Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 1150: Staff Council
Date Originally Issued: 10-15-1995
Revised: 07-01-2001, 07-01-2011, 10-10-2012, 09-20-2013, 12-17-2015
Authorized by RPM 6.12 ("University of New Mexico Staff Council")
Process Owner: President of Staff Council
The Staff Council represents staff employees of the University of New Mexico as a voice in the governance of the University. It is an elected body of sixty (60) staff members representing both job grades and work areas. The Staff Council Constitution and the Staff Council Bylaws fully spell out the role of the Council. These can be obtained from the office of the University Staff Council Office, which provides support to the Staff Council and maintains the current membership of the Staff Council and its committees.
The following are specific objectives of the Staff Council. This list comes from the Staff Council Bylaws and is not an all-inclusive list.
- Participate in the formulation of institutional long-range plans, goals, and strategies.
- Develop programs and activities promoting professional and personal growth, and advancement.
- Advise in decisions about resource allocations, salaries, and benefits.
- Represent staff in the planning of improved workplace conditions and other means of enhancing and promoting productivity.
- Facilitate communications among staff, faculty, and students.
- Provide a forum for the discussion of the general staff welfare.
- Provide a resource for participation in major decisions of the University as they affect University staff.
- Maintain liaisons with officially recognized representative groups on campus.
Elections are held annually in the spring with one-half (1/2) of the Staff Council elected each year. In the event of a vacancy, the Speaker of Staff Council shall nominate a replacement from among the staff members in the vacant grade or precinct. Nominees shall require an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Council members present before they are an official member. Nominees shall serve for the remainder of the elected term to which they were appointed.
Regular full-time and part-time staff employees who have completed six (6) months of service at the University are eligible for election to the Staff Council. Elected members shall serve two (2) year terms. All employees are encouraged to participate in Staff Council and other University governance activities, either through elected service on the Staff Council or through service on the many Staff Council or University committees.
3.1.1. Precincts and Grades
Each member of the Staff Council represents a specific University precinct and/or grade. A total of thirty (30) members are elected to represent precincts. Precincts are generally composed of all staff employees in a department, school, or college, hereafter referred to as a unit. Larger units may have more than one (1) member elected to the Council. Precinct representatives are elected in even numbered years.
A total of thirty (30) members are elected to represent grades. Grades are determined by the employee's position. Grade representatives are elected in odd numbered years.
The Staff Council shall elect from its membership a President, a President-elect, a Speaker, and a Treasurer.
4.1. Special Payment for President
In recognition of the significant amount of time that must be devoted to fulfilling the President's role, in addition to the staff member's regular employment, the President receives a one-time or pro-rated payment of five-thousand dollars ($5,000) for the year of service. The payment is considered wages and subject to applicable tax withholdings and retirement deductions.
4.2. Executive Committee
An Executive Committee shall be established and composed of Staff Council members, including the President, the Past President, the President-Elect, Speaker, Treasurer, two (2) Members-at-Large representing grades, and two (2) Members-at-Large representing precincts. The Executive Committee shall set the agenda for the Staff Council meetings and represent Council decisions to the University administration.
5. Release Time
The University recognizes that service on the Staff Council and on Staff Council committees will take employees away from their work for brief periods of time. The University also recognizes that attendance at monthly Staff Council meetings is an important way for employees to connect with and engage their representatives and constituents. To accommodate both the employees and the needs of their work areas, the following guidelines are established for granting release time to employees to work on Staff Council business, and for employees who wish to attend Staff Council meetings and special events. The release times may not be accrued or used in conjunction with any other time off, such as compensatory time off or annual leave, and are not cumulative from one position to another. These guidelines should be prorated for part-time employees.
- Employees serving on the Staff Council or as chairs of Staff Council committees will be given release time of three (3) hours a week.
- Employees serving on Staff Council committees, but who are not elected members of the Staff Council, will be given release time of two (2) hours a week.
- Employees who are elected to serve on the Staff Council Executive Committee will be given release time of five (5) hours a week.
- Because of the much greater demands on their time, the president-elect and the Speaker of the Staff Council will be given release time of up to eight (8) hours a week, and the president of the Staff Council will be given release time of up to ten (10) hours a week.
- Other employees, except those in patient care facilities, who wish to attend monthly Staff Council meetings will be given release time of two (2) hours a month, subject to the exceptions noted in Sec. 5.1.
- Other employees, except those in patient care facilities, who wish to attend a Staff Council special event will be given up to three (3) hours a month to do so, subject to the exceptions noted in Sec. 5.1.
The release times mentioned above are the average for a given week over the period of a month. It is recognized that in some weeks the demands of service and the workplace may be greater than is required in other weeks, and both supervisors and employees are encouraged to make provisions for these instances consistent with the exceptions noted in Sec. 5.1.
5.1. Exceptions to Release Time
Staff Council Representatives and Committee Members
Employees serving Staff Council in any of the capacities noted in Sec. 5. herein, along with their supervisors, recognize that there will be occasions when the demands of their workplaces are such that they may not be able to physically attend Staff Council and committee meetings.
Other employees, along with their supervisors, recognize that there may be occasions when the employees are not able to physically attend Staff Council meetings or special events due to:
- the demands of their workplaces
- the number of employees already planning to attend from their units
However, supervisors should make every effort, such as by using flexible scheduling, to allow employees to attend the special events that Staff Council offers during Staff Appreciation Month.