Staff Senate

Staff Senate Meeting Minutes

April 20, 2000

Present: Sally Andrews, Regina Ayers, Charlie Black, Devonia Cage, Gary Carman, Marie Dockter, Lorene Flowers, Gary Fortner, Verlinda Franklin, Barbara Harris, Mary Harris, Beveryly Hawkins, Nancy Hollingsworth, R. C. Johnson, Jennifer Joyner, Kathleen Kolby, Amy Martin, Janice Morganfield, Beverly McMillan, John Melton, Edward Orio, Lynn Owens, Jane Orcholski, Cathy Philpot, Jim Selbe, James Singleton, Michelle Stout, Carolyn Zoccola

Absent: Johnny Barnes, Oscar Collier, Jimmy Craft, Sherry Crone, Brenda Gray, Hazel Haywood, Jann Mayes, Larry Mayes, Ronald McDonald, Leslie Smith, Vanessa Smith,

Excused: Kathy Atkinson, Helen Awsumb, Glenda Barton, Diana Humphrey, Becky McCoy, John Melton, Bernice Richardson, Patty Simonton, Veronica Vinson, Maurice Williams

  1. Meeting was called to order at 9:35 AM
  2. Roll called. Guest Speaker – Jim Vest, Director: Mr. Vest brought flyers to the Staff Senate and spoke about some of the reasoning behind raising the fees for the use of the new Student Recreation and Fitness Center. He quoted longer hours and additional services as two of the major reasons. He listed they now have a personal trainer free at selected times, a spa area, and an indoor and outdoor pool. When they looked at the history of fees since the last building was built in 1971, it showed there had only been three raises over the past 30 years, the last one in 1992. Starting September 1, 2000, employees will be able to have a payroll reduction to cover fees. The new fees are $10/month single and $20/month for family. They will be closed three times throughout the year for maintenance and upkeep during break periods when school is out. Also in the past, people had to wait to use machines and now they have two of every machine. It was asked if they would consider phasing in the new prices, instead of all at once and Mr. Vest said that was still a possibility. Mr. Vest suggested you call and set up a time for a tour if you would like to see the new facility.
  3. Minutes approved from January 20, 2000 meeting and March 16, 2000 meeting.
  4. Committee Reports: Finance: No Report

  5. Election: No Report
    Issues and Review: Jennifer Joyner reported that there was a memo in September from the Tennessee Board of Regents stating all salary increases would have to be approved by them (except for CPS, or other such certifications.) The Issues Committee had looked into the possibility of taking a "demotion" in title if it meant possibly hiring into a different department at a higher salary than your current position. (Example: Administrative Secretary wants to apply for an Office Associate position and the hiring department wants to offer $1.30 more an hour than she is currently making, she would lose rank but gain in money. This would be vetoed because it is not allowed to offer more money for a demotion.)

    The Issues Committee asked it this could be changed and was told due to that memo, until they lifted that requirement of going through TBR, it would not be possible.

    Also departments who are short handed can hire temporary help through Payroll or call Anne Carter in Human Resources for Ron Staddt Staffing.

    Charlotte Knowles also informed the Issues Committee that she was working on the new market study for Compensation 2000. She forwarded the information to University officials and after approved it would go to the Tennessee Board of Regents in May for late June approval.
     

    Standing Committees: Facilities & Services: Gary Carman reported that the money
    expected to be used for renovations will be cut in half.
    They will replace fume hoods in Chemistry and Engineering.
    This is the only project at present. The Brister Tower has
    gone out again for rebid. Mr. Hellums is preparing a
    catastrophic event list in case we don’t get the money to make
    repairs.

    Traffic & Parking: Michelle Stout- No Report

    Safety: James Singleton reported the Memphis Fire Department
    has to inspect all tents put up on campus prior to usage. Form is
    in Physical Plant and Planning. The Safety Officer will contact
    the Fire Department.

    IT Planning & Policy Council: Michelle Stout- No Report

    IT Administrative Advisory Committee: Marie Dockter reported that the committee met with SCT. Doesn’t look like HRS or FRS will be web based until 2004. Equipment survey will be coming out. It is important to insure people have what is needed.

    Bookstore Committee: Carolyn Zoccola- No Report

    Food Services: Patty Simonton- No Report

    Public Records: Jane Orcholski – Optidoc will be used in
    Accounting and Student Records. There will be a long process
    of converting paper to electronic.

    Fee Refunds & Appeals: Beverly McMillan -There were two cases and the committee found for the University in each case. A lady had withdrawn and moved. The Computer showed she did not withdraw until after the last day. The second case concerned a Quadraplegic who did not know there was a program offered to let them go to school for $75 per semester. Student wanted refund for previous semesters. Turned down but was mentioned that someone needs to make sure students are informed when they enroll that they would qualify for this program.

    Strategic Planning - Jim said there is a website link from the Staff Senate homepage to the Strategic Plan. There are baseline targets for 2001 and 2005. Jim said legislation is convinced of need for higher education but not the need for more money. We have not been as active as we need to be to get more funding. Also new law passed National Ranking and Tiers established for all Teacher Education Programs. This does include higher education and teachers will be ranked both in Tennessee and nationally.
     

  6. Old Business:
Kathy Kolby attended Dr. Smith’s communication luncheon where they talked about low salaries, positions left unfilled and intimidation from supervisors. Dr. Smith suggested going to Human Resources to file a grievance on the latter issue. Kathy also sent a letter to Faudree and Rawlins to thank them for supporting the Staff Senate. We also now have an office in McCord. Kathy is looking into getting files and a table, and will have an open house once everything is in place.
  1. New Business
Kathy Kolby attended the legislative breakfast. Dr. Gnuschke was going to speak and asked him to mention the staff salaries, which he did. Unfortunately, only 30 legislators were there. Dr. Gnuschke gave an excellent presentation. He explained when you educate citizens in your state, you bring in more jobs and companies and that it was beneficial to support higher education. Dr. Gnuschke explained that we are at the bottom of the barrel. We are where Mississippi used to be. (Again we have not asserted ourselves about the state of higher education in Tennessee.) One person said this was well and good but where do we get the money. Dr. Gnuschke mentioned the service industry, doctors etc. But it was 20 to 1 against a state income tax. Kathy suggested a lottery but was told you can’t fund a state from gambling. Of course that is exactly what Mississippi is doing and others.

Voted on two issues to help cure temporary problems with the upcoming election process. Hopefully, after the Williamsburg law practicum in June, we will have a better system in place. These amendments to the bylaws were approved as a temporary measure pending revamping of the election process.
 

  1. Meeting was adjourned at 10:45 AM.
Next scheduled meeting: May 18, 2000
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