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UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum Agenda

9:15 a.m.

New Meeting Location:  Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center 

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

I.  Open call for announcements and questions for the end of the meeting

II. Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

III. Special Presentation

  • Elizabeth Cheek, Membership Director, Carolina Club (9:20 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.)

IV. Approval of July Minutes (Sharepoint Link, Delegate-Only Access) (9:35 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.)

V.  Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington (9:40 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.)

VI.   New Business (9:55 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

  • Proposed Bylaws Changes (first reading)
  • Staff Assembly Delegates

VII. Forum Committees (10:15 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.)

  • Carolina Blood Drive: Jim Fuller
  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
  • Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner
  • Education and Career Development: Samara Reynolds (July minutes)
    • Recognition & Awards
  • Membership & Assignments:  Kathy Ramsey
  • Personnel Issues:  Chrissie Greenberg (July minutes)
    • Compensation & Benefits:  John Williams
    • Legislative Action:  Christopher Powe
    • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Barbara Williams
  • UNC System Staff Assembly: Shane Hale/James Holman/Charles Streeter
  • Executive Committee: Charles Streeter (June minutes)

VIII.Old Business (10:55 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)

  • Consideration of Honorary Resolution (Sharepoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)  (closed session)

IX. Announcements/Questions (11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

X.  Adjournment




August 6, 2015 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Kim Andrews, Jo-Ann Blake, Bonita Brown, Clare Counihan, Lois Douglass-Alston, Phillip Edwards, Shantell Ferrell, Jim Fuller, Victoria Hammett, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Kathy James, Karen Jenkins, Susan Lucas, Ronda Manuel, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Kirk Montgomery, Jackie Overton, Christopher Powe, Shamecia Powers, Krista Prince, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Charles Streeter, NIhlei Tial, Katie Turner, Barbara Williams

Excused Absences:  Ronald Campbell, Chrissie Greenberg, Lori Haight, Samara Reynolds, Ben Triplett

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:20 a.m.  He noted that the search for the new UNC System President is underway.  He said that there has been discussion about the tradition of shared governance at the University in the context of this search.  He said that the University is in for an interesting ride once the new President is in place.

The Chair noted that the Forum officers should soon receive an invitation to an October reception during the week of University Day October 12th.  He said that the University will go all-out to have an impressive turnout at University Day among faculty, staff, students, and community members.  He said that the combination of the Employee Appreciation Day that following Friday, a possible event involving the Community Garden, and a home football game for the Tar Heels will make that a particularly busy week.

The Chair noted that the Forum had changed meeting locations to the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room in the Sonja H. Stone Center at the decision of the Executive Committee.  The committee chose this location for a variety of reasons, among them the free moving service for tables and chairs graciously provided by the Stone Center.  He said that he had become accustomed to meeting at the Pleasants Family Assembly room and he would miss that space.

The Chair recognized Forum guests, among them Susan Hudson of the University Gazette, Elizabeth Cheek of the Carolina Club, Ashley Nicklis, Kathy Bryant, and Noreen Montgomery of the Office of Human Resources, Josh Kastrinsky of Finance and Administration.  He also welcomed Ombuds officers Victoria Dowd and Laurie Mesibov.  In addition, he recognized General Counsel Kristen Lewis.  Finally, he recognized new delegates Kim Andrews and Shantell Ferrell.

The Chair said that it is likely that the UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum will host the UNC System Staff Assembly Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament on May 26th, 2016.  He said that as the flagship institution of the UNC System, it will be imperative for UNC-Chapel Hill to shine in its hosting duties.  Kirk Montgomery thought that perhaps the Recognition & Awards committee could take the lead in planning for the tournament.  He would consult with committee members following the meeting.

The Chair suggested that the Forum create some outside activities for its meetings, perhaps through after-work socials.  He recalled that the Staff Assembly had an opportunity to bond following its meetings in the hotel restaurant and bar.  He would work with Kathy Ramsey and Matt Banks to put together a social event soon.

The Chair offered guests the opportunity to speak at the end of the meeting on the topic of their choice.  He then welcomed Elizabeth Cheek of the Carolina Club to speak on the Club’s Tar Heel Advantage program.  Cheek passed out a newsletter for the Club and invited listeners to the August 19th open house, which will feature food and libations.  She hoped that delegates and others would avail themselves of the camaraderie of the day.  She also noted the Tar Heel Advantage Dining benefit for Carolina staff.  Employees sponsored for the program receive 50% off dues for 5 years, as does the sponsoring member.  She said that members would receive the value of free meals at the Club for the $16/month fee, plus monthly dues.  Jo-Ann Blake asked if guests of members can eat for free under the program.  Cheek said that guests can pay menu price for what they order.  Cheek offered that the Forum could use the August 19th open house for its after-hours bonding session.  She invited delegates to call her for a complementary lunch at the Club.

Senior Director for Human Resources Communication and Talent Development noted that Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington had a previous commitment for that morning.  She noted that the University is still waiting to hear what will occur in Raleigh with the State budget.  Senior Director for Benefits and Work Life Ashley Nicklis gave an update on the status of the State Health Plan and NC Flex enrollment.  Nicklis said that there is no idea what rates will be in place for the next year, beyond the certainty that there will be a rate increase.  She noted that difficulties with the new enrollment platform led to its termination and a reversion to the old enrollment platform.  This reversion could impact annual enrollment, pushing back plans and possibly eliminating continuing wellness credits for employees.  Nicklis said that Human Resources will forward information as it becomes available.  She noted that switching enrollment platforms is very difficult and she did not feel confident in the chance of a smooth transition.  Developments with the State Health Plan will likely impact NC Flex enrollment as well.

