BYLAWS OF STAFF COUNCIL AT PITZER COLLEGE
The Staff Council
The Pitzer College Staff Council is hereby recognized by Pitzer College as the official body advocating for staff interests; facilitating staff participation in decision making at the College; increasing the quality of staff members’ work and professional development experience; upholding the core values of the College; facilitating communication between staff and students, faculty, and the board; recognizing staff; funding staff professional development; and representing the staff in College Council meetings and other relevant college business.
Section 1. Name.
The name of this body under these bylaws shall be the Pitzer College Staff Council, hereafter referred to as Staff Council.
Section 2. Purpose.
- Staff Council shall be the official advisory body of the staff of Pitzer College and shall advocate for the staff members’ interests to stakeholders at Pitzer College and the Claremont Colleges.
- Staff Council’s aim is to participate with students and faculty in developing, implementing and furthering the objectives of the College.
- Staff Council will formulate recommendations for relevant policy or procedure and present approved items to College Council, the President, or the appropriate body.
- Anonymity and Privacy:
- Staff Council Representatives, as part of their duties to the college, will at times become privy to confidential, privileged, and/or sensitive information. This information may be used by Staff Council members to affect change on campus, but the manner in which such information is used is of great concern to ensure that Staff Council remains a safe place to bring concerns and that messages that come from Staff Council are consistent, appropriate, and do not violate the privacy and confidentiality rights of any members of the College Community.
- To address these concerns, Staff Council Representatives will not share confidential, privileged, or sensitive information with the public without permission of the individual or group.
- Staff Council Representatives are encouraged to fully participate in college governance processes and votes without fear of retaliation. Despite staff members’ status as At-Will employees, Staff Council Representatives will be able to voice their opinions and vote as they chose and not fear job based retaliation. All staff members are protected under the College’s harassment and retaliation policies. For more information, please refer to the Staff Handbook.
Section 3. Composition and Representation.
- Elected Staff Council members shall be referred to as Representatives.
- Staff Council Representatives will be elected from all non-Faculty Pitzer Staff members (excluding members of Senior Staff on the President’s Cabinet, who already participate with the President in the decision-making process) as follows. Four Representatives will be elected from Supervisory employees. Ten Representatives will be elected from the Non-Supervisory employees. Three At-Large Representatives will also be elected for a total of seventeen Representatives.
- There will be a Proportional Balance of Constituencies. Therefore, each year the number of employees in each constituency will be reviewed by Staff Council in collaboration with Human Resources. The number of Representatives should be as close as possible to one for every fifteen staff members (this includes at-large Representatives). If the number of staff members increase, then the number of Representatives will be adjusted accordingly.
- Non-benefits-eligible student employees are not considered to be regular staff and are not represented by Staff Council.
- Staff members elected as Representatives will receive release time from their job responsibilities to participate in Staff Council meetings and events, College Governance Committees, and College Council, as appropriate to their duties.
- All Staff members will receive release time from their job responsibilities to participate in All-Staff Forum meetings once a semester.
Section 4. Powers of Staff Council.
- Staff Council will provide a formal avenue of communication to Staff members on all matters, except terms and conditions of employment issues. Individual staff members may advocate for matters related to terms of employment on their own behalf, but may not do so as a Representative of Staff Council.
- Terms and conditions of employment issues are defined as any issue which may have an impact on wages, terms and other conditions of employment. Such issues include, but are not limited to rates of pay wages, hours of employment, issues related to safety in the workplace, dress codes, parking regulations, breaks, seniority systems, vacations and holidays, attendance issues, workplace rules and regulations and retirement and pension provisions. Human Resources will communicate these terms.
- Staff Council may broadly advocate for policy changes and staff issues, except as to terms and conditions of employment, for all staff. Staff Council’s role will be to advocate across staff constituencies and will not specifically concern itself with, or have authority over, individual staff situations.
- Staff Council will provide and participate in regular personal, written and electronic communications to staff members or matters.
- Recommendations receiving an affirmative majority vote of Staff Council are advisory to the President, and, when appropriate, through the President to the Board of Trustees.
- Staff Council may work within the shared governance structure of the College to advance staff related issues for vote at College Council.
- Measures shall be passed by a simple majority at Staff Council meetings, except for amendment of the Staff Council Bylaws, which will be voted upon by all eligible staff members.
ARTICLE II Meetings
Section 1. Staff Council Meetings.
- Staff Council meetings will be held at least bi-weekly as coordinated by the Staff Council Chair and Vice Chair.
- May not conduct official business with less than eight members present (quorum).
- Meetings will be conducted according to Adapted Robert’s Rules of Order.
- Additional Staff Council, or All-Staff Forum, meetings may be scheduled at the discretion of the Executive Board.
- The agenda for the Staff Council meeting will be made available to Staff Council Representatives and the email@example.com listserv no less than two work-days prior to the meeting date.
Section 2. Attendance at Staff Council Meetings
- Staff Council Representatives are expected to attend all Staff Council meetings. If a Representative cannot attend a scheduled meeting, they are required to communicate this to the Chair, Vice Chair, or another Representative of Staff Council.
- If a Staff Council Representative misses two Staff Council meetings during their term without communicating with another Representative prior to the meeting, they shall be removed from the Council. The Chair will contact the Representative to inform them and then will work to appoint a new Representative for the remainder of the fiscal year.
- If a Staff Council Representative misses three Staff Council meetings during a semester, even if they communicated that they would be missing the meeting, the Executive Board will reach out to them for a conversation. The Executive Board will make a decision on if the representative will be removed from the Council.
- Staff Council Representatives are also expected to attend their appointed College Governance Committee meetings as scheduled. If a Representative misses more than three such committee meetings without communication or alternative arrangements, their committee assignment will be delegated to another Staff Council Representative by the Chair and Vice Chair.
Section 3. All-Staff Forum Meetings.
- All-Staff Forums will meet at least twice a year, with the agenda presented by Staff Council Representatives.
Section 4. Executive Board Meetings
- The Executive Board, or the Chair and Vice Chair, will meet bi-weekly, in opposite weeks than the Staff Council meetings, or, no less than monthly.
ARTICLE III Elections
Section 1. Election Committee
- An election Committee, appointed by Staff Council, consisting of at least two staff not on the election ballot, will conduct the nomination and election process.
- Potential Election Committee members will be asked whether they intend to be candidates for Representative, prior to appointment. If they are found to be running for any Staff Council position they will not be able to serve on the Election Committee.
Section 2. Election of Representatives.
- Staff Council Representatives for the following fiscal year will be elected by secret ballot prior to the end of the fiscal year. The Election Committee will conduct the following process:
- Nomination. Written notice of the Election Committee membership, nomination period and the election process will be made to all staff. The nomination period must be at least one-week long. Staff may nominate themselves, or any other staff member.
- Confirmation. The Election Committee will contact each nominated staff member, who must confirm that they consent to be considered for election as a Representative. When all candidates have been confirmed, the Election Committee will produce a ballot listing all candidates, and indicating each candidate’s constituent group.
- Announcement. Candidates for Staff Council Representative may be announced and introduced at the next Staff Council meeting, as well as by email and other media. The Election Committee will also announce the election time and procedure.
- Election. Ballots will be distributed and collected during a two-day period following the announcement of the candidates.
- Tabulation. The Election Committee will count the ballots immediately following the close of the voting period. After tabulating the ballots, the staff receiving the highest number of votes in each constituency shall be Representatives. The next three staff receiving the greatest number of total votes will be At-Large Representatives.
- Notification. Upon certifying the election results, the election Committee will make an announcement to the Pitzer community in written and electronic formats, and will contact each new or continuing Staff Council Representative.
Section 3. Term.
- The Term of Office is from July 1 through June 30 (the fiscal year), for two years.
Section 4. Vacancies.
- Should any Staff Council Representatives leave Pitzer College during their term, the Staff Council Executive Board will move to appoint new Representatives in lieu of following the regular elections process.
- Nominated Representatives will be confirmed by a 2/3 majority vote of the Staff Council. Appointed Representatives will serve for the remainder of the fiscal year.
- Any appointment will aim to achieve the Representative balance between the constituencies. In the event a constituency has less than three Representatives, Staff Council will canvas that constituency for willing volunteers who will, upon confirmation by Staff Council, serve until the next regular election.
Section 5. Recall Process.
- Any Member of the Executive Board or Staff Council who fails to meet the duties of their position may be recalled.
- Any Staff Council member can propose to recall any member of the Executive Board or Staff Council by introducing a resolution authored by at least three other Staff Council Representatives (four members total).
- If a resolution following the guidelines outlined above to remove a Staff Council Representative is presented, the rules outlined in Article VI, Section 2 shall be followed.
Section 6. Election of Staff Council Executive Board
- After the new body of Staff Council Representatives is elected, and prior to their first meeting, Staff Council Representatives who are interested in seeking a position on the Staff Council Executive Board will submit candidate statements online to the Elections Committee.
- During the Staff Council Orientation for the newly elected Staff Council, candidates will be able to discuss with the Council, their candidacy for the Executive Committee.
- Online elections will take place after the orientation and new executive board members will be announced prior to the first official meeting.
Section 7. Orientation Committee
- An Orientation Committee, appointed by Staff Council, consisting of the Election Committee Representatives and at least two more current Staff Council represenatitves who have previous Staff Council experience, will conduct the orientation process for new Staff Council members. This includes conducting the First Staff Council Orientation Meeting in July, distributing informational materials, providing history of Staff Council, and orienting new members to their roles.
ARTICLE IV Executive Board
Section 1. Description
- The six Staff Council Representatives on the Executive Board shall be referred to as the Executive Board.
- The Executive Board shall uphold the Staff Council Bylaws.
- The Executive Board shall actively coordinate the Staff Council.
Section 2. Membership
- Chair and Vice Chair
- The Chair and Vice Chair will serve as the official Representatives and spokespeople of the Staff Council. They will, where possible, jointly attend meetings on behalf of Staff Council.
- The Chair and Vice Chair shall act on behalf of Staff Council on urgent matters which require action before the next regular Staff Council meeting.
- One year of previous Staff Council experience is preferred for the Chair and Vice Chair positions.
- Serve as the Convener for Staff Council meetings, produce an agenda, and schedule regular Staff Council and All-Staff Forum meetings.
- A separate Convenor may be appointed to execute the business of the Staff Council when needed.
- Administer the voting process at Staff Council meetings.
- Initiate meetings as needed, with key collaborators each semester such as: Human Resources, President’s Office, FEC, Student Senate, Claremont Student Workers Alliance (CSWA), Other Staff Councils at the 7Cs, Cabinet Members, etc.
- Regularly convene Executive Board meetings.
- Vice Chair
- Serve as Chair, and Convenor, if the Chair is absent.
- Contribute content to the Staff Council legislation, agendas, and newsletters.
- Serve as convener of the Staff Council Engagement Committee
- Serve as the convenor and chair of the Staff Recognition Sub-Committee
- Act as lead planner for two to three All-Staff Forum Meetings each year and additional special events as planned by Staff Council
- Communications Secretary
- Coordinate all administrative needs for council. Record and distribute minutes for all meetings (firstname.lastname@example.org), track council Task List, Roster, Accomplishments List, Committee Assignments List, and organize and maintain Staff Council e-files and archives in the appropriate file-sharing receptacle.
- Serve as the chair of the Communications Committee.
- Track expenditures and maintain Staff Council Budget, including Staff Council general fund and Staff Training & Professional Development Fund. Provide regular updates to council on fund status.
- Serve as the chair of the Staff Training and Professional Development Committee.
- Staff Advocacy Secretary
- Serve as chair and convener of the Staff Advocacy Committee
- Actively solicit input from staff constituencies in order to inform Staff Council
- Regularly check the Staff Council comment boxes
Section 3. Exec Board Vacancies
- In the event of a vacancy on the executive board, the highest ranking executive board member, following the order listed above, will solicit nominations from the current Representatives of Staff Council. The interested candidates, who must be current Staff Council represenattives, will be put forth for a vote by the Staff Council at a regular meeting.
ARTICLE V Committees
Section 1. Staff Council Committees
Staff Council will create additional committees as needed to conduct Staff Council business.
- Communications Committee
- Chaired by the Communications Secretary.
- Create Staff Council correspondence to the Pitzer Community.
- Maintain Staff Council website, Staff Council bulletin board in the Staff & Faculty Lounge, electronic calendar, issue monthly newsletter, distribute communications and take photos at council events.
- Develop strategies to keep lines of communication open with all staff members and Staff Council.
- Staff Training and Professional Development Committee
- Chaired by the Treasurer.
- Review applications for Staff Training & Professional Development (STPD) funds, notify applicants of award status and track expenditures. Ensures that all required documentation for fund processing is submitted by applicant within timeline.
- Partner with Human Resources and Staff Council Committees to create on-campus learning and professional development opportunities for staff.
- Staff Advocacy Committee
- Chaired by the Staff Advocacy Secretary.
- Monitor Staff Council Suggestion box; record requests, suggestions and comments and forward to appropriate department, where applicable, as approved by council. Stay abreast of changes to staff policy, benefits, or any policies that would impact the staff community as well as coordinate follow-up for the Staff Strategic Plan and preparation for next plan
- Maintain open lines of communication with the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) as needed.
- If possible, the Diversity Committee Representative should also serve on the Staff Advocacy committee.
- Staff Engagement Committee
- Plan Staff Council events, including two Staff Council Meetings and the annual new council retreat/orientation.
- Work in collaboration with the Staff Recognition Team (SRT).
- Vice Chair also acts as the Chair of the Staff Recognition Committee.
- Staff Recognition Sub-Committee
- The Staff Recognition Team (SRT) was formed in 1996 to acknowledge the contributions and service of staff members at Pitzer College.
- Chaired by the Vice Chair of Staff Council.
- Membership on this Sub-Committee will be comprised of the members of Staff Council’s Staff Engagement Committee and individuals not elected to Staff Council.
- Volunteers from the Campus community will be solicited each June during the Staff Council elections cycle. Volunteers, who are not members of Staff Council, do not have a term limit for their participation on this sub-committee.
- When possible, at least one sub-committee member should be from Human Resources.
- Sub-committee charge:
- Work with the Staff Council Treasurer to manage their budget
- Coordinate the End-of-Year Staff Celebration
- Coordinate the Staff Service Awards, including purchasing the recognition items
- Coordinate the Annual Distinguished Staff Awards
- Welcome new staff members to the Pitzer community and introducing them to the role of Staff Council
- Coordinate various other staff morale activities
Section 2. College Governance
- The College has standing committees, in accordance with the Faculty Handbook. Updated committee information can be found in the Faculty Handbook. This section discusses how Staff Council Representatives are appointed to those committees.
- Should these governance provisions be changed through the College, then these bylaws would also change.
- Staff Council will communicate committee appointments to the Dean of Faculty’s Office.
- Staff Council Representatives will be asked to provide preferences for College Governance committee assignments at the start of the fiscal year. The Chair and Vice Chair will compile preference results and provide committee assignments to the Representatives for approval.
- Staff Council Reps will serve on their appointment committee for the duration of their two year term, where possible, in order to increase effective participation and reduce turnover.
- College Governance Committees with Staff Council Representatives.
- Academic Planning Committee - One Staff Council Representative
- Responsible primarily for the long-term planning of the educational program of the College and, as part of that task, for proposing new faculty positions and the formulation of new programs and majors.
- Budgetary Implementation Committee (BIC) - Two Staff Council Representatives
- Responsible for constructing the annual budget of the College and recommending to College Council policy regarding enrollment, financial aid, annual increments in staff and faculty salaries, fringe benefits and expectations relating to inflation and investment income.
- Campus Aesthetics Committee - Three Staff Council Representative
- Encourages the production of art on campus and reviews proposals for column art and other murals.
- NOTE: One of the three reps on this committee should come from the Office of Student Affairs. If no current Staff Council Rep is an OSA member, then the Dean of Students should be contacted in order to solicit an ad hoc Representative to serve on behalf of OSA and Staff Council.
- Campus Life Committee - One Staff Council Representative
- Responsible for working with relevant student, faculty, alumni and trustee groups to develop and implement annually, a comprehensive plan for enhancing the intellectual, cultural, artistic and social life of the campus. In addition, it oversees programs and support structures that foster the development of a closer intellectual community on campus.
- College Council Agenda Committee - Two Staff Council Representatives (Chair and Vice Chair)
- Serves as the main policymaking body at Pitzer. Generally, all policy recommendations made by the various committees are forwarded to College Council for discussion and eventual vote. If passed, these recommendations go to the President and as appropriate to the Board of Trustees for final approval. The College Council has the power to recommend requirements for academic degrees and honors, as well as make recommendations to the President regarding the establishment of new academic divisions and the creation of standing and ad hoc committees.
- Diversity Committee - One Staff Council Representative (not official yet)
- Responsible for assisting the College in meeting its commitment to affirmative action in student, faculty and staff recruitment and for assisting the College in creating an environment which is maximally supportive to students from underrepresented groups and which embraces and values diversity.
- If possible, the Diversity Committee Representative should also serve on the Staff Council Staff Advocacy Committee.
- Sustainability Committee - One Staff Council Representative
- Works in conjunction with relevant campus groups and institutions to propose projects and policies that promote reduced resource consumption and environmental sustainability at Pitzer College and the Claremont Colleges. It will create a comprehensive plan for enhancing campus sustainability and will oversee and evaluate programs and policies that foster the development of an environmentally sustainable campus. The committee reports directly to the President and will give annual sustainability reports, greenhouse gas emissions updates and work on STARS. The committee is made up of students, staff and faculty.
- Emergency Preparedness Committee - One Staff Council Representative
- Monitor the status of the Emergency Preparedness Assessment for the College as well as communicate ongoing and future strategy and plans to the entire Pitzer Community. The committee attends the Claremont Consortium Emergency Preparedness Meetings and reports back to council.
- College Council.
- Staff Council Representatives have fifteen votes at College Council. If more than fifteen Staff Council members attend College Council, then only fifteen will vote.
Section 3. Staff Council Appointed Representatives
- Judicial Council
- Staff Representatives on Judicial Council will be solicited by Staff Council Chair and Vice Chair from the entire staff body via email at the start of the academic year. This appeal should be done in collaboration with the Dean of Students Office.
- Ad-Hoc Committees
- As new committees arise and staff representation is needed, they will be assigned per the discretion of the current Staff Council Representatives to serve on committees or to offer these committee opportunities to the general staff body. In the event that a quick decision needs to be made, the responsibility to nominate a Representative will be granted to the Chair and Vice Chair.
ARTICLE VI Legislative Action
- Duties of Staff Council
- Representatives shall initiate legislation to address staff related issues and concerns.
- These resolutions will be advisory to the College.
- Creating Resolutions and Bills
- Will be written by one or more Staff Council Representatives.
- The written resolution will be available at least two days prior to the Staff Council meeting where it will be voted upon.
- Will be presented at a Staff Council meeting for debate and discussion. It will then be voted upon by Staff Council Representatives.
- Resolutions, which are a recommendation by the Representative body, and may be approved by a simple majority,
- Bills, which are changes to procedure or protocol, may be approved by a 2/3 majority.
- Approved legislation will typically take immediate effect and be posted within one week on the Staff Council website.
- An approved Resolution or Bill may be repealed by a 2/3 majority vote of the Staff Council.
- Legislation and Shared Governance
- Resolutions that are approved by Staff Council may move on for endorsement by Pitzer shared governance committees such as: Student Senate, FEC, and/or College Council.
Section 1. Staff Council Budget Allocation
The Staff Council receives annual funding from the College for training, professional development, and recognition activities.
Section 2. Staff Training and Professional Development (STPD) Budget
- The Staff Council maintains a budget specifically for funding staff for professional development and training.
- The budget is set by the Budget Implementation Committee and is refreshed every fiscal year.
- All regular, benefits-eligible staff can apply to the Staff Council for funding towards professional development if they meet the criteria as determined by the current Staff Council members.
- A committee will be appointed and formed every year to review all incoming applications for funding got approval or denial.
- The STPD Committee will be comprised of three Staff Council members, with one elected chair.
- Each member will review each application on a case-by-case basis and the majority vote will decide the approval or denial within 2 weeks of submission.
- All applications must be submitted to the Committee at least 30 days prior to the event being funded.
- Staff member is responsible for providing post-documentation within 4 weeks of completing the event; including a copy of the travel report and receipts.
- All approved funds will be transferred to the staff member’s department, not directly to the staff member.
- Failure to comply with any of the above may result in forfeiting the amount rewarded.
- Events Budget
- The Staff Council also maintains a budget for items relating to hosted events throughout the fiscal year; including, bi-annual All-Staff Forum Meetings.
- Any funding remaining in the Staff Council Budget at the end of the fiscal year will be spent on Staff Council initiatives and projects, as approved by a vote of the Staff Council body.
Section 3. Staff Recognition Budget
- The Staff Council maintains a budget specifically for funding staff recognition.
- This includes all activities coordinated by the Staff Engagement Committee.
- The budget is set by the Budget Implementation Committee and is refreshed every fiscal year.
- The Tresurer will directly oversee the Staff Recognition Budget in collaboration with the Vice Chair.
- Proposing Amendments or Revisions to Staff Council Bylaws
- A proposed amendment to these Bylaws must be created by a Representative of Staff Council and must be voted on by the current members of Staff Council in order to be presented to all staff for vote.
- A 2/3 majority of Staff Council Representatives who vote will pass the amendment on for a vote of the entire staff body.
- Ratifying an Amendment or Revision to Staff Council Bylaws
- In order to approve an amendment or revision to the Staff Council Bylaws, all regular, non-faculty employees of Pitzer College, as specified above, will be offered the opportunity to vote at an All-Staff Forum, electronic ballot, and/or paper ballot. These Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of eligible staff members who participate in the vote.
- The Secretary of Staff Council will administer the voting process.
- Amendments or Revisions to Staff Council Bylaws that Affect College Governance
- Any revisions or amendments that affect college governance will be brought to College Council.