Staff Council Exec Committee Meeting Summary – 4/3/19

The Staff Council Exec Committee met for their standing monthly meeting on Wednesday, April 3rd. A summary of the meeting, as it relates to the agenda, follows:

  1. Pressing Issues
    • What’s the word on the street? What’s new?
      • Debriefed the Coffee Break hosted on March 25th with folks from the Library. Overall feeling was that this was a big success, and that attendees appreciated having a time to chat about anything with no planned agenda. It also served as a great way to get to know other people at the College. The plan is for this to become a more regular event.
      • Discussed the Voluntary Retirement Program. Hearing excitement by and for people that are eligible, but sense of uncertainty and feeling overwhelmed by those “left behind.” More on this under item number 6 on the agenda.
      • Jared Cadrette let us know that there is officially a new SGA President…Molly Aldrich. Maria Morales was re-elected as VP of SGA. Congrats to Molly and Maria! We plan to reach out to them in September about SGA presenting at a Staff Council meeting about their plans for the 2019-2020 academic year.
    • Review of April 17, 2019 Staff Council Meeting Agenda
      • In process! Putting out some feelers for potential agenda items.
      • As a reminder, the meeting is Wednesday, April 17th from 9-10am in Alumni Auditorium. Patrick DiMambro will facilitate.
  2. Committee/Budget Updates
    • Update on the Staff Council budget from Patrick, and discussed plans for FY20 budget.
    • Staff Welfare & Advocacy Committee: They are working on a lot of items! They will provide a separate update on the blog from their most recent meeting.
    • Staff Networking: Meeting on Thursday, April 4th and discussing two more events before the end of the FY19 academic year.
    • Communication & Engagement Committee: No update as both Nic Anderson and Tara Arneson were unable to attend the meeting.
  3. Debrief the joint meeting with Staff Welfare Committee on 3/18/19
    • The Staff Council Executive Committee and Staff Welfare Committee has a joint meeting back on March 18th, and we had not had a chance to debrief that yet. Main focuses of the joint meeting were how can we (Staff Exec) be more transparent about our work, confidentiality priorities for both committees, how to tackle some of the “low-hanging” fruit of the Great Colleges to Work For Survey; and a few other various items.
  4. Debrief Flourishing Community Activity from March Staff Council Meeting
    • Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time in the meeting to talk about this in depth but we discussed a few items sporadically throughout the rest of our meeting. A few of the main points of discussion are: we will be reviewing our bylaws this summer to take into account what we heard in this meeting and as we look to our 30th(!) year of Staff Council; we want to figure out how we can create more recognition/appreciation programs amongst staff; and this was really as far as we got so more talk about these notes from the March meeting to be discussed off-line. Stay tuned!
  5. Finalize Plans for Office Hours and Survey
    • Another item we had to table from our meeting and are discussing offline. BUT, we are planning to announce soon that we will be having Staff Council Office Hours and are still structuring what that will look like. Also, planning to send out some type of working well survey to staff but that may be tabled until the end of the summer. Again, stay tuned.
  6. Joined by Jennifer Archambault
    • Jennifer always joins us for at least part of our Exec meeting. For this one, she was only able to join for a half hour so we packed in a few big ticket items while she was with us. Shout out to Jennifer for taking the time with us once again!
    • We discussed finalizing plans for a meeting between Staff Council Exec and President’s Cabinet. The hope is this will take place by early May. Jennifer and I are working on potential dates. Once a date is set Jennifer, Jared and I will meet to finalize the agenda. The main plan is to approach this meeting as a follow-up to what we are taking away from the “What is Staff Council’s role in a Flourishing Community” exercise from the March Staff Council meeting.
    • Finally, we talked with Jennifer about initial responses we had been hearing regarding the Voluntary Retirement Program. Jennifer had already met with Staff Council Exec about this item shortly before the email announcement went out on March 25th from President Laackman, so this provided time for additional conversation. Jennifer went over the parameters of the plan again, in order to provide more clarity to the discussion. As a reminder “This plan allows Champlain to offer a generous transition to eligible faculty and staff who choose to retire. Approximately 60 Champlain faculty and staff members who meet the eligibility criteria will be offered the opportunity to participate in this voluntary program.Faculty and staff are eligible for participation in this program if: The employee is at least 55 in 2019; The employee’s age and years of service by December 31, 2019 equal at least 70; The employee is classified as full-time. Later today, an email notification will be sent to eligible employees. A letter and information will be mailed to the home addresses of the eligible faculty and staff members on April 2, 2019. Managers of eligible employees will be provided assistance by the People Center to support those considering the program.” (President Don Laackman email on 3/25/19). Jennifer let us know that all these steps have now occurred and eligible employees have until the middle of May to make their decision.
  7. Wrap-up, to-do list items, etc.
    • Blog update of meeting – Shaylea
    • Finalize Staff Council meeting agenda for April – Staff Council Exec
    • Email agenda to all Staff – Shaylea
    • Meetings and Blog Updates for all Committees – Nic, Tara, Jean-Marie, Mikael, Kelsey, Aram
    • Follow-Up with Library Team on additional Coffee Hours – Shaylea
    • Schedule SCEC/President’s Cabinet Meeting – Shaylea and Jennifer
    • Once meeting with Cabinet scheduled, finalize agenda/talking points – Shaylea, Jared and Jennifer

Until next time!

– Shaylea Scribner, Staff Council President