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—Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

II.  Special Presentation (9:25 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.)

  • Presentation of Forum Community Award (3-Legged Stool)

III. Human Resources Update (9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV. Consent Agenda (10:15 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.)

  • Approval of May Minutes (sent separately to delegates)
  • Approval of June Minutes (sent separately to delegates)
  • Forum Committees
      • Compensation & Benefits:
      • Legislative Action:  Phil Edwards
      • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:

V. Old Business (10:25 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

VI. New Business (11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

  • Call for Closed Session

VIII. Announcements/Question (11:25 -11:30 a.m.)

IX.  Adjournment

MINUTES

August 2, 2017 Employee Forum meeting

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She welcomed Katie Musgrove to discuss this fall’s University food drive with Harris Teeter.  She said that UNC-Chapel Hill had come within 600 pounds of beating NC State in last year’s drive, a significant improvement.

The Chair asked for discussion of goals for the year.  Tiffany Carver asked about ways to distribute information to campus employees.  The Chair asked delegates to submit descriptive blurbs for themselves as introductory statements to their divisions.  She recalled that the Board of Trustees had asked how the Forum proposes to communicate with the University’s 8,500 employees.  She said that the Forum has its methods but needs help from other areas of campus to succeed.  Jeanna Mccullers asked if the Communications and Public Relations committee would revise delegates’ individual statements.  Lori Haight said that the committee plans to do what had been done before.

The Chair noted that planning for the Forum’s 25th anniversary is still underway.  She said that there are plans to publicize staff opportunities to use Community Service Leave.  Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler noted that Human Resources plans to work with the Forum to develop this social media campaign.

The Chair noted a goal that more delegates participate on Forum committees as these groups need full complements of workers to be effective.  The Chair also noted a goal to explore the Forum’s electoral divisions in relation to federal job classifications.  She had a personal goal to increase Forum support among campus supervisors.  She hoped to continue the fine work that former Forum Chairs Jackie Overton and Charles Streeter have done in their terms to elevate the status of the Forum.

The Chair hoped to increase delegate access to divisional listservs.  She also noted a goal to increase concrete stands on behalf of University employees.  Clare Counihan heartily seconded this idea.  The Chair noted the importance of constructively addressing staff concerns through the process of obtaining information to bring to the body to increase understanding.  Ricky Roach added that he would like to see results from the Forum’s actions, rather than seeing issues kind of politely die.  He urged delegates to keep the pressure on decisionmakers to obtain results.

The Chair responded that sometimes the Forum will not obtain the answer that individual delegates will want.  She said that sometimes the Forum will need to push and then accept the answer when necessary.

Jeanna Mccullers said that the Forum needs to combine a greater vision with its concrete work on campus issues.  She suggested that the Forum hold meetings on the Shared Services question following the Administration’s presentation at the July retreat.  She thought that the Personnel Issues committee could play a part in this work.

The Chair noted another goal that the Forum develop presentations to make to internal departments.  She suggested that the Forum consult with Human Resources to develop this effort.

Natiaya Neal announced the winner of the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool).  She said that the Award goes to the person who fosters partnerships within the University community of faculty, staff, and students.  She said that the Award is the highest one that the Forum offers.  Neal said that Deborah Hawkins of Transportation and Parking had won the award.  Brian Griffin, Hawkins’ nominator, praised Hawkins’ clear-headed and tenacious work on multiple projects over multiple days and nights.  He noted that she had organized events from campus athletics to multiple Presidential visits to campus.  Hawkins thanked the Forum for the award.  She noted the need for collaboration and teamwork among all University employees.  The Forum gave Hawkins a standing ovation.

The Forum heard from Linc Butler who presented the customary Human Resources update.  Butler said that the Legislature had approved State employee raises for this year.  SHRA employees will see their raises first in the August 18th paycheck.  Butler noted that the University will have to develop guidelines for converting information technology employees from SHRA to EHRA non-faculty.  Butler emphasized that employees currently in these positions will have the choice whether to undergo this conversion.  Bryan Andregg said that information technology employees at UNC-Charlotte, Western Carolina, and NC A&T have not seen the positives in this conversion.  These employees feel that they will lose access to a better grievance policy.  Butler said that this change is to improve the State’s ability to recruit and retain these employees, as EHRA non-faculty receive more salary flexibility than SHRA employees.  However, he did not expect a lot of takers among current IT employees for the conversion to EHRA non-faculty.

The Chair asked if there is a compensation and classification piece to this discussion.  Butler said that all compensation policies will remain in effect for IT employees who elect to remain SHRA.  There is no way to split off the compensation rules from the conversion requirement.

