Supervisory Committee Annual Reports
The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.
|2012 Report||2013 Report||2014 Report||2015 Report||2016 Report|
|2017 Report||2018 Report||2019 Report||2020 Report|
Supervisory Committee, 2019 Annual Report to 06 2020 BYM Interim Meeting
Postponed from 03 2020
Current: Adrian Bishop and Ramona Buck, Co-Clerks; Peirce Hammond; Gulielma Fager, Jim Riley, BYM Treasurer; Marcy Seitel, BYM Clerk of Interim Meeting; Ken Stockbridge BYM Presiding Clerk.
Former members: Josh Riley recently resigned from Supervisory, and Tom Hill, previous BYM Treasurer, completed his time in that position on Dec 31, 2019.
As we noted last year, the essence of the Supervisory Committee’s work is direct stewardship of BYM’s paid human resources by way of oversight of the General Secretary. This includes responsibility both for appropriate expenditure of BYM’s human resources budget and for nurturing the synergy among the staff to carry out the vision of BYM as a whole. We also oversee the care of the BYM office building, and occasionally work as an Executive Committee for BYM as outlined in the Manual of Procedure.
There have been more challenges for the Yearly Meeting this year (2019) and Supervisory has continued to support the General Secretary and the staff as they have engaged with these challenges. The lawsuit regarding Friends Community School which named BYM among other entities was finally resolved in May. That involved significant time and effort on the part of the General Secretary and the Associate General Secretary. A new Development Director was sought and hired this year as well as a part-time Bookkeeping Assistant, and a new STRIDE Coordinator. Though not directly his responsibility, the General Secretary supported the Camp Program Manager in hiring a new Director for Opequon Quaker Camp for 2019 and prior to the 2020 camp season re-assigning and rehiring directors at all camps. Committees and the staff are increasing their focus on exploring additional ways of promoting diversity in the Yearly Meeting and emphasizing our outlook as an anti-racist community, though there has been criticism from some that the General Secretary could do more. Most recently, he has initiated a process of long-range planning for the Yearly Meeting.
Supervisory completed the annual evaluation for the General Secretary after interviewing staff, inviting input from the Yearly Meeting and Monthly Meeting Clerks and talking with committee clerks. The General Secretary completed his self-evaluation and several of us met with him to give feedback and to discuss any issues.
Supervisory noted that the General Secretary visited 13 local Meetings in 2019 and that he regularly attends a number of BYM committee meetings, including Trustees, Development, Stewardship and Finance Committees and the monthly financial call. He has also attended some Camping Program, Camp Property Management and GDL committee meetings.
Supervisory has revised the Supervisory Committee Manual and the Clerk of Interim Meeting initiated a new segment on adding specifics of how Supervisory supports the General Secretary. In 2020, we expect to update our Employee Handbooks, based largely in documents prepared by the General Secretary. We also have included on our agenda “check-ins” from the Presiding Clerk and the Clerk of Interim Meeting, which has enriched our meetings. In October, some of us participated in the office and grounds clean-up day, followed by a fire circle.
We have continued to focus on our own growth in the area of promoting diversity and inclusion in the Yearly Meeting. In each committee meeting we schedule time for study of writings around identifying systemic racism. We completed the article by Clinton Pettus on “A Descriptive Analysis of the Views of People of Color Regarding Building a Bigger and Better Worship Community,” and we then had a discussion with Clinton at one of our meetings. After that, we started and are continuing to discuss the article, “White Supremacy Culture,” by Tema Okun. We now include the anti-racist queries at each of our meetings both by listing them in our agenda and by measuring any decisions against them:
- How could this decision affect those who have been harmed by racist behavior?
- To what degree have privilege, class, stereotypes, assumptions and our ability to include other perspectives affected this decision? Will this decision promote equity, diversity and inclusiveness? Will it enable us to be more friendly and whole?
- How will we provide opportunities for those most likely to be directly affected by our decision to influence that decision?
- How does this decision support the declaration of our Yearly Meeting that we are an anti-racist organization?
We read our goals for the committee at each meeting as a reminder:
- Continuing to support the General Secretary, one of our main tasks
- Continuing to promote healing from any past happenings
- Continuing the review of the documents (Supervisory Committee Manual, Employee Handbook, and coordination with the Camping Program Committee on the Camping Employee Handbook)
- Responding to the diversity needs of the Yearly Meeting and reviewing the anti-racism queries for each decision
- Creating a safe space for different perspectives to be expressed, and responding to any discomfort or conflict as it occurs
Supervisory continues the practice of having a day long retreat in September to consider issues more deeply and to set goals for the year. The committee takes the staff out to lunch twice per year which is a fun event for everyone, we hope, and provides an opportunity to get to know each other better. We do work hard; regular meetings are monthly, and there have been several months with extra sessions. We are thankful for the Spirit’s guidance as we labor for truth and good governance. We say good-bye now to recently retired BYM Treasurer Tom Hill. He has not missed a meeting, either commuting from Charlottesville or very occasionally Zooming in. As Friends know Tom is a stickler for detail. Our Minute numbering system reflects his concern for order among Friends!
It is our practice to share the personnel compensation costs, overall, with this report.
Original 2020 Budget and Human Resources Costs, to be revised 6/13/2020
Original: Revised: (approximate)
Salaries $642,513 532,000
FICA Taxes $49,152 40,697
Benefits $166,676 137,841
Employee Contribution to Health Insurance (-$22,646) (-22,646)
Retirement $38,551 19,275
Total $874,246 $707,167
This is for 12 year-round staff, seven full time, one 0.75 FTE, two 0.6 FTE, and two 0.5 FTE.
Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run)
Ramona Buck (Patapsco) Co-Clerks, Supervisory Committee
Current Committee Members: Adrian Bishop and Ramona Buck, Co-Clerks; Peirce Hammond, Tom Hill (BYM Treasurer), Josh Riley, Marcy Seitel (Clerk of Interim Meeting), Ken Stockbridge (BYM Presiding Clerk)
The essence of the Supervisory Committee’s work is direct stewardship of BYM’s paid human resources by way of oversight of the General Secretary. This includes responsibility both for appropriate expenditure of BYM’s human resources budget and for nurturing the synergy among the staff to carry out the vision of BYM as a whole, as well as overseeing care of the BYM office building.
This has been a year of change and challenges and the Supervisory Committee has sought to support Ned and the staff in their work and through the many changes that occurred this year. These included the transitioning of Wayne Finegar from the position of Administration Manager to that of Associate General Secretary; the hiring of a new Administrative Assistant for the BYM office; choosing a new director for Opequon camp, and the hiring of a new caretaker for Shiloh Quaker Camp. Supervisory Committee is also supporting Ned as he deals with the vacant OIC position and finding a new Development Director.
In the spring, Supervisory Committee suggested revisions for our charge, clarifying how decisions would be made between Interim Meetings in our Manual of Procedure. These changes were approved by the Yearly Meeting.
Supervisory completed the annual evaluation of Ned recently and interviewed the staff and invited input from the Yearly Meeting as preparation for this. We want to report that the current staff are in strong support of Ned, his work with them, and his overall goals. We agreed that Ned should continue in his position as General Secretary.
Supervisory Committee is pleased that Ned has made more than 20 visits to Meetings under BYM. He has made a strong effort to explain the work of the Yearly Meeting and the role that the BYM staff play to some in Meetings who don’t completely understand the connection between their Meeting and BYM. Supervisory thinks this ongoing work will be helpful to keep our local Monthly Meetings conversant with and connected to BYM as a whole.
Supervisory Committee held a retreat in September at Stony Run to reflect on our work in the past and to consider goals for the coming year. The goals we arrived at were:
- Continuing to support the General Secretary
- Promoting healing from the happenings of the past year
- Completing the review of the documents (Supervisory Committee Manual, Employee Handbook);
- Responding to the diversity needs of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.
There is ongoing discussion and some lack of agreement within BYM as to how to focus and respond to the need for equity, diversity and inclusion, both in the camps and in the Yearly Meeting, in terms of a staff position. Ned has convened the STRIDE working group to assess and plan support for STRIDE and for the overall plan. Supervisory is listening to these issues and providing their thoughts.
The committee is considering how we as a committee can support the issues of diversity and inclusion within the Yearly Meeting. For our own continuing education, we have agreed to read and discuss articles written on this topic. Our current homework is to read “A Descriptive Analysis of the Views of People of Color Regarding Building a Bigger and Better Worship Community” by Clinton Pettus.
With regard to keeping the Supervisory Committee manual up to date, the committee has reviewed the Manual and individuals on the committee have proposed changes to it. We will continue our consideration of these changes until we feel comfortable with a final version.
