Agenda —- March 2, 2005

9:30 a.m. —- Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room

I.          Call to Order

II.         Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III.               Opening Remarks (to be announced)

IV.       Special Presentations

  • Sarah Michalik, Director of UNC Libraries
  • Bruce Egan on Scholarship Program for Employees’ Children

V.        Employee Presentations or Questions

VI.       Human Resources Update

  • Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

VII.      Minutes of the February 2 meeting P

VIII.     Old Business

IX.       New Business

  • Proposed Resolution 05-02 Concerning Creation and Entry Into a UNC System Staff Assembly (1st Reading) P
  • Proposed Resolution 05-03 Concerning Welcoming John Edwards Back to UNC-Chapel Hill as the Director of the University’s Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity (1st Reading) P

X.         Stretch Time 6

XI.       Forum Committee Reports

  • Employee Presentations:  Ernie Patterson
  • Nominating: Patti Prentice
    Þ     Forum Elections
  • Orientation:  Meredith Clason
  • Personnel Issues: David Brannigan
  • University Assignments:  Tom Arnel
  • Career Development: Leon Hamlett
  • Communications: Brian White
    Þ     Forum Newsletter
  • Community Affairs, Recognition and Awards: Debbie Galvin

XII.      Chair’s Report (Executive Committee):  Tommy Griffin

XIII.     Task Force/University Committee Reports

XIV.     Announcements/Questions/”Around the Room”

XV.      Adjournment

P = Included in Agenda Packet

MINUTES

Minutes – March 2, 2005 Forum Meeting

Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. He welcomed the new director of UNC Libraries Sarah Michalak to make opening remarks. Michalak noted that the Pleasants Family Assembly room had recently installed a first rate projection system. She said that this year was the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Wilson Library.
As Associate Provost for the UNC Libraries, she oversees 13 libraries, most associated with departments or specialized areas. However, UNC-Chapel Hill does have three main libraries, those being the Undergraduate library, Wilson Library and Davis Library. Wilson Library used to be the campus’ main library but now houses the University’s Southern collection, among other rare volumes. The Undergraduate library receives 1.2 million visitors a year, an indication of its importance to campus academic life. Most undergraduate libraries at other campuses do not have this amount of traffic or importance. Davis Library contains a great number of graduate collections and is housed in a magnificent architectural structure on the main campus. In addition, the University has ten departmental libraries as well as the brand new Stone Center library which holds volumes related to black history and culture, among other topics.
Michalak praised the rich array of jobs and tasks that campus librarians undertake. She noted the first rate craftsmanship of the rare book restorers upstairs in the Wilson Library, saying they rank among the most outstanding craftpersons in the world. She noted the work of librarians helping graduate students complete their theses by answering questions via Instant Messenger. She noted the wide range of activities that the library professionals embody, ranging from certified public accountants, lawyers, van drivers, translators, application programmers, electronics repair personnel, sound restoration technicians, system managers, historians, public relations experts and many other specialties.
Michalak said that her job is to support this variety of professionals in their deep commitment to UNC-Chapel Hill. She said that appropriate compensation for Library Employees ranks among her top priorities, saying that recognizing the talent and pursuit of excellence demands more than simply providing “fair” compensation. She said that by March 1 the Libraries will have moved all SPA Employees to at least 80% of their qualifying salary, up from previous figures. She said that providing Library Employees good pay increases was a huge achievement that her department had been able to accomplish thanks to the financial support from the Provost’s Office.
Additionally, she hoped to move all SPA Employees to 85% of their minimum qualifying salary but this goal would require additional legislative help. She said that the Libraries would attempt to move compensation for EPA non-faculty librarians from 63rd in the nation to 48th in the nation, out of 114 comparable university libraries around the nation. The last round of increases brought EPA non-faculty librarians from 78th in the nation to 63rd. By comparison, Duke University librarian compensation ranks 47th, and North Carolina State University EPA non-faculty librarian compensation ranks 58th. All in all, UNC Libraries will require around $500,000 to reach these salary goals in the coming years. Michalak emphasized that as EPA salaries increase salaries for other Employees must also increase.
Among other priorities, Michalak said that UNC Libraries must develop clearly stated goals and guidelines. The Libraries must have fair evaluation programs, clean, well-functioning workstations. The Libraries must maintain professional development and communication programs. The Libraries must develop an organizational structure to support Employees’ contributions to decision-making. UNC Libraries must foster good role models and must present a business-like, cheerful attitude leavened with a sense of humor. She concluded by saying that the Libraries must improve their collection funding to stand as a world-class library.
Kirk McNaughton asked why the Health Sciences Library charges a fee for obtaining abstracts, whereas other libraries do not. Michalak said that health sciences libraries across the country charge for these services as part of their operational model. Usually, these libraries rely on abstract charges to support the special functions required by government grants.
The Chair introduced Bruce Egan to speak on his brainchild, the new Employees’ children scholarship program. Egan said that the family scholarship program would be awarded to children of University Employees attending any UNC System institution or North Carolina community college. The scholarships are needs-based.
Egan said that he had already received administration commitments of $200,000 deposited in a trust fund for the program. Faculty have contributed $4,000 for the program and he hoped that staff could at least match that figure. He said that the number of Employees participating in the program was the main question, as a larger number meant that he had more authority when going to the administration to ask for more money.
Egan thanked Pat Crawford of the University Counsel’s office and Shirley Ort of University Scholarships for their help in writing up the details of the program, among many others. Egan said that he planned to create a brochure and set up a website when he had the chance. He encouraged interested Employees to use payroll deduction to make contributions, as the method is relatively painless and allows the scholarship committee to plan on a set amount of contributions through the year.
Two staff members and two faculty members will decide each year who will receive the awards, with the scholarships office ranking applicants according to need. The selection committee can choose how to distribute the available money among applicants. The scholarship will follow recipients for as long as they hold good standing in school. Ellen Hill confirmed that the committee will select recipients to receive grants entering the 2005-06 academic year.
Camilla Crampton asked if these scholarships will be available for graduate study, and Egan said that they would not be so eligible. Patty Prentice asked if scholarship contributions would be made pre- or post-tax. Egan said that the contributions would be made post-tax, but Employees can claim the contributions on their tax return as a charitable donation.
An Employee asked if there was any data on how many Employees have college-age children. Egan said a survey of technical support Employees found that 20% had children. He said that the committee should have $20,000 to give out in different combinations each year. The committee might choose to give all of the scholarship money to one recipient, or to divide up the award among several people. The selection committee will change each year. Kirk McNaughton confirmed that it costs around $13,800 to attend UNC-Chapel Hill each year, including tuition, room and board. Egan presumed that attending community college costs around $2,000 a year, presuming the student lives at home.
Jackie Kylander said that she had a daughter at UNC-Greensboro. She said that students must apply for financial aid through the University every year via their school’s financial aid office. Receiving a scholarship from one source lowers the award given through financial aid. She asked if applicants would not have to reapply for the scholarship every year. She asked how the committee would make sure that recipients were remaining academically eligible. Kylander said that applicants might consult with Financial Aid for help in filling out the appropriate forms.
Ernie Patterson asked if Egan had considered putting the scholarship on the listings of the State Employees’ Combined Campaign. Egan said that North Carolina State University had created an independent non-profit organization to administer its scholarship program, and so was eligible for the Combined Campaign listing. However, the program here is dependent on the work of the development office and so was listed only on the Carolina First campaign check-offs.
Egan confirmed that Employees must remain at the University for their children to receive the scholarship each year. He said that the committee had discussed different options for keeping the scholarship, but decided that the best thing to do would be to set a simple rule.
The Chair asked if Egan had contacted retired Employees to contribute to the fund. Egan said that this was a good idea but he had not yet pursued it. He thanked Regina Oliver of the UNC alumni magazine for her support in disseminating the idea. He did not know the legal specifications for approaching retired University Employees. He thanked the Forum’s delegates for their ideas and support.
Human Resources Update
Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest said that the clerical skills program would begin in April for summer 2005. She said that participants would attend one of three local community colleges, Durham Tech, Alamance or Central Carolina Community College to participate in the program. Interested parties should phone 962-9681 for more information. People needing assistance with tuition or other educational assistance matters should contact Nancy Maltais at nmaltais@email.unc.edu or Michael McQuown asked if the clerical skills program is open to all Employees or just specific job categories. Charest said that the program is open to all but is targeted at lower pay grades preparing to apply for a Level III clerical position. Employees simply interested in a career change could check the relevant curricula to fit their needs. She said that the University is working with the community colleges to fit their schedules.