Ricky Roach asked about the possibilities for the University to pay market rates for its positions.  He said that workers in similar positions around the Triangle make double that he makes with Energy Services, and have lower insurance premiums also.  He said that if these pay disparities are not addressed, the University will lose the remainder of its workers in this area.  Butler said that best practices dictate that an organization will refresh its market rates every other year.  However, as the University is part of the State system, it must abide by legislative pay increases.  Unfortunately, recent increases have not provided enough movement.  He said that State system market rates were last calibrated eight years ago.

Butler said that the State Health Plan’s audit of plan dependents had occurred at a very poor time in the University calendar.  Butler did note that the University enjoyed a 96% response rate to the audit, mainly due to Shauna Stackhouse and the Benefits Division.  He hoped that the remaining 4% could respond soon.

Butler said that General Administration has provided guidance regarding ERP raises this year, capping raises previously at 4.99%.  Now, the Legislature will require the ERP process only when a salary increase exceeds 5% for an EHRA salary exceeding $100,000.  The Office of Human Resources would release more details about this revised rule soon.

Butler said that University employees will receive three days bonus leave.  This leave will have no expiration date and no cash value upon termination from the University.  The leave is currently loaded into the TIM time management system.  The Chair confirmed that this leave cannot be used to compile State service for retirement.

Butler said that the State Health Plan enrollment will take place from September 30th through October 31st.  He urged employees not to ignore mail from the State Health Plan as this will include important changes for this year.  The Chair asked about whether Blue Cross/Blue Shield would pull out of service areas near campus.  Butler said that he had not received any information to this effect.  HE said that any such move must be run by the Office of State Human Resources and the Board of Governors before it could occur.

Butler noted the 100% performance ratings participation rate and he thanked Senior Director Gena Carter for making this successful campaign happen.  He noted reports that orientation training had taken too much time on system access issues.  Now, when hiring new Human Resources personnel, orientation will concentrate on policy training before system training.

Butler called upon the Forum to recognize Gena Carter who is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.  The Forum gave her a standing ovation for her contributions to the University and the work life of its employees.

Katie Turner introduced Resolution 2017-02 honoring Gena Carter.  Katie Musgrove moved that the Forum consider this resolution on first reading.  The Forum voted in favor of Musgrove’s motion.  The Forum then voted to approve Resolution 2017-02.

Gena Carter thanked the Forum for its recognition of her work.  She said she felt that her work with the Forum reflects a method of two-way communication.  She felt that the University has always embraced her expertise.  Ricky Roach praised Carter as one of the few administrators that he “really trusts,” saying that he would really miss her.  The Forum gave Carter a standing ovation.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the consent agenda.  She said that approval of the consent agenda implies that the delegate has read the reports listed and is satisfied to approve them.  She said that delegates who have not read these reports should abstain from this vote.  Clare Counihan asked if delegates could request clarifications of the consent agenda.  Bryan Andregg said that this request would mean that the item is considered separately.  Andregg moved that the consent agenda be approved, seconded by Kathy Ramsey.  The motion was approved.

Under old business, Katie Musgrove introduced proposed Bylaws changes on first reading.  These changes would change the Forum’s committee structure.  Members offered different grammatical changes.  The proposed changes would be considered on second reading at the September 13th meeting.

The Chair said that there was no new business before the Forum.  She asked for any announcements.  Arlene Medder invited delegates to participate in the Carolina Campus Community Garden’s Forum sponsored workday.  The Chair added that this work can take place as Community Service Leave.

Tiffany Carver asked the Membership & Assignments committee to meet following the meeting.  Lori Haight of the Communications and Public Relations committee said that group is planning the fourth annual scavenger hunt for October 20th.

The Chair noted that the forum has received a budget cut from the University that will suspend food orders from Forum accounts for the immediate future.

Katie Musgrove noted that committee chairs should prepare their proposed budgets for the upcoming year for discussion at the August Executive Committee meeting.  Ricky Roach asked if money for the Carolina Blood Drive could be added as a line item in the Forum budget.  The Chair offered to do this but noted that the Forum now must pay for rent for use of the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room each month.

Jeanna Mccullers asked when divisional representation correspondence is due.  Matt Banks noted that he would soon leave for vacation but he hoped that delegates could submit their notes before the beginning of September.  Gena Carter said that the Vice Chancellor representatives’ meeting would need to find a different date.

Jeanna Mccullers asked what would be placed on the next Forum agenda.  Naquan Hill said that the Forum had not received much information about what had been cut.  He suggested that committee chairs develop their proposed budgets.

The Chair asked David Rogers for possible dates for the Forum’s ropes course.  Rogers suggested that the Forum reserve late October or early November for this purpose.  He described the challenge and Odyssey courses that delegates could use.  He suggested that the training could replace the Forum’s normal November 1st meeting.  Rogers emphasized that participation is not mandatory in the training.  He said that training costs would likely be free to the Forum.  He said the course is near Country Club Road behind Boshamer Stadium.  Those interested could access challengecourse@unc.edu

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 10:40 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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