Agenda — April 6, 2005
9:30 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room

I. Call to Order

II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III. Opening Remarks

  • Chancellor James Moeser

IV. Special Presentations

  • Wayne Blair & Laurie Mesibov, Newly Appointed University Ombudspeople
  • Eric Mlyn, Robertson Scholars Program Director
  • Robert’s Rules of Order Documents/Parliamentary Questions

V. Employee Presentations or Questions

VI. Human Resources Update

  • Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

VII. Approval of Minutes

VIII. Old Business

  • Proposed Resolution 05-03 Concerning Welcoming the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity (2nd Reading)

IX. New Business

  • Proposed Guidelines Changes (1st Reading)
  • Proposed Resolution 05-04 Concerning State Employees’ Health Care Costs (1st Reading)
  • Proposed Resolution 05-05 Concerning Salary Pay Periods for UNC-Chapel Hill Employees(1st Reading)

X. Stretch Time

XI. Forum Committee Reports

  • Nominating: Patti Prentice
  • Orientation: Meredith Clason
    • Committee Mtg Minutes (3/15/05)
  • Personnel Issues: David Brannigan
  • University Assignments: Tom Arnel
    • Committee Mtg Minutes (2/24/05)
  • Career Development: Leon Hamlett
  • Communications: Brian White
    • Forum Newsletter
    • Committee Mtg Minutes (3/3/05)
  • Community Affairs, Recognition and Awards: Debbie Galvin
    • Committee Mtg Minutes (2/23/05)
  • Employee Presentations: Ernie Patterson

XII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin

  • Committee Mtg Minutes (2/15/05)
  • Committee Mtg Minutes (12/15/04)

XIII. Task Force/University Committee Reports

  • Advisory Committee on Transportation Mtg Minutes (3/23/05)

XIV. Announcements/Questions/”Around the Room”

XV. Adjournment

MINUTES

April 6, 2005 Minutes

 

Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.  He welcomed Margi Strickland of the Robertson Scholarship program to introduce that program’s director, Eric Mlyn, to make a few remarks about the program’s work.  Strickland was proud to announce that Mlyn had won the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool).  She noted Mlyn’s contributions to collaboration between campus faculty, staff and students and indeed his work bringing together the diverse universities of Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill through the Robertson program.  Strickland noted Mlyn’s work in instilling a cooperative effort from the Chancellor to the bus drivers who run the shuttle between the two campuses.

Mlyn said that he was very surprised and deeply touched by the award.  He said this was a particularly good time to speak about the Robertson program given the recent men’s basketball national championship victory.  He welcomed all Employees to use the Robertson bus to visit Duke University to attend arts events and tour the beautiful Duke gardens.  He once again thanked the Forum for the honor of the Community Award.

The Chair introduced Chancellor James Moeser.  Moeser said that he had just gotten off the phone with Governor Mike Easley on legislative matters.  He had recently returned from St. Louis where he had seen the men’s basketball team achieve their famous victory over Illinois University.  He noted that the University had placed an ad in the Washington Post depicting a basketball jersey with the number 38, signifying the number of Rhodes Scholars the University has produced.  He also noted that a mock academic “NCAA tournament” bracket had also found UNC-Chapel Hill national champion.  Moeser also praised the progress of the University’s women’s basketball team, this year an Elite Eight squad.

Moeser was pleased to recognize officially Wayne Blair and Laurie Mesibov, the University’s new ombudspeople.  He recalled that the first recommendation of the Task Force for a Better Workplace was to create an ombudsoffice, and he was delighted that the office is now staffed.  The actual duties of the office will begin May 2.

Concerning legislative matters, Moeser said that the Senate had requested through the Office of the President that universities submit plans to deal with a 4% budget reduction, signifying cuts of around $16 million for UNC-Chapel Hill.  Moeser said that this step represented the first lap in a marathon race and he asked listeners not to draw conclusions from the first step in the process.  However, the University will not treat this request lightly and if required would be forced to eliminate vacant and filled positions.

Since 2001, the University has absorbed more than $41 million in recurring State funding cuts, even including budget supplements for added enrollment.  The University would have trouble protecting critical programs like campus libraries if a 4% were approved, but Moeser recalled that the budget process was far from over.  He also said the University had many good and powerful friends and he felt extremely optimistic about the University’s future.

With regard to staff benefits, Moeser felt encouraged by the positive moves towards a new pilot health insurance program for UNC System employees.  He said that the Board of Trustees and Board of Governors had both approved of this pilot program and he hoped that the proposal would find passage through the Legislature this year.

Jackie Kylander asked if the 4% budget reduction would apply equally to all sixteen campuses.  Moeser confirmed the percentage reduction would apply equally to each system campus.

David Brannigan asked if Moeser saw any possibility for layoffs among grounds, housekeeping and skilled trades positions.  Moeser said that if the 4% budget reduction held, there would be cuts, but he did not think that the cuts would rise to that level.  He could not guarantee that there would not be layoffs in any department.  Brannigan asked if the University had structured any particular layoff plan.  Moeser said that he could not provide a precise number and Roger Patterson said that any plan for Facilities Services would come from the Provost’s office.  Brannigan noted that the amount of square footage maintained by Employees from service/maintenance and skilled craft positions had increased while staffing levels have fallen.  Moeser said that he did not specifically know the amount of square footage maintained per University housekeeper or skilled maintenance worker.

In preparation for any proposals, the Provost’s office had asked departments to estimate effects of a 3% cut on their operations.  The University has extrapolated this work to present the 4% estimate to the Office of the President.  Moeser commented that he did not expect the Legislature to complete its budget process before Labor Day of this year.

Ernie Patterson asked what University Employees can do to help in this troubling time.  Moeser said that Employees can exercise their rights as citizens to keep budget cuts to a minimum and thus protect the State’s investment in the University System.  He thought that policymakers need to hear from taxpayers and voters that they should support what is necessary to create the appropriate revenue streams.  He recalled that in the mid-1990s the Legislature had drastically cut taxes, which had led to current imbalances between revenues and expenses.  He hoped the Legislature would do the right thing and support the University and the state’s social services needs.  Brannigan asked if Moeser thus supported progressive taxation and Moeser said that he absolutely did.

Moeser introduced newly appointed ombudsman Wayne Blair, late of Columbia University in New York City.  Blair said that the ombudsoffice would open May 2.  He had talked with many people about the office plans and its prospective role within the institution of the University.  Blair said that the ombudsoffice would serve as a neutral party providing confidential and informal support to resolve campus problems, issues and concerns.  The office will keep all consultations confidential and will not do anything unless clients give permission.  The office will not give names, take records or even keep notes unless given permission.  However, the office will not maintain confidentiality if the individual involved is at imminent risk to harm herself or others.

The ombudsoffice is naturally in a difficult position because it must maintain a neutral posture.  Clients naturally expect that it will advocate for them but the office will not advocate for them or for the University as an institution.  When the office thinks that an office has an issue to address, it will do so with neutrality and informality.  Conversations with the ombudsoffice do not put the University on formal notice of a problem or complaint.

The ombudsoffice will speak with Employees’ supervisors if requested and may serve as shuttle diplomats in a dispute, Blair said.  The office will clarify policies and procedures and will bring back information to people who request it, sometimes mediating between disputes.  Sometimes, Blair and Mesibov will simply listen to upset Employees, allowing them to ventilate complaints.  The ombudsoffice will give suggestions but will not do anything unless asked to do so.  Blair said that he and Mesibov hoped to created a program to welcome all, supporting faculty, administrators, and staff employees.  Blair reminded listeners that the ombudsoffice is located at 134 East Franklin Street, accessible via the Porthole Alley.

