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 & Consent Agenda—Chair Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press
  • Approval of February Minutes, Consent Agenda (SharePoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)

II.  Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.)

  • Herb Richmond, Director of Housekeeping

III. Human Resources Update – Felicia Washington, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement (9:50 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.)

IV. Old Business (10:10 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.)

V.  New Business (10:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.)

VI. Forum Committees (10:40 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)

    • Compensation & Benefits:  Christine Greenberg
    • Legislative Action:  Phil Edwards
    • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Ben Triplett
  • Recognition & Awards:  Natiaya Neal
    • Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Awards in April
  • UNC System Staff Assembly: Kathy Ramsey/James Holman/Charles Streeter/Kewana Smith
  • Executive Committee: Charles Streeter

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

VIII.  Adjournment

MINUTES

March 1, 2017 Employee Forum Meeting

Attending:  Bryan Andregg, Jo-Ann Blake, Sharon Brinson, Bonita Brown, Tiffany Carver, Karen Cheek, Jackie Copeland, Clare Counihan, Mary Dahlsten, Phillip Edwards, Christine Greenberg, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Mary King, Susan Lucas, Jeanna Mccullers, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Deborah Norton, Jackie Overton, Michael Penny, Krista Prince, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, Nakenge Robertson, Greg Smith, Charles Streeter, Latoya Taylor, Ben Triplett

Excused Absences:  Katherine Cartmell, Kathy James, Heather Lewis, David Rogers, Katie Turner

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  He recognized Blood Drive Chair Ricky Roach, who reported that UNC has been recognized by the Red Cross as the largest single contributor to blood supplies in North Carolina.  Roach had participated in a WNCN television interview that week.  Clare Counihan noted coming Gender Week events culminating in a March 7 luncheon.  Shayna Hill noted that the Carolina Conversations had representative from University Counsel speak eloquently on the 1st Amendment.

Vice Chair Kathy Ramsey conducted the Forum’s monthly roll call.

The Chair invited delegates interested in attending the UNC Police Community Police Academy starting on March 2nd to contact the Forum Office immediately.  He said that the Forum would send out publicity about the event that day.  He noted that the Forum’s professional development grant program will open that week on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Chair was pleased to introduce the newly appointed Director of Housekeeping Herb Richmond.  Richmond asked delegates what exactly is the Employee Forum.  Members noted the Forum’s voice and ideas.  Richmond said that Housekeeping represents customer service in the cleaning of buildings.  He noted that ideas between the two organizations have clashed in the past, but he did not want things to be as the past.  He said that he would be slow to speak and slow to anger, and wanted to listen more than talk.  He wished to hear new ideas but noted that he would sometimes have to say “no.” He wanted to start conversations and work for the people who clean at UNC.

Shayna Hill noted concern about the new attendance policy in Housekeeping.  She asked how Housekeeping leadership plans to come to the table to listen to suggestions from a wide variety of stakeholders.  Richmond said that the consensus in Housekeeping is that a new attendance policy was needed.  He said the policy is meant to attract and recognize good workers, to reinforce attendance for all employees in a unit.  Employees who have missed two weeks work might then come to view policy as a stick.  He said that further questions about the policy need to be asked.  Hill noted that one purpose of the Forum is to bring forward items of contention from staff to leadership.  Richmond hoped that the Forum would speak with him directly.

James Holman noted difficulties in the way the attendance policy was implemented, as employees who have had absences approved by management are later given counseling letters for these absences.  He asked why the department could not fill vacancies for over a year.  Richmond noted that this is a problem and said that if a coworker is not present, work becomes harder for everyone else.

Richmond said that staff shortages are his responsibility.  He hoped that temporary employees could advance into permanent positions.  These promotions lead to other consecutive promotions, as housekeepers seek promotion out of night-shift positions.  James Holman said that Housekeeping needs nineteen employees on South Campus.  He said that only one position has been filled to replace three positions in one unit.

Jeanna Mccullers asked about opportunities for advancement in Housekeeping.  Richmond said that these employees can be coached and trained to perform.  He said that there is already a good system in place in which these employees can work.  He added that housekeepers could fill in to paint and change filters, learning in turn painting and HVAC work.  He suggested that the University could create Facilities Services internships for these employees to progress and seize opportunities.

Bryan Andregg asked about making Housekeeping competitive in the context of Carolina Services.  Richmond said that he had not thought about this question much as the department’s imperative is to respond to the customer.  He said that any outsourcing of Housekeeping services risks hurting the close ties between housekeepers and students.  James Holman said that outside contractors will also charge for additional services which the University’s Housekeeping Department does not do.

An employee asked about the prospects of changing the Housekeeping Department’s name.  Richmond said that he could support this change from an organizational point of view but did not personally like the idea.  He thought that the name adequately describes the work performed.  Ricky Roach commended this response, saying that a name change does not represent an increase in pay in the State system.  Richmond said that he observed the old-school definition in this area, but said that if the University decides to change the name he would be alright with this choice.  Bryan Andregg recalled that when he worked at a high school cafeteria a change of designation from “lunch ladies” to “chefs” made a great deal of difference in worker morale and performance.

