Newsletter: Issue I

March 27, 2017

What's hot!

Annual Election of council members

It’s nearly time for the annual election of new members. Keep an eye out for the call for nominations on April 3, 2017 to fill 15 seats on the Council. There are open seats on Main Campus, Medical Center, Law Center and in University Services. Take a shot at joining the Council and become a voice for Staff and AAPs. For more details and the most up-to-date information, go here.

Food drive

We are sponsoring a spring food drive April 3 - 6 to benefit the Father McKenna Center.  Donations received through this food drive will make a difference for families who turn to the Center for much needed groceries to provide quality, healthy meals. See all the details here!

councilmember spotlight

greg miller

As sustainability programs coordinator, Greg collaborates with colleagues and partners across the campus community to design and manage initiatives that help fulfill the University's sustainability goals. He plays a leading role in sustainability research, metrics, and reporting, and he facilitates implementation of key sustainability programs such as the annual Move Out Drive. Greg began in this role in February 2016 and previously worked with the Office as an undergraduate sustainability fellow, when he played an instrumental role in Georgetown's attainment of Bicycle-Friendly University certification.

Since graduating from Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service in 2014, Greg stayed at Georgetown as a staff member and has remained involved in campus and local environmental work. At the University, he is an elected member of the Staff/AAP Advisory Council and chairs the Workplace Environment Committee. Greg is currently a Fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, volunteers on environmental justice issues with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, and has served on local commissions related to environment and energy conservation in the DC area.

After graduating, I worked as the Office Manager for the SFS Dean's office for one-and-a-half years and then transitioned into my current role in the Sustainability Office. I have a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown. I decided to work for Georgetown after graduating to help give back to the University and to do my part to help make Georgetown more affordable for future students. In my time in the SFS Dean's Office, I identified and implemented financially sustainable business practices which are now saving the school over $50,000 (or one-year's tuition for a student) per year.

My passion for the environment has also led me to get involved in many ways in our local community. I have been a bicycle commuter for years and have enjoyed connecting with other staff at Georgetown who bike to work and helping make our campus more bicycle-friendly for everyone. When I lived in Arlington, I served on a commission that helped advise the county board on environmental and energy conservation issues. After moving back to the Georgetown neighborhood last year, I decided to run for a seat on our local Advisory Neighborhood Commission, to advocate for continued progress on issues such as transit, sustainable growth, and economic development. I was ultimately unsuccessful in my race, but decided to stay involved in the community by launching an initiative to encourage local residents and business owners to install solar panels on their rooftops. 

On campus, I have been involved in the Staff/AAP Council since 2015, where I have been helping to advance the University's progress toward a smoke-free campus, and also serve on the Georgetown Community Partnership’s Transportation and Parking Working Group, to help improve the commuting experience for staff. I have very much enjoyed serving as one of the many "women and men for others" on the council, and helping improve our campus and local communities for all.

In my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, and anything that gets me outdoors, whether it be cycling, hiking, or gardening.

advocacy Work

We are working for you

You may wonder what we do for Staff and AAPs. Here are some of our accomplishments and advocacy work:

Merit Increases: In early 2013, the University announced no merit increases for staff and AAPs. We successfully advocated for a reversal of that policy. This work led to the creation of a Council committee that made a number of recommendations to the administration for more transparency as well as improved: support of staff and AAPs; training and resources; annual review process; data collection and sharing; and rewards and recognition opportunities.

Transparency: In an effort to increase transparency between the administration and Staff/AAPs, the chief operating officer started holding routine community forums, some of which have been co-sponsored and moderated by the Council.

Teleworking:  After more than a decade of a teleworking pilot program that was only available to employees in HR and UIS, the Council successfully lobbied for a University-wide implementation, that was rolled out in early 2015.

Smoke-free Campus: Beginning in 2015, the Council began pushing for reinvigorating the University's working group on a smoke-free campus. The working group had become dormant, with no apparent movement towards resolution of the issue. Following a number of meetings, a presentation on the University's compliance with local law and comparison to local Universities, and an IdeaScale proposal, the University announced its intention to go smoke-free in the Fall of 2017. 

Employee Recognition:  Following a number of discussions with the administration about a lack of staff and AAP recognition opportunities, the University announced the President's Excellence Awards. We have continued conversations, encouraging additional opportunities for monetary and non-monetary recognition.

Employee Survey:  The Council has encouraged the University to conduct a routine survey of employees to understand what makes Georgetown a great place to work and what could be done to make it an even better place to work. After a significant number of conversations in which administrators agreed a survey would be a good idea, but made no commitment to conduct one, the Council conducted one itself. The University is now working on designing and implementing a routine survey (although a projected date for the survey has not been announced).

HR Classification & Compensation Restructuring:  This project, started by HR in 2014, has been conducted in consultation with the Council in several council meetings, open forums, and steering committee meetings with HR, in order to ensure staff/AAP voices were heard during the process, rather than after the fact. The new plan is expected to be rolled out in Spring 2017.

Performance Reviews:  In 2014-15, the Council participated in meetings and on a working group to review and improve the performance review system. The new system was rolled out in March 2015. Although not universally acclaimed, it is a marked improvement over the old system. 

Benefits Disparities (between Staff and AAPs): The Council has made a priority the disparities in benefits between staff and AAPs. (These disparities include different leave policies, short term disability policies, and tuition benefits.) The issue has been discussed repeatedly since the Council began work in 2012. The discussions eventually led to the Council having two appointments to the University's Benefits Advisory Committee (BAC). The BAC is the official University committee that considers and recommends changes to benefits.

how does the council get things done?

The Council, made up of 31 elected staff and AAPs from Main Campus, Medical Center, Law Center, University Services, and SFS-Q, meet throughout the year, work on Council committees and select University committees and working groups, and meet with administrators (including the chief operating officer, vice president for finance, chief human resources officer, chief benefits officer, and campus leadership) to consider, discuss, and advocate for issues of concern to staff and AAPs.

Members sit on Council committees focusing on workplace environment, benefits, community engagement, data, and employee recognition. Through these committees and our advocacy work, we have garnered some significant achievements. Most of our work is accomplished amongst ourselves, often behind the scenes with University administrators.