Concerning Compensation and Benefits for Staff 

UNC Chapel Hill Employee Forum

RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

May 7, 2014

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, these concerns include the receipt of appropriate salary and benefits in order to properly compensate SPA employees for “excellence of performance and to maintain [the] labor market competitiveness necessary to recruit and retain a competent workforce (1)” and to ensure all employees receive comprehensive, affordable health care and retirement options, which are critical to maintaining a workforce and fostering a sense of security; and

WHEREAS, the state’s total compensation policy is to compensate its employees at a level that promotes successful work behavior, emphasizes demonstrated competencies linked to organizational goals, reinforces high standards of performance and maintains competitiveness with the private labor market necessary to recruit, retain and develop a competent and diverse work force; and

WHEREAS, the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR), in its 2013 Compensation and Benefits Report (2) [The 2013 OSHR Report hereafter], indicates that “in light of improving economic conditions, , North Carolina must continue to focus on its total compensation programs and recognize that its employees – or ‘human capital’ – are its most valuable asset;” and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that “no legislative increases of any kind were granted 2008-2011.” Consistent with past legislative increases, 2012’s 1.2% adjustment was not  reflective of such relevant economic indicators as the Consumer Price Index or average market movement,” and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that “The State should consider all feasible options — including incentive pay, variable pay, bonus pay programs, and proactive compensation planning and management — to enhance the recruitment and retention of employees across the state’s many diverse occupational groups,” and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that, “In continuing difficult financial times, we must pursue creative ways of attracting and retaining high performing employees. This is especially critical as the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation begins to age out of the labor market over the next several years. The average age of the state workforce is steadily increasing, and the need to recruit a new generation of employees is paramount. This next generation wants more flexibility in their total rewards package (direct compensation, benefits, development and work-life programs),” and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that “compensation and benefits are obviously key factors in the recruitment and retention of employees for any organization” and “North Carolina is significantly behind private and public industry by not offering a match in the State’s 401(k) program;” and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that “in North Carolina, annual salary increases for state employees were less than average market movement in all but two of the last ten years (2006 and 2007) and even when factoring in the above-market legislative increases in 2006 and 2007, salary increases in state government have still cumulatively trailed average market increases by 7.65% since 2006;” and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that, “for 2012, an analysis of salary survey data for the benchmark classes indicates state employees’ salaries overall trail their equivalent labor market by 2.79%,” indicating that state employees compensation has not even kept pace with the Consumer Price Index, effectively creating a shrinkage in their consumer buying power in the state; and cumulative salary adjustments for teachers have outpaced UNC employee increases, and

WHEREAS, The 2013 OSHR Report indicates that, “In FY 2011-2012 , the State had a  5.0% voluntary turnover rate. Using the HCI (Human Capital Institute) turnover value of 150% cost of turnover, the cost to the state would be more than $ 282 million (5.0% of state employees is approximately  4442, multiplied by average state salary $ 42,371, multiplied by 150%). Because the cost of replacing human capital is so high, we believe this underscores the need to closely monitor turnover, strive for competitive salaries, and maintain a positive work environment with high employee engagement levels. Simply put, uncompetitive salaries, poor working conditions and the low employee engagement that can come along come along with those conditions exacerbate turnover and needlessly cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars;” and

WHEREAS, The NC Budget & Tax Center’s report The 2010 Living Income Standard for North Carolina (3) indicates that “To afford basic expenses, a North Carolina family of one adult and one child must earn $37,865 per year, an amount equal to 238 percent of the federal poverty level and 237 percent of the minimum wage” and a number of UNC employees earn less; and

WHEREAS, health insurance, transportation and gas costs have risen significantly (especially within the past few years) and are expected to rise significantly more in the near future, as are other costs of living; and

WHEREAS, these compensation issues adversely impact staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill requests that the Chancellor or her designees request that employees covered under the State Personnel Act (SPA) and EPA-NF employees receive funding for fiscal year 2014-2015 that provides state employees:

1)    A Cost-of-Living adjustment in the amount of

  1. a)      1.5% or $625 (whichever is greater) for permanent EPA NF employees and permanent SPA employees who have completed their probationary period, providing the employee has not received cumulative raises/bonuses (within the same classification) totaling 8% within the last 2 years;

OR

  1. b)      3.5% or $1,470 (whichever is greater) for permanent EPA NF employees and permanent SPA employees with 2 or more years of total state service, providing the employee has not received cumulative raises/bonuses totaling 8% within the last 2 years; and

2)      A 5.0% Performance Bonus to recognize and reward permanent SPA and permanent EPA-NF employees with 2 or more years of total state service who have received “Good” or greater on their last 2 annual performance reviews (or the equivalent, if applicable), providing the employee has not received cumulative raises/bonuses totaling 8% within the last 2 years; and

3)      A Vacation Leave Bonus of 40 hours for all permanent SPA and permanent EPA-NF employees with 2 or more years of total state service, which can be used at the employee’s discretion; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Employee Forum requests that the Chancellor or her designees request the initiation of an employer match 401(k) retirement program to keep pace with our peer institutions (5).

Signed on behalf of the members of the Employee Forum of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

 

Charles Streeter, Chair of the Employee Forum

 

References:

(1)     State Personnel Act General Statute 126

(2)     State of North Carolina Compensation & Benefits Final 2011 Report, Office of State Personnel http://www.oshr.nc.gov/Guide/CompWebSite/2013%20Compensation%20and%20Benefits%20Report.pdf

(3)   “A Living Wage for North Carolina, Living Wage Income Standard,” NC Budget & Tax Center,

NC Justice Center http://www.ncjustice.org/sites/default/files/LIVING%20INCOME%20Standard%20-%202011–REVISED.pdf

(4)   December 2011 Forum Meeting minutes  http://forum.unc.edu/minutes/1211.htm

(5)  As one example, The University of Pittsburgh will match an employee’s Basic Contribution (between 3% and 8%) dollar for dollar, or 100%.  http://www.hr.pitt.edu/benefits/retirement/defined-contribution-program

Chart of State Employee Pay Increases Since 2001

http://www.seanc.org/legislative-action/pay/

 

Year  Pay Raise
 2001  $625
 2002  80 hrs.
 2003  $550 + 80 hrs.
 2004  2.5% or $1,000
 2005  2.0% or $850 + 40 hrs.
 2006  5.5%
 2007  4.0%
 2008  2.75% or $1,100
 2009 $0
 2010 $0
 2011 $0
 2012 1.2%
 2013 40 hrs.

 

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