CGE Executive Council Meeting Minutes – December 5, 2013
In attendance: Thomas Morrill, Shannon Andrews, Lizz Hardardt, Sneha Gantla; guest members Sean McGregor, John Osborne; Ashley Bromley, Angela McClendon; guest buddy Braden Elliott
Meeting called to order at 11:30 AM (upstairs at Westmin — office is unsuitable for meetings right now)
Minutes from 11-21-2013 Meeting – Approved with a wording change from Lizz.
Email Decisions since 11-21-2013 — (1) Approved response to fair share calculation question. (2) Approved phone response to fair share objection question. (3) Approved newsletter. (4) Approved all-member email. (5) Approved fair share notice.
EECS Update (with Sean) – There was a faculty meeting about the College Dean / School Head situation. The faculty are almost entirely in agreement about the need to continue fighting for a better outcome. The situation has gotten quite a lot of regional press attention. The search process for a new School Head is apparently on hold (probably because of faculty anger about not being included).
Dues Committee Update (with John and Sean) — The Dues Committee has submitted a request to change their name to the Dues Tiger Team. They met last week to talk about what budget items will be impacted by the revenue increase and what CGE’s goals should be for planning for the future while lowering dues. A few issues they discovered may be beyond their jurisdiction to decide, namely, staffing levels and office space needs. CGE may need another organizer soon, and we definitely would need more staff if we move to administering our own health insurance plan. There’s also need for decisions to be made about increasing our reserves: what for? and thus how much? and at what rate? The Dues Tiger Team is in data-collection mode, will be meeting again next week, and is planning to have a rate recommendation (or two) for the EC before Christmas so we can move toward a vote at the January GMM.
Fair Share Issues
- Rebate Timeline — Up to now we’ve paid rebates for a full term at once, after the term’s deductions have all been received. We’re considering now whether paying after each month would be better. There’s also an idea of letting rebate requesters choose whether they want a check each month or each term. One downside to monthly checks (in addition to the tripled cost of checks as well as more postage costs) would be how inconvenient it is to arrange someone being in the office at all the times when people want to pick up their checks. Lizz really likes having a default of people needing to come to the office to get their rebates (personal interaction that we wouldn’t get from mailing checks). The EC decides: we’ll offer the two timelines as an option.
- Expanded Budget Availability — Someone requested more complete budget data in order to see what our audit committee counted as chargeable and non. The EC agrees with giving them that info. There’s also a question about how detailed a budget we should have on the website. On one hand, we aim to be transparent to our members and fair share payers; on the other hand, sometimes more information is confusing! Ashley will draft an “external budget” for the EC to look at to decide how much should be online.
- Creating an Escrow Account — Lizz and Araby visited the bank last week to ask about this and were told we need to set up a trust. But when Ashley talked with Dave Cecil about it, he said the UA at UO had just gone to the bank and set up an additional subaccount for fair share fees to go into. Shannon and Ashley will ask at the bank if we can do that as well. Then Angela will ask OSU Payroll if we can get separate payments to those accounts.
- AFT-Oregon Chargeable Rate — We received two different official-looking audit reports with two different chargeable rates. Ashley is trying to learn from Dave why this happened. Alas! We’re probably going to need to update our own rate and re-notify everyone.
- Double Deductions — There was an issue with deductions in October that traveled into an issue with November deductions. About 50 members had been charged the former $10 associate dues and were then charged the remainder of their October dues in November (in addition to the regular November dues). We didn’t want that to happen because we knew a double deduction could cause both confusion and even financial hardship for some members. The EC approves reimbursing members for the “extra” deduction if they request it.
Ed Ray Meeting Recap — Went pretty well. (1) The best part is that transgender health coverage WILL be covered in all future insurance plans. One concern, though, is that OSU may be requesting insurance bids before CGE finishes the new round of bargaining. We’ve requested to be part of any conversation regarding the grad employee plan. (2) Another good thing is that David Blake has gained some responsibility about campus safety and is requesting input from grads about what needs to be fixed. We’ll tell him that we’ll ask our members about it at the start of winter term. (3) We raised an issue about certain fellowships (IGERT) and were told it won’t be an issue in the future because the fellowships just won’t exist. (4) Brenda will talk with Dennis from the Writing Center about how to get another TA working there. (5) Brenda and Ed agree that they need to work on getting departments into compliance with language about e-campus courses/tuition. (6) Shannon will pull from her minutes an Action Items List that we can check off when we accomplish things.
Bargaining Update — The survey is being circulated among the B-Team and should be sent out to the members on Monday!
CLC Recap — Sneha: “It was interesting.” There’s an IBEW conference about labor law and other union-relevant issues in Portland on January 31. The CLC leadership would love to send a CGE member. The registration deadline is December 27. Lizz is excited to go as our delegate. We’ll also talk more later about whether we could send Ashley (it would require a budget conversation).
ACA Questions — Shannon wonders if we could find an expert on healthcare reform who could speak to us about how the ACA might affect us. Ashley will ask AFT-Oregon if they know of anyone.
Barometer Article — Sneha is totally working on this… but we realize that dead week/finals week would not be a good time to publish such an important column.
Meeting adjourned at 1:30 PM