January 11, 2012
Employee Forum Agenda
January 11, 2011
9:15 a.m. —-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
III. Special Presentations
IV. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone
V. Approval of December minutes
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business
VIII. Forum Committee Reports
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Sarah Poteete
- Communications and Public Relations: Jerry Waller
- Education and Career Development: Gene Burns
- Legislative Action: Ellen Donna Brooks
- Membership & Assignments: Myra Quick
- Recognition & Awards: Chris Meinecke
- Staff Relations, Policies & Practices/Compensation & Benefits: James Holman
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Danny Nguyen/Jonathan Stephenson
- Executive Committee: Jackie Overton
January 11, 2012 Employee Forum minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Kittie Allen, Teri Augustine, Dan Barmmer, Olga Baza, Tim Burke, Peggy Cotton, Jill Crowder, Kenneth Davis, Odessa Davis, Brenda Denzler, David Fraley, Sharon Glover, John Gullo, Todd Hux, Chris Meinecke, Danny Nguyen, Jessica O’Hara, Jackie Overton, Sarah Poteete, Myra Quick, David Schwartz, Renee Sherman, Beverly Sizemore, Charles Streeter, Marc ter Horst, Nihlei Tial, Clifton Webb, Aaron Williams
Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. She hoped that all had a restful holiday. She welcomed Gary Moss of the University Gazette and all of the partners of Human Resources. She finally welcomed Senior Director of Employee Management Gena Carter to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.
Carter said that Human Resources will administer two notary public classes sponsored by the Employee Forum on February 12 and May 12. Forum delegates should contact the Forum Assistant to be enrolled. She noted that the Housekeeping advisory committee had kicked off its schedule of biweekly meetings through the end of 2012. She said that the English for Speakers of Other Languages initiative had begun with 51 employees signed up to participate. She said that the Housekeeping Director search had started to narrow down candidates. She said that the Advisory committee will have the opportunity to interview finalists. Human Resources will begin implementation of PeopleAdmin to handle all recruitments on January 17. Faculty recruitments will come under the system at a later date. The PeopleAdmin system will allow batch-printing, more advanced search techniques, and e-mail notifications among other things. Clifton Webb asked if the minutes of the advisory committee will be posted on the web. Senior Program Specialist Chris Chiron said that they would be so posted and would also be available at check-in stations. The Chair noted that Public Safety personnel will be present at the Board of Governors meeting given the potential controversial situation with the proposed tuition increase.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the December meeting. She noted that the Advisory committee was named incorrectly on the second page of the minutes. A number of delegates said that they were not recorded as being present. The Chair urged delegates to remember to sign in for each meeting. Brenda Denzler made a motion that the minutes be approved, seconded by Myra Quick. The motion was approved by acclamation.
Sarah Poteete reported that the community garden had distributed a great amount of food recently. Brenda Denzler confirmed that employees can use community service leave for this task. Clifton Webb reported that there had been high turnout for the garden distribution this month. Jerry Waller reported that the Communication and Public Relations committee would publish the print version of InTouch later this month, with thanks to Brenda Denzler among others. Sharon Glover reported that the Education and Career Development committee would work with Human Resources to find a sustainable use for the Staff Development fund. David Schwartz questioned the use of the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator in Human Resources training. Senior Director Kathy Bryant said that there is science behind its use. The Chair noted the test’s wide use and basis in sociology, linguistics, and the work of Carl Jung. Vice Chancellor Matt Brody pointed out that the test is widely used but should not be used to predict job success. Denzler pointed out that Myers-Briggs types change over time. There was no report from the Legislative Affairs committee, but John Gullo thought that the committee planned to merge with the Staff Relations, Policies, and Practices committee this month.
Myra Quick of the Membership & Assignments committee reported that the group had reserved the Trillium Room at the Friday Center for March 7 for the Forum’s 20 th anniversary event. Breakfast will occur at 9:30 a.m. and a program will begin at 10:30 a.m. The committee designed a new logo and invitations for the event. The Chair urged delegates to find pictures of meetings past. She said that the group was getting donations for giveaways. Quick said that the committee will work as greeters and hostesses that day.
Chris Meinecke reported that plans have begun for the peer recognition event, to take place Thursday, May 31. The Chair said that last year’s event was held in Hyde Hall and had been very well attended. David Fraley noted that Staff Relations, Policies, and Practices committee chair James Holman was out with emergency surgery. Dan Barmmer reported the committee had worked on articles for InTouch and on the Forum handbook. The Chair wanted the Forum handbook to be ready for publication at the 20 th anniversary event March 7.