Also emerging from the work of the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace, the new award for outstanding encouragement of learning and development opportunities for Employees has a deadline of March 7 for nominations. This award was designed to recognize supervisors who support learning and create a fertile environment for learning and professional growth. Interested Employees can check the Human Resources website or phone Sarah Miller at 2-2550 for more information.
Another item from the Chancellor’s Task Force, the University has contracted with the child care services association to provide information related to child care. The University has found additional funds to hire a family support person on campus for two half-days a week to answer questions related to child care and make referrals to day care, preschool and emergency programs. This person will also provide subsidy and scholarship information. Appointments are not necessary to meet the child support person, who will be at the Administrative Office Building off of Airport Road each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon. One can call 403-6950 for more information, or locally phone Amy Crantz at 962-6008.
The University will expand the Carolina Kids’ Camp summer program for children ages 6-12 to five two-week sessions. Spaces are available in all five sessions but are dwindling fast. Interested Employees can phone Amy Crantz at 962-6008 for more information.
Mike McQuown asked whether Charest knew how many people have not received all-points informational emails. Charest said that Employees have the option to opt out of these Employees if they wish, via the Onyen services screen. Employees cannot opt out of emergency or security messages. By default, one receives the informational messages unless one opts out.
Roberta Massey asked what Employees who do not have access to email should do. Charest said that Human Resources works hard to insure that information is sent or posted or handed out to people who do not work at computers. She said that Employees can also get access to Human Resources websites via public access information terminals. Massey said that some Employees do not know about public access terminals, and Charest said that the Chancellor’s Task Force had recommended increasing awareness and placement of the public access terminals.
David Brannigan said that the Grounds department dispenses much useful information at its monthly meetings. He noted that Housekeeping services do not hold a monthly meeting and proposed that Human Resources could disseminate much of this information in this manner. Charest thought that Housekeeping services director Bill Burston holds biweekly meetings with zone managers. Massey said that these meetings are not policy and that they are not regularly carried out.
Mike McQuown proposed that anyone in these areas receiving email should post relevant messages. Massey said that posting messages in the central office will not reach many housekeepers who go directly to their job site. Charest said that she sends out information to Facilities Services personnel and the Grounds office when there is specific information affecting these areas. Nancy Maltais of Human Resources said that she would work with Tracey Agnew of Facilities Services to address this problem.
McQuown thought that informational emails could be supplemented with printouts sent to those without email. Charest recalled a similar effort years ago that experienced problems. Jackie Kylander noted that every Employee receives the University Gazette and proposed that Human Resources include a monthly column for this data. Charest said that Human Resources does contribute information to the University Gazette, which publishes every two weeks except for December and the summer months. Ernie Patterson said that some Employees do not receive copies of the Gazette, and Charest said that the paper sends out editions from a list generated by the Payroll office.
Kirk McNaughton thought that the University Gazette was a great idea to communicate information, but he wondered about the dissemination of bulletins effective between issues. Charest said that her office pays attention to publishing schedules and said that she would ask her communications director to work closely with Gary Moss, editor of the Gazette. Brannigan noted that often Facilities Services Employees receive their Gazettes as much as a week after publication. Anthony Eubanks agreed, saying that sometimes an event mentioned in the Gazette is already completed when Facilities Services personnel receive their copy. Moss said that his staff tries to publish events two issues ahead of time. He said that the Gazette has run bulletins on the summer Carolina Kids’ Camp since January. He said that sometimes people do not pay attention to articles run well in advance. Charest proposed that the University survey readers on the timeliness of Gazette delivery, among other items. Moss said that sometimes the number of Gazettes printed falls short of the total number necessary, and so a few people will not receive their Gazette. He apologized if some people have not received their issues in the past.
Camilla Crampton suggested that if Facilities Services has a problem in delivering timely information, that it piggyback on payroll check deliveries. Charest said that departments cannot put messages to Employees on paychecks.
Jacqueline Carlock recalled managing mail at the Law School. She said that the University Gazette has always been treated as a newspaper rather than a first class delivery piece of mail. So, editions might go on the floor with other professional materials while other pieces of mail gain priority. She did not know how other parts of the University prioritize delivery of the Gazette.
Charest said that Claire Miller was handing out data on the number of employment applications received through the new web-based application system. Specifically, this data depicted how many Employees in service-maintenance positions have applied for jobs through the new system as opposed to the paper-based system. From December 2003 to December 2004, applications from rose 82%, and rose 53% from January 2004 to January 2005. Charest said that the number of new applicants had specifically risen, and she said that data had shown that more applicants were applying from home or work rather than the information kiosks.
Monitoring the number of applications from service/maintenance positions, the number of referrals of applicants to departments had risen in all but one case. Seventy-four percent of applications are now being referred for jobs, meaning that this percentage of applications have the correct qualifications for the job desired. She said that the number of applications from service/maintenance positions had increased from fourteen to 421 over the previous three months.
Charest said that the Board of Governors had added the health insurance effort to its legislative agenda. She expected that the Legislature would address efforts to create a separate health care system for UNC System employees in this legislative session.
Some expected features of the plan include a choice of options, at least one of these imposing no premium for enrollees and subsidies for dependent coverage. Another option will provide employee/spouse coverage at a cost less than family coverage. The plan would impose a sliding scale on premiums and eliminate copayments for office visits in an effort to reduce out of pocket costs. The plan would enhance preventive care benefits and add a wellness program.
A Frequently Asked Questions document (FAQ) is available from the Human Resources website at http://www.northcarolina.edu/content.php/hr/benefits/hcinitiative.htm Those with questions can contact Charest at laurie_charest@unc.edu or phone her at 2-1554.
Ernie Patterson thanked Charest for providing the salary survey. He thought the data would allow advocates to present Employees’ case in a much better way.
At this point the Forum took a five minute break.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the February meeting. Karen Rowe said that on page 7 the minutes did not indicate that she had worked on resolution 04-02, would present background information and presented questions on the subject. She had emailed in a correction of the minutes, stating that she would like to give background on the resolution and thus approached the podium to do so and address questions. She had never said that “(she) had read resolution 04-02 briefly during the retreat and would appreciate some background on it’s work.” Instead, she was very familiar with that resolution, (i.e. 04-02), since she initiated the resolution and presented it to the PIC benefits sub-committee last year-working steadily at night and weekends to ready an acceptable work for PIC and the full forum.
Mike McQuown said that on the second page the text should read that Rebecca Ashburn reminded potential applicants to apply for financial aid. The Chair thanked the delegates for their close reading of the minutes.
Brian White submitted two grammatical corrections via e-mail.
Rebecca Ashburn made a motion to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Kirk McNaughton. No one opposed the motion and the minutes were approved as amended.
There was no old business. The Chair read resolution 05-02 concerning creation of a UNC System Staff Assembly, on first reading. He said that the various staff organizations had discussed this question for upwards of eight years since discussions began in 1997. The various organizations have held video conferences for the past two years and would meet face to face in Winston-Salem March 9 to discuss this question as well as other matters.
The Chair asked David Brannigan to read resolution 05-03 welcoming alumnus John Edwards back to UNC-Chapel Hill as Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, on first reading. Brannigan said that the resolution placed the creation of the Center on Work, Poverty and Opportunity into the context of poverty studies at the University. He said that the University had a very esteemed history in this kind of work and he thought it wise for the Forum to acknowledge that history. Also, he thought it wise to welcome Edwards using quotations from his own speeches regarding poverty and work, indicating that the Forum would pay attention to his words and actions.
Jackie Kylander thought that since the resolution concerns personnel issues only, it should go through the Personnel Issues committee. She thought that resolutions should be more focused than this one and thought that it should not recognize two separate people for two separate things. She suggested breaking the resolution into two separate documents. Brannigan said that he had written the resolution under time pressures given Edwards’ possible appearance at today’s meeting. He said that the preamble to the resolution sets the historical stage for the Center’s creation, given President Howard Odum’s statements on the new South. The preamble reminds the University of the challenges the new Center faces and standards it must meet.
Penny Ward thought that the resolution works well and was beautifully written. John Adams supported the resolution but thought that the title should follow the resolution more closely.
Chuck Brink did not think the Forum needed a resolution welcoming Edwards to the University, pointing out that the Forum did not write a resolution welcoming UNC Libraries director Sarah Michalak. He thought that the Forum did not need to make a political statement by passing the resolution. Brannigan said he had kept partisan politics out of the resolution by referring to Edwards as a distinguished Carolina alumnus. Ellen Hill thought that by welcoming John Edwards the Forum should also embrace the establishment of the Center and obviously should mention Edwards given his recent prominence and appointment as the Center’s director.
Ernie Patterson thought that the meaning of the resolution is important and said that it should go to the Personnel Issues committee for discussion and modification. He also thought that the Forum should get on the record as early as possible on the issue of salaries and compensation for lower paid Employees. He said that the situation of people working full-time but still living in poverty at the University deserved the Forum’s attention. He encouraged the Forum to forward the resolution to the Personnel Issues committee to find a consensus.
Brannigan said that he had introduced the resolution to begin discussion about the Center and how the Forum could work with it. Brink thought that a letter from the Executive Committee welcoming Edwards would be sufficient. Brannigan said that the resolution was meant to place the Center and its work in a historical context and to guide the thoughts of the founders in a certain direction. McQuown thought that the Forum needed a much stronger resolution welcoming the creation of the Center. He thought that the Forum could create a separate resolution welcoming Edwards back to campus, or the Executive Committee could write a letter extending its welcome.
Keith Fogleman asked if anyone else had had the chance to apply for the job of director of the Center, or whether the job was specifically created for Edwards. He asked if Edwards would spend his time running the Center or running for office. Camilla Crampton thought that the Forum should not address Edwards’ political aspirations. Fogleman noted that Edwards was on a limited two-year appointment and would be paid from private funds. Brannigan said that Fogleman could ask Edwards these questions if he addressed the Forum at a future meeting.
Kirk McNaughton noted that it was easier to criticize someone else’s work rather than write one’s own resolution. He invited members to submit their own resolutions to the Personnel Issues committee. Jackie Kylander said that the reason she wanted two separate resolutions was that the office of Center director would be larger than any one person. Thus, the Forum should separate the importance of the Center’s work from welcoming Edwards’ participation. Roberta Massey agreed that the Forum should focus not on who would run the Center but how to combine the goals and work of the Center and the Forum.
Ernie Patterson thought that encouraging the Center to live up to the high standards of the University’s past should be in the resolution. He noted that the resolution was merely up for first reading and so could receive friendly amendments at the April meeting. He suggested the Personnel Issues committee work with Brannigan to resolve these differences. He thus moved to close discussion and wait for April. Karen Rowe seconded this motion, which was approved by majority vote with four abstentions.
The Chair said that he had sent Edwards a letter of welcome inviting him to address the Forum at his convenience. Eszter Karvazy pointed out that if the Forum waits too long to move on this question it will have lost a crucial moment.
The Chair asked David Brannigan to read resolution 05-04 opposing any increase in State health plan costs for Employees, on first reading. He noted that Chancellor Moeser had responded positively to the Forum’s reaffirmation of resolution 04-02 on this same subject. Brannigan read the resolution. John Adams pointed out that the biannual budget would cover the 05-07 biennium. Rebecca Ashburn said that the term “Office of the President” had replaced “General Administration.”
Jackie Kylander proposed inverting the order of the cited dates in the resolution. She also suggested that the resolution contain a specific citation for each of the points made. She said the only way to persuade readers is to provide references and proofs that University Employees are falling behind everyone else. She asked Brannigan’s source for the information in resolution 05-04. Brannigan said that he had used information from the National Conference of State Legislators and the State Employees Association of North Carolina, as well as information generated by Human Resources in 2004. He was not adverse to including more references and data in the resolution and consulting with the Personnel Issues committee on the subject. Brannigan agreed with this idea and would reintroduce the resolution in April on second reading.
