2014-2015 Staff Alliance annual meeting, chair election results, goals and outreach

Greetings staff and university community members,

The new members of the 2014-2015 Staff Alliance governance group completed a full-day of business yesterday, July 31, during their annual retreat.

I, Monique Musick, have been elected as Staff Alliance Chair for this year. I come from Statewide where I am currently the Vice President of the Statewide Administration Assembly. The newly elected Staff Alliance Vice Chair is Kathleen McCoy, who is UAA’s APT Council President.

I am looking forward to working with all the new members of Staff Alliance:

• Chris Beks, President UAF Staff Council
• Faye Gallant, Vice President UAF Staff Council
• Tom Langdon, Representative SAA
• Dayna Mackey, Vice President UAS Staff Council
• Kathleen McCoy, President UAA APT Council
• Monique Musick, Vice President SAA
• Gwenna Richardson, President UAS Staff Council
• Liz Winfree, President UAA Classified Council

This is an important and exciting time to be involved in governance. I’d like to encourage all of you to take a moment to review the System Governance Website: http://www.alaska.edu/governance/. This is the best way to keep up to date on governance meetings, actions, motions, contact information and more.

As a result of yesterday’s discussion, we will be adding forms to the Governance site so constituents can send their comments or feedback directly to their local representatives. You are strongly encouraged to review upcoming meeting agendas and provide your comments and input on matters of interest.

Staff Alliance identified three major goals for the 2014-2015 year.

1.) Increased Engagement with the Board of Regents
The Staff Alliance Chair makes regular reports to, and testifies before, the Board of Regents during their regular meetings. While staff often show up in great numbers in reaction to specific topics of interest, there is little regular testimony to the board highlighting the great work that staff do on a regular basis. We want to see more testimony about how staff across the system are implementing positive change, helping achieve cost-containment goals and improving the University of Alaska. A letter of introduction will be sent to the Regents outlining this goal and our intention for an even greater working relationship with the university’s governing body.

2.) Recognition of staff achievement
Staff Spotlights will be integrated into Chair reports and featured during public testimony at Regent meetings. We will be gathering information on staff achievements through local governance groups. Staff council presidents all agreed to add an agenda item to each meeting to collect information on staff achievements and highlights to add to Staff Alliance’s regular reports. UA staff do amazing things every day and we seek greater recognition for the efforts of so many.

3.) Constituent Communication
Improved communication is always a need and always a goal. Staff Alliance members are committed to providing their constituents with timely and relevant information on matters affecting staff and the university community. In addition we want to increase the collection of feedback and staff testimonials. We will use this blog on a more frequent basis and add functionality to the Governance Website for gathering staff feedback. We will be doing a few staff surveys in order to gain insight and make informed decisions on matters affecting staff.

We went straight to work reviewing proposals on FY16 compensation, and a review of geographic differential pay across the system, from the Compensation Working Group. We hope to have our proposal for the FY16 staff compensation to university leadership before their big budget meeting on Aug. 7.

President Gamble and Vice President Dana Thomas addressed the group to discuss shared governance and the important role we play in sharing the work of the university. We discussed the newly formed Summit Team, Shaping Alaska’s Future, the university budget and the reputation of the University of Alaska.

During the business meeting that followed we elected officers: Musick, chair; McCoy, vice chair; Dayna Mackey, secretary (pending change to the Staff Alliance Constitution) and Faye Gallant, treasurer (pending).

In other business we drafted a motion with suggested wording changes to the proposed furlough policy; appointed new representatives to Alliance and administrative committees and councils; did a first read of proposed revisions to the Staff Alliance Constitution (including adding two new officers: secretary and treasurer); and reviewed UAF resolutions on Sick Leave and Bereavement leave share eligibility requirements.

Further information on all these actions will be shared in forthcoming posts. Thank you for supporting shared governance by staying involved, informed and providing much needed feedback. We look forward to a very productive year.

Best Regards,
Monique Musick
Staff Alliance Chair

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