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What is Staff Council?

Purpose

  1. To serve as a representative advisory council.
  2. To provide a vehicle for communication of interests, concerns, and issues that affect staff.
  3. To present recommendations to University leadership.
  4. To provide nominations to Greater University Governance.

More information can be found on the of the council can be found on the Staff Council wiki .

Our values

Our values were decided by the members of the 2017-2018 Staff Council and are more than just words on a page. They're the way we do business. They're how we build and maintain trust with our stakeholders. They're how we decide what's important for us to work on. They're the way we ACT.

Advocacy

    • Serving staff by representing their best interests to the university community
    • Fostering a pathway of communication between upper administration and our constituents
    • Seeking diversity in membership, perspectives, and ideas when representing staff culture

Collaboration

    • Creating a sense of community by forging effective partnerships with campus stakeholders
    • Executing projects that are valuable to the organization

Transparency

    • Maintaining honest and transparent communications and processes
    • Remaining accountable to ourselves and to our constituents by holding open meetings and publicizing our decisions
    • Intentionally sharing unbiased information with our stakeholders

Accomplishments

A public list of highlights can be found on the Accomplishments page of the Staff Council website. A more detailed list can be found on the Staff Council wiki accomplishments page.

UTSC accomplishments for the year are shared with the President of the University via written reports at the end of the Staff Council term (May), as well as at the UTSC May meeting, which the university President and other university administrators typically attend.


Benefits of being a representative

  • Special access to programs, initiatives, and opportunities across campus, such as information on professional development grants, free campus showers, etc.
  • Opportunities to represent the interests and concerns of members of your department, and neighboring departments, to campus leadership.
  • Opportunity to build relationships across the campus community.
  • Opportunities for strengthening your skills in: professional written communication, negotiation, strategy, project management, delegating, public speaking, building partnerships, and managing without formal authority.
  • Chance to meet University senior leadership, such as the university President and others that report directly to the university President.
  • Opportunity to identify a need on campus, devise solutions, and build programs to answer that need. Practice taking a leadership role in solving problems and responding to needs.

Responsibilities

  • Represent your district. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Attend Staff Council monthly meetings, where information that is relevant to both Staff Council members and their constituents is shared.
      • Note: If you cannot attend the monthly meetings, work with the Secretary to either record your virtual attendance by watching the streamed video of each meeting or ensure that you receive information on what was discussed in each meeting. According to the Staff Council By-laws, representatives who miss 4 or more meetings in a single year (June to May) are subject to removal.
    • Pass along information that may be relevant to your constituents in a clear, concise way.
    • Gather the interests and concerns of your constituents and escalate those interests and concerns to Staff Council as appropriate.
    • Contribute to sub-committee work, which is where projects are done and progress is made for the benefit of our community. This includes, but is not limited to:
      • Responding to committee emails in a timely manner.
      • Attending committee meetings, which typically occur monthly.
      • Working collaboratively with your committee to ensure goals are being met and tasks are getting completed in an equitable manner.
      • If asked, helping the sub-committee chair keep accurate records for historical value. Records that might impact or benefit future Staff Council members should be added to the Staff Council wiki
        • Note: committee work is estimated to take one to two hours per month. This includes time spent in committee meetings.
  • Report Clery Act violations that you become aware of.
  • Contribute 4 hours of work time each month to Staff Council, as approved by University leadership in Staff Council’s By-laws.
  • Review and abide by Staff Council’s By-laws.
  • Keep your supervisor informed of your work on the Staff Council and its sub-committees. Depending on your supervisor's position within the university, he or she may not receive the communications you send to your district. Helping your supervisor see the value you bring to this group will help your supervisor be more understanding of the time you commit to it.
    • If your supervisor does not seem supportive or is not allowing you the time approved in the bylaws, please bring this to the attention of the Chair.

Communication

Expectations

As a Staff Council Representative you communicate to various groups, including your supervisor, your constituents, your sub-committee members, and other Representatives. You may also need to communicate with various stakeholders or people within the university who can help you make progress on a specific UTSC-related task. Always use professional language when communicating as an official Staff Council Representative. 

When communicating with your constituents, best practices are:

    • Send an email at least once a month, letting them know what you've learned in the general meetings. Using Regroup, the university's group email system, will ensure the correct people are being emailed.
    • Often the Chair or the Communications Subcommittee will draft something for you to send to your constituents. You are welcome to use that draft as a starting point or create your own communication. YOU know how your people prefer to be communicated with and what's important to them. Feel free to add emphasis to things you think are more important and delete things that are irrelevant. The important part is that they're hearing from YOU and know who to bring issues to.
    • Be sure to include your email address or contact information at the bottom of the email.
    • Our meetings are open to the university community, so invite your constituents to join you for one of our monthly meetings - especially if you know the guest speaker will be of interest to them.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is made up of all sub-committee chairs and the four elected officers. A list of the current Executive Committee members and their contact information can be found on the Staff Council website by following these directions:

  • Hover your mouse over the “About” menu
  • Mouse over to the “Organization” sub-menu
  • Click on the item “Officers and Executive Committee”

Elections and Appointments

Officer elections

Staff Council’s Officers are elected with the assistance of the Parliamentarian/Elections Chair. Officers shall be elected by secret ballot at the February meeting and will begin serving in an official capacity after the close of the May meeting. Outgoing officers are expected to help transition the new officers into their role and to finish any open projects before they leave office. A simple majority of the UTSC is required for the election of each officer position as described in Section VI.B of the By-laws .

Committee Chair Appointments for Sub-Committees

Staff Council’s Committee Chairs are usually elected by sub-committee members once the sub-committee is formed, but may be chosen by the current sub-committee members ahead of time or appointed by the Chair or Vice Chair of Staff Council. This applies to both Standing and Annual Committees.

More information on Executive Committee

  • COMING SOON: Link to expectations and best practices for Executive Committee members

Organizational Chart

This chart is an example of how committees are typically organized. The Chair oversees the whole UTSC body and each representative is either an officer or part of a committee. The Standing Committees are written into our bylaws and will always exist unless the bylaws are changed. The annual committees are created and dismantled from year to year, though committees may extend more than one year of the Council sees the need. Sometimes there are ad-hoc committees formed as the need arises. The Elected Officers (Chair, Vice Chair, Parliamentarian, and Secretary) and all of the Committee Chairs make up the Executive Committee.


Appendix

Staff Council By-laws (last updated March 2018) can be found on the Organization page of the Staff Council website .

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