Ernie Patterson moved to suspend the rules and consider the UNC System Staff Assembly resolution on second reading today instead of waiting until April. He noted that Forum representatives would meet March 9 with employees from across North Carolina in Winston-Salem to discuss this subject, among others. He believed that several other universities have approved this resolution already and thought that the Forum should join these groups.
Jackie Kylander thought that the Forum should place the resolution in a proper format. She also thought that the word “presentation” should replace the word “representation” in the document’s second paragraph.
Brian White seconded Patterson’s motion. Twenty-one delegates voted to suspend the rules and consider resolution 05-02 on second reading, four voted against the resolution and three abstained.
Chuck Brink asked what other items the Forum officers planned to bring to the March 9 meeting in Winston-Salem. The Chair said that concerns about health insurance and annual pay raises were already a part of the announced agenda. Brink asked if the Chair would raise the question of collective bargaining, since it had already been raised among Employees via various e-mails.
Mike McQuown proposed that the resolution change the phrasing of the second paragraph to read, “whereas included in the Forum’s mission is the representation of staff concerns.” Brian White later proposed to change this phrase to “the Forum’s mission also includes….”
Bradley Bone noted that the Forum had never heard a discussion of the UNC System Staff Assembly question. The Chair said that the Forum had explored the topic several times since the idea’s inception in 1997, but had not done so this year. Forum Assistant Matt Banks regretted that he had not included materials related to the Assembly’s formation and history in the March agenda packet. Karen Rowe agreed that she wanted more information on the subject. Penny Ward thought that a quick discussion of whether to suspend the rules did not provide enough background to the Forum on the question. She urged the Forum to wait another month to rule on the question, rather than making a decision in the last minutes of the meeting.
Patterson said that other System staff organizations had approved this resolution and he thought the Forum should contribute to the idea’s momentum. He did not see the question as controversial and urged the Forum to stand up and be counted now. He noted that all sixteen System organizations are considering the same resolution.
Kirk McNaughton asked if the Forum could vote on the question on-line, but others noted that the Forum could conduct official business only while in session during the monthly meetings. Camilla Crampton moved to call the question. A majority voted in favor of Crampton’s motion. The Forum then voted on Patterson’s motion to approve the resolution, seconded by White. A majority voted to approve the resolution on second reading.
Committee Reports
Ernie Patterson reported that the Employee Presentations committee planned to hold the spring community meeting in May. He would consult with the Executive Committee on possible topics. Patty Prentice asked Nominating committee members to take three minutes after the meeting to speak with her about committee business. Meredith Clason of the Orientation committee said that the group was drafting a survey about the group’s annual work.
David Brannigan said that the Personnel Issues committee would work to hammer out language on resolutions 05-03 and 05-04. Tom Arnel said that the University Assignments committee was working to update its committee and volunteer lists. Leon Hamlett said that the Career Development committee had discussed initiatives to create a career path for University Employees. He also asked delegates and Employees to consider joining that group.
Brian White said that the Forum had published InTouch last week and had also finally published the revised version of the Forum website, thanks to Bradley Bone. The committee will discuss how to handle feedback submitted over the web at its next meeting. Debra Galvin said that the Community Affairs, Recognition & Awards committee mailed out Shining Heels nomination forms that should get to mailboxes by the end of the week. The committee will process nominations following the March 24 deadline.
The Chair reported that the Advisory Committee on Transportation (ACT) had extended the ceiling on parking increases by two years to seven years in all. He said that much depends on the lawsuit with State school systems about the use of parking ticket money. He noted that the Board of Trustees had supported the new health care plan for UNC System employees.
The Chair asked if there were any comments or questions from the floor. Kirk McNaughton said that Employees with ideas about the discussed resolutions should forward them to him or other members of the Personnel Issues committee. He also said that the Forum should limit the number of monthly speakers to one person to avoid rushing through business at the end of meetings. He thought that this practice was not fair to members trying to make a considered decision on these varied and complicated issues.
Chuck Brink asked the Chair to discuss the Winston-Salem State meeting as he had not mentioned it previously. He thought the meeting was important to the Forum’s work. The Chair said that UNC System employees from around the State will attend the March 9 meeting to discuss pay and health insurance concerns, among other items. Organizers have not sent out a final agenda yet.

Lacking any further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:48 a.m.

Respectfully submitted, Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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