February 4, 2004
Agenda — March 3, 2004
9:30 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
IV. Special Presentations
· Bob Knight, on Affordable Housing Opportunities, Introduced by Katherine Graves
· Laurie Charest, Human Resources Update, Introduced by Katherine Graves
· Michael Williamson, Deputy to North Carolina State Treasurer Richard Moore and Director of the North Carolina Retirement Systems, Introduced by Katherine Graves
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VI. February 4, 2003 Minutes
VII. Old Business
VIII. New Business
IX. Stretch Time 6
X. Forum Committee Reports
· Orientation: Meredith Clason
· Personnel Issues: Delita Wright
· University Assignments: Tom Arnel
· Career Development: Curtis Helfrich
· Communications: Brian White
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Community Affairs, Recognition and Awards:
· Employee Presentations: Katherine Graves
· Nominating: Patti Prentice
Þ Forum Elections
XI. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
XII. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Advisory Committee on Transportation—Tommy Griffin
· Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace—Tommy Griffin
· University Priorities and Budget Advisory Committee—Tommy Griffin
· Carolina North Project—Tommy Griffin
XIV. “Go Around the Room”
P = Included in Agenda Packet
Abridged Minutes of the February 4, 2004 Employee Forum Meeting
The Chair welcomed Delegates and other observers to the meeting. He welcomed Chimi Boyd, the new assistant director of the Carolina Women’s Center. Boyd spoke about various activities the Center will sponsor, particularly a monthly brown bag lunch series on women’s issues. Diane Kjervik, director of the Center, thanked delegate Meredith Clason for her service on the Center’s advisory board.
John Heuer, the 2001 Chair of the Forum, said a few words in memory of recently deceased Employees Dorothy Grant and Gary Tompkins.
Katherine Graves welcomed newly promoted delegate Paul McGinley. She recalled the history of the Forum’s Community Award (3-Legged Stool) and asked Rebecca Ashburn to present the award to this year’s recipient, Tommy Womble. Ashburn described Womble’s extraordinary work bridging differences between the Cashiers’ and Financial Aid offices.
Laurie Charest made a presentation with Bob Knight depicting changes in the campus workforce over the last ten years. Counting faculty, staff, post-docs, graduate students and work-study students, the University’s workforce numbered 9,926 as of October 31, 2003. The University’s temporary workforce almost equaled that of the permanent workforce.
Knight noted that the University had grown about 18% in the last ten years, with a change in employment reflecting the University’s increasing reliance on research dollars to fund operations. He noted that non-academic units had faced several cuts in State funding over this period. He noted that there are 10% fewer maintenance and skilled trade positions than ten years ago and 20% fewer secretarial positions, although this latter change reflects the movement of Health Affairs employees to the UNC Health Care System in 1998. Technical and professional employees, mainly in support research and clinical trials have increased 45%.
Knight noted the increasing number of building square feet that Facilities employees must cover over the past ten years. He noted the increase in contracts and grants funding of offices and the proportion of employees supported by these grants.
Knight presented a hypothetical contract and grant project’s budget for faculty and staff and the particular requirements facing a grant project that must begin quickly and finish work within a short time frame. He noted that staff employees outnumber faculty funded by research projects. He said that central operations have shrunk as the proportion of University funding has moved from appropriations and tuition. This change has created greater efficiency but also the danger that the central operations might have shrunken too far.
The University’s increase in “knowledge worker” staffing associated with growth reflects the changing composition of the workforce in the 21st century university.
Charest noted that the Board of Trustees had asked why the number of staff employees had continued to grow in light of these trends. She said that the Board seemed to understand by the end of the presentation that staff were doing increasing amounts of work in different areas to support the University’s varying activities. Some occupations benefit from technical innovations, but not all do. She noted that the Board seemed surprised by the data and was particularly struck by the increasing number of square feet that facilities employees have had to cover over the past ten years.
Graves asked if funding for maintenance staff could be a written requirement in grant applications. Charest said that grants designate some funds to support operations, but she hoped that these funds would increase.
Charest reported that employees on state funds have received slightly more in-range salary adjustments than employees on non-state funds. She said that the administration had met with Tony Waldrop asking that departmental grant administration place higher consideration on providing in-range salary adjustments for staff. Graves said that she knew of several departments that had not provided staff in-range adjustments although funding was specifically provided in the grant proposal. She noted that the negative effect on staff morale when these monies are devoted to hiring student assistants or diverted to other projects.
Delita Wright asked if the University has set aside money yet to support the new career banding system. Charest said that there is no pot of money to set aside for the new system despite expectations.
Mary Johnson asked about the promotion opportunities for temporary employees. Charest noted the variety of these employees and the requirement for a 30 day break in service for every year of temporary work served.
Joanne Kucharski asked about the possibility of career banding for information technology employees by this July. She asked if focus groups would still take place in mid-February. Charest said that this date was tentative pending word from the Office of State Personnel on relevant competencies. She said that Human Resources would work to incorporate the focus groups’ feedback on proposed changes.
Bradley Bone asked how the ratio of temporary and permanent employees had changed over the past decade. Knight did not know this figure but said that he would work on the question.
Moving to another topic, Charest recalled the desire of a Forum delegate for supplementary dental and vision insurance given the $1,000 annual limit on benefits in the NC Flex plan dental insurance.
The University Insurance committee asked that vendors submit information about the cost to consumers of raising the maximum benefit for these programs. She would report back on this question at a later meeting.
Charest noted that Human Resources has undergone searches for three important positions, senior director for Human Resources programs, employee services director and training and development director. Searches will continue through the next four weeks.
The University had implemented the Governor’s supplemental salary increases for lower-paid workers this month, providing a minimum 1% increase for affected workers.
The University Insurance committee has moved to eliminate 403(b) vendors that do not have at least 100 enrolled employees. This change will affect 230 employees and took place mainly to allow modifications to increase the overall number of enrollees in the supplemental retirement program. Human Resources will work with the remaining seven vendors (out of an original 16) to find ways to increase program enrollment. Charest said that employees affected by the change would not have to pay rollover charges to shift companies.
Human Resources has completed its move to Airport Drive, the building across road from the Giles Horney building. Contact information will remain as before.
The Chair asked members to bring 5 co-workers to the community meeting the following day. He noted the extensive work of the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace and said that the task force had already implemented several recommendations to help work life for staff. Graves distributed a list of short-, medium- and long-term recommendations for action from the task force. She said that employees had received information about the recommendations from several sources. She also noted the amount of Forum participation in the task force’s composure. She recognized the contributions of Amy Gorely, Martha Fowler, Chris Koltz, Lynn Williford and Nancy Dickinson to the completion of the work.
Ernie Patterson noted that he would video-tape the community meeting for the Forum website. Kirk McNaughton noted that employees could distribute the web address of the task force for future reference. David Brannigan raised a point about the availability of the task force recommendations before the community meeting.
Committee chairs reported on the organizational work of their groups’ first meetings.
A question arose as to the location of a Public Safety officer on South Road during the 1-2 p.m. class changes, which evolved into a discussion about the location of the overhead walk bridging South Road.
Delegates gave their comments about the task force report and survey, generally stating positive things about the work and the percentage of survey respondents (25% of campus employees). David Brannigan noted that one part of the report refers to “lower-skilled” jobs, which he found offensive and asked to be replaced by “lower-paid” jobs. It was noted that the report had been written quickly to make it available for the community meeting the following day. Delagates hoped that the task force would have a chance to work out the terminology describing these positions.
Delegates appreciated the task force’s commitment to follow up on proposed recommendations by specific dates.
The Chair thanked Delegates for their time and attention. He looked forward to seeing all at the community meeting the following day.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:54 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary