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Tulane University


									                            Tulane University
                         Staff Advisory Council
                Minutes of Thursday, September 11, 2008

       ATTENDEES                                  ATTENDEES

  DOWNTOWN CAMPUS                                  OFFICERS
Kathleen Brumfield         Excused   Susan Barrera ,Chair                     Present
Glenda Folse               Present   Rhonda Earles, Vice Chair                Present
Karen Hiller               Excused   Gwen Chavez, Election Coordinator        Present
Tami Jenniskens            Present   Lisa Britton, Recording Secretary        Present
Roxanne Johnson            Excused   Cheryl Sterling, Corresp. Sect           Present
Paula Lucas                Present   Jered Bocage, Parliamentarian            Present
Linda Miller               Excused
Cindy Stewart              Absent         MEMBERS – AT – LARGE
Shirley Tubre              Excused   Rob Platner                              Present
Merisa Pasternak (proxy)   Absent
Yesenia Vasquez (proxy)    Present   Cynthia Hayes, Past Chair                Excused

    UPTOWN CAMPUS                             INVITED GUESTS
Marty Brantley             Absent    Jason Chretien, WFMO                     Present
Liz Davey                  Present
Shirley Dymond             Present
Miriam Espinosa            Present
Aaron Martin               Present
Lisa O’Dwyer               Present
Judy Vitrano               Present
Linda Wright               Proxy                    VISITORS
Argentina Acosta (proxy)   Absent
Jenny Daigle Benoit        Absent    Mike Griffith (proxy for Linda Wright)   Present
Laurie Orgeron (proxy)     Present

Eileen deHaro (via         Present
Mary Little                Excused
Robert Johnson (proxy)     Excused

     All Officers are serving the Staff Advisory Council term 2008 – 2009
TU Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008
Page 2

Call to Order: Susan Barrera, SAC Chair, called the September 11, 2008 meeting of
the Staff Advisory Council to order at 3:32 p.m. The meeting was held at the Lavin-
Bernick Center, Race Room on the uptown campus.

I. Review and Approval of the Minutes

Chair Barrera called for a motion to approve the July 10, 2008 minutes. The minutes
were approved.

II. Report of the Chair, Susan Barrera

Susan Barrera reported the following:

For future SAC meetings, our guest speaker will be Professor Michael Bernstein,
(Provost) in November and Dr. Ben Sachs (Senior Vice President and Dean of the
School of Medicine) in February to update us on the School of Medicine. Trying to get
Dr. Scott Cowen but may have to move one of our meetings to a Tuesday to
accommodate his schedule.

Constitution committee (Jered Bocage, Rhonda Earles, Cythina Hayes and Susan) met
with Anne Banos to discuss revisions to the SAC constitution and the meeting went
well. There will be one more final clean version to give to Anne and a final review to
make sure everything is correct. Anne will give directly to Scott Cowen (does not need
to go through legal department) for his signature.

Another topic discussed with Anne is SAC’s interest to establish an “award” to staff
members attending classes. This award would be for employees attending classes,
offering a financial payment for their school books. Anne liked the idea but explained we
cannot use SAC funds to jump start the fund. Anne will meet with Yvette Jones to see if
she could identify an outside donor to start this fund. Also, Anne suggested that we put
together a presentation showing the complete project and how we propose to manage the
program -- What would the criteria be? Would we offer this once a year? How many
awards can we offer? Item specifics. Susan would like to get with Aaron Martin and get a
subcommittee together to begin putting this together. Aaron has some websites that we
can review to see how other schools are offering this award.

III. WFMO Liaison, Jason Chretien

Jason Chretien said that in reviewing the minutes from the July meeting, he saw there is
some takeaway and he will respond at the next meeting to these earlier questions.
TU Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008
Page 3

Jason was asked to comment on the emergency procedures before and after Hurricane
Gustav, specifically the “Americall employee registration system”.

