This is the fifth post in a series intended to help you draft or improve your student media staff’s publications manual. Posts in this series will run on Wednesdays throughout the summer. The posts’ titles will start with “Pub Manual 101″ and include the Pub Manual 101 logo.
Working for student media is a full-time campus job at our university. This means there is a lot of information about being hired and paid that must be included in our publications manual.
The amount of information necessary and the frequency with which students need it resulted in me making employment information a separate section in the publication manual, instead of just including this information with other policies.
The organizational structure chart is meant help staffers understand to whom they report in the newsroom. This is our staff hierarchy chart.
Hiring and payroll policies
The hiring and payroll policies are what a student must do to become a member of our staff.
These policies include our requirement that each student have three items approved for publication on a volunteer basis before he/she may be added to the payroll. This allows the editors to determine if the student can and is willing to do the work, since we accept staffers from across campus majors.
The policies also include the steps a student must take to be employed by the university and the official policies related to that employment.
These are our employment details.
Job descriptions help students know exactly what is expected of them and how to be successful in their jobs. Here is a full post that includes our job descriptions and information about them.
Student disciplinary policy
We rarely have staff disciplinary issues, but we must have a formal way of addressing them when they occur. We use a “three strikes” policy. Because this is such an important area, I also will share our policy and more details about it in a coming post.
Students resign for a variety of reasons. Some of them come back to work for us later in their academic careers.
Our resignation policy requires that each student put their resignation in writing. If they fail to do so, they can not be considered for rehire.
Some students may not be eligible for rehire anyway (due to performance issues or fit) or may not desire to be rehired in the future. However, most students write thoughtful, professional resignation letters, which I keep in their file in my office for future reference.
This is our resignation policy.
The employment section of your publication manual may seem formal and cumbersome to write, but it is important in helping your student staff feel secure about their job role and your expectations. I encourage you to put at least the items above in your employment section, customizing it to fit your publication’s needs.
Let’s Talk Nerdy!
Is there something in your publication manual’s employee section not listed here? If so, what? Please feel free to share below!