October 2, 2002
Agenda — October 2, 2002
9:00 a.m.— Forum 10 Year Anniversary Reception
9:30 a.m.—-Welcome and Comments from Chancellor James Moeser, Chancellor Emeritus Paul Hardin, and first Forum Chair Kay Hovious
10:00 a.m.—-Continued Socializing and Group Portrait
Forum Annual Portrait to be Taken During Meeting!
10:30 a.m.— Meeting, Wilson Library Assembly Room,
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests, Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
VI. Special Presentations
V. Employee Presentations or Questions
VI. Human Resources Update
· Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources
VII. Stretch Time 6
VIII. Approval of Minutes of the September 4, 2002 meeting P
IX. Old Business
· Resolution 02-08, Supporting the University’s Summer Reading Program, In Light of Recent Events and Controversy (2nd Reading)
X. New Business
· Announcement of Newly Elected Forum Delagates
· Need for New Delegate Mentors
X. 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
XI. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
XII. Task Force/University Committee Reports
· Advisory Committee on Transportation— Tommy Griffin
· Personnel Flexibility Study Committee—John Heuer
P = Included in Agenda Packet
October 2, 2002
Wilson Library Assembly Room
Mary Ann Vacheron
“ = Ex-Officio
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. He said that it was good to see Chancellor Emeritus Paul Hardin during the reunion festivities. He also thanked Chancellor James Moeser and first Forum chair Kay Hovious for their remarks during the reunion.
The Chair noted that Ray DuBose was out of town and so would make a presentation to the Forum on water conservation issues next month. He said that Employees seeing an example of water waste should contact Facilities Services. He had been busy through the past month with chasing down leaky pipes and other causes of water loss.
Human Resources Update
The Chair asked Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Laurie Charest to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Charest said that the Governor had signed the State appropriations bill and so information about Employees’ vacation leave bonus would go out today. Charest said that all permanent State employees would receive 80 hours of vacation leave bonus, as of Monday. (If one came to work Monday September 30, one would receive the bonus.) The bonus applies to SPA, EPA non-faculty and 12-month faculty; nine-month faculty do not receive the bonus as they do not earn leave.
The bonus is tracked separately than other leave, but can be used the same as other vacation leave. Employees must of course check with their supervisor before taking vacation leave. Human Resources tracks this leave separately because it is exempt from limits on carryforward. (An Employee can carry only 240 hours of vacation leave; the rest rolls over into sick leave.) Charest said that an Employee can carry this money forward forever, and the only way it leaves is if the Employee uses it, if it is paid out when the Employee leaves the University and does not transfer to another State job.
Lynn McPherson asked if an Employee can use the leave to make up adverse weather leave. Charest said that an Employee can use the leave as voluntary shared leave or anything for which vacation leave is used. She said that part-time Employees receive the leave on a pro rata basis. If an Employee was on leave on September 30, the Employee receives the vacation leave when they return to work.
Keita Cannon asked why the Legislature did not make the leave retroactive to July 1, as it had done with the pay raises last year. Charest said that the statute specified September 30. She could not explain the thinking of the Legislature. Gary Cocker asked how Employees should code the leave on their timesheets. Charest said that she would speak with Payroll. Possibly, Employees will code the leave with a separate code, but it will depend on Payroll’s decision.
Andy Maglione asked if the statute covered Health Care System (HCS) employees. Charest believed that the statute covered these employees, but she was uncertain. Mary Ann Vacheron asked if HCS employees would receive raises. Charest said that she understood that HCS employees would receive raises because the relevant statute exempted teachers and all others but State employees. Mary Johnson asked what would prevent the Legislature from doing the same thing next year. Charest said that nothing could prevent the Legislature from making a similar decision next year.
Keith Fogleman said that legislators should know of the difficulty the lack of a pay raise had caused State employees. Charest said that the Legislature had made the decision to hold the line in a difficult budget year. She said that Employees must speak up to prevent a similar occurrence.
John Heuer noted that Employees can keep the vacation leave balance to use when they retire, to increase their retirement benefit. Fogleman said that this benefit was not of much use given that he must live today. He said that all Employees should consider taking a week off in protest.
