Agenda — April 2, 1997

9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library

I. Call to Order

 

II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press

 

III. Opening Remarks

* Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd

 

IV. Special Presentation

* Don Gold—Director, Public Safety

 

V. Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger

* Margaret Swezey, Legislative Action Chair for SEANC 25, on April 21 Rally

 

VI. Approval of Minutes of the March 5, 1997 meeting

 

VII. Unfinished Business

* Call for Volunteers to Serve on Forum Elections/Guidelines Revisions Committee (from Executive Committee)

* Discussion: Material for Forum University Gazette Insert

 

VIII. New Business

* Need for Joint Staff Council Task Force Volunteers

 

IX. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Bob Schreiner

* Joint Staff Council Meeting March 12 with Representatives from North Carolina Central, Appalachian State, NC State, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Pembroke

* Executive Committee Commitment to Further Meetings with Division 2 Employees, Representatives

* University Council Meeting March 25

* Change in Forum Stationery, Listserv Address

* Faculty-Staff Fee Increase for Gym Privileges from $6/month to $8/month

* Highlights Page Sent Via “Hot Memo” to Employees, Deans, Directors & Department Heads

* Durham Bulls Game with Faculty Council, Others May 10

* Pam Bailey to Present in May

* Forum Guidelines Revisions

 

X. Committee/Task Force Reports: Goals for the Year

* Nominating—Libby Evans

* Orientation—Joyce Dalgleish/Delores Jarrell

* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn

=> Exempt Employees Work Schedule (Comp Time) Discussions

* Compensation and Benefits—Tommy Brickhouse

* Public Affairs—Ruth Lewter/Anne Montgomery

* Recognition and Awards— Laura Grady/Nancy Klatt

=> Proposal for Retiree Recognition Program

=> Staff Processional at University Day

* University Committee Assignments—Anne Montgomery/Tommy Nixon

=> Appointments to New Careers Board, Chancellor’s Award Committee

=> Nominees for Women’s Issues Advisory Board, Child Care Advisory Liaison

* Career Development—Norm Loewenthal

* Employee Presentations—Janet Tysinger

=> Spring Community Meeting Arrangements: June 11, 121 Hanes Hall 9-10:30 a.m.

=> Further Employee Presentations on Horizon?

* Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force

=> Members: Nancy Atwater, Lucille Brooks, Betty Geer, Tommy Nixon, Janet Tysinger

=> Convenor Appointed?

* Faculty Council Liaisons

* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn

* Legislative Affairs—Tom Sullivan

* Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee Representative—Janet Tysinger

* Outsourcing Team Representatives—Bennie Griffin/Ann Hamner

 

XI. Human Resources Update

* Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor, Human Resources

 

XII. Announcements/Questions

 

XIII. Adjournment

MINUTES

April 2, 1997

Delegates Present

Milton Anthony

Nancy Atwater

Tommy Brickhouse

Lucille Brooks

Eddie Capel

Joyce Dalgleish

Libby Evans

Betty Geer

Laura Grady

Bennie Griffin

Tommy Gunter

Jerry Hall

Phil Hearne

Thomas Holmes

Delores Jarrell

Bettye Jones

Steve Jones

Nancy Klatt

Ruth Lewter

Norm Loewenthal

Tricia Mitchell

Anne Montgomery

Tommy Nixon

Rosa Nolen

Jackie Overton

Archie Phillips, Jr.

Frances Rountree

Diana Saxon

Peter Schledorn

Bob Schreiner

George Sharp

Jamie Spruiell

Stephanie Stadler

Cheryl Stout

Reba Sullivan

Janet Tysinger

Ronald Umstead

Beverly Williams

Mary Woodall

Ann Hamner “

 

Delegates Absent

Jeffery Beam

Joseph Ellison

Thomas Goodwin

Nancy Tannenbaum

Chien-Hsin Wagner

Dail White

Laurie Charest”

” = Ex-Officio

 

Alternates Present

Connie Dean

David Langham

Sandy Mine

 

Guests

Ann Dodd

Elson Floyd

Rita Fraules

Priscilla Fulcher

Don Gold

Mike Hobbs

Michael Klein

Mitch Kokai

Nora Robbins

Margaret Swezey

Kay Wijnberg

Call to Order and Welcome to Guests

Chair Bob Schreiner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m., asking members to sign in and to examine the routing file as it was passed around the room. He welcomed Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd to give the meeting’s opening remarks.

 

Opening Remarks

Floyd had three items to address specifically, then he would open the floor for questions from the assembly. These items were the housekeepers’ agreement, the University’s In-Range Salary Adjustment policy, and parking and transportation issues.

Regarding the housekeepers’ agreement, Floyd stated that it was essential for the Administration to continue to implement agreed provisions. On April 18, at 10 a.m. in the Carolina Inn there will be a signing ceremony to commemorate the settlement. (Though the settlement was reached two months before, it had been difficult for all concerned to find a mutually agreeable time to attend a formal ceremony.) Floyd invited members of the Forum and other interested Employees to attend the signing ceremony.

Floyd would provide the Forum Office a summary of Administration work to date to fulfill the agreement provisions. He felt it was crucial to remain on track in implementing these provisions. This summary will be updated periodically, and the Administration will continue to meet with the housekeepers’ group in an effort to address its concerns. Floyd emphasized that the Administration is committed to fulfilling the terms of the agreement.

Regarding In-Range salary adjustments, Floyd noted the University’s current policy was approaching its first anniversary. He noted Employees’ concern about departments’ comparative ability to fund adjustments without reliance on a central pool of dollars or specially designated legislative increases. “As many of you know, I was concerned about the extent to which we would be able to apply those adjustments because we were without a central pool of dollars.” Floyd said the University needs legislative increases to support the in-range adjustments.

Floyd has asked Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to provide a summary of the number of Employees receiving these adjustments and the percentage of increases across departments. This information will allow the Administration to evaluate the implementation and fairness of the In-Range Salary Adjustment policy. Upon receiving this summary, Floyd will brief the Forum’s Executive Committee, then address the Forum as a whole on the issue. The Administration will continue to make adjustments to the policy as needed.

Floyd noted that a number of Employees decided to protest the 3% parking fee increase. While he felt the protest was in some ways regrettable, it also accentuated the University’s continuing parking crisis, a crisis that the Administration certainly acknowledges.

The Administration has been purposefully very deliberate in approving parking fee increases, in order to keep user permit costs at the lowest level possible. Floyd observed that this year’s 3% increase received a fairly thorough airing before the Forum, the Faculty Council, the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee and a number of students.

Floyd has asked Director of Public Safety Don Gold to commission a task force to examine long-term University parking and transportation issues comprehensively. The University needs to develop a thorough, long-term plan to address these very broad and complex concerns. He hoped that this Task Force could construct very specific recommendations and illustrate clearly the reasons for any potential fee increases necessary to fund these recommendations.

Floyd noted that while fee increases are never popular, they seem to be much more palatable when planned and expected over the long term. It is better from a financial and psychological standpoint to expect, perhaps, a set increase every other year versus facing a notice of possible fee increases each spring. A set schedule of increases also aids Public Safety and other departments in their budgetary planning.

Floyd said that Employees should expect future parking increases of some magnitude, if for no other reason that the University must provide funds for necessary salary increases among parking Employees. He recalled that parking is a self-sustaining operation and Employees in this department receive salary increases equal to other State Employees. However, salary increases for Parking Employees are not supported by the Legislature and must come from generated revenues. This need for self-sustained funding is the most pragmatic reason for parking fee increases.

Floyd offered to answer questions from the assembly on any topic. Tommy Brickhouse was glad that the Administration had begun to evaluate the In-Range Salary Adjustment policy, as the Forum’s Compensation and Benefits Committee had already begun to schedule meetings with Laurie Charest on this topic. He looked forward to examining the eventual report on the policy.

Peter Schledorn noted a concern among some Employees about whether such fees should be charged at all. These Employees reason that since transportation, parking and security services on State facilities are generally State-supported, these campus functions should not subsist on fees collected from University Employees. Schledorn noted that distrust has built up among some Employees who feel past administrations have been unwilling to lobby for parking deck funding with the Legislature in the same fashion as other “brick and mortar” projects. He advised that the University promote transportation and parking projects as a part of the capital budget used for basic campus facilities and buildings. He noted that most other State institutions not facing an urban land crunch have a similar means of supplying Employee parking. Schledorn asked if the Administration take steps in this direction.

Floyd replied that if the University were to undertake this step it would require the active involvement of all sixteen System campuses. He recalled that historically University parking has been a self-sustaining activity. Floyd said the Administration would include Schledorn’s proposal on its list for discussion. He concluded by thanking the Forum for all it has done for the people who work for the University. The Chair thanked Floyd for his remarks.

 

Special Presentation

The Chair was pleased that Don Gold, Director of Public Safety, had returned to the Forum to make a special presentation on parking and transportation issues.

Gold noted there were a great number of issues he could address, but he wished generally to continue an inclusive dialogue with the Forum about parking and transportation issues. He emphasized that the University parking situation is undergoing a period of change. He asked how many in the assembly recalled the parking and security situation on campus fifteen years ago, and was proud to note the University’s progress in this short time.

Gold encouraged the Forum to think of transportation, parking and public safety issues in a similar context of rapid change. Public Safety is a changing organization, Gold said, and is committed to Chancellor Hooker’s advocacy of campus-wide, positive institutional change. He felt that Public Safety must re-examine its operations to remain an effective public institution.

In November 1996 Public Safety underwent a radical change, merging with the Department of Transportation and Parking. This merger was carried out to take advantage of talents within the two organizations. Often in the past, departmental surveys revealed a rampant confusion about the services that the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation and Parking provided. For example, users saw little difference between a police officer and a parking control officer. Gold imagined that some may have thought the two departments were merged from the beginning.

By their separation, these two distinct organizations were not positioned to take advantage of some logical synergies. A desire to benefit from these positive associations was the main reason behind the merger, Gold said. What has resulted is a much more efficient organization able to benefit from internal coordination, enabling the Department of Public Safety to accomplish more with a shrinking budget. Gold noted that almost every campus department’s budget has been shrinking, rather than growing; the current challenge to University managers is to become more cost effective while maintaining appropriate levels of service.

A great deal of this burden falls upon department Employees to work harder. Yet, an integral part of this equation is an increased reliance on customer input to better target scarce resources. Public Safety has proposed further customer surveys and the creation of another task force to examine long-term University parking and transportation issues. Gold acknowledged a general irritation with the common reliance on task forces to resolve thorny institutional problems. However, he did not think that the University faced the urgency or complexity of problems in this area that it faced 10 years ago.

Gold recalled that most previous parking studies have identified several central issues for the University to address. He did not imagine these issues would necessarily change, but asserted that the University faces a crisis point regarding transportation, parking and public safety issues. Campus facilities are expanding at a great rate, leading the campus to a point of critical mass.

Gold asked the Forum what could be done to meet this challenge? Gold suggested that the University re-examine the system already in place. The task force will not simply examine one issue, but will develop a long-range plan incorporating the strengths and weaknesses of the entire system. The task force will integrate concerns and knowledge regarding permit prices, mass transit, parking decks and every other issues into a holistic treatment, and probable revision, of the University parking and transportation system.

Gold thus will soon request additional representation on the task force from the Forum, the Faculty Council, Student Government, making it a rather large group. Those who serve must be dedicated, able to understand relevant problems, willing to listen to campus history, and willing to solicit the University community for additional input.

Gold thanked Margaret Swezey for her recent action organizing an Employee protest against the proposed parking fee increase before a meeting of the Board of Trustees. He did not view that group’s actions as adversarial, but rather as additional input to the breadth of information the task force must consider, along with e-mail responses and other statements from the University community.

The University must resolve these concerns, and this task force must not be a “whitewash” of current issues. Gold reiterated Floyd’s statement that the University needs a long-range plan to address its future and immediate needs.

Gold asked that the Forum consider its process for selecting Employees to serve on the task force. He asked only that appointees enter with an open mind, and realize that any recommendation must account for its impact on the system already in place, and the system the University ultimate wants to create. He imagined the task force’s work would be as much about creation as change, and emphasized that Public Safety wanted the task force to succeed. The department did not want to perpetuate the University’s ever-continuing problems. To this end, Public Safety will commit departmental staff to aid the task force in evaluating data and constructing recommendations.

Public Safety will examine strategies to solicit user information and opinion. The department has held a series of focus groups, sending out 250 invitations and making another 100 phone calls. Gold was impressed by the information obtained through these sessions; respondents provided critical data about what is most convenient for people.

Based on this information and other data, the department has developed a survey to soon be distributed to a random sample of the more than 6,000 campus faculty and staff. Gold thanked Jackie Overton for administering this survey.

In general, Gold felt that in order to be successful, organizations must listen to the people they serve. Indeed, users dictate to some degree what services organizations provide. Gold will thus rely on the sentiment of the University community as to what it wants from the task force and his department. While not guaranteeing that each individual’s concern will be satisfied, he promised Public Safety would work to address the vast majority needs in priority order.

He offered to field any questions from the assembly. Libby Evans asked if Gold envisioned the task force will consider, in addition to mass transit and cars, alternative methods of transport such as bicycling and walking. Gold emphasized that the group will contain broad representation and hold a mandate to examine all kinds of issues, including mass transit, light rail, and alternative forms of transport. Further, Employees will have an opportunity to raise any of these issues with the task force. He hoped that the departmental surveys would help clarify what Employees feel the bigger issues are. Issues raised by the survey will be evaluated along with those raised through additional community input. Gold did not envision any restrictions placed on the task force’s field of study.

Stephanie Stadler noted a recent article in the News & Observer regarding campus pedestrian traffic, crosswalks, and Public Safety’s new policy of issuing citations and certificates to enforce the jaywalking law. Gold replied that there had been much interest in doing something to increase pedestrian safety. Most community members seem to know the rule that pedestrians should cross at a crosswalk. Drivers should know that they must yield to pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk. All parties share a responsibility to obey the law, but the emphasis should fall on motorists as their errors are more likely to result in serious injury or death. Gold felt it extraordinarily fortunate that more campus pedestrians have not been injured or killed due to car/pedestrian accidents. As a result, Public Safety has proposed a warning campaign aimed at increasing enforcement at critical points, such as on Manning Drive near the Craig deck, the South Road crosswalks near the Bell Tower and the Student Recreation Center. The department will begin by politely warning the community of the new policy with fliers detailing common responsibilities. After around a week, the department will begin to enforce the applicable laws, particularly citing drivers failing to yield to pedestrians. He did not know how successful this enforcement program would ultimately be, but felt it important to make the effort. Also, the department will recognize those who observe the law, probably through letters of appreciation.

Tommy Brickhouse had phoned Public Safety to request clarification of the cross-walk law, as University Mail vans make great use of campus roads. He recalled the department’s response that a person must actually be entering a crosswalk for the law to require a driver to stop. If a pedestrian is simply standing on the curb, the driver is under no obligation to stop, aside from stop signs and other laws. Brickhouse commented he did not know this was the law until he had checked with Public Safety.

Gold remarked that often pedestrians will find themselves stranded in a crosswalk in the center of an intersection. Traffic travels past on Manning Drive and South Road at 35-45 miles per hour, creating a frightening situation. Cameron Avenue is not the same as the volume of traffic slows motorists’ speeds to a crawl, for the most part. Gold emphasized that pedestrians do have the right of way in crosswalks, entering crosswalks, or even entering in the middle of the road. Motorists have a responsibility to make sure their actions are safe, notwithstanding particular points of law.

Libby Evans hoped that Public Safety will include bicyclists in its crosswalks campaign, as she had several times seen cyclists nearly strike pedestrians in crosswalks. Gold said the department would not hesitate to enforce the law with bicyclists, if officers could catch them. Gold recalled the case of a student who had ignored the law and been caught after some effort, resulting in the student receiving censure in open court.

George Sharp asked what the law is regarding bicyclists riding on the sidewalks. Gold replied that the University ordinance permits cyclists to ride on the sidewalk as long as they do not interfere with the ability of pedestrians to travel safely. Town of Chapel Hill ordinances are phrased differently, particularly in certain areas of town that prohibit bicycles on sidewalks. Yet, there is a general impulse to encourage the use of bicycles, as long as cyclists observe rules of safety. Public Safety has chosen not to take an adversarial stance when bicyclists use the sidewalks. However, the department would prefer bicyclists to use the bike paths and roadways, observing applicable rules of the road.

Sharp asked how Employees and other individuals could contact Public Safety to express their concerns and ideas. Gold replied that individuals could call the department at 2-3951 or access its web page, at http://www.adp.unc.edu/psafety/. Gold will try to respond quickly to inquiries on any issue.

Nancy Atwater asked if citizens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro will have an opportunity to participate on the incipient task force. Gold replied that there would be opportunities in the task force’s work to gain input from the towns. At this point, however, he thought that the task force’s concerns need to be consistent with University needs, interests and information. However, concerning University transit issues, certainly the towns would hold a more vested interest, and need to be consulted. The main decision, Gold thought, would be whether to extend permanent membership on the task force or simply to consult with the towns at appropriate moments. Gold did not know if there were room to expand the task force beyond twenty members or so. However, he would leave this question and others to the task force itself. Public Safety will hire a consultant to begin laying the groundwork for this project this spring in its plans to provide professional support to the task force to insure its success.

The Chair asked when this task force would be constituted, and how often it would meet. Gold replied that Public Safety was in the process of identifying and hiring a transportation consultant to begin evaluation and research based on underlying problems. At the same time, the department will work with University governance bodies to name representatives to the task force by May or June. The bulk of the task force’s work will begin in the new school year, around August, in order to incorporate necessary student input. He anticipated this work would carry through until January or February with a target date to construct ordinance revisions in time for the March 1998 Board of Trustees meeting. Gold conceded that this is a very tight timeline.

Gold felt more comfortable allowing the task force itself decide how much work it will take on and complete. Activity may be as much or as little as the group decides, depending on the level of work the group is willing to do. Gold did not want to drag out the process any more than possible.

Ronald Umstead asked Gold to clarify the “right on red” law. Gold noted that unless prohibited by a sign, one could indeed turn right on red when safe. However, this is an option, not a requirement. Evans confirmed that vehicles must come to a complete stop. Gold replied that this was the law, and reported that some accidents result from drivers looking left, anticipating their turn, but unfortunately not seeing pedestrians crossing from their right.

Janet Tysinger asked if there were any updates on the public transit situation with Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Gold replied that there had been no movement in negotiations to this point.

Nancy Atwater, noting the recent difficulties with the Town of Carrboro, felt it advisable for the University to work with the Town on other transportation issues, including appointments on the upcoming task force. Gold was not certain that the towns would indeed be excluded from membership on the task force, but said the task force itself must consider the issues to be examined, then decide whether town appointments should be permanent or solely related to specific transit issues. Transit, he reiterated, is only a piece of the overall picture, along with parking, permit allocation, fee structures and other, more internal issues. Quite a bit of the group’s time may be consumed with internal issues that would not necessarily require input from the town. Gold imagined input from the towns will be related to transit and should be encouraged.

Diana Saxon asked by what process members of the task force will be selected. Gold replied that he would prefer the Forum determine the selection process for Employees and asked only that those nominated be honorable and open-minded.

 

The Chair thanked Gold for his remarks. He proposed that this would be a good point for the Forum to begin discussion about the process of selecting representatives to the task force. The Forum can select five Employees from the general staff population and make the final decision regarding Employee nominees. He noted that the University Committee Assignments Committee had handled appointments to other University Committees by passing the names of all interested parties forward to the Committee for its choice. The Chair opened discussion on the selection process.

George Sharp proposed that the selection consider the distribution of Employees within salary ranges and geographic location. He did not think it would be appropriate to appoint all five representatives from the same salary range and/or geographic location.

Libby Evans thought that distribution of representatives should consider the different modes of transportation Employees use to get to work. Besides her personal interest as a bicyclist, Evans noted that this consideration directly addresses the issues under consideration by the task force.

Peter Schledorn agreed with Evans’ point, and asked if Employee seats on the task force would go to Employees not appointed through the Forum. Schledorn felt it important that the Forum not be only source of Employee representation, either in membership or selection of membership to the Task Force. He wished to insure that all Employees have the opportunity to volunteer for the task force.

Libby Evans proposed that the Forum request more detail about the eventual makeup of the task force. Tommy Brickhouse proposed that Public Safety’s recently distributed survey would be a useful source of Employees’ ideas, questions, and problems in this area. He asked if the Forum could use the information from this survey to approach representative respondents to serve on the task force.

Gold answered that the survey is only one tool to be used to evaluate Employee concerns. The survey probably will not discover or represent all issues of concern to Employees. He noted that as the task force will include members of the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee, as well as the broad constituent groups of students, faculty and staff Employees, the number of representatives could grow too unwieldy. While Gold would love to include all interested, the group must remain manageable, again with an ideal number of 20 participants.

George Sharp confirmed that that Forum should select the five representatives rather than forward a slate of nominees. Gold said this was the case, and stated that the Faculty Council and Student Government will undertake similar processes to determine their nominees.

The Chair confirmed that the task force’s meetings will be open to anyone who wants to attend, and that Employees would have a chance to provide input to their representatives. Gold stated that individuals will have the chance to provide input to the task force via fax, email, and other means of communication and that he hoped the University Gazette would provide advance notice of task force meetings as well.

The Chair proposed requiring those interested in serving on the task force to submit a nomination in writing to the Forum, specifying that the nominee will have time to spare for this potentially time-intensive work. Janet Tysinger added that the nomination could also note applicants’ particular interests to add to the store of data.

