Staff Association Executive Committee: 9/4/19 Meeting Minutes
Minutes of the Staff Association Executive Committee meeting held on 9/4/19
Sherrie Borowsky, Joanne Brown, Bruce Bumbarger, Anhara Disko, Noemi Fernandez, Sara Goddard, Bob Harper, Nikki Millas, Rose Marie Moses, Alexis (Schaf) Schafsnitz, Elana Wolff
Plans for the semester
Noemi outlined plans for the upcoming semester:
- 9/18 – meeting with Wendy Raymond (and perhaps other members of senior staff); need for us to formulate agenda
- Review the draft of the SAEC strategic plan for 2019–2021; discussion of incorporating EC member goals; soliciting input from/releasing to staff-at-large; desirability of including timelines
- Carrying out work for fall semester – Noemi will circulate meeting schedule; idea floated of enlisting other staff (not members of SAEC) to assist on working groups addressing strategic goals
Responding to anonymous posts to Staff Association website
The question was raised of how best to respond to anonymous posts to Staff Association website; will acknowledge receipt in SAEC minutes; recent examples include:
- "A day off during fall break would be nice. Also, more than a 2% raise."
- "I would like the discussion of staff salaries to be brought to the attention of senior staff and the board. A 2% raise for the past 12 years is a sorry way to show appreciation and awarding merit. Also, this system of hiring new employees at market value, only means that staff members who have been here for a long time are making less than new employees. This should be of utmost importance and addressed before the new budget is approved. Staff would like answers."
Meeting dates of campus committees and working groups
Meeting dates for AAC, Working Group on Benefits, &c will be posted on SA website.
Review of 8/6 SAEC officers' meeting with Wendy Raymond
Sara offered a review of the officers' meeting with Wendy Raymond, followed by further discussion of what we should cover at 9/18 meeting, with general agreement that the following points could be included:
- Looked at Issues raised/left unsettled from last academic year; revealed a general sense that staff input is often not adequately considered; view that process matters and that good policy ideas are often undercut by bad process
- Examples of good process (formulation of smoking policy) and poor process (handbook review, introduction of gender-neutral bathrooms; parental leave policy, &c)
- Discussion of student/staff interactions – questions of how issues affecting students/staff get resolved; sense that there is often too much reactive, rather than reflective, decision making
Noemi outlined the brief talk she will present at the Presidential inauguration.
Discussion of the current format of the meetings and how they can be revamped to incorporate a more visible role for the Staff Association:
- member of SAEC (rotating participation) will open and close meetings, presenting SA news during introductory remarks;
- plan to invite faculty and student representatives to attend as first step in beginning to build closer relationships between campus constituencies
Meeting formally closed at 11:00
A small group (Noemi, Bob, Rose Marie, Schaf, and Elana) continued discussion of agenda for meeting with Wendy Raymond; arrived at main discussion points:
- communication: good vs poor process; desire for leadership and support when engaging in difficult conversations
- staff/student and staff/faculty relationships: formal and informal ways to build community across groups
- campus culture: pressure to perform; culture of elitism and how it can undermine relationships across employment status
- inclusion and equity for staff: recruitment, retention, and compensation for people of color and LGBTQ folks on staff; building support structures that do not rely on supervisor discretion
Submitted by Bruce Bumbarger