Chris Koltz asked if mechanics can takee the leave now. Charest said that the Governor had signed a bill allowing Employees to take the leave now, if they like. Employees with questions can contact their Human Resources facilitators.
Katherine Graves asked if Payroll would issue any change in code or require a complete reprogram of the system to accommodate the new leave. Charest said that Human Resources would work with Systems and Procedures to establish a protocol.
Cocker asked if the leave would be listed separately on Employees’ statements. Charest said that she did not know what departmental statements would contain. She said that the University statements, tracked every six months, would contain a separate category.
Charest added that the Legislature had approved an additional 52 weeks of family and medical leave every six months for State employees, in addition to the 12 weeks available under federal law. This leave is unpaid but will allow employees to continue their benefits and to have a job held for you. She said that this change had been difficult to figure out and said that her office awaited guidance from the State on how the new policy would interact with current law in its application to SPA and EPA employees.
Charest added that the Legislature had increased the retirement factor from 1.81 to 1.82, but had not included the early retirement provision. The General Assembly is still in session.
Charest added that the Fortis dental plan will not see a rate increase and enrollment in the plan is ongoing. Enrollees in the Reliance accidental death and dismemberent plan will receive a premium holiday and rate stability for the next two years. Met Life’s reenrollment period will allow an increase in coverage without proof of insurability. Enrollees can receive coverage for up to two times their annual salary up to $500,000. Employees will receive information about the plan in October.
The State retirement system has advised those planning to retire to submit paperwork up to 60-90 days in advance. Otherwise, retirees might not receive their retirement check on time in the first month (they will receive their full benefits, only retroactively.) Employees should consult with the benefits office for more information.
Enrollment for the North Carolina Flex plan begins October 14 and will go through November 8. Brochures on the plan will be mailed to campus addresses. Enrollees in the flexible spending accounts must reenroll to continue coverage. Information meetings about the program will take place on October 21 and October 30.
Charest announced that the University will offer a new supplemental plan which will not substitute for the State plan. She emphasized that this plan cannot substitute for the comprehensive State plan, although the price is much lower.
A new dental carrier, Pacific Dental Benefits, will offer a high and low option, with the lower option decreasing in price and the higher option increasing. The plan is rolled over automatically from the Flex plan unless the Employee acts to specify otherwise. The vision plan will continue as before.
Approval of the Minutes
The Chair called for a motion to approve the September minutes. The minutes were approved by acclamation.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the resolution concerning academic freedom on second reading. Sylvia White made this motion seconded by Keith Fogleman. The motion was approved by acclamation. The Chair thanked Forum members for their work on the resolution.
The Chair noted that the Nominating committee had finished its work in counting ballots for the recent Forum elections. Nominating committee chair Kay Teague read the names of the elected Delegates and alternates.
Teague then issued a call for nominations for the Forum offices of Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. She said that candidates and their nominators will make speeches in November.
The Chair invited Delegates to serve as mentors for incoming Delegates. He hoped that all Delegates would volunteer to help their new cohorts. He added that he would run for Chair for the next year, and said that much remains to be done with benefits and pay increases, among others. He remained faithful that the Forum could do much to improve the lives of Employees and the University.
Forum Committee Reports
Fred Jordan, chair of the Career Development committee, reported that group had met September 19 to consider further work, possibly on proposals for a part-time degree program.
Matt Banks reported that the Communications committee planned to include a story about the day’s reunion in an upcoming issue of InTouch.
Gary Lloyd, chair of the Employee Presentations committee, said that the group had hosted the Forum’s final community meeting September 13. The meeting had featured a discussion on the University personnel flexibility study and had enjoyed a good discussion and turnout.
Teague, chair of the Nominating committee, said that the group had met September 20 to count ballots.
Barbara Logue, co-chair of the Orientation committee, said that the group had organized the reunion in concert with the Recognition & Awards Committee. She thought the event had been a great success. The committee will now work to finish plans for the new delegate orientation and will meet again soon.
