University of Vermont

A Note from Staff Council President Renee Berteau

November 2014

Greeting to my fellow UVM staff!

As I write to you, the campus has just been dusted with snow, and the students are bundled (or not!), walking quickly between classes. Colors are shades of grey and blue.  It is a beautiful time of year. The annual Holiday Bazaar and Food Drive, organized by Staff Council’s Social Committee is on Wednesday, December 3 at the Davis Center in the Grand Maple Ballroom from 9am -3pm. There are over 35 vendors showcasing their creative talents comprised of UVM staff, faculty, students and alums. There will be paintings, print and photographic art, knit and crocheted crafts, hand crafted wood items, home mixed health and beauty items, evergreen wreaths, jewelry, small crafted roasted coffee, and so much more. You can see a full list of vendors here. Remember to bring a non-perishable food donation for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf and get one free ticket to our Raffle which includes Ski and Snowboard passes, gift certificates to local restaurants and business, and donations from UVM departments and vendors. All the proceeds from the Holiday Bazaar support the Staff Council’s Community Service Award and offset the cost of social events like our bus trips, the UVM Staff Art Exhibit, Lake Monsters baseball game, and Champlain Valley Fair Ticket discounts, to name a few.  

The Vermont Labor Relations Board (VLRB) has set an election for eligible staff in the Administrative Support or Clerical, Technical and Specialized job families at UVM to determine whether these employees wish to be represented by a collective bargaining unit, and if the Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA), is the organization they choose to be that representation. The election will take place on Tuesday, December 16, and Wednesday, December 17, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Marsh Lounge in Billings, 48 University Place, on the UVM main campus. An Absentee Ballot can be secured by making a written request to the VLRB. In the spirit of Staff Council’s mission to seek out and respond to the ideas and concerns of staff while keeping staff informed of major University initiatives, policy and events, we want all non-represented staff to know about this election, educate themselves, find answers to their questions, and encourage those are eligible to go and vote so that their voice is heard. You can find more information on the Informed Choice website available at www.uvm.edu/informed.

Mother Teresa is attributed to the quote:  “Peace begins with a smile” and I close this letter with an idea. I recently had the opportunity to walk across the UVM Green with President Sullivan and he took the time to greet everyone we passed with words of welcome and a friendly smile. It got me thinking, what if everyone in our community said “hello,” “good morning,” and “good afternoon” as they passed one another and we each said the same in return? How would this act strengthen our UVM community as a welcoming place and set our institution apart from others? During this season of Thanksgiving and the winter solstice, I would like to ask each of you to take the time to greet and acknowledge the students, staff, faculty and others you encounter during your day or your next walk across campus - say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” or “Hello” or just smile at each person you pass. It’s a little thing that could really make a big difference. It would add to what makes studying, working or just being a part of UVM so special.

With regards,

Renee Berteau