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.

Winter Potluck Social (9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.)

I.  Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press
  • Recognition of Carolina Family Scholarship Recipients

II.  Consent Agenda (9:25 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)

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

III. Special Presentations (9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

  • Chancellor Carol Folt (9:30 a.m. – 10:30m.)
  • Cheryl Stout, Director, Transportation & Parking, Discussing ACT Five-Year Transit Plan (10:30 a.m. – 11:00m.)

IV.  Human Resources Update – Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington (11:00a.m. – 11:15a.m.)

V. New Business (11:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

  • Winter Social Prize Drawing

VII.  Adjournment

MINUTES

December 7, 2016 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Bryan Andregg, Sharon Brinson, Bonita Brown, Tiffany Carver, Jackie Copeland, Mary Dahlsten, Phillip Edwards, David Fraley, Jim Fuller, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Kathy James, Karen Jenkins, Jeanna Mccullers, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Deborah Norton, Jackie Overton, Michael Penny, Paula Poe, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, David Rogers, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner

Excused Absences:  Christine Greenberg, Mary King, Susan Lucas

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:20 a.m.  He hoped that attendees had the chance to partake of the day’s refreshments.  He led the Forum in drawing for prizes for the day’s social.

The Chair welcomed Chancellor Carol Folt.  He praised Folt and Rhonda Manuel as critical parts of the Carolina Family Scholarship (CFS) program.  He recognized parents of CFS winners Miranda Fearrington, Karen Jenkins, and Barbara Stegenga, and student Katherine Stegenga.

The Chair introduced the concept of a consent agenda to limit discussion on areas of general agreement, such as the Forum minutes.  He asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda.  Kathy James made this motion, seconded by David Rogers.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

Chancellor Carol Folt joined the Employee Forum at its December 7 meeting in the Sonja H. Stone Center for Black Culture and History.  The Chancellor was present to honor recipients of the Carolina Family Scholarship, awarded to children of UNC-Chapel Hill employees to attend any UNC System or North Carolina community college.  This year, the Chancellor provided $25,000 from her Unrestricted Fund to provide scholarships to sixteen children of UNC-Chapel Hill employees, ten of whom were first-time winners.

Folt spoke on the University’s Strategic Initiative, noting that everyone on campus has a part to play in this process.  She envisioned the process as unifying the University in its position as a force for good.  She said that the strategic plan will work to address longstanding issues related to the “siloing” of different University functions.  She praised cross-unit initiatives such as the Lineberger Cancer Center’s use of IBM Watson to cull through and generate clinical insights from massive amounts of data, an innovation that has become a best practice in only a couple of years.

Folt said that similar innovations are necessary to address the exponential rates of change facing the world in the coming years.  She said that a major challenge will be to address the University and State bureaucracy to find what works and what does not.  These areas of seismic shift will dramatically affect the University workforce, as UNC-Chapel Hill works to maintain its mission of providing need-blind aid and the lowest tuition possible to its students.

The University must develop its expertise for the State of North Carolina and beyond, working to expand its foundation of grant dollars that maintain its juggernaut of research.  The University must work for the public good and for democracy.  She noted a quote from a great North Carolina politician, “if not Chapel Hill, then whom?”

The University will work to develop and improve its bureaucratic processes and systems, Folt said.  She said that the University must thoughtfully embrace this change to bring new technology to campus while retaining the commitment to its great research enterprise.  The University must perform more efficiently the job of supporting those in the new economy, all while planning for less State support each fiscal year.

Vice Chancellor of Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington spoke on the Chancellor’s Task Force for the Workforce of the Future.  She said that the University seeks to become an “employer of choice” for potential hires.  She said that the University must increase its flexibility and adaptability, improve the well-being of its workers by being as family-friendly as possible, improve its data collection methods, and increase professional development options offered employees.  She said that obtaining a greater flexibility in personal policy issues was important to University plans.  She hoped to end delays in obtaining employee salary increases.  She said that the University will need to dedicate resources to find information on its workforce, perhaps through a single, annual holistic survey of faculty and staff.  She said that Human Resources will work on a single professional development training calendar.  The University will review child and elder care policies and subsidies, among other items suggested by Forum delegates and other departments.

Chancellor Folt noted the Strategic Framework initiative that will focus on how the University can raise money and stay open to fulfill its mission in a culture of innovation.  She noted improvements needed in addressing the new transitional student population, perhaps by issuing certificates that show training achieved in different fields.  She noted the great convergence of arts, fitness, and public health in the Arts Corridor, and hoped that the University could support similar pan-University initiatives.

Jackie Overton praised the amazing work of the UNC Cancer Hospitals following Folt’s mention of the UNC cancer initiative on “60 Minutes.”  Phillip Edwards observed a general fatigue with the relentless barrage of information that students, faculty, and staff experience.  He asked if there were a way to temper innovation somewhat given this pressure.  Folt said that the University needs to keep in mind its mission of existing of the people and for the people of North Carolina.  She said that the University needs to keep its work personal.  However, it cannot move away from the pace of change or pretend that it is not changing faster than it is.  She offered that the University must find a way not to change the “everlastings” of education, granting that these are not the same for every person.

Clare Counihan noted that innovation is often conflated with speed in today’s culture.  She raised the example of the slow food movement and lauded the value of slowness, asking how innovation fit with the practices of this idea.  She said that people need time to process and think through ideas.  She also said that the language of innovation is too often conflated with that of enterprise.  She asked about possible conflicts of interest that could occur.  Folt said that UNC-Chapel Hill faculty set their own policy governing conflicts of interest.  She said that she would not presume to tell faculty how to manage this policy.  Regarding change generally, Folt said that the University often faces externally driven change such as budget cuts.  These changes are beyond local control.  Folt said that the University should be mindful where it can be slow but said that help is certainly needed to remain thoughtful and intentional.

Jeanna Mccullers asked about examples of staff improvements as an employer of choice.  Felicia Washington said that Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement had met with various campus units to discuss ways to make policies clearer and more developed, such as in supervisory training.

Bryan Andregg asked about plans in the proposed strategic framework that may advance change for employees reticent to do so.  Folt said that the workforce as a whole is undergoing these changes.  She said that age itself has little to do with the spirit of innovation in individual employees.

Ricky Roach asked if there were any plans to privatize any areas at the University, noting that various rumors about this issue were in circulation.  Folt said that she could not answer this question regarding the UNC System.  She said that UNC-Chapel Hill must plan to make itself sustainable and thus must search every way to meet its commitments.  Accordingly, she could not make any promises in this area.  She did note that the book store had increased its revenues by $3.5 million this year, with all related jobs retaining more security than elsewhere in the State.  Folt said that the University would not rank among the best public institutions in the country without its talented and caring workforce.  She pledged to do no harm and to build on its beautiful strength.

Direct of Transportation and Parking Cheryl Stout noted the amount of in-service training offered in her department.  She asked how to translate Folt’s general points into a plan to make things happen on the unit level.  Folt said that the process of asking for help to personalize changes should assist units.  She looked forward to hearing suggestions from employees in the areas mentioned.

Stout proceeded to speak on the University’s five year transit plan.  She noted that the Advisory Committee on Transportation (ACT) had begun discussions in January.  Transportation and Parking has held discussions with a wide range of University departments and units on this question, including the Employee Forum.  Stout said that ACT representatives Charles Streeter and Shayna Hill had worked to represent staff interests on this committee.  She said that Transportation and Parking had begun to draft recommendations in September towards a hoped for final review in February or March.  This draft had also considered funding strategies.  She was pleased that the five-year plan growth obligations had grown at a lesser rate than expected.  Reasons for the lower cost projections include a change in factoring debt service payments, a reduction in inflation increases, a revision in interest rate impacts, and an updated number of buses that can be funded by other governmental organizations.

  • Parking revenues support approximately 10% of the transit contract for 16-17. Department fees support 48% and student fees support 42%.
  • This is local and regional transit. [Edit from Mya Nguyen]

Stout said that guiding principles include reducing the amount of parking subsidy to Transit costs over the five year plan and developing a more equitable balance of costs in the Transportation and Parking to all users of the system.  In addition, the department must be completely receipt supported.  Stout noted that Chapel Hill Transit’s fare-free bus system is a huge cost but also a huge benefit Transportation and Parking heard feedback asking for more equity of expenses charged to users, and a minimum of additional increases to student fees and daily parking permit holders.

  • This statement should reference the PARCS system which stands for Parking Access Revenue Control System. This is our gate and hourly parking revenue management system.
  • There are 5 System Enhancements listed as part of the Plan recommendations with costs being covered by reducing the department’s operating reserve and utilizing available capital reserve. The enhancements and costs are listed below:
    • PARCS                   $5M
    • Bike Share           $130K
    • Tranloc                 $70K
    • LED                      no additional revenues required – incorporated into annual budgets
    • Campus Bird        no additional cost – Facilities initiative that T&P is incorporating into maps/wayfinding [Edit from Mya Nguyen]

Stout detailed the financial strategies that would allow continuance of operations, including a reduction of operating revenues from 90 days to 30 days, a minimal increase in student fees, or a minimal increase in parking permit costs.  She also noted proposed North Campus visitor parking rate increases and night parking fee and permit implementation as other funding sources.  Stout outlined three different funding strategies that would meet these needs.  She noted that upcoming events will lead to the final presentation of the five-year transit plan to the Board of Trustees for approval this spring.

Lori Haight asked about possible exceptions to the rule for employees who would have to work across shifts in both the day and the night.  Stout said that a daytime permit would be valid at night, but not vice versa.  She said that the concern of Transportation and Parking is not to change parking habits but rather to meet equity goals and cost sharing.

Kelli Raker asked about the different permit categories charged employees.  She noted that night-shift employees are generally lower paid than other employees and would be affected and suggested that perhaps higher-paid employees should bear some of these costs.  Jackie Overton noted that night-shift employees receive a 10% shift differential, which would enable these employees to bear this cost somewhat.  Stout asked whether Raker had in mind changing the lower scale of permit costs of changing the entire structure of permit costs.  Raker said that either course would address concerns about the impact of a proposed night parking program on these employees.

Paula Poe asked about other revenue besides parking permit revenue used to cover costs.  Stout said that departmental fees, student fees, event revenue, patient parking, and daytime parking represent the majority of funding sources.  She noted that North Carolina law requires that State departments must support their parking systems through receipts, not State funds.  Poe asked if departments can pay for parking permits for their employees.  Stout said that this practice is not allowed, but noted that service permits are generally available to departments.  Felicia Washington said that departmental subsidies to employees would be considered income under federal and State law.

Shannon Harvey asked how night parking revenues would be derived.  Stout said that revenues would be one-half from employees and one-half from guests.  Students would pay an additional fee to allow them use of night parking facilities.  Harvey noted the structure of parking fees charged Town of Chapel Hill night employees.  Stout said that Transportation and Parking had talked about this method but had sought to address concerns that the daytime permit fees not increase.

Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington presented the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  She welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler to speak on recent changes to implementation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Butler noted that on November 23rd, a federal court had issued an injunction against FLSA changes.  All UNC System institutions were instructed to pause in their implementation efforts following a conversation with President Spellings and Chancellor Folt.  Butler said that UNC-Chapel Hill will still move forward with implementation for post-doctoral employees who are considered temporary employees under the federal injunction.  He said that the Department of Labor has filed an expedited appeal that could lead to a number of different outcomes.  He would watch this issue carefully.

Benefits Counselor Rob Stevenson noted that Fidelity and TIAA-Cref will offer retirement education workshops in the new calendar year.   The Office of State Human Resources will offer 80 hours special paid leave for Western North Carolina wild fire efforts.  Stevenson encouraged employees to check their paystubs to insure that year-end benefits processing was performed correctly.  He said that changes to State Health Plan of North Carolina exceptions will not be approved after the extended November deadline, except in cases of life or limb.  Stevenson said that the tuition wavier program applications will be processed on-line for the first time for UNC-Chapel Hill courses only.  Other UNC System campuses still expect paper applications.  Employees must still route their applications through their supervisors and must receive approval and submission to the cashiers’ office.  Kathy Ramsey said that employees could contact Payroll about deduction problems.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

 

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