Staff Council Minutes, 08-27-07
Shelley Richard, Russ Bourdreau, Mary Heyer, Bill Farrington, Ric Rigali, Jackie Houle, Deb Harbison, Dina Bevivino, Amy Barr
Agenda for meeting with President Creighton- August 30, 2-3 pm, Cooper Conf Room
Staff Council discussed items to bring to our annual meeting with the President. We agreed to talk about:
- Staff Council Coffee Breaks: we are considering two morning breaks and one afternoon break (around 2pm) to give all staff an opportunity to attend at least one.
- We would like to invite the new Ombudsperson, Carol Stewart, to speak at one of the coffee breaks.
- Sick Bank: our work on the draft of the Sick Bank policy and its status.
- Computer training and access for all staff: a big concern for those who do not have regular access to a computer, now that the CSJ is no longer in print.
- New Employee Orientation
- Staff Council Convocation Speaker: Russ Boudreau
- Winterfest: Staff Council to request that this continues in 2007.
- Performance Reviews: our work with Lauren Turner to try to standardize this process for all staff
Staff Council Meeting Schedule
Several Staff Council members are unable to make the original Tuesday meeting time. Staff Council voted to change the meetings to the second Thursday of every month at 1:00 pm Amy Barr to send confirmation by email.
Photographs Associated with Online Staff Council Ballot
Staff Council discussed the proposal to eliminate photographs from the online ballot. At the end of the last election, Staff Council received an email concern that the photographs may have led staff to vote based on popularity rather than who was best for the position. Council members agreed that the photos are more helpful than not, and since they are optional, they will remain as an option for next year.
Half Day Retreat with Lauren Turner on October 3, 8am-1pm, Willits
Shelley brought a list of items that Lauren would like to discuss with Staff Council at the retreat:
- Childcare RFP
- Coffee breaks
- Sick leave donation
- Tuition benefits in retirement (Staff Council believes that this was already decided)
- Datatel- benefits on-line enrollment- vacation/sick accrual
- Health Insurance assessment with employees
Staff Council added:
- Staff Council nominees asked by supervisors to decline nomination
- Performance Reviews
Staff Social at Blanchard
Amy Barr was approached by Kris Bergbom of Student Programs (and MCCL) about the viability of a Staff Social at Blanchard. The social would take place in the Great Room at 7:30 pm on Thursday, October 4. Kris envisions entertainment provided by a music faculty member’s band, snacks, and cash bar. Staff Council members voiced concern that many staff may not be able to come back to campus for such a late event. It could not take place earlier in Blanchard due to student meal times. The date proposed by Kris may also be a problem for some, as it is right before the mid semester break. It was suggested that we poll staff via the Staff Council Web site to see if there would be enough interest in such an event.
Staff Council Minutes, 08-30-07 meeting with President Creighton
President Creighton, Sven Aas, Dina Bevivin, Russsel Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, William Farrington, Amy Barr, Joni Haas Zubi, Mary Heyer, Deborah Harbison, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
Staff Council current agenda
Sick leave bank
We will be presenting to OPC. We have looked at other models and already have a substantial draft. We are currently discussing the topic with Lauren in HR. The president noted that she will be interested in hearing more about this and will be speaking with Lauren.
There are roughly 1,100 staff at MHC and attendance is “modest”. We can look into ways to increase staff participation
Not consistently done across departments. The agreement is that they should be done yearly. The question was raised about this having been a topic on the table for so long. It is so hard to yield results because of how tedious they are. The staff council has offered to Lauren in HR, the idea of a more narrative approach as opposed to using the existing forms. The president and Lauren will be discussing the idea of “360-degree” reviews.
New Employee Orientation
It would be best to present the campus and its services to new hires: tours, library services, (email access & what one’s MHC account allows you to access). We feel that it would be appropriate to provide more than a general benefits overview alone, such as presented in H.R. The admissions tour program already exists. It would be good to “tap” onto this resource. This program needs to be detailed more, such as what and who would provide the general information, and then coordination and more specialized meetings/tours need to be planned. (Such as LITS information.)
Computer access for all
Staff Council would like to see more departmental computers on campus- a move to reducing paper. Currently, not all staff have computer access, nor do they have the technical ability. An idea is to have private, email stations that are accessible to all staff with adequate training available. The question was asked about what LITS currently offers in regards to this. President Creighton stated that the supervisors should be taking place in this currently, printing announcements that appear online.
There was consensus that it should be kept the same as it was last year.
Staff Council wants to continue and conduct them in the same manner as in the past. The list of potential topics and presenters was stated.
The Priority goals were presented by the President
(Please refer to the document provided.)
Other topics discussed
Improving the campus
The new residence hall is impressive. They are waiting to decide on a name until it is nearer to completion.
As mentioned, once the new residence hall is complete, the existing residence halls will be closed one-at-a-time, in succession, as they are renovated. Kendall is a priority that is next on the list. We want to stay competitive, and improving Kendall is a necessity. Also, the new boathouse will contribute to this cause.
There are several hundred pages already written as the college prepares for the visit.
Increase in academic offerings
There is potential to increase educationally, what we can offer to the surrounding community; both internally in regards to staff, and to the people in the surrounding town. There may be benefits to all if MHC were to offer online classes and/or continuing-education classes. There would more opportunity for funds to come into the school, and for professional development without having to interfere with their work time. This idea is currently being investigated, no decisions have yet been made.
Staff Council Minutes, 09-13-07
Attendees: Sven Aas, Dina Bevivin, Russsel Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, William Farrington, Amy Barr, Joni Haas Zubi, Mary Heyer, Deborah Harbison, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
Discussed coffee breaks – determined the preliminary dates
We should think of alternating morning/afternoon
Perception should be of “drop in”
Took into consideration Winterfest, Friends & Families weekend, Breaks, Mountain Day thoughts, President’s Luncheons, and the dining services schedule and determined these dates:
- Oct 10th, 8:30am – 9:30
- Feb 7th, 2:00pm – 3:30
- Mar 26th, 8:30am – 9:30
All to be held in Blanchard Great Room
We will communicate through the Gateways, Online calendar, Staff Council website and an all-staff email
A flyer will need to be made
Sick Leave Donations and Performance Evaluations
They are “packaged up” and are ready to be presented
Decision to wait until the 2nd OPC meeting to formally present and be on the agenda
We can distribute the proposals at the 1st meeting as a possibility
Staff Social and Survey
We have not yet received a response from Kris Bergbom
Decision that a survey should be a short: one-question about interest in attending
Information can be given about time of day, location, and types of entertainment
(Evening, Blanchard, Bands)
New Employee Orientation
A new committee is being formed on this topic. Mary Hyer offered to be the SC liaison and will get in touch with Cindy Legare and Barbara Bunyan regarding the status of things.
The idea of possibly tagging along with admission tours was mentioned.
“Getting to know MHC” could be a component. Information on the architectural history along with a tour and could be offered. Jen King and Michael Davis could be contacted regarding this. Anne Edmonds book and the Alumnae Associations map that shows building construction dates are potential materials to use.
Quality of Life at your Job
MHC could do more to supporting the education of its staff by offering opportunities to gain more experience and knowledge that is related to their job. Currently, the institution doesn’t support this in terms of being allowed to attend classes by supervisors, nor by available funding.
The availability of night classes would offer such chances for staff to stay current in their field.
Administrators should be encouraged to allocate more funding in their budget for staff to attend workshops.
- There has been dislike of the pioneer training courses offered.
- The idea of offering vacation time as a bonus/reward for employees when they reach their 20th year. This has been added to the agenda for the SC meeting with Lauren
- It would be good to have more activities for staff, such as a “Haunted Campus Tour”.
LITS now is unable to have it off as a vacation day. This is more “in-line” with other offices who never had it off. Staff still get the same number of holidays. There was no further discussion on this issue.
Staff Council Minutes 10-03-07 retreat with Lauren Turner
Attendees: Lauren Turner, Sven Aas, Dina Bevivin, Russsel Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, William Farrington, Amy Barr, Joni Haas Zubi, Mary Heyer, Deborah Harbison, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
Accreditation forum announcement
Lauren began the retreat by announcing that there is going to be forums hosted about the accreditation. It will be un-mediated will be more of a Q&A discussion format where the community can speak to the accreditors. The will be 3 sessions, one just for staff. The staff council should mark the occasion and be present to meet and greet the guests.
Coffee break topics
Possible to have one be a De-brief of the budget process – a follow-up to how things are currently on campus. Other topic: Linda and Kim from HR – classification of positions and salary administration.
We still have two open slots for coffee breaks that we can fill
Child care update
MHC will fully support the functions of Gorse, and will not create a loss of any kind for the college students. (The college has academic needs set as a first priority.) A recap of the history of why this merger needs to happen was presented by Lauren. The most current information is that a bidders conference was held where they went on tours of the facilities and a question and answer meeting was held. A RFP was sent out, and we have only received 3 proposals. The school will need to have more community conversation about this topic. Recommendations need to be made to senior staff
Staff Council Minutes, 10-11-07
Attendees: Sven Aas, Dina Bevivin, Russsel Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Joni Haas Zubi, Deborah Harbison, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
Requesting that the college close during the December holiday break, to provide the entire week off for everyone, has been a repeating topic for many years. When presented, the usual result is for the request to be denied. Recently staff received the entire December holiday week off during a year when raises were not given. That was an exception, and resulted in 1 and ½ days off more than the normal holiday time. The staff council was all in agreement this year to not propose such a request based of past responses. Comments were made that it actually is better to have staff choose for ourselves what vacation or floating holiday time to take, rather than being told by the school. Additionally, buildings will still need to be heated and illuminated to a certain degree, as well as other operational components remaining active. This has proven not to be a valid argument for supporting such a request.
Deb will question the other 5-colleges to see what their December holidays are, and will also take into account the number of other vacation and holidays provided.
Sven is going to investigate what Smith College's staff council does in regards to providing staff “treats” during their Mountain Day-equivalent holiday. We have been informed that they have served picnic-type food and ice cream on their local campus for staff. This would be different than the ice cream provided to everyone that MHC currently provides, and would be a special thank-you, in appreciation of the staff who still need to work that day. Specifically, we would be interested in finding out where the funds come from for these activities. (Individual departments?)
Uncommon Grounds Staff Meals
Express meals are served at the Uncommon Grounds during periods while students are present as an effort to combat the long lines within Blanchard. Long lines are not expected during student breaks, therefore the express meals will not be prepared at those times. Several staff members expected meals to be available at this location and were dismayed, however Blanchard’s main dining services were available.
Ric will be looking into the difference in pricing, considering how part of the appeal of the express lunches is lower pricing.
Coffee Break Announcements
Attendance was low this past coffee break, regardless of the effort went through in considering the date and time for the event. We still agreed that the procedure followed is best, and should still be followed in the future: posting to the calendar, announcement page, and an email with PDF attachment.
Review of Staff Council Retreat
We went over the topics discussed with Lauren, and commented on where we currently stand with each issue:
Short term disability – will perform a peer review
Sick leave donations – we will revise and meet more with Lauren before presenting to OPC
Performance reviews – will revisit soon
Quality of life at your job – will draft a proposal with suggested changes for “20 years or more gift”
Staff Council Minutes, 11-15-07
Sven Aas, Dina Bevivino, Russell Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Mary Heyer, Deborah Harbison, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
A sign-up sheet/email for volunteering during the event will be distributed within the next few weeks. Stores have been solicited as to provide gifts for the event. Additional donations are always welcome; please notify the Winterfest committee members.
Sick Bank update
A SC liaison meeting was held with Lauren and the proposal has been revised. Generally the idea was well received, except for the donation of actual sick time. Vacation time, floating holidays, and one accrued sick day will be in the final proposal revision.
We discussed the forming of a small committee with multiple constituents from around campus that would work with senior staff on bringing this to fruition. Volunteer(s) from SC to be on this committee that refines it to recommend it to Senior Staff: Dina Bevivino. Others are needed from H.R. and OPC.
Alcohol meeting report was distributed via email
FCC committee will be changing class schedules for cost-saving reasons. Ex: More Friday classes, classes running later in the day. New this year: students need to meet with their advisor before they could/can register for classes – one goal of this is to gather internship information.
Russ sent OPC minutes via email.
H.R. Liaison, Shelley: on investigating sick banks at other schools, most had either short term disability or sick-bank. H.R. is creating a survey regarding health care insurance; this is still being worked on. Performance reviews – still getting very good feedback on the methods in place. They have been informing managers to encompass within their annual reviews a focus on goals and including an area on “tools needed to do my job”. Future H.R. discussions will be on quality of life and tuition reimbursements. It is also the time of year where people have questions on the holiday closing. They have spoken with 5 colleges and compared our schedule with theirs.
Sven contacted Smith’s staff council. We compared our budget and functions and decided that it would be beneficial to discuss things more. We would like to view their mission statement and bylaws, and also have details on what activities they host.
Ric reported that the Uncommon Ground meals are prepared at Torrey, and when the resident hall shuts down for the holidays, so does their kitchen. Staff should be aware of this and plan accordingly. They are also eager for suggestions on how to better serve the staff in regards to the prepared lunches at this location.
The new employee welcoming committee: Several people took a one-time campus tour with Admissions that was altered to be more staff-oriented. They are going to be talking with Diane Anci to plan such a tour for staff that can be part of the new hire process and would occur once a semester. Even a new employee breakfast could be held as part of these events, with a SC rep at each.
Staff Council Elections
We received suggestions to remove the pictures from the voting website. We need to assure that we don’t overlook anything regarding the election process. We want to have Gladys Moore involved to ensure that the election is diverse.
Staff Council Minutes, 12-17-07
Sven Aas, Russell Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Amy Barr, Mary Heyer, Deborah Harbison, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
Health Care Survey
Review and give comments back to Lauren. We should have all gotten the email.
Demographics: Another discussion was held. Now is in the hands of HR. We will put a link to that page from the SC Page. We need to get back to the person who asked requesting this information. Russ will follow up with this.
Donated time bank: (Formerly known as “sick bank” project): We had positive feedback from the original people making the request: they are “thankful for our time and attention that we are spending on the issue”.
We will continue to stay in contact with H.R. for information on how the sick bank project is progressing, and in turn.
The next step is forming the committee to work with SC, HR, and OPC. This group intends to present it formerly to Senior Staff for eventual implementation.
Cancellation of retirement functions: Due to budget cuts, this function has been eliminated. This is a formerly inexpensive reception to host, however it may have been poorly attended. Is there any other acknowledgement for retiring staff? We could express our awareness of this issue to express our dismay and to obtain further information. Shelley will draft this letter. One question would be, “Will individual departments be allotted funds/expected to host their own, internal retirement functions?”
Winterfest: Great feedback! People loved the wraps. Possible last year for the slideshow?
New employee orientation
A tour will be arranged for SC.
Asking for volunteers to be mentors to assist with new employee tours. There will be a tour and lunch 3 times a year where an informal discussion would be held. This will be taken to OPC to see if funding is available. Each of us on SC would volunteers. This group will relay and provide information from many departments on campus.
Discussion of potential location for posting of rides: Sven will create a location to “share a ride” as a SC initiative. This will be our “green contribution”.
Extended Vacation Time
Currently 4 weeks vacation pay after 5 years. After 20/25 years, MHC could provide a scale where the employee will be brought up to 5 weeks of vacation time. The president has mentioned that there is a problem with morale on campus; this would be something that can be shown to the next accreditation committee as an item that MHC took as an attempt to improve morale.
Gladys Moore Meeting
Monday @ 3:30. We will discuss the election process. Will request her presence as a guiding role regarding diversity at all SC meetings.
Once again there were many complaints at this meeting, representing people within their constituent groups, about students parking within staff parking spots.
Staff Council Minutes, 01-10-08
Sven Aas, Amy Barr, Russell Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Bill Farrington, Joni Haas Zubi, Deborah Harbison, Mary Heyer, Jackie Houle, and Shelley Richard.
Our process of taking and posting of the meeting minutes was discussed.
Mary Heyer agreed to take on the duties of taking the minutes and distributing. She will send out the minutes and allow one week for edits. After a week the minutes will be sent to Sven to post on our web site.
The upcoming election was discussed. There are 7 openings this year.
We will proceed as last year using Web Shell. Russ will send Mary and Jackie the emails that were sent out last year as a guide and Mary will meet with Cindy Legare. Shelly will ask Lauren to remind supervisors to encourage staff to run.
Our tentative timeline is:
Nominations – week of April 14th
Voting – through the second week in May – this will allow staff to vote at the Benefits Fair.
Russ, Shelly, and Deb reported on their meeting with Gladys Moore. They explained our process and purpose. She found our process to be good. She has agreed that her position, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, will serve as an advisor to the Staff Council. She will not attend meetings on a regular basis but only as needed.
