Agenda — March 6, 1996

9:30 a.m.–Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library

I. Call to Order

 

II. Welcome Guests

 

III. Opening Remarks

* Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Elson Floyd

 

IV. Employee Presentations—Kay Spivey

 

V. Approval of Minutes of the February 7, 1996 meeting

 

VI. Chair’s Report: Ann Hamner

* Introduction Sent to Spangler, Armfield, Legislative Group; Replies

* Thank You and Request for Equal Support Sent to President Spangler Regarding Board of Governors’ Recommendation to Boost Staff Salaries

* Carroll Swain Terminated as Delegate; Willie Mae Davis Becomes Delegate and Creola Scurlock Becomes Alternate from Division 2

* Resolution Thanking Employees Who Battled Snow Forwarded to Chancellor’s Office

* Forum Office Now On-Line; Janet Tysinger’s Web Page Improvements

* Pan-University Staff Support Allocation Sent to Budget Group

* Roger Schwartz Presentation Delayed Until January `97 Retreat

* Process to Meet with Other University System Staff Organizations

* Suggestion to Use 549 Number for University Information on Closings, Etc. Sent to Elson Floyd

* TOPS Boards Now Updated; Thanks to Racquel Stalvey

* Letter from Wayne Jones Concerning Staff Development Fund Forwarded to Career Development

* Colleges and Universities Personnel Association and Office of State Personnel Compensation Reports Forwarded to Compensation & Benefits

* Forum Highlights Page; Annual, Executive Committee and Nominating Reports Delayed

* Chair Opportunity to Speak on WCHL Commentators Section

* List of Executive Liaisons Forwarded to Committee Chairs

 

VII. New Business

* Consideration of Resolution Thanking UNC Board of Governors for New Precedent: Request for Staff Salary Increase

* Discussion of Ticketing of Employees in Health Affairs Parking Lot

* Approval of Forum Highlights Page

* Invitation to Dr. Gerald Horne to give Special Presentation?

 

VIII. Committee/Task Force Reports

* Nominating—Dianne Crabill

* Orientation—Leon Hamlett

* Personnel Policies—Peter Schledorn

* Compensation and Benefits—Tom Hocking

* Public Affairs—Helen Iverson

=> Response to Susan Albright Regarding Adverse Weather Policy Petition

* Recognition and Awards—Nancy Klatt/Pamela Shoaf

* University Committee Assignments—Vicki Lotz/Jennifer Pendergast

=> Ratification of Chancellor’s Award Committee Nominees (Thomas Nixon, Delores Jarrell)

=> Ratification of Departmental Accounting Committee Nominees (Ruth Lewter, Cary White)

=> Ratification of Human Resources Facilitator of the Year Award Committee Nominee (Peggy Cotton)

* Career Development—Sharon Cheek

* Pan-University Task Force —Ned Brooks

* Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force—Marshall Wade

* Faculty Council Liaisons

* Partner Benefits—Peter Schledorn

* Legislative Affairs—Laresia Farrington/Tom Hocking

* Land Use Planning—Margaret Balcom

 

IX. Human Resources Update

* Laurie Charest, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources

 

X. Announcements/Questions

 

XI. Adjournment

MINUTES

March 6, 1996

Delegates Present

Frank Alston

Ned Brooks

Eddie Capel

Peggy Cotton

Dianne Crabill

Kathy Dutton

Thomas Goodwin

Tommy Griffin, Jr.

Tommy Gunter

Leon Hamlett

Ann Hamner

Tom Hocking

Helen Iverson

Delores Jarrell

Nancy Klatt

Ruth Lewter

Norman Loewenthal

Vicki Lotz

Sue Morand

Tommy Nixon

Rosa Nolen

Jennifer Pendergast

Archie Phillips, Jr.

Lynn Ray

Burke Riggsbee

Sarah Rimmer

Peter Schledorn

George Sharp

Pamela Shoaf

Kay Spivey

Reba Sullivan

Alice Taylor

Janet Tysinger

Marshall Wade, Jr.

Chien-Hsin Wagner

Betty Watkins

Beverly Williams

Laurie Charest”

 

Delegates Absent

Mary Alston

Sharon Cheek

Mona Couts

Willie Mae Davis

Laresia Farrington

Donna Gerringer

Bobbie Lesane

Mary Woodall

Rachel Windham”

” = Ex-Officio

 

Alternates Present

Stuart Bethune

Tommy Brickhouse

Laura Grady

Creola Scurlock

Cary White

 

Guests

Ann Dodd

Elson Floyd

Betsy Hall

Bob Gage

Deborah Hawkins

Mike Hobbs

Mitch Kokai

Paula Schubert

Mark Schultz

Fred Stipe

Kay Wijnberg

 

 

 

Call to Order and Welcome to Guests

Chair Ann Hamner called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. She welcomed past Chair of the Forum Kay Wijnberg, Deborah Hawkins from Transportation and Parking and members of the press, among others.

Opening Remarks

The Chair introduced Executive Vice Chancellor Elson Floyd to give opening remarks. She thanked Dr. Floyd for facilitating approval of an increase in the Forum Assistant’s hours from half-time to full-time, effective April 1. Members greeted this news with a round of applause. The Chair termed this development “an incredible, life-saving thing,” for all those working on Forum business and she graciously thanked Dr. Floyd.

Dr. Floyd said that “we all recognize and appreciate the contributions that [the Forum Assistant] makes” and said that he was pleased to make this increase in hours come about. He noted that repeatedly the Administration has affirmed its commitment to the Forum and said that the Administration “will try to evidence that in everything that we do.”

As a prelude to answering any questions that Forum members might have, Dr. Floyd sought to speak briefly about the reshuffling of the University’s organizational structure announced by the Chancellor at the February Faculty Council meeting. When the Chancellor arrived in July, he made it clear that he wished to position the University in a way to respond best to the challenges of the future. Implementing a new organizational structure, Dr. Floyd said, is a way to do precisely that. The reorganization will allow the University to better meet today’s challenges and take advantage of currently unexplored opportunities.

Dr. Floyd thought that the world has changed greatly in terms of how the Chief Executive Officer, or Chancellor of a University spends his time. He said that there are obviously many issues in which the Chancellor will be involved internally but that there are external issues which are equally pressing that will require his attention also. These external issues influence the internal operations of the University in turn.

In response to these changing conditions, the Administration has sought to redesign its organizational structure to accomplish several things. One, the structure will explicitly recognize the importance of its Chief Academic Officer, the University Provost. The Provost’s Office will have the administrative and support services appropriate to its role undergirding the academic mission of the University. The structure is thus premised on these two points, as well as promoting an increased level of accountability.

Dr. Floyd described the organizational structure of the University as it is emerging, noting that there are still some areas subject to fine-tuning. He said that the Administration looked forward to releasing an official organizational structure soon. Dr. Floyd said that he could not address personnel issues but rather would speak strictly of the functions of different positions, in terms of what the Administration sought to achieve.

