July 3, 2002
Agenda — July 3, 2002
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks—Robert Thoma, University Blood Drive
VI. Old Business
· Resolution Seeking Supervisor Support for Employee Attendance at Training Classes (2nd Reading)
V. New Business
· Resolution Recommending Use for Staff Development Fund (1st Reading)
· Proposed Guidelines Change (1st Reading)
· Discussion on Order of Agenda
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VI. Approval of Minutes of the June 5, 2002 meeting P
VII. Forum Committee Reports
· Career Development: Fred Jordan
· Communications: Linda Collins
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Employee Presentations: Gary Lloyd
· Nominating: Kay Teague
Þ Forum Elections
· Orientation: Joan Ferguson/Barbara Logue
· Personnel Issues: Mary Ann Vacheron
· Recognition and Awards: Shirley Hart/Sylvia White
· University Committee Assignments: Lee Edmark
VIII. Stretch Time 6
IX. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
X. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Transportation & Parking Advisory—Joanne Kucharski/Jimmy Workman/Tommy Griffin
· Personnel Flexibility Study Committee—John Heuer
XI. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
XII. Special Presentations
P = Included in Agenda Packet
July 3, 2002
Wilson Library Assembly Room
“ = Ex-Officio
Mary Ann Vacheron
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. He thanked Vice Chair Gary Lloyd for running the June Forum meeting in his absence. He welcomed members of the press and other guests, and introduced special presenter Robert Thoma, speaking on behalf of the University Blood Drive.
Thoma noted that the University’s blood drive is the second largest single-day drive in the country. He invited listeners to donate to the blood drive, noting that the drive would take appointments on 15 minute intervals. Donors who have not donated since May 24 can donate again on July 23, the date of the drive.
Thoma noted that parking at the Dean Dome will be free for donors, and donors can use the bus system, state vehicles or their own car to donate. He passed around a sign-up sheet and asked members to consider donating blood this year. Thoma offered to answer questions from the group.
John Heuer asked if departmental representatives would prefer that Delegates sign up with them, instead of with Thoma. Thoma said that he would be glad to have departmental representatives call volunteering Delegates. Interested Employees could contact him at 2-9026 or at email@example.com
The Chair noted that the Forum’s old business included consideration of a resolution urging supervisor support for attendance at training classes. He read the resolution. Fred Jordan urged that the resolution strike the word “staff” which was included in parentheses in the resolution. He said that the Career Development committee, authors of the resolution, had included the word to differentiate supervisors from line staff. There was no objection to this proposed change.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the resolution on second reading. Tom Arnel made this motion seconded by Fred Jordan. The motion was approved by acclamation.
The Chair introduced another resolution submitted by the Career Development committee addressing use of the University staff development fund. This resolution was brought to the Forum for its first reading. The Chair read the resolution.
The Chair called for discussion on the resolution. Keita Cannon noted that the resolution referred to the “educational assistant program,” and offered a friendly amendment that the resolution change this phrase to “educational assistance program.” There was no objection to this amendment.
Laurie Charest asked whether it would be appropriate for this year’s Forum to make recommendations on use of the staff development fund for future years. She asked if the Career Development committee indeed intended to make a recommendation that the staff development fund proceeds supplement the educational assistance program “in perpetuity.” Jordan said that the intent of the committee was that future Forums could rescind the resolution should they choose. He noted that the support for the career counselor position had not occurred in perpetuity.
The Chair noted that the resolution allows annual review of the grant’s use by the Forum and the Career Development committee. Fred Jordan moved that the Forum suspend its rules to consider the resolution on second reading at the same meeting as its first reading, to allow use of these funds for the education assistance program in the present fiscal year. Katherine Graves seconded this motion.
The Chair noted that suspension of the rules requires a two-thirds majority vote. The Forum voted to approve suspension of the rules by a unanimous vote.
The Chair asked if there were any more discussion of the resolution on second reading. Charest recalled that previous discussion had touched on allowing staff development funds to be used for book purchases. She understood that the resolution as written would instead provide additional funds for the educational assistance program. She noted that if the educational assistance program does not need the money, it would not be spent and would carry over. However, she said that there would be limits as to how much these funds would carry over. She said that there are rules as to how much investment money can go unspent.
The Chair recalled that the allocation to individual Employees under the educational assistance program had dropped from $375 to $200 in recent years. He said that it was the intention of the Forum to increase this individual allocation. Charest summed up that the Forum intended to change the rules about how much educational assistance program funds are available per person. The Chair said that the intention was to help people with a larger dollar figure.
