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Civil Service Committee chair Dorit Hafner.

CSC chair Dorit Hafner

Civil Service Committee update, February 2005

Civil service prepares for senate role

By Dorit Hafner

From Brief, February 9, 2005

The University of Minnesota senate is comprised of faculty, students, and some academic professionals. But back in 2003, the Faculty Consultative Committee proposed restructuring the University's governance system to include academic professional and administrative (P&A) and civil service staff. The University Senate and the president approved the change. This week, the Board of Regents is expected to vote to approve the plan.

The proposal reflects a membership ratio of 60 percent faculty, 22 percent students, 9 percent P&A, and 9 percent civil service staff. Each group will have the authority to meet separately, adopt policy recommendations or resolutions, and take other actions as deemed appropriate. Each group also will have the authority to enact its own constitution and bylaws, with a constitution needing approval of regents. Current civil service representation on many University Senate committees will not change.

MORE CSC NEWS

February CSC meeting

The next CSC meeting will be held Feb. 24, 9 a.m. to noon, 101 Walter Library, Minneapolis.

Calendar
See the CSC calendar to view subcommittee meeting schedules.

Call for applications
The CSC will soon be accepting applications for four vacant seats plus 3-5 alternates. Terms begin July 1. Serving on the CSC is a great way to get involved and be part of a decision-making process. Watch for an e-mail message this month.

CSC will also seek applications for several U Senate committees. Watch for the CSC e-InTouch Feb. 10. The application is available at Civil Service Representation.

Civil Service Rules update
By Lori Nicol
Public hearings were held Jan. 10 and 12. A minor clarification was made in the definition of overtime: fulltime V-classifications are not eligible for overtime. The revised rules were then officially approved at the CSC meeting Jan. 27 and will be presented to the Office of Human Resources for approval. From there, they will go to the president and general counsel; after any legal changes are suggested and approved, the rules will be scheduled for final approval at the next regents meeting. Then they will be published on the Web.

While this process continues, the Rules Subcommittee continues revisions for the next approval cycle. Meetings are the first Wednesday of each month, 2-4 p.m., 240 Donhowe. If you are not able to come to meetings, contact Lori Nicol at l-nico@umn.edu.

Twin Cities CSBU staff award - Hurry!
Deadline Feb. 15

The Office for University Women (OUW) seeks nominations for the Civil Service and Bargaining Unit (CSBU) staff award, which recognizes Twin Cities CSBU staff who have made outstanding contributions to improve the work environment for all CSBU employees; the honorarium is $1,000. Deadline: Feb. 15. For more information, see CSBU Staff Awards on the OUW Web site.

What does this mean for Civil Service employees?

If the proposal is approved, the University of Minnesota will be the first in the nation to have such an inclusive governance body. Civil service will have a direct voice on issues pertaining to all campuses and colleges. It will have a way to regularly interact with faculty, students, and other academic staff and to seek solutions to problems collectively. Especially in times like this, with budget challenges and rising health care costs, a unified body will have a stronger voice at the university, state, and national level. The new senate will establish a precedent for other institutions to follow.

How will it work?

Upon approval by the regents, a call for applications for the new senate seats will go out to all eligible civil service employees, including more specific timeline information. The Civil Service Committee (CSC) will, in a separate e-mail, ask eligible employees to apply for the 23 seats on the Senate.

Please consider applying for one of these positions. All civil service staff covered by the Civil Service Rules who have held temporary or continuing appointments of at least 50 percent time or more for at least two calendar years at the time of election are eligible to run for a senate seat. The University Senate meets six times between September and May, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Serving on the University Senate should be in conjunction with the staff member's work schedule.

The composition of the slate of senators will be by area of representation, comprised of all areas, campuses, and central administration. It will include a representative balance from across all civil service classifications and reflect the same four areas now used to configure the CSC. This will mean 7 seats for the area of Executive Vice President and Provost, 6 seats for at-large (non-collegiate units), 3 seats for coordinate campuses, and 7 seats for the Academic Health Center.

Please also vote. All civil service staff covered by the Civil Service Rules who have held temporary or continuing appointments of at least 36 percent time are eligible to vote in the senate election. Civil service staff members will vote for candidates within their represented areas.

Once elected, civil service senators will work closely with and report to the Civil Service Committee. A first meeting of the CSC and civil service senators will be scheduled in July 2005. The University Senate office will provide orientation for senators before the first meeting of 2005-06.

Eligibility for running and voting will be determined with the help of the Office of Human Resources and the senate office. Voting and application for membership on the University Senate will be conducted electronically and available online.

For more information on the current and revised bylaws, constitution, and rules, visit www.umn.edu/usenate/constitution/sencon.html.


Dorit Hafner, 2004-05 chair of the Civil Service Committee, is an administrative professional in the Department of Bio-based Products, College of Natural Resources.

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