Operating Staff Council Meeting- November ’03



Members in attendance: Karin Coe, Madeline Slocum, Stephanie Higgs, Marie Hanson, Julie Johnson Dubois, Darcey Coffta, Mark Ernst, Toni Searles, (new member!) Jennifer Dube, Shirley Norton, Mary Jo Akerman


Guests: Lori Gula- Campus Journal, Sharon Demers, Janet Doty, Sharon Bradley, Chris VanHorn- HR, Gregg Sanborn and Candace Corvey- Admin, Kathryn Stuart and Tracy Boyle-PAT Council



Meeting for December:

TUESDAY, Dec 2 (10:30-12 at Holloway Commons- Lamprey Room (1st floor))


Overview of New Employee Orientation (Chris VanHorn): Chris presented a brief summary of the”Getting Started at UNH” full-day orientation program for new UNH employees. VERY impressive! She stated that the orientation is held in the MUB which is more centrally located than the HR office and that this works well both logistically and because it gives new employees a sense of the campus environment they’re employed in.  She showed us the orientation website (feel free to visit at www.unh.edu/hr/pod/orient/index.html), and we viewed the “UNH-An Overview” video that is shown as a welcome message from President Hart and other employees. She is hoping that future orientations will have spaces (up to 2) available for current employees who would like to experience the program.


Debriefing of Faculty Contract (Candace Corvey): Candace provided a summary of the key points of the new faculty contract. She stated that the contract negotiations went very smoothly and that historically the process had proven more difficult. Key points:

- Across-the-Board salary increase: 4.5% for FY 04, 4.75% for FY 05, and 4.85% for FY 06. Faculty do not receive merit increases. Candace outlined the 3 goals of most salary increase processes: 1) across-the-board increases to keep pace with cost of living increases, 2) reward for performance, and 3) catch up and maintain the average salary of our jobs with the relevant market for those jobs. Because of the contract renewal, a marketplace salary  analysis for faculty jobs was performed and Candace explained that these increases were an attempt to bring the faculty jobs more in line with the market. The faculty market is national and the current gap equals ~5-6%. These increases will hopefully close that gap by the end of three years.  A similar market analysis for staff positions was conducted ~2 years ago before the current biennial increase proposals were approved and another analysis will likely occur prior to the next biennial proposal (for FY06/07). Despite the fact that increases for faculty and staff may differ from year to year, Candace provided data which showed that over time, the total increase percentages for faculty and staff were nearly equal (from 1994 to 2003, faculty received a total of 48.3% and staff received 47.8%, an overall difference of only .5%).  In order to pay for the 1.0% difference  between the 4.5% ATB and the 3.5% budgeted for FY04, as well as the .25% difference between the approved 4.75% increase for FY05 and the budgeted 4.5%, the Deans will have to reallocate within the instructional salary base, and some adjunct faculty contracts will not be renewed.

- equity increases: faculty will receive $400 in FY05 and $125 in FY06. These equity increases, using the same concept applied to staff positions that are grossly out of sync with the market, will also help close the gap between current average salary and market, and will especially help the lowest paid faculty.

- increase effective date: for the vast majority of faculty who work on an academic year contract, the increases will essentially be effective 9/1/03 (as are staff's). For a "handful" of faculty who have year-round contracts, the increase will be effective 7/1/03.

- mitigation to offset benefit cost increases: as was done with staff 2 years ago when benefits costs rose sharply, faculty increases will be similarly mitigated through smaller increases for certain plan coverages. Faculty has this year adopted the same benefits plan as staff ("huge progress" for UNH in equalizing benefits) and are facing these increases for the first time. They are now on the same benefits plan as staff with the same employee-to-employer contribution ratios.

- agency fee: for the first time, faculty members who choose not to join the union will have to pay an agency fee, which will be a slightly smaller amount than the regular dues.

- parking: non-reserved parking spots will be $50 for the next 3 years. Because this was approved for faculty, it applies to staff as well. Parking fees will be able to be payroll deducted (with a net cost to employees being approx the same as the current $32). Graduate Assistants, previously categorized as Faculty/Staff for the purpose of parking permits will now be classified as students, potentially freeing up ~400 spots on campus for faculty/staff.

- paid parental leave: 12 weeks paid leave was approved for biological and adoptive parents. The Board of Trustees was alerted to a similar benefit proposal being worked on by staff.


Any questions about this contract can be directed to Karin Coe or Stephanie Higgs.


Sub-Committee/Task Force Reports: (if anyone has concerns or questions about any of the below topics, please send an email to or call the Council reps working on that issue)


Compassionate Leave Program (Karin Coe, Stephanie Higgs, Tracy Boyle, Kathryn Stuart, Janet Doty): The highlights of the proposal were presented. PAT Council was to receive a similar overview the following day. The OS Council unanimously supported the proposal. Next step is a presentation to the President’s Cabinet on 11/19.  Implementation proposed for January ’04.


Elections: Stephanie Higgs was voted in as the new Chair and Mary Jo Akerman as the Vice-Chair for 2004. The Recorder position is yet unfilled, but will hopefully be filled at the next meeting.