Q and A

Q&A with OCTSA President Allyson Holliday

An employee of UA Libraries for over 20 years, Allyson Holliday catalogs published materials and provides reference services for the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary community studies through UA’s New College LifeTrack program.

As the newly elected president of the Office, Clerical and Technical Staff Assembly, Holliday is excited to start a new year.

What were some of OCTSA’s highlights this past year? 

This past year was a “try to get back to normal” year due to COVID-19. All of our meetings were on Zoom, and it was an adjustment! However, we discovered that it was easier for representatives to attend meetings from their offices rather than gather in person. Therefore, we will continue to hold OCTSA meetings on Zoom.

A highlight definitely included the implementation of the Paid Parental Leave Policy, which was a collaboration between the Faculty Senate, Professional Staff Assembly and OCTSA. This policy will help in the recruitment of new employees as well as improve the retention of current employees. It is a welcome addition to UA employee benefits that will help foster work-family-life balance.

In May 2022, OCTSA presented the Outstanding Staff Awards to Cindy Kirkley, office associate senior in the Department of Civil, Construction, & Environmental Engineering, and Sarah Sides, administrative specialist in the Department of English. Congratulations to them!

What are some of OCTSA’s goals and major projects for the 2022-2023 academic year?

OCTSA will continue to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, resources for evaluating policy proposals and opportunities for professional development and engagement among its members and constituents. OCTSA formed a new diversity, equity and inclusion committee last year and we look forward to engagement with various groups across campus.

Our representatives will also work closely with members of the Faculty Senate, PSA and Student Government Association to engage in projects and policy recommendations aimed at addressing employee concerns and improving campus life at The University of Alabama. Items related to salaries, professional development and career advancement opportunities, parking and new outreach activities are all currently being discussed.

We are also excited to announce the creation of the OCTSA Endowed Scholarship. This will be used to provide scholarship awards for UA students with expenses related to tuition, books, fees, etc. The scholarships will be awarded based on the following criteria: Priority of consideration will be given to students who are non-exempt employees at the University or full-time students that are children and/or dependents of non-exempt employees at the University.

How can more employees get involved with OCTSA?

We are currently accepting new representatives! If someone is interested in joining OCTSA, they can contact us by sending an email to octstaff@ua.edu or contacting any officer. All full-time OCT staff who have been employed by UA for at least 6 months are eligible to serve on the assembly.

What was the biggest lesson OCTSA learned from the past year that will continue to make an impact on the assembly?

Communication is key — especially when monthly assembly meetings are held via Zoom. Social media, newsletters and keeping our website up to date with information on what the assembly is currently working on will help to keep OCT staff on campus updated. For more information and announcements visit the OCTSA website or one of our social media pages on Facebook or Twitter.


Jennifer Brady, UA Strategic Communications, jennifer.brady@ua.edu