JULY 2020

Staff Council Meetings:

The next Staff Council meeting will take place online on Tuesday, August 4th from 12:05-1:30. All members of the UVM community are welcome. 

In This Issue: 


In this busy time of change and advocacy, we thought it might help our colleagues if we provided a quick reminder and overview of what Staff Council is, and what it's accomplished over the last 49 years of its existence.

Staff Council Mission Statement:

The UVM Staff Council serves as an advocate for staff by seeking out and responding to their ideas and concerns, representing them to the University administration, and keeping staff informed of University initiatives. Staff Council works to create a cohesive community, make a positive impact on staff culture, and promote the betterment of all.

Staff Council was established in 1971. It exists as an advisory body, so although it cannot make or enact policy, it serves as an advocate for the needs of UVM's over 2000 non-represented (non-union) staff. Over its almost 50-year history, through committee work, relationship-building with administration, and effective advocacy, it has accomplished a number of positive changes for staff, including: 

  • Improved nursing parent facilities (including the acquisition of two Mamava pods)
  • Unlimited accumulation of sick leave
  • Increase in UVM contribution to pension plan 
  • Sick leave increase
  • 2 paid personal days
  • 2 more personal days after 20 years
  • Bereavement Leave improvements 
  • Smoking Policy
  • Summer hours year-round
  • Establishment of Staff Recognition Week

Right now, Staff Council committees are working on a number of issues, including:

  • Addressing campus-wide issues around diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Adopting a formal expansion of the telecommuting policy
  • Improving the exit interview process, including for internal transfers
  • Addressing staff food insecurity
  • Improving language translation accessibility

Staff Council also facilitates social events, organizes local discounts, and manages the Staff Emergency Loan Fund, the Community Service Award, and the Professional Development Fund. 

Check out our one-pager of facts about Staff Council (PDF).

Get to know several new Representatives whose terms began on July 1st:

Who Is My Staff Council Representative?

To find out who represents your unit, just visit our directory of representatives. You can always reach out to your rep or to the Staff Council Office with any issues, questions, or suggestions.
Who are the folks in the Staff Council Office (SCO)? Read on... 
On June 12th, the Staff Council Office and Staff Council Leadership sent an apology to all staff (PDF) and a letter to UVM administration (PDF), both on the subject of racism and inequity at UVM. Administration sent a response to this letter on June 18th (PDF)
On June 30th, Staff Council and its Compensation, Budget, and Benefits Committee sent a written response (PDF) to the UVM budget cuts. On July 2nd, President Garimella offered a verbal response in a Q&A with himself and Provost Prelock (see below for details) which he stated should be considered his formal response.
On July 2nd, the UVM Staff Council attended a meeting with President Garimella and Provost Prelock. This was not a Staff Council meeting; we responded to Administration's request to meet. We submitted 10 pages of questions ahead of time. You can view the recording of the meeting here. A future meeting will soon be scheduled to cover the rest of the questions. 
The annual golf tournament, the Lake Monsters game, the CVF fair, and Smuggs' Daycation tickets have all been cancelled. The VT Corporate Cup race will take place in September virtually (log your individual run). We regret we won't be able to offer race shirts this year. 

The Staff Council Professional Development Fund application period is open! All non-represented UVM staff are eligible to apply for up to $500 to assist with a professional development opportunity such as a training, membership, or conference attendance. Application periods occur quarterly. Follow the links below for the application and information.  

The Davis Center Art Curators and UVM Staff Council are pleased to be hosting the 10th Annual Staff Art Exhibit - showcasing the extraordinary talents of the University of Vermont's staff during Staff Appreciation Week (September 14–17, 2020). Should policies related to COVID-19 allow, selected artwork will be displayed in the Dudley H. Davis Student Center's fireplace lounge gallery with a reception on Monday, September 14th (Time TBD). They are now seeking UVM staff artists to submit work for consideration in this year’s exhibit.

If you would like to submit your art for consideration, you may do so using this form. All pieces must be wired, framed, or otherwise ready for installation. The deadline for submissions is Friday, August 24th. For questions about this exhibit, check out the website or contact the Davis Center Art Curators.

5 Upcoming PD&T Courses

COVID and the “Isms”:
Applying a Social Justice Lens to COVID-19

July 8 1:30pm – 3:00 pm
Online via MS Teams

COVID-19 and the pandemic that has followed has shined a light on many social issues that have been longstanding issues. This workshop will quickly introduce the relationship between COVID-19 and racism, classism, and ableism.  

Register in PeopleSoft HR, Class Code: CCP021

Calculating Modified Capacities for
Social Distancing in Department Space

July 9, 16, 23 and 30th at 10AM – 11:30AM
Online via MS Teams

Learn to measure and calculate modified capacities in department space for social distancing. For department staff responsible for calculating modified capacities for social distancing in department space.

Register in PeopleSoft HR, Class Code: POL033

When the Classroom, Meeting, or Training Gets Odd:
Preparing for Dialogues

July 9 11:00am – 12:00pm 
Online via MS Teams

Session will suggest proactive measures and constructs for balancing the overall group dynamic challenges related to issues of culture and social justice.

Register in PeopleSoft HR, Class Code: CCP022

Less and Better: Reinventing Yourself
in the Post-Pandemic Workplace 
July 15th, 9:00 - 11:00 AM 
Online via MS Teams

The pandemic has made it challenging for many of us to exercise choices to the same extent, something that in the past we may have taken for granted. How can our pandemic experiences be translated into professional resilience, especially when we are likely to operate with diminished resources? This class will help you to learn how to make the greatest possible contributions towards the things that really matter – in the workplace and beyond.

Register in PeopleSoft HR, Class Code: COM058

Classism in Higher Education
August 3 – August 7
Online via MS Teams
In this asynchronous, discussion-based class, attendees will explore issues of social class and classism in higher education. This course will take place over one work-week, allowing participants to access the materials and conversations with their colleagues on their schedules. Participants can anticipate spending 2 hours on this training between materials and online discussion forums (over Teams).

Register in PeopleSoft HR, Class Code: CCP023
After hearing from concerned staff about prior use of FMLA clashing with PHEL, we pursued this issue consistently at our meetings with HRDMA throughout the spring. We're pleased at the recent announcement that prior use of Family Medical Leave (FMLA) will not be deducted from an employee’s available Public Health Emergency Leave. Employees who have used FMLA during the last 12 months will still have the full 12 weeks of PHEL available to them should they need it. For more information, see the FAQ section on the Human Resource Services website, or contact your Labor and Employee Relations professional (PDF).
A “Parking Fee Holiday” is being implemented effective July 1st through September 30th, 2020. This matter will be revisited in September after there is more clarity about who will be working on campus. Payroll deductions for parking permit fees will be suspended during this time. This fee holiday is intended to be reflective of the time period (3 months) during which many staff have been working off-campus. There will be no further refunds at this time and permits are still required for parking in UVM Campus Lots, according to the typical rules that govern the lot/permit at that time. See more information on summer parking rules
UVM has now partnered with AgoraCX, an online marketplace that allows campus buyers to make full use of our suppliers and to do more with less
  • Make suppliers compete for YOU!
  • Get quotes from every licensed supplier for your project at the push of a button.
  • Save as much as 38% on project production costs.
  • Easily share your data and required forms with anyone who needs them. 
If you’re working on a project right now, and want to take advantage of the new platform, just create an account and get started!