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UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without advance notice.

Refreshments will be provided

I. Call to Order & Consent Agenda—Chair Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Special Presentations (9:20 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.)

  • Dwayne Pinkney, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer
  • Charlie Cummings, BeAM Makerspace Program Manager
  • Chuck Stone and Ardis Watkins, SEANC

III. Human Resources Update(10:25 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

  • Felicia Washington, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement
  • Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources

IV. Consent Agenda (10:45 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.)

  • Approval of March Minutes
  • Forum Committees

V.  Old Business (10:55 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

VI.  New Business (11:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)

  • Changes to Bylaws
  • Outstanding Delegate Nomination Form
  • Challenge Course

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:25 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

VIII.  Adjournment


April 5, 2017 Employee Forum minutes

Attending:  Bryan Andregg, Jo-Ann Blake, Sharon Brinson, Bonita Brown, Jackie Copeland, Clare Counihan, Mary Dahlsten, Phillip Edwards, Lori Haight, James Holman, Kathy James, Mary King, Heather Lewis, Susan Lucas, Jeanna Mccullers, Katie Musgrove, Michael Penny, Krista Prince, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, David Rogers, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Charles Streeter, Benjamin Triplett, Katie Turner

Excused Absences:  Katie Cartmell, Shannon Harvey, Shayna Hill, Jackie Overton

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:17 a.m.  He noted UNC-Chapel Hill’s victory in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament on Monday night.

Vice Chair Kathy Ramsey called the roll.

The Chair introduced Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer Dwayne Pinkney.  Pinkney noted his progress from the Provost’s Office of Academic Planning to his current position.  He has also served on the legislative staff for the NC General Assembly.

Pinkney said that finance is not a flashy field but is of critical importance to the University.  He manages a fairly large department of around 200 people.  His division has responsibility for General Accounting, Billing, Purchasing, Cash Management, Payroll, and the University’s debt portfolio, among other areas.  He has moved from the Provost’s Office to Finance & Administration with a commensurate increase in duties.

Mary Dahlsten asked if Pinkney could comment on the Shared Services conversation.  Pinkney said that he is involved with the working group on the subject.  He noted that Finance & Administration is an early adopter in this area through the Shared Center of Excellence.  He noted that Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology are part of the working group which is working on this issue at a deliberate pace.  He said that Phase 1 of this process involves the vice chancellors, Athletics, and Centers and Institutes.  Phase 2 will bring the schools into the process.

Clare Counihan asked if Pinkney could share more regarding the University’s shifting budget models.  Pinkney said that resource management allocation will form a great part of the model proposed to the working group.  This new model would allocate all tuition money, State appropriations, and Finance & Administration dollars initially before engaging with deans of schools and other departments, then to support services.  He said that he should know more after his meeting later in the day.  Counihan asked if the model has moved beyond the working group, and Pinkney said that it had.

Lori Haight asked why the University was moving from its previous budget model.  Pinkney said that the current model has received criticism for lack of transparency and information.  The new model will not address all of these criticisms, but internally the model will provide more transparency about how funds flow through the University.

Katie Turner asked how units that do not generate revenue but are still needed will be treated.  Pinkney said that units that do not provide direct service are provided for in recognition of certain institutional priorities.  He said that the University needs to carry out these functions.  Bryan Andregg asked if the University will provide resources to meet the additional demands of this new budget model.  Pinkney said that Information Technology and other areas have expressed their needs and gaps in funding.  He did not know of any specific plans to address unit budgetary needs related to the Carolina Service model.

Michael Penny asked who and how many people work in Finance Consulting.  Pinkney said that Huron Consulting is engaged at the University’s choosing.  He said that the University governs the activities of the Huron group.

The Chair welcomed Charlie Cummings of the Be A Maker group to discuss network maker spaces around campus at Kenan Laboratories, Murray Hall, and Hanes Art Center.  These facilities are available to faculty, staff, and students who have taken an orientation.  Cummings described the facilities available to users, including 3D printing and laser-cut.  He said the process is still susceptible to errors but is amazing when it works.  He noted plans to expand the Be A Maker program to the Morehead Planetarium, Computer Science, and Environmental Science.

David Rogers asked if the centers featured a plasma cutter.  Cumming said that they do not, but there are band saws available for larger jobs.  Mary Dahlsten asked if users must be affiliated with the University.  Cummings said that users need PID numbers.  He did not know if this requirement allowed individual contractors to use this service.  Phillip Edwards asked if users could see other projects which have been created at the Be A Maker spaces.  Cummings said that this was possible.

Michael Penny asked if materials are free or provided by the centers.  Cummings said that the centers supply all 3D material and they also have plexiglass and wood.  Some materials would need to be provided by the user, of course.  Cummings invited employees to contact him to make an appointment for orientation in use of the labs.  He said that family members cannot use the centers but can tour the spaces.  He noted that middle school students tour the spaces through the First Look program.

