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InTouch:  UNC Employee Forum News
Volume 5, Number 10 Holiday 2004

From the Chair, Tommy Griffin…
Looking Back at 2004

Hello Friends. We are fast approaching the end of another year working together. As I look back over the year 2004, it brings a lot of good memories to mind. Consider the students who left here in May, well prepared to take on the world because of the education they received here at UNC. Do you ever think about how much hard work it takes to get each student across the stage on Kenan Football field in May? Do you ever think about how much energy, time, and effort it takes from all of us to make sure they get there? It takes all of us working together and supporting each other to keep this the number one public University in the nation.

Just think about what you do here every day on campus in your job and how important your work is to the University and everyone in our state and nation. Without folks who care about our University, it would be impossible to be successful at our daily tasks, much less our overall goals of education, research, and public service.

If the founding fathers of the University came back today, I am sure that they would be amazed by the size of the University but not about how much we all care about its success. Good, caring folks are who started our University and who continue to support its needs and build for its future at every level. The faces have changed over the years but not the hard work, dedication, or our Tar Heel spirit.

I know all of us are looking forward to working together in the upcoming year. We have a lot to do, but I know we can be successful, because employees have been working well together here for over 200 years now. Think about our history together and let’s plan for our future. What we did yesterday is why we are here today and why we will be here tomorrow.

With all this said, I want to thank everyone for all the years we have shared together.

Happy Holidays!

Your friend, Tommy.

Changes Forum Delegates Want to See

With the traditional season of resolution-making looming ahead and more than one-third of those serving on the Employee Forum being new to their task, InTouch thought it was a good time to get a feel for where Delegates thought the Forum should concentrate its efforts in the coming year.

Responses indicate that there is a good deal of concern throughout the University about low wages—especially for employees in the lowest-paid kinds of jobs. The Living Wage issue was prominently featured as a delegate concern, as well as the kinds of opportunities that lower-paid employees have to improve their knowledge and skills and thus advance to better-paying positions.

Some Delegates pointed out that hiring and advancement issues have become important at all levels of employment, given the budget constraints of the last several years. In particular, concern was expressed that some employees are not being given raises or promotions, chiefly because of the budget problems. Concern was also expressed about the University continuing to hire non-UNC employees to fill positions that current employees have been trying to work toward.

Other Delegates mentioned adequate, affordable health care coverage as a problem requiring the Forum’s attention.

Forum Computer Initiative Systems Upgraded

Last year the Forum worked out a program with Dell so that Dell is offering UNC employees a desktop computer system for under $500. This deal is available to everyone in North Carolina who is working for or has a child participating in any Higher Educational facility in North Carolina or North Carolina high school.

The Forum has worked out a new deal with Dell which now includes a Dell 3000 system and 265MB of memory as standard, both improvements over the previous deal. It also includes a CD-ROM, 40GB hard drive, 17″ monitor, and printer/scanner/copier combination, along with Microsoft Office Basic and other software. The new system still comes in at just under $500, including shipping and sales taxes.

You can check out the full details by going to the UNC Employee Forum Computer Initiative link on the front page.

Blood Drive December 16: Sign Up Today

The Holiday Edition of the Carolina Blood Drive will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2004 from 7:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in Woollen Gym. With a goal of 275 units, this drive will occur during a critical time of the year when blood collections are typically low due to holiday travel.

Visit to make your appointment on-line or call 96-BLOOD (2-5663), Ext. 384 between 8am & 5pm daily between now and December 15th. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins will also be accepted. Donors will be given a free American Red Cross t-shirt.

We are also offering the option of collecting double red cells from qualifying donors. Please visit our website for additional information:
Parking is available for donors along Stadium Drive and Ehringhaus Field House Lot.
Individuals who would like to volunteer their time should contact Anne Webb, School of Nursing,

See you at the Blood Drive!
The Carolina Blood Drive Committee

Forum Election Results; Passage of Resolution Calling for $3500 Flat Pay Increase

At its December meeting, the Employee Forum re-elected Tommy Griffin to an unprecedented fourth term as Forum chair. Griffin pledged to do the best he could to support the needs of employees throughout the state, particularly seeking a substantial pay increase and revised health insurance benefits for University employees. Ernie Patterson, a systems network manager in the Biology department, was elected vice chair of the Forum, and Patti Prentice of the School of Medicine was re-elected Forum secretary.

Also, at its December meeting, the Forum approved a resolution requesting a $3500 flat salary increase for State employees, or a 2.5% increase, whichever is more. The Forum has asked the Chancellor and his Administration to advocate this increase for fiscal year 2005-2006 in dealings with the Office of the President and the North Carolilna State Legislature.

Graves Represents Staff on University Health Insurance Committee
Katherine Caudell Graves, who served in 2004 as Vice Chair of the Employee Forum, will represent staff on a system wide committee studying health insurance and recommending changes to health benefits available to employees of the 16 campus UNC system. Thanks, Katherine!