Laurie Mesibov wished the Forum good morning and thanked the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace for making establishment of the ombudsoffice a priority.  She appreciated the leap of faith the University had taken to invest in the office and in she and Blair personally.  Mesibov said that the office will work with faculty and staff by listening, reframing, identifying and explaining issues and policies.  The office will not function as a decision maker but will help parties explore all possible courses of action.  The office will also engage in mediation services if the parties wish.  The office will make referrals to other parties and identify community resources for clients.

Blair and Mesibov will not serve as therapists or lawyers but rather will work with individual situations.  The office will identify areas that need improvement or systemic change but will go slowly at first.  Blair will serve as a full-time employee and Mesibov in a half-time capacity.  Mesibov thanked Steve Allred for his help in supporting the renovation of the office.  She invited the Forum to work with the ombudsoffice on a common mission.  Still, she cautioned that the office cannot solve all problems to everyone’s satisfaction and she asked the Forum to help build realistic expectations.

Keith Fogleman asked whether Blair and Mesibov felt they could remain strictly neutral in all matters.  He also noted the extensive renovations done in that office but said that he did not see a problem with these expenditures, as people will want to feel at home there.  Finally, he asked under what specific conditions Blair and Mesibov might breach confidentiality.  Did they mean physical or mental harm?

Blair said that any breach of confidentiality was rare and would occur only in cases of imminent physical harm, such as someone with a gun who had mentioned hurting themselves.  In this case, he would try to talk the person out of this idea but would have to ask for psychiatric support.  He said that in any event he was obliged to maintain confidentiality as much as possible.  Mesibov mentioned also that all fall under a statutory duty to report suspected child abuse, so ombudspeople do not have the option to keep that confidential.

Mesibov said that the extensive renovations are absolutely necessary to the new office’s work.  Previously, the way the office was constructed, sound traveled everywhere from the suite into the back hallways.  The office has received significant soundproofing to preserve client confidentiality.  In addition, windows through which others could see prospective clients have been covered to prevent breaches of confidentiality.  Some other changes have been done to make the office a more welcoming and comfortable place to visit.  She and Blair were thankful for the work done and had spoke about finding and thanking the individuals who had done this needed work.  Fogleman said that many different Facilities Services offices had participated in the project in one way or another.  Ellen Stark Hill remarked that the ability not to be overheard justified the cost of the renovations.  Fogleman said that the previous condition of the office justified renovation, but noted also that his fellow Employees comment to him about how every penny is spent.

An Employee noted that some people have significant problems with coworkers and supervisory staff at work sites.  This person asked how the ombudsoffice would deal with this situation without jeopardizing the Employee’s job.  Blair said that the office would listen to the concern then list the options available to the individual, talking through each of these.  The office will not take action on any option until the Employee asks that it do so.  The office will maintain a neutral viewpoint but will try to empower the Employee to make their decision for themselves by providing the resources to help their choice.  The ombudsperson will not judge the person but rather will listen to them.  The ombudsperson will not speak with the Employee’s supervisor even in a general way unless the Employee gives permission for this action.

Ernie Patterson asked how the ombudsoffice will report its activities to the University population.  Blaire said that the office will not reveal the details of cases but will outline trends and provide suggestions to address these trends.  The office will also keep data in an aggregated form.  Patterson asked how the University community will be able to judge the office’s effectiveness.  Mesibov said this was a difficult question, and Patterson granted that the number of cases addressed would not be a proper measurement.

David Brannigan welcomed Blair and Mesibov to their position and said that he shared the general hope for their success.  He asked if the pair planned meetings with groups of people to identify areas that need improvement or systemic change.  He invited them to a meeting of the Personnel Issues committee of the Employee Forum to discuss a supervisory best practices resolution.  Brannigan noted the many historical and structural systemic problems that the University faces.  As an example, he noted that in the last three to four years, Facilities Services has had more than fifty grievances filed, with the next ranking department having only ten grievances filed over the same period.

Brannigan also asked if Blair and Mesibov would agree to some open meetings held without supervisors present, then later have some open meetings with supervisors.  He thought it imperative that the ombudsofficers sit down with rank and file Employees apart from the influence of supervisors to discuss the historical problems that have remained unaddressed for a long period of time.  He particularly mentioned the grounds, housekeeping and skilled crafts areas.

Blair said that he and Mesibov were ready to meet at any time and place.  He said that people were sometimes less inclined to want to meet in groups as some are afraid their peers will pass on disparaging information to supervisors.  However, he offered to meet anyone anywhere.  Blair noted also that sometimes Employees will all agree about a particular issue in a group setting but then will disagree in private.

Blair said that the office would never tell a supervisor whether or not it had met with a particular Employee without that Employee’s permission.  He said that the office takes the issue of confidentiality very seriously and would not be able to accomplish anything if it lost Employees’ trust.

Brannigan said that Employees are empowered by meeting in groups and noted that housekeeping has not had monthly meetings in years, unlike other Facilities Services shops and groups.  He said that some Employees face a distinct problem of retaliation and harassment for speaking out and need the collective strength of the group.  Blair said that the office is in the early stages of its work and would work for the long term.  He reiterated that he and Mesibov would meet wherever requested.

Cathy Rogers confirmed that the contact number for the office is 3-8204.  The office will develop its website in stages, but meanwhile Employees can contact Wayne Blair at wblair@unc.edu and Laurie Mesibov at mesibov@email.unc.edu.

Wallace Ambrose asked what other methods the ombudsoffice would use to get the word out about its work.  He said that the office would serve as a first line of defense for Employees in grievance situations, hopefully helping, coaching and mediating with the different parties.  Blair said that the office would soon print brochures that it would mail to all campus departments describing the work of the office.

The Chair thanked Blair and Mesibov for their remarks.  He asked Forum members to help get word out about the work of the office.

The Chair referred members to the distributed Robert’s Rules of Order document, which outlined specifically the precedence of parliamentary motions and actions.

Katherine Graves welcomed the guests from Housekeeping Services.  To accommodate these guests, Brannigan moved that the Forum take up for first reading resolution 05-05 concerning consolidation of Employee pay cycles.  Without objection, the Forum moved to this issue.  Brannigan welcomed these guests.  He noted that Employees across campus had signed petitions opposing the transformation of biweekly pay schedules to a monthly pay schedule.  In one department, fifty-two out of seventy Employees signed this petition.  Chuck Brink reported that 410 people in Health Affairs departments had signed a petition opposing the move.  He noted that the Daily Tar Heel had planned to write a story on the subject.

Tom Arnel asked if the Forum should commission a formal petition.  Brannigan said that he hoped that the Forum would approve resolution 05-05 and so convince the administration to spike the payroll consolidation plan.  He thought the fact that an informal petition had already gained 500 signatures spoke to the strength of feeling against the proposal.

Brannigan noted that some e-mail statements from the administration had claimed that the task force discussing the idea did not have an agenda to consolidate pay cycles, but rather to study the issue as a search committee.  However, Brannigan said that other statements indicated that the committee intended to approve the consolidation without Employee input.  Brannigan cited the responses of Employees against the proposal from all parts of campus and noted that the Forum had found out about the proposal only by default rather than by invitation.  He said that any discussion of changing pay periods must include Forum representatives from across all salary grades.  Brannigan also cited the effect on morale that the proposed payroll consolidation plan has had on morale.  He said that University administrators should not hold secret meetings on topics of such importance to University Employees.

Brannigan said that Employees who earn $18,300 for 40 hours of work a week would face a massive dislocation if forced to shift to a monthly pay cycle.  He said that counseling these Employees on budget matters would make little difference given the stretching that these Employees must undertake already.  He thus asked for a motion from the floor to suspend the rules and consider resolution 05-05 on second reading.  Keith Fogleman made this motion seconded by Michael McQuown.

Ellen Hill asked the departmental origin of these policy changes and the process by which such changes are approved.  Roger Patterson, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance, asked to take a moment to speak about this issue to explain how it arose.  He said that some administrators in Finance had come to him noting troubles closing out grant accounts, causing much extra work for Finance Employees.  These administrators proposed solving this problem by converting all Employees to a monthly pay schedule.

Patterson said that when departments under his supervision face a problem, he encourages them to explore all possible solutions.  Thus, he told Controller Dennis Press to convene a group of people to explore the issues related to closing out grants.  Unfortunately, the minutes from these meetings do not convey that the group would have to recommend its proposals to Patterson and other administrative leaders for approval.  If Patterson thought that the group’s proposal had merit, he would have gone to the administration and the Forum to discuss the ramifications of changing the payroll system.

Patterson said that he had added Forum Chair Tommy Griffin to the committee as soon as he was made aware of Employee concerns about the idea.  However, he was not leaning towards taking any action in favor of payroll consolidation at this point.  The main reason for this reluctance is the financial aspect, as converting to a monthly system would require that the University pay all Employees for the two week lag that it now has for biweekly Employees.  He noted that monthly Employees receive pay for their work immediately.  Converting to a monthly payroll system and paying Employees for the two week lag would create a huge financial impact on the University.

Thus, given impending budget cuts, Patterson did not expect that the University would implement a shift to monthly payroll cycles for all Employees.  However, he did point out that the issue would likely arise again a number of years from now when the University installs new administrative software for its financial and payroll systems.  Anytime an organization goes through a software implementation it studies all of its processes for possible improvements.  He imagined that the dual payroll system question would arise again at that point.

Patterson promised that if the issue were to arise again he would make sure that the right people would be around the table to talk about it from the beginning.  Ernie Patterson noted that Forum meetings and committee meetings are subject to the North Carolina public meetings law that requires advance notice to the press.  He asked if the payroll discussion group had followed the open meetings law.  Roger Patterson said that he would have to leave the official answer to this question to legal counsel.  However, he said that requiring open meetings notification every time six people gather around a table would likely shut the University down.  Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest said that committees appointed by the Chancellor or Vice Chancellor have rules about their composition and compliance with the open meetings law.  She said that committees composed entirely of internal staff are not considered public meetings.  She offered to invite the University’s legal counsel to speak to the Forum on the open meetings law.

Chuck Brink made a point of order that a motion was on the floor to suspend the rules and consider resolution 05-05 on second reading.  He thought that the resolution’s purpose was to bring to light the process by which the University had arrived at this point in discussions about the biweekly pay schedule and to prevent hopefully other attempts to consolidate the pay schedules.  The Forum voted 28 in favor, 3 against and 1 abstention on the motion.

Brenda Denzler clarified that Roger Patterson had said that biweekly Employees would receive two weeks’ pay in the conversion to a monthly pay schedule but not through a raise.  Roger Patterson said that the University’s cash flow would be affected by any possible conversion through making the catch-up payment.  However, Employees’ annual salaries would not change.

Sarah Causey thought that the meetings discussing the proposed conversion had been blown out of proportion, but Anthony Eubanks disagreed, noting the strong feelings that many Employees have on the subject.  Roger Patterson said that Chancellor Moeser and Vice Chancellor Nancy Suttenfield had not officially considered the proposal through the administrative chain.  Patterson’s office was officially the place where the proposal landed.  Causey thought that since the proposal had not reached a University-wide level, discussions about its passage met the definition of “blown out of proportion.”  Jackie Kylander agreed that things may seem to have blown out of proportion if the question dealt simply with a departmental matter.  However, she thought that when the issue in question affects all or a great number of Employees on campus, discussion needs to be more open from the beginning.

Camilla Crampton proposed that the Forum close discussion and vote to approve the resolution on second reading.  Roberta Massey seconded this motion.  Brian Whitling thought that the two-week lag in compensation for biweekly Employees actually hurt their financial position.  He said that the biweekly system treated Employees like children who cannot budget their own affairs.  Whitling thought that the best method of compensation would be daily payments for daily work.  He said that biweekly Employees must wait longer to be compensated for each day’s work than monthly Employees, up to three days more on average.

Whitling also noted that around holidays such as Christmas sometimes Employees must wait as long as three and a half weeks between paychecks.  Jill Hartman said that monthly Employees are also paid earlier during these holidays.  He recommended that the Forum change its resolution to recommend that Employees receive the two weeks’ lag time pay immediately instead of waiting until their departure from the University.  Jill Inman thought that the move to a consolidated pay system made too many assumptions about how different people budget their money.  She said that administrators should be careful when making assumptions of this nature.

Katherine Graves surmised that the drive to consolidate pay schedules into a monthly system came from the office of Contracts and Grants.  In her experience, that office had constantly completed paperwork behind schedule.  She said that office needed to hire new people or act in a more conscientious manner, as the office had also had difficulty returning phone calls.  She said that the deficiencies of that office should not drive any move to shift Employees to a monthly payroll system.

Chuck Brink commented that shop superintendents had also expressed opposition to the consolidation plan, demonstrating that opposition goes across pay scales.  Tom Arnel moved to close debate, seconded by Jackie Kylander.  The motion carried by voice vote.  The Forum approved the motion 31-2, with no abstentions.  The Chair would ask Brian White and the Communications committee to study the resolution for grammatical and formatting concerns before final submittal to the Chancellor’s office.

Given the flood of e-mails associated with this question, Cathy Rogers said that the Forum might wish to establish a web site at which delegates could share ideas to deal with the problem.  She said that the flood of e-mails could prove disruptive at some point.  The Chair said that the Forum office would look into the question of establishing a web page for these kinds of discussions.

 

Human Resources Update

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest noted that there were two new products from the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace.  First, Training & Development has announced creation of eight new certificate learning tracks for staff development.  Each learning track will require four to six required core courses all designed to support the customized program.  The specifics of each track will be announced in the next issue of the Training and Development program guide and are available at the Training and Development web site.

The basic clerical skills program is accepting applications through April 20.  Courses will be taught at the Durham Tech extension classrooms on Franklin Street and at Alamance and Central Carolina Community Colleges.  A program coordinator will work with each applicant and the program will enroll a minimum of ten Employees.  Felicia Perry will provide coaching and mentoring services to enrollees.  Additionally, the program will partner with Katherine Graves and the computer loan program to provide loaned laptops to enrollees.  Interested Employees can contact Perry at 2-9681 for more information.

This year’s annual blood drive will take place Tuesday, June 7.  The University holds the largest one day blood drive on the East Coast.  Saturday, April 30, the University will recognize individuals who have compiled twenty years of service with the annual service award banquet.  Eligible Employees should receive invitations shortly.

Charest announced that Martha Fowler has joined the office of Human Resources in the grievance coordinator position.  Fowler has served as a grievance panel chair as well as an Employee Forum delegate.  The University has trained 60 new grievance panelists and support people this year.   Currently, the University has only one grievance from 2004 and two from 2005 filed under the old policy.  There have been three filed since February 1, 2005 under the new policy.

Amy Crantz will accept applications from all Employees for the Carolina Kids’ Camp that will take place through the summer.

The University send out Chancellor’s Award and Excellence in Management award nominations recently.  She hoped that Employees would take advantage of the opportunity to nominate their coworkers.  Procrastinating Employees can take advantage of volunteer tax preparation assistance from the Law School through April 14.  Employees can phone 2-1483 to set up an appointment.

The General Assembly has been busy with a flurry of bills this month, many of them related to University Human Resources procedures.  She did not know which bills would survive the long session.  First of all, the Board of Governors has pressed for passage of a bill allowing University System Employees three courses a year under the tuition waiver program.  Additionally, the bill would provide a 25% reduction for dependents of University Employees at any System school and provide immediate residency for System Employees or their children.

Another bill would provide Employees two days leave for adverse weather.  Charest noted that the University has a much looser definition of adverse weather than that of the Governor’s office, given the wide geographic area over which Employees and students live.

The UNC System health plan initiative’s FAQ page has been updated to include a summary statement and other information.  The bill itself has moved to committee but has not yet see action from the House or the Senate.  The health plan initiative task force is working on another round of community meetings, tentatively targeting the last week in April.  The group will probably hold two community meetings.  Charest said that the health plan initiative task force’s work dependes on permission from the General Assembly.  She also noted that the bill would not take effect until July 2006 at the earliest.  This fact means that the prospective increases in State plan costs and decreases in benefits will affect current subscribers.

Katherine Graves noted her role on the task force sending information on initiative discussions to chairs of the different UNC System staff organizations and to UNC Employees.  She passed out a flier listing initiative details.

Chuck Brink asked if the pilot health program will lead to the movement of the UNC System out of the State personnel act.  Charest said that the State health plan and State personnel act are different statutes that require different legislative approaches.

 

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the March 2005 minutes.  Chuck Brink made this motion seconded by Jackie Kylander.  There was no discussion and the minutes were approved as written.

 

The Chair noted that the Forum had resolutions on the new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity and on Employee health care to consider as well as the first reading of the proposed Guidelines revisions.  On second reading, the Forum approved the resolution welcoming the new Center by a vote of 27-1.

David Brannigan read the resolution on Employee health care for first reading.  Ernie Patterson moved that the Forum suspend its rules and consider the resolution on second reading, seconded by Brannigan.  Brannigan noted that the resolution used data from Laurie Charest’s report to the Board of Trustees comparing the University to other southeastern institutions.  The Forum voted to suspend its rules 27-0, with two abstentions.

The Forum then voted to approve the resolution by majority vote, and it carried.

 

Ernie Patterson read a resolution concerning the grant of work time for time lost during bus commutes.  He read the resolution, then proposed that the Forum suspend its rules to consider the resolution on second reading.  He said that the Forum must vote to approve the resolution now or it would kill the chance for the bill to receive passage in the General Assembly, given the April 20 deadline for the introduction of new bills.  Laurie Charest said that legislators could always add the provisions of the bill to another bill later if they chose.  Estzer Karvazy said that she opposed approving a resolution on this subject on such short notice.  She urged the Forum to give the manner further thought and discussion.

The Forum voted not to suspend its rules and instead moved to refer the resolution to the Personnel Issues committee.

 

Patty Prentice said that the Nominating committee was seeking help with its work from Forum delegates or others.  Meredith Clason said that the Orientation committee had asked delegates for advice on the committee’s work.  Cathy Rogers said that she opposed holding the annual retreat in January.  Clason said that the committee has found the first week of January to be difficult and has avoided scheduling the retreat for payday Fridays.  Usually, the retreat takes place the Friday before Martin Luther King day in late January.

David Brannigan of the Personnel issues committee said that the group had worked on drafting recent resolutions.  The committee will study career banding next and also look at rescheduling meetings more in sync with the Forum meeting, perhaps holding a subcommittee meeting the second Tuesday of each month in counterpoint with the regularly scheduled fourth Tuesday meeting.

Curtis Helfrich said that the Career Development committee had discussed award criteria for supervisors supporting staff development and training.  He said that the committee hoped to create a culture among supervisors to support staff development.

Tom Arnel of the University Assignments Committee had worked to send letters out to those volunteering for University committees but whom had not yet received placement.  The committee will meet next April 28.  Penny Ward noted that Bradley Bone had completed work on the redesign of the Forum web site.  The Communications committee will again publish the InTouch newsletter at the end of the month.

Debra Galvin of the Community Affairs, Recognition and Awards committee said the group had evaluated applications for the Shining Heels award and would make decisions at its April 27 meeting.  Ernie Patterson said that the Employee Presentations committee would work on setting a date for an upcoming community meeting.

The Chair noted that Amy Gardner was looking for Employees earning around $20,000 a year willing to be interviewed for a News & Observer story.

 

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:33 a.m.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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