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Higher Education Board Meeting Minutes

Thursday, April 23, 2009
Central Conference Room
Maryland Higher Education Commission
839 Bestgate Road , Annapolis MD
9:00 a.m. Executive Session
9:30 a.m. Public Session

Hon. Robert Neall, Presiding

Chairman Neall called the meeting to order at approximately 9:35 a.m.

Board members present: Robert R. Neall, Chair; Harriet E. Cooperman, Vice-Chair; Leo Gant, Board member.
Not present: Sheldon Steinbach, Board member

Board staff present: Joe Pokempner, AAG, Board Counsel; Denise Galante, Special Assistant.
Executive Director Erica Snipes on maternity leave of absence.

1. Opening and welcome –Chairman Neall

Chairman Neall called the meeting to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. Congratulations and best wishes were extended, on behalf of the Board, to the Snipes family on the birth of their twins, Christine and Jonathan on April 7, 2009.

2. Approval of minutes of SHELRB meeting of 01/29/09
(Motion to approve)

Mr. Gant made a motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting, Ms.Cooperman, seconded the motion. All present voted in favor, and the minutes were officially adopted.

Chairman’s report
The Chairman indicated that he did not have any information to report on at this meeting, and allowed Board Counsel to proceed with his report.

Executive Director’s report–given by Joe Pokempner, Board Counsel
A. ALRA Conference in Oakland CA : July 2009

Mr. Pokempner stated that due to funding issues there would not be a trip to the ALRA Conference in Oakland CA, July 2009. However, Executive Director, Erica Snipes is in contact with ALRA officials and will receive copies of all materials distributed and will share these materials with the members of the Board and our AAG.

LERA (Labor and Employment Relations Association)
Mr. Pokempner indicated that this group met locally and that Board members were always welcome and encouraged to attend.

C. Legislative Session 2009

Mr. Pokempner noted that the legislature passed the “Fair Share Act” (Senate Bill 264, distributed to the Board) which permits collective bargaining negotiations relating to the right of employee organizations to receive service fees from non members . The Board noted that the bill excluded the University System. Mr. Pokempner indicated that it was his understanding that the O’Malley administration supported the bill. Mr. Pokempner stated that the SB0850 Collective Bargaining- Public School Labor Relations Board bill did not pass this year. Denise Galante stated that Senator Middleton’s office called her and asked for her to sit in on a working committee meeting about SB0850 but she was never called to speak. At that time neither party had finished making their case and Senator Middleton had to leave. Senator Middleton stated his office would be in touch with all parties to meet again. Denise has not heard anything back from his office. Finally, Mr. Pokempner indicated that the legislature passed the bill permitting part-time employees (20 hrs) to collect unemployment insurance. Vice Chair Harriett Cooperman brought to every ones attention that the U.S. congress has passed and President Obama has signed the Ledbetter law making it easier for employees to file equal pay and other wage related claims.

Continuing Business

Proposed “Procedures Governing Disclosure of Employee Information”.

Mr. Pokempner held a meeting with the parties on April 9th, 2009 at the Attorney General’s Office in Baltimore to discuss this Regulation. He noted that he and the parties had worked hard on this particular proposal, and that there should be a final decision shortly for the Board. Joe stated the last thing the parties need to agree on is the cost for copying materials when requested. The Chair requested for Joe to keep working to finalize the regulation and the Board will review it and vote on it at the next meeting.

Announcement of administrative determinations or Board decisions and orders, as appropriate:
None at this time.

Issues arising from the elections, negotiations, investigations, and cases pending before OAH:

ULP 09-01: MCEA v. SU, a Request for Reconsideration was filed by MCEA on 04/07/09. On 04/17/09 a motion to deny the Reconsideration request was filed by the Office of the AG on behalf of SU.

After discussion, Chairman Neall announced that the Board would hear the motions in ULP 09-01 on June 25, 2009 at 9:30 at the State Labor Relations Boards office. Chairman Neall asked the staff to make all the arrangements and post the meeting on the web-site. The hearing is to be only on the motions to reconsider the Executive Director’s findings and recommendations of “no probable cause”; it is not a hearing on the merits of the case itself.

New Business proposed by members of the Board or staff
Nothing to report at this time.

Meeting calendar

Remainder of Calendar Year 09

October 29th, 2009

Chairman Neall requested that the Board members look at their calendars and figure out which of several suggested days would be best. All board members agreed on October 29, 2009. Staff stated that they would finalize these dates in the building calendar.

Public comment.

Individuals may sign up to present comment on Board business, except matters filed as cases, and may present comments for up to 3 minutes. The Boards particularly caution speakers against commenting in any manner on cases to be heard by either Board after the conclusion of this meeting. Individuals who wish to speak to the proposed regulation should provide the Boards with written copies of their comments.

There were no individuals signed up for public comment at this meeting and no one showed up unannounced.

At approximately 10:20 am, Mr. Gant, made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Cooperman seconded the motion and all were in favor.