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Support-staff working group marks 1999 accomplishments

The Working Group on Support Staff Issues recognized the past year's accomplishments -- such as its enhanced web site and new Outreach Committee -- at its year-end meeting on June 10.

In 1999, the group (a volunteer organization of people who strive to improve the working environment of support staff at MIT):

  • ������Examined and compared benefits offered by MIT to support and administrative staff
  • ������Enhanced its web site
  • ������Created a new Outreach Committee to broadcast the work of the group by visiting MIT departments and talking to staff
  • ������Established a new task group to plan and execute events to be held throughout 1999-00 to celebrate the Working Group's 25th anniversary, which will feature presentations organized by the task group Artists Behind the Desk, which showcases MIT support staff who are active in the arts

Members also had a pre-retirement question-and-answer session with former Vice President for Human Resources Joan Rice. At the June meeting, Ronnie Beth Rump, a performance consultant with Training and Development, presented a mini-workshop on "Handling Difficult Communications," with a follow-up several weeks later.

Several Working Group members were also recognized for their contributions: outgoing Senior Co-Convener Kate Schenck of the President's Office for her two years of service to the group; longtime members Kevin Healy of Facilities and Judi Goldberg of Procurement; Bob Lewis of Personnel and Ms. Rump.

Heather Mitchell of the Energy Lab, the new senior co-convener, announced the appointment of the new junior co-convener, Martha Bezzat of the Department of Economics for a two-year term.

The Working Group is open to both support and administrative staff members who want to address issues of concern to the MIT community, with a focus on support staff. In the recent past, the administration accepted input from the group on revisions and improvements to the retirement plan and spousal equivalent benefits for MIT employees, and also sought Working Group help on SAP issues, the 401k Plan, Publishing Services expansion plans and selecting the new vice president for human resources.

The Working Group's next meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 16 from noon-1:30pm. Anyone who wants to attend or would like more information on the group should contact Heather Mitchell, x3-9474,, or see the web site listed above.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 25, 1999.

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