Minutes for the Meeting on March 25, 2009
Student Center, Room 2223
Representatives present:Carrie Buchannon, Brenda Brown, Christine Bradshaw, Judie Brown, Amanda Carr, Renaya Carter, Denise Cooper, Karie Dalton, Joseph Ellis, Jeanetta Felton, Chris Ferrell, Clayton Floyd, Nakeisha Hicks, Sharon Huey, Joel Hunter, Carolyn Jones, Helen Kirk, Donna Lofaso, Valerie Morns-Riggins, Susan Olson, Brenda Ray, Jennifer Richardson, Tammy Samabria, Mary Sinnott, Althea Tate, Arthur Taylor, Connie Taylor, John Varner, Amy Wiley and Judy Woodrow
Representatives absent:Thor Burk, James Gilchrist, Nancy Griggs, Lyn Long (sent substitute ), James Lyons, Wendy Pechman, Regina Peters, Nancy-Ray Monroe, Don Sides, Sharon Storrs and Carolyn Watson-Cox
Call to Order:Valerie Morns-Riggins, Chair of the Council, opened the meeting at 9:35 a.m. with greetings and announcing other Officers – Judy Woodrow, Chair Elect, and Wendy Pechman, Immediate Past Chair. She thanked everyone for attending and then introduced the first speaker.
Guest Speakers –
Gail Ward – Payroll & Employee Benefit
Topic: Salary Continuation, Long Term Disability & Disability Retirement
Gail shared a brief presentation that covered AU’s Salary Continuation Plan. Persons eligible for this benefit are full time employees with one full year of service. Up to 60% of an employees Basic Monthly Earnings not to exceed $7,000 per month is the coverage. Employees will continue to receive full pay as long as they have sick leave, use of annual leave is optional. All sick leave must be used before this benefit can begin. There is no accrual of annual or sick leave during Salary Continuation. Six months is the limitation for Long Term Disability, for Auburn University. If period of disability is less than 30 days the first 5 days are leave without pay. If the disability lasts for thirty or more consecutive days, the 5-day leave with out pay will be waived.
Auburn University will coordinate your disability payment with other disability benefits you may receive. Gail stated that all information on these topics can be found on Payroll and Benefits web page, and that she can be contacted directly to answer any questions. She opened the floor for questions and also left handouts.
Scott Page – Director, Employee Relations
Topic: Family Medical Leave Act Update
Scott spoke on the most recent changes to FMLA that included a special leave entitlement for Military families. Eligible employees can take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period. Eligibility for FML requires employees to have worked for a covered employer for at least one year and for 1250 hours over the previous 12 months.
FMLA requires employers to provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to eligible employees for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth; to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care; to care for the employee’s spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition or for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform their job. Employees can take FML and use annual or sick leave to receive payment for time off. FML does not have to be consecutive days and it is not restricted to 12 weeks per year. Finally Scott stated that the forms and more information are available on the Human Resources web site. Time was allowed for questions.
Steering Committee Election
Valerie expressed to the council that there were two vacant positions on the Steering Committee and that an election would be held to fill those seats. Candidates were Karie Dalton, Vet School; Nakeisha Hick, Forestry and Wildlife Services and Althea Tate, Engineering. Each candidate was asked to address the council and give a brief bio and tell why they were seeking a position on the committee. Ballots were passed out and counted.
Karie Dalton and Nakeisha Hicks were elected by majority vote to serve on the Steering Committee.
Two Steering Committee members, Joel Hunter, Facilities Division and Brenda Ray, RBD Library, were introduced as the candidates for the position of Chair-Elect. Both candidates addressed the council very eloquently sharing why they felt they should be elected to this seat. The election was held and Joel Hunter was elected.
Valerie congratulated all the winners and encouraged those that did not win to continue their active roles in the council and consider running again. She also acknowledged member that are rotating out of office. Wendy Pechman, Past Chair; Don Sides, Steering Committee; Nancy Ray-Monroe, Representative and Helen Kirk, Representative. Certificates of Appreciation will be forwarded to each member.
Health and Wellness
Valerie asked Jenny Swaim to give the council an update on health and wellness issues. The daycare committee is continuing to work on a plan for an AU day care facility. The university has been contacted by a local daycare about taking over their facility. Jenny stated that Dr. Gouge would possibly be willing to provide land and utilities for a center.
Scale Back Alabama was a huge success and over 1700 pounds were lost by AU employees. They are currently looking at making this year round. It was announced that the Vet School has set up an exercise program for their employees for a nominal fee. The Wellness committee is working on trying to obtain a discount for AU employees to participate in the Weight Watchers program.
Facilities Division Representative, Renaya Carter asked about help for someone with
issues or concerns with domestic violence among and abuse teens. She was directed to the Women’s Resource Center on campus.
Valerie also informed the council of the upcoming Women’s Leadership Conference being held March 30-31.
Final Comment from the Chair
Valerie stated that this was her last meeting officiating as chair and that Judy Woodrow would be moving into that position on April 1. She thanked everyone for the work they had done and for all the support shown to her during her year as chair of the council.
She asked all members to remain after the meeting in order to take pictures for updating the council web page. The floor was opened for final questions and comments.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:05 AM