UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without advance notice.

I. Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Special Presentations (9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

  • Erin Kelley and Darlene Gooch, 2016 Faculty-Staff Campaign (9:20 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.)
  • Shannon Brien, Student Researcher on Rebecca Clark (9:40 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.)
  • Bradley Opere, 2016 Student Body President (9:50 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

III. Human Resources Update – Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington (10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.)

IV. Old Business (10:20 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

  • Changing June Retreat to July
  • Proposed Resolution 16-01 On the Establishment of the University-Wide Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage (second reading)

V. New Business (10:45 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.)

  • Approval of March Minutes (SharePoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)
  • Forum Delegate Election Results
  • Proposed Resolution 16-02 Concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (first reading)
  • Kay Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award Selections (background)

VI. House Bill 2 (11:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:25 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

VIII.  Adjournment

MINUTES

Attending (those who signed in):  Kim Andrews, Jo-Ann Blake, Sharon Brinson, Bonita Brown, Clare Counihan, Phillip Edwards, Shantell Ferrell, David Fraley, Lori Haight, Victoria Hammett, James Holman, Kathy James, Karen Jenkins, Gabrielle Jones, Shane Hale, Susan Lucas, Mary King, Natiaya Neal, Jackie Overton, Krista Prince, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Samara Reynolds, Nakenge Robertson, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner

Excused Absences:  Michael Penny (congratulations on your son’s birth!)

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  He noted that delegate Samara Reynolds will soon leave the University to take a position in Seattle with the University of Washington Bothell.  He also recognized delegate Shane Hale, recent inductee into the Order of the Golden Fleece.  Finally, he welcomed delegate James Holman, who has had to miss some work related to a recent illness.  Holman thanked those assembled for their support during his convalescence.

Erin Kelley and Darlene Gooch spoke on the faculty-staff campaign kickoff for the benefit of the University.  Kelley said that the University continually tries to increase its percentage of staff donating to the University.  She said that the University has 7,000 designations available and she hoped that employees would find a category for donation appealing to them.  She also noted the existence of the Carolina Family Scholarship as a donation category.  Other areas for donation include department, school or unit accounts, scholarships and student aid, and the Chancellor’s Unrestricted Fund, among other areas.  Employees can access giving.unc.edu for further ideas.

Kelley said that University Development had held a kickoff event at the Campus Y earlier in March.  Development has also publicized the campaign through employee meetings and social media.  Darlene Gooch thanked those listening for their attention and consideration.

The Chair noted that Shannon Brien, who was scheduled to speak on the legacy of former employee Rebecca Clark, was not able to make the meeting.  Similarly, Student Body President Bradley Opere was not able to speak that morning.  He hoped to reschedule these speakers when possible.

Katie Turner spoke on resolution 16-01, regarding establishment of the University-Wide Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage, on second reading.  Turner noted that she had created a FAQ document to address concerns raised at the March meeting.  She had added a line regarding “values exemplified…” to address concerns that award criteria were overbroad.  She noted that the Forum is an elected representative body of staff.  She also included a definition of moral courage.

Arlene Medder said that she liked the document.  The Chair asked for a vote on the document with the goal of recognizing an employee during University Day this October.  Arlene Medder moved that the Forum approve resolution 16-01 on second reading, seconded by Kelli Raker.  The motion was approved with none opposing or abstaining.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler presented the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  He noted that events related to Sexual Assault Awareness month are available at safe.unc.edu.  He noted that the film “The Hunting Ground” will be shown on April 14th at 111 Carroll Hall.  Finally, he noted that the banquet to honor those with State service exceeding 25 years will take place that month.

Shauna Stackhouse, the new Associate Director for Benefits, noted that the MetLife group term life insurance plan will take enrollments from April 4th to April 18th, with an effective date of May 1st.  She noted that the plan will be administered through the MetLife portal, which uses a different login than the University Onyen login.  Employees should receive e-mail and printed notices regarding the enrollment very soon.

Stackhouse said that the annual compensation and benefits statement had been mailed to employees.  She emphasized the University’s contributions to funding medical and retirement benefits in addition to employee salaries and longevity pay.  Katie Turner asked why the value of tuition waiver is not reflected in the statement.  Stackhouse agreed that this is a valuable benefit, but said that the waiver is not a part of data available through ConnectCarolina.  Clare Counihan asked about opting out of the hard copy of the statement to save paper.  Stackhouse said that publishing an e-version is on the radar for Benefits.  Victoria Hammett confirmed that the MetLife plan is an after-tax plan which one may cancel at any time during the year through the Benefits Office.

Senior Director for Employee Management and Relations Gena Carter introduced new performance management coordinators Tyler Enlow and Kristy Nash who provided an overview of procedures in their area.  Enlow said that performance appraisals are due at Human Resources on April 30, 2016.  Internal department deadlines may fall earlier on the calendar.  The standardized performance cycle will soon fall from April 1-March 31, with work plans still in effect until documents are received from General Administration.  Enlow said that the five point scale of assessment will change to a three point scale of exceeds/meets/does not meet standards.  Human Resources will conduct training modules through the late summer, supplemented by in-person or Administrative Office Building trainings.

Enlow said that off-cycle reviews will continue.  Employees can request a once a cycle review as a type of check-in for their work.  Employees can attach response appraisal forms adding comments, with a tentative goal of submission within two weeks of the review.

Kristy Nash said that UNC-Chapel Hill is already moving in the direction that the rest of the University System will undergo as these changes take place.  Katie Turner confirmed that there would more definitions of relevant terms in the new appraisal.  She asked if gender bias and implicit bias will be part of the training.  Gena Carter said that this issue has not yet been resolved but would be addressed in a conference call this Friday.

Gabrielle Jones asked the benefits of an off-cycle review.  Kristy Nash said that these reviews will allow employees to check in about their job performance in a more formalized manner.  Linc Butler said that if an annual review finds that an employee has not met expectations, the employee can obtain official feedback between reviews.  Shantell Ferrell asked about the prospects of 360 evaluations of supervisors and managers on behalf of a co-worker.  Gena Carter said that this idea has been tossed around for a number of years.  She said that the idea had been tested in Housekeeping but had received mixed reviews.  The most difficulty with the idea came from a general lack of training in how to provide feedback that is more corrective than punitive.  She said that the idea is worth revisiting, however.

Krista Prince confirmed that the SHRA performance evaluations are due in InfoPorte on April 30 and new performance plans will be due August 31.  Gena Carter said that managers must make sure that new plans are in place by August 31.  Clare Counihan asked if off-cycle reviews will be an opportunity to add new work duties and reevaluate job positions, possibly leading to an increase in pay for the employee.  Linc Butler said that any time is a good time for such a review.  Carter said that Human Resources could not guarantee that such raises would occur.  Counihan asked about the reference to “customer-oriented” service in the review.  She asked if Human Resources thinks of students as customers.  Kristy Nash said that the Office of Human Resources thinks of the employees of the University as its customers.  She said that the phrasing is meant as general terminology.

The Chair welcomed Dr. Terri Phoenix, Director of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Center, to speak on the implications of North Carolina House Bill 2.  Phoenix said that two things about the legislation have created concern among staff at the University.  First, there are worries about the legislation’s impact on the University’s non-discrimination statement, as the law states that municipalities cannot provide broader non-discrimination than the State law provides.  Phoenix said that the University statement explicitly mentions gender expression and gender identification.  Employees are encouraged to report any harassment related to these protected statuses, as the University can then provide resources to assist.

Secondly, Phoenix noted that HB2 requires use of the gender of one’s birth certificate to determine which bathroom to use.  Members of the University community who are transgender are very anxious about being possibly confronted for using the wrong bathroom.  The LGBTQ Center is publicizing and updating a list of non-specific bathrooms to make these facilities visible and known throughout campus.  Those who want to help transgender people navigate this law can access illgowithyou.com to support bathroom use.  Phoenix said that University Counsel are looking at the impacts of HB2 on campus policies and procedures.

Elizabeth Haddocks and Mark Dorosin of the UNC Center for Civil Rights said that HB2 was an embarrassment to the State with implications for the University and the greater community.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the March meeting.  Krista Prince made this motion, seconded by Jackie Overton.  The motion was approved with no votes in opposition.

Secretary Kathy James read the Forum’s delegate election results.  She noted that Mary King has received a temporary appointment to the Forum through the end of June.  Katie Turner asked if the elections would fill vacancies in the Grounds division.  James said that she had met with Grounds employees to encourage them to vote in the recent elections.  It was noted that Forum electoral divisions are established by employment category, not location.

