Staff Advisory Council Minutes
Thursday, November 12, 1998
LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Amy Belke, Deb Bennett, Jan Blazi, Dan Brazo, Emily Cassidy, Tammy Chapman, Debra Clark, Janet Dillon, Deb Fox, Toby Green, Rita Grontkowski, Pam Jobin, Jeff Korros, Wanda Lansford, Mike Manijak, Norma Mezykowski, Don Newsom, Sue Penrod, Diane Schlatterbeck, Doris Smuda, Fred Sonneborn, Joshua White, and Melodie Wise.
Absent: Rhonda Barkley, Rachel Boyd, Victoria Cotton, Gina DeLaruelle, Linda Hansen, and Frances Leedy. District #5 is unrepresented due to no self-nominations from the election.
HR Liaisons: Denise Murphy, Rich Nugent, Rita Winsor, and Pam Zarazee.
Dan Brazo, Chair called the Council meeting to order at 1:06 p.m.
I. Women's Committee Review and Discussion
Rita Grontkowski shared with the Council that the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee will be sponsoring an "Evening of Reflection" by Chandra Johnson, Assistant to the President and Assistant Director for Cross-Cultural Ministry in Campus Ministry on December 2nd from 7 pm to 9pm in the Hesburgh Lounge.
Rita introduced the non-Council members that serve on the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee to the Council: Diane Steele, Development; Bobbie McMahon, OIT; and Kathy Stopczynski, Support Services. Rita also introduced Sarah Misener, Manager Training & Development from Human Resources who is the liaison for the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee. Each of the non-Council members shared their experiences with being involved with the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee to the Council. Overall, the non-Council members felt comfortable with the progress of the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee and feel it is headed in the right direction. Sarah Misener thanked the Council for communicating information to staff about the programs that the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee is sponsoring.
The Council members that serve on the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee shared their perspectives with the Council. The overall message was that the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee is working well in it's current status as an Ad-Hoc Committee of the Council.
Rich Nugent thanked all the members of the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee for their time and efforts. Rich shared that the University Administration feels it is important for the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee to be a part of the Staff Advisory Council due to the fact that the Council is one of the main communication vehicles available for non-exempt staff. The Council is certainly a voice to convey ideas from non-exempt staff and that the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee should keep its affiliation with the Council.
Rita Grontkowski made a motion to indefinitely keep the Women's Committee an Ad-Hoc Committee of the Council. Deb Bennett seconded this motion. A vote was taken, and all members present were in favor of the motion.
Dan Brazo thanked the non-Council Ad-Hoc Women's Committee members for attending the Council meeting.
II. Approval of the October 8, 1998 Minutes
Toby Green shared that in the draft of the minutes Norma Mezykowski announced the program sponsored by the Ad-Hoc Women's Committee. Dan Brazo asked the Council to accept the minutes with the change that Toby Green recommended. A vote was taken, and all Council members present were in favor of the motion.
III. Open Enrollment Presentation
Rita Winsor gave an overview to the Council regarding open enrollment for 1999. Rita introduced Denise Murphy, Manager, Benefits to the Council. Rita shared to the Council that all the same choices will be offered with regard to medical insurance, flexible spending accounts (medical and dependent care) and life insurance. Rita added that the University will be offering an additional dental plan.
Rita shared some overheads with the Council explaining the different health insurance plans. The University offers two HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations) options which are Family Health Plan of Indiana and Partner's and two PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) options which are the Cigna 300 and Cigna 600. Rita explained that the HMO's are fully insured which means the University offers this benefit and pays an established fee per month per participant. The PPO's, on the other hand, are self-funded by the University. This means that the University pays all claims for the participants by wiring the dollars directly to Cigna. Cigna administers the plans and Notre Dame pays the bills plus pays Cigna a fee for the plan administration. Rita added that the University also will continue to offer the no coverage option for employees.
Rita shared that the two dental choices will be Cigna Managed Care our current plan, and HRI Dental Health Options.
The life insurance offered to eligible employees includes the $25,000 base plus up to 10 times the salary of the eligible employee.
The Spending Accounts include accounts for healthcare and dependent day care. The health care account has an annual limit of $2,500 or $208.33 per month and the dependent day care account has a $5,000 annual limit or a $416.66 per month.
Rita reviewed the current medical plan costs with the Council on all health options (HMO and PPO.) She showed the budgeted versus current comparisons of the health options and showed that there is a negative balance, meaning that the current medical plan costs are significantly higher than what was budgeted. Rita added that the University pays for approximately 90 percent of health care costs and faculty and staff contribute approximately 10 percent. Rita shared some graphs with the Council regarding what has happened over the years with our health care costs versus other employers. The graphs indicate that insurance costs continue to increase, specifically in the PPO areas.
Rita explained that the high cost of prescription drugs is one reason why health insurance has increased in general. Rita explained that there is a difference between formulary and non- formulary drugs. In the Partners Plan, a "formulary" is a list of selected drugs identified and recommended for the treatment of certain illnesses or conditions. A physician can submit on a prescription that he/she wants the patient to be treated by the non-formulary drug for the appropriate co-pay in the Partners Plan. Non-formulary drugs are generally more expensive, may be experimental, and not the necessary drug for the treatment of the illness/condition in question. Rita stated that the premiums are still being finalized and will be communicated in the next few weeks.
Rita reviewed the premiums for the dental plans with the Council. Rita shared that what the HRI dental health option offers the employee is more selection in dentists, and an out-of-area option if you live in another state (other than Michigan.)
Rita told the Council that enrollment packets are expected to go out the week of Thanksgiving. General sessions will be held by the providers the first week of December.
Dan thanked Rita for her presentation to the Council.
IV. Open Forum Discussion on Council Priorities and Plan for Future Meetings
Dan asked the Council members to table this discussion until the December meeting due to lack of time. Dan again asked the Council to prepare for an Open Forum discussion to determine Council priorities for discussion at future meetings. The Council agreed. Dan also asked Pam Zarazee to send to all the Council members the "Prioritized list of staff issues" from last October.
V. Parking Committee Update
Debbie Bennett shared with the Council that the Ad-Hoc Parking Committee met. Debbie explained that the committee sets guidelines for parking on campus such as deciding on how many handicap or service maintenance spaces are needed in each lot. Also the committee began discussing the parking around Hammes Bookstore which will change once the renovations start over there. Debbie told the Council there are approximately 15 members on the committee and they will
be meeting again in January.
VI. New Business
A Council member asked Rich Nugent if it would be possible for a 9-month non-exempt employee to be paid over 12 months like faculty. Rich stated that this would effect accounting because of the allocation of benefit dollars and the calculation of overtime rates. Rich stated that it could be looked into but is currently not a priority.
Another Council member asked Rita Winsor why the last Benefits Review mainly addressed exempt and faculty employees. Rita stated that the Benefits Review is sent out to address hot topics or timely articles relating to specific issues and that each month varies on topics.
A Council member suggested that Human Resources write an article about the enhancement to benefits that non-exempt staff have received over the last ten years.
Another Council member addressed the issue regarding criminal background checks. Rich explained to the Council that all new employees and on-call employees have to pass a criminal background check before being hired. In addition, the new employee must be checked against the State of Indiana Sex Offender list. Rich stated the reason for doing these checks is to protect the students and employees, in addition to having a final check to make sure applicants are not falsifying their employment application.
A Council member asked if a person receives an overall Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory rating on their performance review will that individual receive an increase. Rich Nugent stated that an employee that has an overall Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory rating, as a general rule, should not get an increase until their performance becomes acceptable.
VII. Set Agenda for the December 10, 1998 meeting
I. Approval of minutes from the November 12, 1998 meeting
II. Women's Committee Update
III. Elections Committee Discussion for January Election of Odd Numbered Districts
IV. Brief Discussion on 1998 Annual Report
V. Open Discussion on Council Priorities and Planning for Future Meetings
VI. Set agenda for the January 14, 1999 meeting
Pam Jobin made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Jeff Korros seconded this motion. A vote was taken, and all present Council members were in favor of the motion.