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K-State Today

May 9, 2013

Highlights from May 1 Classified Senate meeting

By Pat Fine

Here are the highlights from the May 1 Classified Senate meeting. A draft of the meeting minutes is available at http://www.k-state.edu/class-senate/minutes/may13.pdf.

Sue Peterson, Kansas Sen. Tom Hawk, and Kansas Reps. Sydney Carlin and Vern Swanson attended the meeting. Discussion was held regarding what has happened so far this year in the Kansas Legislature, and what was expected to happen in the wrap-up session that begins May 8. There are still two major issues to be resolved: the tax plan and the budget.

The procedures in the Legislature have changed this year. There are no general orders. There is no omnibus bill as in the past. It has all been folded into the conference committee report from Appropriations. There will be no pay raises or market adjustments this year. HB 2384 that would have changed some classified positions to unclassified has not passed. Terri Wyrick pointed out to the legislators that the changes in the KPERS bill passed last year, where employee contributions go up, was implemented because the state has not met their obligation for years to provide adequate funding for KPERS. Classified Senate informed the legislators that classified employees in group three have not received the market adjustments that groups one and two have, and that last year’s market adjustments were not handled fairly according to the provisions of HB 2916 passed in 2008. Employees in group three have received no pay raises of any kind since July 2008.

Gary Leitnaker commended the Alternative Service Committee for the job it has been doing at the group discussions. He informed senators that comments on the Aon Hewitt report regarding the human capital services assessment are due May 10. Lesa Reves encouraged people to read the information available and make comments. The Aon Hewitt final report and further information can be found online.

Laura Foote, from the Guide to Personal Success, or GPS, first-year mentoring program, gave a presentation to Executive Council and left materials from her presentation to be handed out to any senators who might be interested.

Annette Hernandez and Doris Galvan, co-chairs of the Recognition Ceremony Committee, were thanked for their hard work, as well as the other senators who helped at the ceremony. Many positive comments have been received from all across campus. Hernandez has received pictures from the ceremony and will have those added to the Classified Senate website.

The employee tuition assistance proposal forwarded from Faculty Senate was discussed by Pam Warren, classified representative on the Faculty Senate Fringe Benefits Committee. Pam said much of the information gathering had already been done. The employee assistance and dependent assistance programs are totally different. President Dale Billam appointed Pam Warren and Michele Edwards as co-chairs of a subcommittee for the Campus Affairs Committee to formulate a proposal that could be submitted to the administration after approval from the Classified Senate.

Carol Marden, chair of the Alternative Service Committee, reported that the committee would exist until after the vote in November. If the move to alternative service is approved in November, the committee would continue until all the components have been implemented. The committee is a temporary campus committee, not a permanent one. Marden brought up several issues that would need to be addressed if the vote to move to alternative service is approved. If alternative service is approved by classified employees it would then need to be approved by campus administration and submitted to the Board of Regents for its approval. The Board of Regents would decide when it takes effect.