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Greetings from the Office, Clerical, and Technical Staff Assembly!
I hope your holiday break went well and that you are ready for the spring semester! As you will see in this first e-newsletter, it has been a busy year for the OCTSA and our committees getting the assembly organized and up and running. Our first meeting was in April 2012. Please take time to browse our website http://octsa.ua.edu to see the staff survey results as well as meeting minutes and the issues that we are discussing. The e-newsletter will be sent out to all OCT staff employees on a quarterly basis in the future.
If you would like more information about any of our current initiatives or how you can become involved in the OCTSA, contact me directly, or send an email to 
octstaff@ua.edu .

Best wishes and ROLL TIDE,
Allyson Holliday, OCTSA President

The OCTSA has been very eager to meet the needs of OCT Staff members.  In doing so, we have hosted several guest speakers at the OCTSA meetings.  These guests have included:

May 2012 – Julie Elmore, Jackie Howell, and Rachel Frazier of the Professional Staff Assembly talked about their prospective areas in the PSA and offered some insight as to how their committees are run.  They discussed PSA Service and Outreach, Staff Life, Communications and Public Relations, and Professional Development, respectively.

September 2012 – Dianne Teague of the University of Alabama Retirees Association discussed how the association might be of assistance to those employees who are within 5 years of retirement age.  She also mentioned that the Retirees Association awards 2-4 student book scholarships a year. Amy Heatherly from Human Resources also attended to speak about HR topics and field questions from the OCTSA.

October 2012 – Cori Perdue, the UA Work Life Manager, spoke regarding childcare issues and other services offered through her department, including tutoring and babysitting networks that are available to faculty and staff.

November 2012 – Jameka Hartley, from Alabama REACH, spoke regarding their program to assist UA students who were raised in foster care.

January 2013 – Rebecca Kelly, from Health Promotion and Wellness, spoke regarding health and wellness issues and initiatives for UA employees.

Service and Outreach Committee

UA Remembers 4-27-11 with a Day of Service

The University of Alabama commemorated the first anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornadoes with a Day of Service on Saturday, April 21, 2012. Thanks to the OCT staff volunteers who helped remove debris from sites along the tornado's path in Rosedale, Forest Lake and Alberta City.


As part of our first service and outreach project, school supplies were collected at several sites throughout campus as part of the Stuff the Bus back to school drive. Items included: art supplies, Clorox wipes, reams of colored paper, index cards, hand sanitizer, dry erase markers/erasers/cleaner, manila file folders, paper towels, boxes, pencil top erasers, Sharpie markers, 2-inch ring binders, Ziploc bags (all sizes) and hand soap.  With the help from the movers in Logistical Support, supplies were delivered to Alberta and Holt Elementary schools in August.  


In an ongoing effort to support local schools, we are encouraging all employees to participate in the Box Top for Education drive.  Scan your grocery store shelves for companies that carry the box top brands. Participating companies and product lines include General Mills, Green Giant, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Ziploc, Hefty, Juicy Juice, Betty Crocker and many more.   Cut the box top and donate them to an area school.  In the near future, campus collection sites will be established where employees can drop off or send the box tops through campus mail.

The Service and Outreach Committee also encourages faculty and staff to support Alabama REACH.  Alabama REACH is a program that was established with a mission to empower current and former foster youth, orphans, emancipated minors, wards of the State, and homeless youth in a supportive environment that allows students the freedom to pursue higher education.  Alabama REACH has a pantry to stock needed items such as toiletries, non- perishable food items, gift cards, gas cards, extension cords, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, sheets, towels, and laundry detergent.  Along with help stocking the pantry, employees can volunteer to be mentors, sponsors, or a host family.  For more information, employees can contact Jameka Hartley, Coordinator at 348-5819, jyhartley@aalan.ua.edu.  Alabama REACH is located in 303 Lloyd Hall.

The Ad Hoc Committee

This committee is here to support the OCTSA in areas that there may not be a need for a permanent committee. This past Fall, we assisted by facilitating two different surveys: “The OCTSA Smoke Free Campus Survey” and the “OCT Staff Survey”. The results of the “OCT Staff Survey” can be found here: http://octsa.ua.edu .  We would like to thank everyone that took the time to participate and provide a voice. This information is vital in assuring that the OCTSA is truly representing the OCT staff of the university. This spring we will be facilitating the annual OCTSA representative nomination process. Please be thinking about who you would like to represent your Division. Maybe it is you!


Professional Development Committee

This committee has actively pursued several projects this year.  We used the results from the OCT Staff Survey to explore training and development opportunities for staff across campus.  We discovered that Human Resources already offers most of the training ideas that were listed in the survey.  Rather than duplicate what Human Resources was already doing, we decided to concentrate on training sessions specifically aimed at OCT Assembly members.  An assembly officer suggested that the committee provide training on conducting meetings.  We invited Teresa Faulkner from Human Resources to present a session on “Conducting Effective Meetings” for the OCT Staff Assembly Steering Committee on January 7, 2013.  This training may be offered to the assembly as a whole later in the spring. 

Outstanding Office, Clerical, and Technical Staff Award

We are now planning to present an Outstanding Office, Clerical, and Technical Staff Award in May. The award will be presented to 2 individuals.  Nominations will be solicited from all university employees.  We are currently developing our nomination form, lining up prizes, planning for the awards ceremony, and establishing selection criteria.  Once the procedures for the OCT Staff Award are in place we can begin working on further training opportunities.

Staff Life Committee

The Staff Life Committee is working as an advocate for OCT staff on all salary, benefits, campus life, and evaluation procedure issues. This committee has made recommendations to the Assembly concerning support for a smoke free campus and will address concerns identified in the OCT staff survey results. Current agenda items include: investigating the feasibility of a university-wide half day on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, parking prices and lack of parking, health care benefits, and easier access to the Rec Center for staff employees.

Communications and Public Relations Committee

The Communications and Public Relations Committee is responsible for facilitating timely, two-way communication between the Assembly and OCT staff employees on matters perceived as important to constituents. The committee was integral in the building of the OCTSA website. A special thank you to Nancy Boyd for the start-up process! The committee plans to send OCTSA e-newsletters to staff members on a quarterly basis to help share information and ideas. 


On behalf of the OCTSA officers, a big thank you to all of the representatives and committee members for your service in the Assembly's first year!

Allyson Holliday, President
Sherry Phillips, President-Elect
Renae Sullivan, Secretary
Alesia Darling, Treasurer

Kevin Ray, Parliamentarian

Contributors: Allyson Holliday, Sherry Phillips, Renae Sullivan, Angelia Mills, Kevin Ray