Employee Forum Agenda — August 5, 2009
9:15 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
III. Opening Remarks
IV. Special Presentations
- “Shots Fired”: A Safety Presentation
V. No Human Resources Update This Month
VI. Employee Presentations or Questions
VII. July Minutes
VIII. Old Business
IX. New Business
- Motion to Ratify Chair’s Letter that Tuition Waivers Not be Reduced from Three to Two a Year
- Proposal to Create an ad hoc Committee to Follow Implementation of the Bain Report
X. Stretch Time
XI. Forum Committee Reports
- Communications and Public Relations: Ashley Fogle/Carrie Goldsmith
- Forum Newsletter
- Community Affairs, Recognition, Awards and Outreach: Teena Burton
- Compensation & Benefits: Gina Platz
- Education and Career Development: Cate Cunningham/Koyah Rivera
- Legislative Action: Jonathan Stephenson
- Membership & Assignments: Aluoch Ooro
- Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: Marc ter Horst
XII. Chair’s Report (Executive Committee): Tommy Griffin
XIII. Task Force/University Committee Reports
XV. “Go Around the Room”: A Chance for Attendees to Share the Issue Most on their Minds
August 5, 2009 Employee Forum Meeting Minutes
Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:24 a.m. He said that the University had not yet received a final budget yet but would soon. He introduced a safety presentation by Captain Connie Bullock and Lieutenant Lori Palazzo. The presentation began with a short video called, “Shots Fired.” Lt. Palazzo asked what people would do in the case of a lone shooter scenario, saying that people should be aware and prepare themselves physically and mentally in case of this danger. People should rehearse also what they would do, to adopt a survival mindset. Palazzo said that Public Safety would be glad to make a similar presentation of the video at other staff meetings across campus.
Palazzo stressed awareness of possible weapons to use in case of danger. The video stressed five things in case of danger: Figure Out what’s going on, when shots are fired; Get Out of the danger area; Call Out to police; Hide Out in an appropriate, non-trapped area; and Take Out the assailant with any weapons at hand. Lt. Palazzo said that people dealing with law enforcement in these situations should not expect their attention to divert from dealing with the assailant.
Lt. Palazzo drew a distinction between hostage and lone shooter situations. She said that people held hostage should avoid sudden movements, seek to personalize oneself and not turn one’s back.
Lt. Palazzo warned about angry, argumentative or erratic behavior on the part of co-workers or students as a danger sign, as well as a failure to take responsibility for actions. Other danger signs are a need to retaliate against perceived injustice, increasing belligerence, ominous specific threats, a recent fascination or acquisition of weapons, extreme disorganization, a preoccupation with violent themes or threats of suicide. If one becomes suspicious or uncomfortable, one should report these observations and feelings. She noted that professors had reported misgivings about shooter Wendell Williamson before his rampage on Franklin Street. Alan Moran asked what violence prevention programs exist on campus. University Policy Director Chris Chiron said that conflict management programs exist as well as the options to call campus police, the ombudsoffice, and different anger management programs. Lt. Palazzo said that she would be willing to post the Power Point presentation accompanying the video onto the UNC website.
University ombudsofficer Laurie Mesibov said that staff needing a place to let off steam should feel free to contact her office at 3-8204 or ombuds.unc.edu. Lucy Lewis asked about the relationship between helping oneself in a crisis situation and helping others. Capt. Bullock said that employees should look at a compromise response given the specific situation involved.
Mark Duncan said that many creative people exhibit behavior that is not considered to be normal. He worried that reporting these people could cause them unnecessary problems. Lt. Palazzo said that the totality of behaviors should be taken into account when deciding whether to report someone. People should be aware of changes in behavior when deciding whether to report. Duncan thought that people should be able to do as they like as long as they do not break laws. Capt. Bullock said that people should trust their intuition and be glad that they had reported rather than wish that they had.
Alan Moran noted that the University does not allow carrying concealed weapons on campus. Lt. Palazzo said that Public Safety does not want people with weapons helping them do their jobs. She noted that it is a felony to carry a concealed weapon, and that one must register personal tasers and some kinds of mace. Danny Nguyen asked what people can do for personal defense. Lt. Palazzo said that awareness can save one from many dangerous situations.
Chris Carideo said that call dispatching must change to make sure that dispatchers are listening when one calls. He was referring here to areas other than UNC-Chapel Hill.
The Chair noted that there would be no Human Resources report at this day’s meeting. At this point the Forum took a five minute break.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the previous meeting. Jackie Overton noted that on the second page, Representative Hugh Holliman was incorrectly identified as a state senator. Faith Thompson moved to approve the minutes with this one change, seconded by Overton. The minutes were approved as amended.
Faith Thompson asked if the Forum had sent flowers or some token to mark Kenneth Morris’ passing. The Chair said that the Forum had done so. She asked if the Forum would send flowers for delegates’ illnesses. The Chair proposed that the Forum address this question on a case-by-case basis.
The Chair asked for a motion to ratify a letter sent by the Executive Committee asking the Chancellor to oppose any reduction of tuition waiver classes from three to two, as had been advanced in a recent budget proposal. Todd Hux made this motion seconded by Alan Moran. The Chair also offered to set in motion a mechanism to contact legislators in a kind of lobbying effort against the tuition reduction. Moran worried that this could affect the future of the Forum if it went beyond the mandate to contact the Chancellor. Lucy Lewis proposed a friendly amendment that the contacts be made as individuals rather than in the name of the Forum. The motion was approved with none opposing or abstaining. Jonathan Stephenson asked for what purpose are State employees working for the State if they could not be political.
Marc ter Horst asked if delegates were interested in serving on a temporary committee to monitor progress implementing the Bain report. Harold Hill, Danny Nguyen, Todd Hux, and the Communications committee volunteered for this effort.
Carrie Goldsmith reported that the Communications committee had met the previous week. The committee sought input about where the InTouch newsletter should go under its new leadership. Faith Thompson proposed doing a survey as part of the next edition of the newsletter. It was suggested that the newsletter include mention of October as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
Teena Burton of the Community Affairs, Recognition and Awards committee said the group had met to discuss the Unsung Heels, Peer Recognition and Employee Appreciation events coming this semester. Ryan Greenway reported the Compensation and Benefits committee had not met this month. Cate Cunningham reported that the Education and Career Development committee had not met but planned to meet on-line more frequently. The committee awaits report on the Basic Clerical Skills and Literacy Reports from Human Resources, as well as a report on the budget of the Staff Development fund.
Jonathan Stephenson of the Legislative Affairs committee said the group had met to discuss ongoing developments in the Legislature. He noted that K-12 schools had taken a big hit whereas the University System had received $44.2 million in enrollment growth. The Membership and Assignments committee had not met.
Marc ter Horst reported that the Staff Relations, Policies and Practices committee had met with Deputy Director of Housekeeping Tonya Sell. The committee had found that Housekeeping will provide five computers for housekeepers’ access. The committee continues to discuss the need for easily accessible, ventilated, heated and cooled break rooms for housekeepers. The committee also learned about new policies for EPA-non-faculty. Cate Cunningham asked that ter Horst include the Education and Career Development committee in any discussions the Staff Relations, Policies, and Practices committee might have about education and training.
The Chair reported the Executive committee had met to create the letter opposing a reduction in tuition waivers. He said that he had had to miss the Board of Trustees meeting due to a campus emergency but had heard personally from the Chancellor on the progress of the Bain report. He congratulated Brenda Malone for her promotion from Associate Vice Chancellor to Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:36 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary