SAA Highlights

November 9 meeting overview

The Statewide Administration Assembly last held its monthly meeting on Nov. 9. The folowing is an overview of the meeting. The next SAA meeting will be Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. All meetings are open to the public, and statewide workers are encouraged to contact their governance group to address workplace concerns, policies, and other matters affecting statewide staff. If you have any questions please contact SAA president Monique Musick at mmusick@alaska.edu.

SAA President’s Report
Vice President Erika Kurowski reported on the Staff Alliance meeting. The Board of Regents approved the 3.5 percent staff salary increase for FY13. Regent Fisher was the lone regent that disapproved, not because of the salary increase, but because the budget as a whole didn’t hold true to what the Governor wanted. 

A Google form was approved for the policy review. A notice will be sent out for all governance groups. President Gamble announced that effective November 15, the System Governance Office will report to Academic Affairs. The move is intended to enhance the engagement of governance groups on academic issues and to improve the internal flow of information between governance groups and the President’s Office. This change brought up the subject of a possible amendment to the by-laws. By-laws currently state that all executive guidance communication is through the Vice President of University Relations.

The new performance evaluation form is ready for President Gamble’s approval. The reviews for the electronic timesheets that 650 employees have tested have been positive. It will now go live to all employees in February 2012.

Spring budget meeting

This is a footnote to but the meeting on everyone’s mind. The goal is to be more involved in the budget planning process. Everyone is welcome to suggest input.

UA’s Strategic Direction

Regular email updates are being sent by President Gamble to all employees on the Strategic Direction. Everyone is encouraged to attend a local listening session to address what we want to see in the University of Alaska system. One part of the Strategic Direction has been student retention and moving the students through in four years. Stay on TRACK went live on October 31 to positive reviews. The website had 6,000 visitors, with 54 students making the “Finish in 4 Promise.”

Policy Review
A Google document has been set up for input on the reviews. The input will then be sent via spreadsheet to System Governance. The deadline for review is November 28, 2011. The Google form is available on the System Governance’s website.

Spring Service Awards
Monique Musick is working with the President’s Office to set a date for the spring service awards. Employment list will be run in early January so that recipients can make their gift selections early on.

Holiday Potlucks & Charity Drives
The first Holiday potluck for the Butrovich staff was held November 18th. It was a resounding success with a bounty of food to share, not just with employees but with the food bank also. 160 pounds of goodies and treats were donated to the Food Bank after the potluck. The next potluck is slated for December 16th. The theme will be Holiday Tailgate. So let’s bring on the consummate tailgating fare to share with one and all!

Monique Musick will again chair the Adopt-A-Family gift drive, and Lisa Sporleder will organize the non-perishable food drive. Collection boxes went up for the Thanksgiving potluck and will remain through the winter holiday potluck. Adopt-A-Family information will be released once family information is received from Love INC.

Human Resource Issues
Staff Alliance supports the UAF Staff Alliance resolution to NOT support changes to the Employee Tuition Waivers. SAA has expressed an interest in seeing the resolution before making any comments. The resolution was forwarded to President Gamble.

Monique Musick thanked everyone who participated in the communication to campaign to for the staff salary increase. The campaign was a success. The increase has now been forwarded to the Governor for approval. Staff Alliance has asked that everyone continue the campaign by writing to the Governor for support of the increase, though it was noted that we shouldn’t be writing on work time or via the work email address. Juelle Sparks, Chair of the Staff Alliance, will be forwarding the email information.

JHCC Update
The Joint Health Care Committee held a two day retreat October 17th and 18th. No major plan changes came from the meeting, though the committee is hoping to add surgical travel in the future to our plans. There was a ten percent increase in costs last year, plus the new changes in federal law also have increased the plans cost. The change in cost to employees hasn’t been determined yet, but will come out during open enrollment time. It has been decided to phase out the 500 Plan by 2014; a second plan will be added in its place. A goal of instituting a health savings plan was discussed. In order to have the health savings plan anyone opting to join will have to switch their pharmacy plans to 80/20 co-pay plan. Premera will also have to implement a live feed for the pharmacies to participate. At this time they do not offer live feed. The JHC representatives are meeting with Premera on December 1 in Seattle to discuss this. While in Seattle, the representatives will also be meeting with King County representatives to review their wellness program that they were introduced to two-years ago.

The mission/goal of the Staff Compensation Committee is changing slightly. Instead of being a response driven committee that meets in the late summer through the fall, it will now be a regular group that meets bi-weekly or monthly. The committee will work closely with the Office of Budget Development. Placeholders for salary increases need to be data driven with data collected earlier in the process. The group size will be limited to four representatives each from UAA, UAF, and SW and three representatives from UAS.

With the announcement of Beth Behner’s retirement the question arose of what possible role SAA could have in the selection of the new hires. Dana Platta suggested recognition for Beth Behner for her contribution to SAA through the years.

Building Issues
Requests were sent to the building manager regarding peeling desktop laminate, a downstairs bathroom countertop that needs to be repaired, and the mirror that needs replaced on the 1st floor men’s restroom.

Dory Straight has volunteered to spearhead the Butrovich Lobby Directory Ad-hoc committee. Discussion will center on a possible electronic directory system.

John Renfro, Manager of Custodial Services, has been invited to discuss custodial concerns at the next meeting. A list of comments for him is being collected now.

Jocelyn Martin has enthusiastically volunteered to head the garden committee. They are making their selections for the Butrovich garden now. The list will be sent to the greenhouses in early January.

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