March 6, 2002
Agenda — March 6, 2002
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks—To Be Announced
VI. New Business
· Resolution on Forum Chair Seat on Board of Trustees P
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VI. Approval of Minutes of the February 6, 2002 meeting P
VII. Forum Committee Reports
· Career Development: Fred Jordan
· Communications: Linda Collins
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Employee Presentations: Gary Lloyd
· Nominating: Kay Teague
Þ Forum Elections
· Orientation: Joan Ferguson/Barbara Logue
· Personnel Issues: Mary Ann Vacheron
· Recognition and Awards: Shirley Hart/Sylvia White
· University Committee Assignments: Lee Edmark
VIII. Stretch Time 6
IX. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
X. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Transportation & Parking Advisory—Joanne Kucharski/Jimmy Workman
· Administrative Flexibility Study Committee—John Heuer
XI. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
XII. Special Presentations
P = Included in Agenda Packet
March 6, 2002
Wilson Library Assembly Room
“ = Ex-Officio
Mary Ann Vacheron
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. He welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest, assorted guests and journalists, and other visitors. He noted that the Forum did not have a presenter to make opening remarks, and moved on to new business.
The Chair read a resolution encouraging inclusion of the Forum chair to serve on the University Board of Trustees in a non-voting capacity. He noted that the Faculty Council had recently passed a similar resolution encouraging placement of the Chair of the Faculty on the Board. He also noted that State Employees cannot vote on the Board by law, but can possibly sit on the Board. He introduced the resolution on first reading, saying that staff need a voice in every corner and committee on campus. He then read the resolution. The Forum agreed to accept the resolution on first reading.
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the February 6, 2002 meeting. Matt Banks noted that the last sentence of the second paragraph should read, “for tax purposes, had been predicted to grow at 4% and is now calculated at –3%….” Rob Sadler moved that the Forum approve the minutes with this change, and Gary Lloyd seconded the motion. In the absence of further discussion, the minutes were approved.
Forum Committee Reports
Fred Jordan, chair of the Career Development committee, noted the group had met February 21 to discuss old business. The committee is still seeking a liaison from Human Resources and Continuing Education. He was pleased that Bobbie Lesane, a previous committee chair had offered to serve on the group for this term.
Jordan said that the committee is working on step-by-step instructions for enrolling in campus classes. He said that the committee was also working on a resolution in support of educational opportunities on campus for Employees. The committee believes that this effort still lacks support at the supervisory level. He hoped to get a resolution written soon for the Forum and Chancellor to endorse. It was noted that Human Resources had requested another two hundred brochures for its orientation of new Employees.
Linda Collins, chair of the Communications committee, said that group had not met for its last monthly meeting. She said that the committee would meet the next day at 10 a.m. in the Health Sciences Library. Collins said that Employees should have received either a printed or electronic version of InTouch. She noted also that the committee would work to publish an insert in the University Gazette on June 12.
Collins invited Employees to contact her with ideas about information to include in the newsletter. The Chair commented that he had heard good things about the newsletter from coworkers.
Gary Lloyd, chair of the Employee Presentations committee, said the group had met the previous Monday. He had contacted Chancellor Moeser’s office to see about his participation in the spring community meeting and hoped to hear a positive response soon.
Lloyd said that he had sent around a sign-up sheet for Delegates to present ideas on special presenters. He also said that the Executive Committee had approved an idea to solicit questions from Delegates for special presenters during the week before the meeting. Delegates and others can send their questions to the Forum Office.
Kay Teague, chair of the Nominating committee, said that group had reviewed last year’s goals and their implementation. She said that the committee was still seeking a representative from Division 2 (Service/Maintenance). She said the committee would seek ways to make it easier for candidates to submit biographical sketches. She said also that the committee hoped to use UNC OneCard photos to identify candidates. A delegate asked if candidates would have the chance to refuse use of their photos. Teague said that the committee would allow candidates this chance. The committee will also try to use electronic mailings rather than paper mailings for candidate solicitations, to save money and paper.
Finally, the committee is reviewing the absenteeism policy for Delegates. Teague recalled that Delegates now must leave the Forum upon missing five meetings in their twenty-six month term or three meetings in a row. Committee members have suggested broadening the scope of excused absences to include work-related and other eventualities. Delegates expecting to be absent would need to contact an alternate from their division. The committee will next meet March 23.
Barbara Logue, co-chair of the Orientation committee, said that group had reserved a place in the Friday Center for the January 17, 2003 retreat. She said that the committee was looking to find possible keynote speakers. She said that the committee was also studying shortening the program and awarding door prizes to attendees. The new delegate orientation will take place October 25.
Keith Fogleman, speaking for the Personnel Issues committee, said that the group had continued work on a number of issues, including parking. Glenn Haugh said that the committee planned to commission a survey on salaries and other employment practices. Haugh said that the committee had also looked at the five year salary issue, meaning the pay calculation of Employees’ salaries beyond base salary. Andy Maglione said that Employees seem to work one or two days free every year. Fogleman said that Employees receive an extra paid week every seven to nine years.
Katherine Graves asked if the committee had studied the University’s reclassification process. Fogleman said that the committee wanted the University to implement a speedier process. He noted that one reclassification had taken over one year to complete, due to paperwork sitting on an Employee’s desk. He said that one Employee had quit due to delays with his reclassification. He said that the University needed to hire someone to help with reclassifications if delays must go on this long. He said that the committee would also study the issue of managerial accountability.
Shirley Hart, chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, said that the group had planned the Forum social lunch for Delagates and alternates May 9. The committee plans to send out peer recognition awards later in the year. The committee will discuss different departmental recognition award options, and possible plans for the Forum’s 10-year anniversary.
Lee Edmark, chair of the University Committee Assignments committee, reported the group met just before the Forum meeting convened. He said that the group had discussed ways to increase committee chairs’ response to requests for information. He said that committee members plan to contact committees by phone. He noted that the Forum’s on-line catalogue does not describe the mission of each committee. Committee members will determine the frequency of different University committee meetings. He also noted that committee members might need to contact secretaries or assistants of University committee chairs who might hold other duties. The committee also discussed asking how many members serve on each committee and whether the committee needs to fill a staff seat this year. Edmark noted that it can become difficult for the University Committee Assignments committee to fill vacancies when requested to do so at the eleventh hour.
Edmark reported that he had served on the Bryan Award selection committee and had been very impressed by the quality of applications and presentations from students. He felt that his experience on the Bryan Award committee had underscored the reason for his service at the University, serving students. He urged members to take the opportunity to serve on similar student committees, to view another side of campus life.
Keita Cannon asked if the Forum paid for the career development brochures which it had sent to Human Resources. Banks said that the Forum had paid for the first printing of these brochures. Cannon suggesting asking Human Resources to pay for future printings. The Chair was glad that the brochures had been used to good purpose by Human Resources.
The Chair had attended an orientation session for the University Board of Governors, and had heard a presentation concerning the University’s financial support. He and 2001 Forum Chair John Heuer had met with Provost Robert Shelton, discussing new Employee orientation, Employee appreciation, housekeeping, environmental sustainability, and the University Priorities and Budget committee, among other items. He had also discussed a request that the University send money equivalent to 25% of the Forum Chair’s salary to the Forum Chair’s department, to absorb the costs of absorbing their commitment to the Forum. The Chair also noted that Gary Lloyd had been appointed to the Provost’s new education task force..
The Chair had addressed the Faculty Council and discussed ways to unite and meet the needs of faculty, staff and students. He felt good about the possibilities to work with the faculty on various issues, given the prospects of a tight budget year next term.
The Chair also attended two Transportation and Parking Advisory Committee (TPAC) meetings. Banks apologized for leaving Joanne Kucharski’s name off the agenda. The Chair said that raising parking permit fees will hurt in a time when the cost of living hurts more than ever.
The Chair noted that the Executive Committee had voted to change the order of the Forum agenda to have committee business committee at the beginning. He asked members to inform him whether they like this format or the previous one.
The Chair noted that the TPAC meetings had touched on after-hours security. He recalled working with Susan Ehringhaus on the campus security committee. He said that Employees with concerns about particular parts of campus should contact him or Chief Poarch.
The Chair urged Employees to recognize the good work that others do during the course of the work week. He urged all to try to communicate with one another. He also noted the good work that the Forum has done over the past ten years, and looked forward to celebrating the Forum’s ten year anniversary in September.
Andy Chrismon of TPAC outlined the committee’s recommendations to the campus administration. He noted that the committee had voted at its February 13 meeting to reject by a vote of 17-4 a proposal to eliminate on-campus parking for students living in residence halls.
The committee passed a motion for a night parking program by a vote of 18-4 at its February 20 meeting. This motion stipulated that students would pay for access to night parking through a proposed student fee of approximately $5/semester. Students would register their cars and insurance with Public Safety and receive a parking sticker making them eligible to park in campus lots at night (with the exception of gated lots). Public Safety staff would evaluate the feasibility of allowing individual students to petition for reimbursement of the fee. Not all gated lots would remain gated, and day parking permits would be valid for night parking.
