September 2000


Thursday, September 21, 2000

Notre Dame Room, LaFortune Student Center 
Present: Angeliek Anderson, Deb Bennett, Dona Coggins, Deb Fox, Norm Frost, Connie Gard, Rita Grontkowski, Beverly Harbor, Kay Herrity, Pam Jobin, Bobbi McMahon, Nancy Mitchell, Sue Penrod, Maria Pozzi, Marv Pruett, Samantha Qualls, Valerie Schroeder, Marcy Simons, Fred Sonneborn, Kathy Stopczynski, Leona Strickland, Cindi Sykes, and Melodie Wise. 
Absent: Norma Mezykowski, Lou Parks, Terron Phillips, and Doris Smuda. 
District #1 is currently in the process of notifying the nominated representative. 
HR Liaisons: Sarah Misener and Pam Zarazee. 
Guests: Vivek Kumar and Rich Nugent. 
Melodie Wise, Chair called the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m. 
I. Photograph of the Council 
The Council took a few minutes to get an updated photograph for future uses. 
II. Approval of the Thursday, August 24, 2000 Minutes 
Samantha Qualls made a motion to accept the minutes with the following changes: 
· In paragraph number two the word give should be given. 
· Under Section IV the last sentence was edited to read, Depending on the depth of the responses, Sarah will relay the answers to the Council or have Vivek Kumar personally come and present the information. 
Connie Gard seconded this motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor. 
III. Committee Reports 
- Executive Committee 
Melodie Wise read the seconding reading of the changes to the by-laws regarding the position of Secretary/Treasurer. Leona Strickland made a motion to accept these changes in the by-laws. Valerie Schroeder seconded this motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of this motion. 
- Elections Committee 
Deb Bennett shared with the Council that Steve Gibson is the newly elected Representative for District #1. The Council is in the process of contacting him to attend the next meeting. 
Melodie Wise told the Council that Angeliek Anderson will be transferring to a different position on campus which causes her to move districts. An election will need to take place for District #21. Pam Zarazee will send labels to the Elections Committee to run the election. Melodie thanked Angeliek for all of her time and support on the Council. 
- Promotion Committee 
Melodie Wise discussed with the Council the idea of having one or two meetings a year where some nonexempt staff can attend to see how the Council operates and how meetings are run. The Council members shared their ideas and thoughts on this topic. Melodie stated that the Promotion Committee will continue to discuss this topic and come back to the Council at a future meeting with more specific information on this subject. 
- Parking Committee 
Nothing to report at this time. 
- Parking Appeals Committee 
Nothing to report at this time. 
- Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues 
Marcy Simons shared with the Council that 120 employees participated in the luncheon presentation this past week featuring Carolyn Woo, Dean of the Mendoza College of Business. Marcy stated that she has received great feedback regarding this event. Due to this week's presentation by Dean Woo, there was not Lunch & Learn scheduled for September. A campus tour will be done in October, and the November Lunch & Learn topic is "Taking Care of Aging Family Members". 
The Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues is requesting that the Council allow more seats on this committee. The size of the events continues to grow and more assistance is needed in planning events and communicating information. 
Nancy Mitchell and Kathy Stopczynski volunteered from the Council to become members of this committee. In addition, the committee agreed to add two more positions and will run another election for two more openings for non-exempt members. Pam Zarazee will get the labels for nonexempt females to Marcy. 
- Ad-Hoc Committee on Drug Testing 
Deb Bennett stated that this committee continues to be in the information gathering stages and will probably continue throughout the end of the year. Privacy issues regarding this kind of testing as well as current legal issues on this topic are being discussed. 
- Ad-Hoc Redistricting Committee 
Melodie Wise stated that this ad-hoc committee has not met and would like to meet after the meeting today to schedule a time for members to get together. Melodie also mentioned that Angeliek Anderson will need to be replaced on this ad-hoc committee. If you are interested, please let Melodie know. 
- Web Page Update 
Samantha Qualls shared with the Council that she is in the process of taking over this responsibility. She is registered for a web course and will be attending the course next week. 
- StaffNews Article 
Marcy Simons suggested that the article the Council writes should preface the minutes as printed in the StaffNews. Pam Zarazee stated that she would make sure Liz Evans, editor of the StaffNews is aware of this suggestion. 
- Miscellaneous 
Sarah Misener explained to the Council that she asked Vivek Kumar, Manager, Retirement Planning to come and share the answers to the questions that were not answered for the final draft of the retirement letter. 
Vivek explained to the Council that the formula and years necessary to retire are not government mandated. The formula, age, and years of service are determined by the University. Pension plans typically do not offer retirements before age 55 because the government has created certain tax advantages for retiring after age 55. Vivek explained that the current retirement plan has been enhanced over the years. It has included eliminating the employee contribution, cost of living increases, and an improved formula. Vivek also added that the Employee's Staff Pension Plan was competitive in the local market when last examined. The current formula is: 1.45% multiplied by the average salary for the highest five consecutive years out of the last ten multiplied by the number of years of service. Currently, an employee is eligible to retire at 55 years of age and 15 years of service; 60 years of age and 10 years of service; or 65 years of age and 5 years of service. The requirements for the Employee's Staff Pension Plan are determined by the University. 
Vivek shared an overhead explaining the dollars that have been allocated to the Employee's Staff Pension Plan by the University over the last five years. Vivek explained the assets, current liability (meaning if Notre Dame closed its doors and had to pay out all the benefits), the amount currently being paid out to retirees or individuals who leave and withdraw their contributions plus interest and the University contributions to the plan. The numbers indicate that the plan is overfunded, however Vivek explained that this is a good thing because it provides a cushion in cases of downturns in the market. 
Melodie Wise asked the Council if they had any questions for Vivek, and none were noted. Melodie thanked Vivek for his time, and stated that the Executive Committee will be meeting to put a final draft of the retirement letter together for the Council's approval. 
Melodie Wise handed out the schedule of meetings for the 2001 Staff Advisory Council meetings. She also handed out the letter Dan Brazo sent to Fr. Beauchamp, C.S.C. and Fr. Beauchamp's response. 
Sarah Misener shared with the Council that the Employee Staff Handbook is in its final stages. The handbook has been delayed due to two critical policies that have been revised and the University felt that these policies needed to be included in the updated Handbook. Sarah also mentioned that the handbook will be spiral bound. 
IV. Holiday Hour Proposal Discussion 
Rich Nugent, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, greeted the Council and thanked them for being a part of the Council. Rich shared that the Council is a great way for staff to get the facts on various issues across the campus. 
Rich explained that the Holiday Hour Proposal was discussed at the Officer level this Summer. Rich stated that as the Holiday Hour Proposal is certainly an important issue, at the current time the estimated $250,000 to $275,000 funding for the Classification Project, as well as the projected $2 million dollar increase in health care expenses is the current priority for the University. Rich stated that at the present time the approximately $100,000 cost for this proposal is just not realistic. 
Rich explained that the healthcare cost increase is due in large part to some high claim cases the University has had over the past year, as well as the cost of prescription drugs continuing to rise. 
Rich addressed a question a Council member had regarding the University's future with Cigna. Rich stated that the University conducted a study of three healthcare providers and felt that Cigna was the only one of the three organizations that could give us the discounts and networks the University needed. The University has decided to continue its relationship with Cigna, but will use a new claims processing facility in Bourbannais, Illinois as opposed to Iowa. 
V. Fr. Timothy Scully, C.S.C. Executive Vice President visit in November 
Melodie Wise shared with the Council that Fr. Scully would like to attend a future meeting and meet the Council members. Melodie asked Council members for items they would like to discuss with Fr. Scully. Some ideas that the Council felt they wanted to share include the Position Description process, the transfer/promotion and posting process, retiree health insurance, sick-time being converted into a payout upon retirement, and the anniversary date of the employee being changed to date of hire versus the July 1st date. 
Melodie asked Council members to bring any other ideas or suggestions to discuss with Fr. Scully to the next Council meeting. 
VI. Set Agenda for Thursday, October 12, 2000 Meeting 
I. Approve the September 21, 2000 Council minutes 
II. Retirement Letter Draft 
III. Prepare for Fr. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., Executive Vice President Visit 
IV. Committee Reports 
- Executive Committee 
- Elections Committee 
- Promotion Committee 
- Parking Committee 
- Parking Appeals Committee 
- Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues 
- Ad-Hoc Committee on Drug Testing 
- Ad-Hoc Redistricting Committee 
- Web Page Update 
- StaffNews Article 
V. Overview of the 2000 Open Enrollment Information 
VI. Set the Agenda for the November 16, 2000 Council Meeting 
Deb Bennett made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 3 p.m. Beverly Harbor seconded this motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of this motion. 
Promotion Committee