Nora Robbins commented that Employees cannot purchase educational materials for specific career tracks such as nursing through the educational assistance program. She asked if the Career Development committee had discussed using the staff development fund to subsidize Employee purchase of these materials. Graves said that the reason the Career Development committee had voted against allowing staff development fund monies for book purchase was the worry that Employees would resell their books for personal profit. Jordan said that increasing the grant amount per person would free up money for book purchases, and alleviate bookkeeping needs. He said that the committee had discussed the difference several times and thought that this option would produce the most benefit for the most people.
The Chair recalled that he had attended school as an Employee for 13 years, and thought that anytime the University can help Employees further their education it should do so. Stephanie Lombardo commented on the difficulty in verifying that purchased books are related to a particular education course. She said that requiring a receipt from a registrar provides a more clear-cut option.
The Chair asked if there were any further discussion, and asked for a motion to approve the resolution on second reading. Jordan made this motion, seconded by Diane O’Connor. The motion was approved.
The Chair noted a proposed guidelines change presented by the Nominating committee regarding attendance at Forum meetings. He noted that Delegates have obligations in their jobs and that the Forum did not want to put these Delegates in jeopardy with their work. He read the proposed guidelines change. The Forum would consider the change again at its August meeting.
The Chair asked for Delegates’ opinions on the order of the agenda. He noted that the Forum had changed the agenda to allow committee reports to go at the beginning of the meeting, to give committee chairs a chance to present their groups’ work. However, given delays at the last meeting, he had heard some sentiment to change the agenda back by moving committee reports to the end of the meeting.
Jim Bennett said that special presenters seem to have information that committee chairs do not, and do not provide to the Forum in written form in advance. He said that people with other obligations might miss special presentations that are deferred until the end of the meeting.
Jordan suggested moving the Human Resources update to the beginning of the agenda as well. He made a motion to move special presentations and the Human Resources update to the beginning of the meeting, seconded by Bennett. The Forum approved this change in its agenda order, starting at the next meeting.
There were no Employee presentations or questions.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the June 5 meeting. Katherine Graves corrected a statement attributed to her on page 5. She had urged Employees to keep their focus and not keep these administrators apart in their minds. She said Employees should keep their focus and remember that in the private sector there are people being laid off and that is not just a State Employee problem but a universal job problem. Also, she said that Burlington Industries in their revamping of bankruptcy paid large amounts of money to high officials in the midst of layoffs to keep the high officials who would help them through their revamping. She said that paying good people in high jobs to keep them in the rough times is a regular private business practice and that was what the Chancellor was doing in this situation. Given this correction, Rob Sadler moved to approve the June minutes, seconded by Gary Lloyd. The motion was approved by acclamation.
Forum Committee Reports
Fred Jordan, chair of the Career Development committee, said that the group had submitted its two resolutions and planned to meet again July 18. The Chair praised the group for its hard work.
Linda Collins, chair of the Communications committee, said that the group had published its recent issue of InTouch. She hoped that Employees had had a chance to read the personnel flexibility committee report, and said that the committee would keep on top of related issues. The committee would meet again July 18 in Sitterson 042 at 10 a.m. The Chair praised the work of the committee and noted compliments on InTouch he had received from people on other campuses, legislators and the Board of Trustees.
Gary Lloyd, chair of the Employee Presentations committee, reported the group had hosted the June 27 community meeting with Chancellor Moeser. He was pleased with delegate and alternate attendance, although he felt disappointed with overall attendance. He said the committee planned the fall community meeting around the findings, research and conclusions of the personnel flexibility subcommittee. The committee will meet again on August 5. The Chair thanked the committee for its hard work and noted good comments about the June 27 event and the chancellor’s response to questions. He said that the University’s future seemed bright, even under the current budget crisis.
Kay Teague, chair of the Nominating committee, said the group had met June 25. She said that the committee had received approximately 50 nominations for the upcoming Forum elections. Committee members will phone nominees to insure their willingness to serve if elected. She encouraged Employees to find nominees among the service/maintenance division and other Employees. She said that the final deadline for nominees is July 13.
Meredith Clason of the Orientation committee said that the group had spent time talking about the agenda for new delegate orientation. The committee had lined up speakers for a teambuilding exercise, and planned minor changes in the new delegate handbook. The committee also planned to ask Delegates for help on a fact sheet about the meaning of being a Forum delegate.
There was no report from Personnel Issues.
Shirley Hart, co-chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, said that group would meet July 8 in 205 South Building. The committee had sent out peer recognition forms to all University Employees, and still continues work on the Forum’s 10-year anniversary event. In addition, the committee will discuss the prospects for an Employee appreciation day.
Tom Arnel of the University Committee Assignments committee said that group had not met this month but had received assignments which it would soon forward on to Forum Delagates.
