Meeting Minutes: September 16, 2010


Members Present: Steve Ball, Clyde Bentley, Leah Cohn, John Dwyer, Candace Galen, Ann Harrell, Arthur Jago, Rebecca Johnson, Victoria Johnson, Jonathan Krieckhaus, Norman Land, John Lande, April Langley, Sudarshan Loyalka, Tom Marrero, Rebecca McCathren, Leona Rubin, Stephen Sayers, Johannes Schul, James Tarr, Harry Tyrer, Douglas Wakefield, Dana Weston, Bill Wiebold, Shelley Worden (Librarians), Edward Hunvald (MURA), Stephen Montgomery-Smith (AAUP), Richard Guyette (NTT), Nicole Monnier (NTT), Katherine Reed (NTT), Sam White (NTT), and Rebekah Hart (sec.). Members Absent: Gordon Christensen, Kattesh Katti, Xiaoguang Ni, Joe Parcell, Ronald Wheeland, Charles Nilon (Black Faculty and Staff).

Discussion Items

Guest Betsy Rodriguez, Vice President Human Resources speaking on the results of the employee benefits survey followed by a Q&A session.  Chair Leona Rubin called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m. in S203 Memorial Union.  She announced that there will be no Council business at this meeting and the entire session will be used for Rodriguez's presentation on benefits.  Rubin introduced Rodriguez and turned the meeting over to her.

Rodriguez began her PowerPoint presentation on the preliminary results of the Pay and Benefits Preference Study 2010.   A complete description of the survey, the demographics of who participated, completion methods employed by participants, as well as an analysis of the rankings of benefits were thoroughly discussed at the introduction.  Rodriguez said they received 7,000 responses, 86 percent were staff, 63 percent were female, 35 percent were not vested in the retirement plan, 19 percent had over 20 years of service, 60 percent had salaries under $50,000, 92 percent are enrolled in the medical plan.  The items most important to faculty are base pay and retirement; the items most important to staff are base pay and out-of-pocket expenses.  In general the medical plan was ranked satisfactory and she noted there were some comments from both staff and faculty that cited problems with the plan.  She shared with the group that the medical plan will be experiencing an increase in premiums and this will be announced soon.  In their analysis of the benefit survey they also performed a comparison between benefits and found that base pay was the most important followed by retirement, medical plan and the medical plan for retirees, and a retirement plan that provides matching funds (this is not available).  The younger employees are more concerned with out-of-pocket expenses and the older employees are more concerned with base pay and the retirement plan.  There was very little interest in adding to the benefits package other types of insurances.  On the question, does the benefits package meet my needs, 53 percent responded yes.  This result was constant on all four campuses.  The question concerning domestic partners coverage resulted in an equal percent both pro and con on the Columbia campus.  The majority of employees on all campuses preferred to keep holidays, vacation, sick, and personal days separate.

Employees were surveyed on the university's Wellness Initiative.  Rodriguez reported that more needs to be done on wellness and that for every dollar spent there is a three dollar return.  She reported that 35 percent of employees are failing on wellness.  There was some discussion about health screenings and the use of that data on employees.  It was also pointed out that many people are unaware of the wellness program and what it had to offer.    The survey results on employee engagement/happiness revealed the younger, newer employees as happiest.

Rodriguez announced that if there are any changes to be made to the retirement plan they will be made in 2012.  They are expecting recommendations from the Board in December 2010.  Among the questions asked were: (1) Q. Was there any staff or faculty input used in the survey? A. No; (2) Q. If a new retirement plan is developed, will it be published ahead of time? A. Yes, the plan will be published to allow for discussion; (3) Q. Is the Board allowing enough time to analyze the data before making a recommendation in December?  A. We feel there will be more time for additional discussion.

Respectfully submitted,

Shelley Worden,  Recorder