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Chair of the Forum, 2006-08

Address before the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees

July 26, 2006

Good afternoon, on behalf of the employees of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Employee Forum, I want to sincerely thank President Bowles, Chancellor Moeser, Kevin Fitzgerald and each of you for working to help UNC’s staff receive their largest pay increase since 2000. As Tommy Griffin and I were meeting with the state legislators and their staff in May and June, we had the chance to see and hear firsthand the UNC System’s support for its staff. The 5.5% pay raise for SPA staff and the 6% increase for EPA Non-faculty represent a significant first step towards returning our purchasing power to its pre-2000 levels. Since 2000, legislative pay raises have failed to keep up with the cost of living by an average of -1.85%, which has caused the average SPA worker to loose $6,949 in purchasing power (see accompanying notes).  We want you to know that we appreciate your efforts on our behalf during this recent legislative session and that we are ready and willing to work shoulder-to-shoulder with you to achieve UNC’s compensation goals in the next legislative session.

I also wish to thank Chancellor Moeser and his staff for their continued support in implementing the recommendations of the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace. The Forum is looking forward to working with the Office of Institutional Research as they hold a round of annual focus groups on issues of importance to UNC employees. Both our Career Development and Education and our Staff Relations, Policies and Practices committees are prepared to work with Institutional Research to identify the relevant critical issues and to help with the development of effective and implementable solutions.

I also wish to offer a warm welcome to our new Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Bernadette Gray-Little. Our Forum members are eagerly awaiting our first opportunity to meet with her and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration David Perry to work together on substantive issues of concern.

I have included in your packet a copy of the UNC Chapel Hill Employee Forum’s insert in the Gazette.   In this insert, you will find articles about UNC Staff and some of the goals we are all working towards.   The Forum recently passed a resolution recommending an increase in the amount an employee can receive from the Educational Assistance Program from $350 to $500 and are working on a way to help pay for books and other educational materials.   We ask your support of a policy at UNC that guarantees everyone the right to improve him or herself through education.   Please read our insert and learn about the good work of your employees.

Finally, I want to congratulate the University for continuing to participate in the Collegiate Licensing Co. Code of Conduct, which seeks to ensure fair working conditions in factories where its logoed goods are produced.  I also want to commend you for adopting the addendum on Women’s rights.   The Forum asks for your active support in making sure that these same basic rights are equally available to all employees at UNC-Chapel Hill.