3.6 Administrative Assistants and Other Support Staff
The University is made up of three components: students, faculty and support staff. The administrative support given by these staff to students and faculty is essential to the good running of the institution. These employees are likely to be unionized employees (OSSTF/SSUO) or contractual staff (Policy 47).
As Department Chair supervising unionized employees, you have managerial responsibilities to address the operational needs of your department; e.g. the organisation of workload activities. You ensure the management of the support staff by following the university rules and procedures and the collective agreements your colleagues belong to. You also have a decisional role in workload assignment in collaboration with the Dean and the Chief Administrative Officer (the CAO and the Faculty’s HR Manager are key resources to your role – get to know them).
You must maintain a performance relationship with the employees under your responsibility. The Halogen supervisor's guide will help you manage the performance (create goals and evaluate them annually), but it's important to create an environment where every two or three months you meet your staff and celebrate the successes, make adjustments, clarify expectations, review objectives, etc. It may also be necessary for you to discuss objectionable behaviors with the CAO and the HR Manager - which could lead to corrective or disciplinary action.
It's up to you to organize the meetings with the staff (team meetings, individual meetings, or both), as well as the organization of the workload. You are also responsible for authorizing and managing the staff holidays/vacations in your department (through FAST). You will need to familiarize with the different categories of holiday and absence.
Support staff management is an important element to the smooth running of the department. Make sure you do your homework by receiving relevant information and training from your faculty or from the Centre for Academic Leadership.