Phillip Edwards asked about the possibility of night parking and its effect on second- and third-shift housekeepers who currently do not pay to park on campus.  Richmond said that it is difficult to convince two hundred people to pay for parking when they see one hundred empty spaces every night.  Many of these employees already feel that they do not make a suitable wage.  Richmond predicted that these employees will park in spaces next to the University, possibly leading them to park in dark alleys and other dangerous places.

Shayna Hill asked about rebranding administrative roles in Housekeeping.  James Holman noted that some Housekeeping employees now have the title “Environmental Technician.”  Why could not all of these employees have this name?  Richmond said that Building Environmental Technicians are expected to know more and do more than other Housekeeping employees.  The Chair noted that Dr. Marco Barker and the previous Housekeeping Director had worked on the name change question.

The Chair welcomed C.J. Stevens of the State Employees’ Association of North Carolina (SEANC) to speak on the benefits of this organization.  Stevens noted that SEANC advocates for State employees in discussions with the Legislature, lobbying for pay increases, State Health plan improvements, and retiree benefits, among other items.  He noted that an arm of SEANC endorses candidates for office.  SEANC is the voice of State Employees in the General Assembly.  Stevens said that SEANC will press the Assembly to use the $500 million State surplus on State employees.  He said that SEANC has also pressed for full funding for the State Health Plan and the retirement system.

Stevens noted that SEANC provides members insurance products such as dental, vision, home, and auto plans with no open enrollment period.  SEANC also provides members discounts from over 3,500 businesses.  He noted that SEANC dues will increase from $7/month to $14/month starting in April.  Employees interested in joining should go to seanc.org or speak with him or James Holman following the meeting.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda and minutes for the March meeting.  It was noted that there were grammatical changes to the minutes and the attendee roster from the February minutes.  With these changes, Katie Musgrove moved that the consent agenda be approved, seconded by Ricky Roach.  The motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor Linc Butler to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Butler noted that employees will soon receive their total compensation statements from the University.  He welcomed Mereim Alqoh and Kaylon Kirk to present on the University’s progress in the Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares (CCCS) campaign.  Kirk said that this campaign has had wonderful success over the years.  UNC-Chapel Hill is the single largest state participant in the State Employees’ Combined Campaign (SECC).  The University has raised more than $100 million for charities serving North Carolina residents since 1985.  There were nearly 1,000 participating charities approved for the 2016 campaign.

It was noted that Governor Jim Hunt established the SECC in 1984.  The SECC is the only charitable option for UNC employees.  It was noted that 90-95% of all recent donations have been made on-line, with no State dollars used to support the campaign.  Of the $3.87 million that the SECC raised in 2016, Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares raised $793,836, making UNC-Chapel Hill the top campaign in terms of dollars raised.  CCCS gives the Davie Poplar Award to eleven schools/divisions that reach 30% participation, and the Team Captain Give More Award for 100+ departments that reach 30% participation.

Kirk said that CCCS is recruiting division leaders and team captains to seek donations this year.  Kirk noted that CCCS had a reception for team leaders in February.  The CCCS campaign seeks to fill open spots on its Advisory Board and to streamline reporting procedures with SECC.  The campaign will seek to add recognition opportunities and to maintain its “number one” status in donations.  Butler noted that NC State and the State Department of Public Safety have pledged to beat out UNC-Chapel Hill this year.

Benefits Manager Shauna Stackhouse led the Forum in a series of stretches.  She noted that the total compensation statements will be delivered in the next month.  She said that all active employees as of December 2016 will receive statements, which include an annual projection of salary and benefits as of December 2016.  Stackhouse emphasized that the statements are a snapshot, not a total picture.  She noted that approximately 35% of total compensation is provided through University payments for the State Health Plan, Social Security, Medicare, and other areas.  Employees with questions can contact benefits@unc.edu.

Stackhouse noted that the 2014 retirement system statements will soon be removed from the ORBIT retirement system web page.  She encouraged interested employees to access myncretirement.com to obtain this data.  She said that the TSERs statement will not include participation in 401(k) or 457(b).

Stackhouse reminded employees to check on their social security data at www.ssa.gov to insure their data is correctly listed.  Clare Counihan asked if employees could opt out of the printed UNC compensation statement.  Stackhouse said that her office hoped to make the statement electronic in future years, allowing employees to retrieve it via ConnectCarolina or elsewhere.

Stackhouse noted the financial fitness workshops that TIAA-Cref and Fidelity have offered University employees.  She noted that these programs were currently full but that the next one is planned for September.  Clare Counihan noted that HAVEN offers its trainings in summer when employees have more time to attend.  Stackhouse said that she would discuss this idea further after the meeting.

The Chair noted there was no old business on the Forum agenda.  He said that the Forum would elect new officers at its June meeting.  He asked interested delegates to pursue this question now by speaking with their supervisors.  He and Chair Emeritus Jackie Overton offered to speak with prospective candidates about the demands of the Chair’s position.

Katie Musgrove presented the Community Service committee report, noting that the Habitat for Humanity build will take place Wednesday, April 12th from 12:30-4:30 p.m.  She said that the build will be opened to other staff.  Shayna Hill confirmed that staff can use Community Service Leave (CSL) for this project with prior supervisor approval.

Musgrove said that Human Resources has worked with the committee to promote the Community Service Leave.  Jackie Overton said that Habitat for Humanity will generally teach newcomers how to contribute their labor to the build site.  Musgrove hoped that the Forum could obtain gifts of boxed lunches and bottled water for the attendees.  Mary Dahlsten confirmed that that build site is in Chapel Hill, in the Northside neighborhood.  Musgrove noted that Habitat for Humanity has requested that volunteers pay $10/each to participate to support materials and tools used.  Bryan Andregg asked if the Forum might have to backfill these donations for those who cannot make a contribution.  Shayna Hill said that she would contribute $10 but not participate.  Musgrove recalled that during the last build in 2010, Patti Thorp had obtained the great majority of funding from the Board of Trustees.

Lori Haight said that the Communications and Public Relations committee was working to transition after the departure of its previous chair, Kelli Raker.  She said that Greg Smith will work to edit the newest version of InTouch for distribution the following month.

Krista Prince said that the Education and Career Development committee will work to launch the professional development grant process that week.  She said that the higher education mini-conference will likely take place the week of May 22nd.  The two topics tentatively planned for discussion are “Careers at Carolina” and “Leadership in Non-Leadership Roles.”

The Chair noted that the Membership and Assignments committee had forty nominations for Forum delegate positions.  The committee is working to plan the new delegate orientation, the Forum officer elections, and the July retreat.

Bryan Andregg said that the Personnel Issues committee has met with representatives of the Eschelman School of Pharmacy to discuss supervisory performance evaluations.  He said that there have been staff concerns about feedback leaking to supervisors and there have been difficulties with the program vendor.  He said that the committee is interested in figuring out how to evaluate these positions.  Andregg said that the committee has kept an eye on the Legislature but had little concrete to report thus far.  He said that the committee had also discussed the proposed move of FLSA exempt IT positions to at-will status.  He said that there is so much distrust among employees about the possibilities of this move.  The Chair suggested that the Executive Committee discuss this question further.

Ricky Roach reported that the Carolina Blood Drive committee will hold its 29th annual summer drive on June 6th, 2017.  He said that the Drive hopes to reach Chancellor Folt and President Spellings to attend the drive or provide publicity.

Natiaya Neal said that the Recognition & Awards committee will conduct the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award selection via on-line delegate election in April.  She read the criteria for the award.  It was noted that only current Forum delegates are eligible for this award.  The Chair added that it has become customary to exclude previous Hovious winners from consideration.

The Chair noted that the UNC System Staff Assembly sought additional information about the changeover of some State employee positions to at-will status.  He said that he would inquire at the March 13-14 meeting of the group of General Administration officials about this proposal.

The Chair recalled that the Executive Committee had heard from student Benjamin Haynes on plans for an unsung hero award program on campus.  This program started at Georgetown University and has spread across the nation.  He said the program gives recognition to campus employees.  He hoped to coordinate with Haynes to create a feature before the end of the semester for the Forum newsletter InTouch.

The Chair said that he and Vice Chair Kathy Ramsey had met with the Student Stores Advisory committee to discuss the upcoming Town Hall.  He would distribute information about the Town Hall to the Forum listserv.  He invited delegates to attend the Town Hall if possible.

Jackie Copeland said that the Carolina Family Scholarship committee has decided to send information to students renewing their scholarships.  She said that applications will go live around April 1 and will be accepted starting April 15th.  The committee is looking for faculty readers of the applications.

The Chair noted that work continues on revising the Rebecca Clark Award.  He would bring the revisions to the full body.

The Chair directed delegates’ attention to a statement from UNC System President Margaret Spellings on her one year anniversary in that position.

The Chair noted that the Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament will take place May 17th in Sanford.  He asked delegates to recommend employees skilled at golf to play on the University teams.  He lamented that Winston-Salem State University has won the tournament five years in a row.  Natiaya Neal asked if retirees are still eligible to play for the team.  The Chair said that he would find out.  He particularly stressed finding female golfers to balance out the teams.  Clare Counihan suggested asking the Exercise and Sports Science employees.  The Chair said that he had not targeted anyone but had received commitments from three employees in Student Affairs.

Ricky Roach asked if Gena Carter had an update on the Equal Time Off vacation question that he had raised at the February meeting.  Carter thanked Roach for the reminder and pledged to look further into the matter.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:03 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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