After more than 2,700 staff members responded to the benefits and work survey developed by the University of Colorado Staff Council (UCSC), the raw data now will be dissected to determine which benefits are most important to employees and how those benefits are used.
“We feel this is a pretty good response and I think there will be good things that come out of the survey,” said Denise Thomas, UCSC chair.
Council members discussed the preliminary results of the survey, which closed Nov. 15, during their regular monthly meeting Nov. 17 at CU Boulder.
Thomas said council members, along with other university survey specialists, will sift through the answers and develop a formal report that ultimately will be shared with university administrators and the Board of Regents. Thomas hopes a preliminary report will be ready in February.
Council also will disseminate the report to campus administrators and individual campus staff councils with the intent of addressing issues important to staff members, in part through increased advocacy.
“While we’re very happy and pleased with the number of responses we received, we are hoping to determine why more people didn’t fill out the survey,” Thomas said. This was the first time council had conducted a survey; the group hopes to engage more of the 9,000-plus staff employees in any future surveys. More administrative staff members returned the survey than employees in other job categories and council hopes to determine a way to get more employees involved.
“We need to figure out a way to survey people who are in all types of job brackets, including those that might not have had an opportunity to respond,” Thomas said. “This is our first survey attempt and we know there will be some fine-tuning for any future surveys.”
Also during the meeting, council members heard from Ravinder Singh, chair of CU Faculty Council. The two councils hope to find common areas of interest in which they can combine forces. For instance, Faculty Council members are working on a potential bullying policy, which is something for which Staff Council has previously advocated. A resolution calling for the university to create a policy that addresses bullying and other disturbing behaviors that affect everyone – not just those who fall under the category of protected class – was unanimously passed by the UCSC in May 2015.
Thomas will attend meetings of the Faculty Council committee charged with researching bullying policies to share information she has about UCSC’s efforts. She also will meet periodically with Singh and Marcus Fotenos, Intercampus Student Forum Chair, to discuss other issues of interest common to staff, faculty and students.
“At least since I’ve been on UCSC, we haven’t had that opportunity to work closely with Faculty Council, and so I’m glad we’re trying to forge something together,” Thomas said.
In other business:
- UCSC members heard a report from the council working group that is researching parental leave policy. System Staff Council completed some preliminary research on policies at other, similar educational entities around the country. The council’s working group will continue to gather data with the hope of proposing a leave policy to administration officials that would be equitable across all campuses for university staff and classified staff employees.
- Council members discussed the Service Excellence Awards that will be presented April 14, 2017, at a CU South Denver ceremony. The awards honor classified staff and professional exempt employees who provide outstanding volunteer service to their campus, community/civic/ professional activities, and the university as a whole. The award includes a $1,000 prize. Nominations will open Jan. 10, when nomination forms will be available at the Staff Council website.