April 21, 2015 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Yvonne Dunlap, James Fuller, Shane Hale, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m. He noted that the Community Garden survey had received around 570 responses so far, a considerable response rate. As the minutes were late, he asked that they be approved the following month.
The Chair welcomed Clare Counihan to speak further on her “low hanging fruit” proposal for increased child care options for University employees. Katie Turner confirmed that these options also included family and elder care also. The Chair asked about a timeline for accomplishment of the report’s proposals. Counihan said that a faculty committee will meet over the summer. She noted that the Provost had asked the document to list which departments own different aspects of the proposal. She noted that decision-makers seek a budget breakdown of the different proposals. Among other items, the report recommends an increase in the childcare subsidy for all employees by $83,000, as recommended by the Child Care Service Association. This increase would allow the University to meet the needs of all on the relevant waiting list. She noted that it had been difficult to figure out the exact need for child care as it has been difficult to tease out the demographics of need. Counihan noted the maneuvers necessary to get the proposals in the best institutional position for approval.
Counihan hoped that the University will eventually approve a budget for lactation spaces and renovation projects. She noted that family space does not count as child care play space or snack space. Family space means instead a space for parents to bring their children while they work. She said that the Graduate and Professional Student Federation has been active in advocating this proposal. James Fuller asked if the University will provide community leave for volunteers who work in campus child care areas. Chris Chiron said that the University is considered a non-profit organization and so staff employees can use community leave for this purpose. Counihan said that the report’s authors hoped to find 800-1,000 square feet in the Student Union or elsewhere for this purpose.
The Chair asked when Counihan could present the report to the full Forum. Counihan said that she would check with Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington and Senior Director Ashley Nicklis about their preferences. She asked delegates to e-mail her with their ideas.
Matt Banks presented the monthly budget report. Katie Turner suggested ordering a monitor and mount for the Forum meeting room. The Chair said that these items were necessities, as well as new carpeting and furniture for the meeting room. He also said that the Forum should order a mini-computer to produce presentations on the new monitor.
The committee discussed possible locations for the Forum retreat June 10. Among those was the Stone Center Hitchcock meeting room.
The Chair noted the results of the recent Forum delegate elections. He said that the Forum still had delegate positions open in several divisions. He thought it best to delay appointment of one-year positions until after the Forum elections take place in June. Katie Turner proposed that the Forum follow its Bylaws and appoint in coordination with the Secretary and delegates from the relevant divisions. The Chair agreed with this idea.
The Chair said that he had scheduled meetings with Vice Chancellors Matt Fajack and David Routh to discuss the Carolina Family Scholarship. He noted that Ronda Manuel has agreed to work as the head of this working group. The Chair said that the Forum needs to find funds for $16,000 to award new scholarships this year. He said that the Forum will need to do fundraising for this project as inflation eats away at the endowment.
Ben Triplett noted reports that crew leaders will soon lose their overtime in Facilities Services after the fiscal year. Katie Turner said that cuts in her office could result in her working part-time. Her office in fact needs an additional position. The Chair asked if these five additional hours for Facilities Services crew leaders are in these employees’ job descriptions. Chiron said that these are operational needs subject to being cut. It was noted that the GED class for Facilities Services employees was possibly up for elimination. Triplett said that Facilities Services will likely not lose positions in this round of cuts if overtime is eliminated.
The Chair noted that plans for the May 6 community meeting are now underway. Speakers will include Chancellor Folt, Vice Chancellor Fajack, Vice Chancellor Chris Kielt, and others. The main topic of discussion will likely be ConnectCarolina. Members discussed difficulties that they have experienced with the new system. Katie Turner noted difficulties with obtaining invoices for payments, lack of response from MOU leads, and other difficulties. She noted the confusion that surrounded training for the new system. Yvonne Dunlap asked if the University were aware of these potential issues before purchasing the new system. Chris Chiron said that other universities have installed PeopleSoft previously. The University had to retrofit the system to its specifications, resulting in more possibilities for problems. Shane Hale concluded that the system is better for reporting but takes much longer for the end user. Katie Turner said that the possibility of 4% cuts in conjunction with the amount of resources spent on ConnectCarolina seems out of balance. She also noted the general transition to accrual accounting that has caused problems for some users. Turner said that she did not need two weeks training to do five financial transactions a semester.
