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April 4, 2018

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without advance notice.

I.  Call to Order—Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

  • Atinuke O. Diver, Associate Director for Ethics Education & Policy Management
  • Delores Bailey, Executive Director, EmPOWERment Inc.

III. Human Resources Update (10:15 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV. Consent Agenda (10:35 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

V.   Old Business (10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

VI.  New Business (11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:25 -11:30 a.m.)

VIII. Adjournment


April 4, 2018 Employee Forum Meeting Minutes

Attending:  Bryan Andregg, Tiffany Carver, Jackie Copeland, Claire Counihan, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Todd Hux, Mary King, Alyssa LaFaro, Arlene Medder, Alan Moran, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Dustin Norris, Deborah Norton, Jim Potts, Kathy Ramsey, David Rogers, Summer Saadah, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, James Stamey, Charles Streeter, Latoya Taylor, Rose Thorp, Rich Wright

Excused Absences:  Bonita Brown, Dzenita Blackwell, Chrissie Greenberg, Lakethia Jefferies, Karen Jenkins, Naquan Hill

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She welcomed the Forum’s partners and members of the press.  She then introduced the Assistant Director for Ethics and Policy Tinu Diver.  Diver said she had been invited by the Forum’s policy liaison Natiaya Neal.  Diver noted that Chancellor Folt had created the Ethics and Integrity at Carolina unit.  As part of Ethics Education and Policy Management, Diver was active in reviewing policies and procedures at the University related to these areas particularly in improving mechanics and obtaining feedback.

Diver cited five major principles which are the foundation of her office’s work.  First, the creation of the office as a hub to make University policies more consistent and available across campus.  Diver said that she served a bit in the role of a University Archivist in terms of curating policies from various units.  Secondly, the office serves as a central repository for University policies.  Currently, policies at UNC-Chapel Hill exist on fifty different websites and seventeen different glossaries. Diver is working to consolidate this data at given the University’s highly regulated and complex organizational system.  Thirdly, the office works to increase University engagement and recognition of new and revised policies, from the grassroots and top down.  Fourth, the office has a service orientation to make facilitation of policies easier for departments.  Diver noted that the website and other trainings help increase campus awareness.  Fifth, the office will shepherd new policies and processes.  These occur via five steps:  development, review, approval, communication, and maintenance.  Diver added that urgent policies matters can be escalated to the Executive Policy Advisory Committee (EPAC) for review.

Arlene Medder said that she had looked for policies governing University purchasing cards.  Would this search best be done under the phrase “purchasing card” or via finance in general?  Diver said that searches must be done through the most mature structure and process possible.

Clare Counihan asked about the transition of policies and broken links.  Diver said that her office has moved and converted all policies available.  Todd Hux asked about the large number of University policy glossaries, websites and policies themselves.  Diver said that her office will begin to differentiate between policies, standards, and procedures, a distinction which has not been made previously at the University.  She said that policies come from grassroots while others come from the top down through the General Assembly or the UNC System Office.

James Holman asked if departments should feel they hold leeway to make their own policies.  Diver said that unit policies that do not impact those outside the University are allowed, such as when Facilities Services decides on process for its own employees.  Holman asked if policies should remain consistent across units.  Diver said that much depends on the topic.  Alan Moran asked how Diver’s office will affect managerial training.  Diver said that communication from the chair of the Policy Review committee relies on liaisons to departments.  Ethics Education and Policy Management Director Kim Strom-Gottfried sits on the Chancellor’s Cabinet.  These are various means by which the office will attempt to find synergies amongst different departments.

Clare Counihan noted that some employees are affected by discrepancies in policies at the University level and how they are implemented.  She asked for recommendations on how to point out these discrepancies.  Diver said that the Ethics Compliance line is one course of action.  She said that the office is working to figure out inconsistencies between written and web versions of campus policies.  She urged those with further questions to access for more information.

The Chair introduced Delores Bailey, the Executive Director for EmPOWERment in Chapel Hill.  Bailey recalled that in 1996, two UNC students worked to maintain the African-American character of the Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods.  As native populations in these neighborhoods have aged out, these neighborhoods have changed significantly.  EmPOWERment was founded to facilitate community organization, affordable housing, and establishment of the Midway Business Center.  The Midway Center was established to give women and minorities an opportunity to start and grow businesses.

Bailey noted that EmPOWERment helps local community members with various needs.  She said that the late Jackie Overton had loved to support the organization and thus help people in need.  EmPOWERment now owns 42 rental units and will add another 8 units this year.  In 2004 the organization created the Good Neighbor Initiative to welcome students to campus.

Bailey recalled that when Jackie Overton had passed it had been a painful blow to EmPOWERment and the Employee Forum.  She recalled that Overton had brought order to the Forum through her leadership.  She noted that EmPOWERment had created the Mabry-Overton-Malloy Utility Fund to provide funds to those who have fallen behind in their rent or utility bills.  She said that the Fund requires recipients to take video and classroom instruction on budgeting issues before receiving help with their bills, at Jackie’s insistence.

Bailey noted the recent crisis with the Lake View mobile home park.  She said that EmPOWERment helped to organize a response at Town Hall.  Clare Counihan asked about volunteer or community service opportunities.  Bailey said that there is currently a need for help with cleaning up trash at public housing tracts, “without attitude.”  She said that everyone lives in need at some point in their lives.  The Chair recalled Jackie Overton’s advice to “stand in your own truth” as Forum Chair.

The Chair welcomed Vice Chancellor for Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia Washington and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Washington urged listeners to stand up and take a deep breath, concentrating on answering negative self-talk in a way that a loved one would answer you.  She emphasized the importance of mindfulness in personal and work spaces.

Washington noted that April 4, 2018 will be the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.  She said that at 6:01 p.m., bells will ring out through campus marking this calamity.

Washington noted that the Shared Services Initiative will pause but conversations will continue regarding modernization of operations.  She noted that UNC-Chapel Hill had only 38% of employees complete the Employee Engagement Survey, last among UNC System schools.  The Chair commented that faculty members might have brought this number down.  Washington noted that this figure and others regarding campus promotions will become part of the Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement annual report for 2017.

Washington noted the perception that employee compensation lags the current market rate.  This perception combined with rising health care costs has led to a concern that take-home pay is decreasing.  Washington noted that Senior Director of Classification and Compensation Adam Beck has studied classification and compensation rates for SHRA employees as of 2008.  Current rates require approval from the Office of State Human Resources Commission.  Authority to set rates does not lie with the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

Lori Haight asked about the process of adjusting these rates.  Beck said that the rates has not been fully restructured since 2008.  Factors influencing salary rates since then include times of competitive hiring, reclassification of positions, assignment of additional duties, and labor market increases.  In addition, if an employee can demonstrate newly acquired competencies, that person can be awarded SHRA retention dollars.

Clare Counihan asked about equity issues and campus compensation.  Beck said that equity considerations stand for positions in the same job classification.  Counihan asked about race and gender equity considerations.  Beck said that these are also considered.  David Rogers confirmed that retention increases originate outside the State compensation system.  Alan Moran voiced frustration with the perception that only a few select employees receive these increases, rather than across-the-board raises.  He said that these increases never happen at Facilities Services.  Beck said that divisional leadership is responsible for setting compensation policies related to retention increases.  Moran asked about educating managers and supervisors about the possibility of providing retention increases.  Beck said that the performance management process is the place to calibrate these possibilities.  He said that there will be additional managerial training soon.

Tiffany Carver asked about the assignment of additional duties that is usually not compensated.  Beck advised highlighting new knowledge and skillsets obtained through this work in the performance management process.  Latoya Taylor said that she had worked to document increases in duties towards obtaining a higher pay grade.  She praised the Human Resources person in her area for working with her on this task.

Todd Hux noted the prevalence of similar salaries among HVAC employees with 23, 17, and 5 years’ experience.  He asked how supervisors should recognize these varying degrees of experience.  Beck said that longevity is not a pay factor in the State system.  Only demonstrated competency is a factor in how the compensation system is built.

Beck noted that the UNC System Office had prepared a systematic analysis that found that at UNC-Chapel Hill 60% of employees are compensated at the market rate or higher, the highest in the State System.  Alan Moran asked how the market rate was derived.  Beck said that the rate was derived from nine different salary surveys in the Southeastern United States.  He said that the System Office worked with a consulting firm to measure and update market rates.  He said that some institutions were resistant to participate in this task, which presented a measurement problem.

Beck noted that said that the Office of State Human Resources is in the last stages of moving the State into new pay ranges.  This work will not finish until summer 2018.  The new graded system will place job positions into quadrants and will no longer have career bands.

James Holman said that longevity played a big part in compensation levels in older systems.  Beck said that he had not seen it used in the System Office study as the preferred measure is a performance component.

Beck said that the University has control over EHRA salary raises.  The University hopes to finish its update before the next annual raise occurs.  In EHRA reckoning, merit measures are allowed, with some equity differences within the same job family and level.  Beck noted the task to update SHRA rates and increase salaries for positions below market, after assessing reasons why these positions lag.  Rose Thorp asked if Human Resources will probe its compensation policy even given the high number of UNC-Chapel Hill employees paid at 90% of market rate.  Beck said that red flags occur when a position is hired way below market rate.  His office recommends putting hiring range no lower than 90% of market rate.

Washington commented that these discussions have not yet reached the Office of State Human Resources Central Office.  Jim Potts asked if public comment occurs about the establishment of State job descriptions.  Beck said that there were individual discussions.  Bryan Andregg asked about the status of conversion of IT professionals.  Beck said that campus feedback about the process had been varied.  Human Resources is addressing these questions but the conversion is still coming, hopefully before the end of the fiscal year, Beck said.

Senior Employee and Managerial Consultant Tyler Enlow spoke on performance management issues.  He noted the current performance cycle ended March 31st.  A new evaluation standard of “exceeds/meets/does not meet” expectations will begin in the 2018-19 evaluation year.  Enlow noted plans to computerize the evaluation process soon.  His office has invited employees to participate in this pilot.

Clare Counihan asked about the question of gender bias in the annual review process.  She asked how Human Resources plans to deal with implicit gender bias factors.  Enlow said most of the documents related to gender, implicit, and recency bias are located at the departmental level.  He was reluctant to give out final dates for completion of the complete campus-wide shift away from paper evaluations.

Vanessa Ragland, the Director of EHRA Non-Faculty Human Resources, noted the work of her office.  She said that the performance management review process will end June 30 for these employees.  She noted that the Board of Governors has adopted regulation changes of the EHRA performance management process to make it more like the SHRA process, to standardize appraisal documents, and require ratings be reported by the end of August.  EHRA non-faculty Human Resources will provide four training sessions at the Administrative Office Building to assist managers.

University Program Specialist Jessica Pyjas thanked all who participated in the Campus Wellness Expo.  She noted that the blood pressure campaign will continue through May.  She urged employees to participate in wellness program surveys as they are distributed.

Senior Benefits Consultant Rob Stevenson noted the recent audit of State Health Plan dependents that saw 1% of employees removed from plan rolls.  Dependents must verify their status with the State office to remain on the Health Plan.  Stevenson said that the Plan’s Board of Trustees had met in March and likely will not change the Plan structure this fiscal year.

Stevenson encouraged employees to work with Captrust certified financial planners on making plans for retirement.  He said that TIAA will conduct financial fitness workshops for employees as well.  Clare Counihan confirmed that employees can obtain one on one counseling during evening sessions.  Katie Musgrove reported that TIAA will sponsor a tomato seedling planting event at the Carolina Campus Community Garden May 15th.  The Community Service committee is seeking thirty volunteers to work this event.

Katie Musgrove moved that the Forum accept its consent agenda minus the Community Service and Executive Committee reports.  Arlene Medder seconded this motion, which was approved by the Forum.

Musgrove reported that the food drive had recently raised 2,459 pounds of food and the equivalent of 3,264 meals for those in need.

The Chair recalled the Forum’s participation in the ropes course in lieu of its March meeting.  She praised the resilience and dedication to teamwork of everyone involved in the event.  She said that the event had led her to reflect about those on the team having a more difficult time and the importance of helping all.  She challenged delegates to recommit themselves to the work of the Forum.

There was no Old Business.  In New Business, Personnel Issues committee chair Bryan Andregg introduced Resolution 18-02 regarding employee compensation on first reading.  The resolution would receive more extensive debate on second reading in May.

Kathy Ramsey asked delegates to consider volunteering to help with the Chancellor’s Cup golf tournament.  The Chair noted that Chancellor Carol Folt is scheduled to address the Forum in May.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:25 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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