Resolution 11-03 A Resolution Concerning the Personnel Flexibility Proposal within Senate Bill 575 and Advocating Retention of Rights Outlined in NC General Statute 126

RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

June 1, 2011

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 community, the General Administration, and the North Carolina General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, the UNC System operates in a highly competitive national—and increasingly international—market for talented and skilled employees and therefore needs an efficient Human Resources system to recruit, retain, and manage such employees; and

WHEREAS the “Report on the Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Human Resources” dated January 15, 2008, states that such a system does not currently exist (1); and

WHEREAS the second report on Personnel System efficiency and effectiveness commissioned by the Government Performance Audit Committee, GPAC II, has valuable information and suggestions for improving the State Personnel System as a whole; and

WHEREAS the 2011 BOG legislative initiatives included an item on personnel flexibility which would establish a separate HR system for the UNC system developed in conjunction with staff; and

WHEREAS Senate Bill 575 proposes to remove all UNC system staff from oversight by the State Personnel Commission (SPC) without specifying by law how existing job protections for SPA employees will be retained; and

WHEREAS the SPC is subject to statutes governing the implementation of administrative regulations, such statutes allowing for periods of public comment and the filing of objections, and the BOG is not subject to similar statutory provisions; and

WHEREAS in 2007 and 2008, the Employee Forum passed resolutions (2) opposing the removal of university employees from the State Personnel System; and

WHEREAS the Employee Forum recognizes that while there is a genuine interest in the Chancellor’s administration’s desire to continue to provide a pleasant and supportive work environment at UNC Chapel Hill, SPA employment protections provided by the current State Personnel System (NCGS 126) and enforceable as state statutes are seen by University staff as an essential and necessary benefit of employment at the University; and

WHEREAS employment at a public university, college or school entails a responsibility to serve the state in supporting an academic mission, and the state accepts responsibility to protect its employees against unjust practices while serving the state’s interests;

BE IT RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of UNC Chapel Hill does not support provisions in SB575 pertaining to the removal of UNC staff from SPC oversight; but

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of UNC Chapel Hill would support an alternate, separate HR system as proposed in SB575 only if it provides to all current employees, whether currently classified as SPA or as EPA Non-faculty, all of the following:

1. Is developed in a collaborative process involving staff, faculty, and administration with decisions made as prescribed by a written procedure agreed upon by those involved;

2. Utilizes the same process when reviewing HR policies in the future;

3. Provides all of the following provisions protected by state law so as to be recognized by the courts:

Career status granting a property interest (NCGS 126-1.1) Paid holidays (NCGS 126-4) Paid vacation and sick leave (NCGS 126-4) Longevity pay (NCGS 126, Article 2) Severance pay (NCGS 126, Article 2) Voluntary shared leave (NCGS 126, Article 2) RIF re-employment priority rights (NCGS 126, Article 2) Protection from political coercion (NCGS 126, Article 5) Veteran’s preference (NCGS 126, Article 8 and 13) Grievance procedure (NCGS 126, Article 7 and 8) Whistleblower protection (NCGS 126, Article 14) Right to communicate with legislators (NCGS 126, Article 15)

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum of UNC Chapel Hill advises the Chancellor and his administration that loss of an explicit, collaborative decision making process will undoubtedly lead to a loss of talented and skilled employees and the ability to recruit staff in the future and asks that any future discussions with the Board of Governors regarding SB575 reflect this resolution.

Footnotes:

1. The Board of Governors has stated on their 2008 Legislative Policy Agenda, ” …to develop new HR programs that benefit SPA employees, while retaining all current protections and grievance procedures provided by the State Personnel Act”.

2. UNC Chapel Hill Employee Forum Resolution 07-02 and 08-03

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