USS and UP Staff Open Forum
The senates have been discussing joining forces to form one representative body with both UP and USS members. On April 1 2019, the USS and UP Senates invited all USS and UP staff to attend an Open Forum Discussion to gather feedback on combining the USS and UP Senates.
Note: The discussion of joining forces for one representative body relates to senate representation only and has no effect on employee position classifications as UP or USS or their related personnel policies or procedures.
The following notes and responses reflect the discussions and input that staff shared on this important topic.
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- To serve as a “voice” for the constituents. To provide feedback on proposed change @ WSU.
- To inform and support the employee through policy, guideline and governance issues and benefits.
- To get information from the university to their employees
- To be the voice for WSU employees to the administration – raise issues, concerns etc. and vice versa.
- Communicate with constituents. Gather input and make recommendations on topics of interest.
- Voice of staff at the university, to PET and HR and other tables. Review policies and offer feedback.
- To be a voice for the employees represented by those groups.
- A voice for university staff.
- To be a voice for other in their classification/group commonality each other/ support one another.
- Representative for employee in matters regarding employment, policies, etc. Means of communication to employees regarding relevant issues.
- To have your voice heard. Action behind the requests.
- To represent employees concerns, needs, and wants to the administration; to serve as a bargaining unit for problem resolutions and desired changes.
- To represent all employees. Participate in policy decisions that relate to them. Address any concerns, issues, and leam them in alliance with university values and mission.
- To bring issues to the forefront – issues USS and UP are experiencing. Good discussion and feedback are a must.
- To provide representation to the administration and to support enhancements to the USS and UP.
- Make employees feel they have a voice. Should be a place to generate new ideas, examples desired policies, benefits and events. Place to give info to senators and have it filter to employees.
- To look after the common interests – pay raises, rules, benefits. Ensure equal and fair treatment.
- I am not sure. It feels like it is more of an informational forum and helping ensure employees views are considered as part of decision making.
- To have a collective voice about issues and other things on campus.
- To combine both together so as to all have the same benefits and be equal.
- To combine opportunities so that things are more transparent between the two. Benefits, being treated equal and voice being heard.
- Represent the respective employees and escalate those to whomever needs to know – HR, PET, PDC, General Counsel etc.
- Representing employees to the administration and communicating changes of policy to constituents.
- To inform and support employees. Ability to move forward with “voice” on policy changes or new issues. To inform the constituents on upcoming. To provide feedback. Be key stakeholders on creation of the innovative employee processes for the benefit of the employee.
- Communicate with constituents. Gather information on topics/concerns. Be the voice for all employees.
- A voice for university staff.
- To ensure employees have a voice. Should be a place to generate new ideas: desired policies, benefits, special events. A means of communication to filter information to employees.
- To represent all employees. Participate in policy decisions. Address any concerns/issues. Lead in alliance with university values and mission.
- Keep employees informed on what is happen to administrative level and provide feedback. To ensure employee voice are considered as part of the decision. Sometimes it feels like administration wants to combine us.To ensure fair treatment for all staff.
- Represent their respective employees and escalate issues to whomever needs to know (departments, HR, administration, etc.) communicating changes in policy.
- Will we eventually have to go to UP
- How do we fairly represent both groups? Continue to give voice to both? Appropriate number to represent each group on senate?
- Ensuring we still represent overall concerns and voices without being perceived a usurping USS representation.
- None – except perceived loos of benefits and/or voice of the employee group.
- How would elections work? Would USS be represented the way they need? How would the constitution work for look like? USS have some different governances and issues are diff. with USS
- Different policies for the two groups.
- Disproportionate representation. Availability of senators (USSxxxxxx ) How would university comm representative look (one senator from each classification)?
- Vacation times and hours. Christmas break, university shutdown.
- Issues related to probationary periods and non-voluntary leaving from positions.
- Creating one constitution between the two? Also, losing the USS identity. What would the senate be called?
- Losing the USS voice. As long as there are trades & UPD unless something changes there will be always be USS and the voice needs to be heard.
- The USS may have different needs and concerns than the UP.
- It is important to address individual concerns – many people think they will be losing something. Make sure to address the perceived loss.
- I am afraid I have not been employed as FTE long enough to be able to distinguish the differences between the two. Nor do I feel I have been affected in any way.
- Retirement rules, annual contracts.
- None – I think there is duplication of time, resources, etc.
- With USS being smaller, I hope for us to still have a voice. With USS being smaller I think combining will give us, I hope, a stronger voice that admin will have to listen to.
- Concerned USS concerns will be diminished with UP majority.
- How will the new group thrive and grow? Governance – how would each group get equal voice? Will be eventually be forced move to UP? How will each group represent themselves at the university level?
- It USS don’t feel comfortable speaking up. Perception USS will be losing voice.
- University policy differences and how they could be re-written such that everyone is treated the same. Eg. Payouts when let go, bumping rights.
- Important to address individual concerns. Disproportional representation based on classification i.e. number of senate seats. University committees – what would representation look like?
- Losing the USS voice. As long as trades and UPD are on campus, USS will be here. Different needs and concerns for different areas.
- Annual contracts – will USS have to become UP? USs – will they still have a voice? Concern is that since USS is decreasing in numbers it may become required due to necessity.
- Concerned USS concerns will be diminished with UP majority. Making sure specific policies to each group remain intact.
- Speaking as one voice. Avoiding duplication.
- One less meeting? Collaboration. Networking
- One voice
- Shared responsibility; strength in numbers – all one voice.
- More efficient use of time. More consistent communication to constituents. Gaining a better understanding of one another. Recognizing we all serve WSU and all need positive work environment.
- Better/more efficient use of staff resources and time for joint committees.
- Consistency in business practices and employment related decisions.
- I see more work right now with it not too many advantages at this point in combining.
- One voice for all.
- Consistency in processes/meeting times, awards, elections etc. better use of staff time hopefully reducing amount of meetings.
- One voice is a bigger advantage.
- Increased bargaining power for common concerns. More equitable treatment of all hourly employees.
- So we as staff are all on the same page. We address the same issues. No longer a need for two senates?
- Combining will supply a bigger voice – as long as USS concerns are still heard. Equal representation is a must.
- Since the USS is decreasing in numbers, they have less people to serve on the senate and may have difficulty finding people to select from. Combining would increase the number of people that could potentially run for senate.
- One stronger voice instead of two separate.
- Common interests.
- Less resources would be required – more collaboration; recognition – ability to share ideas and ensure all get information.
- Hopefully there will be more people willing to serve as senators since USS is having trouble getting senators since a lot of our membership is now in physical plant and police. Historically we only have a few people from those areas.
- Being more equal in our positions.
- HR, administrators can communicate with one large group instead multiple sessions.
- One less meeting. Collaboration. Networking. One voice. Avoiding duplication.
- Efficient use of staff resources and combining committees. Ensure consistent communication. Gain better understanding of one another – learn commonalities. Recognize we all serve WSU and want to make it a positive work environment.
- Everyone focused on the same issues; everyone being treated the same.
- Consistency in all things: elections, awards, communication. One strong voice instead of two. Increase sense of community among staff members – we are all on voice (less silo’ed). More efficient use of resources and less duplication. Shared resources for both senates. Better attendance to meetings for votes.
- Combining will be supply a more unified voice as long as USS concerns are heard. Equal representation is a must. As the numbers dwindle on USs, the senate will have a big issue finding senators. Rather see combined than dissolve.
- Strength in numbers, USS will have a greater voice if combined. All have common interests (benefits, raises). Less resources would be required – more collaboration, recognition. Ability to share information and ensure all employees receive information.
- Strength in numbers and more voice to be heard. HR, administrators can communicate with one large group instead of multiple sessions.
Individual Responses (several left this question blank):
- What/who proposed combining senates?
- How to se up the new constitution/governance/representation/voting
- I think waiting – due to attrition the USS and UP situation will resolve itself. The two senates are already meeting together which is great.
- Fairness for both parties involved.
- When issues/polices that only apply to one group come up how will discussions and voting be handled.
- Not that I can think of.
- Number of representatives on new senate for fair and equal representation.
- USS numbers go down but still need representation. I’m concerned USS will lose their voice. Get supervisor’s support for more USS to attend meetings.
- USS was not given an option to vote on becoming UP - granted it was individual choice to change – but ultimately glad there is a change for a vote on this issue.
- Interested to know how the distribution of senate seats will be designed?
- We will need a new constitution.
- Totally change the name – get away from “senate”. If it’s new then let’s take the chance to brand it as a new thing – important to shared governance.
- Would still like USS to meet separately a couple of times a year. Would like a UP and USS leader (2 presidents?)
- What or who proposed combining the Senates?
- Who to set up new constitution, representation, etc.
- How to determine representation numbers; rewriting of constitutions.
- How will voting be handled specifically for policies applying to our classifications? What would the senate be called? Staff senate?
- Will there be one constitution? By laws. What would it be called? Representation? How would this be evenly distributed. Encouragement for supervisors to encourage and support employees to become a part of the senate and attend meetings.
- Constitution needs to be revised
- Would still like USS to meet separately couple of times a year – to make sure everyone is being represented, get extra input. Considering subcommittees made up of UP/USS to see how potential concerns are being addressed. Structure – will each senate have their respective representatives (how will that look)?