September 3, 2008
Employee Forum Agenda — September 3, 2008
9:15 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
IV. Special Presentations
V. Human Resources Update—Brenda Malone
VI. Employee Presentations or Questions
VIII. Old Business
Proposed Guidelines Revision on Staff Assembly Delegate Responsibilities (First Reading)
IX. New Business
X. Stretch Time
XI. Forum Committee Reports
· Communications and Public Relations: Brenda Denzler
Þ Forum Newsletter
· Community Affairs, Recognition, Awards and Outreach: Beth Bridger
· Compensation & Benefits: Alan Moran
· Education and Career Development: Liz Cahoon/Cate Cunningham
· Legislative Action: Mike Hawkins
· Membership & Assignments: Aluoch Ooro
· Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: Mike McQuown
XII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
XIII. Task Force/University Committee Reports
XV. “Go Around the Room”: A Chance for Attendees to Share the Issue Most on their Minds
September 3, 2008 Minutes
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. He noted that Student Body President J.J. Raynor and Board of Trustees member John Ellison had been charged to come up with three things that faculty, staff, students and alumni could improve on campus. These two would seek ideas from the Forum at its October meeting. The Chair noted the activities of the recent State Employees Association convention in Greensboro that month.
Vice Chair Brenda Denzler made a report on the recommendations of the UNC System President’s Task Force on Human Resources. Mike McQuown thought that the recommendations of the task force amounted to snake oil. Alan Moran observed that the number of SPA positions had diminished over time. Lucy Lewis thanked Denzler for her great presentation and extraordinary attention to detail in addressing this issue. Debbie Dehart noted the increase in the number of EPA-non-faculty employees might be due to the increase in research grants on campus. Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Brenda Malone said that Human Resources had worked hard to accommodate the EPA-non-faculty population. Dehart said that departments must dig to find money for EPA-non-faculty salary increases when these are not funded by grants.
Malone presented the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. She said that enrollment for the NC Flex program will take place from September 29 to November 3. Employee Appreciation Day will take place October 16 from 9-3 p.m. in Great Hall and the Pit. In response to a question, Malone said that the Chancellor would work to make supervisory training mandatory although details are still forthcoming. Malone recognized Brian Usischon for his work on the University’s employee recognition awards.
Jill Crowder noted that criminal background checks have taken as long as a month to be processed by Human Resources, resulting in departments losing some applicants for positions. Malone said that local checks should not take that long and she said she would follow up on the question.
There were no employee presentations or questions. Mike Hawkins moved that the Forum accept the August minutes, seconded by Mary Campbell. The minutes were accepted by acclamation.
As old business, the Forum took up the question of a proposed Guidelines revision binding UNC System Staff Assembly delegates to vote as the Forum has voted on particular issues. The Chair reminded the Forum that Guidelines changes require a two-thirds majority vote. A question arose as to whether UNC System Staff Assembly delegates should have the right to vote their preference on questions on which the Forum has not taken a position. Some delegates thought that representatives should abstain from voting in these situations while others thought that they should attempt to consult quickly with the Forum via e-mail or other means. Beth Bridger identified an element of mistrust in discussions that should lead Staff Assembly delegates to abstain if they did not have direction from the Forum. Faith Thompson thought that the Forum should trust its delegates to vote in the way that they see fit in the absence of direction from the Forum. Mark Duncan thought that major issues would not likely be raised at the Staff Assembly without some warning ahead of time. Denzler sought to cast the debate in terms of what procedures the Forum should follow in the future.
The Chair noted the range of health insurance concerns facing the State Health Plan. Alan Moran moved that the Forum make a statement about health insurance coverage, particularly that the Legislature hold off on making changes to the Plan until the Auditor makes his report and those involved have time to make their input. Mike Hawkins seconded the motion which was approved by acclamation.
Brenda Denzler of the Communications committee said that group had recently finished work on its print edition. She thanked Mike McQuown for his help on laying out the print edition. Beth Bridger of the Community Affairs, Recognition & Awards committee said the group had posted a nomination form for peer recognition awards on the Forum website. The group will also take up planning for the Employee Appreciation Day. Faith Thompson recalled the idea to create a one-page document on the merits of Article 16 for the event. Alan Moran of the Compensation and Benefits committee said that group would bring a resolution to the Forum in October. Cindy Stone of the Education and Career Development committee said that group had lost a couple of members and so was recruiting replacements. The committee was working with Claire Miller of Human Resources on various career development questions. Mike Hawkins of the Legislative Affairs committee said that the upcoming election offered delegates a chance to educate their colleagues on various issues of concern. He noted that delegates Kitty Allen and Jackie Overton had served on the Chancellor’s Excellence in Management award committee. Aluoch Ooro welcomed Myra Quick to the Membership and Assignments committee. Mike McQuown of the Staff Relations, Policies and Practices committee said that group had been working to install computers and internet accessible to housekeepers. It was noted that there had been a tentative agreement to hire new housekeepers to work the weekend shifts. The Chair applauded this development.
The Chair asked the Forum for permission to serve on the University’s Advisory Committee on Transit. Alan Moran had no objection to this suggestion but thought that Marshall Dietz might also serve in a second seat on the committee. The Chair recalled the work of the committee in setting a tiered system for parking fee increases according to income. Moran’s motion was seconded and approved by the Forum.
The task force on gas prices was scheduled to meet that afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Lucy Lewis reported that a teach-in related to repealing NC General Statute 95-98 prohibiting collective bargaining was scheduled for October 2 from 7-9 p.m. in the Community Church near the Hospital. It was noted that the Forum Office would handle planning for the Staff Processional during University Day on October 12. Mike McQuown encouraged delegates and others to sign up for grievance panel support person training.
The Forum adjourned at 11:34 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary