InTouch: UNC Employee Forum News
Volume 2, Number 10 November 2001
From the Chair…… John Heuer
Personnel Flexibility Committee
Apologies for the late notice about the community meetings on 10/18 & 19. We tried to meet a tight schedule to be timely with the meeting notices while going electronic with our monthly newsletter InTouch. Our intention with electronic delivery of our newsletter is to save resources and expenses, while continuing to print hard copies for service and maintenance workers (electoral divisions 2 and 3) and anyone else who wants to continue to receive the printed version. Hopefully, this issue will be more successful.
For those of you who feel left out about participating in the community meetings, do not lose heart. Committee activities are going online at http://www.ais.unc.edu/ir/personnel/flex/index.html, and those for whom online services are not readily available can call 966-1191, or address their concerns to Wanda Smith, 804 Jones Building, CB 7290. There will also be a survey distributed early in 2002.
It bears repeating what this exercise is all about. Chancellor Moeser has formed this committee to work with staff to create a vision for a new personnel system for Carolina. There has never been a more significant advisory that has been so inclusive of campus staff. This might be our best chance to examine what we like about the existing personnel system and recommend other features we want to see implemented.
At one of the community meetings, a staff member asked about the opportunity for reduced working hours for staff who would trade some income for more time to devote to personal and family responsibilities. Come to find out, we already have that flexibility, as long as departmental responsibilities are met. At a time of budget reductions such as this, five employees volunteering to work 32 hours/week could translate into saving a full 40 hour/week position.
A number of staff members have commented that we need merit pay opportunities. Others would prefer that adequate cost of living pay increases should come first. It is clear that the current legislative practice of relegating state employees last on the budget agenda will make it difficult to provide incentive opportunities for meritorious service and appropriate cost of living increases. The pie is just too small. For any personnel system to work, the administration has to be more creative in identifying funds for employees.
Some strategies of coping with budget cuts might not be permissible under present legislation, but would be possible, if (or when) we are able to implement a personnel system for our campus. Reduced working hours, temporary voluntary pay cuts, educational furloughs with long term, low interest loans, are just some of the strategies we need to consider.
InTouch: UNC Employee Forum Newsis published ten times per year and covers news from the Forum as well as questions and concerns from the Staff. This newsletter is compiled by the UNC Employee Forum Communications Committee and is edited by Suzan deSerres. If you would like to make general comments concerning the newsletter or help us identify specific issues or topics to be addressed, please direct them to Matt Banks at the Forum Office, or to Suzan deSerres, Chair of the Communications Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Welcome New Delegates!
Newly Elected Delegates were sworn in at the Forum meeting in November, and received their delegate pins from Provost Robert Shelton. We are pleased to present them to you here, along with their contact information and department. New Delegates will serve a two-year term ending in December 2003.
New Delegates Div CB Phone Department
Pam Alston 5 7210 6-8436 Surgery
Thomas Arnel 7 3914 2-2050 Academic Affairs Lib.
Jim Bennett 8 1140 6-5809 AIS
Terry Bowers 7 1800 2-1514 Facilities Services
Roy Caudle 8 1830 2-4193 ATN/Telecomm.
Meredith Clason 1 5725 2-0901 Ctr for Slavic Studies
Keith Cochran 1 7200 201-1818 Phys. Med. & Rehab.
Gary Cocker 2 1800 2-1442 Facilities Services
Karen Copeland 7 1800 2-9050 Engineering Info. Ser.
Ray Doyle 8 1800 2-4440 Facilities Services
Joan Ferguson 1 3930 2-1172 Academic Affairs Lib.
Tommy Griffin 3 1800 2-1086 Facilities Services
Shirley Hart 4 3280 2-5947 Biology
Chris Koltz 2 1800 2-2069 Grounds
Elaine Lambert 5 7210 6-4143 Surgery
Lynn McPherson 8 7400 6-3255 Public Health
Debra Neidtiz 9 2100 2-9840 Registrar’s Office
Carol Payne 7 7585 6-0961 Health Sciences Lib.