The Forum moved to defer its planned stretch time to later on in the meeting.
The Chair noted that he had worked on the chancellor’s award selection committee, and noted the great quality of nominees. He thought all nominated were deserving of the award.
The Chair said that the University Priorities and Budget Advisory committee (UPBAC) had worked on resolving the current budget crisis. He recalled the attitude of the committee as maintaining staff positions at all costs. He hoped that the University’s budget cut would not grow beyond 2.4%, and he knew that the committee was working to maintain faculty and staff positions.
The Chair thought of working at the University as part of a puzzle, in which each piece affects the work of all of the others. He said that educational research requires support service since one cannot do research without lights, electricity, and housekeeping services. He said that Employees need to keep up their good work for the benefit of the entire campus.
The Chair had attended the Career Development committee meeting and heard passage of the two resolutions. He had also attended the May Board of Trustees meeting and had spoken with a few members of the Board about the Forum’s request for a non-voting seat. In addition, he had served on the committee selecting the University parking and transit consultant. One consultant cautioned the University not to price out parking permit users, warning that if prices grow too high it will not be able to support its parking and transit system. He hoped that this consultant’s survey would benefit all.
The Chair said that the Transportation and Parking Advisory committee (TPAC) had planned to reduce its membership. The committee would first meet July 24 to receive a new charge.
The Chair had attended a June 26 legislative reception in Raleigh, and had spoken with many former students there. He spoke with as many legislators as he could, answering their questions about University Employees’ main concerns. He told them that Employees want to retain their jobs, require better health care for what they are paying, and need the Legislature to make up its delinquent contributions to the State retirement system. The Chair did not bring up the subject of raises given the current budget situation. He heard support from these legislators who agreed with what he said. He reminded them that health insurance and the retirement system are important to all State Employees, including faculty. He hoped that the economy would bounce back soon.
The congratulated the Employee Presentations committee on its success with the June 27 community meeting. He thought that Chancellor Moeser had spoke well on the need to keep hope alive in the current budget crisis. He echoed the chancellor in saying that the State must preserve education and human services so that future generations can benefit. If the State educates good leaders, it can obtain a better retirement for its elderly population and a better life in general for all. He said that today’s students become tomorrow’s doctors and lawyers, and said that our hard work and perseverance today will touch their lives in many unforeseen ways. He urged Delagates to keep hope alive.
The Chair reported that the meeting in Boone had gone very well, and attendees heard from Ron Penny and Kitty McCollum on Employee issues. He recalled that an Employee from one of the smaller schools had stressed the positive features of today’s budget situation in that most Employees still have jobs. He said that people should remember that they do have a job and good people to work with who support one another.
The Chair reported that the chair of the Appalachian State University staff council serves as a board of trustees member, and the Western Carolina University staff council chair sits on the chancellor’s advisory board. He hoped that these precedents would aid the Forum’s bid for similar status in Chapel Hill.
The Chair thanked members for their hard work on the job and for the Forum. He introduced 2001 Forum Chair John Heuer to speak on the personnel flexibility program.
Heuer said that the personnel flexibility study committee had issued its report to Chancellor Moeser. He thanked Charest and Elvira Mangum for co-chairing the committee and putting their polish on the report. He said that the report would go on the Human Resources website in the next couple of days.
Heuer said that the report should be considered a beginning, not an end to the discussion process. The report should serve as a base of discussion on a range of issues. He noted that the committee was not charged to address implementation issues, but these were mentioned for the reader’s benefit. He recalled that departments had stressed the need for a quick response time in personnel matters to respond to the departmental needs. The report underscored the need for extensive communication with Employees through different media, and an adequate staffing level to support these revised personnel functions.
The report stressed a broad consultation responding to a variety of University needs, meeting with existing bodies such as the Employee Forum and holding other town meetings and focus groups.
The report recommended finding additional resources to support noted changes, including immediate steps which the University can pursue without statutory change. Heuer said that discussions had touched on the possibility of changes the University can make without statutory chagnes, and found that these changes are to a certain extent possible.
Heuer was encouraged to hear the chancellor talk about the report as a beginning point, not an end. He hoped that the report would combine with the Career Development committee efforts to support Employee development at all levels, with supervisor support and allowance for time required for Employee development.
Heuer said that the University might require legislative authority for changes in University salaries and benefits. He said that the pilot project for broadbanding certain employment categories might encourage perspective hires. Broadbanding employment categories might not raise pay immediately, but it offers an area in which Employees can work for increased benefits and receive incentive to develop their skills and talents.
Concerning Employee protections, Heuer noted a primary concern among campus staff. He said that the executive summary of the report had advocated a system which embarces all protections of law to ground all of the University’s employment decisions. He said that the committee had recommended mediation for solving problems in the area of Employee relations, and recommended a series of community meetings to deepen awareness of changing trends in the management of the University.
Heuer said that the report capped ten months of work, and he appreciated the leadership of Charest and Mangum. He was also excited about the upcoming community meeting on the topic, and would be encouraged to learn of the final date set. He encouraged the Forum to invite the other Forum nominees, Kay Hovious, Steve Hutton and Mary Marsh, to speak about the committee’s efforts.
Keita Cannon noted concerns that there was not adequate staff representation on the personnel committee. Heuer thanked Charest and Suttenfield for making sure that adequate representation from a broad variety of staff served on the committee, among them the three representatives chosen by the University Committee Assignments committee after a campus-wide advertisement process. He praised University Committee Assignments committee chair Lee Edmark’s leadership on this difficult project.
Heuer said that four Forum choices plus Charest’s at-large staff nominees represented for housekeeping, trades, secretarial and managerial categories. Twenty-three staff and faculty members served on the committee, assisted by Human Resources representatives Drake Maynard and Ken Litowsky. Heuer did not know how the University could have obtained a broader representation.
Heuer also said that the committee had held several community meetings, including two at midnight intended for second and third shift Employees. Although no one attended these midnight meetings, they did provide these Employees an opportunity for input.
Heuer wished the Forum a happy and safe Fourth of July.
Human Resources Update
The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to present the customary Human Resources update. She noted that the report had been distributed to Chancellor Moeser, Provost Shelton, and Vice Chancellor Suttenfield. Moeser had forwarded the report to President Broad, who has hired a consultant to look at the same issue. She said that Human Resources was working to place the report on the web but the report’s contents are fairly complex.
Lynn McPherson asked if Human Resources would forward the personnel survey results to the Office of State Personnel (OSP). Charest said that the report contains all of the comments from the town meetings and surveys as given in the various appendices.
Charest reported that CVS will continue to accept the State health plan but Eckerd will no longer honor the plan starting July 15. She noted that the State has paid $6 per prescription filled versus $2 per prescription for the average customer. She noted that the State Health Plan had hired Advance PCS to phase the prescription filling cost to $1.50 per prescription.
Charest outlined the story of how the State arrived at this impasse. Sometime this spring, the State discovered that it had been charged more than its expected filing fee. The State then asked AdvancePCS for $23 million who in turn asked the pharmacies for a reimbursement of this money. The pharmacies said that they could not make a living for this lowered filing fee.
Charest did not think that any of the parties involved were necessarily bad guys, as all try to keep the rising cost of prescription drugs down. She said that all involved were trying to do business and she did not know how things would turn out. She did not know many independent pharmacies had pulled out of the plan due to the change in filling fees. She wondered whether the drive to reduce prescription filling fees had gone too far.
Graves noted a story in the News & Observer saying that pharmacies would have to pay back the $23 million in a new contract with AdvancePCS. Charest said that media reports are not always accurate, and she preferred to wait for official word from Raleigh. Graves said that different pharmacies in the same chain seem to have different approaches to the pullout.
Charest noted a rumor that Wallmart would pull out of the State plan, but said that last word was that Wallmart and Kerr Drug would stay with the State.
Concerning health insurance, Charest said that Human Resources had explored possible alternatives for spouses and dependents. Negotiations have made clear that group plans without employer contributions do not present a significant price advantage to Employees. The University Insurance committee had explored individual plan designs, some with less comprehensive coverage, others requiring medical underwiring, and still others requiring a lack of pre-existing conditions or age-rated policies. The committee had decided not to pursue these options given the lack of comprehensive coverage and the fact that all dependents and spouses would receive coverage.
With regard to campus layoffs, Charest reported the University had contracted with Wright Management Associates to help with outplacement services for SPA and EPA positions eliminated due to lack of funding. The University will offer two day classes with individual coaching, resume copying, and access to career databases. The consultants have already engaged with Employees affected by the layoffs.
Charest noted that the Office of State Personnel had elected to discontinue the local counselor position with the Employee Assistance program. However, she was pleased to announce that the University in conjunction with the Health Care System had jointly hired the person in this position, allowing her to continue the same service in the same location and phone number. Charest was pleased that the University had seen fit to continue this valuable service.
Charest said that forms for the University Management Development Program (UMDP) were available on the Human Resources website.
Charest wished the Forum well for the upcoming Independence Day holiday. The Chair also wished the Forum well for the upcoming holiday weekend.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair entertained a motion to adjourn. Rob Sadler made this motion seconded by Gary Lloyd. The meeting adjourned at 10:46 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary