STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES May 16, 2012
President Kristie Galy presided over the May 16, 2012, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
P Torres, Donna (’12)
P Exner, Patti (’13)
A Chaney, Carolyn (’13)
A Dixon, Evelyn (’13)
A Matkovic, Igor (’14)
P Carruth, Holly (’12)
P Chiasson, Denise (’12)
P Fields, Tim (’12)
P Frazier, James (’12)
P Livingston, Lynn (’12)
Pr Thibodeaux, Seth (’12)
P Verma, Lisa (’12)
P Galy, Kristie (’13)
Pr Guillory, Michael (’13)
P Landry, Carolyn (’13)
P Thomas, Joseph (’13)
P Winchell, Blake (’13)
Pr David, Emmett (’14)
P Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P Millican, Tammy (’14)
P Moreau, Scott (’14)
P Perkins, Julie (’14)
P Heil, Mark (’12)
P Adedeji, Funmilayo (’13)
P Pierce, Renee (’13)
P Sirman, Karen (’13)
P Love, Donna (’14)
A Brown, Ruby (’12)
Pr Banta, Glenda (’13)
P Cooley, Judith (’13)
Pr Collins, Judy (’14)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
David Garver, University Information Systems
Kendrick Lewis, Facility Services
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Galy at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with five proxies noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Carruth led the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Galy introduced guests: David Garver with University Information Systems and Kendrick Lewis with Facility Services.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – April 18, 2012, Staff Senate Meeting
A motion to accept the minutes was made by Past-President Verma. The motion, seconded by Senator Carruth, carried.
President Galy reported that on April 19, she, President-Elect Gothreaux, Senator Carruth, and Melonie Holden attended the Information Technology Services pizza party in appreciation for their support of the Clovers and Quarters fundraising drive. President Galy reported that it was great to meet so many of the staff that Staff Senate represents.
Galy reported that on April 23, she and President-Elect Gothreaux met with A.G. Monaco with Human Resource Management and Derrick Angelloz with Finance and Administrative Services regarding the retirement legislation. The bills are a moving target and have changed several times since that meeting.
Galy reported that on April 25, she attended a reception at the Chancellor’s residence honoring the Provost Search Committee. Stuart Bell will be starting at LSU on August 1, 2012.
Galy reported that on April 27, she and President-Elect Gothreaux attended the Board of Supervisors meeting. President Lombardi was voted out as President of the LSU System.
Galy reported that on May 1, the Executive Committee met. Votes were tabulated for the general elections during the meeting.
Galy reported that on May 8, she attended the Budget and Finance/Governmental Relations Joint Committee meeting where the committee received a budget, legislative session, and retirement bills update. Galy deferred to President-Elect Gothreaux to address the details in his committee report later in the meeting.
Galy reported that on May 10, the Communications Committee met. The Committee is in the process of getting the information together for the summer newsletter. Galy invited all Senators to provide a topic to include in the newsletter.
Galy reported that on May 15, she attended the University Council of Women’s final meeting of this school year. Each subcommittee presented their white papers.
Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations
President-Elect Gothreaux announced that the Budget & Finance/Governmental Relations Joint Committee met on May 8, 2012. The committee heard from Derrick Angelloz who is the LA GRAD Act Project Coordinator with Finance and Administrative Services. He reported on the Retirement Legislation as it stood which has since changed. Gothreaux mentioned that due to the time the legislation has spent in the Senate along with the on-going debate with House Bill 1, it is doubtful that the legislation will move through both houses and be finished by the end of the Legislative Session. Gothreaux reported that the committee received an update on the current status of funding from Tommy Smith, Director with the LSU Office of Budget and Planning. Smith reported the projected shortfall for this fiscal year as well as the projected budget cut for next year which has changed dramatically since his report due to the recent removal in the House from House Bill 1 of all of the one-time funding. House Bill 1 now sits in the Senate and whether legislators restore some of that funding remains to be seen. As it currently stands, without those funds higher education is going to experience some catastrophic cuts across the state. Gouthreaux explained that there is a procedural move that the Legislature can make. There is a constitutional amendment which requires having a balanced budget each fiscal year, but the Legislature can choose not to officially recognize the budget deficit before the end of the fiscal year. That effectively gives the Legislature 6 months into the next fiscal year to indicate that the State didn’t have a deficit last year and the State needs to make some sort of cut in order to offset the deficit.