       The Americall system was established in the event that the university would be
        unexpectedly closed for an extended period of time. An email was sent out prior
        to the storm instructing everyone to register, and if you did not register, you
        would not be paid, etc. However, this storm was not an “unexpected closure” so
        we did not need to activate Americall. Americall is activated only if the university
        is going to be closed for an extended period of time. On the WFMO website,
        facts were posted with common questions that addressed pay, Americall
        registration, etc. All official information for the university comes from the
        emergency web site ( ) and our Alert Line for
        updated information on evacuation orders, closings, re-openings and other
        emergency information. Some employees received text messages on their cell
        phones but those messages directed the individual to monitor the emergency
       Regarding everyone being paid on time, Tulane has a mandatory system where
        everyone receives the paycheck by direct deposit. Prior to the university closing
        for the storm, all of the necessary preparations for payroll were set up, and on
        the scheduled pay day, everyone received their paychecks as normal. There
        was confusion that if a person did not register with Americall, then you would not
        be paid. That information is not correct. WFMO has received comments
        regarding the emergency plan and has worked to correct any of the glitches and
        confusion that happened recently.

Questions were asked of Jason:

       Why doesn’t Tulane have a holiday for Yom Kippur? This question has already
        been brought up and Anne Banos said we are not able to add another holiday.
        This could be considered if we want to swap with another holiday, but to add this
        as additional holiday, the answer is no.

       Can we change from the 25 years to 20 years for emeritus status for certain
        benefits? Believe this has to do with tuition waiver; a staff member would have to
        be with Tulane for 25 years for their dependents to be eligible for the tuition
        waiver without still being employed with Tulane. For the faculty it is 20 years.
        Emeritus status would have to be granted by the Tulane Board and he will check
        into this and get back to us.

       Would the university consider a “monthly” parking rate rather than “yearly” rate?
        The uptown campus charges one yearly rate for parking, but spread out over full
        12 months calendar year. This will need to be checked with parking service.
TU Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008
Page 4

         Would the university consider starting the fall semester sometime in the middle of
          September instead of August? Seems like as soon as classes begin, we need to
          evacuate and the students miss classes. Delaying the start date by a couple of
          weeks realistically would not help considering that September is typically a busy
          storm month. This was brought up before and someone brought in a chart
          showing the dates of the storms. So delaying the beginning of the semester
          really may not be helping the students.

         For a person having maximum vacation time, and are coming up to their
          anniversary date of employment, what month do they actually lose those
          vacation hours? Is the cut off the month of the anniversary or is the following
          month of the anniversary the cut off? It is the month following, say your
          anniversary is in October, it will not fall out until the November paycheck.

IV. Officer Reports

     A. University Senate

     No report. Meeting cancelled, next meeting is scheduled for October.

     B. Board of Administrators

   No report. Rhonda Earles said a meeting was scheduled for next week has been
cancelled due to the recent storm. The next meeting will be in December.

V.       University Senate Committee

     1. Benefits

Glenda Folse attended the Benefits Committee Meeting and reported the following:

There were five voting members that came to the meeting. Tulane hired a consultant
and they made a presentation showing three companies they were looking at –
UnitedHealth, Coventry and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. It was determined that the bid
from Coventry was excessive compared to the other two vendors, so the presentation
was based on the two remaining companies, UnitedHealth and Blue Cross. If the
university goes with UnitedHealth, there will be a 6.5% premium increase; Blue Cross
would be a 6.1% increase. The dollar amount increase to the university will be
approximately $77,000 with the split between the university paying 64% and employees
TU Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008
Page 5

paying 36%. The estimated dollar amount increase going with United Health will be
$1.44 for lowest paying person (single) to a person with a family of pay $44.00.

