Concerning Repeal of North Carolina Statute 95-98

 

RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

September 6, 2006

 

WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the representation of staff concerns to University officials, the University of North Carolina, the University of North Carolina General Administration and the North Carolina General Assembly; and

 

WHEREAS the goal of State Employees at The University of North Carolina is to support, effectively and cost-efficiently the University’s mission of research, teaching, and public service; and

 

WHEREAS the persistent failure to address State Employees’ needs is evidence of the absence of, and need for, a meaningful, open, and fair process that would allow State Employees to negotiate with the State within a formal, legal framework; and

 

WHEREAS the absence of the right and consequently any opportunity to negotiate is attributable to North Carolina General Statue 95-98 (1), which makes collective bargaining between the State and its Public Employees illegal, and declared to be a Class 1 misdemeanor, and makes North Carolina one of only two states with such prohibitions (2), and

 

WHEREAS North Carolina General Statute 95-98 denies Public Employees rights of employment that are enjoyed by other citizens of North Carolina; and

 

WHEREAS North Carolina General Statute 95-98 hinders the ability of State government to recruit and retain the competent, highly qualified, and ultimately cost-effective (3) public service workforce necessary to meet the expectations of its citizens and to remain competitive with the labor needs of high skill global industries; and

 

WHEREAS North Carolina’s Hear Our Public Employees coalition (HOPE), the North Carolina Association of Educators, and other civic-minded organizations support the repeal of NC General Statute 95-98, “in order for North Carolina’s public employees to have a true voice [in the workplace],”(4); and

 

WHEREAS the UNC Board of Trustees, in its approval of the Code of Conduct for manufacturers of University-licensed products, has mandated that licensees shall recognize and respect the rights of their employees to Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining (5);

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Employee Forum supports the repeal of North Carolina General Statute 95-98, endorses the stated goal of the HOPE Coalition for the repeal of that statute and commits itself to an education and information campaign on this question; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill requests that the Chancellor and his Administration convey and support the precepts of this resolution and the position of the Employee Forum to the University’s General Administration and the North Carolina General Assembly.

 

 

Signed on behalf of the delegates of the Employee Forum,

 

 

Chair, Ernie Patterson

 

 

 

1 NC General Statute § 95-98, entitled Contracts between units of government and labor unions, trade unions or labor organizations concerning public employees declared to be illegal.

 

2 Virginia code: § 40.1-57.2, entitled Prohibition against collective bargaining.

 

3 Brown, Roger G. and Rhodes, Terrel L. (1991). “Public Employee Bargaining under Prohibitive Legislation: Some Unanticipated Consequences.” Journal of Collective Negotiations 20 (1): 23–30.

 

4 HOPE brochure; Website: http://www.nchopecoalition.org/

 

5 UNC’s Licensing Labor Code, at http://www.licensing.unc.edu/New/General/WelcomeWorkplace.htm. “9. Freedom of Association. Licensees shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

 

Figure 1—CPI–COLA Loss to SPA Employees, 1999–2006

 

The top half of the graph below shows the progression of the average SPA salary from 1999 to 2006, each year adding the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) allocated in the budget by the North Carolina Legislature for that year.

 

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) salary numbers indicate how much more salary each year that Public Employee should be making in order to maintain the same level of purchasing power.

 

The bottom half of the graph shows what the CPI-COLA numbers mean in actual loss of purchasing power for the average Public Employee. CPI minus COLA for each year equals the employee’s Annual Loss in purchasing power.

Adding each year’s Annual Loss from 1999 to 2006, the employee’s total loss in purchasing power for those years is shown to be a Cumulative Loss of $11,355.

 

 

The budget cost for SPA salaries (excluding benefits) for 2006 is approximately $2,240,360,000.

The cost of the 5.5% increase is approximately $117,059,000.

The CPI Cumulative Loss to SPA employees is $656,425,000.

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