First, Dr. Floyd recognized Dick Richardson, who has agreed to stay on as Provost until the year 2000, subject to confirmation by the Faculty Council and the Chancellor’s Advisory Council. Confirmation ballots have been sent out and Dr. Floyd hoped that Provost Richardson would receive an affirmative vote soon. He stated that it has been his great pleasure to work with Provost Richardson over the course of these last six months.

There will be a new position created, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Dr. Floyd said that the Provost will have complete latitude in terms of when this position will be announced. The Provost is working on a number of complex issues, including the faculty salary structure, and so the timing of the search to fill this position is at his discretion.

There will be a correspondent Vice Provost for Health Affairs. All units currently reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs will report to the Vice Provost who will then report to the Provost.

There will be a Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Research. There has been some discussion about separating the Dean of the Graduate School from the direct responsibilities under the Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Research but final closure has not been reached on this matter. One or both of these positions will report directly to the Provost.

On the administrative and support side of the University, Dr. Floyd noted that his role will change to Executive Vice Chancellor of the University. There will be an Office of Minority Affairs which will be part of the support structure in place. The position of Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance will be changed to that of Vice Chancellor for Administration. A search to fill this position will begin soon.

A new position of Treasurer will be created at the University, Dr. Floyd said. Given the complexity of the finances associated with the University and the recent success of the Bicentennial Campaign, the Administration felt it important to have someone in place responsible for the finances of the University similar to a position held in a major corporation.

The Administration is conducting an active search for a Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, which has taken longer than was previously expected or hoped. Dr. Floyd was confident they could bring candidates onto campus this spring for interviews before the students depart.

One change which has been discussed before is combining the Office of Information Technology, Administrative Data Processing and Telecommunications into one unit. Dr. Floyd reported that discussions with the heads of all three organizations were held a month ago and that they were in the process of pulling together a plan to make this unification a reality. These three units will be combined, Dr. Floyd said, perhaps not in all functions but in essence; all and each will report to the Chief Information Officer of the University, a new position. This is an important move that will position the University to examine all of its technological issues through the same lens and create greater economies of scale and efficiency for what the University is trying to achieve.

Matt Kupec has agreed to serve as the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and in that role will receive reports from the Director of Development, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Relations (a new position). There will be a Director of Government Relations, a Director of Community Outreach and a Director of News Services. There are also some component pieces of the organizational structure which the Administration is working on and have not yet put in place. This is the overall view of how the organizational structure will emerge, Dr. Floyd said.

The University Registrar, Student Aid, Institutional Research, and Admissions will all report to the Executive Vice Chancellor. In this way the University will be able to focus renewed energy and attention to enrollment management, an area Dr. Floyd thought that the University has not spent time enough addressing. Given that the demographics of the State of North Carolina are changing dramatically, the University must position itself to respond to this change in terms of what it will mean to future freshman classes, health affairs, and other areas. These areas will be best addressed under the rubric of enrollment management, Dr. Floyd said.

The Director of Athletics, Internal Audit, Institutional Advance Technology, the Equal Opportunity Officer, and the Assistant to the Chancellor will all report directly to the Chancellor, as will the Provost and the Executive Vice Chancellor. Dr. Floyd said that he and the Chancellor have spent much time over the last week speaking with individuals about the organizational structure as it is unfolding now. Dr. Floyd offered to speak with any individual unit about the organizational structure, adding that he had spent much time already making his rounds.

What the Administration is trying to do is recognize those units exclusively in academic affairs and place them in that structure as well as recognize the administrative and support units on the other side. Each of these units support the primacy of our mission, which is academics, Dr. Floyd said.

Dr. Floyd stood ready to receive any questions from the assembly. Peggy Cotton asked which departments will report to the Executive Vice Chancellor. He identified the following: Admissions, Institutional Research, Financial Aid, and the University Registrar.

Eddie Capel asked whether the reorganization will result in the elimination of positions. Dr. Floyd replied that the Administration sought to create an organization that is much more efficient in terms of what the University does. While there may be the opportunity to combine functions, this was not the goal of the restructuring. The Administration sought rather to put the pieces in place, and then begin to examine our specific functions. In meeting with a number of units, one unit was very concerned with the possible elimination of jobs. While we must be efficient and accountable in all that we do, Dr. Floyd stated, the reorganization was not undertaken with the specific goal of eliminating positions.

To Ned Brooks’ inquiry about the timing of the reorganization, Dr. Floyd answered that the Administration hoped to have a final implementation date of July 1 for the organizational structure. By that date, most all of the people should be in place and ready to move the University forward. Some other pieces will be in transition and conversations will take place with the appropriate departments.

In the absence of further questions, Dr. Floyd thanked the Forum for the opportunity to update Employees on matters regarding the University and said he was greatly pleased to have the chance to be here.

Employee Presentations

Tommy Brickhouse of University Mail Services on Mail Delivery to Housekeepers

Vice Chair Kay Spivey introduced Tommy Brickhouse from University Mail Services to give an Employee Presentation regarding mail services to housekeepers. Tommy is an Administrative Officer for the Physical Plant.

Tommy noted that the housekeepers asked University Mail Services to do something to improve their mail service. In response, Mail Services has established a separate campus box for housekeepers, (CB# 1850), as well as putting it on the regular route twice a day.

The Chair asked if housekeepers on the Forum were indeed receiving their mail faster than before. Betty Watkins indicated that her experience was that the mail was not being delivered any faster than before. Tommy noted that Mail Services delivers housekeepers’ mail to a specific, central location. It appears that the problem may be how the mail is distributed internally. He felt it could be beneficial to examine how the mail is distributed after it is received in the main administrative building.

Marshall Wade asked what the new campus address for housekeepers is and was informed that it is CB# 1850, located in Hamilton Hall. Previously, mail for all Employees in the Physical Plant was sent to the Giles Horney Building (on Airport Road), sorted there and then delivered via courier from the Horney Building. Now the housekeepers’ mail goes directly to Hamilton Hall on mail routes that deliver twice a day. Tommy thought that the mail should get to that building sooner.

Tom Hocking confirmed that this issue affects only housekeepers working in the Physical Plant. Tommy Brickhouse replied that this was true.

Kay Spivey asked if it would be possible to do a breakdown survey for housekeepers similar to that done a few years back for members of the Buildings and Grounds division, inquiring how effective Mail Services are in getting materials to them. She asked if this could help pinpoint sources of the problem. Tommy replied that he was not aware there was such a problem and said that he would be happy to meet with anyone concerned about this issue.

Tommy recalled that Alice Lassiter had proposed a meeting with some housekeepers once before, but that this group had not yet met. Betty Watkins responded that most housekeepers work between 12 midnight and 8 a.m., and so are not always available to meet. Tommy said that he would be glad to accommodate housekeepers to accomplish meetings of some sort.

Burke Riggsbee asked if on most days, housekeepers report to the main administrative office or go only to their specific buildings. He asked if this is where the breakdown is, that housekeepers are assigned to their specific buildings while mail goes only to the main housekeepers’ building. Betty Watkins replied that in the mornings each administrator goes to the main office and picks up the mail. Then, the administrator places the mail in the slots specified for each housekeeper at their specific building. She said that there still is the feeling that sometimes mail will arrive one to three days late.

Tommy Brickhouse reiterated that mail is delivered only to the campus box number at the main administrative building twice a day. After that, responsibility lies with the particular department to distribute the mail once it is delivered to that campus box. Tommy recalled that the housekeepers have recently been granted the use of a half-day courier service to deliver this mail.

Peggy Cotton asked why the mail for the housekeepers could not be delivered directly to housekeepers’ campus boxes, thus eliminating the middle person. Tommy said this idea is consistent with how the mail service is conducted with every other department. Every department has a mailbox on the first floor of their building. University Mail Services does not deliver to individual departments, only to this mailbox on the first floor of each building. For the housekeepers’ campus box, #1850, the mail is delivered directly to the main administrative offices of the housekeepers, where Hardy White works.

Betty Watkins said that there are administrators who pick up the mail whose offices are in the Smith Center. They deliver mail to the supervisors’ boxes for them to distribute to the housekeepers that day. They distribute the mail to housekeepers’ boxes. Tommy Brickhouse clarified that the supervisors actually take the mail to the specific building locations. Betty said that she distributes an “A” and a “B” group of mail. The “A” group is delivered to those housekeepers whose boxes are around the Smith Center. Out of her offices in the Alumni Building, the “B” group of mail is distributed to the front of the building in the manner described by Tommy earlier in his presentation. Supervisors try to deliver the mail on the day that they receive it, but still supervisors and/or housekeepers receive it up to a couple of days late, though it is delivered more consistently, she said.

The Chair offered that this could be an issue to discuss further with the Physical Plant. Tommy Brickhouse stated that he normally does not get involved in the internal distribution of mail, but that since he is a member of the Physical Plant he would be glad to attend meetings to determine ways to improve distribution “down to the very end.” He said he would be glad to look into this issue as long as it was deemed appropriate for him to do so. The Chair thanked Tommy for his presentation and for his willingness to further investigate the issue.

 

Kay Wijnberg, Paula Schubert and Deborah Watkins on the Ticketing of Employees in the Health Affairs Parking Lot

The Chair noted that Kay Wijnberg and Paula Schubert had asked to make an Employee Presentation to the Forum regarding the ticketing of Employees parking in the Health Affairs parking deck. Deborah Watkins of Transportation and Parking asked for the opportunity to provide that department’s response, in the place of Michael Klein.

Kay Spivey noted that the issue had come before the Forum involving the new Health Affairs parking deck Visitor and Patient policy and the impact of this new policy upon University Employees. Kay Wijnberg, the first presenter, is the former Chair of the Employee Forum, the former Chair of the State Employees’ Association of North Carolina and is currently Director of Business and Finance for the UNC-CH Law School. Kay Spivey alerted the Forum that there will be two more presenters on this subject and that discussion of the issue will be postponed until the “New Business” section of the agenda.

Kay Wijnberg thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak about this issue; she was pleased to speak on behalf of several Employees of the Law School who had brought this problem to her. She provided two examples gleaned from approximately five cases brought to her attention within one week period.

The first case had to do with an Employee who volunteers to work with the Hospital and received a ticket for parking in the deck. The second case was of an Employee whose father was being treated for a chronic heart condition. The first day this Employee visited her father, she received a warning letter, and on the second day she received a ticket. Apparently, both Employees were unaware of the policy and did not understand why they received tickets. Also, Kay was concerned that Employees may receive tickets when they are being treated at University clinics (such as dental appointments).

In the example, Kay reported that the Employee with the convalescent father had felt threatened by the ticketing policy and believed the practice was not only unfair but a waste of University resources. This Employee was concerned about the appeals process and worried that her appeal may affect any future appeals or tickets she may have with Transportation and Parking.

Because of these and other examples, Kay e-mailed Transportation and Parking inquiring about the specific details of the policy and to express concern about the results of the policy. After some unsatisfactory communication with Transportation and Parking, Kay made contact with Director Michael Klein and asked him where the policy had come from, who had approved it and what process was followed to create the policy.

Kay stated that she had two issues of concern: the policy itself and the process by which this policy could be created and approved.

Subsequent to these conversations, Kay acknowledged that there has been some reconsideration of the policy. A new handout created by Transportation and Parking restates the problem. While Kay was sympathetic to the situation in which Transportation and Parking finds itself, the issue of Employees parking illegally in the deck needs to be addressed but not at the expense of other Employees who use the deck for legitimate purposes.

Under the initial policy, the Employee seems to be assumed guilty rather than innocent in the first case. Kay felt that the proposed revision of the policy is a more reasonable way to protect parking for patients and visitors without unduly penalizing Employees and she wished that it would not be necessary to go even this far in discriminating against Employees. Kay said she did not have this answer but she hoped someone else might and she found the proposed policy revision “less offensive” than that proposed earlier. Kay then thanked the Forum for the opportunity to speak regarding this matter . The Chair asked if Kay would be willing to stay afterward during the Forum’s discussion of the policy.

The second Employee presenter on the Health Affairs parking deck policy topic was Paula Schubert, a 16-year Employee of the University and current Director of Continuing Education for the Division of Health Affairs.

Paula began by noting the large number of familiar faces in the group, which she said made her feel somewhat more comfortable. Paula said she had been asked to share concerns about the Health Affairs parking deck. When she first broached the subject, she had no idea that it would generate as much interest as it did. Paula posted a message about the problem to the Forum listserv February 19, after reading about the new policy in the Transportation and Parking flyer “On the Street.” The flyer stated that the Visitor and Patient section of the Health Affairs parking deck needed to “remain for visitors and patients for which it was intended.” It said that Transportation and Parking had begun checking license plate numbers and those found not to be visitors and patients would be given citations.

Paula took this announcement to mean that this policy would apply to University Employees who had purchased parking permits for other areas on campus and had subsequently parked in the Health Affairs deck. Paula said that “in her blissful ignorance,” several times she had paid to park in the Visitor and Patient deck with her R-6 parking permit in plain view. In these cases she was lucky she had not been ticketed, she said.

Upon reading the newsletter, Paula wondered what she would do in cases when she is actually a visitor or a patient. Transportation and Parking suggested that if she had an appointment, she should leave her appointment card on the dashboard of her car to indicate she had legitimate business at the Hospital. If she was going to visit someone, she could call Transportation and Parking in advance to inform them who they would visit, what room they would be in, and what time she would be there, among other things. Upon calling, her vehicle would be placed on a “Do Not Cite” list. Also, she received the suggestion that she remove her University parking placard so that Transportation and Parking would not know that she is a University Employee. However, if the department is checking license plate numbers, this would not work.

Also, Paula was asked to cooperate with the policy. She said that by posting her concerns to the listserv she was not working against the policy, but rather seeking ways to improve implementation.

She felt it would be very disconcerting for an Employee to go through an emergency situation and then to discover a ticket on their car. It appears that as a patient of a University clinic or the emergency room, one is not considered a University Employee. Likewise, when a friend or family member in the Hospital, one is not considered a University Employee when using these services, but would be considered a visitor.

Paula felt that University Employees who needed to use medical services should not be penalized because their parking permits are for another area of campus; Employees should not be treated differently from other citizens using these same facilities. She cited a friend’s worst-case scenario in which having had to drive herself to the emergency room in the early morning hours, as she was being prepped for emergency surgery, she was informed she would have to move her car. While Paula realized that one cannot park for a long period of time at the entrance to the emergency room, she did hope that this parking policy could at least be implemented with common sense, courtesy and compassion. She then thanked the Forum for the opportunity to present her views.

Kay Spivey introduced Deborah Hawkins, the Enforcement Supervisor for Transportation and Parking representing Michael Klein, Director for Transportation and Parking was unable to attend the day’s meeting due to an out-of-town commitment. .

Deborah said that it is not the intention of Transportation and Parking to alienate or discriminate against anyone but she asked members to understand that the department is in a “very sticky situation” because there is not adequate parking on campus, a fact she conceded the assembly may already know.

The policy under discussion was formulated at the request of and in conjunction with the Hospital because visitors and patients, including Employees, cannot find places to park.

This problem began around two years ago, when certain days found an overflow in the Health Affairs deck. Over the two years, this overflow became a daily occurrence, sometimes two to three times a day. The situation became so bad that Transportation and Parking was forced to shuttle visitors and patients from the Smith Center lots to the Hospital.

As a result, patients began to miss appointments and visitors were not able to get to their loved ones in time for their surgery, among other mishaps. The situation, and the Hospital, pressed Transportation and Parking to do something to alleviate these problems.

The Hospital felt that some Employees were abusing the system and asked that Transportation and Parking investigate the situation. Through a computer scan system, the department determined that around 250 people per day were unable to park at a given peak time and statistics revealed that around 125 of these people were not patients or visitors.

By checking license plate numbers, the department found to its astonishment that many of these violators worked at FLOB, the Dental School, Gravely, and the Lineberger Center. This group of individuals was whom Transportation and Parking tried to target. Unfortunately, Transportation and Parking did not realize the enormity of an issue it would create as it tried to fix this problem.

She was happy to say that the volunteer situation was partially resolved. Core volunteers have been identified and issued permits that will enable them to park in the deck without being harassed.

Deborah conceded that other groups have been more slowly identified. One cannot expect department workers to have “ESP” in order to know who is in compliance at a particular time. Concurrently, no one, she said, expects that Employees or anyone else will call ahead to Transportation and Parking in an emergency situation to get on a “Do Not Cite” list. Frankly, Deborah asserted, a “Do Not Cite” list is not manageable and cannot guarantee that the relevant information will get to the officer in the field in time to avoid granting an improper citation.

Understanding these problems, Transportation and Parking tried to come up with a way for affected Employees to resolve an improperly issued citation on the spot without having to deal with a lengthy appeals process. Thus, a void policy was proposed; if an individual has a receipt, an appointment card or a visitor’s name and room number, it can be entered on the appeals form and given to the parking attendant on the spot. This revision would allow Employees to dispense with the ticket before leaving the deck.

Deborah granted that this policy is not effective prior to an appointment, and said that the department did not have any set answers to this question. She said that she would be willing to hear any suggestions from the Forum or other Employees on how to resolve this sticky situation.

As a final note, Deborah stated that a voided ticket will not affect future appeals with the department. A void is an error on the department’s part and the Employee will not be penalized for that error. Deborah said that she would be glad to answer any questions that the Forum may have during its discussion section. The Chair thanked her for presenting the department’s point of view in her informative presentation. She also thanked Kay Spivey for arranging these presentations. The Chair said that she hoped that there would be more such Employee presentations.

 

Approval of the Minutes of the February 7, 1996 Meeting

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the February 7, 1996 meeting. Tom Hocking made this motion, and Delores Jarrell provided a second.

As a correction to the minutes, Janet Tysinger noted that on the last page of the minutes the statement that the Forum newsgroup may be read by anyone off campus was incorrect. Anyone on campus (only those within the UNC.EDU domain) may read the newsgroup.

Also, Kay Spivey noted that Roger Schwarz’s name was spelled incorrectly throughout the minutes. She asked that the errant “t” be removed. The Chair directed the Forum Assistant to make these changes.

In the absence of further discussion, the minutes of February 7 were approved as amended.

 

Chair’s Report

The Chair noted that many of the items she was about to mention are included in the Routing Folder for review by the membership. Anyone desiring a copy of these materials should sign the appropriate section or contact the Forum Office (962-3779).

The Chair sent a letter of introduction to the Governor, members of the State Legislature, President C.D. Spangler, and Chair of the Board of Trustees William Armfield. Copies of this letter and replies are available in the Routing Folder.

The thank you and request for equal support for staff salaries letter to President Spangler was not sent despite indications that it had been on the day’s agenda. In light of new information from past Chair Margaret Balcom regarding the Board of Governors recommendations, the Chair elected not to send this letter. The Chair asked that further discussion of this matter be postponed until the new business section.

Carroll Swain Jr. has been terminated as a Delegate from Division 2 due to repeated absences. Willie Mae Davis has been promoted to fill his position, with Creola Scurlock advancing to the First Alternate position from that Division. The Chair asked the Forum to welcome these new members.

The Chair reported that the Forum’s resolution honoring Employees who battled the January snowstorm has been forwarded to the Chancellor’s Office.

The Forum Office is now on-line and fully functional, thanks to Janet Tysinger. The Chair thanked Janet for the many improvements in the Forum’s Web page. On the page, there are now links to the Delegates’ list, Committee descriptions (including e-mail addresses and meeting times and locations). The Chair directed members to the February 28, 1996 edition of News & Notes for information on how to access the Forum Web page (point your browser to www.unc.edu/staff/forum). The Chair said that she particularly enjoyed the feature that counted how many times the page had been accessed, around 220 times in two weeks, she said.

The Pan-University justification and request for full-time staff support for the Forum Chair has been sent to the Budget Group through Laurie Charest. A copy of this document is available in the Routing Folder.

The Executive Committee decided to recommend that Roger Schwarz make his full presentation at the January 1997 Retreat, in order to afford him full time and correspondingly to give members full benefit of his work. Executive Committee members did not want to compress his timeframe in any way. Kay Spivey has said that she will pass on this news to the Orientation Committee.

The Executive Committee came up with a process to meet with other System staff member organizations interested in meeting with the Forum. The Chair has written Ms. Joan Little, head of the N.C. State Staff Senate, inviting her to attend either the March or April Forum meeting. Unfortunately, the N.C. State group meets the first Wednesday morning of each month, the same date as the Forum. The Executive Committee will try to find another way to arrange a meeting with the Raleigh group. In general, however, the Executive Committee felt that staff at System institutions interested in starting their own Forums may be best served by coming to observe a Chapel Hill Forum meeting, then receiving a packet of materials regarding the group’s genesis, guidelines, procedures and membership. There has been discussion also of having “dutch treat” lunches with our guests to discuss ways of furthering cooperation.

The Chair noted a memo from the Forum Assistant suggesting that a 549 number be used as an emergency information source in future cases of bad weather. This suggestion went forward to Dr. Floyd’s office.

The Chair thanked the Forum Assistant and Racquel Stalvey for updating the Forum information page on the University Transfer Opportunities Program bulletin boards. This page has an updated Delegate list and a section on how to present issues and ideas to the Forum (an example of this page is on p. 44 of the University Directory.)

A letter from Wayne Jones concerning use of the Staff Development Fund has been forwarded to the Career Development Committee.

The College and University Personnel Association and the Office of State Personnel Compensation Reports have been forwarded from Laurie Charest’s office to the Compensation & Benefits Committee for their use in continuing the work of the Salary Task Force.

A version of the Forum Highlights page has been produced for the Forum’s discussion in the new business section of the agenda. The Forum, Executive Committee and Nominating Committee Annual Reports have been delayed. The Chair hoped that these reports would be ready for the next month’s agenda packet.

The Chair noted that she had been invited to speak on WCHL’s the Commentators segment. She looked forward to making this 75 second presentation at her first available opportunity. At the request of Mitch Kokai, the Chair informed the group that any University Employee with an issue to present should contact the WCHL Main Office. They will set up the taping and will broadcast the segment four times in one day. The Chair hoped that Employees would avail themselves of this great chance to be heard. Peter Schledorn added that he had been a “Commentator” in previous years and said that it is a quick, easy operation. The only hard part, he said, is getting the text down to a page and a quarter. The operation is “doable” even if one is not used to speaking in front of a live audience.

At its February 12 meeting, the Executive Committee chose its Liaisons to Forum Committees. The Committee Liaison system was designed as a way to insure that items of importance are not “lost in the cracks” when referred to and from the Forum, its Executive Committee and its other Committees.

The Liaisons are as follows: Marshall Wade, Career Development; Tom Hocking, Compensation & Benefits; Kay Spivey, Employee Presentations; Dianne Crabill, Nominating; Delores Jarrell, Orientation; Burke Riggsbee, Personnel Policies; Tom Hocking, Public Affairs; Sue Morand, Recognition & Awards; and Kathy Dutton, University Committee Assignments Committee. This list of Executive Committee liaisons has been forwarded to Forum Committee Chairs.

The Chair asked Committees and their Chairs to develop and prioritize their goals for the year, hopefully in time for the April meeting.

 

New Business

 

Consideration of Resolution Thanking UNC Board of Governors for New Precedent: Request for Staff Salary Increase

The Chair noted that members had received a resolution thanking the UNC Board of Governors for their recent advocacy of a salary increase for SPA Employees. She asked that members postpone discussion of the resolution to hear new information from Margaret Balcom regarding the Board’s action. Margaret was at the meeting when the issue was debated and has some information that was not widely reported about the salary increase. (Margaret previously distributed this information via e-mail to Forum members.) The Chair asked if Margaret would elaborate.

In the past, the Board of Governors has not made recommendations regarding salaries for SPA Employees, due to the limitations of its constitution. By statute, the Board of Governors may make salary requests for EPA Employees only. In the past, since this is all that they could do by statute, this has been all that they have done.

However, Margaret noted that since 1994 the Forum has been encouraging the Board to take up the issue of SPA Employees’ salaries, since they compose the great majority of those who work for the University System. This year, the Board has strongly advocated an increase in salaries for SPA Employees. It did not, however, advocate a specific percentage increase for these Employees. The talk about a 5% increase had to do mainly with EPA non-faculty—Vice Chancellors and Vice Presidents. EPA non-faculty are what is implied by “staff” in this case.

Margaret said that this was the first time that she had heard the Board come out so strongly to support SPA salaries. She saw the Board’s inclusion of SPA salary increases in writing, in its “Legislative Talking Points,” as a very positive step from the Board. Again, they did not advocate a specific or differentiated increase for SPA Employees in comparison to EPA non-faculty or faculty.

Accordingly, the Chair asked that members consider amendments to the proposed resolution. The word “while” was struck and the phrase “suggested increase for SPA Employees is not equivalent to that advocated for University faculty, it nonetheless” was replaced by the phrase “suggested increase for SPA salary increases” in the resolution’s seventh paragraph.

Also, added to the end of the resolution, “and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in this spirit of goodwill, the Employee Forum reiterates its request, first advanced November 2, 1994, “that future budget requests reference the invaluable contributions of all University of North Carolina Employees and their needs for adequate compensation.”

Margaret Balcom thought that the words “strong support” should replace the words “suggested increase” in the seventh paragraph. The Chair agreed to this change.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the resolution as amended. Norm Loewenthal made this motion, with Pamela Shoaf seconding. Marshall Wade asked whether the fifth paragraph was worded too strongly. He proposed that the paragraph be removed from the resolution. George Sharp seconded this motion, saying that he felt that the paragraph was too confrontational given the tone of the rest of the document. Forum members approved the motion to delete the fifth paragraph.

The Chair called for a vote on the resolution as amended. There was no opposition, and the resolution was approved as amended.

 

Discussion of Ticketing of Employees in Health Affairs Parking Lot

The Chair circulated the preliminary revised report from Transportation and Parking about the Health Affairs deck. Rosa Nolen asked how news of these revisions would be circulated to the 6,500 Employees on campus. Deborah Hawkins responded that the department would get the story out through the Gazette, its newsletter “On the Street,” and by distributing fliers in the deck. She said that she would be open to any suggestions on how to increase campus awareness of this policy.

Dianne Crabill asked if a hard copy of the proposal could be sent to the Transportation and Parking coordinators for each department. Deborah thought this would be a very good idea.

Norm Loewenthal thought that the revised policy represents a legitimate attempt to balance legitimate issues and is very constructive. Yet, he said that he was still uncomfortable with the idea that an individual may receive a citation and may have to deal with it during a difficult time. He thought this could be trying for someone using the deck as a patient or a visitor. He wondered if the Transportation Office would be open to asking Employee patients and visitors to leave the specifics of their visit on their dashboards. Or, if the visit is for a private matter, ask them to leave whatever information they feel comfortable with. He thought this course should avoid the issue of a citation for a number of cases and if Transportation and Parking needs to verify the information, they can do so.

The Chair indicated that her conversations with Michael Klein led her to the understanding that this was the case, that if an appointment slip, name or room number is left on the dashboard, an Employee will not receive a citation. She invited Deborah Hawkins or anyone else to correct her if she was wrong. Deborah said that there is a reluctance to ask people to leave the name and room number of people they may be visiting because of confidentiality concerns. Yet, at the same time, officers have been given discretion in these matters.

Eddie Capel asked if Transportation and Parking was targeting only South Campus Employees in their search for parking deck violators. He proposed that if a car in the Health Affairs deck is registered to a North Campus or Friday Center Employee, it may generally be assumed to be there on medical or University business, since otherwise it is too far to walk from the deck to work. Eddie asked if the department had the capability to access the registration information for these cars to determine where that Employee may work.

Deborah Hawkins replied that this solution could have worked when Employees were leaving their permits hanging above their dashboards. However now, given the publicized controversy over Employees parking in the deck, Employees do not leave their parking tags visible. Transportation and Parking does not have the software capability to determine this information from license tags alone. Eddie asked what would happen if we encouraged North Campus Employees to leave their parking tags on their mirror when visiting the deck. Then, an enforcement officer would know not to ticket this individual. He imagined that a North or remote campus Employee could be there for work but said that he would not want to walk that distance.

Secondly, Eddie asked if Employees have legitimate Hospital or Dental School issues, could not these Employees leave their tags on their mirror to show enforcement officers that they need to be there. Eddie surmised that issuing these citations and handling appeals creates much unnecessary paperwork for the department and members of the University community.

Ned Brooks, speaking in his capacity as Chair of the University Transportation and Parking Committee, said that beginning next year regardless of whether one has a parking permit the department will know if one is a University Employee. He said also that a number of Employees parking in the Health Affairs deck do work in South Building or the Friday Center or elsewhere besides South Campus.

Finally, Ned thought that the process by which the issue reached the Forum had strengths and weaknesses. He thought it good that Employees were able to circulate their concerns via e-mail. This was how he had found out about the dispute in the first place. He wondered how many Employees had contacted Marshall Wade, the Employee representative to the University Transportation and Parking Committee. No one, had contacted Ned in his capacity as Chair of that University Committee until later.

A problem with process arose, Ned thought, as both the University Transportation and Parking Committee and the Forum sought in parallel a response from the Department of Transportation and Parking. He felt that there should be better internal coordination between the Forum and its Employee representatives to University Committees. The Chair agreed that this was a point to consider.

Peter Schledorn asked if it would be possible to filter out staff parking illegally upon point of entry. Ticketing an Employee who takes up a parking space does not solve the initial problem that the deck is full, Peter concluded. Asking drivers entering the parking deck if they have an appointment, the name of the appointment and the room number could be an easier way to filter out non-legitimate users. Peter conceded that he did not know how the decks are physically laid out or how feasible this plan would be. Given the amount of work involved in voiding tickets on the spot, he wondered if there might be a better way to keep Employees from improperly parking in the first place.

The Chair asked if it was the wish of the Forum to send this issue to the Personnel Policies Committee for further discussion, to confer with Employee representatives Ned Brooks and Marshall Wade from the University Transportation and Parking Committee. Members felt that this would be a good course of action. Betty Watkins added that some North Campus Employees have grave concerns about parking in that deck. She said that she had some difficulties with a ticket in the deck and the appeal process, but said that she was asked to have a statement from her pharmacist to rectify future tickets. Peter Schledorn said that he would note Betty’s concern in the Personnel Policies Committee deliberations. The Chair asked Forum members and other Employees with similar concerns and ideas on the issue to forward them to the Personnel Policies Committee. She thanked each of the Employee presenters for coming and expressing their views.

 

Approval of Forum Highlights Page

The Chair directed members’ attention to a draft of the Forum Highlights Page for 1995. This Page would be sent to every Employee on campus, pursuant to an idea proposed by Sharon Cheek and approved at the October 4, 1995 Forum meeting.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve adoption of the Forum Highlights Page. Sue Morand made this motion, with Alice Taylor seconding.

Janet Tysinger and Tom Hocking asked that the Forum’s e-mail, newsgroup and web page addresses be included at the bottom of the Highlights Page. The Chair agreed to make this change.

Sue Morand asked if this page would be posted alongside the current Forum posting on the TOP bulletin boards. Laurie Charest responded that she doubted if the pages would run side by side since space on the boards was scarce. She thought that probably the Page could be posted over the other Forum sheet. Sue suggested posting the Page on color paper to gain the attention of passers-by. The Chair felt this a good idea, but thought that sending similar color pages to all Employees could be too expensive.

In the absence of further discussion, the question was called and the motion to adopt the Page, with amendments, was approved unanimously.

 

Invitation to Dr. Gerald Horne to give Special Presentation?

The Chair asked if the Forum would be interested in hearing a presentation from Dr. Gerald Horne, the newly appointed Director of the Sonja Stone Black Cultural Center. Members indicated they would and the Chair said she would issue him an invitation to speak at his earliest possible convenience. Also, the Chair asked any members or other Employees with ideas for Special Presentations to submit them to the Executive Committee.

 

Committee Reports

Dianne Crabill, Chair of the Nominating Committee, said that group had not met yet but expected that the Committee would wait until the next month to meet. She hoped to have the Annual Report from the previous year’s Committee soon.

From the Orientation Committee, Chair Leon Hamlett said that the Committee had not yet met. He proposed that they meet in mid- to late-April to explain to incoming members the course of work for the Committee’s year.

Peter Schledorn, Chair of the Personnel Policies Committee, reported that group had met recently to discuss the Adverse Weather Policy. The group identified some minor changes in the policy that should address most Employees’ concerns about future adverse weather emergencies. The Committee discovered that there are some policies in place regarding weather-related leave with pay. These situations generally require evacuation of the University in cases like a hurricane, for example. The Committee will next study the State policy language to discover what kind of changes could be best made. Peter said that the group hoped to take this step at its next meeting and to have a proposal ready for the April Forum meeting.

Also, the Committee will continue previous Forum discussions on the Health Affairs parking deck situation and on fall-back Stand-by Pay for University Employees. Peter asked anyone with comments on these topics to call or e-mail him or to attend the Personnel Policies Committee meeting held March 15th from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Forum/Faculty Council Conference Room, Room 202 Carr Building. Generally, the Committee meets the third Friday of every month at this same location and time.

Chair Tom Hocking of the Compensation & Benefits Committee reported that the group had held one meeting, the minutes of which were available on the back table. At that meeting, the Committee adopted its priorities for the coming year and elected Frank Alston its Vice Chair. Compensation & Benefits has begun to move forward on the recommendations of the Salary Task Force which were forwarded to the Committee and Tom hoped that the group would meet with Laurie Charest to discuss these recommendations from the Human Resources side of the equation. In this pursuit, Tom thanked Laurie and the Forum Office for forwarding two Compensation Reports of interest.

The Compensation & Benefits Committee will meet Thursday, March 7 at 11 a.m. in the Morehead Planetarium, though afterward it would hold its meetings the second Thursday of each month at this time. Tom said that the Committee is seeking at least one non-Forum Employee to serve and asked members to have interested Employees contact him.

Chair Helen Iverson of the Public Affairs Committee presented the group’s response to Susan Albright regarding her petition about the Adverse Weather Policy. She noted that this response had been distributed to all present Forum members and she asked for a motion that the response be read aloud. The Chair asked if members had all had the chance to read the response that Public Affairs prepared. Members indicated that they generally had and that they did not require the response to be read.

Helen Iverson asked that the Forum adopt the response as its formal answer to the concerns of Ms. Albright. Leon Hamlett seconded this motion.

Ned Brooks asked if the response may conflict with anything that the Personnel Policies Committee will generate the next month. He thought that if there were any potential for conflict, the Forum should wait to deal with both sides of the issue at its April meeting. Helen asserted that the response concerns only the content of Ms. Albright’s petition and the Forum’s decision not to endorse it; the response, she said, should not conflict with the work of the Personnel Policies Committee.

The Chair noted that the Forum had asked the Public Affairs Committee to work quickly in formulating a formal response to Ms. Albright’s concerns. Originally the response was to go to the Executive Committee for further discussion but the Chair took the liberty of bringing the response to the full Forum for approval since the issue seemed pressing. She hated to wait another month to provide this response to Ms. Albright.

The Chair asked if the Personnel Policies Committee saw any of its proposals coming into conflict with the sentiments expressed in the response. Peter Schledorn noted that Ms. Albright’s petition concerned two different issues: 1) seeking changes in the Adverse Weather Policy and 2) obtaining retroactive pay for Employees affected by the University’s decision to close on January 12. Peter thought it would be clearer if the Forum established that what it is doing is not supporting the retroactive leave with pay clause of the petition, but is examining possible changes to the Policy at its Personnel Policies Committee. The Chair asked if Peter was proposing this as an amendment to the formal response. Peter thought this issue could be taken care of by adding a paragraph to the end of the response, indicating that the Personnel Policies Committee of the Forum is indeed looking at possible changes to recommend to the Forum, and, if approved, the University and the State. Peter’s motion to provide a paragraph reflecting this action received a second and was approved.

Again the Chair called for a vote from the Forum regarding the response written by the Public Affairs Committee, as amended. Peter Schledorn asked to present a friendly amendment noting that, in the second point (No. 1), there are indeed times when the University will pay Employees to stay away during weather emergencies, such as a hurricane when the University is evacuated. If the response is intended as a statement of what the discussion was at the Forum meeting Peter saw no problem with the document as written. However, if the response is meant to serve as the record of the State policy, Peter thought that some change should be made.

The Chair felt that this response should not be construed as representative of State policy. Yet, George Sharp thought that many Employees may misinterpret the response as a statement of State policy, particularly if there is no clause in parentheses stating that the assertion that the State will never pay for this time is incorrect. He thought that a statement of this nature may be easily misinterpreted.

It was suggested that the statement in parenthesis indicate that the Personnel Policies Committee had discovered a special exception in cases of evacuation to this blanket assertion that the State will not pay for adverse weather time missed. Laurie Charest clarified that emergency leave occurs in cases of catastrophic emergency or natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado when an evacuation is ordered. She felt that there is a significant difference between weather in an emergency and adverse weather. She wondered if this was the key distinction.

George moved that the second point of the response be amended to account for this exception when the State will pay Employees for time missed due to cases designated as catastrophic emergency or natural disaster, such as a hurricane, when an evacuation is ordered. These emergency situations, he said, could include adverse weather situations under the current Adverse Weather policy.

The Chair asked for a motion to accept George’s amendment to the response. The motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair then asked for a vote on the motion to approve the Public Affairs Committee response, as amended. The Forum approved adopting the amended response and sending it forward to Ms. Albright.

The Chair thanked Chair Helen Iverson of the Public Affairs Committee who then took a moment to thank Committee members Laresia Farrington, Tommy Brickhouse, Ruth Lewter, Mary Alston, Leon Hamlett, Laura Grady, Donna Gerringer, and Tom Hocking.

From the Recognition & Awards Committee, Co-Chair Pamela Shoaf reported that the Committee will meet the third Thursday of every month from noon to 1 in the Forum/Faculty Council Conference Room, Room 202 Carr Building. She said that her Committee also is looking for non-Forum members to serve. Pamela said that her group looked like a very exciting one and that she looked forward to viewing its progress.

Co-Chair Jennifer Pendergast of the University Committee Assignments Committee reported that the Committee met and conducted much business in the time between meetings via e-mail. The group had been asked to forward two nominees to the Chancellor’s Award Committee, one an EPA non-faculty Employee, the other an SPA Employee. These nominees are respectively Thomas Nixon and Delores Jarrell. Jennifer made a motion that the Forum accept these nominations. Helen Iverson seconded this motion. There was no discussion, and the motion was accepted without dissent.

The Committee was asked to nominate two Forum members to the Departmental Accounting Study Group. Nominees were Ruth Lewter, an Administrative Accounting Officer in the Dental School, and Cary White, the Applications Development Program Projects Supervisor in Administrative Data Processing. Jennifer asked for a motion to accept these two nominations. Dianne Crabill seconded this motion. There was no discussion, and the nominees were approved without opposition.

Jennifer noted that the Recognition & Awards Committee had been asked to provide a nominee for the Human Resources Facilitator of the Year Award Committee. Jennifer moved that Peggy Cotton be nominated to serve on this Committee. Pamela Shoaf seconded this motion. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved unanimously.

There was no report from the Career Development Committee, although the Chair noted that the Committee’s report was included in the March agenda packet.

Ned Brooks, Convenor of the Pan-University Task Force said that the group had not met yet but would gear up in the next couple of weeks.

Marshall Wade, Convenor of the Employee Fair Booth Task Force said that group had met on the first of March to begin brainstorming ideas about the Booth. Marshall said the group would meet again that month and would call for volunteers to serve at the Booth at the April meeting. Marshall warned jokingly that everyone on the Forum will be expected to spend some time at the Booth.

Peter Schledorn, Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits, reported a request for an update on the activities of that Committee. He said the Committee had been inactive in recent months.

Tom Hocking, Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Legislative Affairs, reported that group had met on February 19 and would meet again at noon on March 22. At the February meeting, the Committee heard from Paula Schubert regarding SEANC’s legislative priorities for the upcoming short session. Also, the Committee Chair reported that letters written to select legislators offering faculty advice on State Committees or pending legislation. The reception to these letters was in the most part lukewarm, Tom said.

Tom reported that the Faculty Council Committee has taken no stand on salaries beyond supporting N.C. State University in its pursuit of a legislative match to the tuition increase enacted last year.

