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 Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Human Resources Update – Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington (9:25 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.)

III. Old Business (9:55 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

  • Approval of June Minutes (SharePoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)

IV. New Business (10:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m.)

  • Staff Assembly Delegate

V.  Forum Committees (10:05 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.)

  • Carolina Blood Drive: Jim Fuller
  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Lois Douglass-Alston/James Holman
  • Communications and Public Relations: Kelli Raker
  • Community Service:  Katie Musgrove
  • Education and Career Development: Katie Cartwell/LaToya Taylor
    • Carolina Family Scholarship:  Jacquelyn Copeland
  • Membership & Assignments:  Kathy James
  • Personnel Issues:  Bryan Andregg
    • Compensation & Benefits:  Christine Greenberg
    • Legislative Action:  Phil Edwards
    • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Ben Triplett
  • Recognition & Awards:  Natiaya Neal
  • UNC System Staff Assembly: Kim Andrews/Shane Hale/Charles Streeter/Victoria Hammett
  • Executive Committee: Charles Streeter

VIII. Announcements/Questions (11:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

IX.  Adjournment

MINUTES

August 3, 2016 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Bryan Andregg, Jo-Ann Blake, Sharon Brinson, Katherine Cartmell, Jackie Copeland, Clare Counihan, Mary Dahlsten, Phillip Edwards, Lori Haight, Victoria Hammett, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Kathy James, Mary King, Susan Lucas, Jeanna Mccullers, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Deborah Norton, Paula Powe, Krista Prince, Kelli Raker, Ricky Roach, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Charles Streeter, Latoya Taylor, Ben Triplett

Excused Absences:  Bonita Brown, Shannon Harvey, Michael Penny, David Rogers, Katie Turner

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:17 a.m.  He welcomed guests and members of the media.  The Chair remarked that he had attended the recent UNC Staff Assembly meeting.  Kelli Raker commented that she had been surprised at the diversity of resources and approaches of the different UNC System staff organizations.

The Chair led the Forum in creation of a brief social media for Jackie Overton, who is still recovering from surgical procedures.  He welcomed Kathy James back to the group after the passing of her father.  He also welcomed back Victoria Hammett, whose father also recently passed.  He expressed condolences to both delegates.

The Chair welcomed the new Carolina Women’s Center director Gloria Thomas from the University of Michigan.  Thomas wished the Forum well and looked forward to working with the group on efforts in the future.

Senior Director for Human Resources Gena Carter noted that Associate Vice Chancellor Linc Butler was on vacation.  She noted that Butler had made a previous presentation to the Forum on changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act that will go into effect December 1, 2016.  These changes will require recalculation of some employees’ pay and reconfiguration of ConnectCarolina and the TIM time management system.  She noted the number of University committees dedicated to these changes.  She also confirmed that the Forum had been briefed on these changes in a recent set of the meeting minutes.

Carter said that the Legislative Salary Increase (LSI) had been approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor McCrory.  SHRA employees will receive a 1.5% increase in salary retroactive to July 1st.  This increase should arrive in employees’ August 5th paycheck.  Employees will also receive a .5% one-time bonus in a future paycheck depending on the Office of State Human Resources’ and the Legislature’s timetable.  Directions for the implementation of the EHRA salary increase pool are also forthcoming.  Mary Dahlsten asked when funds will be available for transfer to individual departments.  Carter said that the bonus and 1% merit pool should move smoothly, but remains in the hands of the Office of State Human Resources and General Administration.  Bryan Andregg confirmed that the lump sum increase will be retroactive back to July 1.  Kathy James directed Andregg to view his upcoming paycheck on ConnectCarolina.

Kristy Nash, a consultant with Employee and Management Relations, had updates and reminders regarding the University’s Performance Management program.  Officials from Human Resources will meet in the next week to update the program with the newest information.  Information about the new program will be available through computer-based training as well as consultation with Human Resources representatives.

Nash said that the new cycle will run from April 1st-March 31st, with a new performance plan due afterwards.  The new plan will set individual and institutional goals with calibration across positions in each department’s work area.  Clare Counihan asked if program trainings will discuss implicit bias as a factor in evaluations.  Nash said that the plan will discuss all kinds of factors in evaluations.  The plan will address talent development for the employee.  There will also no longer be a longer form for interim or probationary employees.  Performance evaluation will now contain only three rankings:  1 means an employee is not meeting expectations for the area evaluated, 2 means the employee is meeting expectations, and 3 means that the employee is exceeding expectations in this area.  Krista Prince confirmed that the new performance plan for employees must be submitted by October 1st.

Benefits Program and Events Coordinator Kim Andrews noted that tuition waivers are available for employees working 30 or more hours a week, as soon as they become benefits eligible.  Employees using tuition waiver usually must attend classes outside their regular work schedule, but if employees are taking classes to improve their work performance with the permission of their supervisor, they can take those classes during work hours.  Employees can use the waiver for only three classes a year, one of which can occur during the summer session.  The relevant number is that of courses taken, not credit hours.  If an employee drops below 30 hours a week, they will be partially billed for the tuition waiver.  Employees desiring tuition waivers must have forms signed by their supervisor and delivered to the Benefits office, preferably by scanned e-mail or hand delivered.  Andrews said that tuition waivers function at any UNC System institution.  She cautioned that each institution has different deadlines which must be met to enroll in classes.  She noted that the fall 2016 UNC-Chapel Hill deadline for tuition waiver approval is August 28th.  Andrews confirmed that EHRA employees can also use this benefit.

Clare Counihan asked if courses must take place outside an employee’s work schedule if they benefit an employee’s job.  The Chair noted that tuition waived courses must be for a credit grade.  Andrews urged employees to ask their department about tuition waiver eligibility, as the Benefits office only processes these waiver and does not determine course eligibility.  Mary Dahlsten confirmed that some University Masters’ classes do not accept tuition waivers.  She encouraged employees to check with their department of interest before submitting the form.  Paula Poe praised the tuition waiver program as a fine support for her educational accomplishments at the University.

It was noted that the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) separately provides $500 for tuition and $100 for books at UNC System institutions and North Carolina community colleges.  In addition, sometimes UNC-Chapel Hill departments can offset costs for their employees’ studies.  Victoria Hammett confirmed that the tuition waiver must be used at a State school but the EAP can be used at any institution of higher learning.

Benefits Manager Shauna Stackhouse referred employees to shpnc.org for information on annual health insurance enrollment.  Enrollment will take place from October 1-31st.  During this period, employees can enroll or change benefits in medical, dental, or accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) plans.  Stackhouse noted that changes are occurring with these plans, namely increases in premiums and benefits changes.  She hoped that State Health Plan rate changes would become available very soon.

Stackhouse reported that all subscribers will default to the 70/30 plan.  Employees desiring the 80/20 plan must complete wellness premium coverage attestations of health, non-use of tobacco, and designated medical provider.  The wellness-based premium coverage is available through the “My Personal Health Portal,” which exists outside the University web.  Users must create a user name and password.  The portal allows employees to set health and wellness goals, as well as create health assessments.  She urged listeners to go ahead and submit these health assessments now.

Clare Counihan noted the confusion around enrollment last year.  She asked if there would be a deadline for the wellness credit this year.  Stackhouse said the deadline will fall on October 31st.  She noted that while employees can do their health assessments now, they must wait until October to submit their tobacco attestation.

This year, 70/30 plan subscribers must complete tobacco attestations to bring their rates back to zero.  Stackhouse reported that the health benefits estimator on the State Health Plan website had helped her personally determine which of the 80/20, 70/30, and consumer directed health plan options would benefit her the most for an upcoming surgical procedure in the coming year.  She hoped the Forum would help promote these tools during the upcoming enrollment period.  She noted that employees will receive materials related to enrollment in late September.

Ben Triplett asked if Benefits staff will be available to brief staff at departmental meetings.  Stackhouse said that “boot camps” of various lengths are available depending on departmental time available.  She said that Benefits staff will also participate in Employee Appreciation Day on October 21st to help with employee enrollment.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the June meeting.  Shayna Hill made this motion, seconded by Natiaya Neal.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair said that the Forum will need to elect another delegate and alternate to the UNC System Staff Assembly.  He said that the number of required meetings have increased from four to six a year.  Serving on the Staff Assembly is a good way to meet employees from staff organizations on other System campuses as well as General Administration officials.  Election of delegates will take place in September for the October meeting.  He encouraged interested employees to talk with their supervisors about this opportunity.

Mary Dahslten asked about other time commitments involved with the Staff Assembly.  The Chair noted that two meetings a year take place at UNC System campuses across the State.  General Administration bears the cost for Assembly expenses such as hotels and meals.  The Chair noted that the Assembly has service committees similar to the Employee Forum.  He also noted that proposed legislation had tried to remove the University from the then-SPA system.  This legislation, known then as SB 575, would have moved University employees under UNC General Administration.  UNC-Chapel Hill opposed this change because it was thought that affected employees would lose employment protections.  On the other hand, the legislation would provide flexibility for additional pay increases for staff.  The UNC System Staff Assembly would be the employee voice should such legislation be reintroduced.

