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May 2, 2005

Staff Advisory Board members outline group's role on campus, in UC system

By Louise Donahue

The Staff Advisory Board (SAB) is involved in a lot more than just the quarterly forums with the chancellor, board members told a forum on April 27.

Speaking at its first General Staff Forum at Stevenson Fireside Lounge, board members explained that the SAB provides advice and comment on topics that may affect staff to Chancellor Denice D. Denton and has two representatives on the systemwide Council of University of California Staff Assemblies. The SAB also sits on committees focusing on everything from housing to student fees and transportation.

“Chancellor Greenwood helped elevate the role of the Staff Advisory Board, and Chancellor Denton is continuing that tradition,” said SAB chair Patt Takeuchi, who noted the SAB meets with the chancellor before each quarterly Staff Brown-Bag Forum.

The systemwide Council of Staff Assemblies played a key role in the appointment of two staff advisers to serve at the pleasure of the Regents on two regental committees: grounds and buildings, and education policy, for the 2005-06 academic year.

Members of the systemwide council “offer a staff perspective” at quarterly sessions involving leaders of different campuses and individual Regents throughout the UC system, said Ed Titus. Titus, UCSC’s telecommunications manager, and Pamela Edwards, an administrative analyst in the Academic Senate Office, represent UCSC on the council.

“You have an opportunity to talk to some very powerful people who make decisions for the campus,” Titus said.

Staff Advisory Board chair Patt Takeuchi called the council “a really incredible secret,” noting that UCSC administrative analyst Rosemary Anderson will become chair of the statewide organization this summer.

Questions about the makeup of the Staff Advisory Board—and where employees represented by unions fit in—were among subjects raised by members of the audience at the forum.

Calling this a “thorny question,” Titus said union-represented staff are not now allowed to sit on the Staff Advisory Board, though their input on SAB committees is welcome. The SAB is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and serves at the pleasure of the UCSC chancellor, Titus said.

“Our feeling is that this is a very limiting situation and one we don’t like. We certainly want the perspective of represented people and do our best to represent them,” he said.

“We’re trying to find ways that all staff can be included,” added Takeuchi.

Others brought up issues of low pay and lack of raises.

Lisa Gustafson said a major problem is what she believes is a disparity in pay between UCSC and some other UC campuses. Gustafson is a payroll/personnel coordinator for University Dining Services and member of the Coalition of University Employees.

“I think we need to make a concerted effort to change this, because it’s hurting all of us,” she said.

Titus noted that the SAB and the campuswide Council of Staff Assemblies are barred from any discussion of the terms and conditions of employment, “but we can share that pay issues are severely affecting morale.”

Staff Advisory Board members encouraged audience members to become active on the board and its committees. The board is hosting or cohosting several events during spring quarter, Takeuchi said. A new event is the Volunteer Fair, showcasing volunteer opportunities both on and off campus for staff, students, and faculty. The fair will be held from noon to 2 p.m. May 3 at Quarry Plaza.

Other SAB events and events with staff in mind this month include:

Breakfast and music with the Chancellor, May 12, 7:30-9:30 a.m., Stevenson Event Center.

• Chancellor’s Brown-Bag Forum, May 23, 12:30-1:40 p.m., Classroom Unit 1.

Annual Prediction Walk/Run, May 17, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., East Field track.

• American Red Cross blood drive, May 24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Crown/Merrill Cultural Center; open to students, staff, and faculty.


Related link:

Regents vote to increase role of staff in UC governance

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