Chairman Tim Price called the meeting to order at 1:32p.m.
In attendance: Rob Bistodeau, John Clancy, Rosalie del Rosario, Eleanor Domalaog, Carlos Garza, Kathy Jones, Shella Merritt, Dawn Messersmith, Rosemary Troian, Tim Price. Members Absent: Maura Eagan, Marty Golden, Wende Goo. In Attendance: Maria Harris, Ginny Hostler and Natalie Huff.
Tim opened the meeting by welcoming guest speaker, Natalie Huff, NMFS EEO Program Manager. He thanked her for taking the time to talk with us. He also mentioned how beneficial it is to the whole group to have guest speakers come in and provide additional information, especially Natalie because she can provide us a national prospective on agency efforts, on what other regions are doing, and how those efforts fit into the bigger picture to address EEO issues.
Natalie Huff was given the floor and thanked the committee for asking her to partake in our meeting. She said that our committees participation in the EEO picture was crucial to the organization in helping to establish and maintain effective communication between management and employees. Some employees may not always feel comfortable addressing certain issues with management and would feel more comfortable addressing them with the committee or a member individually. However, it is important to remember that we are not to handle the problem ourselves. Once an EEO issue is made known to a committee member, we are to have the individual (or the committee member) contact Natalie or an EEO Counselor immediately. (NOTE: A listing will be provided to the committee on who and where the EEO Counselors are located. This list could then be posted on the EEOAC Website). Because there is a time limit in which an EEO complaint must be submitted, it is imperative that immediate action is taken when the issue has been made known. Natalie said she appreciates our cooperation in this, as it is important she be kept in the loop wherever EEO issues arise.
Natalie also mentioned we can assist in distributing and participating in special observance months, such as African-American History Month, Womens History Month, etc. She said that other regions are setting up and participating in this type of monthly emphasis program. They are also organizing forums for employees to provide information on EEO activities and policies.
Natalie said the quarterly briefings that go to the Regional Administrator and Science Director are a good way to keep management informed of our accomplishments. She said we should stay aware and be the eyes and ears of the organization. If we see a pattern of concern, let her know.
She discussed the Affirmative Employment Plan. It was noted that the Affirmative Employment Plan reports are posted on the SWR EEOAC Website. Natalie said she looks to us to help accomplish the identified goals and objectives in the plans. Natalie mentioned that there are problems with recruiting scientists. She said that the programs are there, but many arent applying. This could be because employees might not know about the opportunities, including the Advanced Studies Program, Rotational Assignments Program, etc. If employees arent getting the information, we need to know so we can make additional efforts to get the information out to all the employees.
Natalie mentioned that the Headquarters office EEOAC have had brown bag lunches to cover different topics such as managing generation X, communicating across lines, how to develop resumes, etc. If there are no funds available to sponsor this type of program, let Natalie know and she might be able to help.
Natalie talked about student internships. She said she is working on getting out information and linking internships, fellowships, etc. to more diverse populations. Natalie said that she could help with getting an intern through a participating minority institution. If we are interested, we should touch base with her and she will work with us on a one-to-one basis to try and get someone matched up. Carlos Garza asked whether there wasnt a central database and central resource that could be accessed. Natalie said she is working on compiling something similar.
Tim Price asked whether there is training available that committee members should attend. Natalie said her office could put some training programs together. In addition, she said, EEOAC members should attend training that covers subjects such as EEO and civil rights laws, sexual harassment, etc.
The February 2002 minutes were approved with slight revisions.
Tim Price updated and distributed a table that summarizes the status of each work plan draft and approved work plans. In addition, Tim Price and John Clancy completed the memorandum to Dr. Tillman expressing the EEOACs recommendation to encourage Center participation for the High School Intern Program and has sent it forward for approval.
John Clancy reported the Program Subcommittee met on February 11th. They are developing and working on future work plans and they will provide more information in the coming months. The group thanked Carlos Garza for his help in getting fishery positions advertised in the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans of Science (SACNAS) newsletter.
Rob Bistodeau reported the group met on February 13th. Rob said the group decided to distribute EEOAC reports by email to the region and center staff twice a year, at the end of January and July.
In addition, he said that he is willing to help the Personnel SubCommittee with the list server work plan and has spoken with Rosalie del Rosario about it. The work plan is almost completed and ready to distribute region and center vacancies.
Both Dawn Messersmith and Wende Goo completed their registration to start working on the on-line FrontPage training courses to enable them to maintain, update, and enhance the SWR EEOAC Website.
The subcommittee reviewed the Website for erroneous or outdated information, along with any bad links and made the necessary corrections.
Rosalie del Rosario reported the Personnel Subcommittee met on February 13th. She said they are reviewing the draft and approved work plans.
Carlos reported that he found a report on the Office of Personnel Managements website that indicates that the Federal government is keeping pace with national demographic changes although Hispanic representation lags. The website ishttp://www.opm.gov/pressrel/2002/CC-FEORP.htm .
Tim reported that an email was sent to the regional office staff regarding the High School Intern Program. No formal intern proposals have been submitted.
Carlos asked about whether the committee would like to invite Jerry Beat, Executive Director for SACNAS as a guest speaker. The committee agreed that he would be a good candidate and asked Carlos to extend an invitation for him to speak at our May 1st meeting. The committee also agreed that guest speakers should not be scheduled more frequently than once every other meeting.
The committee discussed having Natalie Huff provide EEO training to the SWR EEOAC members and agreed that it is a good idea. Tim Price agreed to send an email to Natalie Huff to inquire about the types of EEO training opportunities her office can provide. At the next meeting, the committee agreed to discuss this matter further, including such topics as logistics of how the committee might participate in the training (travel, video call, teleconference), when, what and where.
Tim Price reminded the group about the NOAA Diversity Spectrum Award opportunity which was announced via email to all employees. The purpose of the award is to encourage positive managing diversity activities and ideas at all levels of NOAA, engaging all employees as partners. It is open to any NOAA employee who initiates and supports managing diversity activities and intiatives and whose managing diversity participation goes beyond normal job requirements. Nominations are being accepted until March 30th, including self-nominations.
The next meeting will be held on April 3, 2002 at 1:30pm.
The meeting adjourned at 2:30pm.
All information in the web page was approved
by the SW EEOAC Executive Committee.
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