Pg-3-Employee-Assembly-by-Cameron-Pollack-Senior

Employee Assembly Evaluates Benefit Options

The Employee Assembly discussed the health and insurance benefits available to Cornell employees at a meeting Wednesday.   
These available benefits are communicated to employees through informative programs, according to Paul Bursic, senior director of benefit services. “We do have an extensive outreach in a number of different areas, particularly around retirement plans, to let people know what benefits are available to them,” Bursic said. Bursic added that Cornell offers a number of opportunities for employees to visit the benefits office throughout the year. “There are various seminars and one-on-one counseling,” Bursic said. “We are also working to improve our webpage presence.”
Gina Giambattista, director of the office of the assemblies, and Billy Kepner, vice chair of communications, communicated concerns about insurance available to employees struggling wth mental health illnesses.

President Elizabeth Garrett praises the work of staff at her first address to the group in Kennedy Hall Friday. (Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Staff Photographer)

Garrett Aims to Streamline Staff Workload

President Elizabeth Garrett addressed Cornell staff for the first time Friday afternoon, highlighting the importance of diversity and streamlining efforts to reduce staff members’ work burdens. Hosted by the Employee Assembly, Garrett’s address emphasized the importance of a cohesive body of staff and a multi-tiered effort to reduce unnecessary paperwork and burdensome processes. She began by thanking staff in the audience, saying, “You are not thanked often enough.”

“Your efforts support excellence in Cornell’s research, teaching and outreach, and you create an environment where faculty, students and staff together thrive,” Garrett said. Garrett emphasized the importance of staff roles across Cornell’s campus in realizing the University’s academic mission. “Whether we care for the campus grounds or maintain advanced research equipment, counsel students or manage payroll or process travel reimbursements, motivate donors or carry out the myriad of other ways and functions in which a research university operates, we are all engaged in the academic mission and the academic enterprise,” Garrett said.