Supervisory continues to take the staff out to lunch twice per year. This is a good event for everyone and provides an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other better in an informal setting.
2019 Budget and Human Resources Costs
|Employee Contribution to Health Insurance||
Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run) and Ramona Buck (Patapsco), Co-Clerks
2017-2018 Committee Members: Sheila Bach, Peirce Hammond, Josh Riley, Adrian Bishop, Ken Stockbridge (as BYM Presiding Clerk), Tom Hill (as BYM Treasurer), and Marcy Baker Seitel (SC Clerk, and as Clerk of Interim Meeting)
The Supervisory Committee guides and supports the work of the General Secretary of BYM, ensures support and care for all staff members of BYM, attends to policy and financial matters related to the staff, and oversees care of the BYM office building. Supervisory Committee meets monthly and our meetings so far have been in person, though we are open to having members attend by conference call or Zoom.
Our committee has supported Ned Stowe as he worked through the end of his first year as General Secretary and into his second year. Accomplishing the construction of the bathhouse at Catoctin Quaker Camp was a major part of Ned’s work from January to June 2017. He helped implement the “Friendly Loans” program, visited on-site as needed, and actively took part in the continuous problem solving needed to bring this project to completion by the start of the 2017 camping season. It was a great accomplishment; Supervisory Committee was apprised of the events and offered guidance and support.
Another major focus of the Supervisory Committee’s work with Ned was to season the recommendation for new staff positions, made by the ad hoc Healthy Organization and Purposeful Evolution (HOPE) Committee after these positions were approved in principle at March Interim Meeting in 2017. The recommendations included adding the new position of Associate General Secretary, which would replace the current Administrative Manager position, and making the position of the temporary, quarter-time Administrative Assistant into a full-time Administrative Assistant position.
Our committee considered the concerns brought to the HOPE Committee in March, and through the spring and summer considered the best way to add staff to BYM as an organization. We took time to consider different structures for supervising employees of BYM. We noted that the General Secretary has seven people reporting to him, and that it is preferable to have a structure in which more of the supervision is shared. We considered a variety of possible staff structures. Because it is unlikely that BYM will be able to add higher-level administrative staff positions in the near future, we kept the structure that we have, continuing the number of people who report to the General Secretary, but working toward having the new position of the proposed Associate General Secretary, over time, take on the supervision of more employees.
In October, the Interim Meeting gave approval to both of these changes, and compensation for the positions was part of the 2018 budget. The specific compensation information for the 2018 budget is given at the end of this report. The Associate General Secretary began his new position in January 2018. The search for a full-time Administrative Assistant began in January, and is moving forward as of the writing of this report.
The Supervisory Committee gave support to our General Secretary as he worked closely with the Stewardship Committee, the Comptroller, and Camp Property Manager to restructure BYM’s annual budget. This process continued through the year.
At the request of the ad hoc HOPE Committee and Interim Meeting, Supervisory Committee also devised recommendations for how decisions can be made by BYM between Interim Meetings. We have been using a process that has worked well, but it is not fully reflected in the Manual of Procedure. While it seems not to have done so in recent years, our committee will now re-adopt the process of being the committee that makes non-policy decisions on behalf of the Yearly Meeting in between Interim Meetings. We are recommending that language be added that says we will confer with committees that hold a concern for the subject matter at hand, and will make a decision with those committees.
In August, the Clerk of Interim Meeting Clerk became the Clerk of Supervisory Committee, which has often been the practice in our Yearly Meeting. The Clerk of Supervisory Committee meets weekly with our General Secretary to discuss the work and especially pending decisions. At the end of 2017, we began collecting information for Ned’s annual review of his work for BYM. SC Clerk and another member of SC interviewed all the staff members who report to Ned. This allowed our committee both to learn how Ned is perceived as a supervisor, and to hear about staff members’ experience in their work. BYM Committee Clerks and Monthly Meeting Clerks were asked to give feedback about their experience working with Ned. At our February meeting, we affirmed that we would like to have Ned continue his employment with BYM, and we are glad that he plans to do so.
Our committee has much work to do on defining more clearly how staff and committees can work best together, and how the staff of BYM would be best supervised. In working with our SC Manual, the BYM Employee Handbook, and the Manual of Procedure, we have found changes have taken place in the basic understanding of whom a staff person reports to, and who makes decisions about compensation changes. We look forward to clarifying these important practices, and recommending to Interim Meeting and Annual Session changes to our documents that will clarify our practices for our community.
