Staff Council Meeting Minutes – October 2018

Staff Council met on Thursday, October 25 at 8:30AM in Lakeside 101/102. Below are the meeting minutes (approved on November 27, 2018) for your review. These minutes can also be found on the K: Drive, located at K:\Staff Council\Staff Council – Meeting Minutes\June 2018 – May 2019 (Note for Windows 10 users: the K: drive is now the P: drive on your machine). Please send any recommended revisions to Cullen Bostock at prior to the November 27 meeting.

I.   Welcome – Call meeting to order (Jared Cadrette, Staff Council Vice President)

Aidan Saunders introduced himself to the group. Aidan is on the Student Government Association (SGA) House of Representatives and will be representing SGA at Staff Council meetings.

II.   Approval of the September meeting minutes (see on Staff Council Blog at

A motion was made to approve, motion was seconded, and the September 2018 meeting minutes were unanimously approved

III.   Debrief/Next Steps from Community Conversation Events – Laurel Bongiorno

Laurel began by describing the focus of the Community Conversation Report, which is scheduled to be released by November 1. The report will provide context/history regarding the purpose of the events as well as set the stage for a new strategic plan by making meaning of the themes that arose from the discussions. The report will also feature a 10 page summary of the data that was collected and click-through displays of the analysis.

Laurel then laid out the remainder of the next steps/benchmarks, leading up to a Fall 2019 rollout of a new strategic plan:

  • November – defined “Foundations” and report shared with community, continue values assessment work through sessions and other community engagement
  • December – Work teams formed for each Foundation
  • End of March – Work teams set specific initiatives and metrics regarding each Foundation
  • April – Draft plan constructed
  • May/June – Cabinet review followed by Board of Trustees review

Laurel was asked to provide detail as to where the focus on “academics” will be. Laurel responded that the Foundation for academics will be focused on integration, curricular innovation, and applied/career-focused programs.

Someone asked the question of how work groups will be formed. An open invitation will be sent to all members of the College community. Laurel emphasized that attention will be placed on making sure each community group is represented on each work group.

 IV.   2019 Benefits Update – Debra Sailer Dayman, People Center

Debra began by reminding the group that open benefits enrollment period (for coverage beginning January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019) begins on Friday, November 2. Each employee will receive a task item in their Workday inbox. If employees do not adjust anything with their current enrollment it will roll over to 2019 with the exception of FSA or HSA contributions. Per the IRS, individuals must enroll in the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) each year.

For 2019, the vision plan and cost will remain the same. While there is a slight increase in premiums for Medical and Dental plans, the plan structure and coverage will not change. Debra provided the following notes regarding the increases to Medical and Dental: 

Medical (High Deductible Plan and OAP):

  • While claims are as expected for this period of time (January 1-August 31, 2018) the trend analysis prepared for the College by Hickok and Boardman for the full benefit year warrants an increase in premium.
  • A 7% increase will be applied to medical premiums with no change to the current percentage contribution structure. This increase is on pace with the low end of the state-wide trend of 7-11% on average (national trend is 6-8%).
  • The College will continue to fund the Health Savings Account (HSA) at 60% of the deductible.

Dental Plan:

  • Based on trend, the College will apply a 5.62% increase
  • There was no increase to the dental plan for 2016 or 2017, 2018 saw a minor increase of 1.5%.

Debra noted that plans are self-funded, meaning the College is responsible for paying claims. Pricing adjustments are based on utilization, which People Center reviews on an aggregate basis (no individual claim information is shared).

Looking forward to 2020, the College is actively engaged with benefits experts Hickok & Boardman, as well as the Richards Group, to evaluate and design medical plan options as part of the Green Mountain Higher Education Consortium (GMHEC). The goal is to provide multiple medical, dental, and vision options.

The question was asked whether our GMHEC partners (St. Michaels and Middlebury) pay the same premiums. Debra replied that options and plan structures differ from school to school. Since price is driven by utilization, we would not want to base our premiums on another institution’s utilization. 

V.   The Triple E Conversations: Exciting, Engaging, and Empowering – Jared Cadrette

Attendees broke out into smaller groups to participate in a conversation about the Great Colleges to Work for Survey results. Specifically, groups engaged in discussions around the following questions:

  • What do you want to know about the results?
  • What tools do you need to align results with Excite, Engage and Empower?
  • What tools do you need to align results with the outcomes of the Community Conversation?

Findings and next steps related to these small group conversations will be shared at the November Staff Council meeting. 

VI.  Announcements & Wrap Up

The group was reminded that College Council meets twice per semester and is committed to posting meeting minutes on the College website. Meeting notes can be found here:

Nic Anderson noted that, due to construction taking place on Maple Street, the route of the shuttle is changing indefinitely. Nic mentioned that a third shuttle is being considered to help alleviate delays caused by this change.

VII.   Closing – if you have questions, feedback, ideas – please speak to me or one of our Executive Committee members