Ben Triplett noted that the Chronos timekeeping had also lost functionality. Arlene Medder agreed, noting that TIM would not update in the Java version. Triplett said that he would try the most recent Java update. Chris Chiron said that the newer version should work better.
Making an early report, Education and Career Development Committee Chair Shane Hale noted that the panel on careers in higher education had been successfully recorded and ported to YouTube. He hoped to improve the sound on the next recorded seminar. Katie Turner asked Hale to produce a short paragraph for the InTouch. She also asked for a list of peer recognition winners. Hale noted that the Forum had maxed out its professional development grant applications. Matt McKirahan said that the Forum will likely reopen the process in August once the annual allocation is approved.
The Chair said that the June 10 retreat will feature speakers such as Belinda Locke to help with goal-setting. He noted that the Forum will award certificates to outgoing delegates and will elect its officers at that meeting. He hoped that the Forum could produce notebooks containing the Forum Bylaws, Handbook, and calendar, among other items, for delegates. He thought it inefficient that the old guard would have a say in setting the most crucial meeting of the year. Matt McKirahan thought it important that Forum committees produce their annual reports for delegate reference before the retreat.
Members discussed the retreat further, with Yvonne Dunlap asking why outgoing members would have a say in setting goals for the new group. The Chair anticipated that outgoing delegates will leave following lunch. He planned that the retreat will feature some information on parliamentary procedure and open meetings law. He also hoped that there would be information on media relations. The afternoon will hold goal-setting exercises for the Forum, starting with a session on goal-setting.
The Chair asked for topics for the April 30 Vice Chancellor representatives meeting. Ben Triplett noted concern among some employees about the nomenclature of Saunders Hall. The Chair asked that delegates submit their topics for the meeting soon.
There was no report from the Carolina Blood Drive.
Arlene Medder noted that the Earth Day event would be held the following day at the Carolina Campus Community Garden. She said that the Garden has not seen very many staff employees volunteer and she hoped that more would attend in conjunction with the Earth Day event. The Forum has invited all campus staff to use community leave for this activity. The publicity for the event will encourage employees to bring a change of clothes for the gardening.
Katie Turner said that the next InTouch newsletter will go out May 1. She hoped that delegates could contribute to this issue.
The Chair noted that the Membership & Assignments committee will host orientation of new delegates that week. He asked that Forum officers attend that meeting if possible.
Yvonne Dunlap presented a resolution concerning the 9.9% salary increase limitation, along with an accompanying white paper authored by herself, Chrissie Greenberg, and Kelli Raker. Katie Turner asked who was responsible for the 9.9% limitation rule. Chris Chiron said that this limitation was set during the last recession, meaning that administrators must double-check any increase exceeding 9.9%. He clarified that this figure does not represent an actual cap. Turner supported the letter entirely. Chiron said that the Forum needed to make sure that the letter is absolutely accurate. Dunlap noted that her department had hired fifteen temporary employees due to the limitation on salary increases keeping new hires away. Triplett noted that it sometimes takes two to three months before information is returned from the Office of State Personnel on these positions. These delays leave the position vacant and hurt efficiency and productivity. The Chair underscored the importance of passing resolutions as a historical marker as well as a means for immediate feedback on issues.
The Chair noted that the UNC Staff Assembly had its Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament April 7 in Greenville. He noted that the Janet B. Royster professional development grants will go out in fall. He noted that the Forum will need to select new representatives to the Assembly before October.
Ben Triplett noted the situation of an employee chosen for a University award who had experienced some friction within their department. The committee agreed to raise this question at the upcoming Vice Chancellor representative meeting on April 30. Triplett hoped that the University will clarify its guidelines for making awards.
Ben Triplett asked about participation in the Forum elections. The Chair said that participation had fallen this year. He said that the Forum had moved to the Qualtrics system to insure that everyone could vote only once. He noted that the Forum may need to redefine its rubric for federal employment categories.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary