Advisory Council of Classified Employees

MINUTES of June 17, 2004, Thursday, 12:30 a.m.
WVU Medical Center, Charleston, WV

ATTENDANCE

Members in attendance:

Stephanie Neal, Marshall, presiding
Paul Martinelli, WVU
Amy Pitzer, Concord
Sid Cooper, WVU Tech
Zac Wycherley, Northern
Debi Cruse, Potomac
Verne Britton, WVNET
Johnna Beane, WVU Charleston
Barbara Neuman, West Liberty
Bob Long, HEPC
Ken Harbaugh, Shepherd
Fred Hardee, Bluefield
Mary Igo, New River
Chris Gray, Southern
Bob MacPhail, Eastern
Patsy Bee, WVU Parkersburg

Members excused:

Evie McPherson, Glenville
Valeria Barfield, WVSOM
Sandy Shriver, Fairmont

PREVIOUS MINUTES

The minutes of the May 20, 2004 meeting were approved with corrections.

COMMUNITY & TECHNICAL COLLEGE COUNCIL MEETING REPORT

Stephanie Neal reported that Margaret Buttrick had made a PowerPoint presentation at the Community and Technical College Council (C&TCC) meeting. The C&TCC debated the conflict which arises from legislation requiring new employees hired after July 1, 2004 to be brought in at the zero or entry step while there is no requirement to bring current employees up to the entry level. Council members asked why all employees at some institutions are all funded at or above the entry level and employees at other institutions are not. The C&TCC was given an annual report on the progress toward funding the salary schedule. No action was taken by the C&TCC on this issue as this was just an informational item on their agenda.

Mrs. Neal noted that the institutions are not being held accountable. During the following discussion it was noted that faculty promotions were still being made and many administrators continue to receive salary enhancements. The progress report showed that while the total number of classified employees is decreasing, the number of employees below the equity step in increasing.

It was also noted that faculty and non-classified salary increases are made without total statewide dollar amounts being published as is the case with classified staff salary increases. It was noted that any change in the personnel rule, such as extending the deadline to fund the zero equity step, would require legislative action since the personnel rule was taken back as a legislative rule in Senate Bill 448.

LIAISON REPORT

Margaret Buttrick reported on her presentation to the Community and Technical College Council (C&TCC) regarding the history and implementation of the Mercer classification and compensation system.

Mrs. Buttrick announced that the HEPC will continue their personnel process audits of institutional records and practices including financial aid, human resources, grievances procedures etc. The next audits are scheduled for Marshall University and Shepherd University.

A brief discussion was held concerning the possible impact of new federal Fair Labor Standards legislation. Mrs. Buttrick offered her opinion that the new regulations would have minimal impact. The new regulations do not apply to Higher Education employees in WV without legislative action. The new language affects mostly white collar employees.

Mrs. Neal asked about filling the vacancy on the Job Evaluation Committee (JEC) and noted that Zac Wycherley has been formally trained in the Job Factor Analysis methodology. Mrs. Buttrick suggested that Mrs. Neal send a letter to Chancellors Mullen and Skidmore regarding the appointment of Mr. Wycherley to the JEC.

A discussion ensued about looking at JEC procedures and rules at a future meeting along with a presentation on various salary schedule models and how implementation of the various models could occur.

It was noted that no policies or guidelines exist concerning how or why a position can be deemed "critical" for the purpose of exceeding the 10% cap on non-classified employees.

Mrs. Buttrick noted that, according to code, positions identified for critical retention must be approved by the institutionís Board of Governors.

Mr. Wycherley raised a question concerning new employees still in their initial 6-month probationary period applying for posted position openings. Mrs. Buttrick noted that it is common practice in business to prohibit new employees from applying for other positions until their probationary period is over but confirmed that there is nothing in code or in Series 8 which prevents a probationary employee from applying for another open position.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE

Paul Martinelli suggested that the ACCE would need to establish our 2005 legislative goals at the July planning meeting. He also suggested that the Governmental Liaison Committee should schedule a final meeting with Governor Wise before the next legislative session. Mr. Martinelli reported that he had been in contact with gubernatorial candidate Joe Manchin, who indicated a willingness to meet with the ACCE, but he had not yet heard from candidate Warner.

Ken Harbaugh recommended that each institutionís Classified Staff Council should have a legislative committee to work with their local legislators.

ANNUAL PLANNING MEETING

Ms. Neal reported that she was in the process of making final arrangements for the annual planning meeting:

Location:  Heritage Farms, Huntington, WV
Dates: Sunday July 25 through Tuesday, July 27
Times: to be announced
Cost: Estimated at $130-$150 per person including lodging, facilities, and meals Registration fee billing will be arranged through the Marshall University research corporation.

NEW BUSINESS:

By-laws Committee

Mrs. Neal appointed a new ad hoc committee charged with drafting revisions to the ACCE constitution and bylaws including changes required to be in compliance with SB 448 and election procedures and to look at the possibility of incorporating new sections on standards of behavior and disciplinary procedures.

Members appointed to the By-Laws Committee are: Bob Long (Chair), Paul Martinelli, Patsy Bee, Barbara Neuman and Amy Pitzer.

WVNET Userís Conference

Verne Britton announced an upcoming WVNET userís conference. Details are available on the WVNET web site.

Salary Policy

Mr. Harbaugh shared Shepherd Universityís new salary policy which has been adopted by their Board of Governors making Shepherd the first institution in the state to adopt a comprehensive salary policy.

Joint Personnel Rule

Mrs. Neal reported that SB448 requires the HEPC and the C&TCC to submit a joint personnel rule to LOCEA. A meeting has been set with the ACCE executive committee, Chancellors Mullen, Chancellor Skidmore, and Bruce Walker HEPC office on Friday, June 18, to discuss the development of the rule. Mrs. Pitzer suggested that Series 31 (Classified Employees) should be incorporated into the joint legislative rule.

Board of Governorís Degree

Mrs. Neal suggested that the newly created Board of Governorís Degree could be used by classified staff for development and training.

ACCE Presentation to HEPC Related to Funding the Zero Step

Mrs. Neal reported that a proposal to extend the deadline for funding the zero equity step was on the HEPC agenda for Friday, June 18, 2004. She and the Chair of WVUís Classified Staff Council, Terry Nebel, were invited to speak on the issue.

Discussing the issue it was noted that, since the personnel rule in now a legislative rule and not a procedural rule, the HEPC and the C&TCC would need to adopt a joint recommendation for LOCEAís consideration. Mrs. Pitzer pointed out that when this issue first surfaced in 2001 the ACCE was opposed to putting a deadline on funding the zero step to the exclusion of addressing the rest of the salary schedule but was in support of addressing full funding of both the zero step and the salary schedule. She also noted that the Compensation Review Committee, which could have been addressing this issue, has been virtually ignored and has not met.

It was also noted that some institutions are moving further away from full funding of the zero equity step rather than closer to it and giving the individual campuses "flexibility" in regard to salary has created greater inequities with in the system which has resulted in lower staff moral.

ADJOURNED

The meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:

Robert A. "Zac" Wycherley
Secretary

APPROVED: 26 July 2004