currently, exempt staff earn 15 hours a month from the start, while it takes non-exempt staff 20 years to reach the same level, as shown by the following table:
    • Up to 5 years  7.5 hours 
      5 - 10 years  11.3 hours 
      10 - 20 years  13.2 hours 
      Over 20 years  15.0 hours 

      It was recommended that non-exempt staff get an increase every five years until they reach the 15 hours, moving the 20-year increase to year 15. President Lippy will draft a letter for President Rawlins requesting that he address this issue, and send the letter out with the next agenda for review at the May meeting.

    • There has been a concern by some staff that budget cuts, outsourcing, and reorganizations taking place affect staff more than upper-level administrative positions. The perception is that the number of administrative positions has grown even while the number of other staff positions has either held steady or decreased, despite past assurances to the contrary. Information requested includes the following:
      • How many new administrative positions have been created within the last five years?
      • How many positions have been upgraded?
      • How many individuals classified as "faculty" are actually in an administrative position?
      This issue will be addressed with Human Resources.
    Standing Committee Reports:
    Master Plan Impact on Parking and Traffic Flow Task Force

    The Field House lot will be closed due to construction, probably in November. There are 315 spaces in the main lot, and an additional 118 spaces just east of the old tennis courts. It's possible, but not certain, that the 118 spaces in the east lot will remain. There are currently about 700 subscribers to the 433 spaces in the Field House lots.

    A number of options were discussed, such as converting the existing unused tennis court area to parking. It was reported that this wasn't cost effective, and the construction crew may use the area for storage. Nothing can be done to improve the lots on the east side of Zach Curlin because the land is owned by Memphis Light, Gas, and Water Division.

    It's been recommended that no events be scheduled for the Field House after November for the year of construction. However, no good solution has been found as yet for athletic event parking.

    The recommendation of the Task Force to the Parking Authority is to oversell the existing priority parking lots by up to 10% only for those displaced from the Field House lot, in addition to selling unused spaces in the Engineering and Richardson Towers lots. It is hoped that a new lot on the southwest side of campus will be completed by then to hold some of the subscribers.

  5. Old Business:
    • There has been no additional budget news since the last meeting. Staff are encourage to attend the brown bag lunch with President Rawlins next Tuesday.
    • The Spring Expo starts tomorrow. There were some concerns about advertising; evidently most was done through public service announcements. Many haven't seen anything about it outside the university.
  6. New Business: The Staff Senate will have representation at the next Convocation, much like other organizations like the student government and Faculty Senate.
  7. President's Remarks: None.
  8. The meeting was adjourned. The next meeting is scheduled for May 15, 1997.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Harry Flowers

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