February 19, 2019 Executive Committee minutes

Attending:  Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, Heather Lewis, Arlene Medder, Natiaya Neal, Hoi Ning Ngai, Jim Potts

Excused Absences:  Linda Holst, Alan Moran, Katie Musgrove, Laura Pratt, Greg Smith

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 11:41 a.m.  She asked attendees to consider the possibility of running for Forum office, or perhaps Forum Chair in the upcoming elections.  Members recalled that officer positions are one-year commitments whereas elected delegate service is for a two-year term.  The Chair noted that interim Chancellor Guskiewicz has committed to speaking at the May 1st meeting of the Forum.

Matt Banks presented the Forum’s monthly budget report.  He asked if the committee wished to return to funding the notary public training class.  The Chair noted that the Forum seems to have done a lot of good with an increase in professional development grant and program funding.  The question was raised as to why Human Resources could not host the notary public training course under its own training budget.

The Chair thought that the Forum should consider what it can offer lower-paid employees who might not think to apply for a professional development grant.  Heather Lewis noted that Excel courses are taught at the New Horizons complex in the Research Triangle Park.  Other delegates recalled that the University offers this training through Lynda.com.  Lewis said that she learns better in a classroom setting and thought that others might also.  Karlina Matthews raised the broader question of leaving some employees behind due to the Forum’s reliance on technology for communication.

Natiaya Neal proposed that the Forum host its own career development event by seeking additional funding elsewhere.  She recalled that Clare Counihan and the Education and Career Development committee had hosted three Staff Advancement in Higher Education seminars.  The Chair said that employees must continue to address holes in their skill sets given the pace of change at the University.  She wanted to be sure that any Forum courses would supplement rather than displace what Human Resources already offers.  Neal raised the question of printing InTouch to reach employees without ready access to workplace technology.  She said that Forum delegates are agents of change who should work to find such improvements.  Others noted the cost in time and money that printing InTouch had cost the Forum in previous years.

The Chair noted ongoing concerns about the Forum’s delegate election process.  She recalled that delegates wished to establish voting districts by location rather than job category to increase connections with constituents.  Lori Haight suggested a two-tier process including both location and job category to preserve diversity in the latter area.  Other delegates thought this process could make the Forum election ballot unwieldy.  Karlina Matthews suggested that employees might vote on all delegate candidates in all divisions.  The Chair responded that this proposal could lead to voter overload with too many candidates and biographies to absorb.

Jim Potts suggested that the Forum Office share the employee roster used to establish its voting divisions.  He hoped to begin an on-line discussion of these matters.  Arlene Medder recalled that the Forum has shared information about its elections with Facilities Services departments via posted fliers.  James Holman remarked that every Facilities Services employee must gas up at the Airport Road pumps.  He thought posting fliers there could be a good way to share information with this population.

The Chair noted questions about the number of employees under market rate.  She asked if the salary compression issue could be resolved if these employees were moved to market rate.  Lori Haight asked if the plan to raise these salaries would occur annually or in stages.  The Chair said that initial indications were that these would be done over a three-year period.  She would ask at Staff Assembly to obtain more information.  James Holman suggested asking Human Resources for information on any proposal sent to Raleigh.  She said every unit she had talked with had different processes for submitting classifications, with varying levels of commitment to follow-through.

The Chair said that the Forum’s Personnel Issues committee chair, Rose Thorp, will soon depart the University temporarily on maternity leave.  She asked who else could serve in that position.  Heather Lewis recalled that Alan Moran had said he would do this if no one else were available.  The Chair said that the committee plans to introduce a resolution on unequal State Health Plan benefits soon following a presentation by Terri Phoenix, Director of the LGBTQ Center.  The Chair hoped to send a draft of the resolution to Human Resources when it becomes available.  The Chair praised the committee for undergoing the difficult process of getting resolutions drafted and edited.

On behalf of the Communications & Public Relations committee, Natiaya Neal reported that the book club has been very successful recently, with meetings at capacity.

Karlina Matthews reported that the Community Service committee hopes to host the tomato planting in the Carolina Campus Community Garden on either May 14th or May 16th.  Jim Potts said that the Blood Drive committee had celebrated 100,000 lives saved by Carolina Blood Drives at an event last month hosted by the Red Cross.

Karlina Matthews also reported that the Carolina Family Scholarship committee is working with last year’s group to enact revisions of the application and its rubric.

There was no report from the Membership & Assignments committee.

Natiaya Neal presented the Recognition & Awards committee’s proposal to rename the Peer Recognition Awards.  She said that the committee hoped to increase the funds awarded.  The Chair said that she loved the facelift of the program.  The committee agreed but wanted to retain the electric sense of celebration that had characterized previous years’ awards ceremonies.  The Chair asked that the Forum approve an increase in the peer recognition monetary awards.  Additionally, she proposed that the number of awards doubles from the recommended seven to fourteen (??).  The Forum Executive Committee agreed with this suggestion and directed that it be carried out.

The Chair asked that the Forum Office send out a request for delegate nominations that week.

Natiaya Neal noted difficulties with Amazon Prime deliveries to campus addresses.  The Chair noted the previous conversation that the committee had with the Operational Excellence group.  Lori Haight recalled President Bill Roper’s comment that everyone involved in this initiative seems happy and energized to do this work.  Karlina Matthews noted that the operationalized pilot was going very well from her point of view.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:44 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted, Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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