Our committee supports our General Secretary’s desire to have a clearer process for setting goals and realizing the day-to-day mission of BYM. As an organization, we have articulated our overall purpose through our mission statement, but have not yet specified the kinds of goals that help daily decision-making. We will continue to work toward developing ways to talk about long term planning and goal setting.
As a treat for all of us, our committee members enjoy treating the BYM staff to lunch two times a year. We have time to share stories from our lives and enjoy a meal together.
2018 Budget and Human Resources Costs
Salaries $ 633,596
Employee Contribution to health insurance ( 22,853)
Total $ 868,159
Marcy Baker Seitel
Clerk of BYM Supervisory Committee
Clerk of BYM Interim Meeting
The Supervisory Committee guides and supports the work of the General Secretary of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and ensures support for and care of all staff members of the organization. Committee members are Sheila Bach, Mary Campbell, clerk, Peirce Hammond, recording clerk, Clinton Pettus, Marcy Seitel, Ken Stockbridge, and Tom Hill. The Committee has met monthly in person.
Since our last annual report, Supervisory Committee approved the candidate for General Secretary forwarded from the ad hoc search committee. This candidate, Ned Stowe, was presented to and approved by Interim Meeting in June 2016. The Committee arranged opportunities for Ned to meet with staff, committee clerks, and local meeting clerks prior to his final acceptance of the position. He began work in June.
Ned Stowe had only served as General Secretary for four months when Supervisory Committee began its annual evaluation process. The Supervisory Committee noted that Ned was building healthy and helpful interpersonal relationships with Friends and committee members across the Yearly Meeting. He attended Annual Session, had visited all three camps and attended many of the quarterly meetings in his first months. He managed the difficulties that arose when the final bids for the new Catoctin bathhouse were more than twice the working estimates.
A subcommittee met with all staff to discuss their work and that of the General Secretary. The Committee has also taken the staff out to lunch twice in the past year.
At our March meeting, the Supervisory Committee shared personal assessments as well as the information that was received from staff, meeting officers, committee clerks, and local meeting clerks. Supervisory Committee united around continuing to employ Ned Stowe as General Secretary of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.
As outlined in the HOPE Committee report, our current employees can/could devote more of their time to their more complex work if they had more administrative support. Supervisory asks Interim Meeting to approve an average of 11 hours per week of administrative support through the end of 2017. There is already money for this in the budget.
2017 Budget and Human Resources Costs: Office of Baltimore Yearly Meeting human resources costs for 2017 are projected as follows:
Total Human Resources Costs1 747,367
Aggregate Salary2 567,754
Employer Portion of FICA Tax 43,433
Benefits, including health care and contributions to 403(b) 148,397
Employee contributions to health insurance (12,217)
1Includes a full-time, grant-funded position (Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator)
21.2 percent COLA increase and a 1 percent general increase, effective First Month, 2017.
The Supervisory Committee guides and supports the work of the General Secretary of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting and ensures support for and care of all staff members of the organization. One activity in which members of the Supervisory Committee have engaged with all office employees is hosting a lunch twice a year (in May and in November or December). Although the conversations at the lunches have been open to any topic, the Supervisory Committee has seen the lunches as a way of showing appreciation for the work of the employees, establishing a setting to learn more about one another, and providing opportunities to look at ways that employees and members of the Supervisory Committee could work together to advance the Yearly Meeting.
Two major activities in which the Supervisory Committee invested time and energy since the last annual report were defining and helping to implement the search process for a new General Secretary and revising the handbook for all Baltimore Yearly meeting employees. Regarding the search, the Supervisory Committee submitted to Interim Meeting a charge for an ad hoc search committee and a list of Friends to serve on the committee. Both were approved. The employee handbook is in the final stages of being revised and submitted to standing committees of the Yearly Meeting for comments and concerns before a final revision is approved.
Continuation of Interim General Secretary. Since Bob Rhudy was serving as General Secretary on an interim basis, the Supervisory Committee decided to conduct an abridged evaluation of his performance. One part of the regular process that we thought important was to learn from office staff members about their experiences under Bob’s leadership. We were pleased to learn that the staff members’ overall assessment of his performance, like that of our committee, was quite favorable.
During the evaluation process, the Supervisory Committee noted that Bob had formed a support committee for himself, built healthy and helpful interpersonal relationships with Friends across the Yearly Meeting, visited each of the three Yearly Meeting camps early in his tenure, and been appropriately supportive of Yearly Meeting committees. In addition, we received an assessment from Bob of how well he thought the job description, under which he was hired, helped to guide his work and how he felt about his being able to carry out the responsibilities expressed in the description. Having Bob’s assessment helped to shape the job description that was approved at Interim Meeting earlier in the year related to the ongoing General Secretary search process.
At a meeting in February, the Supervisory Committee shared personal assessments, as well as the information that was received from staff members and others, and united around the continuation of employment of Bob Rhudy as Interim General Secretary of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting until a General Secretary was duly appointed.
2016 Budget and Human Resources Costs: Office of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting human resources costs for 2016 are as follows:
|Total Human Resources Costs1||
|Employer Portion of FICA Tax||
|Benefits, including health care and contributions to 403 (b)||
|Employee contributions to health insurance||
1Includes a full-time, grant-funded position (Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator).
20.6 percent COLA increase and a 1 percent general increase, effective First Month, 2016.
The Supervisory Committee guides and supports the work of the General Secretary of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) and ensures support for and care of all staff members of the organization.
Personnel Issues: Upon the recommendation of the Camp Program Committee, the Supervisory Committee reviewed the job description of the Camping Program Manager and upgraded it to better signify the change in the role and responsibilities that had evolved over the years. The new job description resulted in a salary adjustment to align it with the new role and responsibilities.
On receiving Alison Duncan's resignation, the Supervisory Committee appointed a member to serve on the interview committee for a new Youth Programs Manager. Jocelyn Downling was chosen to be the new Youth Programs Manager and will begin work on 1 Eighth month.
In Spring 2015 we received from the Camping Program and Development Committees a draft job description for the new Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator ("OIC"). We revised the OIC job description and secured Interim Meeting approval in June. Supervisory appointed one member to the OIC interview group.
The Supervisory Committee approved the job description for a Bookkeeping Assistant, secured Interim-Meeting approval of the job description, and appointed a member to serve on the interview committee. The interview committee agreed on a candidate and the General Secretary hired Emily Morgan to be the new Bookkeeping Assistant at the beginning of July.
In addition to finalizing particular job descriptions and having a member serve on each interview committee, the Supervisory Committee maintains a Personnel Handbook for the Yearly Meeting, which it has revised throughout the year and continues to update. For example, in 10th Month, 2014, Interim Meeting approved a change in policy to allow grant funds to be used for staff. In response, Supervisory has added the following language to the Personnel Handbook:
Provisions of this handbook apply to all parttime and fulltime employees, regardless of the funding source or position within the Baltimore Yearly Meeting organizational structure, unless specifically stated otherwise in the provisions.
Property Issues: Supervisory Committee is responsible for the maintenance of the Yearly Meeting Office property in Sandy Spring. During the past year, a new heating and air conditioning system was installed at the Office building, we approved the installation of solar panels on the Yearly Meeting office grounds, and we endorsed the installation of new lighting in the Office parking lot for safety. In June we finally approved repairs and some reorganization of the second floor of the Office Building to provide additional space for BYM staff. We anticipate some additional changes to make the second floor more accessible to all Friends.
General Secretary: As in past years, the clerks of Yearly Meeting, Interim Meeting, and Supervisory Committee served as a Review Committee to gather information and conduct a performance evaluation of the General Secretary. The review committee consulted with BYM staff, local-Meeting clerks, and Yearly-Meeting officers and committee clerks. The General Secretary provided a written selfevaluation as well. The purpose of this review is to provide feedback and guidance to the General Secretary on his performance as leader of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting. After considering the report of the Review Committee, Supervisory united on continuing his employment for another year.
In May, Riley Robinson accepted a job with FCNL and announced his resignation as General Secretary. The Supervisory Committee researched the appointment process in 2005-2006, proposed a similar process for identifying a new General Secretary, and secured Interim-Meeting approval for the search process at the June session. It also developed a position description for an Interim General Secretary, and in late June, hired Robert J. "Bob" Rhudy for that position.
