Operating Staff Council Meeting- January ‘04



Members in attendance: Stephanie Higgs, Jennifer Dube, Shirley Norton, Lori Parent, Doreen Palmer


Guests: John Reed- Campus Journal, Janet Doty- HR, Lon Sattler-SPPC



Joint Planning Meeting: Feb 3rd, full day, location TBD

Next regular meeting: March 2nd, 8:30-10:00, Board of Trustees Room, T-Hall


Membership/Distric Distribution:

The Council is looking for new representatives to cover the 7 vacancies it has. A “marketing” article will appear in the 1/16 Campus Journal and a flyer will be distributed to all OS employees via campus mail. If these efforts do not yield additional members, the Council will consider, at its March meeting, the possibility of shrinking the Council size and redistributing districts. **If you are interested in being on the Council, please contact Stephanie Higgs at 2-2090, or your district representative. We’d love to hear from you!!


Discussion re Proposed  4-week Paid Leave for Birth & Adoption:

The Council determined that there were several questions, particularly around projected cost, that needed to be addressed before any approval of this proposal would happen.  The concern was based on the assumption that the paid 4 weeks was NOT coming out of the employee's sick pool or sick leave. The question was asked about the anticipated cost of this per year given present stats on the number of maternity leaves and absences due to adoption per year. A second question was: Are there any restrictions on the private short-term disability (STD) policies that prevent an employee from receiving the STD benefit while receiving paid leave from UNH?  If so, it would be a possible demotivator for an employee to pay for private STD and have other employees who don't, receive the same benefit.

Awaiting response from SPPC/HR.

On a separate but related note, the Council supported the second proposal re allowing employees to use up to 5 days of sick pool/leave for family illness. The concern remains re cost of this given that most employees would not use as much of this time if this weren't allowed, and the question was asked here too about estimated cost for this, given an assumed average number of days used above the current.


Discussion re SPPC “round two” cost containment ideas:

These ideas were discussed and the following questions raised: 1) which ideas apply to just retirees and which apply to the broader (active) population (ie "increases in co-pays for prescription drugs" and ""increase in out-of-pocket deductibles in the medical plan")?  2) for those which would impact active employees, would current employees be grandfathered (as with several of the first round strategies)?  Awaiting SPPC response.


Discussion re SPPC’s proposed changes to transfer and demotion policie:s

The Council officially sanctioned the recommended changes to the Transfer and Demotion policies. The consensus was that the increased flexibility regarding possible salary alterations for transferring/demoting employees was a plus for managers and employees alike.


2004 Planning:

The Council reviewed last year’s project list and proposed to keep the following as projects for 2004:

- Transportation Policy Committee review (rep Julie Johnson-Dubois will keep the Council informed of continued progress on this)

- Council Website- as a first step, Stephanie will contact Web Services about a website maintenance contract and explore the possibility of this being funded by the President’s office.

- Improving Communication between the PAT and OS Councils

- Improving Communication to Constituents

- Explore PAT/OS benefits differences

- Explore the Pay/Performance connection at UNH

- Keep tabs on Managing/Supervising at UNH programs


In addition, a project to explore the creation of an employee suggestion plan was proposed and added to the potential project list. Final determination of projects for 2004 will happen at the 2/3 Joint Planning Meeting.





Other Business:

HR needs three OS Council members to serve on the Peer Review Committee for the President’s Award for Excellence. 2 members volunteered. One remaining to be named.

The Council officially sanctioned Madeline Slocum as the new SPPC representative, replacing Nicole Runde.

Recorder/Timekeeper assignments for future meetings:

3/2: Lori, 4/6: Jen, 5/4: Shirley, 6/1: Doreen.