University System of Maryland
Council of University System Staff
University of Baltimore
January 30, 2001
|Joyce Bauguess (UB)
||Art Hanlin (FSU)
|Jessica Bird (UMB)
||Kay Martel (UB)
|Jeanette Cartron (UMCP)
|Sally Davies (UMUC)
|Dottie Holland (BSU)
||John Adams (TU)
|Rusty Kinnamon (UMCES)
|Starrla Levine (UB)
||Willie Fields (CSC)
|Nathan Long (BSU)
||Tim Ford (UMBC)
|Lu Ann Marshall (UMB)
||Tina Kreamer (UMUC)
|Mike McCrea (UMBI)
||Valerie Lashley (FSU)
|Patrick McLane (FSU)
||Larry Lauer (UMCP)
|Craig Newman (UMCP)
||Janet Magruder (UMBC)
|Richard Rose (USM
||Sharon Perkins (CSC)
|Roy Ross (UMB)
||Carol Prier (UMCP)
||Sandy Ratke (USM
|Tammy Trivits (SSU)
||Susann Shoop (TU)
|Fran Younger (UMCES)
||Rosario I. van Daalen
||Donald N. Langenberg,
I. Call to Order
Roy Ross called the meeting to
order at 10:15 a.m.
Starrla Levine introduced Dr.
Mebane Turner, President of the University of Baltimore. Dr. Turner talked
about fund-raising efforts for the USM. He also spoke about the dramatic
changes that have taken place in the area surrounding the University of
Baltimore campus. Dr. Turner stated that he believes that CUSS is important as
the voice of USM employees. Starrla then introduced Karen Drake, HR Director
III. Approval of Minutes
The minutes from the December 12,
2000 Council Meeting were unavailable at this time.
IV. Report from the Chair
Roy Ross reported that the Board
of Regents Finance Committee meeting held on December 20, 2000 at the USM
Office was well-attended. The Regents' Finance Committee endorses the
"concept" of collective bargaining. Roy will try to get
clarification of the use of the word "concept" used in the Finance
Committee's endorsement. The Finance Committee will revisit the collective
bargaining issue at the full BOR meeting, scheduled for Friday, February 9 at
UMUC. Roy said that, in his experience, when the Finance Committee makes a
recommendation the full Board usually votes to approve the recommendation-the
only time he could remember the full Board disapproving a Finance Committee
recommendation was the time they overruled the increase in UMB parking rates.
Tammy Trivits videotaped the
December 20 meeting and has given a copy of the video to Roy Ross. The
videotape includes Vice Chancellor Joe Vivona's Power Point presentation of
collective bargaining facts relating to the bill.
Kay Martel said that she felt that
the presentation was "one-sided" and that the Committee avoided
questions regarding finance.
Dottie Holland said that it was
obvious to her that the Chair of the Finance Committee was being guided by the
Chair of the BOR, who was on the telephone during the meeting. She questions
whether there was a quorum present when the Committee voted on the collective
bargaining issue, which she believes is largely political. In other words, the
Governor has put a lot of money into higher education, and collective
bargaining is the "pay-off." There is also some feeling that the
Presidents and Vice-Presidents are being told to support the bill under
Roy Ross believes that the
complexities of the bill will allow each institution to have some
Andrianna Stuart said that there
was a quorum present at the Finance Committee meeting, as there are 3 active
members-2 were present and 1 was on the telephone.
Questions were raised as to how
much money the implementation of collective bargaining will cost, and what the
source of this money will be. It was pointed out that there is a fiscal note
attached to legislative bills. We will need to see the fiscal note when it is
finalized to see how much collective bargaining will cost and where the money
will come from.
Richard Rose stated that he views
collective bargaining as being powerless, not empowering. He does not believe
that we will have an impact on any final decisions, especially as the bottom
line is monetary. In other words, since we are enjoined from
"striking," he sees the collective bargaining concept as being
"without teeth," with no recourse if we do not get what we want.
Richard suggested that we should come up with a list of pros and cons to share
with our institutions.
Art Hanlin said that he believes
that collective bargaining is going to happen and that we should focus on how
CUSS can become the voice of System employees. CUSS could still exist,
particularly as a voice for supervisors, managers, and confidential employees,
who do not have a voice under the proposed collective bargaining bill.
There was also a fear that the
present sense of "collegiality" will be lost. State employees did
not participate in a system of shared governance. We, on the other hand, have
ways to communicate with the administration.
Roy reported that UMB has been
unsuccessful, thus far, in its attempt to have Bill Neff, UMB consultant,
speak at an open forum, which could also be shared via IVN to other USM
institutions. Mr. Neff has worked on both sides of the collective bargaining
table, and would present a "neutral" perspective on the collective
V. Report from USM Liaisons
Donald Tynes reported that Roy
Ross was unable to attend the January 23rd meeting of the BOR
Finance Committee, but that he expected Larry Lauer to attend the meeting.
The contingent employee policy was
approved by the Finance Committee of the BOR-special language was added to the
policy that strengthens the position of the employee. The policy will go to the
full Board of Regents at the February 9 meeting at UMUC.
It was decided to leave the tuition
remission policy as it is now written-even though there was discussion about
removal of the two year waiting period for family members to receive tuition
remission. The tuition remission issue will likely be revisited at a later date
(probably summer 2001, or later).
Rosario van Daalen reported that the
three USM legislative bills are scheduled for hearings. They are: (1) changing
the name of "Salisbury State University" to "Salisbury
University"; (2) the "Optional Retirement Plan" change in
contribution from 7.25% to 9.25%; and (3) allowing ORP retirees to purchase
health insurance at a group rate.
Three pieces of legislation have
been tabled for later: (1) Whistle Blower legislation; (2) change in EEO
complaint processing-employee with a discrimination complaint can go to the
federal, state, or institutional level-but would be required to choose one
venue; and (3) the statute of limitations for contracts - a one year time
frame for appeal of contracts.
Automatic deposit requirement for
new employees took effect on January 1, 2001-students and Contingent I
employees are exempt from the bill.
Regarding the BEST program (Building
Excellence through Staff Training), there are concerns that will need to go back
to the Task Force to be addressed. The program will then be presented again to
the Vice-Presidents for Administration. One of the concerns is that we don't
reinvent the wheel-we have many good programs already in place. The current
time line calls for the BEST program to be presented at the July 13 Board of
Regents meeting for approval.
The biennial (every two years)
review of Nonexempt salaries is on target-the salary structure is proposed to
be increased on July 1. Under the proposed salary structure, anyone falling
below the "minimum" will be increased. The System can continue to
reward employees who are currently at the "maximum," which will also
be lifted to keep the USM competitive. There are approximately 500 employees who
will be below the new minimum, which will cost the System approximately
$650,000. As of July 1, 2001, the lowest salary in the System will be $17,480-which
is considered the "living wage." New salary structure charts will be
posted for the period of July 1, 2001 until June 30, 2003.
VI. Committee Reports
Due to the time constraints,
committee reports were tabled until the February meeting.
VII. Review of the Council
Resolution to the BOR
Many questions were raised during
the discussion of the Council Resolution to the Board of Regents concerning
the collective bargaining bill.
With respect to a "service
fee," there is no service fee in the bill this year. Of course, there may
be future bills next year and this is subject to change. If you would choose
to join the union, there would be membership dues.
Many members were concerned about
our benefits-which are essentially the same as State employees' benefits,
although System benefits are better. Will we be pulled back to the State
benefit level? We would have separate bargaining from the State and, ideally,
we would not go backward, but should move forward. The USM will continue doing
business separately from the State.
The initial estimate for costs to
the USM for collective bargaining is $2M. In the fiscal note attached to last
year's collective bargaining bill, it was estimated that it would cost the
USM $209,200 for the first year of collective bargaining. If the General
Assembly does not come up with funds, the USM will have to come up with the
With respect to unionization-even
if the collective bargaining bill is passed, we can vote to
"organize" or "not organize." If it is decided to
"organize," the union could be "decertified" at the end of
the contract, if employees are unhappy with the union's performance.
It was agreed that each of the
members will return to his/her institution to get a feel for the institutional
opinion on collective bargaining. Roy Ross will send a list of "pros and
cons" to each member in order to facilitate this task. Each member was
asked to report the institutional opinion to Roy before the February 9 full
Board of Regents meeting.
Dottie Holland said that the
current climate at Bowie State University is split and that they plan to hold
an open forum to educate employees so that they will be able to make an
informed decision regarding collective bargaining.
Roy Ross will also approach Dr.
Langenberg to see if the USM would be willing to finance a visit by Bill Neff
to discuss collective bargaining.
VIII. Old Business
After discussion, it was decided
to schedule future CUSS meetings for 10 a.m., with Committees meeting during
IX. New Business
Andrianna Stuart raised the
question of "punch-in times" for employees at the College Park
campus. As of July 1, 2001, if the employee punches in early or at the end
(more than 10 minutes before his/her shift start), the University is forced to
pay overtime. The concern is that when employees are not allowed to punch-in
early that they will be delayed in a long line, thereby punching-in late, and
will result in severe disciplinary action.
The meeting was adjourned at
2:15 p.m. The next CUSS meeting will be held at UMBC on February 27, 2001.