The Benefit Committee members felt a lot of information in the presentation was biased
toward UnitedHealth, because there was insufficient information presented on Blue
Cross. For example, Blue Cross unlimited psychiatry visits, unlimited physical therapy,
occupation and speech therapy. Also one of the things URC versus contracted rates.
UnitedHealth uses URC. So from out-of-pocket, you pay more with United because you
are URC. Example: you need an MRI that costs $1,000, and the URC rate is $800.
You will pay 10% of the $800 plus you will pay the difference between $800 and $1000.
Blue Cross goes by contracted rates so for the MRI costing $1,000, and their contracted
rate is $800. Under Blue Cross plan you pay the 10% of $800 and the remainder
($200) has to be written off because it was a negotiated contract rate. The consulting
group indicated that the information presented for each vendor was the information the
vendors provided to Tulane with their proposals and the vendors responses to follow up
questions from Tulane.

Tulane’s Administration said there have been no complaints regarding UnitedHealth and
$77,000 increase to the university is not significant amount of money to make the
administrative changes to make the switch over to another company and cause
disruption to the employees. The Administration also feels they have a good
relationship with United and as a result, the presentation would be presented to the
Senate Committee. Benefits committee members were concerned that the presentation
specifically outlined going from the Healthcare Oversight Committee to the Senate
Committee, did not indicate would come to the Benefits Committee at all.

It was asked at the meeting what our purpose of the benefits committee – it was not
explained other than we are an “advisory” group to the Senate.

Overall, we were expecting 10-12% increase so by keeping the rate increase to half of
what we were anticipating and negotiating a cap on the rate increase for the following
year, United Healthcare would be the chosen vendor for the next 2 years.

United Healthcare will be offering some Wellness Initiatives this year. They will be
offering different incentives to promote wellness and healthy lifestyle and we should be
seeing some of these incentives by the end of the year.

If was pointed out that the consultants were not the ones making a recommendation,
but they are strictly there to gather the information and data. The recommendation is
made at the Healthcare Oversight Committee level. At the end of the Benefits
Committee meeting we did not have enough voting members present to take a vote to
make an endorsement. So the presentation to continue with UnitedHealth is going
directly to the Senate with open enrollment beginning in October.
TU Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008
Page 6

Questions from floor:
So if you don’t like UnitedHealth who do you talk to? You need to contact Sandy West

Is there a survey that WFMO can do to see if people are satisfied with UnitedHealth?
Jason responded that sometime in the recent past, an information survey was done by
WFMO to see staff’s opinion of different vendors. There is also a timing issue that
contributes to the problem. So going forward, would need to do a survey earlier in the
year for the information to be available for the consultant gathering data and presenting
collected information.

      2. Budget Review

      No meeting.

      3. Information Technology

      No Report.

      4. Equal Opportunity

      No Report.

      5. Physical Facilities

      No Report.

      6. Social Issues

      No Report.

VI.    SAC Sub-Committees

      1. Election Committee

      No report.

      2. Electronic Technology and Information

    No report. Susan thanked Aaron Martin for his assistance in putting together a site
to handle the football ticket raffle. The football tickets were donated to SAC and over
400 people responded to the raffle.

      3. Staff Appreciation
TU Staff Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
September 11, 2008
Page 7

      No report. Rob Plattner and Lisa Britton will co-chair this committee.

      4. Staff Issues

      No chair for this committee yet.

      5. Constitution

      Mentioned in the Chair’s report above.

VII. Old Business


VIII. New Business

Judy Vitrano asked, “how do know who are your constituents, and how do you notify
them? Can we define the campuses so we know who our constituents are?”
Discussion explained that in the past there were “districts” but we have since gotten
away from that. Most attending agreed that it is important information that we would like
to get out to everyone but not sure how to go about doing that. It was suggested that
Susan (as chair) send out an email to all staff with a brief paragraph about SAC and a
link to our website and the minutes of our last meeting. Everyone agreed that this
would be a good way to reach all staff members.

Mike Griffith wanted to invite us to get the word out about “Tech Day” that will be held
on September 19, 2008 in the LBC from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Mike had flyers asking
us to pass these around our offices and work areas. There will be guest lectures,
software demos, games, food, and prizes.

Next Meeting: The next meeting will be held on October 9, 2008 at the Tidewater
Building in the Dean’s Conference Room on the 24th Floor at 3:30 pm.

IX.      Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 4:32 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Lisa M. Britton
Recording Secretary

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