Norma Roberts 5 7360 6-1169 School of Pharmacy
Pamela Siler 8 7460 3-8094 School of Nursing
Patricia Vaught 1 3914 2-0157 Davis Library
Mary Ann Vacheron 4 3380 2-4417 School of Law
Ruth Williams 6 1800 2-0761 Facilities Services
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle
Policy Response: SPA Employees’ Human Resources Manual
From time to time, employees might have a particular problem or concern related to Human Resources policy, but not know who to ask to find the answer to their questions. Sometimes, supervisors might need to get an answer on University policy to respond to an office situation, but not know the first place to turn. For this reason, the University’s Human Resources department has published its SPA Employees’ Human Resources manual on-line at http://www.ais.unc.edu/hr/spaman/ We took some questions about the manual to Ken Litowsky, Policy Director for Human Resources Administration. Read on for information about the manual, and InTouch’s first “respond and win” contest.
Why publish the manual on-line? The Human Resources facilitator in my department used to receive a paper copy that we could check out of her office.
The previous system of transmitting manual revisions to campus departments demanded great amounts of time, work, and paper. Someone, usually the departmental Human Resources Facilitator, received a transmittal from OHR that contained replacement pages for the manual. The manual’s caretaker then had to remove the outdated pages and insert the latest revisions into the notebook. If the person responsible for maintaining the department’s hard copy of the manual failed to insert the replacement pages in just the right order the department’s information would be inaccurate and out-of-date. Plus, with only one or two copies in most departments, employees had to get the information from the person holding the manual. In addition to being inconvenient, there were concerns about privacy and confidentiality.
Now, with the University’s on-line publication, anyone can find out the answer to questions about employee recruitment and job offers, benefits, wage-hour rules, performance management, leave, salary administration, training and development, employee services and other Human Resources concerns. The manual is always up-to-date, since administrators only need to one change notice, and everyone reads off the same page (pardon the cliché).
Employees without easy computer access at work can use the open terminals set up in Davis Library, the Cheek-Clark building, the Campus Y, and other locations. Alternatively, anyone can search out policy information from his or her home computers.
Why should I care about the Human Resources manual, anyway? I just want to do my job and go home.
Experience shows that questions will come up about the arrangement of duties, responsibilities and interests that make up the workplace. When ever such questions emerge, the manual offers a starting point for discussion about what the University expects and permits.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the manual also establishes what the University expects from each employee and supervisor relative to his or her work responsibilities. An understanding of Human Resources policies can save you time, aggravation, sanction, money, and even, in the worst cases, possible termination from employment.
Money? How could I lose money by not understanding Human Resources policies?
Hmm, here’s one example. In Section IX of the Manual, it says:
ìA negative vacation leave balance cannot be carried over from one calendar year to the next; it must be deducted from the employee’s pay on an hour-for-hour basis (calculated to the nearest one-tenth of an hour). A negative vacation leave balance at the time of separation, including transfers to a public school or community college system, or a local Department of Human Resources agency, is deducted from the employee’s final paycheck.
Knowing that kind of information could prevent a financial problem for you later.
All right, I guess you’ve made your point, but all of those policies and procedures still sound pretty dry.
No one is saying that policies are more exciting than Carolina basketball (although the intricacies of SPA exempt wage-hour rules can verge on fascinating….). The main point is that the University has set up an on-line resource to help you when you need information about Human Resources policies. When you need information, you really need it. The on-line HR Manual makes it easier to find what you need. Plus, supervisors can resolve all sorts of workplace questions just by understanding the University’s rules and policies.
Sounds good. What about that contest?
To test employee understanding about the manual, the InTouch editors have asked me to pose three questions based on the website http://www.ais.unc.edu/hr/spaman/ . All responses should cite the particular section that answers each question. The editors will compile all correct responses into a drawing. Three lucky winners will receive a prize to be named later. We’ll also publish your names in a future edition of InTouch!
1. What is the title of the form used for “Vacation Leave and Sick Leave Record?”
2. Where can one find information about writing a job description?
3. From when to when does the official University workweek run for SPA Employees?
Send your answers to email@example.com
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
THE EMPLOYEE FORUM
Campus Box 3488
Room 207 134 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3488