The Chair welcomed Chuck Stone, former Government Relations lobbyist and now Director of Operations for the State Employees’ Association of North Carolina (SEANC).  Stone noted his background as a UNC graduate.  He noted that major changes are now underway for the State Health Plan (SHP), with the previously free 70/30 plan now set to charge $25/month and the 80/20 plan to charge $50/month.  The Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP) would be eliminated.  Employees using tobacco products would pay an additional $60/month.

Stone noted the good working relationship between SEANC and the new State Treasurer, Dale Folwell.  Folwell has proposed these changes in an effort to plan for the future of the State Health Plan.  Folwell has cited waste of $300-350 million a year in overpaying outpatient hospitals.  He has calculated that the SHP faces $42 billion in unfunded liabilities.  Much of these changes to individual coverage are being done to reduce the load on family and dependent coverage.

Stone said that the CDHP was being eliminated given a problem in its program design.  He said that Treasurer Folwell sought to keep benefits where they are now and avoid further cuts.  The current recommendations would allow the State to freeze benefits and premiums until 2021.  Stone said that this is an important and honorable goal.

Mary Dahlsten asked about the start of the enrollment period.  Stone said that the enrollment period’s start would move to January 1, 2018, with current benefits in place for the remainder of 2017.  Stone noted that SEANC has recommended that the State remove the premium charge on the 70/30 plan when stability in the SHP has been achieved.  Ricky Roach noted the vastly superior health care benefits in private industry for workers like him.

Stone said that private plans are subsidized by their companies.  He noted that legislators have tried to eliminate retiree health insurance coverage this year.  Stone said that elimination of future coverage would provide a subsidy for current subscribers.  He said that the NC Association of Educators had agreed with this choice if the State would advance a flat $2400/employee in salary adjustment money.

The Chair said that the Treasurer’s goal of adding a $25/month premium on 70/30 coverage and $50/month premium on 80/20 coverage spreads risk throughout the insurance pool and helps those with dependent coverage.  He said that the Treasurer’s goals represent very good health insurance policy.

Clare Counihan asked if the $2400 figure represents a raise or a bonus.  Stone said that the figure would be a raise if implemented.  Much depends on the Legislature, which may postpone the proposal until the following election year.  He said that any elimination of retiree health insurance would apply only to those employees hired after January 1, 2018.  He noted that one side of the debate wishes to do away with defined benefit retirement systems altogether.  Additionally, there is a bill before the Legislature to do away with payroll deductions for State employee associations.

Kathy James asked if SEANC health insurance is cheaper than the State Health Plan.  Stone said that SEANC does not offer separate health insurance but offers separate supplemental vision and dental plans.  He said that the prices of these plans are very comparable to NC Flex plans and do not require a waiting period in most cases.

Stone put in a word in favor of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  He said that the ACA has flaws but said that the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance keeps costs from increasing drastically and serves as a means towards personal responsibility for all.

The Chair welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Butler said that the financial fitness series would start that afternoon.  The class has a full wait list and so will hold another session in September.  Another financial literacy series will take place in June in coordination with the Carolina Women’s Center.

Butler said that Human Resources is working on non-faculty professional development opportunities, beginning first with a survey on perceptions of the current state of opportunities and questions about what is needed.  Butler said that Director of Organization and Professional Development Mark Haapala will lead this effort.  Butler envisioned that Human Resources will engage actively with the Carolina workforce in this effort.

Katie Turner noted that Carolina’s on-line MPA, MBA, and Business Essentials skills courses have been deemed not subject to staff tuition waivers.  She said that faculty in these programs are paid with State funds.  She asked at what point is a program receipt supported.  She asked what policy exists for these programs.  Butler said that this question had been part of the conversation at the recent Chancellor’s Leadership Retreat.  He said that the focus of this question will lie with the Provost’s Office.  However, there was no news yet in this area.  Turner said that all units want professional development opportunities, but employees often balk at the cost of these programs.

Bryan Andregg said that it is a common complaint that no one can find out about professional development opportunities in one catch-all location.  Butler said that employees can access the range of on-line courses across the UNC System at  Butler said that employees can look at specifics at UNC-Chapel Hill through the websites of particular programs of interest.

Clare Counihan said that no clear information exists for those interested in earning masters’ certificates for in-person programs.  Tiffany Carver noted a complaint that the University’s professional development opportunities were not developed for transitions into management.  She asked how employees could move into management positions.  The Chair noted that the Forum Executive Committee had expressed similar concerns in a meeting with Human Resources leadership for use by the Chancellor’s Task Force for the Work Force of the Future.  He noted that the UNC System has held similar forums on human capital and other System-wide initiatives.  He said that General Administration is aware of the needs in this area.

Ricky Roach asked if management of a department or building decides to replace State employees with contractors.  Butler said that the replacement of an entire unit would require consultation from Human Resources.  He offered to speak with employees facing this circumstance in their areas.

Butler noted that Kim Allen, Director of the Carolina Center for Public Service and Kathy Bryant, Senior Director of Workplace Strategy, Equity and Engagement Communications have worked to establish a communications plan and marketing strategy to encourage employee use of community service leave, in cooperation with Katie Musgrove and the Forum Community Service committee.  Musgrove anticipated that the program will roll out in June.  Butler was excited about this partnership.

Senior Director for Employee/Manager Relations Gena Carter said that performance management reviews are due to employees by April 30.  The 2016-17 cycle ended March 31.  She said that performance ratings will be available to employees via ConnectCarolina on May 1, 2017.  Human Resources will e-mail all supervisors of SHRA employees to remind them of the need to do evaluations and enter these into ConnectCarolina.  Previously these ratings were entered into InfoPorte.  Carter said that Human Resources will provide computer lab assistance to supervisors through April to help managers with this process.

Mary Dahlsten said that a colleague managing performance management information had not received word about the changeover to ConnectCarolina.  She had assumed that the information would go into InfoPorte as usual.  Secondly, Dahlsten noted a tie directly to employee records with the new system.  She asked what how an employee could manage this situation if they are inadvertently given a horrible rating.

Carter said that each department, school and division has had a performance management point of contact to serve as the Human Resources representative.  That person can see ratings for their particular unit and should hopefully reduce the number of inaccurate ratings.  The new stance is that now only management can input ratings.  Previously, employees have found out their ratings without conversations with their supervisors after the fact.  Carter said that managers unable for valid reasons to input their SHRA employees’ ratings should contact her unit for assistance.

Mary Dahlsten asked what would occur if a manager did not meet the deadline for ratings submissions.  Carter said that these managers would receive e-mails from University databases.  She offered to discuss this question further after the meeting.

The Chair asked for a motion to approve the consent agenda for the meeting, which includes approval of the March minutes.  Kathy Ramsey made this motion, which was approved by general acclamation.

The Chair said that there was no new business.  He said that new business included proposed changes to the Forum Bylaws.  He said that the proposal includes the creation of new committees and the elimination of some subcommittees.  He said that the new delegates on the Forum would need to vote on these questions at the May meeting.

The Chair noted that the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Awards ballots will go out electronically to all current Forum delegates via Qualtrics form.  He said that winners will be recognized at the June meeting.

The Chair reminded delegates of the Ropes Challenge Course to take place the morning of April 25th.  Katie Musgrove asked for a formal sign-up for this event as the previous communication was somewhat noncommittal.  She now had a conflict with the event.

The Chair asked if there were any other updates or questions.  Mary Dahlsten asked if there was any other information regarding night parking.  The Chair said that the Board of Trustees will meet next week to consider the Advisory Committee on Transportation’s (ACT) overall transportation plan.  The Chair said that night parking had always been on the agenda for this 5-year plan.  He said that 45% of all transit infrastructure is provided by daytime permit holders.  He said that daytime permits would rise another $200-300/year if not supplemented by nighttime parking charges.  He said that the Forum had asked for this proposal to be reconsidered this term.  He offered to send out slides from the recent presentation from Transportation and Parking.  He noted that the University cannot legally pay for parking for its employees.

The Forum then moved into closed session for discussion of a recognition of an employee, following a motion by Phillip Edwards which was seconded by Katie Turner.  [Begin closed session]

                Edwards read resolution 2017-01 making Chair Charles Streeter an honorary lifetime delegate of the Employee Forum.  Turner moved that the rules be suspended to allow consideration of this proposal on first reading.  Bryan Andregg seconded this motion, which was approved by acclamation.

                Lori Haight asked if institutional memory existed regarding recognition of outstanding Chairs.  Edwards said that this recognition is not pro forma.  Turner said that this recognition is an important and rare one.  Sharon Brinson confirmed that the Forum had a quorum, which is one-third of its active membership. 

                Katie Turner moved that the Forum approve resolution 2017-01, seconded by Kathy James.  The motion was approved by acclamation. 

                Phillip Edwards moved that the Forum leave closed session, seconded by Kathy James.  The motion was approved.  [End closed session]

Katie Turner read resolution 2017-01 to Charles Streeter, who had returned to the room.  Streeter thanked the Forum for its recognition and said that he would have more to say in June.  He asked that delegates give help to the new officers of the Forum.

Kathy James moved that the Forum adjourn.  The motion was approved by general acclamation, and the meeting adjourned at 11:27 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary


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