What does a Director do?

Background: how the Board is organized (chart PDF)
The Board of Directors is comprised of University of Waterloo staff members who volunteer their time. There are a total of nine board members. Six directors are elected into a three year term. A President-elect will be elected into a three year cycle moving from President-elect, to President, to Past President:

  • President-elect (one year term)
  • President (one year full-time term with a $10K stipend)
  • Past President (one year term)
  • Director (three year term)

The Board will appoint the officer positions of Secretary and Treasurer from the directorship based on interest and inclination.

Committee membership responsibilities:

  • Attend UWSA Board meetings twice per month (approximately) to oversee that the Board is performing business appropriately and according to UWSA mandate.
  • Directors have the opportunity for membership on one university wide committee where Board membership is required. Committees typically meet once or twice per month. For example:
  • Membership on or chairing of one UWSA standing committee. For example:
    • Nominating committee: This committee nominates and/or appoints regular full-time and regular part-time UWSA members as representatives on university-wide and UWSA standing committees. One Director will sit on this committee.
    • Fundraising and Social committee: This committee raises funds for the association through organizing of social and recreational events for the enjoyment of staff members.
    • Communications & membership committee: This committee enhances awareness throughout the University community of the activities sponsored by UWSA and benefits of membership for University Support Staff and actively encourages membership in the University of Waterloo Staff Association. The UWSA Secretary and the Chair of the Fundraising and Social committee are members of this committee along with two other Board members.
    • Pension, Benefits and Staff Compensation sub-committee:  This committee monitors the Waterloo Pension and Benefit Package and the Waterloo Compensation Package (which includes salary, overtime and vacation entitlements) relative to perceived reasonableness and acceptability by staff and to make alternative recommendations to the UWSA Board. The UWSA Board will examine these recommendations and forward to the UW Pension & Benefits Committee or the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Staff Compensation, as appropriate, those proposals which are well-supported and appear to have merit. One Director will chair this committee.
  • Attend Area Reps meetings whenever available. These are held once per month over noon hour.
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting once per year in October and any Special General meetings of the membership that may be called throughout the year.

How you will benefit from being a Director:

  • You will learn basic board governance. It is okay to “learn on the job.” Knowing how boards work and how to achieve consensus on a board is a valuable leadership skill, both within the university and outside.
  • You will develop personal and professional relationships with a variety of staff from across campus because you work closely with a highly functioning team of eight others and have membership on various committees.
  • You will learn how to run a meeting.

Release time (from the University of Waterloo service guidelines):

In addition to the time that Board members spend in university-level committee meetings, the university grants the following Board positions with the following amounts of release time:

  • President, 100% release time. Salary paid as per Funding Agreement between the Office of the Provost and the UWSA.
  • President-elect, three days per month.
  • Past President, three days per month.
  • Secretary, two days per month.
  • Treasurer, two days per month.
  • Directors (excluding the Officers listed above) on the Board will have an average of one day per month for each director to attend to UWSA business. 

What do you need to know/have/do to be a director?

  • A sound decision making process is beneficial.
  • A willingness to state your points and speak your mind.
  • A desire to advocate for staff in the areas of working conditions, compensation, benefits, and organizational policies.
  • Time management skills are very important.
  • A knowledge of pertinent policies: Policy 18 (Employment Policy) Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour), Policy 36 (Dispute Resolution for Staff).
  • Oversee that UWSA Constitution and by-laws are being adhered to.
  • If you do your best and act with integrity, you will be successful.

What do you need to know/have/do to be a President-elect, President, Past President?

  • The practice of “Saying what you are going to do, do it, then say what you did” must become a way of life.
  • Each decision you make has the potential to make someone happy and someone else unhappy.
  • Listen to what people say, get as many perspectives as possible, then make up your own mind.
  • There is a balance between leadership and representation. As a President, the membership and the Administration are looking for leadership, but this can be based on representation.
  • Your experience is valuable, even if you don’t think it is.
  • Public speaking: as President, you are often called upon to speak for the UWSA.
  • As a Past President, co-chairing SRC is an opportunity to make a real difference:  set the agenda, influence the direction.

What do you need to know/have/do to be a Treasurer?

  • You need to know how to work a spreadsheet.
  • You have to have some reasonable skills at estimating.
  • You do not have to worry about details, there is staff and an accounting firm to look after that.
  • You have to have budgeting skills equivalent to running a household:  income - expenses = surplus.  If the "surplus" is negative, you have to bring the issue to the Board for a decision.

What do you need to know/have/do to be a Secretary?

  • Take minutes at all meetings.
  • Document management skills are necessary.

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