Hello friends. Here we are fast approaching the holiday seasons and it is time for us to do some careful thinking and reflecting on the past year. It has been a very hard year with a lot of ups and downs, working on pay raises for all State Employees, which happened; a national election to elect new leadership for our country; local elections with a lot of interest and concerns; and our country at war in Iraq, with all of us being touched by the hardships and losses because of the war. Every citizen, every family, every friend, and everybody in our nation is affected in some way by the conflict. When it is hard times in our nation is when we see each other stand out as true Americans. Our forefathers came to America to build a nation and a better quality of life for ourselves and our families. We have continued to build on this over the years, but sometimes we let all of this get to the back of our minds, instead of out front where it should be. Whenever we fail to help someone in need and when we fail to provide the basic needs of everyone in our nation, such as food, shelter, medical, and education, we have failed as citizens. But we don’t have to fail, especially if we will all work together to make sure that the right changes happen. We have folks who go to bed every night in America hungry because they don’t have enough food and money to survive. We have citizens who don’t have health care because they cannot afford it, so they deny themselves and their families the care that they need.
You may be asking, what does this have to do with us and the State of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill? Well, the first thing is that we all care about each other and our state and our nation. We are a loving caring community of folks who step up and help whenever we can. We are a national and a world leader in caring for people and communities. We go out into our communities and work and provide for needs of folks that we may never meet or know. But we all still care about them and will continue to care as long as we live, and then others will take our place so that life will carry on. When you hear someone talking about a living wage for working folks, join in and support it. When you hear folks talking about a pay raise for State Employees, join in and support it. When you hear about someone without health care who cannot afford to pay for it, do everything you can to make sure that changes are made for the better. When you hear about a food drive, support it. When you hear about a blood drive, support it. Join in wherever you can help. Take the time to make someone’s life better. Some of these folks are our fellow employees throughout the state, and the rest are our families, friends, and neighbors. A little bit of help goes a long way if we all do it together. There are many things that we can be thankful for in the coming days.
Just think about it.
Your friend, Tommy.
The editor invited candidates for Forum offices to give statements for inclusion in the InTouch issue prior to the Forum officer elections. Chuck Brink works for Facilities Services and is a delegate from Division 3 (Skilled Craft). Tommy Griffin works for Facilities Services and also is a delegate from Division 3 (Skilled Craft). One can find statements from Vice Chair candidates Lori Lewter (Purchasing, Division 8, Professional) and Ernie Patterson (Biology, Division 8, Professional) and Secretary candidate Patti Prentice (Medicine, Division 5, Clerical/Secretarial Health Affairs) at the links provided.
Employees are encouraged to submit questions or comments for the candidates via the Forum Office.
From Chuck Brink, candidate for Forum Chair:
Hi! My name is Chuck Brink and I am running for Chair of the Employee Forum. I have been employed at the University for over eight years as an Electrician II in Division 3. I have served on the Employee Forum since 2002. I began my service as a first alternate, am currently finishing a 2-year term as a delegate, and have been re-elected by my division to serve another 2-year term.
I have participated on the Personnel Issues Committee and as the division representative on the Employee Forum Executive Committee. This experience has put me at the core of the issues most important to University employees. Just as we need new Delegates to revitalize the Forum, we also need to reenergize the leadership. I feel that we can do more to be heard by the administration and the legislature about the issues that are most important to all University employees. As Chair of the Employee Forum, I will be committed to improving the opportunities for education for all employees and will work hard to convince the administration that fair compensation and affordable health benefits are essential to morale and retention at the University. With your support, I will endeavor to keep the issues that are most important to University employees at the forefront of our leaders’ attention.
With new leadership and a committed delegation, we can work together to make this University the best place to work in North Carolina.
Yours in service,
Charles T. (Chuck) Brink
From Tommy Griffin, candidate for Forum Chair:
Hello everyone I just wanted to say how much that I have enjoyed working with the Forum over the years and how much I look forward to working together with all the Delegates in the new year. Next year will be the end of three two year terms for me serving as a delegate on the Forum and this year is my third year serving as Chair. I have learned allot from all the Delegates and folks on campus over the years but the most important thing that I have learned is that we all must work together on every issue no matter what it is. As caring employees that want to improve our lives here on campus we can make a difference if we work together. That is why I am asking for your vote to serve as Chair of the Employee Forum for one more year. I said it three years ago that I new could do the job with the help of all the Delegates and folks on campus. I have proven this time and time again by the success that the Forum has accomplished over the past three years. I would appreciate your vote at the December meeting.
Your friend Tommy Griffin
Consider volunteering to serve on general committees, award selection committees, search committees, task forces etc. on campus. If you are interested, all you need to do is sign up through the Employee Forum’s website on the University Community Service Interest form at: ../index.htm/ucacinterestform.html or call the Forum office at 962-3779.
When committee slots are sought we will contact you on your availability to serve. A current list of standing committees is located at: ../index.htm/Committees/UCAC committee info.html
A diverse representation on all committees on campus is very important. Being on a University-wide committee also gives an opportunity to gain a greater perspective of how the University operates. This is invaluable service to the University community.
Associate Vice Chancellor Laurie Charest gave her monthly Human Resources update at the 11/3 Forum meeting, and she told Delagates of upcoming changes to the job application process. Once implemented, all job applications will be through Applicant Web, a new automated job application process whose development is near completion. With Applicant Web, job applicants can save their application information for use in additional applications, and they can also update their applications whenever they want. This means applicants will only have to go through that painstaking process once.
The Employment office will provide computer kiosks with trained assistants to help folks who need it in submitting applications.
Also under development for release at a later date is a mechanism to allow hiring supervisors to read the applications online.
Charest also announced a second web service to be available soon: a web page to change your address for multiple campus systems. With this system, if you move, you can change your address on one web page, and it updates records at Payroll, Human Resources, and Accounts Payable. The same system will be used for updating student address info. Previously one had to contact each of the departments separately, so this should simplify the process considerably. While this does not cover every place on campus that might have your address, it is an excellent start, and other systems can be added.