Agenda — April 5, 1995

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

 

I.          Call to Order

 

II.        Welcome Guests

 

III.       Opening Remarks

  • Chancellor Paul Hardin
  • Associate Vice Chancellor Laurie Charest, Human Resources Update
  • Nora Robbins, Senior Director of Human Resources Services

 

IV.       Special Presentation

  • Susan Criscenzo, Counselor, State Employee Assistance Program

 

V.        Employee Presentations

 

VI.       Approval of Minutes

  • March 1, 1995 *
  • December 7, 1994 *
  • October 5, 1994 *

 

VII.     Chair’s Report:  Rachel Windham

  • Feedback to Public Affairs Committee *
  • Delegate/Alternate Changes
  • Collaborations with Faculty Council
  • Disability Access Response from Gordon Rutherford

 

VIII.    Committee/Task Force Reports

  • Nominating—Scott Blackwood
  • Career Development—Sharon Bowers
  • Orientation—Debi Schledorn
  • Personnel Policies—Pat Staley
  • Compensation and Benefits—Dottie Baker *
  • Public Affairs—Delores Bayless
  • Recognition and Awards—Ann Hamner *
  • University Committee Assignments—Libby Chenault *
  • Employee Presentations—Scott Blackwood
  • Salary Task Force—Delores Bayless/Trish Brockman
  • Employee Fair Booth Task Force—Marshall Wade

 

IX.       Old Business

  • Chancellor’s Response to Request that Midpoint Not Determine Eligibility for Pay Improvements *
  • E-mail lists
  • Forum/Delegate Time Commitments for Forum Activities
  • January 17, 1994 Retreat Notes *

 

X.        New Business

  • Consideration of Resolution Authored by Tom Hocking *
  • Endorsement of Topic for Spring/Summer Community Meeting
  • Moment of Silence/Resolutions Honoring Deceased Employees
  • Titles and OSSOG:  Their Effects on Employees and Recruiting *

 

XI.       Announcements/Questions

  • May Special Presentation Speaker – Patti Smith, Program Manager, Employee Services, Human Relations
  • Absent Delegate/Alternate Requests for Information Distributed at Meetings
  • Legislative Day April 6
  • Executive Committee Meeting Schedule
  • Brief Meeting of Division 2 Delegates to Discuss Vacant Seats
  • Compensation and Classification Study on File in Forum Office

 

XII.     Adjournment

 

MINUTES

April 5, 1995

Members Present

Nellie Baldwin

Peggy Barber

Brenda Barnes

Sharon Bowers

Trish Brockman

Riley Carter

Sharon Cheek

Libby Chenault

Linda Cook

Peggy Cotton

Mona Couts

Dianne Crabill

Kathy Dutton

Laresia Farrington

Tommy Griffin

Leon Hamlett

Ann Hamner

Helen Iverson

Archie Lassiter

Vicki Lotz

Dee Marley

Malinda Marsh

Gary Pearce

Jennifer Pendergast

Dean Rimmer

Debi Schledorn

Pamela Shoaf

Kay Spivey

Pat Staley

Cliff Stone

Alice Taylor

Jon Thomas

Marshall Wade

Cheryl Ward

Fran Ward

Rachel Windham

 

Members Absent

Dottie Baker

Delores Bayless

Scott Blackwood

Lin Blalock

Lena Dean

Sue Morand

Sarah Rimmer

 

 

Alternates Present

Andy Bunch

Tom Hocking

Wendy Mann

Ruby Massey

Peter Schledorn


 

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 A.M. by Forum Chair Rachel Windham.  She asked guests and members of the press to introduce themselves.  None did, so she proceeded to further business.  She proposed rearranging the agenda until the Chancellor arrived, using the intervening time to cover non-presentation items.  The Forum and the other presenters agreed, and the agenda was reordered pending the arrival of Chancellor Hardin.

 

Approval of Minutes

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the October 5, 1994 meeting.  Marshall Wade made the motion with Linda Cook seconding.  There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.  The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the December 7, 1994 meeting.  Diane Crabill made the motion with Helen Iverson seconding.  There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.  Then, the Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the March 1, 1995 meeting.  Trish Brockman made the motion with Diane Crabill seconding.  There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Chair’s Report

The Chair began her report, noting she would interrupt it when the Chancellor arrived.  She called the Forum’s attention to the Public Affairs survey on the back page of News & Notes, asking that members complete the survey identifying themselves and return it to any member of the Public Affairs Committee.

The Chair also noted several Delegate and Alternate changes, beginning with the resignation of First Alternate David Lanier from Division 1, who was replaced by Andy Bunch.  She asked Andy to stand and be recognized, so members could introduce themselves after the meeting.

The Chair announced the termination of Delegates Cassandra Minor and Jeffrey McCracken for non-attendance, the latter replaced by Riley Carter.  She recognized Riley Carter.  She also noted a special problem in Division 2 which would be discussed later in the meeting.

In Division 8, the Chair announced the resignation of Delegate Shava Averett who had moved to Oregon.  She was replaced by Alice Taylor as Delegate, and Alice was replaced as First Alternate by Peter Schledorn.  Both Alice and Peter were recognized.

The Chair noted one more potential Delegate change which she had not yet confirmed and, therefore delayed announcing.

 

Chancellor’s Report

The Chancellor thanked the Forum for expressing its concern about proposed budget cuts actively and in a proper manner.  He particularly thanked the Forum Chair for her eloquent, impassioned remarks at the rally on Polk Place.  He apologized for being late, saying that he had just received a large budget document that morning.  He said the news from the State House was very discouraging, particularly given that other states were putting the money forth to support their universities.  He continued to express concern about the condition of staff salaries, noting a conversation with State Representative Ann Barnes and the expressed concern of other UNC System institutions about this issue.  He said that with the proposed budget, the area of worry expanded certainly to the prospect of a freeze on staff positions and the real possibility of layoffs.  The Chancellor said that he would continue to work with the General Assembly on these issues because “your welfare is our welfare.  You are so important to the operation of the University and your masterful support keeps the place going, keeps it excellent.  We are very grateful to you and we will make every effort to convince the policymakers of this State that it is singularly inappropriate to enact tax cuts on the backs of State employees, particularly those on our University campuses.”

Libby Chenault asked whether the Chancellor knew what the impact of the latest proposal would be on different areas of the University, particularly the libraries.  The Chancellor said he had not had a chance to read the newest proposal thoroughly, but noted that the cuts seemed to affect the entire University more than any one segment.  Cuts in the House proposal would go significantly deeper than those proposed by Governor Hunt, but the Senate version was not as damaging.

Helen Iverson asked whether there were any special items or messages that Employees could take to the Legislature on the upcoming Legislative Day.  The Chancellor said he had previously shared some figures from General Administration.  He said that UNC-CH spends less on staff support than any other university in the State system.  He said that UNC-CH was in the bottom quartile of administrative spending.  He thought that the Legislature was only acting on a hunch that there was fat in the UNC-CH and N. C. State budgets when, in fact, the institutions had already received huge cuts in administrative personnel in past years.  He said that the University was lean and stretched, not overstaffed.  He said that he would share his documents today with the Chair so that everyone would be reading off the same page and sharing the same information.

The Chancellor noted that the University had already sustained cuts over the last eight years, having been authorized to spend $120 million less than it had been appropriated from the General Assembly.  He said the University was “lean and mean.”  These new cuts, when combined with the previous $120 million, really would harm the quality of operations at the University.  Bemoaning the impact of the cuts on employees and universities and by extension the economic drive of the State, the Chancellor also wondered about the real impact on all students at the University, not just graduate students, given the severity and depth of the proposed cuts.  He stated that these cuts would jeopardize the quality of education and “there was no excuse to do this in a time of prosperity.”

He said that if these cuts had to occur, he hoped that the Legislature and Governor Hunt would allow the Chancellors to decide where the cuts should be made.  He said micromanagement from Raleigh was “clumsy and inappropriate.”  He added that the bill he had just skimmed continued the process of telling universities where to cut.  Instead, as painful as it may be, the Chancellors would take the greatest possible care not to affect the quality of education at the University.

The Chair asked about possible cuts in faculty positions in Continuing Education Programs.  The Chancellor agreed that there was discussion about such cuts, as well as talk about changes in the FTE numbers.

The Chancellor concluded by saying that he wished he had better news to bring the Forum.  He said he would continue to represent the University urgently and thanked the Forum for being “loyal, committed, diligent and effective in your work at Carolina.”

The Chair thanked the Chancellor for his remarks, adding that one of the reasons that UNC-CH had fewer administrators than other institutions could be the quality of the administrators we do have.  The Chair indicated that upon receipt of the document from the Chancellor, it would be available from the Forum Office either that afternoon or the next morning for members to use on the trip to Raleigh for Legislative Day.

 

Human Resources Update

Laurie Charest announced that the Administrative Council had approved the Recognition Policy recommended by the Recognition Policy Committee, which included members of the Forum’s own Recognition and Awards Committee.  She said the Council sent the policy back for one change, putting a limit on the amount an Employee could receive ($500) or a department could award. The policy now reads, “during any twelve-month period, a department’s total monetary award shall not exceed $500 per 50 permanent Employees or fraction thereof.”  (For instance, $500 for a department of 1-50 permanent Employees, $1000 for a department of 51-100 permanent Employees, etc.).  She said the Policy had been approved and hoped it would lead departments to develop their own recognition programs.  She also said a description of the policy would be included in the next Policy Manual.

Kay Spivey asked for clarification of a “permanent” Employee under the policy.  Charest replied that although the Policy Manual was an SPA manual, there was nothing excluding EPA Employees. So departments would be free to include both SPA and EPA when considering award recipients.

Nora Robbins made a special report to clarify the term-life insurance program.  She said she wanted to discuss several issues presented by Don Thomas.  The first was the issue of imputed income under the old plan, addressed for the most part in 1992 when the insurance tables were adjusted to correct for imputed income.  She said this was discussed somewhat at the January meeting.  Since then she had met with the Compensation and Benefits Committee along with Don Thomas, Jack Stone and Dave Rubin at which she said there seemed to be a better understanding of the issue.  Robbins said she had brought a written explanation from the consulting group Alexander & Alexander stating there are no imputed income benefits in the new plan, citing relevant sections of the Internal Revenue Code and comparing the new plan’s rates to plans cited in the Code.  She felt that Mr. Thomas’ concerns about how the plan was represented before the Forum were now addressed.

Ms. Robbins said that reaction to the enrollment process had been very positive with many good responses from new enrolling Employees.  She said her office was continuing to speak with Prudential about offering a new alternative type of coverage for Employees who did not want to elect as much as one times their salary.  She hoped to make an announcement about this plan sometime in the fall.

The Chair thanked Ms. Robbins and the Compensation and Benefits Committee for their responsiveness in resolving Mr. Thomas’ and other concerns about the new term-life policy.

 

Special Presentation

Susan Criscenzo of the State Employee Assistance Programs gave the special presentation.  She noted that the SEAP was a benefit for Employees of the University.  She said there was a range of familiarity about the program, with some people using the service often and others not at all.  Thus, she said, she was always willing to speak to new groups to increase public knowledge about the programs.  She said the aim of her presentation was to give enough information so that those assembled could feel comfortable using the programs or recommending them to others.

Ms. Criscenzo listed several issues, asking that if any of these applied to members, their family or friends during any time in their employment at the University.  The issues were:  divorce, significant marital or relationship problems, adolescents with acting-out or behavioral problems, serious financial difficulties, substance abuse problems (including DUI), elderly relatives, chronic illness, depression, serious conflicts with co-workers or supervisors.  Around 75-80% of those assembled stood, including the speaker, indicating that they had experience with at least one of the situations cited.  Ms. Robbins said she performed this exercise with groups to show that most of us are not lucky enough to avoid life’s crises.  Although most of us are able to handle these crises with our own outside resources, there are times when we are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the crises or some of our outside resources can be involved in the problem.  These are the types of occasions that bring people to her office, she said.  Her service is free and confidential.  She spends time helping people work on their problems and refers them to other professionals, when necessary and appropriate.  She said we were very fortunate in Chapel Hill to have so many resources available.

She noted her office’s location is off-campus, a fact that she felt improves the confidentiality of her service.  She said that when necessary she would go to the Employee on campus, as long as there was a place where they could meet privately.  She said most of the information about her services was on the brochure that she had distributed.  She encouraged the Forum to call or to refer others to her office.

 

Employee Presentations

There were no Employee presentations or issues to report from the Employee Presentations Committee.

 

Chair’s Report:  Continued

The Chair announced that the Forum was collaborating with the Faculty Council on several issues.  Paul Farel, chairing a group studying Partner Benefits, asked for representation from the Forum. Peter Schledorn and Linda Cook will represent the Forum in that group.  The Faculty Council Legislative Affairs Committee asked for two representatives from the Forum to work with them on issues of mutual concern.  Malinda Marsh and Tom Hocking will work on this area.  The Chair thanked these four members for assuming these additional responsibilities.

One item that did not make News & Notes was the appointment of Ann Hamner and Larry Hicks as advisory members to the Faculty Advisory Committee for Long-Range Land Use Planning, chaired by Tom Clegg.  The Chair said she had solicited representation via e-mail and  she received only two responses which she forwarded as representatives.  The Chair said she had spoken with Tom Clegg who expressed pleasure with the quality of the appointments.  She said it was important that the Forum be represented in more and more areas of the University.

The Chair called attention to an item in the Routing File dealing with Handicapped Access.  She said she had contacted Gordon Rutherford, Director of Facilities Planning and Design, regarding a letter from a “concerned employee.”  Rutherford returned a copy of his department’s recent response in the Gazette’s “Direct Line” section, (included along with the original letter in the Routing File) about handicapped access throughout the campus.  Mr. Rutherford felt that this article responded to the letter from the “concerned employee.”

 

Committee/Task Force Reports

The Nominating Committee had nothing to report.

Speaking for the Career Development Committee, Chair Sharon Bowers noted that there were copies of the last approved minutes on the back table.  Also, she asked Forum members to contact her with any ideas for the use of the $5,000 Staff Development Fund.  The Chair emphasized that this was an important opportunity for the Forum and urged some real thought on the issue.

From the Orientation Committee, Chair Debi Schledorn said that in the next couple of months planning would start for the Orientation in October, then the Retreat in January.  Schledorn asked for suggestions for both activities.  She said if anyone felt something was needed or was left out of last year’s sessions, they should contact her.  Further, she said members should suggest topics even if they were not sure there was a speaker for them.  Barbara DeLong was asked to speak at the January Retreat around this time last year, so the earlier the better, Schledorn said.

The Chair asked whether the Orientation Committee had taken any action on the requests for a formal survey evaluating last year’s January Retreat.  Schledorn replied that her Committee had decided not to implement a formal survey, as the work involved would be time-consuming and the prospect for a large, constructive response to the surveys was not very good, judging from Trish Brockman’s experience with the Public Affairs Committee survey.  She said anyone who felt strongly about a particular subject at the Retreat should contact the Committee about it.  As far as evaluating speakers was concerned, there seemed to be two types:  speakers whom the Committee would invite back no matter what, like Laurie Charest from Human Relations, and speakers whose topics were so specific that they would not be repeated or a speaker who would be leaving the Forum, for example.  Thus, critiquing speakers would not have value for planning.  The Chair then reiterated that anyone with comments about the Retreat should contact the Orientation Committee directly.  Schledorn then asked for a moment to mount a soapbox to speak on another topic.  The Chair asked that she delay those comments until the end of the meeting, as there was a full agenda.  Schledorn agreed to wait until the end of the meeting.

Chair Pat Staley from the Personnel Policies Committee said that copies of her Committee’s minutes were on the back table, along with copies of the layoff policy changes.

Co-Chair Archie Lassiter, speaking for Dottie Baker from the Compensation and Benefits Committee, referred members to the Committee’s minutes.

From the Public Affairs Committee, Trish Brockman spoke for Chair Delores Bayless.  Brockman said that she, Delores and Tom Hocking had met and asked that members return their Public Affairs survey.  Also, those members interested in receiving a Legislative Package should contact Trish by the end of the week.

Chair Ann Hamner of the Recognition and Awards Committee said work continued on creating a Forum Award for Staff Excellence.  In the interest of time, she asked that anyone with ideas or feedback e-mail or send notes to her saying whether this was a good idea.  If there is support for this idea, her Committee would submit a proposal to the Executive Committee for approval.  General sentiment was in favor of the idea, so the Chair asked that members send their specific ideas to Ann Hamner or other Committee members.

Chair Libby Chenault of the University Committee Assignments Committees asked that members send the names of individuals who would be good University committee members.  She said that there seemed to be quite a quick turnaround between when openings were announced and when they needed to be filled, so it would pay to have a list of names handy.

From the Salary Task Force, Trish Brockman said the Committee was still awaiting documentation of the salary rates at other universities.  Beyond that, there were no other issues to discuss.

Chair Marshall Wade spoke for the Employee Fair Booth Task Force.  He said the Task Force had submitted a budget to the Executive Committee and was awaiting a response.  He also asked all Delegates and Alternates to work at the booth in half-hour increments, warning that if he did not receive enough volunteers, he would find ways to volunteer them.

 

Old Business

In response to the Chancellor’s response to request that midpoint not determine eligibility for pay improvements, ex-officio member Margaret Balcom made a motion that “understanding the restrictions on the University’s current budget, the Forum asks that the Chancellor keep this issue in the forefront of his thinking.”  Helen Iverson seconded this motion.  There was no discussion and the motion passed unanimously. It was agreed that it would be forwarded formally to the Administration.

Forum Assistant Matt Banks spoke on the subject of e-mail lists saying that until the Forum Office had been moved and put on-line, Kay Wijnberg would continue to administer the Forum e-mail lists.

The Chair reminded members that they should seek support for Forum assignments from their supervisors.  She said she continued to receive complaints from supervisors saying that she had been pulling members out of work and putting them on committees.  She denied she was doing this and asked that members schedule their time commitments wisely, soliciting supervisor support.  The Chair worried that the Forum would lose its good reputation on campus if this perception continued.  Dee Marley suggested that the Orientation Committee develop a brief handout on this subject, a suggestion that received general approval.  There was a question about how to approach supervisors on this subject.  The Chair replied that the Chancellor had previously sent out letters supporting Forum activities.  The issue had also been discussed by the Executive Committee, and it appears that perhaps people have been misrepresenting how they become involved in Forum activities.  She said that most Forum activities were strictly voluntary, but some Forum members appear to be saying that they are mandatory, setting the Forum itself up as the bad guy.  She cautioned that responsible behavior in this area was critical to the good reputation of the Forum.

Matt Banks asked that any comments or questions about the January Retreat Notes be referred to the Forum Office.  The Chair confirmed that Debi Schledorn had looked over the notes and thanked Susan Turbeville, in her absence, for her work on the notes.

 

New Business

The Chair asked for a motion to accept the Resolution authored by Tom Hocking regarding the impact of staff cutbacks and reductions in department operating funds.  Marshall Wade made the motion, with Kathy Dutton seconding.  There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.  The Chair thanked Tom Hocking for his hard work in drafting the Resolution.

The Chair also thanked Tom Hocking, Sue Morand, Dottie Baker and others for speaking out at the Polk Place Rally.  She expressed hope that others would step forward at the next rally.

Kathy Dutton spoke for Scott Blackwood on the topic for the Spring/Summer Community Meeting.  She said the group had met March 14 to discuss possible dates and topics.  They suggested May 22, 23 or 24 or June 14 or 15.  The group suggested inviting President C.D. Spangler to be the main speaker.  She said the topic suggested, the Future of Higher Education in North Carolina and the role of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, had been approved by the Executive Committee.  The group had already sent an invitation to the President through the Chancellor’s Office and was awaiting a reply.  The Chair said that it was her understanding that one could submit questions or concerns to the Committee for the President to address. Pat Staley asked that these concerns be submitted to the group before their April 11 meeting.

The Chair brought forth the idea of moments of silence/resolutions honoring deceased Employees.  She said the Faculty Council was reverent in observing the passing of a colleague and that this custom seemed a proper way to honor Employees and their families.  She said family members could be invited to the meetings at which their loved one was honored.  She opened the floor for discussion as to whether the Forum would, upon the death of an Employee, allow a resolution and moment of silence honoring that Employee and their service to the University.  Usually the person presenting the resolution would be someone who worked with the deceased or a friend.  She said the Forum would not be able to honor everyone and that it would be up to the Forum to get the word out that this recognition opportunity was available should someone want to use it.  Peggy Barber asked whether this idea would include people on disability.  The Chair replied that this was only an idea at this point, and the Forum would have to establish guidelines.  Dee Marley wanted to confirm that it would not be the responsibility of the Forum to cover every Employee, that Employees would have to bring their resolutions to the Forum.  The Chair agreed that the Forum would not take the lead, it would rely on the efforts of every Employee to make the effort to recognize their colleagues.  Margaret Balcom interjected that the Faculty Council relied on departments to inform it of the death of a faculty member.  Ann Hamner and Helen Iverson expressed support of the idea.  Margaret Balcom asked that the Forum review the numbers and time involved, pointing out that there are only around 2,000 faculty and around 8,000 SPA and EPA non-faculty Employees, not including retired Employees.  She reckoned that if there were 10 presentations at 10 minutes each, the resolutions could last an hour and a half.  The Chair then asked whether there was support for the idea of investigating the practicality of instituting resolutions honoring deceased Employees.  The Forum expressed general support for the idea.  The Executive Committee was charged to explore this issue at a future meeting.

 

Announcements/Questions

The Chair announced that the May Special Presentation Speaker would be Patti Smith, Program Manager for Employee Services, Human Relations.

Matt Banks asked that absent Delegates/Alternates call and request information that they may have missed.  The Forum Office will not automatically send to absent members materials distributed at each meeting.

Trish Brockman announced that Employees would gather at the Friday Center to leave by carpool for Legislative Day on April 6 at 7:00 a.m., asking that Employees arrive as early as possible.  Helen Iverson added that there would also be a bus leaving at 8:00 a.m. from the Friday Center and that Diane Maynard would be there with tickets for the barbecue lunch held that afternoon.  Helen said that if there was any message that people wanted to relay to the Legislators, they should call her.

Matt Banks announced that the revised Executive Committee Meeting Schedule was in the back of the February Minutes in the current agenda packet.  He asked that anyone with an item for the Executive Committee agenda submit it 5 days or so in advance of the meeting.

Jon Thomas asked that all Division 2 Delegates remain after the meeting to discuss what they should do about the open Delegate slot and the lack of Alternates in that Division.  The Chair said Division 2 was a particularly difficult division to maintain membership from because so many Employees worked the night shift.  She asked that anyone with suggestions about how to deal with this problem contact the Forum Office or any member of Division 2.

Matt Banks announced that the Compensation and Classification Study from Ernst & Young was on file in the Forum Office for check-out.  The Study is around 100 pages, so it was not included in members’ agenda packets.

The Chair announced that there would be another Polk Place Rally on April 19 from noon to 1 p.m.  She asked that everyone come and speak out on budget cuts.  She said the last rally on Polk Place attracted around 200 people, a number she thought disappointed the SEANC organizers.  She encouraged everyone to speak, citing how when one or two people speak, it seems to break the ice, leading people who were normally not comfortable speaking to make insightful, brilliant remarks about how the budget cuts affected the University.  She said there would probably be more media coverage and that the students were more involved than before.  There would be a microphone and podium set up by Kay Wijnberg and Pat Bigelow.  Most of all, she urged that people come, as numbers of attendees are very important.

Matt Banks asked that if anyone sees newspaper articles of interest to the Forum that they send them to him for the circulation or clippings file.  The Chair said that these articles need not be just business issues, but anything, i.e. if someone’s kid does something great, let us know so we can congratulate each other on life accomplishments outside work.

The Chair brought to the attention of the Forum that the January 4, 1995 agenda was dated 1994, so members should correct this error in their records.

The Chair asked that members sign in on the notepad in the back in lieu of the missing sign-up sheet.  She also asked that anyone with material for the Routing Folders please submit it 3-4 days before the meeting.  This time period is necessary for the Office to copy the material and amend the summary sheet and the reprint sign-up list.  Bringing the material the day of the meetings without letting the Office put the material on the summary list would inevitably lead to someone missing the material, the Chair said.

 

New Business:  Continued

The Chair returned to an item of new business overlooked earlier in the meeting.  The issues of titles and OSSOG were brought to the attention of the Executive Committee by the very eloquent letter of Kay Neal.  Ms. Neal pointed out the real inconsistencies and problems with the new OSSOG title system.  The Chair asked for feedback from the Forum about how Employees felt about the OSSOG titles, in terms of their work here or in terms of applying for jobs elsewhere.  Malinda Marsh said that on Secretaries’ Day many secretaries do not feel like secretaries anymore.  She said people had no idea where these titles came from, and the Chair asked Laurie Charest to address the source.

Laurie Charest said that the new titles had come from the OSSOG Study Team, which had traveled around the State seeking recommendations in its research.  She said that there had been a large protest before and that nobody liked the titles.  She said she did not want to discourage the Forum from registering their complaints, but there had been many protests made before with no resulting changes. There had been stated objections from the University for years with no effect.  She further said the chances of changing OSSOG were very small because most other State institutions were finished implementing OSSOG’s changes.  She said at over half the positions here [OSSOG’s] changes were already done.No one liked the titles, but they had been here since before she had begun work.  Since the changes were already nearly implemented Statewide through the Office of State Personnel, she was more optimistic about the chances of influencing the Compensation and Classification Guidelines than changing OSSOG.

Trish Brockman asked about possibly bringing the OSSOG Study Group to a Community Meeting, so that Employees would have the chance to ask the Group exactly how it arrived at its recommendations.  Laurie Charest said she could identify these people, but she was not sure if they were even working in their current jobs anymore.  She wondered if here at Chapel Hill people seem to have difficulty with using working titles, instead of the OSSOG-assigned titles.  Almost everywhere else around the State, people had adopted the practice of using working titles, but for some reason in Chapel Hill the practice had not caught on.  Kay Spivey replied that it seemed there would be a problem if an individual changed careers, prospective employers checking references would get the payroll classification title from Human Resources, not the working title.  Charest said that Human Resources could work on putting the working title in the Employee’s file, solving this part of the problem.  But beyond this, Charest said, it seemed there would always be problems with people’s titles.  Margaret Balcom said she thought the Forum should take Laurie up on the idea of putting working titles into Employee’s files, saying she often had trouble with titles in her stories at the Gazette.  She said since the advent of the OSSOG system seemed to be inevitable, the Forum’s best bet would be to place an emphasis on working titles with Human Resources.

The Chair asked if Charest could have her office communicate that Employees should use their working title if they are dissatisfied with OSSOG titles.  Charest asserted that Human Resources could easily remind people they could use working titles, but said it would take some time to change the Human Resources information system to reflect working titles.  The Chair said this announcement would help.  The Forum decided to send the issue to the Executive Committee asking that it put these ideas in writing formally to Laurie Charest so that she would have something with which to work.  The Chair said she would also sound out the Executive Committee about bringing in the OSSOG Study Group for a future Community Meeting.

Peggy Barber wanted to clarify the point of where working titles originated.  There was general agreement that working titles were an Employee-supervisor-departmental decision.  Kathy Dutton said that the PD-102R (Job Description) asks for a working title and that most departments do indicate a working title, signed off on by supervisors.

 

Further Announcements/Questions

The Chair announced the death of Lena Dean’s husband Monday night.  She asked that anyone who knows Lena pass on condolences.

Debi Schledorn yielded her soapbox to Helen Iverson, who took a moment before leaving to complain about the new calendars.  She said that everyone in her office hated the format and wanted to go back to the old style.  This sentiment was met with general approval, and the Chair said she would pass this comment along.

Ned Brooks, the Advisory Chair for Heels for Health, lauded the Health Fair, saying that it was one of the finest things the University does for its Employees.  He said that the Fair deserves all the recognition of the Employee Appreciation Day.  He recognized those who had worked on the Fair and said that the Forum might want to contact the Fair before next year so the two could work together and give the Fair a boost.  The Forum gave those who worked on the Fair a round of applause.

Tom Hocking asked that members remember after their return from Legislative Day that the Morehead Planetarium would host Astronaut Bernard Harris and Cosmonaut Vladimir Titov at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, in the Star Theater.

The Chair also announced that the School of Dentistry was breaking ground on Friday for its new Patient Care facility.

The Chair thanked Matt Banks for his dedication in catching up on previous minutes.  The Forum gave him a round of applause.

Archie Lassiter asked whether the mail had arrived on time, and everyone said they had received their agenda packets prior to the meeting.

There being no further business, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn.  Kathy Dutton made such a motion, with Sharon Cheek seconding.  The motion was approved unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 11:24 a.m.

Respectfully submitted

 

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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