AROUND THE LAB
LLE Representation in the Genesee Staff Council
The Genesee Staff Council (GSC) at the University of Rochester was created in 2019 “to facilitate active and direct communication between University staff and senior administration by providing a forum for input and discussion of issues important to the staff and the University.” The Council is composed of a diverse group of staff from across various University offices and academic departments. As a partnership between the University’s Human Resources and the Office of Equity and Inclusion, the Council ensures staff members have a voice and a seat at the table. All representatives are elected by their peers to ensure the overall trust of the Council’s constituents. The Laboratory for Laser Energetics is fortunate to have two representatives in the council. Founding members were David VanWey and Alex Pita. Half of the founding members were elected to a two-year term and half to a three-year term. Alex is serving the final year of his initial term on the council and Jenny Hamson was elected to replace David in September. All future terms are for two years and elections will be held each year for half of the council’s representatives.
The Genesee Staff Council serves to amplify the messaging between staff and the University. Groups throughout the University reach out to the Council for feedback and to seek out participation for committees and programming. The Council meets regularly with the University President, Provost, Chief Human Resources Officer, and other University leaders to discuss staff concerns and items of interest. Additionally, the Council plays active roles in the Career Path Modernization Project and the Coronavirus University Restart Team, promotes professional development opportunities for staff, and explores factors impacting employee morale. Hamson and Pita serve on committees within the GSC and they provide feedback based on their experiences and those of their colleagues at LLE. They provide representation for Laboratory staff by attending monthly meetings, serving on committees, and serving as liaisons between the University and the Lab.
The Council has just released their 2021 Annual Report that highlights accomplishments over the past year. In particular, “GSC listened to constituent concerns about job security, promotions, and salary competitiveness. They collaborated with the Career Path Modernization team to provide extensive feedback on the new compensation philosophy and voiced the need for transparency in job classification and salary information as the new system is built.” The report also targets themes that will guide the Council’s work in 2022 to focus on operations and communication; culture and climate; diversity, equity, and inclusion; future of work; and professional development.
The Genesee Staff Council enables every staff member to have their voices heard and considered when decisions are being discussed that affect them. Representatives Alex Pita and Jenny Hamson welcome all Laboratory staff to contact them with any of their concerns or suggestions. The Council website details their mission, services, and resources while describing its function within the University. The site also includes lists of FAQs and Council representatives and committees, staff spotlights and awards, resources and materials—including meeting minutes and the annual report—and an anonymous feedback form.