Mary Ann Vacheron, chair of the Personnel Issues committee, said that group had met September 25 to discuss the upcoming meeting with Provost Robert Shelton.
Sylvia White, co-chair of the Recognition & Awards committee, said that the group had spent time on the peer recognition program in addition to its work on the reunion. The committee had organized the annual prize patrol, fanning out to 18 different locations. The committee originally had only funds for nine awards but through the generosity of a staff Employee had been able to award 18 gift baskets, out of 460 nominations. Each winner received a basket and certificate, and pictures will be on the Forum website.
White said that the committee had also distributed materials for a delegate recognition program. Delegates can self-identify themselves for the award, which the committee plans to publish in InTouch and the University Gazette.
White also said that nominations are due for the 3-Legged Stool award. Faculty, staff and students are eligible for the award.
There was no report from the University Committee Assignments committee.
The Chair said that he had been very busy with the University Day planning committee, which will take place Saturday morning October 12. He hoped that staff would turn out in force for the event.
The Chair noted that the Advisory Committee on Transit (ACT) had held several meetings. His plan for a 1% of gross salary of salary parking plan had not met with approval from the committee, as advisors said the plan would not raise enough money. The committee is still considering a tiered parking plan, basing parking fees on Employee income. He said that the committee hopes to put in place a five year plan, whereby Employees can know the schedule of increases far in advance. He hoped that the price of parking would go down after the University has paid off costs for the new decks, far in the future. ACT has a web page at http://www.unc.edu/act and its next meeting will take place that afternoon.
The Chair said that he would urge the tuition task force to keep tuition as low as possible. He had also attended the State of the University address the previous month and said that Moeser had mentioned the Forum in his remarks. He also thanked Charest, Elmira Mangum and Lloyd for their work on the Forum’s fall community meeting.
The previous week he had met with the new chair of the UNC Board of Governors, Brad Wilson. Both of Wilson’s parents were State employees, and Wilson should have an understanding of the concerns that State employees face. Wilson will meet with staff, faculty, students, and the heads of staff organizations from all 16 campuses.
The Chair noted that the Forum’s resolution requesting a seat on the Board of Trustees had not been approved. He was disappointed, but said that the Forum would not give up. He thought that the Forum needed a seat of communication on the Board to better express staff issues.
The Chair introduced 2001 Forum chair John Heuer to speak about the personnel flexibility report. As a brief digression, Heuer began by noting the success of the summer reading program. He had moderated one of the groups and was impressed with the intelligence of the students, whom he felt were more sophisticated than many critics and commentators.
Heuer had also made the first keynote speech at a UNC association of conservation students in Asheville. Representatives from all of the State attended the conference, in addition to Colin Lee from the National Wildlife Coalition. He said that Chapel Hill students had learned about the buildings & grounds committee from the Forum home page.
Heuer said that the personnel flexibility study committee had began with a comment from Tom Rhyne asking why the campus did not use faculty knowledge to help with campus issues. When the administration agreed to establish the study committee, he invited faculty chair Sue Estroff to invite faculty participation. As a result, faculty members from the Law School, the School of Government and the Management & Society program agreed to serve on the committee. Heuer said that the Forum should ask faculty to assist with similar questions in the future. He said that the Forum should ask faculty for advice on the question of collective bargaining, among other things.
Additionally, Heuer said that Lynn Williford and the Institutional Research staff had worked closely with the study committee, and had said that her office office was open to assist staff employees as well as faculty and students. Heuer urged the Forum to nurture this relationship.
Heuer said that the Forum owed the administration thanks for responding to this Forum initiative. He noted that many Employees were nervous about the possibility of legislative action removing University Employees from the Office of State Personnel. He said that these Employees worried that their protections as State employees were at risk. The committee worked to identify policies on campus which the University can use to benefit Employees and to incorporate protections and benefits into any future administration plan to leave the State system.
He called the University response to the Forum initiative a milestone and said that the accomplishment marked the Forum’s tenth year. He hoped to see the Forum’s 20th anniversary.
The Chair thanked Heuer and the committee for their work. He also thanked everyone involved in planning the successful reunion.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary