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Ballots being mailed for first-ever classified staff election

October 17, 2013 By Käri Knutson

Classified staff members will soon receive ballots for UW–Madison’s first-ever Classified Staff Executive Committee. Nine people will be elected from a field of 92 candidates, representing nearly 5,000 employees. Completed ballots must be returned or postmarked by Oct. 30.

All permanent members of the UW–Madison classified staff will receive a ballot at their home address. Ballots should start arriving as early as Oct. 19 and will come accompanied by a business reply envelope so employees can return the ballot to the Survey Center without paying for postage.

The goal of the Classified Staff Executive Committee is to provide shared governance opportunities for classified staff employees similar to those for academic staff and faculty. Previously, all classified staff did not have a formal governance structure at UW–Madison.

The Classified Staff Advisory Committee is overseeing the election with the assistance of interim secretary of the classified staff John Lease. After the election, the advisory committee will be dissolved and replaced by the executive committee.

“The group of candidates on this ballot represent a true cross section of the classified staff,” says Richard Gassen, vice chair of the advisory committee. “Everyone from upholsterers and electricians to HR assistants and accountants are present.  I was also pleased to see several members of the English language learning communities have offered their candidacies for consideration.  To me, all of this shows how hard our committee worked to make the doors to this election process as wide open as possible; we wanted all voices heard.”

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Darrell Bazzell says he is gratified by the overwhelming response from the classified staff.

“I think this clearly demonstrates they are not only willing, but eager to get down to the business of shared governance,” Bazzell says.

Candidates have had the option of submitting a 300-word profile describing who they are and why they are running. Those profiles can be viewed online or in hard copies through binders that are maintained at the office of the interim secretary of the classified staff in 167A Bascom, as well as the human resources offices at Facilities Planning and Management, University Housing and the Wisconsin Union.

Results of the election will be announced in early November.