Orientation Information for New
of Employee Council
Getting Started | Communication Recommendations
Serving as a Resource | For Advice and
Advantages of Employee Councils
Employee Councils were established as a valuable and necessary
method of encouraging regular two-way communication between the
University and those who choose to work here.
To maximize the communication and concern resolution process, we
want you to take an active role. The University wants those who choose
to be council members to feel free to express their opinions and those
of others without the fear of reprisals. The following are suggestions
to enable you to become an effective council member.
- If you have not already been provided a copy of your council by-laws, ask your chair for one and ask about
anything that isn't clear.
- Ask the representative you have replaced to give you any
information he or she has collected at previous meetings such as
policies, procedures, services, etc.
- Your regular attendance at each council meeting is important. If
you cannot attend, arrange for your alternate to attend. Remember this
is your chance to ask and receive answers to your questions and those
of others with whom you work.
- If you ever feel pressured by job responsibilities or your
supervisors not to attend council meetings, please promptly advise your
supervisor, the council management representative or council
- You are free to establish whatever mechanism works best to
communicate with those you represent. However the importance of having
a system that work effectively and efficiently cannot be
over-emphasized. Feel free to try one or more of these proven methods:
- departmental meetings
- briefing the supervisory staff
- distributing and/or posting council minutes
- using e-mail
- instructing employees on how to use e-mail, electronic bulletin
boards, and the employee councils' Web pages effectively
- Inform employees that you are their representative and make
yourself accessible. Everyone you represent should know who you are and
how to get in touch with you.
- Solicit information or questions from those you represent before
each meeting. This will remind members of your unit to advise you of
their questions and concerns.
- You may receive important information at times from sources other
than council meetings. This information also needs to be communicated.
If you think there is a chance those who need it may not get it
(employees as well as supervisors) send the information along using the
most effective process.
- If at any time you feel there is a topic which needs discussion at
the council but because of the nature of it you do not want to be the
one to bring it up, ask your chair before the meeting to put the issue
on the agenda.
- If at any time you feel it is difficult to communicate with members
you represent because of the organizational structure, building
location, organizational change, size of the group you serve, etc.,
discuss it with your supervisor, the council management representative
or council chair.
Serving as a
- Consider yourself a source of information for your colleagues. For
- Find out how to access policies and procedures that employees may
need to know about.
- Find out about services which are available to benefit employees.
Employee Assistance, Women's Center, Benefits Counselors, Employee
Relations, EO/AA services are examples. (See complete resource
- Feel free to act as an information and a referral service for your
- Remember you are not expected to be a guidance counselor for those
you represent. You are not trained nor have the time. Simply find out
who in the University is there to help them and make a referral.
For Advice and
- Feel free to contact your council management representative or
Employee Relations for guidance as needed. Confidentiality will be
- Feel free to report safety and security concerns to management or
appropriate services promptly. Do not feel that you need to wait for a
council meeting to report these issues.
- Any time you have questions as to your role, ask whoever you feel
is appropriate to answer them.
- If any time you need to resign from the council, please advise your
supervisor, council management representative or council chair.
- Facilitates two-way communication between employees and
- Strengthens employee-employer relationships
- Serves as a conduit for employee ideas for improving procedures,
safety, benefits etc.
- Affords employees the opportunity to meet and become acquainted
with management members and vice versa.
- Provides employees the opportunity to meet other employees within
their vice presidential group.
- Provides a forum for employees to voice concerns.
- Demonstrates to employees that management is interested in their
- Provides management a means for becoming aware of employee concerns
and conditions which require management attention.
- Provides a medium of communication between staff members.
- Provides management the opportunity to communicate goals.
- Provides management the opportunity to explain rationale for
existing policies and hear reactions to policies and procedures being
- Provides employees with the opportunity to plan and recommend
programs of interest and benefit to other employees (competition,
- Provides management a source of committee members and the
opportunity for employees to serve on committees such as Service
Awards, Safety, Travel, Benefits, Focus Groups, etc.
- Provides employees the opportunity to have management respond
instantly to questions and concerns.
- Facilitates mutual understanding of management/employee