October 25, 2016 Executive Committee minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Bryan Andregg, Sharon Brinson, Phillip Edwards, David Fraley, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, Kathy James, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Charles Streeter

Excused Absences:  Jim Fuller, Deborah Norton

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.  He noted the recent Employee Appreciation Day and the Forum’s Food for All Campus Food Drive.  Katie Musgrove reported that the food drive had been very successful, with 18 full donation bins full of food.  Carolyn Suitt was drawn as the winner of the two UNC football tickets.

Katie Musgrove moved that the committee approve the September minutes.  Kelli Raker seconded this motion, which was approved by acclamation.

Shayna Hill and Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report.  Hill had e-mailed Gena Carter with questions about obtaining direct access to the Forum’s accounts, as well as establishing a special program code for Forum purchases.  There was also a question about whether the Forum could support the Chair’s all-gate parking permit costs.

The Chair asked committee members to attend a UNC General Administration strategic planning meeting at the Friday Center on November 10th.  He also noted that UNC-Chapel Hill will hold two sessions of its own on November 3rd and 9th.  The committee discussed different ways to find ways to promote and retain staff as part of the UNC System’s strategic goals.  Hill said that the increase in class sizes impacts supporting staff, which in turn requires appropriates to bolster these areas.  She also advocated formal recognition for employees working full-time and obtaining a degree.  Katie Musgrove asked about funds to allow a person to train their replacement.  Current hiring process rules means a job cannot be posted until it is vacated.  The Chair said that this rule protects employees who decide not to leave their positions.

Shayna Hill said that the University manages to find money for interim faculty, but not for interim staff.  She said that these funds should support boots on the ground.  Hill said that any implementation of changes such as those included in the former HB 575 would lead to a culture that would push employees out after a certain number of years.  She said that the current rules protect state employees from being pushed out during leadership changes.  The Chair asked if the committee would be willing to discuss such changes to gain traction for possible salary increases.  He noted that the Forum had opposed HB 575 in its previous form.  Hill said that State employees have prided themselves on longevity with the University.  Ricky Roach recalled that employees have been fired for crossing the wrong person, even under the current system.

The Chair said he would seek to make points on retention, recruitment, and promotion at the UNC System event.  He asked what else should be included in this question.  Shayna Hill said that the attendance policy for housekeepers deserves some examination.  Phillip Edwards said that parental and elder care leave needs attention.  Kelli Raker said that policies regarding lunches and breaks is determined by manager without consistency.  Raker also noted the work on the staff portion of the policy on prohibited harassment and sexual assault has not yet been completed despite two and a half years work.  Ricky Roach decried the amount of time necessary to fill vacant positions compared with the private sector.  He noted that benefits such as health insurance do not compare favorably with private work also.

David Fraley noted the new attendance policy in Housekeeping that requires a counseling session when a housekeeper misses twelve days in a three-month period.  These days can include vacation or sick leave, even when approved by a supervisor.  He said that an employee could be sick three days after a ten day vacation, a situation which could lead him to being written up.  Shayna Hill said that individual departments make their own policies in these areas.  Bryan Andregg said that the Forum could consult with Linc Butler to obtain background on this question.  The Chair said that UNC System officers Matt Brody and Chris Chiron were studying this policy but have not reported back to the UNC System Staff Assembly.

Shayna Hill noted that unscheduled absences disrupt the departmental work flow.  Still, she thought the policy could be rewritten.  The Chair said that he would reach out to Linc Butler.  He also noted that the University will soon hire a new Housekeeping Director.

The Chair said that the University will consider the next five-year transit plan.  He said that current scenarios will add $150-250/year to the cost of employee parking permits at the end of five years if night parking is not implemented.  He noted that the night parking idea had not been disbanded in previous discussions.  He recalled that the Forum had sent out a survey on night parking to staff when this subject arose previously.  Katie Musgrove recalled hearing from a prospective employee who refused work with the University due to the cost of parking.  Lori Haight suggested that the Forum obtain information from other UNC System institutions about their policies on night parking.  The Chair said that the University must find these funds from somewhere.

Ricky Roach said that 10% of parking fees goes to pay for the Chapel Hill Transit bus system.  The Chair added that departments pay for the transit system through transit fees.  He noted the number of break-ins at University-run lots and wondered what his fees go to support.  The Chair noted that the University must pay its debt on various parking decks.  Matt Banks noted that the student fees that support the Chapel Hill Transit system specify that the system must remain free if support remains at its current level.  Also, he recalled that the University is working to find ways to reduce the amount of pollution generated as a result of building construction.

The Chair proposed inviting Cheryl Stout of University Transportation to present at the Forum’s November meeting ahead of the Advisory Committee on Transportation’s November 9th meeting.

The Chair noted that the Membership & Assignments committee will handle planning of the 25th anniversary event for the Forum in 2017.  He asked for ideas and volunteers, particularly about holding the event in the fall or spring of 2017.  Lori Haight thought it would be difficult to put the event together for the springtime.  The Chair hoped that the University would commission a week of celebration in honor of the Forum, including speakers and other events.  He noted various conflicts that would arise if the Forum were to hold its event in October of 2017, among them University Day and the Employee Appreciation Day.

Kelli Raker suggested focusing on the self-governance piece of the Forum’s charge as a theme for the event.  She noted that the Forum is doing great things on behalf of the University.  She thought that spring break would not be a good time for these activities.  Shayna Hill suggested “come to the table” as a theme for the event.

The Chair asked the committee about goals it would set for the Forum’s next 25 years.  He recalled sentiment in favor of increasing visibility, community service, and involvement.  Katie Musgrove suggested increasing staff retention and recruitment.  Ricky Roach suggested increasing accountability of University decision-makers.  Kelli Raker suggested strengthening bonds of trust.

The Chair noted a concern about Federal Express workers eating at the Employee Appreciation Fair last Friday.  He thought that the Fair was not meant to feed the general community.  Kathy James recalled that the University used to require OneCards for service at the Fair.

Natiaya Neal noted that the Recognition & Awards committee is still on sabbatical.  Shayna Hill said that the School of Dentistry was seeking gifts for its staff appreciation event.  The Chair said that the Forum could donate t-shirts from its supply.

Kathy James said that the Membership & Assignments committee will work to find sponsors for the May 17, 2017 Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament in Sanford.  She said that the Forum will need to staff UNC-Chapel Hill’s assigned hole throughout the day.  The Chair spoke about the various benefits that accrue to participants, including free meals and Nike golf cash.  He said that the event goes to benefit the Janet B. Royster scholarship.

James also noted that the committee will handle the December social.  The committee needs door prizes for the event as well as other prizes.  She would produce a letter to request help with the social.

There was no report from the Blood Drive committee regarding the December 13 winter drive.

There was no report from the Carolina Campus Community Garden advisory committee.

Kelli Raker said that the book club will work to extend its schedule past December.  The committee had sponsored a Twitter basics class which was attended by fourteen people.  Matt Banks will process the honorarium for Professor Andy Bechtel who led the class.  Lori Haight said that the scavenger hunt had been successful.  She said that prizes from the scavenger hunt will go out soon.  She was amazed at the time the Twitter part of the hunt demanded.  Haight also commented that fifty-five door prizes for the December social was a lot.  The Chair said that the Forum could purchase poinsettias and other items to supplement the list.  Haight noted tax implications for gift cards exceeding $100.

Katie Musgrove said that Community Service committee will help to tweet the winner of football tickets.  The committee will meet after hearing from the Habitat for Humanity speaker at the Forum’s November 2nd meeting.

Bryan Andregg said that Jim Fuller had raised an issue regarding the return of University purchased safety shoes if an employee leaves employment within three months after receiving the shoes.  Facilities Services and Energy Services have different policies regarding this situation.

Andregg also said that the Personnel Issues committee is working to ask Human Resources for staff support for a University wellness program.  Phillip Edwards noted initial plans to create a resolution for those employees beginning or completing a degree.  He hoped that the University could find ways to support these employees, perhaps through finding discounts on test preparation.

The Chair noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly had met recently at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.  He hoped that the University could collaborate with the Forum to share data on employee preferences.  Kelli Raker suggested perhaps asking Human Resources to present on the climate survey data that was collected earlier this year.  Ricky Roach noted a general lack of trust that any responses would remain anonymous.

Bryan Andregg said that Fran Dykstra’s two-step verification effort had approximately 1,500 of 30,000 faculty, staff, and students sign up for the program.  Most will not need to sign up until January, 2017 when W-2s become available.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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