The Staff Council promotes a positive workplace at Pomona College by providing opportunities for community building, open communication and staff recognition. The Staff Council will set its own goals each year, and will serve as staff liaison to executive staff, trustees, faculty leadership and student groups.
At least once a semester, the Staff Council will hold a forum to provide an opportunity for staff to stay connected and informed. The Staff Council Chair will plan and distribute the agenda for the forum. Speakers will include members of the Pomona College community who have information to share with staff. It is also an opportunity for the College President and other members of executive staff to engage directly with staff at large.
At least once a year, the Staff Council will meet with members of executive staff, the Chair of the Faculty and representatives from the Board of Trustees.
The Staff Council may also facilitate the selection of staff to serve on other College committees.
To be eligible to join the Staff Council, a staff member must:
- Work a minimum of nine (9) months a year and 20 hours a week
- Have been employed by the College for at least one year by the beginning of the fiscal year in which the term would begin
Members of the faculty, members of the executive staff and the director of human resources are not eligible to serve as voting members of the Staff Council.
The Staff Council consists of up to fifteen (15) members, as follows:
- To promote participation from all parts of the College, up to twelve (12) voting members may be elected or appointed based on the six (6) constituencies outlined below, with two (2) spots allocated for each constituency. If a constituency does not nominate a representative, the current Staff Council may recruit and appoint a willing volunteer from that constituency to serve a full term.
- Up to two (2) at large voting members may be appointed by the current Staff Council based on interest and campus needs.
- One (1) non-voting member from executive staff who will serve as the liaison between the Staff Council and the executive staff.
Constituencies should be roughly equal in number of staff. Each year, the Staff Council will review the number of employees in each constituency. The constituencies may be redefined to ensure no group is unreasonably large or small. The constituencies are currently defined as follows:
- Housekeeping & Grounds
- Academic Affairs (staff or departments reporting to the dean of the College and the Office of the President)
- Advancement and Communications
- ITS, Finance, Human Resources and Real Property
- Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Affairs
Staff Council members will receive release time from their job responsibilities to participate in Staff Council meetings and events, as appropriate to their duties.
Staff Council members are expected to attend all regularly scheduled Staff Council meetings (typically held once a month).
If a member cannot attend a meeting, he/she is required to communicate this to the chair or secretary.
If a member misses two meetings during the semester without notifying the chair or secretary, or misses three meetings during a semester regardless of whether the chair or secretary was notified, the chair will initiate a conversation with the member to discuss plans for the remainder of the term. If needed, the Staff Council may choose to remove the member by a two-thirds majority vote.
If a member leaves Pomona College during their term, the Staff Council will move to appoint a new member. If the departing member represented a specific constituency, the new member should ideally come from the same constituency. A nominee will be confirmed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Staff Council. The new member may choose to either finish the existing term or begin a new three-year term.
Each March, the incumbent Staff Council will appoint a Nominations and Elections Committee.
The Nominations and Elections Committee will compile nominations, contact nominees for willingness to serve, and if necessary, conduct the balloting and elections for each constituency as follows:
- Ask current members to confirm their plans for serving in the upcoming year.
- Determine which, if any, constituencies will be underrepresented in the upcoming year, and how many positions will be vacated overall.
- Contact constituencies to request nominations; include a list of eligible staff in each constituency (provided by human resources) and information about expectations and time commitment for Staff Council members.
- Staff members may nominate themselves or another person to serve on the Staff Council; in the latter case, the nominee will be contacted by the Nominations and Elections Committee to confirm acceptance of the nomination.
- If the number of open positions is less than the number of people who have expressed interest, an election will be held. If not, no election is necessary, and the nominees will automatically join the Staff Council.
- All nominees who accept the nomination will be placed on the ballot.
- Each staff member who is eligible to vote will receive a ballot and be allowed to vote for the number of candidates designated for his/her constituency.
- Within each constituency, the candidates receiving the largest number of votes will be elected. In the event of a tie, a run-off election will be held.
- If a constituency will have an open spot and does not nominate a representative, the current Staff Council may recruit and appoint a willing volunteer from the constituency to fill the position.
- Elections will be completed by the end of the spring semester each year.
- The incumbent Staff Council will notify the newly elected representatives and the entire staff of the results.
- The Executive Staff ex-officio member will communicate to each nominee’s respective vice president and co-sign a letter to the nominee’s manager.
V. TERMS OF OFFICE
Members of the Staff Council will serve three-year terms. Each term begins on July 1 of the fiscal year and ends the following June 30.
No member shall serve two consecutive terms.
If a member serves as Chair in the third (and final) year of their term, that member may serve in a non-voting advisory role for the following year if requested by the new Staff Council.
From the Staff Council representatives, the following officers will be elected by a simple majority of its members: chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer. These other officers shall be elected by the Council at its first regular meeting (except for the chair who may be elected at the last meeting of the previous year), shall serve for one year and may succeed themselves in office. A member must serve on the Council for at least one year (in a current or past term) in order to be eligible to serve as the chair. At least one person needs to fill each of these positions, and the Staff Council may vote to allow two members to share an officer role.
The duties of the officers are:
- Chair: Presides over Staff Council meetings and represents the Staff Council to the College community at large. Serves as the primary point of contact with the executive staff and faculty leadership.
- Vice chair: Performs the duties of the chair when called on to do so.
- Secretary: Works with the chair to prepare and distribute meeting agendas. Prepares and distribute meeting minutes. Coordinates room reservations for meetings. Distributes meeting notices and other correspondence to all Staff Council members, including those who do not regularly use College email. Manages the Staff Council website and electronic file storage.
- Treasurer: Oversees budget and expenses for Staff Council. Prepares and distributes a report of accounts and budgets at each meeting. Serves as liaison with Finance Office for processing expense reimbursements.
In addition to the election of officers, the Staff Council will recommend to the president the appointment of at least one member of executive staff to act as liaison between the Staff Council and executive staff. The appointed executive staff member will serve on the Staff Council as an ex officio non-voting member in order to ensure reliable ongoing communication between the groups.
Regular meetings will occur monthly with notice given at least two weeks in advance. Other meetings may be called as necessary. Subcommittees will set their own meeting schedules. The chair will create the agenda with input from other Staff Council members, and the secretary will distribute the agenda prior to the meetings.
A quorum is required for the conduct of Staff Council business and shall consist of a simple majority of the Staff Council membership.
VIII. REVISIONS OF BYLAWS
Revisions to the bylaws may be recommended at any time as deemed necessary by the Staff Council is approved by a simple majority of the voting members of the Council.
A comprehensive reassessment of the bylaws must be completed every five years.
Revisions to the bylaws must be submitted to the President of the College for approval. Such changes may be approved by the President if they do not change the fundamental purpose or status of the Staff Council. Broader changes of purpose or status of the Staff Council require approval by the Board of Trustees.
The Staff Council is not a labor organization. Nothing contained in this document shall be construed as authorizing the Staff Council to deal with the administration with respect to grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, benefits, hours of employment, or conditions of work.
Revised June 5, 2020