Derrick Angelloz reported on the Retirement Legislation. He handed out some documents which listed the various proposed legislation for the House Bills and corresponding Senate Bills. There are a number of things going through the Legislation, one is to change the age of eligibility, another is to increase the employee contribution, and the other is the creation of the Cash Balance Plan which is the equivalent of a 401(K). Gothreaux mentioned Senate Bill 52 proposed by Senator Elbert Guillory which is the Employee Contribution Increase and Senate Bill 749 also proposed by Guillory which would increase the age eligibility for retirement. There’s already been a warning by the Louisiana Auditors’ Office that any of these changes that effect current employees would be considered a breach of contract and could also be considered a payroll tax which would require the legislature to pass a tax bill to change contributions. Many things can change from now until the Legislative Session ends on June 4, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. The one piece of legislation that has made it all the way to the Governor’s desk to be signed is the Cash Balance Plan which would have the least impact of all the retirement legislation.
President-Elect Gothreaux reported that Jason Droddy, Director of External Affairs called in from the capitol and gave the committee a report of the status of legislation which was outlined in the committee report but had changed since then. Gothreaux also reported that Senator Donna Torres provided an update on University Finance and Administration and reminded everyone of the state spending freeze that LSU is subject to under the Executive Order. Torres mentioned that even though a continuation of the spending freeze is not currently in place for next fiscal year beginning July 1, expenditures can be initiated for next fiscal year. Senator Torres explained that it is important to secure proper University approvals in advance in the event that another executive order spending freeze were to be implemented shortly after July 1.
President-Elect Gothreaux reported that the Classified Committee met on April 25, 2012. The Ccommittee reviewed the amendments and asked questions. The Committee specifically focused on the merger of three committees, Classified, Professional, and Benefits & Policies, into the newly formed Staff Benefits and Policies Committee. There were some Senators who were not able to attend previous discussions but were able to attend this meeting. At the end of the meeting, Committee members felt more comfortable with the proposed merger of these Committees. The Bylaws were shortly concluded thereafter and submitted to the Executive Committee for approval.
President Galy reported that the committee met on May 10, 2012. The Staff Senate Facebook page is up and running. Galy has sent out invitations to her friends to encourage them to like the page and encouraged all Senators to do the same. Galy thanked Senator Carruth for all of her hard work with setting this page up and uploading all of the Senators’ pictures and listing events. The page looks great! President Galy also reported that the Committee discussed the Summer/Fall Staff Senate Newsletter and articles to cover. Galy encouraged articles and asked Senators to submit to her for inclusion.
Bylaws – Amendments/Vote
President-Elect Gothreaux announced that attached to the May Meeting Packet was a copy of the final version of the Bylaws as amended and as discussed with the appropriate committees.
A motion to accept the Bylaws as amended was made by President-Elect Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Exner, carried.
The Staff Senate voted unanimously to accept the amendments made to the Bylaws.
President Galy thanked everyone for their participation with the revisions.
Senator Carruth announced that the Marketing Committee met on May 1, 2012. The committee report was sent to the Staff Senate Office this morning. Melonie Holden will forward to the full Senate for review. The Committee met with Holly Cullen with University Relations who had some ideas on how to market the Staff Senate to the community. There is going to be some new templates that Staff Senate will be able to access and use which will help Staff Senate look more uniform. Cullen suggested that Staff Senate get involved with the Benefits Fair which Carruth has done by contacting Human Resource Management to reserve a table for the Staff Senate. The Ccommittee came up with an idea to develop a survey to send out to the staff to gather their impression of the Staff Senate. The Committee has come up with some questions for the survey that Carruth will submit to the Executive Committee for approval. Some of the questions were discussed and suggestions were made. Carruth encouraged Senators to submit their questions to her for possible inclusion, noting that the Committee doesn’t want to make the survey too long.
Council of Staff Advisors
Past-President Verma reported that the Council of Staff Advisors to the LSU Board of Supervisors met on April 27, 2012. The council met and was unaware of what was going to happen that afternoon regarding President Lombardi’s employment at LSU. The council discussed the retirement legislation. The council also discussed revisions to PM-37 which outlines the Council of Staff Advisors to the LSU Board of Supervisors. Past-President Verma indicated that the council will review the changes at the next meeting in May, then take a vote during the June Meeting and submit to the System Office for approval. There are a few members who will be leaving the council as new members will be elected or appointed to serve then the council will hold an election for Officers in July 2012.
Staff Senate Executive Elections
President Galy reported that the Staff Senate Executive Committee has approved the President-Elect position to Lynn Livingston who was nominated and is running unopposed.
The LSU Staff Senate approved appointing Senator Lynn Livingston as President-Elect unopposed.
President Galy announced the elections of Staff Senate Executive Committee Secretary Officers. Candidates were asked to give short speeches before the ballots were handed out. Candidates were Senators Collins, Love, Millican, and Winchell. Senator Winchell rescinded his nomination. President Galy read Senator Collins’ nomination speech as she was unable to attend the meeting.
President Galy announced the elections of Staff Senate Executive Committee Member-at-Large Officers. Candidates were also asked to give short speeches before the ballots were handed out. Candidates were Senators Cooley, Exner, Matkovic, Perkins, and Torres. President Galy read Senator Matkovic’s nomination speech as he was also unable to attend the meeting.
President Galy announced that Staff Senators have until May 18, 2012, to submit votes to the Staff Senate office. Voting ballots will be mailed to Senators who were not in attendance.
Benefit of the Month
Senator Torres announced that the Benefit of the Month is the Summer Parking Program at LSU. If you would like to change your parking destination for the summer months to a better spot, you can upgrade a change for the summer months. Any additional costs associated with the upgrade with be charged to the employee and can be paid by check or cash. Unfortunately, the Parking Office will not payroll deduct any additional fees associated with the upgrade. Torres announced to contact Ms. Carlos Griffin who is with the Parking Office to request your change and she will let you know if there is availability. It is first come first serve, so get your request in as soon as possible.
Faculty Senate Resolution – Reaffirmation of LSU Campus as a Firearm Free Zone
President Galy announced that she and the new Student Government President were contacted by Faculty Senate President Kevin Cope asking for support for Faculty Senate’s Resolution of Reaffirmation of LSU Campus as a Firearms Free Zone. Galy discussed this resolution with the Executive Committee who were not only in support of this resolution but agreed to have it be a concurrent resolution supported by the LSU Staff Senate.
A motion to reaffirm this resolution with Faculty Senate and acknowledge to Faculty Senate our interest of a concurrent resolution was made by President-Elect Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Cooley, carried.
The Staff Senate voted unanimously to accept the reaffirmation of this resolution and Staff Senate’s interest of a concurrent resolution.
June Luncheon Sign-up
President Galy announced that after the June Staff Senate Meeting we will hold our end of the year luncheon. Galy circulated the sign-up sheet for participation. The meeting will be held in the reception facility at the LSU Rural Life Museum on Essen Lane. There will be map provided if needed.
Chancellor Michael Martin Resolution
President Galy announced President-Elect Gothreaux discussed with her this morning regarding a Resolution in support of Chancellor Michael Martin. President-Elect Gothreaux mentioned that Chancellor Martin is a finalist to be the President of Colorado State University system. The purpose of the resolution that Gothreaux is proposing be drafted by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Staff Senate is simply a resolution acknowledging his long term service in higher education, the support that he has shown to staff on campus, and requesting consideration that he remain here at LSU as our Chancellor particularly in light of his support shown to staff on campus. President-Elect Gothreaux asked for Senators’ consideration of the resolution. There was a suggestion to draft a similar resolution to the Provost thanking him for his support as well since he will be leaving on June 30, 2012.
A motion for the Executive Committee to draft two separate resolutions in support of Chancellor Michael Martin and Provost Jack Hamilton was made by Past-President Verma. The motion, seconded by Senator Fields, carried.
The Staff Senate voted unanimously to draft two separate resolutions in support of Chancellor Michael Martin and Provost Jack Hamilton.
Classified Performance Appraisals & Ethics Training
President Galy announced that the Civil Service is revamping how performance appraisals are done. Galy encouraged Senators to attend the training sessions being offered to learn the new system. Senator Cooley mentioned after July 1, 2012, performance appraisals will all be done at one time instead of an employee’s anniversary date. Senator Torres added that something that needs to happen before then is the creation of the performance appraisal document which is supposed to be specialized to each employee. Senator Torres suggested having Yvette Marsh with Human Resource Management to meet with the Staff Senate soon on all the specifics with this new system. Torres mentioned that the training power point is on the Human Resource Management web site.
President Galy announced that Ethics Training is now required from all state employees. Senator Millican announced that there is an Ethics Training Session sponsored by the Louisiana Board of Ethics scheduled on May 22, 2012, in the Atchafalaya Room in the Union. There will be three session scheduled, at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. and Millican encouraged everyone attend and to be sure to sign-in to be sure to get your certificate for attending and completing.
Staff Senator Birthdays
President Galy announced that Senator Mark Heil will celebrate his birthday on May 26 and President-Elect Gothreaux will celebrate his birthday on May 28. “Happy Birthday”
President-Elect Gothreaux announced that he attended the last State-wide Governance Meeting held on May 12, 2012, in Alexandria. Gothreaux attended in hopes of helping staff in higher education in Louisiana who would like to develop a Council or Staff Senate within their system by using our Staff Senate Bylaws as a template. Since our Bylaws have been amended he would like to share with those that are interested.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Carruth moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by Senator Torres, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Blake Winchell, Secretary