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Staff Senate Meeting Overview - May 2011

by UofL Today last modified May 12, 2011 08:12 AM

The Staff Senate is part of UofL’s shared governance system, which also includes the Faculty Senate and Student Government Association.

Senators are elected by their peers.

The full body met in regular session May 9 in Chao Auditorium Ekstrom Library. Chair Brent Fryrear presided. Here is what happened:

Action

Senators approved wording changes to the Personal Leave Policy that are meant to bring it in line with changes to the Vacation Leave Policy allowing new hires to use leave in their first six months of employment.

Senators approved a concept proposal that would provide flexible scheduling guidelines to departments. If a department opted to allow staff to work flexible schedules, staff eligibility would be dependent on having a satisfactory job performance. The proposal now goes to Human Resources to be fleshed out.

Reports

Sen. Christian Gamm, chair of the senate’s Staff Grievance Committee, presented wording changes to proposed grievance, disciplinary and appeals policy changes. The senate had heard a report on the proposed changes in April. Human Resources Vice President Sam Connally also reported on the proposed changes. The senate has worked closely with HR to revise the policies. He described the changes as being intended to facilitate communication between supervisors and their staff members and to give employees a “bona fide opportunity to improve performance. Some of the changes are intended to help employees feel as if they are being heard.” The policies, he said, are performance management tools.

Senators will vote on the proposed changes in June. Because they will require Red Book changes, the Board of Trustees will have to approve them before they can take effect.

Connally also presented information about proposed changes to the tuition remission policy, health plan and retirement that will help save money that can be applied to faculty and staff raises this year.

Those changes go before Board of Trustees committees May 12 and to the entire board in June.

Connally emphasized that the proposed tuition increase is not being used to fund employee raises. He said that 1 percent will come from benefit savings, 1 percent will come from internal departmental budget cuts and 1 percent will come from other cost saving strategies. He asked senators to tell people the source of funding for raises when they hear people say it is from tuition increases.

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