The committee voted not to consider tiered parking this year, and plurality voted to increase parking permit costs by 20% (four committee members voted for a 5% increase, nine for a 10% increase, and ten voted for a 20% increase). The committee voted to increase the departmental transit fee.
Chrismon noted that TPAC’s revenue projections anticipated earning $265,000 from student fees, $188,000 from additional faculty/staff night parking permits, and $390,000 from visitor parking, minus $316,000 for increased security and transit, leaving $527,000 in net recurring revenue.
Fogleman asked if these recommendations represented the final word on the subject. Chrismon said that the administration could change these numbers around before sending a proposal to the Board of Trustees. Chrismon noted that nine members had voted for the University to absorb $750,000 of recurring expenses, and nine voted for the University to pay for all recurring expenses. Chrismon said that this number could range between $500,000 and $1 million. Chrismon said that the committee voted to increase the parking rent for spaces lost due to campus construction.
Chris Koltz asked Chrismon to explain where the $316,000 had come from in overhead expenses. Chrismon said that these monies dealt with security, transit, clothing, and running more buses. This figure represented one-third of all monies generated from the night parking plan, based on Public Safety figures. Graves noted that the cost in parking permits would affect State vehicles as well as faculty and staff.
Fogleman asked if TPAC had surveyed Employees who have to work two jobs, noting that Employees who make only $18,500 a year cannot buy insurance for their families. He noted that Facilities Services had recently had to close out positions and lay off Employees due to the recent budget crisis. He felt frustrated that Public Safety merely needed to raise parking permit prices to cover its deficits.
Graves noted that a security guard at Craig Deck had failed to escort her to her car at 9:30 p.m. one night, exposing her to danger. She decried this lack of security. She wondered why security guards could not escort her to her vehicle, if people are paying for parking permits. She said that these people need to perform their jobs, and promised to take the question up with Chief Poarch.
Fogleman said that his shop had lost five positions, and Facilities Services had laid off some 30 people. He did not understand why the University had to lose people in a time when construction was booming. He also did not understand why Public Safety could meet its budget deficit. Chrismon said that Public Safety knows that it must do a better job. Tom Rhyne said that there must be some question of managerial accountability. Fogleman said that all departments should receive the same treatment. He said that Facilities Services had lost some good people and he felt angry about it.
The Chair noted that the budget crisis had hurt everyone around campus. He said that safety must be one of the first issues of campus concern. He suggested that Graves e-mail Poarch to describe the time and place where something had happened. He also said that Facilities Services workers must sometimes come to campus at 4 a.m. and weekends. He said that Employees paying more should expect more. He encouraged Graves to mail her concern to him.
Elaine Lambert said that the Forum should invite Chief Poarch or someone else to talk about these questions next month.
Chrismon said that TPAC voted to wait on discussions of tiered parking, since the question did not emerge during the community meetings. Fogleman said that tiered parking had been mentioned nearly every year, and he did not understand why the University could not discuss a proposal just because it did not come up during a meeting. He thought that someone should have raised the tiered issue in the committee or elsewhere. Chrismon noted one proposal that would have made three different tiers for Employees earning under $40,000, between $40,000-80,000 and over $80,000. He said that the Forum had not discussed the issue. Fogleman recalled that the Forum’s TPAC representatives, Joanne Kucharski and Jimmy Workman, had threatened to resign if the passed a resolution staking out a position on parking. Lloyd said that the pair had threatened to resign because they disagreed with parts of the resolution concerning night parking. Koltz said that he had raised the tiered system question with Knight personally, and thought that others had raised the question also. He was confused that the question did not received further consideration for this reason. Chrismon said that the committee had received so much material that he could not be sure what it had seen.
Chrismon said that the recommendations would go to the University administration, which would present a proposal to the Board of Trustees March 28. The Board will presumably make a decision at that meeting. The Chair said that he planned to attend that meeting, and he encouraged others to attend.
At this point, the Forum took a five minute stretch break.
The Chair noted that the Personnel Flexibility committee had sent out a survey on possible changes to the University’s personnel system. He worried that the University might throw the baby out with the bath water, and urged caution in this area.
Human Resources Update
The Chair welcomed Charest to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Charest noted that the recruitment requisition process had moved on-line in February. She said that the University had also started accepting e-mail applications, which had made a tremendous difference in the number of overall applications received. She said that last month the University had received 5,000 e-mail applications versus 900 normal written applications.
Charest said that Employment had been very busy recently, given the state of the local economy. She noted that the University had filled many vacant positions recently, and had worked hard to keep up with the number of applications. Recently, however, things have calmed down somewhat.
Concerning dependent health insurance, Charest said that the University consortium had received two unresponsive bids to its recent request for proposals (RFP). She said that the University Insurance committee had elected not to take action on these bids. The main reason for the problem with these bids had been the insistence on employer money. Charest said that one respondent had declined to bid due to a misunderstanding, and might be interested in returning a separate bid based on the new information.
Charest noted that the Attorney General’s office had ruled that University cannot offer a dependent health care plan on a pretax basis since it would compete with the State health plan. She said that Human Resources would continue to pursue other ways to help Employees.
On another item, Charest recalled the continuing interest among Forum members in faculty supervisory training. She noted that the Provost had sponsored a senior level administrators’ briefing for three half day sessions. This meeting had seated eighty chairs, deans and administrative officials. She thought that this meeting, while not everything the Forum had requested, was a step in the right direction. Fred Jordan asked if Human Resources had handed out the Forum’s career development brochure at that meeting, and Charest said that it had not.
Jordan asked if the electronic application form process would notify applicants of their status faster than the paper application process. Charest said that this improvement would not occur immediately, since the main referral system sits on the mainframe. She said that Human Resources is working on creation of a web interface by which applicants can check their status, but this improvement would require improvements to the Human Resources Information System (HRIS). She said that this plan remains for the future.
Edmark asked if Employees on the State plan can deduct their costs on a pretax basis.. Charest said that Employees can realize some tax savings with the State plan, which means that outside plans must be much more competitive to compare.
David Collins asked if the University had broached any Human Resources issues with the General Assembly. Charest said that the Office of the President presents University initiatives from the entire System. She said that the Office had gathered input from the campus, and Human Resources had written briefs informing the Office of the status of a number of issues. These issues include the cost of health insurance, the desire and need for a broadly available optional retirement system, the need for a statutory change in adverse weather strictures, and the need to do background checks on a national, not just a statewide basis. She would let the Forum know when she had heard back from the Office’s legislative committee.
Edmark reported Employee conversations about a 25 year retirement program.. Charest said that this subject usually comes up every year, but she had no reason to believe that the Legislature would approve a 25 year option this session. Edmark asked if the Office of the President might help in this area. Charest said that the idea would need to prove that it would provide savings to the State, meaning that it would need to show that it can replace people at less expense than keeping the system as it is.
An Employee noted that a bill had come up to study a 28 year retirement option. Charest said that she was not aware of this bill being discussed in committee. Edmark thought that the cost savings resulting from early retirement would benefit Employees. Charest said that across the board this fact might be true, but things might be different in today’s economic climate. She said that it might be difficult to fill positions at rates demonstrably lower than those already hired. Edmark said that this differential represents a slap in the face to long term Employees. Charest said that this fact is an indication of market values, and the unfortunate erosion of salaries and benefits. She said that discussions about personnel flexibility addressed the same problem.
Fogleman said that the University was the only place where people coming off the street made nearly the same as those as Employees here 25 years. Charest said that this situation happens everywhere nowadays, as people now move from job to job in mid-career.
The Chair opened the floor for special presentations or comments. Lloyd said that he had served on the academic affairs task force, and had read several documents dealing with reaccreditation and the intellectual climate. The committee would look at the work of other University committees and the appropriations process, as well as other institutional peers such as Duke and the University of California-Berkeley. He said that the administration would use the plan to make appropriations and budget decisions over the next five years. He asked other staff members for information and feedback.
David Collins asked if Charest would report on the personnel flexibility survey results at the next meeting. Charest said that she would report when Institutional Research had completed its work compiling results.
Fred Jordan moved that the Forum suspend its rules to consider the resolution on Forum representation on the Board of Trustees on second reading. He did not want to wait given the faculty’s action on this question. Diane O’Connor seconded this motion, and the motion received a two-thirds majority. Jordan then moved that the Forum approve the resolution on second reading, seconded by O’Connor. The Forum approved the resolution, which would be sent to the Chancellor.
Lloyd asked if the Forum supported the change in format, either leaving special presentations to the end or going back to the old format. Sadler said that the format seemed to work well, but he wanted to see how things went with the special presentations. He wanted the Forum to try the system again next month. The Forum agreed to continue the experiment.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary