Salary and Benefits Committee Minutes

Salary and Benefits Committee Minutes

Salary and Benefits Committee Minutes

October 13, 2009

Present: Michael Metcalf, Magdaleno Manzanarez, Laurie Barfitt (recorder), Tom Gruzka (for Doug Medin), Steve Chavez, Shawn White, and Janet Wallet-Ortiz, Linda Hoy, Joe Heidrick (for Pat McIntire), Faye Vowell (ex-officio)

Approval of minutes: approved with minor amendments

Announcements: It was announced that those employees who have had an account with TIAA Cref for more than 6 years can switch to ERB within 120 days from the start of the fiscal year (July 1). It was mentioned that the “rule of 75” for retirement eligibility will change to a “rule of 80” for new hires.

Dr. Vowell stated that it may be 5 years before there is an increase in salaries due to budget constraints and the economy, despite the increase in enrollment. This was announced in Academic Council. All universities in NM have seen an increase in student enrollment. Discussion followed concerning the article in the Sun News of 3 options the legislators were presented to cut the deficit in NM. While no one could remember the exact wording of the 3 options, they are presented here as copied from the Sun News article of October 11th “Legislators get ready to tackle budget shortfall” by Walter Rubel.

• A 3.5 percent cut to public schools, colleges and state agencies and a 2.5 percent salary reduction.

• A 16 percent cut to all areas of state government excluding public schools and Medicaid, which would have no cuts.

• A 4.7 percent cut for agencies, schools and higher education.

The Special Session will start on Noon, Saturday.

New Business:

Magdaleno asked that the budget committee meet more often. Also that the budget committee communicate with the Salary and Benefits committee during these difficult economic times.

Dr. Vowell suggested that the committee review the Chairs meeting minutes for cost containment issues. She suggested looking for benefit related issues.

Adjunct faculty status has changed from step 1 and 2 to ranks several years ago. There has been talk of adjunct faculty wanting to apply for promotion. There needs to be a process for application for promotion. This would involve a handbook change. Tom suggested an Ad Hoc group meet and see about the amount of adjunct faculty involvement in university activities. Adjuncts are represented through their chairs and this process should be started through the chairs committee.

It was suggested that the reclassification process be started earlier in the academic year. It was brought up that the 3 year rule has been objected to in the past. Discussion involved the CUPA categories and the possibility of having a grievance policy in place for this if it becomes a problem.

Cost containment ideas:

  • It was suggested that the committee look for benefits other than salary increases as a way of rewarding employees. Enrollment caps were mentioned as one such possibility.
  • A suggestion was made to look at the University’s use of financial institutions to invest money not immediately needed. We could invite Sherri Bays to one of our meetings to explain how this works.
  • There was discussion about the president’s bonus when he retires and having an interim president at a lower salary.

A motion was made to have Doug take minutes for the April meeting instead of Steve, as Steve had volunteered to help Tom with the CUPA classifications. Motion passed.

A motion was made to share timely information to General Assembly and urge a response on the three budget options the state legislature is currently considering. Motion passed.

A motion was made to change the timeline for reclassifications and remind faculty that CUPA Salary Reclassification Requests are due December 8th via email to your department Salary and Benefits Representative. Motion passed.

Meeting adjourned at 5:05pm.

Respectfully submitted by Laurie Barfitt