Provost Vice Chancellor meeting April 30, 2015
April 30, 2015 Employee Forum Vice Chancellor Representatives’ Meeting
Attending: Gena Carter, Yvonne Dunlap, Philip Edwards, Matt Fajack, David Fraley, Lori Haight, James Holman, Kirk Montgomery, Aloch Ooro, Jackie Overton, Kelli Raker, Charles Streeter, Carol Tresolini, Ben Triplett, Felicia Washington
Felicia Washington called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m. James Holman noted the recent news that Facilities Services planned to cut overtime allotted crew leaders in Housekeeping. Currently, these crew leaders can arrive one half-hour early and leave one-half hour late in order to obtain ten hours of overtime pay a two-week pay period. He noted that this practice had begun in 2006. He understood that crew leaders should not budget around overtime pay, but removing this pay amounts to around $500/month for these workers. He suggested that Facilities Services perhaps remove half this overtime allotment and find savings in other areas. Ben Triplett noted that this measure is designed to help compensate for a loss in funding. Holman said that some areas operate without managers, having crew leaders do all supervisory work but time and performance management. Holman asked if the University could do something to help these employees.
Felicia Washington noted the consequence to families from this overtime cut. Holman said that crew leaders often fill in for employees who call in sick. They also train employees as part of their responsibility. He noted that the supervisor title had been removed during the Jim Alty era.
Aluoch Ooro raised the question of possible alternatives to this cut. Holman proposed that Facilities Services could possibly eliminate managers in areas in which they are not now in place. He noted that complaints seem to have dropped regarding service since the advent of the crew leaders. Washington said that the advance of eliminating vacant management positions is that this money can be used on a recurring basis by departments. Matt Fajack said that there is need for overtime work in some cases. He said that all Associate Vice Chancellors have been asked to provide plans for a 4% cut. He said that through restructuring work managers in Facilities Services believe that the work can be done without overtime. He did not think that decision-makers realized that a few employees had worked this overtime for nearly ten years. He said that accomplishing this restructuring by eliminating vacant managerial positions would be great from a span of control point of view. Washington said that this question should be studied by zone differences.
Holman noted the effort to eliminate employees quitting work early by bringing supplies only ten minutes until closing time. He said that Housekeeping loses 30 minutes of work in this situation as well as through the elimination of the overtime provision. Ben Triplett proposed that if Facilities Services makes changes to adapt how crew leaders work. He noted that some areas have assigned interim managers. He noted that Darius Dixon has tried to address potential cuts in staffing by looking for other methods such as reducing on-call pay. Gena Carter said that these ideas were excellent and she planned to share them with Dixon and Anna Wu. Washington praised the meeting’s format as allowing decision-makers to obtain the best information from those who do the job.
Kelli Raker asked about the intersection of the policy for protection for minors and the policy on prohibition of discrimination, harassment, and related misconduct. She noted concerns about paying for all the mandated background checks in these policies. She also asked about the vision of how these policies intersect and will move forward. She noted that there had not been an update to the policy on misconduct concerning staff. Felicia Washington said that background checks are essential for departments dealing with minors. She had not heard of special funding being set up for these checks, saying that the costs should be made up through efficiencies in cost administration. Raker asked if these changes were communicated early enough. Carol Tresolini said that the chair of the guiding committee recognized that the timing of the policy might put a strain on summer programs. She noted that Chris Payne has hired Starr Barbaro as coordinator starting May 11 for this work. Washington said that the University is responsible for insuring that staff do not converse about sexual matters and rather that the University present a welcome environment. Behavior to the contrary would go to the EEOC. Kelli Raker asked when employee procedures will be updated, noting that it had been an entire academic year since they were due. Washington said that this task was still in process. Gena Carter said that the task was scheduled according to an aggressive timeline but was not off the radar. Carol Tresolini confirmed that the background check policy applies only to those who work directly with minors, not others. Charles Streeter noted that if an employee changes positions at the University, they will undergo further a background check.
Charles Streeter noted concerns about conduct violations and University Awards, in particular the relationship between the awarding committee and the award winner’s supervising department. It was noted that an employee who had been selected for a prestigious award for outstanding service had received disciplinary action. That employee’s supervisor received no communication from the supervisor prior to the award’s announcement. Matt Fajack said that the awarding committee may have assumed that the candidate was already vetted. James Holman proposed that the awarding committee check with Human Resources rather than the employee’s supervisor to avoid possible personality conflicts. Streeter said these kinds of checks should be part of the award committee’s protocol when making awards. Felicia Washington said that eligibility criteria should mention disciplinary warnings. Gena Carter emphasized that these should be active disciplinary issues, meaning those which occurred in the past year. Fajack said that the award committee chair should contact Human Resources before putting nominees before the selection committee. It was noted that it would be embarrassing to make an award to an employee who had been terminated the week before.
Charles Streeter asked about the decision to cut English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in Housekeeping. Matt Fajack noted a great decline in numbers of employees using that service. James Holman noted that a number of Housekeeping employees are not taking advantage of this instruction because they have English-speaking children at home. Streeter noted criticisms in the Daily Tar Heel that the University was not paying attention to ESL services. Ben Triplett noted that only 5-7 people were using the sessions presently. Gena Carter said that the ESL program was cut but the University identified other resources for employees. Ben Triplett said that there was not the same demand for services as there was previously. Felicia Washington thanked the group for the very good and substantive discussions.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary