Smith College Staff Council
November 1, 2000 (approved at December 6, 2000 meeting)
A meeting of the full Staff Council was held on November 1, 2000 at 2 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room at Pierce Hall.
Present: Cristen Abrams, Chrissie Bell, Cyndee Button, Mary Clayton, Patti Corjay, Patrick Diggins, Lisa Dwinell, Dottie Goulet, Patty Kimura, Mimi Lempart, Bob Lesko, Deb Letourneau, Patty Rist, Sam Rush, Stephanie Schoen, Bill Sheehan and Maria Vallejo
Excused: Sandy Bycenski, Michelle Finley, Serena Harris, Patty Hayes, Clara Lopez, and Mary Martineau
Absent: Honey Gillman, Janice McDowell, and Joe Stoddart
Patty Kimura called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m.
September meeting minutes were approved to include correction in Personnel Policy report: Chrissie Bell and Lou Bouley met with Brenda Allen, amending that the whole committee did not meet with Brenda Allen.
Minutes of the October 11, 2000 meeting were amended and approved by a unanimous vote.
Gladden, Office of Advancement
Guest speaker from the Office of Advancement, Sheri Gladden, spoke to Staff Council about the ongoing "This is about Smith" comprehensive fundraising campaign. She informed us that President Simmons has approved the solicitation of Smith College faculty and staff for this campaign. In the spring, so as not to conflict with the United Way campaign, Advancement will contact staff and faculty about the opportunity to donate to the designation of their choice. Sheri asked for the Council's advice on this initiative.
Option to donate time instead of money; volunteering hours might help to make all feel included
Why approach staff and faculty? Knowing that gifts may be directed to a specific area intriguing
Explain to Smith community how gifts are distributed, i.e. flow chart
Reinforce that it is a common practice to solicit faculty and staff at other institutions
Present as an opportunity to give
Approach unions for discussion at meetings
Include comprehensive information. Provide incentives such as pre-taxation
Cite statistics of other institutions' percentages of faculty and staff contributions. Percentage of community participation is more important than total amount contributed
Present at a Community Forum
Sheri thanked the committee for the helpful suggestions and will get back to us on ideas that are formed. Any further suggestions may be emailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patti Corjay reported on the following activities:
Denim Day (10-6-00) was a great success, especially because RADS employees donated $500 in memory of a co-worker.
NYC trip (12-9-00), only 7 seats left. The Museum of Art booked a trip on the same day but with a higher ticket price. Next year will be in contact with the museum to avoid conflict of interest.
Cooking class (12-1-00) 12 people have booked so far. Received comments on great menu.
Bright Nights (12-15-00) has not been advertised yet although phone message mentions the trip so 28 people have signed up. Flyer will be distributed this coming week.
Cindy Rucci asked Patti to survey council about the use of flyers because complaints have been received about the waste of paper. Lively discussion ensued about the difficulty in communicating with certain departments especially RADS. Patty Kimura interjected noting that RADS Computers & Mail were next on the agenda after committee reports.
6 Flags tickets will be sold at the beginning of December.
Future events include Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, Bronx Zoo and an afternoon at Clayworks in Easthampton.
Sam Rush reported that the committee met on October 19, 2000 and discussed the:
Benefits Fair: Volunteers needed for the Staff Council table on November 7, 2000. Will contact Amy Holich to find the source of the Staff Council blue information folders for handouts at table.
Discount Program: Disclaimer will be posted on website suggesting that Smith College employees should ask about restrictions before purchase. Some complaints have arisen due to different company policies.
Smith College Committees: Sam asked council members to make notes/corrections on the committee list he passed around. He noted that this is an ongoing project that will need continual additions/subtractions and ideally will have a contact person listed for each committee.
Sandy Bycenski is working on appointing At-Large Council Members to represent various groups on campus.
Nominations and Elections
Bill Sheehan had nothing new to report at this time.
Personnel Policy Committee:
Chrissie Bell reported that the committee met with Lianne Sullivan-Crowley and Brenda Allen on October 16, 2000 and discussed:
Workload Focus Groups: In January, focus groups consisting of up to 10 people in each group will study workloads on campus. PPC will handpick people to properly reflect a balance of offices with overwork issues and those without.
Position Review/Job Reclassification: Looking to reach some sort of uniformity in job descriptions by coming up with a few generic descriptions within a letter grade. The college interviewed five consultant companies and has hired Mercer Company. Staff will be involved in the position review process.
Tuition Reimbursement: Lianne surveyed peer institutions but did not bring statistics. Problems discussed were low monetary reimbursement for college courses at other institutions and the current 3 year waiting period for taking classes at other institutions
Elimination of Employee Positions: Two Administrative Assistant positions are being eliminated. In the Staff Handbook, the committee found the college's policy to be: 1. Human Resources offers an advanced compensation package to the employee. 2. If package not taken, the employee is offered work on campus for 1 year. 3. The college does not guarantee a job.
Lianne spoke about the turn over and restructuring in Human Resources. In a year or two they are looking towards a service model assigning HR representatives to different departments.
A suggestion was made by a council member to give out smaller denominations for employee awards because the certificates may only be used once; thus whole face amount must be used or lost.
Patty Kimura asked that we talk with our fellow co-workers to gather ideas on where Staff Council can go with diversity training. Please bring these thoughts and ideas to the last training on Tuesday.
RADS Computers & Mail
Patty Kimura brought up that communication via email or mail is not working for RADS employees. She asked if Morrow House has a computer @ yes, accessible in storeroom and RADS employees do have computers in all kitchens. Delivery of mail is not dependable relying on student help that is in short supply this year. Discussion on why the college does not deliver mail to the kitchens with the example of what if Admissions did not receive their mail? This is an important issue and the purpose of Staff Council @ working to keep all staff informed and communications open. Same issue of mail and computers came up in the college's self-study. Patty will have a conversation with Kathy Zieja.
To be discussed further, thought on moving to Wright Hall common room for future meetings.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:05 p.m.
Cyndee Button, Co-Secretary Staff Council