Attending: Kim Allen, Adrianne Andrews, Adrian Beaulieu, Suzanne Beaumier, Joseph Bialek, Nancy Brady, Terrilyn Calloway, Janice Cole, Karen Hebert, Chris Carr Hill, Marti Hobbes, Patty Kimura, Linda LaFlam, Karen LeHouiller, Merrilyn Lewis, Jinny Mason, Laura Matta, Steve Montiero, Linda Rainville, Patricia Rist, Sam Rush, Bill Sheehan.
Excused: Gayle Fitzgerald, Kate Kilpatrick, Xinh Spangler, Mike Washut,Tara Zidonik
Guests: Stacey Anasazi, Sandy Bycenski, Sabrina Morse, Ferris Shelton
1. Minutes - Approved with minor corrections by Chris Carr Hill and Basil Stewart
2. REPORTS FROM STANDING SUB-COMMITTEES
Nominations and Elections
Charter Review: Articles III (membership) and IV (elections) were discussed.
Some discussion and clarification of who is considered "staff" at the college occurred. It was agreed to drop the parenthetical "including Academic support" from Art. III, sect. 1 in the definition of college staff. It was also agreed to drop the last sentence of Art. IV, sect. 4 beginning with "Elected Staff Council members . . ."
There was also discussion of the wording of Art. IV, sect. 2, but it was agreed to retain the wording as is.
The subject of the Presidential appointees (Art. III, sect. 3) created the most discussion. Jinny Mason initially raised the question of the purpose of these appointments. Patty Kimura spoke in their favor and elaborated on the unique opportunities the appointees provide for Staff Council. Steve Monteiro also spoke on this as did Merrilyn Lewis and Nancy Brady. Although both pros and cons were discussed, it was generally agreed that these positions have value and should be kept in the charter as is.
Sabrina Marsh reported they have been very busy. The Indigenous Students of Smith Association dinner, which Staff Council jointly sponsored, was very successful. She said it was "good to reach out to student groups." There will be another family movie shown on January 15th as well as a January wine-tasting class, which is already almost full. The NYC bus trip on Dec. 4th is fully enrolled. The November wreath- making workshop was a huge success. An informal cookie swap will being held on December 15th at the Campus Center.
Merrilyn said that Staff Council was again sponsoring a Hilltown family for Christmas. Karen LeHouiller and Sandy Bycenski were in charge of purchasing the gifts for this family with 4 young boys.
Merrilyn also presented the Activities budget prepared by Lou Ann Krawczynski to Staff Council for approval. It was suggested that under the entry for the Staff Visions the word reception be deleted. With this change the budget was approved.
Karen Hebert reported the committee discussion about the new E-Digest and the need to insure that Physical Plant and other departments with less access to computers and the Internet are able to receive news from E-Digest. Linda LaFlam said she had good luck getting information out to housekeeping and offered to pass on her methods. Other topics the committee discussed include getting a payroll fact sheet regarding the bi-monthly payroll proposal and the need for a paper directory. Merrilyn acknowledged the departure of Council Chronicle Editor Ferris Shelton with a certificate of thanks from the whole Staff Council.
Personnel Policy (PPC) Committee
The committee has been discussing the Sick Bank program and some of the difficulties it has. The bank is an earned benefit for staff, but can also be a cost for the college.
The committee has also been discussing staff burn-out since the reduction in staff earlier this year. The idea was floated that we all need to brainstorm about how best to acknowledge our appreciation for our peers. It was suggested that perhaps Staff Council can partner with senior staff to explore ways that people can express and receive appreciation in a way that is meaningful. It was also proposed that we could try to meet with SAMS if they are still meeting. Petty Kimura suggested talking to Carol Christ about both these ideas.
Ad Hoc Diversity Committee
Thanks to all who helped with our first Cultural Heritage celebration. The committee proposed that next year we partner with student groups and offices on campus to advertise this event more widely. Also, clarifying the types of submissions might encourage more participation.
3. OLD BUSINESS
Terrilyn Calloway, Laura Matta, Patty Kimura and Janice McDowell have volunteered to join Common Ground, the group being organized by Naomi Miller, Director of the Office of Institutional Diversity, as Staff Council representatives.
Merrilyn spoke briefly about the results of the college-wide discussions of the Center for Early Childhood Center (CECE) that were recently published. She acknowledged that the timeframe required us to move more hastily to respond to this than we might have liked. However, she was glad we did so as she felt that our thoughts were recognized and that we accomplished our goal of representing staff interests on an issue important to many employees.
4. NEW BUSINESS
Merrilyn reported that the SGA had contacted Staff Council with regard to cooperating on a jointly sponsored event. A picnic in early March was suggested. Sam, Patty and Sabrina expressed interest in helping with this event. The council urged then to try to set a date for the event ASAP.
Merrilyn also reported that CCCP under the guidance of Jennifer Walters is trying to establish "study circles" such as we had considered doing a couple of years ago. They asked if anyone on Staff Council would like to help with this and Adrianne Andrews expressed interest.
Steve Montiero reported that Bill Brandt had presented the payroll proposal to service staff and their response wasn't very favorable. In fact, he said it was more like "outrage." Pat Rist said support staff had a short discussion at a recent meeting which was mostly positive or at least neutral. Some concerns were raised about 38- and 42- week employees and how it would impact them.
Adrianne asked who to ask if we have questions or concerns. E-Mail to Basil or Lianne was suggested. Merrilyn suggested that our community forum could discuss this topic -it could both raise and answer questions. Adrianne Andrews thought that might not be the best way to go about it.
After wishing everyone a happy holiday and pleasant break, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held on January 13th at 2:00 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Conference Room.