2015 Budget and Human Resources Costs: Office of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting human resources costs for 2015 are as follows:
|Total Human Resources Costs||
|Employer Portion of FICA Tax||
|Benefits, including Health Care and Retirement
1 1.3 percent COLA increase and a 1 percent general increase, effective the First Month of 2015.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting – Religious Society of Friends
Supervisory Committee Report
Third Month, 15th Day, 2014
The Supervisory Committee, as a whole, guides and supports the work of the General Secretary of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting and ensures support for and care of all staff members of the organization. In this regard, the clerk of the Supervisory Committee has begun holding a quarterly meeting with all office staff members where they are provided an opportunity to share progress reports of their work, to raise questions and concerns, and to engage in general conversations about how we can work together to advance the Yearly Meeting. Other members of the Supervisory Committee are invited and occasionally attend the quarterly sessions with staff members.
Continuation of General Secretary. The Supervisory Committee interviewed staff members, solicited comments from relevant individuals and committees of the Yearly Meeting, and received a self-evaluation from the General Secretary consistent with the procedures for conducting an annual performance review. Subsequently, the presiding clerk, Elizabeth Meyer, clerk of Interim Meeting, Margaret Meyer, and clerk of the Supervisory Committee, Clinton Pettus, met in February with the General Secretary, Riley Robinson, to share a report reviewing his work for 2013 and establish performance objectives for 2014. The report contained commendations for achievements during the past year as well as areas for continuing improvement. The Supervisory Committee received a report of the review in February and has united around the continuation of employment of the General Secretary for another year.
Priorities for the General Secretary. Priorities for the General Secretary for the current year may be categorized as follows:
Identifying and following through on specifying time for personal leave each quarter;
Helping to identify and implement mechanisms for building a greater sense of trust and community with staff members and across the organization; and
Finding ways to better empower volunteers to do the agreed upon work of the Yearly Meeting.
In addition, we are working with the General Secretary to find more effective ways for him to cause positive outcomes to occur in and for the Yearly Meeting and to spend less time doing them himself.
2014 Budget and Human Resources Costs:
Office of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting human resources costs for 2014 are as follows:
Total human resources costs
Employer portion of FICA tax
Benefits, including health care and contributions to 401(k)
1 1.2 percent COLA increase and a 1 percent general increase, effective First Month, 2014.
Supervisory Committee acts as the Personnel Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. It met nine times this year. Members served on search committees for a new camp caretaker and camp director and performed an exit interview for a retiring camp caretaker. The committee also reviewed the Personnel Manual to ensure that it is up-to-date.
Several staff job titles were changed: The Yearly Meeting now have a Youth Program Manager and a Camp Program Manager. In addition the job description of the Administrative Assistant was upgraded and the position changed from hourly to salaried. The job title also was changed to Administration Manager, and a salary adjustment made.
Supervisory Committee completed a comparison of our staff salaries to those for equivalent positions in the DC metro area, as it had agreed to do each five years. We concluded that the majority of our staff salaries compare favorably to those for similar jobs in area non-profit organizations. The committee informed the Camping Program Committee that salaries for Camp Directors are below what Supervisory believes reasonable. (Camp salaries are set by the Camping Program Committee.) On the advise of legal counsel, Supervisory Committee also directed the Camping Program to perform background checks on adult volunteers at camp.
During 2012 Supervisory Committee wrote and reviewed with relevant committees and staff a document on Staff and Committee Relationships, which is attached.
Supervisory Committee is responsible for long-term maintenance of the Yearly Meeting property in Sandy Spring. During the past year, a 21-inch thick layer of insulation was installed in the office building attic, resulting in noticeable savings in energy consumption. In addition, considerable tree pruning was done. The committee, working with the General Secretary, continues to investigate solar power options for the building.
Presiding Clerk, Elizabeth Meyer and Supervisory Committee Clerk, Margaret Meyer, met with Riley Robinson to review his work for the year. Input for this review was given by committees and individuals, including staff supervised by the General Secretary. The committee is pleased with the breadth and depth of Riley’s knowledge of procedures and his ability to be in touch with the Yearly Meeting's many constituents. The committee has engaged him as General Secretary for another year. It has asked him in the coming year to strengthen his role as staff supervisor and leader.