Anne Montgomery proposed that the University Committee Assignments Committee develop a volunteer nomination form that would take into account applicants’ salary grade, mode of transport, and other considerations. Montgomery felt that administration of these forms fell within the responsibility of that Committee.

The Chair asked whether the University Committee Assignments Committee would also select the final nominees. After some discussion about that group’s charge, Montgomery enthusiastically accepted the responsibility of selecting the representatives on behalf of the University Committee Assignments Committee. She thought it might be reasonable for the Committee to submit its proposed process to the entire Forum. This would give members a chance to examine the proposed selection process and make constructive suggestions. The Committee could then incorporate these suggestions into its selection process before soliciting applicants in May/June. Members generally agreed with Montgomery’s proposal.

 

The Chair added that the Committee could contact the Gazette to place a blurb requesting general input from campus Employees, along the lines discussed, in addition to the solicitation of parking task force nominees. A blurb soliciting Employee applications would need to be submitted from the University Committee Assignments Committee by a specific deadline, in order to meet Public Safety’s appointment target of June/July. (Mike Hobbs noted that the Gazette is scheduled to publish May 7 and 27, with a deadline for submissions of April 29 and May 13, respectively.) Montgomery said that the University Committee Assignments Committee would look forward to evaluating these applications, and would be certain to consult with the Forum or the Executive Committee, if necessary.

George Sharp felt that Montgomery’s idea that applicants write in their own applications was a very good one. However, he thought the requirement that Employees write their ideas on their own could intimidate and thus exclude Employees uncomfortable with essay-based applications. He thought that a more straightforward, less essay-based form could gather the necessary information about applicants without excluding these Employees. Those who wished could provide a five or six sentence statement regarding their personal reasons for serving on the parking task force.

Sharp asked how the Forum would distribute these forms to University staff. The Chair proposed that the University Gazette could be of some help in this area. Mike Hobbs noted that the Forum and the Faculty Council may want to include information in the Gazette. Montgomery proposed that the Forum and the Council coordinate on the project.

Libby Evans stated that she thought the idea of a new task force focused on long-term parking and transportation issues is a welcome one, if only to eliminate the perception that little long-term planning is underway. She thanked Don Gold and University Administration for choosing to include University Employees and the Forum in this process.

 

Employee Presentations

Janet Tysinger introduced Margaret Swezey, Legislative Action Chair for SEANC District 25, to make an Employee Presentation. Tysinger noted that Swezey had agreed accept questions from the Forum following her presentation.

Swezey thanked the Forum for the opportunity to address the group, recalling her previous experience as the Forum’s first Administrative Assistant. As SEANC District 25’s Legislative Action Chair, Swezey was pleased to announce SEANC’s Legislative Action Week, to be held April 21-25. She encouraged members to pick up the hot pink fliers on the back table describing the event and post them in their offices.

During SEANC Legislative Action Week, Swezey noted there would be three different kinds of events. One, occurring April 24, is SEANC’s Legislative Day. Employees from SEANC districts across the State will travel to Raleigh to eat barbecue and meet with legislators. Anyone needing a ride should contact her about arrangements.

Realizing that not all University Employees will be able to take off work to attend Legislative Day in Raleigh, SEANC has organized a local rally Monday, April 21, at noon on Polk Place. Orange County representatives and other legislators have been invited to speak on topics including Employee salaries and compensation, University funding among other items. Swezey anticipated a high-energy event.

Swezey noted that SEANC events are not considered work time, so Employees should anticipate attending the local rally on their lunch hour. Kay Wijnberg confirmed that Legislative Day does not count as work time.

The third event of Legislative Action Week will be an information and letter-writing table held April 22, 23 and 25 from 12-2 p.m., between either Manning and Lenoir or Davis and Union. Swezey will post a note to the Forum listserv as well as write the Daily Tar Heel to let everyone know the exact location. At the table, SEANC representatives will provide biographical and contact information about State legislators, and background on SEANC positions concerning salaries and benefits, privatization, In-Range Salary Adjustments. She encouraged Employees to stop by during the week.

One of the main purposes of the week is to encourage Employees to write informed letters on behalf of State Employees to legislators and, when appropriate, to University administrators. SEANC representatives will be available to help Employees with these letters. Swezey hoped Employees would utilize these opportunities to make a positive difference.

Swezey offered to take any questions. Libby Evans asked if Employees could contact her via email instead of calling her to reserve transportation to the SEANC rally or find out about other events. Swezey replied that her email address is mfswezey@email.unc.edu, and she would be glad to answer inquiries made to this address.

Tommy Brickhouse asked if SEANC would have information at its table comparing staff salaries at UNC-Chapel Hill with salaries at “comparable institutions.” More specifically, he asked if this information indicated where Employees lie within their salary ranges in comparison to these “comparable institutions.” Kay Wijnberg said that SEANC had some of this data captured on a flier that indicates campus Employees’ relative position to other workers across a variety of economic indicators. Brickhouse had seen this flier, but asked if representatives could help interpret this data. Swezey replied that representatives would be available for this task, and asked that the Forum or Brickhouse share any similar information with SEANC.

Swezey thanked the group for the opportunity to speak.

 

Approval of the Minutes

The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the March 5 meeting. Tricia Mitchell made this motion, with Rosa Nolen seconding. George Sharp noted on page 11 of the minutes the sentence: “Montgomery accepted Sharp’s friendly amendment that the Executive Committee gather information in any way that it saw fit, including possibly Tysinger’s idea of questionnaire.” His memory was that the Executive Committee was charged to use Tysinger’s idea of questionnaire as a means to gather information and opinion from Forum Delegates about the Forum Officer election process. He felt that the relevant sentence made the proposal seem more optional than he intended.

Sharp did not know if the Executive Committee was planning to solicit comments from Delegates via a questionnaire. The Chair noted that the next item on the day’s agenda will be to call for volunteers to serve on a Forum Office Elections/Guidelines Revisions Task Force to arrive at proposals for improving the election procedure. He proposed that this Task Force put the questionnaire idea into motion, if it saw fit.

Libby Evans recalled that the friendly amendment to which Sharp referred charged the Executive Committee to decide the next step in the election procedure discussion. Creating the Task Force was the Executive Committee’s proposal as a “next step.” Sharp said the Task Force idea was acceptable to him.

There was no further discussion, and the minutes were approved without opposition.

 

Unfinished Business

The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had proposed the creation of a Task Force to solicit suggestions from Forum Delagates and provide specific changes to the Forum Guidelines to the Executive Committee by June 9. He called for discussion of this proposal and volunteers to serve on the Task Force. Eddie Capel, George Sharp, Libby Evans, and Peter Schledorn volunteered (Sharp’s membership, pending supervisor approval of his service).

It was noted that the Executive Committee had specified that a member of the Executive, Nominating and Orientation Committees to serve on this Task Force, to incorporate each group’s concerns. Evans represented the Executive and Nominating Committees. The Chair asked that the Orientation Committee appoint a representative to this Task Force at a later date, and the Task Force convene itself and appoint a leader. He thanked members for their cooperation in this ongoing effort.

 

The Chair noted that the Task Force formed to create the Forum’s Fall University Gazette insert would meet that week. Members of this Task Force include Libby Evans, Peter Schledorn, Cheryl Stout, and the Chair. The Chair asked if members had any suggestions for insert content. Evans added that the group internally had raised several constructive ideas for the newsletter for discussion at the upcoming lunch meeting at 35 Restaurant.

Anne Montgomery, Co-Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, recalled that group had hoped to send out a biannual newsletter to get the Forum’s message out. However, the Committee had seen fit to nominate Cheryl Stout to serve as the group’s representative on the University Gazette group, as the insert seemed an appropriate substitute for a Fall “Highlights” Page. She thanked Stout for volunteering to serve on this Task Force.

The Task Force would discuss its ideas for the insert at the May Forum meeting.

 

 

 

New Business

The Executive Committee attended the Joint Staff Council meeting at North Carolina Central University March 12. Among other items, the joint group decided that each group attending should appoint three representatives to a Task Force devoted to creating a State-wide Staff Council and recruiting representatives from other System institutions to join the group.

The Executive Committee had decided that the Chair should serve as one of the Forum’s representatives on the Task Force, and had decided to consult with the entire Forum to choose the two others. The Executive Committee also recommended that the Forum Assistant serve in an adjunct, non-voting role on the Task Force, pending agreement of the other campuses. The group’s next meeting will be at UNC-Greensboro May 29, with travel time possibly from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The Chair wished to encourage members to participate, but noted the time and cost considerations involved in attending future meetings throughout the year. To date, there are no resources devoted to meeting the travel expenses of representatives to the Task Force.

The Chair called for two volunteers to serve on this Task Force, and offered to answer questions about the Task Force itself. He noted that prior to this arrangement, the Executive Committee as a whole has convened to meet with other System campuses. He referred members to the March 12 meeting agenda for more details about the group’s work. Among the approximately 35 participants, he reported particular interest in comparing experiences on their campuses and in beginning Staff Councils at other institutions. Representatives also desired to establish a System-wide Staff Council equivalent to the UNC Faculty Assembly. These details were discussed in part at the March meeting and would be further explored in Greensboro on May 29.

Libby Evans added that discussion had settled on three representatives per campus for the time being, with more to be appointed later as necessary. Anne Montgomery what time commitment will be involved for potential volunteers. The Chair was uncertain, but proposed that volunteers would be bound through the calendar year. Evans noted that the Executive Committee wished to provide other Forum members the chance to become involved in these external meetings.

Diana Saxon noted that only six System campuses were listed are listed as participants in the Joint Meeting. The Chair replied that the group will seek to identify other participants through time. Saxon inferred that the Task Force may hold future meetings in far-flung locations such as Boone, North Carolina, at Appalachian State University. The Chair replied that this was a very likely possibility, and again noted the difficulties some members may have with travel. Evans added that attendees at the Durham meeting had been very enthusiastic about this project.

Delores Jarrell nominated past Chair of the Forum Ann Hamner to serve on the Task Force, if willing. The Chair felt that Hamner could serve as she is an ex-officio member of the Forum. Evans noted the general desire of the March group to follow the customs of the UNC Faculty Assembly in appointing members.

The Chair called for further volunteers or nominations. Anne Montgomery volunteered to serve. Stephanie Stadler noted the Executive Committee’s desire to appoint first-year as well as second-year Delegates, and was pleased that Montgomery and the Chair would provide desired continuity. Ann Hamner was willing to serve, but wished to allow other Delegates the opportunity if they wished. She recalled that Student Government President Aaron Nelson felt the student State-wide group had been very effective in dealing with the Board of Governors. In the absence of further discussion, Libby Evans moved to close nominations. This motion was carried by acclamation: the Forum’s three representatives to the State-wide Task Force are Ann Hamner, Anne Montgomery and Bob Schreiner.

 

Chair’s Report

The Chair referred members to the March 12 meeting agenda at North Carolina Central University for further details about that meeting.

The Executive Committee had moved to continue its efforts to reach Division 2 Employees. Methods discussed included meetings with past Division 2 representatives and soliciting support at Division 2 supervisor meetings, among other activities.

The Chair noted that the University Council had met March 25. Attendees were past Student Government President Aaron Nelson, Graduate and Professional Student Federation President Katherine Kraft, Chair of the Faculty Jane Brown, the Chair and Chancellor Hooker. The Chair reported this was an informal, introductory meeting, dealing with communication issues across campus. The Chair recalled the Chancellor’s recommendation that Employees write legislative leaders and local representatives to express thanks for their support of the University. There was a great deal of discussion about the Black Cultural Center, the Women’s Center, and the Chancellor’s Alcohol Task Force. The Chair had asked the Chancellor to re-examine the Career Development Committee’s request that a campus-wide Task Force be established to explore Employee education issues. The Chair looked forward to future meetings every six weeks, with the next to occur at the end of May.

The Chair noted that the Forum Stationery would soon change to reflect changes in the group’s electronic address. The stationery will list the Forum’s web page (http://www.unc.edu/staff/forum) and email address: forum_office@unc.edu. These addresses would be published in the next agenda packet. The Forum’s internal Delegates-only listserv address has changed to delegate@listserv.oit.unc.edu.

The Chair directed members to a memo from Frederick O. Mueller, Chair of Physical Education, concerning an increase in gym and pool privileges from $6 to $8/month.

The Forum’s Highlights Page has been “hot-mailed” to all Staff Employees, as well as Deans, Directors and Department Heads. The Forum Assistant reported that Employees have contacted the Forum Office regarding Continuing Education classes and federal/State salary raises, upon receiving the Highlights Page. The Forum Office has moved to provide responses these concerns.

The Chair noted that Patti Smith of Human Resources had already organized an outing to a Durham Bulls game May 10. Smith offered to include the Forum in this planning, so the Chair though it advisable to “piggyback” on her efforts. In the agenda packet, members can fill out a form indicating their interest in attending the game. They should return this form to Campus Box #1045 by April 14. The Chair hoped that members could make time to attend. He thanked Smith for her help in making this event possible.

Pam Bailey, Volunteer Coordinator for the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Schools, will make a special presentation to the Forum in May. Bailey’s presentation will relate public school volunteer opportunities to Employees’ available child involvement leave.

Members with proposed Forum Guidelines revisions should forward these to the Forum Office.

 

Committee/Task Force Reports

Neither the Nominating or Orientation Committees had anything to report.

Peter Schledorn, Chair of the Personnel Policies Committee, reported the group had further researched the EPA non-exempt compensatory time issues raised at previous meetings. It had spoken with Employees about their experiences in this area. The group had been unable to meet this month with Human Resources representatives, but would try again in April.

Tommy Brickhouse, Chair of the Compensation and Benefits Committee, observed from the March minutes that the Chancellor held a clear idea about compensation issues for University faculty but seemed less clear about staff salary issues. Brickhouse noted that while the Forum, SEANC, and Margaret Swezey all have varieties of this information, the Employee Forum is the designated vehicle to communicate with the Chancellor.

Brickhouse asked those present to supply his committee with any available information regarding salary comparisons across “comparable institutions.” For example, on page 3 of the February 18, 1997 Executive Committee minutes, it was noted that a proposed joint press release on staff salaries had been postponed. This press release was to underscore the point that, adjusted for inflation, Grade 58 Employees earn 75% of what they had earned 25 years ago. Brickhouse hoped to be able to make similar comparisons across “comparable institutions.”

As a sideline, Brickhouse noted that State Employees at the University of Georgia are given a 6% raise automatically every year. This raise is supported by funds raised through a state lottery. Obviously, Brickhouse said, UNC-Chapel Hill staff salaries will not compare favorably to those at the University of Georgia. Brickhouse wished to insure that the Chancellor has ready information available about campus staff salaries in comparison to similar institutions when lobbying the Legislature.

Ann Hamner noted that Tom Hocking had given a special presentation in July 1996 on staff salary compression issues which was somewhat related to the data that Brickhouse sought. She had forwarded this information on staff salary compression to the Chancellor last year. Hamner asked that this information be forwarded to the Compensation and Benefits Committee.

George Sharp agreed that this had been a good presentation, but had compared only past Employee salaries with present salaries. Hocking’s presentation did not include figures describing staff salaries at “comparable institutions,” such as the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Michigan. Rather, Hocking’s data drew a comparison with workers at System institutions across the State. Nora Robbins, Director of Human Resources Services, offered to work with the Forum to find what data is available.

Brickhouse clarified his questions: could the University make an adequate comparison of Grade 58-equivalent salaries earned at UNC-Chapel Hill, Virginia, Michigan and Berkeley? Where does the typical Employee at these institutions lie within their salary ranges? How has their comparative salary level changed over the last 25 years? Lucille Brooks said that she did not have the information that Brickhouse sought, but possessed the market average rate for various categories collected in an abstract. She offered to provide Brickhouse a copy of this information.