Danny Nguyen reported that the Staff Assembly was busy discussing personnel flexibility aspects. He said that the Human Resources and Diversity committee was working on a salary letter for the President. The committee thought to ask that the State provide 401(k) matches for employees. Brody asked that Nguyen copy letters sent to President Ross to Human Resources heads to advance a commonality of interest. The Chair noted that Jonathan Stephenson was serving his final day of employment at UNC. She said that Clifton Webb would remain Staff Assembly alternate and John Gullo would become the new Staff Assembly delegate. The Chair said that Stephenson had been a valuable asset to the Staff Assembly, the University, and the Forum.
The Chair said that the Housekeeping Director search had reduced the pool of candidates from 109 to six. Of these six, the University will interview them via Skype and will bring the last two to three to campus for open forums and facilitated interviews. She noted the various vacancies in Facilities Services and Housekeeping Services. She said that these vacancies present the chance to rebuild and rebrand. She said that with the new Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, the University has the chance to right the ship in Housekeeping. Members discussed departures from Housekeeping and Facilities Services. The Chair said that the University wanted to become a world-class entity in all aspects. She said that in some aspects the University must be willing to cut its losses with people. The Chair noted that the Staff Assembly will meet on January 23 and 24. David Fraley asked how many of the six finalists were internal or external candidates. The Chair said that one of the six finalists was an internal candidate. The Chair said that she wanted to see actionable items from each of the finalists to deal with the problems in Housekeeping.
Todd Hux asked how the personnel flexibility provisions would help line employees. The Chair said that President Ross has said that the process will make the University more nimble. He believes that the University System needs to be overhauled. Hux thought that the upper echelon is disconnected from the needs of regular employees. David Schwartz said that revisions to the University System would make it more proactive. Marc ter Horst recalled meeting with two faculty member who bemoaned the restrictions that the University has in hiring lecturers. Chris Chiron said that many provisions of Senate Bill 575 are financial provisions that have been rolled into other bills. He said that decision-makers seem to want to move the University System more into line with Public Instruction and the Community College system.
The Chair invited members to discuss items on their minds, particularly two or three things that they want done differently. Charles Streeter raised concerns about the integrity of the Forum’s paper ballot election system. He would investigate creating an electronic system that would use employees’ Onyen identification for elections. The Chair thanked Streeter for serving as the Forum photographer. Jill Crowder noted problems with administration in Facilities Services. Kittie Allen related those problems to work in Grounds. Tim Burke worried that Facilities Services would lose its effectiveness in responding to ice storms. Clifton Webb hoped that changes in 2012 would benefit employees. He wished that the changes had not taken so long. Marc ter Horst felt embarrassed that he had not done more to speak up for fellow employees. David Fraley urged delegates not to underestimate the power of a group in creating change. Olga Baza said that she was learning from the people present and she wished that things would become better for all. Tim Burke noted worries in Construction and Maintenance that employees will be laid off. Sarah Poteete said that she enjoyed the opportunity to act on the Forum. She hoped to be more approachable in the future. The Chair said that each delegate Division chair will have the chance to send out divisional e-mails in the future. Ter Horst noted that delegates are elected via location at NC State. Aaron Williams said that morale in Grounds was very low. He hoped that the Forum would work on obtaining salary raises. David Schwartz asked what departments can do to retain institutional memory. Dan Barmmer wanted the University to institute an opt-in system for printed materials. Hux noted that in his shop computer access is practically limited by the number of other employees in his shop.
Brenda Denzler wanted to keep a close eye on Housekeeping, attempts to separate State employees from the legal protections of the SPA system, and other aspects that will make the University not become a world-class institution. She noted that contracts for EPA non-faculty have shortened from typically 5 years to no contract at all. John Gullo noted the different mentality of representatives on the Staff Assembly. He planned to create a spreadsheet of different standing committees and other issues of governance. Brody said that EPA non-faculty who are grant funded have faced a lack of contract previously. Ter Horst said that term appointments are no longer used except for coaches and librarians. Brody offered to provide more detail on EPA non-faculty appointments in February.
Renee Sherman saw the Forum as a great opportunity to help others. Chris Meinecke was sorry that the Carolina Copy employees had received layoffs. He noted the time commitment for Forum delegates and the same 25-35 delegates attending meetings each month. The Chair noted the good press and understanding that supervisors have communicated since the December holiday social. Jessica O’Hara noted that the Design shop is under a similar layoff threat. She hoped that the Forum could help save employees there. Myra Quick looked forward to other Forum social events in the future. Jonathan Stephenson voiced his pleasure at working with the Forum. He said he was available to continue to fight for State employees. Hux said that many permanent employees seem to have lost their positions to student workers or temporaries. The Chair urged Hux to come to the Vice Chancellor/Provost meeting on Thursday morning.
The Chair said she was proud of those who continue to do the hard work for the Forum and the University. David Schwartz noted the Chancellor’s participation in the holiday social had driven up attendance. The Chair hoped to make 2012 a fantastic year.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:29 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary