Spotlight: OP Staff Assembly
Each and every month on the third Wednesday, from 12:00-1:00 pm, you’ll find a group of 11 seriously engaged OP employees discussing how to make working here more meaningful.
The group is the OP Staff Assembly Steering Committee, which is continuously seeking ways to get staff input and put forth ideas or concerns to OP leadership when necessary.
Ravinder Singh, who chairs the group, explains more about what they do and how you can get involved.
Why is the role of the Staff Assembly important to UCOP?
Every relationship should seek to be symbiotic. OP leadership can gain valuable insight by engaging the Staff Assembly on matters of interest and concern to staff. And the Staff Assembly can help relay the ideas and concerns of OP leadership to the staff. By fostering a close working relationship we can assure that decisions are made in consultation and recognition of each other’s insight.
What initiatives has the Staff Assembly worked on in the past year?
We have given input on a number of issues, such as the OP furlough plan, UC post-retirement benefits, the holiday party, and improving building safety issues. We have also hosted several noontime talks ranging from understanding the undergraduate admissions process, to learning more about the UC Natural Reserves program, to having an opportunity to ask questions about open enrollment. The Staff Assembly also led the town hall meetings held in 2009, where President Yudof spoke.
What are some of the Staff Assembly’s goals for 2010?
A main goal is to systematically convey ideas to leadership and follow-through on any changes. We will begin presenting “position papers” to senior management that contain metrics or results of staff input on certain issues, such as Employee Performance Evaluations. Not only will this help us formalize the way we present ideas to management, but it will also help us convey the Staff Assembly’s position on these issues to all OP staff.
Another goal is to work on improving communication within OP. One issue consistently raised by staff is the lack of clear and consistent communication. We want to identify how we can open the doors of dialogue within OP.
We also continue to foster a sense of belonging to OP by sponsoring noontime talks and helping organize other events such as the holiday party. In 2010 we’d like to have more social functions, such as ice cream socials on the fifth floor patio. We’d also like to host another town hall meeting with President Yudof.
What are the biggest challenges for the Staff Assembly?
We are always, always looking for ways to better engage staff. We know that most staff has an issue or two, or more that they really care about and good ideas that can be harnessed to make this a better workplace. We want to hear from you!
How does UCOP’s Staff Assembly work with Staff Assemblies around UC?
The Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) is made up of representatives from all UC campuses, including UCOP. Each Staff Assembly sends two of its members to serve as delegates to CUCSA, which meets quarterly. This group researches and assesses systemwide staff issues via workgroups, and has the power to bring a systemwide perspective on staff issues to the Regents in an annual report.
In September 2010, UCOP will host the quarterly CUCSA meeting, so we have been busy preparing for it.
The Staff Assembly just released a systemwide survey asking employees questions concerning their work culture. How will survey results be used?
Many campuses have discussed staff morale being an issue. CUCSA recently formed a workgroup to get more input from staff about this. An anonymous survey was distributed to staff around the system, and once the findings are analyzed, the workgroup will form next steps and recommendations, including bringing the results to UC leaders later this Spring.
How can colleagues share feedback or comments with the OP Staff Assembly?
There are several ways. The easiest and most direct is to talk to a steering committee member. If you don’t know us, visit our website, where you can find all of our pictures and contact information. You can also send us a confidential email through the “What’s on your mind” page on our website. Feel free to attend our monthly meetings—they’re always held from noon to one on the third Wednesday of each month at Franklin 10325. We will have a table at the First Friday events in the Franklin building where we’re looking forward to meeting and talking to staff.
The next OP Staff Assembly meeting will be held this Wednesday, January 20 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in Franklin 10325.