Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Monday, May 6th, 2013 8:25 – 9:55 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran (Chair), Jason Freeman, Amy Heron, Tommy Little, Dave Millard, Nazia Zakir (Executive Board Liaison), Teresa Snow & Benedra Williams (Senior Benefits Specialist, filling in for Darlene Wright).


Absent:   Wayne Book (retiree rep.), Stella Richardson, Darlene Wright.




Minutes from 04/01/13 were reviewed and approved.




I. 403B Investment Committee.

There are currently no new updates to be presented.

Action Item:  Updates will be provided at September meeting.



II. Update OHR New Hires—Benedra Williams.

OHR has hired a payroll specialist and a training specialist.  

A second training specialist will be hired in the future. 

There is an open position for a payroll manager—OHR expects to make an offer in 1-2 weeks.

The total rewards director position is still open—OHR has hired an external recruiter to help with the position.


III.  Knowledge Management System—Benedra Williams.

OHR is developing a Knowledge Management System—Like FAQ (can type in questions and get answers).  This internal database will roll out in the fall for OHR employees and should help improve customer service.


Action Item:  Updates will be provided as they become available.


III. Family Friendly Task Force Update—Benedra Williams.

OHR has currently identified a couple of points from Family Friendly Task Force report to move forward with:  (1) The Volunteer Database  (2) Advertising Leave Plans

Action Item:  Updates will be provided as they become available.


IV.  Summer Camps

Bettina Cothran asked about status of Summer Camps.

Nazia Zakar stated that when she checked the camps were full. 

Tech Wreck currently serves 50 kids per week--May be limited by transportation for field trips.

Bettina Cothran suggested that OHR talk with the Campus Rec Center to see if more slots could be offered.  If space is an issue, can GT rent some other space to house more children?  This is a very important benefit. 


A question was raised regarding cost.  Nazia Zakar stated that $190 per child is current price.  Bettina Cothran stated that this needs to be affordable so that all levels of employees can take advantage of service.

Action Item:  OHR will follow up with CRC and updates will be provided at September Meeting.


V.  Childcare Issues—Jason Freeman.

The Parent Satisfaction Survey shows a reduced satisfaction rating with childcare.  A meeting with the director has been scheduled.

Bright Horizons has had a chaotic administrative structure while expanding.  They have “borrowed” employees when opening new centers.  The director has spent a lot of time at other centers as well.

In addition, some mid-year promotions of teachers made it disruptive for students this past year.  It doesn’t seem that the company tends to hire for replacement positions up front.

The annual price increase has ranged between 6-8% which is more expensive than other centers.  Rate is currently ~$1400 month for infants. 

It was suggested that Rich Steele be contacted for a status update.

Also, due to prohibitive cost for some employees, it was suggested that GT look into whether subsidizing childcare fee was possible.

Action Item:  Jason Freeman volunteered to write a letter to Rich Steele regarding this issue and will provide an update at September meeting.


New Business

I.  Items for Fall Agenda were discussed.  In addition to the item updates mentioned above, additional items to remain on agenda include:

     A.  Salaries—No merit increases in 5 years is causing a problem with morale.  Salary compression is also becoming a problem and limiting GT’s ability to compete when seeing new hires.

     B.  Awards—Should continue to be evaluated and could help with item A, if some monetary benefits could be included.


II.  Potential changes to retirement—switch from ORP to TRS

      Jason Freeman was approached by an employee who said he had heard the BOR was considering allowing a one-time switch from ORP to TRS for long-time employees.  Some employees regret enrolling in ORP and may have been given bad advice to do so.  Dave Millard stated many employees couldn’t really consider TRS at the time they were hired because of the ten year vestment period required and the uncertainty of continued employment with GT.  Bettina Cothran agreed one needed very good advisement when choosing plans.  Some other states (possibly Fla.) may allow a switch.  

     Perhaps those could be studied.

    Bettina Cothran stated that the FBC should look into and follow this closely.


Action Item:  Jason Freeman will contact Jim Wallace and inquire about the status.

(Note:  Following the meeting this was identified as House Bill 516 for the 2013-2014 legislative session, and Jim Wallace indicated such an option is extremely unlikely to be implemented.)


FBC meetings for Fall Semester

Scheduled meetings for fall semester are the following:


September 9th


October 21st


December 2nd


All meetings will take place from 8:30 – 10:00. Meetings will occur in the OHR Conference Rm (220) unless otherwise noted.        


Michael Elliot and Doug Britton will join the FBC in the fall to replace second term members Bettina Cothran and Teresa Snow who will rotate off committee.


Jason Freeman will present the meeting minutes from May 6th to FBC in the fall for approval.


A new chair will also be elected by the committee.