The Chair noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly will hold the 2017 Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament at the Tobacco Road course in Sanford.  He noted that the Sanford golf course offered a much better deal to host the tournament than Finley in Chapel Hill.  The Chair noted that the tournament raised $37,000 for the Janet B. Royster staff development scholarship fund.  Clare Counihan asked about a putt-putt golf tournament alternative.  The Chair noted the many benefits available for golfers and volunteers during the tournament.  Katherine Cartmell asked about having money directed straight to the Royster fund, rather than using it to increase benefits at the tournament.  Kathy Ramsey said that sponsors give funds for advertising and exposure at the tournament.  Jeanna Mccullers asked how many recipients there were of the Royster scholarships.  The Chair said that there were around 15-20 scholarship overall, with five awarded to UNC-Chapel Hill employees.

Clare Counihan distributed a good-bye card for Samara Reynolds.

The Chair reported on a recent meeting held with Dean Martin Brinkley of the UNC Law School.  He hoped Dean Brinkley could speak at a future meeting of the Forum.

The Chair shared a “Feel Good Moment” involving a Facilities Services employee who took time to help another employee find lost cash in a parking lot one morning.  This employee asked nothing more than for the other to “pay the kindness forward.”

The Chair asked Forum delegates to divide into committees for 30 minutes to discuss items and goals.

Katie Musgrove reported that representatives for the Carolina Center for Public Service and the General Alumni Association will join with the Community Service committee to encourage faculty, staff, and student participation in Tar Heel Days of Service.  The committee also plans to carry out a food drive in the fall as well as assist with the Carolina Blood Drive committee.  She invited delegates and employees to serve on the committee.

Kelli Raker reported that the Communications & Public Relations committee will observe an August 24th deadline for the September InTouch.  The committee will work to update the Forum website, among other activities.

Lori Haight spoke on the upcoming Forum scavenger hunt.  She said that it is a priority to collect prizes.  Employees willing to help should contact her at lhaight@email.unc.edu.  The committee will gather to hide prizes across campus in conjunction with Employee Appreciation day October 21.  The Chair said that the Forum hoped to do a walk-on the football field during the game that weekend.

Raker reported that Michael Penny had joined the Communications & Public Relations committee.  She noted that the committee will work to finish the divisional e-mails from Forum delegates.  The Chair said that these e-mails are important to help employees get to know their delegates.

Katherine Cartmell said that the Education & Career Development committee will work to continue the brown-bag lunches discussing various topics.  Latoya Taylor proposed that the committee survey employees to find out what is needed.  The committee will also discuss revisions to the Forum’s Professional Development Grant program.

Kathy James reported that the Membership & Assignments committee will have food for the September Forum meeting.  The committee will also organize volunteers for the October 21st Employee Appreciation Day.  Finally, the committee will organize the holiday party for the December 7th Forum meeting.  She noted that the committee will also work to plan the 25th anniversary part for the Forum in 2017.

Bryan Andregg said that the Personnel Issues committee would meet August 11th.  The committee will work with the Community Service committee on University Day volunteer activities.  The committee will also discuss opportunities to obtain Masters’ degrees for employees not able to use tuition waivers.  Katie Musgrove said that regarding University Day, the University requires that employees work on some structured volunteer event in order to specify this time as community service leave (CSL).

Ricky Roach raised the issue of employees working four ten-hour shifts a week only being paid for eight hours for each paid holiday.  The Chair said that this question was State policy but could certainly lead to discussion.

Natiaya Neal said that the Recognition & Awards committee will work on the Community Award and Professional Development Grant programs.  She proposed that the Forum create an award for delegates who manage to attend every Forum meeting in a year or term.  The Chair noted that delegates need to attend meetings and committee meetings.  He said that the Forum needs its members to be active.  He said also that delegates missing four or five meetings should consider dropping out so that another employee can fill their place.  He noted that letters to delegate supervisors should make clear the importance of service as a Forum delegate.

The Chair noted that the new Executive Committee will meet August 16th.

Ben Triplett asked if staff could volunteer to speak at an event honoring University housekeepers.  He said that the group would love feedback on their work from new and different speakers.  Kelli Raker asked that the September 14th Forum meeting go on the Open Meetings and Employee Forum calendar for the rest of the year.  Matt Banks said he would take care of this task.

Bryan Andregg moved that the meeting adjourn, seconded by Kathy James.  The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:27 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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