Wednesday, July 11, 2001
10:00 am - 12:00 noon
Fairbanks location: Butrovich Building – Sherman Carter Conference Room
1. Call to order and roll call
Kerry Digou called the meeting to order at 10:04 am.
Kerry Digou, President
John Mitchell, Vice President
Laura Jackson, Secretary
Juli Gillispie, Alternate
Linda Harrigan, Alternate
Michael Simmons, Alternate
Pat Ivey, System Governance
Brian Brubaker, System Governance
2. Adopt agenda
MOTION: Moved by Gramstad, seconded by Mitchell, passed without objection
“The Statewide Administration Assembly of the University of Alaska hereby adopts the agenda for its July 11, 2001, meeting. This action is effective July 11, 2001.”
3. Approve June 13, 2001, minutes
changes were suggested for the minutes.
Onpage three, in second paragraph, the last word of the second line
should be “from” instead of “form.” On
page four, last paragraph should say “first floor” instead of “fist
floor.” In the list of questions under
agenda item five, the question “What do we do know that is helpful?” should be
“What do we have now that is helpful?”
In the numbered list of questions on page two, the phrase “and how will
we…” currently listed as part of question 4 should be listed as a separate
question, number 5. On page 4, in the
last paragraph of agenda item 4, the first occurrence of the word “was” should
be struck from the first sentence. The
last sentence under agenda item 4 on page 4 should read “V. Janene Sikkink said
without after seeing what the….”
MOTION: Moved by Gramstad, seconded by Sporleder, passed without objection
“The Statewide Administration Assembly hereby adopts the minutes of the June 13, 2001, meeting as amended. This action is effective July 11, 2001.”
4. 2001-2002 Goals and Objectives
Various members gave a recap of what was discussed regarding goals and objectives for 2001-2002 at the last meeting. Items dropped from the original draft list of goals included the Butrovich Building Directory and parking charges. Kerry Digou moderated the discussion of items as listed on the second draft of goals and objectives.
A member said that a constituent asked about staff costs benefits and specifically the $400 wellness benefit. This constituent wondered if SAA could support that $400 being used for SRC memberships. It was explained that the powers that be have basically said no to this idea when the subject was broached last year.
John Mitchell said that Scott McCrea, the president of the UAF Staff Council, is working on improving orientation materials for new UAF employees. John Mitchell said that he would like to work on this also for statewide employees. Better orientation of new employees will help improve employee retention.
Kerry Digou said that there seems to be a consensus that improving new employee orientation is something SAA wants to work on. A member said that there is just too much information to cover for new employees. One possible goal would be to make the orientation a little longer; another would be to make sure that written references are available; and a third is to make a more user-friendly written guide for new employees.
A member said that they would like to cover some of the more daily, trivial topics in orientation - like what the schedule of headbolt heaters is and where you go to buy your parking decal. Laura Jackson mentioned that the UAA Classified Council President, Cheryl Wright, has prepared a short, user-friendly reference for new UAA employees. She said she would try and get a copy of that resource and send it to John Mitchell.
Brian Brubaker pointed out that there is a significant gap in the timeline of civic events sponsored by SAA between March and October each year. He said that these civic events and projects are a way for SAA and statewide employees to do public service and promote more social interactions between employees. It was suggested that SAA could coordinate a Golden Days Event or something during the Tanana Valley State Fair. It was mentioned that the Advanced College Tuition Department has a booth at the fair each year. An ice cream social was suggested for consideration. Kerry Digou asked members to continue to think about possible civic events for this gap.
This item refers to the new job families and classification system. Kerry Digou announced that Dale Seay, who had been managing the implementation of the new classification system, has taken a new position with the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. His position is being refilled and there are two more positions added to this project. Also, two consultants are continuing to work on this project.
It was mentioned that SWOHR’s timeline to implement new IT job families in early August has slipped, obviously. Kerry Digou said that he guessed implementation for IT job families could occur in September 2001.
Janet Jacobs reported to the Staff Alliance that SWOHR will be up to full strength by early August. A member said that they were impressed with Dale Seay’s professionalism and accomplishment in busy times.
It was pointed out that Lisa Sporleder will represent SAA on the committee that will develop a process to appeal an individual’s job family assignment under the new classification process. Lisa Sporleder said she heard that Janet Jacobs will be participating on this committee in place of Dale Seay, who is leaving the university. Lisa Sporleder said they had originally hoped to meet for the first time by July 4, 2001, or shortly thereafter.