2013 Budget and Personnel Costs (reflecting a 2% COLA plus a 1% general increase, effective Jan. 1)
|Total staff cost to YM:||$ 589,506|
|Aggregate salary||$ 497,706|
|Employer portion FICA tax||$ 34,241|
|Benefits, including health and retirement||$ 57,559|
As the Committee charged with care and oversight of Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s paid human resources, the Supervisory Committee is providing this guidance to assist committee members and BYM staff members. To work most effectively together, both staff and committee members need a clear understanding of their roles within BYM, including BYM’s structure for employing and supervising staff. Supervisory Committee offers this guidance to help build this understanding.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting carries out its work through volunteers, committees, and some paid staff members. In whatever capacity a Friend works -- whether staff or volunteer, working independently or as part of a committee –the goal is the welfare and progress of the Yearly Meeting rather than accomplishment of any particular task. In all of our work, we seek to serve the Divine.
Employment and Supervision of Staff
The General Secretary, as BYM's chief administrator, has ultimate responsibility for the hiring and supervision of staff. The Supervisory Committee has a hiring policy which outlines the steps involved in hiring staff. Briefly, hiring involves the following:
• A Committee proposes a position, drafts a job description, and makes a compensation proposal.
• Supervisory Committee approves the job description and compensation.
• Interim Meeting approves establishment of the position.
• The General Secretary (or designee) creates the job announcement and selection committee in accord with the hiring policy. The selection committee includes the General Secretary or designee, member(s) of the related program Committee and a member of Supervisory Committee. The direct supervisor for the position will be a member of the selection committee.
• The staff person is hired by the General Secretary, regardless of who directly supervises.
Workload of Staff Members
Staff members typically have responsibilities to BYM as a whole and to several committees, even though their primary work may be assigned to a single committee. The staff members should be knowledgeable and supportive in interpretation of their roles, just as the committees should remain aware of the need to confer with the staff member and each other as appropriate. Some staff members are hired expressly to work primarily with a specific committee. In that case, the relationship between the committee and staff is similar to that between a Board of Directors and its Executive Director. The staff person both serves the committee and provides leadership in carrying out the committee’s work. Other staff may be assigned to provide services generally to many committees. In this case, the staff role may vary with the committee, but everyone needs to remain aware of the workload generated by multiple responsibilities.
Committee and Staff Roles
The role of staff members is different from that of committee members, and the roles should not be seen in hierarchical terms. Each has an important function, and neither can function well without the healthy function of the other. For instance, committees should not develop a dependency on staff to the point where staff directs policy decisions. Nor should new tasks be given to staff members without adequate consideration of staff workload or of how the task should best be handled.
The Yearly Meeting’s Manual of Procedure sets out each committee’s charge. The committee discerns the program (goal, vision of program, changes which need to be made, etc.), as led by the Spirit, in order to serve the Yearly Meeting and, ultimately, the Divine. The committee reviews the program as it is being carried out. The committee evaluates the program and makes long-range plans for the program. The committee writes an annual report for the Yearly Meeting, and presents it to Annual Session (usually as a written advance report). No individual can speak for the committee without the committee’s consent.
Each committee member needs to prepare for committee meetings by reading advance materials, including the agenda and reports prepared for the group. Some of these materials are complicated, needing careful advanced consideration and review. If approved by the committee, these are the product of the committee, not of the initial author.
Committee members are encouraged to undertake roles to support the committee’s work, including preparing meeting agendas and recording minutes of meetings (taking minutes is not a staff function, see discussion below). In addition, members of the committee may work together or with staff to carry out specific tasks or to draft reports for the group. While working as a committee, the members direct the staff person in accord with the group’s deliberations.
Members of the committee may also do volunteer activities within the program, such as serving as Friendly Adult Presences for conferences, cooking at camp, helping with construction of new cabins at camp, or visiting Meetings to talk about the program. While serving as a volunteer, the member may be directed by the committee’s primary staff person or another staff person.
Committee members are encouraged to remember that staff members acquire valuable experience and skills from their unique job responsibilities, and committee members can learn from the staff member’s experiences. In addition, appreciation for the successful accomplishment of staff (or anyone’s!) activities is important.
In Baltimore Yearly Meeting, staff members are hired to accomplish tasks which require more time or specialized skills than is available from volunteers. Staff members should realize that someone else within the Yearly Meeting could also do their jobs; indeed such a person may be a helpful resource to the staff person. Staff members also must be mindful that the General Secretary, in consultation with direct supervisors and committee members, has ultimate supervisory responsibility for the staff.