George Sharp wondered how difficult it would be for a Chapel Hill personnel administrator to contact a similar officers in Ann Arbor, Charlottesville and Berkeley to obtain concrete descriptions of staff pay grades and raises received. Eddie Capel felt it better to compare job classifications rather than pay rates at the different schools. Capel preferred comparing data for particular jobs at different institutions. It is easier to compare an accountant with an accountant or a mail carrier with a mail carrier than to differentiate between abstractly defined salary grades (what exactly is a Grade 58 salary at Berkeley?). Capel noted that institutions compare faculty salaries across similar classifications: for example, medical schools with medical schools. He advised the Committee to concentrate on job titles. In retrospect, Sharp felt this to be obvious, and suggested that the University focus on information concerning specific job classifications.

Libby Evans thought it good to secure information on job classifications, but felt it might be best to rely on the judgment of Human Resources to determine the particular data needed. Nora Robbins reiterated that she would be happy to work with Brickhouse and the Forum’s Compensation and Benefits Committee. Evans added that considering staff benefits was vital to a proper comparison.

Peter Schledorn noted that some public institutions post their employees’ salary ranges on the Internet, as a matter of public knowledge. Brickhouse granted this information might be available, but he had more interest in degrees of compression within these salary ranges at comparable institutions. He observed that UNC-Chapel Hill compares favorably with other institutions regarding paid salary ranges, but suffers greatly from salary compression among senior Employees.

Brickhouse thanked the group for its insights and contributions.

 

Anne Montgomery, Co-Chair of the Public Affairs Committee, noted the group’s minutes were distributed with the monthly agenda packet. Co-Chair Ruth Lewter had passed out fliers inviting Employees to SEANC’s Legislative Day luncheon in Raleigh in Raleigh April 24. She had tickets available for sale to the luncheon for $5.

Nancy Klatt, Co-Chair of Recognition and Awards, noted the group’s minutes had been distributed.

Tommy Nixon, Co-Chair of the University Committee Assignments Committee, reported that there had been six nominees for the four available positions on the Women’s Issues Advisory Board. There had been one Employee volunteer to serve on the Child Care Advisory Board. This application was currently in process. The remainder of the group’s activities were captured in their meeting’s minutes.

Norm Loewenthal, Chair of the Career Development Committee, noted that the group’s report was distributed with the monthly agenda packet. He thanked the Chair for mentioning to the Chancellor the Committee’s recommendations regarding the proposed Employee Education Task Force.

Loewenthal noted also items in the agenda packet prepared by the Training & Development that detailed Employee training opportunities and the updated listing of holdings in the University Audio/Visual Training Library. He recalled that the Forum formally moved to utilize the Staff Development Fund to start the Library in 1995. Loewenthal thanked Ken Manwaring Phyllis Daugherty and the Office of Training & Development for their cooperative work, noting that the new Library brochure had been a quick response to a request from last year’s Career Development Committee.

The Chair anticipated hearing soon from the Chancellor or Elson Floyd regarding the Career Development Committee’s recommendations, as he had discussed the subject with Floyd at a separate meeting in the past week.

Phil Hearne, reporting for the Employee Presentations Committee, noted the group had not met in the last month but stated that all was still a “Go” for the Spring Community Meeting. The Meeting will be held June 11, from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Hanes Art Center, and will address parking and outsourcing concerns.

Lucille Brooks noted the Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force will hold its first meeting in the coming week. The Task Force would like all Forum Committees to consider placing information in the Booth, and should Janet Tysinger or the Forum Office for more details. At the May 7 meeting, the Task Force will circulate a sign-up sheet for members to serve a half-hour meeting Employees at the Booth. Many local businesses and University departments have donated items for a drawing at the Booth. The Chair looked forward to the Fair. Brooks mentioned that the Fair will take place Friday, May 16, at the Smith Center, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Peter Schledorn had no report from the Faculty Council Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits; there was also no report from the Faculty Council Committee on Legislative Affairs, as Tom Sullivan was not present.

The Chair noted in Janet Tysinger’s absence that the Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee had not met in March but would meet soon to discuss the long-range parking & transportation task force earlier described by Don Gold.

Ann Hamner reported that the Outsourcing Steering Team has not met since the Forum’s last meeting but would convene Monday, April 7 at 11 a.m. on the 3rd floor of South Building. (The Team meets on the first Monday of each month.) Hamner noted Elson Floyd’s March 18 memo to all Employees that encouraging Employees to provide feedback they deem appropriate to members of the Steering Team. The memo included contact information for all Team members. The Outsourcing Team’s Informational Web Page is located at http://www.unc.edu/news/newsserv/outsourcing/.

 

Human Resources Update

The Chair was pleased to introduce Nora Robbins, Director of Human Resources Services, to provide the Forum its customary Human Resources Update. Robbins reported that the New Careers Advisory Board had held its first meeting, with George Sharp the Forum’s representative on the Board. The group would hold its second meeting in the coming week. Robbins noted that the Board had been established to help design Employee career development programs.

Robbins reported the University Insurance Committee was hard at work on long-term care concerns. Robbins made herself available to answer questions on this topic or any other question.

Tommy Brickhouse noted some rumors concerning a reduction in dependent care in Employee health insurance. Robbins replied that the University has examined different ways to pick up increasing costs in dependent care. She noted that her office would work to compile data regarding the cost of this care, and would work with Floyd and the Chancellor to arrive at an appropriate solution. Robbins understood the importance that every Employee places on maintaining affordable dependent care.

In the absence of further questions, the Chair thanked Robbins for taking time to address the Forum.

Announcements and Questions

The Forum Assistant apologized to the Forum for any agenda packets that may have arrived late. He regretted any inconvenience this may have caused.

In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn. Jackie Overton so moved, seconded by Ronald Umstead. There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:11 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly