Past President Mary Clark’s thoughts…
…On Staff Council:
Before I became a Staff Councilor in 2004, I knew nothing about how the university worked, who made the decisions and why, and if staff had any input. I recommend to anyone who is considering becoming involved in Staff Council that you ask lots of questions and learn about budget, policy and the legislature. Your current Staff Councilors are a great resource to answer your questions. Once you gain a better understanding of how decisions are made, you will be a better advocate for yourself and your department.
Staff Council is an excellent organization where you can work with others to make a difference at UNM. Sometimes progress is slow, but it is rewarding to be involved and move our objectives forward.
…On her Presidency:
The most impactful issue we tackled during my presidency involved the Retiree Health Care Task Force, which was created by myself and Faculty Senate President Amy Neel. It was charged with the task of developing recommendations to reduce UNM’s unfunded liability for post-retirement benefits. At the time, the administration wanted to eliminate all post-retirement benefits. I also worked with the Faculty Senate Government Relations Committee to advocate at the legislature to make our retirement funding solvent.
In addition, we were able to change the UNM policy regarding attendance at Staff Council meetings and events to allow employees who are not members of Staff Council to attend Staff Council meetings (up to two hours a month) and Staff Council special events (up to three hours a month) based on supervisor approval.
…On current Challenges facing staff:
Right now, we’re lucky to have a president and administration who are working hard to put our safety first. This is not the first time UNM has faced a severe budget crisis and it won’t be the last. Take advantage of the online resources available to staff to help you navigate the stress of our current working conditions; Counseling and Referral Services and Employee Health Promotion Program are free or low cost. And reach out to others and talk about your fears and frustrations, we’re all feeling it.