Margaret Balcom, newly appointed Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Long-Range Land-Use Planning, strongly encouraged Employees and Forum members to attend the March 21 open meeting discussing use of the Horace Williams tract. She said that attendees have been a bit lonely there and worried that authorities may determine that Employees do not care about these issues if they do not attend. Those who cannot attend should feel free to pass on their comments to Margaret via the post or e-mail. Margaret noted that the time and place of the meeting is included in the current edition of News & Notes and said that she would e-mail a reminder to the Forum newsgroup also. Jennifer Pendergast noted that a copy of the Horace Williams proposals are available at the Davis reference desk for anyone who wants to see it. The Chair thanked Margaret and Jennifer for this important information and also encouraged members to attend the March 21 meeting.

 

 

Human Resources Update

The Chair asked if Laurie Charest could provide the Human Resources update. Laurie reported that the department has filled two important positions within the organization. The new Director of Benefits is Bob Gage. She hoped that Forum members would have the chance to get acquainted with Bob, who has moved up in the world from the “small University down the road in Durham.”

Laurie Charest announced that after a long search the department has selected Kathy Dutton as its Director of Position Management. The assembly gave Kathy a warm round of applause.

On the subject of position management, Laurie noted that Human Resources has received almost all of the lists back from the Office of State Personnel regarding OSSOG (Office Support Services Occupational Group). Her department is aiming for an April implementation date for Phase III of OSSOG. This, in effect, would be the end of OSSOG, once implemented. Human Resources is working on producing packets to confirm results and improve processing instructions. These packets will go out to departments shortly. People who do not know the results should contact the OSSOG coordinator in their department since they should have the preliminary results for everyone. Kay Spivey asked if departments are at liberty to share the results at this time. Laurie said that departments could feel free to share these results.

Laurie noted she had been asked to give an update on the Dental Plan. She recalled that the University had a Fortis Plan in effect before North Carolina Flex options were offered. These new Flex options included a dental offering. Laurie noted that there had been some concern over the future of the Fortis plan if many Employees moved over into the Flex Plan option. Yet, very few Employees left the Fortis Plan to move over into the Flex dental Plan. She concluded that the Fortis Plan is a strong one and will continue. Laurie said that she was pleased that this would not be a source of concern and, in fact, there would be two dental options for Employees.

Margaret Balcom asked whether there had been negotiations to make these contributions tax-deferred. Laurie said that she did not know if there were any negotiations towards this goal though she wished that there were. She said Human Resources would like for the contributions to be tax-deferred or pre-tax but the department does not have the authority on campus to operate such a plan. That authority is with General Administration, she said, and they have not delegated that authority to the campuses. General Administration’s position is that the Plan they will participate in is the State Flex Plan, and they are not extending that. Laurie said that the department has been trying to secure this exemption for years, long before the advent of the North Carolina Flex plan. There are no real negotiations, though the vendor and the department would like the plan to be pre-tax.

Margaret asked if this would be an area in which the Forum could help. Laurie replied that it would not hurt for the Forum to express its opinion on the matter, even though the opinion has been expressed before strongly from the campus for a number of years. The Chancellor has written to General Administration several times on that point. However, she not did see that the Forum’s intervention could hurt anything, but she was not sure that it would make a difference in this case.

The Chair recognized Tom Hocking as the Chair of the Forum’s Compensation & Benefits Committee. Tom said that he would be happy for that Committee to take up the matter.

Lastly, Laurie Charest noted that the Carolina Kids Camp registration date was last Friday. The lottery for spaces in Camp has been completed and the results are in the mail to applicants. The good news is the Camp is full but the bad news is that not all applicants could be accepted, she said. Yet, the Camp was able to accommodate the vast majority of applicants. Laurie said that there are short waiting lists for each session, and if past experience holds, likely every applicant will be placed by the time the sessions arrive. She said that Human Resources was very pleased the Camp remains popular and offers good service.

Janet Tysinger brought up an issue from a fellow Employee. This Employee thought that there should be a point of contact for customer service issues regarding Kaiser in particular and other health care plans. This Employee had problems not with care but with the customer service aspect of the process. This person called the Benefits office at Kaiser and was given a number to call on campus. Janet asked if there is some way for Employees to address concerns about customer service.

Laurie answered that Human Resources “absolutely” wants to hear if Employees are having any problems with any of our vendors. The department cannot address individual claims problems but does deal with vendors when they know that there are problems with processing. Indeed, the department will assist in anyway it can. Janet said that this Employee had problems getting phone calls into Kaiser. Laurie said that Human Resources would communicate this information to Kaiser and to the State Health Plan. She directed Janet to confer with the newly introduced Director of Benefits, Bob Gage. Others who have similar concerns should contact Human Resources and/or Bob Gage.

The Chair thanked Laurie for her informative report.

 

Announcements & Questions

Tom Hocking announced that there was on the back table a star chart describing the newly discovered comet Hyakutake, visible to the naked eye through the end of the month. Tom said that if the weather holds up it should be a beautiful thing to see. Also, the Morehead Planetarium and the N.C. State parks are co-sponsoring observing sessions for the public at the Planetarium and at these recreational sites. Information about the times, dates and locations can be found on the Planetarium web page, or by contacting Tom.

On March 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Student Recreation Center will hold Wellness Expo `96. Cards describing the event were on the back table and complimentary refreshments will be provided.

The Friends of the Library will hold its annual book sale in the Wilson Library Assembly Room on March 14, from 7-9 p.m., March 15, from 9-2 p.m. and March 16, from 9-12 noon. The March 14 date is reserved for Friends of the Library only. There will be around 11,000 donated books available that duplicate volumes already held by the Library. Hardbacks will be on sale for $4 and paperbacks for $2.

The Animal Protection Society will have its Annual Auction Saturday, March 30, at the Sanctuary on Nicks Road. See Ann Hamner for details.

The Forum Assistant hoped to have silhouettes accompanying the 1995 Forum portrait sent out in the next month. This silhouette helps members identify their cohorts and will be sent to all those captured in that photograph. Helen Iverson noted that the portraits serve as a good source of publicity for the Forum.

Kay Wijnberg announced that SEANC District 25 and the American Association of University Professors will host Orange County’s legislative delegation on April 2 from 3:30-5 p.m. rooms 211 and 212 of the Student Union. Senators Fred Hobbs and Teena Little and Representatives Anne Barnes and Joe Hackney have agreed to respond to questions regarding the upcoming short session. She hoped that Employees and Forum members would come to pose questions. Kay said that she would post a reminder of the meeting shortly before the meeting.

Dianne Crabill asked members to be sure sign up on the attendance roster if they hadn’t already done so.

In the absence of further discussion, the Chair asked for a motion to adjourn. Kathy Dutton made this motion, and Tom Hocking provided a second. There was no discussion, and the meeting adjourned at 11:22 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

 

 

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