Amanda will contact Monica Reginio. The procedure will run the same as last year.
Upcoming Coffee Break
February 7th at 2 p.m. in Blanchard. Our guest speaker is Gladys Moore. Jackie will contact Gayle Higgins, Eliot House, to get the information for our flyer. We will post this on the Gateway and send out an email to all staff as we did for October.
Shelly spoke with Lauren on the rationale for discontinuing these. The decision was due to low turnout, even among the retirees, and not cost. HR will continue to give the retiree a crystal bowl and the brochure on retiree benefits. The Director of HR will visit the office on the retirees last day to say a few words. SC would like to invite the retirees to Winterfest and include them in the PowerPoint presentation.
Vacation policies at peer institutions
Sven reported that Smith and Hampshire have a max of 20 days.
Shelly reported the UMass policy as follows:
Exempt – after 20 years/23 days
Non-exempt and clerical – after 19.5 years/25 days
Ric Rigali was not in attendance to report on Amherst College.
Health Care Survey
To date 213 people have participated. Lauren will send out another reminder. Shelley encouraged all of Staff Council to participate.
Lauren asked for suggestions on training that staff might be interested in or need. We see the need for more availability/budget access for attending professional seminars, etc. and an increase in the tuition reimbursement for courses taken at other institutions.
Vacation Policy aka Sick Bank
After Russ’ presentation at OPC a subcommittee was formed. The subcommittee consists of Dina Bevivino, Michael Buckley, Nancy Apple, Lauren Turner, Cindy Legare, and Lorraine Gendron.
They were to meet this week but were postponed.
New Employee Orientation
Mary Heyer reported that Cindy Legare is moving ahead with preparing a web site for new employees to refer to – like a FAQ page. HR will send out an email to all staff asking for mentor volunteers. The mentor will meet with the new employee on their first day at MHC. Diane Anci has offered to open up the Admissions Training in August to include all new employees. We agreed to query mentors next fall on how this worked.
Staff Council Minutes, 02-14-08
Sven Aas, Russell Boudreau, Amy Barr, Dina Bevivino, Mary Heyer, Deborah Harbison, Joni Haas-Zubi, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
This issue was raised again after the last storm. Both the OPC and Staff Council feel there is a need to have consistency in the time that the announcements for closings or late openings are made. Many called the weather line at 6 a.m. only to hear that the College would open as usual. Most agree that if the decision has not been made by 6 a.m. then the weather line should inform staff to call back for updated information. Russ will draft a letter to Lauren Turner suggesting this.
This Committee needs to replace Miriam Janove this semester as she is leaving the College. We came up with a few names staff council members will contact them to see if they would be willing to serve. We intend to incorporate MCCL nominations into our regular web based election process
Vacation Policy Report
Ric Rigali reported that the vacation policy at Amherst College awards 25 days for 20 or more years of service.
Coffee Break Report
We all agreed that this was a great presentation but again a smaller attendance than we would have liked. It was reported that some staff could only attend if it was on their own time.
Our next Coffee Break is March 26th at 8:30 a.m. Human Resources is scheduled to discuss salary administration program. Sven will contact HR for more information and post on the Staff Council web site as well as the Gateway as the date nears.
Russ and Shelley attended the most recent OPC meeting and submitted a memo asking for more information on professional development across campus. OPC will revisit this. Shelley will stay in touch with OPC concerning this issue.
Staff Council members solicited their divisions for training that they would like to see offered on campus. Ric Rigali received suggestions for conflict resolution. Another suggestion was Pod casting which LITS may be able to offer in the future.
A concern was raised by a staff member who wanted to take a class on campus but the request was denied.
Staff Council Elections
Mary Heyer will send out the call for nominations the week of April 7th. She will contact Mike Crowley requesting use of the Webshell again this year.
Sick Bank Proposal
The Committee formed to look into our proposal is drafting a document that will offer a Per Case system with the ability to donate VACATION time, 1 per event. Dina wasn't sure about the FLOATING HOLIDAY option, but will check into that. Definitely, the idea of donating a SICK day is out. All this will go back to OPC and STAFF COUNCIL for final approval. HR will facilitate the program.
Sven Aas is going to contact the Staff Council at Smith College and arrange for some of us to meet with them to share ideas.
