Staff Council Minutes
Thursday October 5, 2006
2:00 – 3:00pm MMD Room Pierce Hall
Submitted by Adrianne Andrews, Co-Secretary
Attending: Adrianne Andrews, Joseph Bialek, Nancy Brady, Sandra Bycenski, Beverly Byrnes, Janice Cole, Lynda DallaPegorara, Christopher Gentes, Alicia Guidiotti, Linda LaFlam, Trish Mailler, Sabrina Marsh, Jinny Mason, Kathryn Messier, Patricia Rist, Sam Rush, William Sheehan, Art Usher, Kathy Yarnell, Kenneth Molnar
Approval of September 2006 Minutes: Minutes of the September 6, 2006, meeting were approved and accepted.
Personnel Policy Committee – The minutes of the PPC meeting were summarized by Sandy Bycenski, Chair of PPC.
A new online applicant tracking process is being initiated by Human Resources that will allow applicants to track the progress of their applications, the status of the application, as well as allow Human Resources to process applications more efficiently.
Internal mobility – positions will announced internally five days prior to general announcement of position openings
Bystander training – skill development in interceding in observed situations related to diversity
Dental Plan – there will be no increase in the current coverage under Delta Dental plan
Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan – in negotiation re. costs
Activities Committee – Sabrina Marsh, Chair, reported the following upcoming activities:
October 6, 2006 – Live Healthy donation forms sent out
November 7, 2006 – Staff Visions Reception to be held – Neilson Library Book Arts Gallery
December 14, 2006 – Holiday Hoopla and Cookie Swap competition
December 2, 2006 – New York City bus trip, the Activities Committee needs to fill the second bus. Both buses will depart the College at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 2.
Diversity Committee – Adrianne Andrews, Chair, summarized the minutes of the Diversity Committee meeting (hard copies distributed, see attached):
Skills Bank – There was a discussion of the Skills Bank and how to clarify how it was intended to operate, how the “bank” would coordinated and by which Committee [or individual(s)]. Alicia Guidiotti stated that the idea of the Skills Bank was intended to find a way for staff members to learn new skills from one another – instead of paying to learn skills, why not draw on already existing skills among the staff, a kind of bartering of skills and compensation for diversity efforts on the part of individuals that went beyond their job descriptions. This would be compensation that would be other than monetary.
Common Ground Award – an award and/or recognition for staff members who enrich and support the diversity of the College community in many informal ways that go above and beyond their job requirements. Give public recognition to these efforts.
Class Diversity should be highlighted.
Staff Council members are encouraged to raise the visibility of the Common Ground initiative, its value to the community, possibly serving as “ambassadors” for the raising of awareness of the initiative within their respective department meetings.
Film Series – The Diversity Committee will again sponsor a film series. This year the film series will take place in the evening, 4:30pm – 6:15pm. This year’s film series theme is Celebrating Diversity through Music.
Communications Committee – Bill Sheehan, Chair, clarified the time for the meeting of the CC – the Thursday following Staff Council meeting, @2:00pm.
Nominations and Elections Committee – No report
Old Business: Feedback on the Common Ground Report
Concerns about the representativeness of sample that the Common Ground report was based on were discussed, the question of whether the proportion of various campus constituencies was equal to the proportion represented in the focus groups that were convened by the Common Ground Committee. Sam Rush reminded Staff Council that the mandate of Common Ground is that it is not to remain in the “good ideas” stage but every member of the community must help move from ideas to action. Bill Sheehan suggested that Diversity Training could/should be mandated. Alicia Guidiotti suggest that Diversity Training could be part of new employee orientation, something that could take place sometime during the first year of employment. She suggested that there could be ongoing Diversity Training, perhaps once every three months, or twice a year, for example. This training could be topical – gender, class, age-ism, etc. Attending the training(s) could be a condition of employment. This could serve to support the Common Ground project.
Ken Molnar inquired about the possibility of Staff Council support for the Toys for Tots campaign, an open drive to donate toys for the holidays, and if this is the kind of activity that Staff Council could support and what is the standard College policy on this?
Staff Council is willing to disseminate information but there was concern voiced about where it would be logistically placed, with which committee?
Bill S. suggested that College Relations could give some guidance. Sam R. raised the question of, What can Staff Council do and not do regarding endorsing these kinds of activities. Alicia G. suggested that one of the student orgs. might want to take on the project. Sabrina M. suggested that students in the organization of students concerned with issues of class could come and educate staff/Staff Council about these issues and how needs are met through actvities such as Toys for Tots, outreach/reach out to 1 st generation students. Alicia G. added that Common Ground and the community could be enhanced by outreach to students by Staff Council.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:55p.m. The next meeting will be held on November 2, 2006. Location to be determined.