Skip to main content

A resolution concerning the adverse effects of the increased cost of gas


June 4, 2008

WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and those concerns include the representation of staff concerns to University officials, State Legislators, and the citizenry of North Carolina; and

WHEREAS the continuing rise in gasoline prices has  an increasingly burdensome  effect on all state employees, particularly our lowest paid employees; and

WHEREAS many employees cannot   afford to live close enough to their employment at this University to utilize public transit and must commute significant distances to work –  the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment indicating that 63% of all staff employees live outside the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area (1); and

WHEREAS the most recent surge in gas prices now places an immediate, continuing and increasing difficult financial burden on many employees greater than the difficulties experienced immediately after Hurricane Katrina; and

Hurricane Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005

Note:  Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi on the morning of August 29, 2005.

WHEREAS this Forum has previously passed Resolution 05-10 — A resolution concerning the creation of an adverse gas price emergency plan asking for urgent action to address this issue; and

WHEREAS in that Resolution the Forum clearly requested Chancellor Moeser “to convene a task force to quickly formulate an Adverse Gas Price Emergency Plan that encourages all University departments to implement ways to mitigate the rapidly increasing costs of commuting to work”; and

WHEREAS by Resolution 06-02 — A resolution concerning the implementation of flexible working schedules, the Forum asked the Chancellor to proactively direct University departments and divisions to adopt gas-saving telecommuting and flexible scheduling plans, in part to provide employees with relief from climbing gas prices; and

WHEREAS this Forum passed Resolution 07-09 — A resolution concerning the adverse effects of the increased cost of gas to alert the Chancellor that employee morale was  plunging precipitously in the wake of “the unwillingness of many managers and supervisors to enact efforts to mitigate the effect of rising gas prices after Hurricane Katrina without offering rational and substantive reasons”; and

WHEREAS this resolution asked the Chancellor “to reiterate his previous memoranda as instructions to all University departments to work to implement ways to mitigate the rapidly increasing costs of commuting to work,” specifically including maximum flexibility in work schedules and telecommuting, as well as continuing promotion of mass transit options; and

WHEREAS this employee forum recognizes that despite the many resolutions addressing the issue of the ever increasing price of gas, and its affect on the lowest paid employees, the university administration and the Chancellor’s previous well intentioned efforts have often been negated by the inflexible and obstructive attitudes of some managers and supervisors and therefore the chancellors best efforts have been rendered largely unsuccessful in addressing this issue in any meaningful way and this is having a significantly damaging effect on the morale of staff and is severely impacting the lowest paid employees who cannot afford to live as close to the university as members of the administration can due to house prices in Chapel Hill; and

WHEREAS this forum notes that senior members of this administration earn very large salaries and live close enough to the university and that the perceived lack of meaningful action makes many low paid employees suspect the ever increasing cost of gas is not as pressing an issue for them personally as it is for lower paid employees; and

Name Position Annual Salary

Gas cost as % of gross salary per month*

Miles to work**

James Moeser Chancellor




Richard Mann VC for Fin & Admin




Dick Baddour Dir of Athletics




Leslie Strohm VC & Gen. Counsel




Bernadette Gray-Little Exec VC & Provost




Tony Waldrop VC for Res & Econ Dev




Matt Kupec VC for Univ Advanc




Margaret Jablonski VC for Student Affairs




Larry Conrad VC for Info Tech




Michael Smith VC for Publ Svc & Engmt




William Roper VC for Med Affairs




Staff employee, mean***




*Percent of annual salary based on using 30 gallons of gas/month @ $4.00 per gallon

**Based on address of record, using Google Earth to calculate distance between residence and South Bldg.

***Mean salary based on information from the Office of State Personnel; miles to work based on median value results from Employee Forum’s 2006 teleworking/flexible scheduling survey of staff personnel.

WHEREAS this forum recognizes and appreciates that at the direction of the administration there has been some recent action and engagement on this issue by management and supervisors but a greater sense of urgency and direction is needed to ensure the stated aims of the chancellor and his administration are put into practice to enable both employees and the university to do all they can to mitigate the ever increasing cost of gas for both employees and the university budget

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that once again this forum calls on the chancellor to demonstrate leadership and provide direction on this issue by convening an Emergency Gas Price Crisis Task Force to formulate urgent and meaningful strategies to help combat the extreme difficulties caused by spiraling gas prices and that such a task force have significant representation by those most affected by this crisis

Signed on Behalf of the Employee Forum,

Ernie Patterson, Chair

References: (1) From the table of Full-Part/Part-time Faculty/Staff Employees by City, prepared by the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment, Human Resources Data Warehouse as of October 1, 2007.


Comments are closed.