EAC names vice chair, representative

By Maureen Morrissey

Robert Martens, assistant controller at NIU, was recently named vice chair of the Employee Advisory Committee, a 19 member group which governs the State Universities Civil Service system.

Martens also serves as NIU’s representative to EAC. He represents approximately 1,800 NIU civil service employees. As the representative, Martens said he needs “to be informed and inform” and “keep the communication open” between the civil service employees, the Merit Board and NIU. His duties as representative also include attending the quarterly meetings of EAC and having a working knowledge of the Illinois Statute and Rules.

During EAC’s October meeting at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Martens was named vice chair by a unanimous decision made by the other members of the committee. Although Martens will be serving EAC in two capacities, he “does not see that it will cause conflict.”

As vice chair, Martens will head the EAC’s executive committee.

Martens has served on EAC since 1979 when he was elected as NIU’s representative by the civil service employees. Since that election, Martens has not been opposed.

In 1952, the Illinois state legislature created The Illinois Merit Board along with EAC. The purpose of EAC was to make sure that civil service employees “have input,” about university procedures, Martens said.

Civil service employees are those employed by the university who are not considered faculty or administration.

EAC is currently discussing employees who are laid-off before the end of their probationary period, which serves as a trial period for employees to see if they are performing their duties as expected by their employers.

Probational period employees do not receive credit for the period of work before being laid-off. EAC would like to be able to change the rules so that the employees can count the probational work time.

Other issues EAC will study this year will include secretarial classification restructuring, elder employees in the work force, and insurance benefit changes.