Staff should expect to accomplish the following, although some of these activities may be accomplished by a committee member, or jointly by staff and committee clerk:
• Create preliminary agendas for committee meetings;
• Propose goals and activities for the program and/or the committee;
• Implement activities, consistent with committee policies, alone or with committee members;
• Prepare a budget and long range plan for the program(s);
• Write interim reports on the program for the committee; and
• Ensure that the committee prepares reports for the Yearly Meeting.
These tasks, normally assumed by staff, are intended to support the committee and the program which it oversees. The staff and committee member should remember that these activities are to support the committee, and may be revised or jettisoned by the committee in the course of its discernment. Both committee members and staff are encouraged to listen sensitively, deliberate carefully and to appreciate the work that goes into all contributions. Ultimately, all committee work seeks to be Spirit-led, serving the Divine.
Generally, it is not the responsibility of staff to take committee minutes. Having committee members serve as recorders can strengthen committee members’ general institutional wisdom and, if all goes well, help develop new clerks. In addition, staff objectivity in taking minutes can easily be questioned. However, prompt completion of minutes is required for both staff and committee members to continue to work well in their required activities.
The staff member is expected to have or obtain technical knowledge related to the area of work, and to share that as appropriate with the committee. Leadership is expected from staff members. If the staff believes the committee could be working more effectively, the staff member should talk to the clerks, talk to his or her supervisor, or propose a plan for corrective action. Staff need not wait for a committee to evaluate itself, but may challenge the group. Even within an area of expertise or knowledge, the staff member must abide by the committee's decision about implementation. The committee also has a responsibility for leadership and needs to look at its own role if the committee's relationship with staff becomes difficult.
If a staff member believes the committee has made a decision in error, s/he can talk to her/his supervisor. If s/he believes there are irreconcilable differences with the committee, the individual may, in time, have to seek clearness about the best use of her/his skills and leadings in Baltimore Yearly Meeting, or elsewhere. Likewise, a committee may be led to consider whether the staff member is serving it well. This situation should be discussed carefully with the General Secretary, with suggestions for improvement. The General Secretary is responsible for decisions about employment and termination of staff.
Although staff and committee members in Friends’ organizations are likely to share a spiritual bond, it is essential for all to respect the professional supervisor-supervisee relationship. This mutual respect supports quality work.
While transparency is desirable in Quaker process, Friends should ask themselves and each other what is actually valuable to share and how to share it constructively, both within the group and outside of it. Committee and program information is held in trust by staff and committee members as a tool for carrying out the program, not for any other uses.
Third Month 17th, 2012
Supervisory Committee acts as the Personnel Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. During this year, there have been changes in the staffing patterns for camp property managers, and camp directors. In addition, the Committee oversees provision of benefits for our employees. The Clerk of the Committee serves as consultant and support person for the General Secretary. The Committee meets about eight times each year.
Continuance of General Secretary: Presiding Clerk, Elizabeth Meyer, and Supervisory Committee Clerk, Margaret Meyer, met with Riley Robinson in December to review his work for the year. Prior to that meeting, the Committee solicited feedback from staff, Committees of the Yearly Meeting, and Clerks of Monthly Meetings. Supervisory Committee also contributed insight. Friends are quite pleased with Riley’s work on our behalf and congratulated him. Supervisory Committee heard the report of this review in January and has continued the employment of our General Secretary for another year.
Priorities for the General Secretary: The General Secretary continues to be responsible for work on the financial and legal matters of the Yearly Meeting. These involve several committees and initiatives for revised activities. In addition, he is responsible, with Supervisory Committee, for maintenance of the Yearly Meeting property in Sandy Spring. We have asked him to spend additional time with the Camping Program this year. He continues to represent us to other Quaker organizations, and to help us envision our own future. In addition, he works closely with other Yearly Meeting staff to ensure that they work effectively and continue to grow in their activities. The General Secretary also tries to visit Monthly and Quarterly Meetings on a rotating basis. There is more in this list than one person can accomplish, so we ask for each and every member of the Yearly Meeting to consider how he or she can also contribute.
2012 Budget and Personnel Costs: During 2012, staff costs to Yearly Meeting are anticipated at:
Total staff cost to YM: $577,117
Aggregate salary $424,193
Employer portion FICA tax $32,448
Benefits, including Health care and contribution to 401(K) $120,476
The Committee is working on materials to help staff and committees work together well. In addition, a new sabbatical policy is being written. Riley Robinson will be eligible for sabbatical in 2013. The Committee expects to revise the arrangement of administrative assistance activities in the main office, possibly employing another part-time individual.