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SAA Highlights

September 14 meeting overview

The Statewide Administration Assembly last held its monthly meeting on Sept. 14. The folowing is an overview of the meeting. If you have any questions please contact SAA president Monique Musick at mmusick@alaska.edu.

SAA President’s Report
SAA President Monique Musick reported that the Staff Alliance Compensation Committee is addressing changes to our benefits and drafting a letter of recommendation to the Board of Regents. The work that the committee does is used as a negating tool when it comes to planning the coming fiscal budget. The committee is open to any Statewide employee. If you are interested in serving on this committee please contact a SAA member.

{President's note} The letter written by the working group was presented to the Board of Regents at the September meeting requesting a minimum of 3.5 percent increase for staff. A copy of the letter can be viewed HERE. Staff are encouraged to contact their governance leaders, the Regents, the president and human resources with their concerns over staff compensation.

The SAA is also looking at what roles we as a committee should be playing. If you have any ideas, please pass them along.

Policy Review
President Gamble has asked each Statewide vice president and director to undertake a review of their departmental policies. The goal is to bring the policies in line with the strategic direction and to make the policies relevant and user friendly. Governance groups will play a role in the process, but exactly how is still unclear.

Employee Tuition Waiver Update

Since it was decided that the employee tuition would be managed through the University of Alaska Student Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Statement, a footnote has been added to the statement to state that “Employee and Dependent Tuition Waivers do not require admission to the degree or certificate program.”  This footnote is one step closer to enabling the waiver to comply with that progress statement. There still needs to be some clarification on the incomplete (I grade) indicating unsatisfactory completion of courses for financial aid purposes. Saichi Oba will be at the October meeting to address any questions and concerns.

Non-Union Staff Salary
Figures are still under discussion for any upcoming pay increases for the next fiscal year. As of right now a placeholder of 2.5 percent has been inserted for increases.

Performance Evaluation Update
Tara Ferguson reported on the performance evaluation pilot. She presented the pilot group’s feedback on the form and asked SAA for any additional comments. The consensus was that more room for employee comments needed to be allowed for, without making the form longer than the present six pages. A possible solution was to number each of the evaluating points so that an employee could reply to a certain numbered section on a separate comment page. That way an employee could choose to reply, or not, without taking up additional space on the form. Management training was emphasized as the key to helping make the evaluation process work.

Two SAA members shared their experience of being evaluated under the pilot program. Both came away with a positive impression of the process. One point made was that position descriptions (PD) needed to be up-to-date for evaluation purposes. Tara stated that you can update the PD and do the evaluation concurrently. The question was raised whether or not the process would be moved to an electronic format in the future. The answer was hopefully. At this time concentration is on providing an effective evaluation format.

Telework Proposed Guidelines
The proposed guidelines for telework were included for SAA review, but are not yet final. The human resource managers at each of the MAUs hope to finalize the guide at a joint meeting in October. The need for the guidelines arose because more employees are keeping their employment while moving out-of-state. In the past, requests were handled on a case-by-case basis. The guidelines are an attempt to be proactive to future requests while maintaining quality work for UA.

Union Update
Labor Relations recently released employee work email addresses to ASEA. To date they have received employee names, department, permanent address on file, and work email addresses. The release of this information is in compliance with regulations on union organization. Donald Smith will now be the contact for any labor or union questions or comments, donald.smith@alaska.edu or 907-786-1389.

Holiday Projects
Holiday potluck dates have been set for November 18 and December 16 for the Butrovich staff, a date will be set for the Bragaw staff at a later date. Monique Musick will be the contact for Love Inc./Adopt-A-Family, Lisa Sporleder will be the food drive/mug drive coordinator, and Erica Kurowski will set up the food drive in Anchorage.

Building Issues
With the new sign holders in place, a request for additional sign holders to be put near the entrances most used by employees was made. The suggestion was made for window display holders such as what is in the vestibule entrances.

A question arose regarding the listserv for the Bragaw and Butrovich buildings. Alex Taylor said that for now the old lists are still working, but they will be shut down in the future. Right now Butrovich has three new email lists: 1) Facilities, 2) OIT Butro activities, and 3) UA Butro list (which has no moderator). Bragaw has not yet responded to a request from OIT on whether or not to have a new Bragaw email list. Erika was not aware the old list was going to be discontinued, and will look into establishing a new building list for the Anchorage-based Statewide employees.

October meeting
The next SAA meeting will be 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct.12.  All meetings are open to the public, and statewide workers are encouraged to contact their governance group to address workplace concerns, policies and other matters affecting statewide staff.

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