Staff Council Minutes, 03-13-08
Sven Aas, Russell Boudreau, Amy Barr, Bill Farrington, Amanda Florek, Mary Heyer, Joni Haas-Zubi, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
There was a discussion on the way campus events are announced to all staff. Some staff are still not receiving information. HR asked if it is under the jurisdictaion of Staff Council to get the announcements out. We all agreed that we should not start doing that. OPC should filter down all information to their departments. The Gateway should also be used. We also felt that using office-assist-l and dept-assist-l would reach the vast majority of staff who should then see to it that all folks in their area are alerted to the announcement.
To be held on Wednesday, April 2nd from 12 – 1:30 p.m. in Willits Hallowell Center. A draft of the announcement needs to be sent to the President’s Office. Sven will try and find what he has from last year and forward on to Jackie. Sven will post on our site and Jackie will post on the MHC Gateway.
Staff Council Coffee Break
March 26th in Blanchard from 8:30 – 9:30 am
Linda Samano submitted a blurb that Jackie will use for the flyer and to announce on the Gateway.
Amanda would like any information or paperwork that anyone has from previous years. Information and forms need to go out this month to all staff. Last year the application process was distilled some and we agreed to keep it the same for this year.
MCCL Committee member
We are very fortunate that Catarina Costa has agreed to a 2 year term on the MCCL. She is an alum and works in the Admission Office. Kris Bergbom agreed to continue her seat on the committee for another term.
To be held on May 15th in Chapin Auditorium from 10:30 am – 4:00 pm
The theme this year is “Don’t gamble with your benefits – come to the Benefits Fair.”
We need to decide if SC wants to hold a raffle. A sign up sheet was distributed for council members to help out at the SC booth with those staff that still need or want to vote.
No update – still waiting on Human Resources. We will contact HR to inquire as to the status of this proposal.
There was a discussion on changing the term date for Staff Council membership from May – May to coincide with the College’s fiscal year (June-July). We agreed to keep it as is as the May meeting is important for incoming as well as outgoing council members.
The Alumnae Quarterly asked the Council if we have access to an all staff email. They would like to use one to announce the changes to the distribution of the Quarterly. We decided to refer Emily Weir to Jesse Lytle for use of the everyone-a email list. MHC Today uses that venue and perhaps Jesse will grant them the same access 4 times a year. The Council feels that the Alumnae Quarterly should be granted an “everyone-all” type of distribution list
Reaccreditation report was discussed in part at OPC; Shelley to get back to the OPC Training and Development Committee on professional development for staff that was brought to OPC in February.
Shelley and Russ will revisit with Lauren the Short Term Disability request and training budgets.
We decided to provide an update to President Creighton via a letter this year. Future Staff Councils should continue to hold the August meeting with President Creighton to familiarize her with what we are working on for the coming year and incorporate an update in January to her to let her know how far we’ve gotten. This will also help facilitate any area we are having trouble with. We also discussed the possibility of meeting with the President quarterly.
Staff Council Minutes, 04-10-08
Sven Aas, Russell Boudreau, Amy Barr, Bill Farrington, Deb Harbison, Mary Heyer, Joni Haas-Zubi, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
End of year report to the President
Joanne Creighton expressed interest in receiving an end of year report from the Staff Council. Russ and Shelley will prepare a draft report for the Council to review and edit.
Russ and Shelley also mentioned to her that the Council would like to start meeting with her in January as well as August to discuss our progress on issues during the year. She agreed to this.
Election update/Benefits Fair
Mary Heyer reported that as of 4/10/08 there were 28 nominees. Early next week Mary will send out the list of nominees for each division. Council members may then decide if there are colleagues they would like to contact regarding their nomination. When contacting the nominees it is important to make them aware of the time commitment.
The sign up sheet for the Benefits Fair was distributed again. Mary will send a reminder closer to the date. Bill Farrington will arrange for the laptops to be at the Fair. Russ will ask Barbara Bunyan (Theatre Dept) if there is a roulette wheel that we might be able to use that day.
Ideas for raffle prizes were discussed. We will try to obtain Rao’s chips, MHC photo albums, and key chains. More ideas should be sent to Shelley.
We were all encouraged by the proposal for the change in the group life policy.
Short term disability is also promising. Our only concern is the time it will take to make this available to staff.
The sick bank policy was discussed. We are disappointed that the idea of contributing a floating holiday is not included but we will not dispute. A unanimous vote was taken to approve the proposal as is. We hope that it is on the April OPC agenda as well as the next Senior Staff meeting.
The benefit for same sex domestic partners was briefly discussed. We do not see a problem with this and hope it moves forward. The Council would like to see a member on the the next Health Care Committee to convene in Fall 2008. Sven Aas expressed interest.
Vacation Policy for employees with 20 or more years of service
Shelley will forward our proposal to Lauren.
To date there is only one application. The deadline for applications is May 5. We will make a decision on the award at our next meeting (May 8). We have been encouraged to award more this year. We are considering a change in our announcement on the dollar value.
We had a brief discussion on asking for small donations in order to make this scholarship more attractive. Shelley will check to see if this is possible.
Use of staff-l mail list
The Alumnae Office has requested permission to forward the changes in the distribution of the Quarterly to the staff-l mail list. Their request has been denied. The Council is in agreement that this is not our decision and we will encourage them to use the Gateway. Joni will suggest to Rochelle Calhoun that she ask Senior Staff if they can add this announcement to the next MHC Today.
Staff Council budget
We agreed that a treasurer is needed and should be added to the Staff Council structure. We will vote on adding a member to this position for 2008-2009 at our May meeting. Presently we have a small budget. The funds only cover the 3 coffee breaks each year. We agreed that it is time to request an increase. We would like additional funds to purchase items for the Benefits Fair and to improve Mountain Day for staff. We also agree that our budget should be moved out of Human Resources and to the President’s Office.
Staff Council Minutes, 05-08-08
Sven Aas, Amy Barr, Dina Bevivino, Russell Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Bill Farrington, Jackie Houle, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Andrew Soucy
Employee Scholarship Awards
3 applications were received. We will send congratulation letters to each, awarding them an equal amount. After the letter is sent, their names will be posted to the website.
We discussed the prizes and games that we would feature. We will hold games of “20 questions” for use with a roulette wheel.
Staff Council Elections
Things are ready to proceed. There will be paper ballots available at the benefits fair. Those will be tallied in later, checked against the electronic submissions to not allow duplicate votes from individuals. There will also be laptops available at the table.
If there is access to computers for all staff next year, the voting can be all electronic.
Next meeting, all Staff Council members who serve on other committees should prepare and bring a folder describing their role on that committee. Each person on staff council who serves a specific Staff Council duty should also prepare such a folder. This information will help the next person in line to serve their term.
Staff Council nominations
There are concerns over the number of people who declined, noting that we believe supervisors would be opposed to the time involved.
The Omsbudsperson should be invited to attend an occasional SC meeting. Please keep this in mind for next year’s scheduling.
Report to President
We discussed and decided on preparing a final report for the president. This report will be presented at the end of each academic year, summarizing our accomplishments.
Our Staff Council Budget
Each year we don’t even have enough funds to host 3 coffee breaks. Next year the budget needs restructuring, this needs to be on the agenda.
Staff Council Minutes, 05-28-08
Sven Aas, Amy Barr, Dina Bevivino, Russell Boudreau, Amy Barr, Bill Farrington, Amanda Florek, Deb Harbison, Mary Heyer, Carmen Jimenez, Fred Kass, Lorraine Lacasse, Cindy LePage, Shelley Richard, Ric Rigali, Theresa Rae, Bardee Sadlier
We welcomed the newly elected members and thanked those who have served for the past 2 years. Committee assignments were assigned. They are as follows:
Cindy LePage (back-up)
Drug and Alcohol
Stephen Parmenter was nominated for co-chair. Shelly will ask if he is interested and get back to the Council.
The meeting schedule for next year was distributed. Any conflicts should be passed along to Shelley.
A letter is being prepared by Human Resources to be sent to all supervisors of the newly elected Staff Council members.
The issues for the upcoming year were discussed (budget, vacation time, our structure). She also asked the council to keep in mind our coffee breaks for next year and send her any ideas we may have for speakers or topics.
Lorraine Lacasse volunteered to start a project plan to keep track of issues we are working on. This can be used for better follow up throughout the year. There was discussion about how to better inform staff of items that we are working on and how to announce those that get approved (i.e. sick bank).