Kelli Raker introduced resolution 16-02, concerning sexual assault and sexual harassment, on first reading.  Phillip Edwards said that if the resolution is merely a reaffirmation of what had been approved previously, the Forum could dispense with its reading process and observe a motion to suspend the rules.  Kelli Raker said that there had been a request for an update on staff issues from the University that had been eight months late.  She said that it was important to bring these issues to light through the current resolution.  Katie Turner said that there had been questions as to where the recommendations are from the current working group.  The Chair said that the working group was close to a full list of recommendations and changes.  The group will issue a final report to the Chancellor and possibly others. The Chair will ask if the working group will present its recommendations to the Employee Forum.  Turner asked if the resolution should go to the Faculty Council as well as the Forum.

Phillip Edwards moved to suspend the rules and consider the resolution on second reading.  Lori Haight seconded this motion.  The motion carried by a two-thirds majority.  Jackie Overton moved that the resolution be accepted on second reading.  Arlene Medder seconded this motion.  The motion was approved without opposition.

The Chair noted that voting for the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award will take place via Qualtrics e-mailed ballots this month.  The Chair praised James Holman as the original source for the idea.  He noted that the Executive Committee had discussed the question of whether previous winners should be eligible to receive the award a second time.

Phillip Edwards noted problems with the Forum Bylaws related to wording interchanging the “annual retreat,” the “June meeting,” and the “June retreat.”  He submitted Bylaws changes to reflect the current practice of the Forum.  It was noted that the Forum would still need to elect its officers at its June meeting prior to a July retreat.

Kelli Raker moved that the Forum suspend its rules to approve the proposed Bylaws changes on first reading.  Arlene Medder seconded this motion.  The motion was approved with one person voting against.  The Chair asked for a motion to approve the Bylaws revisions with a friendly amendment related to the election of officers.  Shayna Hill made this motion, seconded by Jackie Overton.  The motion was approved with two abstentions.

The Chair opened the floor for general discussion of the political issue of the day.  Katie Turner asked for clarification on the policy governing employee participation in political activity.  She said that Human Resources has set out a policy in which employees or units can provide clarification but not election advice.  Linc Butler responded that University employees cannot use their position or resources to take active part in an election.  Turner asked if this limit was strictly related to political campaigning.  Butler said that the stricture is broader than that.  Turner thought that the policy is used to keep employees quiet.

Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington said that she and University Counsel David Parker had just returned from a General Administration meeting that provided guidance on University policies related to House Bill 2.  Parker said that because the law is an act of the Legislature, and the University is not a local entity, the guidance from General Administration is that the University’s non-discrimination policies will stand.  He noted that UNC-Chapel Hill believes that it is compliant with the first part of the legislation, related to designations of bathrooms by gender.  The University will do an audit with Facilities Services to complete a listing of bathrooms for general reference.

Ombuds Officer Wayne Blair said that the conversation should not assume that everyone knows the scope of the legislation.  He asked that someone speak to that.  The Chair said that the purpose of the day’s meeting is to gather feedback and information for the benefit of the Chancellor.  He planned to synthesize data collected via e-mail and through the Forum meeting.  He thus asked that all comments from the floor be presented.

David Parker said that the House Bill 2 legislation defines the University as an executive branch agency that will require all multi-stall bathrooms and changing facilities to be used according to one’s biological sex.  Parker noted that there are exceptions to the general prohibition.  The second section regarding employment and contracts preempts local ordinances affecting minimum wages and compensation of employees.  As the University is not a unit of local government this section does not affect the campus at all.  The third section entitled “Protection of Rights in Employment and Public Accommodations” establishes classes of discrimination which are illegal.  This list is less extensive than the University’s policy, but since it preempts local governmental policy, the list is seen not to apply to the University.  The University is not seen to be a public accommodation by the Governor’s Office as well as by General Administration, Parker said.

Shayna Hill said that her responsibility to bring issues forward as an LGBTQ ally compels her to speak on the active, open, and hostile discussions targeting transgender employees throughout campus.  She said that hostile conversations in front of these employees conducted in a judgmental way have occurred, and written campaigns have also happened.  These remarks have led to these highly productive staff feeling demoralized and overworked.  She cautioned that the University will lose good people with crushed spirits as a result of this law.  She said it was important to protect these human resources.  Felicia Washington asked if these conversations were occurring on campus.  She said that employees who feel harassed have the opportunity to appeal to the Equal Opportunity office.  The University accepts freedom of speech but will not subject its employees to harassment.  Hill said that these employees feel that any official complaint would be useless or would subject them to retaliation.

Terri Phoenix hoped that the Chancellor’s statement would reaffirm Washington’s remarks.  Felicia Washington thought that this had occurred, but she would issue further statements later in the day.

An attendee said that the comments by supervisors and faculty create a hostile environment for transgender employees.  She asked if management would be held accountable.  Felicia Washington said that everyone on campus is grappling with the implications of this legislation.  She said that this is a place that wants everyone to feel welcome.  She said that employees have the benefit of the non-retaliation clause when filing grievances.  She also noted that their grievance may in the end be unsatisfactory.

An attendee, noting that the legislation requires all bathrooms to be labeled by biological sex, asked how the Department of Public Safety will respond to calls regarding this law.  She asked if Public Safety will follow the values of the University.  The Chair said that the Forum had not approached the leaders of Public Safety yet to obtain their comments.  David Parker said that the legislation directs agencies to designate and regulate bathrooms and changing facilities.  The legislation does not specify enforcement methods and should not require changes in bathroom facilities, Parker said.

Shane Hale was reassured that there was no change to military status in the bill.  Gisele Crawford of the Child Development Center said that since the bill had passed, speakers and conferees have not been allowed to travel to North Carolina by their respective state and local governments.  She asked the Forum to convey this news to the Chancellor.

Clare Counihan asked if the law would impact the University’s eligibility for federal funds.  She said that if the law did apply to campus, it could place the University in violation of Title IX.  David Parker noted a lawsuit that says HB2 puts the State out of compliance with federal law.

O.J. McGhee, the Chair of the University’s Black Caucus, said that it was great news that the University’s non-discrimination clause would still be upheld.  He asked if there would be an opportunity for education about HB2 in the future.  Felicia Washington said that the Forum was the first group to hear the news of the University’s status under HB2.  She said that the University should distribute a statement to campus later that day.  She welcomed further ideas for communication about the issue.

Ronald Campbell asked what changes in the law would make everyone happy.  Shane Hale said a general repeal would seem to satisfy everyone in the room.  The Chair noted that many people have used the opposite gender bathroom in their lives.  He said that the law seems to be based on ideology.  On the other hand, he wanted to insure that conservative views are represented in a reasonable way as well.

Matt McKirahan said that much in HB2 seems to usurp local authority.  David Parker noted that any local authority is generated by the State and so could not be said to usurp local authority.  Clare Counihan felt incredibly relieved that the University’s non-discrimination policy will still be in effect.  She asked what the University can do for those in campus affected by these questions 24 hours a day.

Katie Musgrove said that decision-makers should consider the possible impact of the State’s appearance as a non-inclusive environment.  Brian Andregg asked about training for LBGTQI safe zone training.  Gena Carter noted that there is such a training scheduled for May 4th.

Kelli Raker had heard other staff are concerned and confused about which bathroom they should use.  She noted that there are not many single-occupancy bathrooms, and said it would be good to convert as many as possible to unisex status.  Shannon Harvey of UNC Global said that federal laws affect employee rights in this area.  Kathy James said that an employee in her unit has to go across the street to find an appropriate bathroom.  Kelli Crisp, from the LGTBQ Center in Durham, said that nine single-occupancy bathrooms at the University are labeled with gender.  Kristen Lewis said that if there is no appropriate bathroom in an employee’s building, that employee should say something as something needs to be worked out in this area.  Employees can contact eoc@unc.edu for guidance.

Katie Turner noted the challenge of finding appropriate bathrooms in certain University buildings.  She said that the Campus Y has only two spaces that are both gendered.  She said that many problems cannot be addressed directly because of building codes and the ADA, which specify proportions of bathrooms based on building size.  She said that the University must coordinate efforts with Facilities Services and the local planning department to obtain the needed flexibility.  It was noted that these discussions were already undergoing.

Kelli Raker said that HB2 is a separate and unequal law and she felt that the State was regressing to an age of whites and colored people, of segregation.  She said that research has shown more sexual and physical violence against transgendered people when forced to use a separate facility.

Ben Triplett hoped that the University could allow temporary reassignment of bathrooms in order to meet the requirements of the legislation.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

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