Sharon Gramstad said that she represents SAA on the advisory committee for the new Professional Development Program - Career Planning, which has not yet met. Kerry Digou and Laura Jackson said that Janet Jacobs reported to the Staff Alliance on July 10, 2001, that Roxa Hawkins is planning some supervisory training to be offered for the first time in August 2001.
There was some confusion about what this category of goals and objectives is referring to. It was apparently not mentioned and/or discussed at the last SAA meeting. Kerry Digou said that the newsletter helps promote good employee relations in a very general way, and so would John Mitchell’s suggestion of improving new employee orientations.
Linda Harrigan, who had been absent to attend a department staff meeting for land management, joined the SAA meeting at this point.
It was mentioned that there is an effort at union organization underway. Kerry Digou said that a union organizing representative has contacted him. Members mentioned that they have been receiving pieces of mail and emails about union organizing gatherings in Wood Center.
Kerry Digou said that he is still hearing about and personally having problems with the $400 preventative benefit. A member said that basically, if it doesn’t get coded right the first time you lose. Kerry Digou said that in his case, it was coded right but an unexpected regular type payment under a spouse’s plan caused problems. A member said that he had good experience with the benefit with his two children.
A member said that it may be necessary to do another information mailing like was done last year to keep the awareness up.
It was mentioned that there has been some confusion specifically about mammograms. A member said that she is disputing whether or not their mammogram is a wellness benefit with Blue Cross. Apparently, many employees have had the experience where they call Blue Cross and hear that something is not covered, while at the same time they have it in black and white in front of them that the procedure they called about is covered.
At the Staff Alliance meeting on July 10, 2001, Janet Jacobs said there has been very high claims experienced recently on the university health plan. A member speculated that this could mean that the employee co-pay will increase as a result in the future.
Keep Employees Updated on Benefits Issues – Medical Reimbursement Accounts
A member said that they preferred having automatic rollover – where claims are automatically posted to the Medical Reimbursement Accounts and checks sent - to the current vendor’s services, which does not offer that function. Another member said they preferred not having automatic rollover. Kerry Digou said that the issue of automatic rollover was discussed previously by SAA with SWOHR administrators. There is some question about whether or not Blue Cross will reinstate automatic rollover with the new venture.
A consensus was reached that a good number of goals has been chosen and that they seem to be stated adequately.
5. Committee to Develop Appeals Policy on Job Family Assignments
Lisa Sporleder said as she stated earlier during the discussion of goals and objectives for 2001-2002, the committee to develop this has not yet had a meeting. It is not clear who else is on the committee; although it may include Ella Nuss, UAA APT Council President.
A member said that at the last meeting, Dale Seay talked about the process of progressing through your job family (earning promotions). He said that you go to other managers in that job family in order to get the go ahead to progress through the job family. This is to help ensure fairness, so that promotions in one department don’t outstrip or happen in significantly different fashions than in other departments or at other campuses or MAUs. A member thought that process of approving promotions sounds incredibly cumbersome and burdensome, and with appeals it would be even more so.
Another member said that they didn’t fully understand that description Dale Seay gave about how to progress through a job family. He’s afraid that when we lose Dale Seay we are loosing some of the details of this project which are in his head and aren’t on paper.
Kerry Digou pointed out that the promotion process isn’t nice as it currently exists. He feels that what Dale Seay had described would be less cumbersome than the current process.
A member said that they are seeing a number of “new processes” being described, suggested, and debated and not necessarily any real improvement to compensation and job classification methods.
6. Other items of concern
Kerry Digou said that the changes SAA recommended to the parking lot were reviewed by statewide administrators and were sent to UAF Parking Services to be implemented. UAF Parking Services has not addressed the changes. They claimed they were waiting until the summer and until their office was moved to address the changes asked for.
7. Agenda items for the next meeting – Wednesday, August 8, 2001
Agenda items for the next meeting may include:
Employee Orientation Improvements
Butrovich Parking Lot Changes
A Report on the UAF Parking Committee by David Rohwer
An Update on Job Family Assignment Appeals Policy by Lisa Sporleder
An Update on Professional Development Program - Career Planning by Sharon Gramstad
8. Special Orders
Kerry Digou mentioned that V. Janene Sikkink is leaving the university. Lisa Sporleder is taking over her seat and Michael Simmons and Juli Gillispie are new alternate members.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:21 am.