Moving to new business, Katie Turner introduced on first reading proposed revisions to the Forum Bylaws.  She said that the previous revisions had left inconsistencies that need addressing.  She noted that these changes were mainly grammatical.  Matt McKIrahan asked why Turner’s proposal would strike the annual report for officers at the Forum Orientation.  Turner said that this change moves the Forum in line with its current practice.  Kelli Raker suggested rewriting the attendance policy to make clearer policies on excused absences from meetings.  Turner asked about the utility of the three consecutive or five non-consecutive absence policy.  The Chair noted that this policy hearkened back to the very formation of the Forum in 1992.

Arlene Medder noted that the absence policy has not been enforced recently.  She noted the change would state that chronically absent delegates “may” be replaced in the Turner revisions.  Matt McKirahan voiced concern that the conditional replacement policy could open members up to arbitrary treatment under the Bylaws.  Turner noted that the Forum does not always have replacements available for chronically absent delegates.  She worried that the Forum might lack automatic replacements.

Matt McKirahan asked who would report resignations from the Forum.  Turner said that the administrative assistant notifies the Chair and the Secretary.  Kathy Ramsey said that she intends to follow these resignations more closely.

Shamecia Powers raised the question as to whether the Bylaws revisions are meant to follow Forum practice, or whether the Forum’s practice should follow its Bylaws.  Katie Turner thought it best to match the Bylaws to the Forum’s practices.  She said that the idea of the rewrite is to abbreviate the policy.  Phillip Edwards noted that the benefit of allowing absences for work-related reasons.  Kirk Montgomery thought it important to modify the Bylaws for something specific.  Kelli Raker thought it important to clarify whether vacation and work-related absences are indeed excused.

The Chair noted that Staff Assembly delegates will need to be elected by the Forum in September.  He asked interested delegates to come forward, noting that the Staff Assembly meets in person twice a year, with a number of additional video conferences.  Kim Andrews said she was interested in serving on the Staff Assembly.  The Chair suggested she consult with her supervisor in advance.  He noted that service on the Assembly will make delegates aware of the widely differing practices on different campuses.  Andrews said that she was interested in the three-year position.

Jim Fuller of the Carolina Blood Drive Committee reported that group had not met this month.

Arlene Medder reported that the Carolina Campus Community Garden committee had received approval for the revised greenhouse plans from the Town historical commission.  She noted that distribution of produce from the Garden had been very popular and plentiful this summer.  She also noted thanks from Garden leaders for the Forum’s work on the Garden campus survey.

Katie Turner noted that the July issue of InTouch had been published.  She praised Ronda Manuel’s work on the Cheek family and the Carolina Family Scholarship.  She appreciated everyone who had submitted articles for the newsletter.  She noted the great amount of interest in the career corner article.  She also noted reports of interest in the Carolina Club deal.  Turner encouraged listeners to sign up with the Commuter Alternative Program at  Turner also noted the activities of the committee readying for the scavenger hunt on October 16th, during Employee Appreciation Day.  She said that the Forum has received a number of donations for the event.  Finally, she reminded listeners about the online communications and technology media program, for which employees may enroll using tuition waiver privileges.

Kathy Ramsey reported that the Membership and Assignments committee was working to prepare for the September social event.  The committee is also working to fill delegate vacancies in various divisions.

Clare Counihan noted that the July minutes of the Personnel Issues committee were included in the meeting’s agenda packet.  The committee hopes to have a resolution on the 9.9% salary limitation ready for the next Forum meeting.  The committee also plans to establish focus groups to discuss the campus climate and diversity survey.  The committee plans to work with Human Resources to restructure how tuition credits are applied and to increase buy-in for supervisors for flexible work arrangements.  Counihan confirmed that the State classification and banding system is mandatory for UNC-Chapel Hill.

Ronda Manuel reported on the status of the Carolina Family Scholarship.  She noted that more funds for the Scholarship had become available recently.  The Scholarship will make at least two awards this year and hopes to make more next year.  The process will start again in spring and end in early June.  The Chair noted that the Forum faces a challenge in organizing funding for the Scholarship.  He said that the committee will not be able to maintain a commitment to a four-year grant for new applicants.  He noted also generally that the Forum will need to do fundraising for the Staff Development fund and to prepare for the 25th anniversary event in March, 2017.

Shamecia Powers of the Education and Career Development committee said that group had established subcommittees.  The committee hopes to set courses increasing career advancement opportunities in coordination with Human Resources.  The committee plans to expand its higher education panel to a mini-conference.  Clare Counihan noted that trainings are now available to UNC employees.  She asked employees to contact her with ideas for the InTouch newsletter “career corner” column.

Katie Turner recalled that the University had recently mentioned plans to cut the GED and ESL programs for Facilities Services workers.  It was reported that enrollment in these courses has declined in recent years.  Turner asked about retaining staff when workers are turning over all the time.  The Chair noted that the University System had hired eleven new chancellors and ten new provosts in recent years.  He said that change was coming to universities across the State.  Turner asked if the University collects information on staff retention and turnover.  Kathy Bryant said that the University does exit interviews with departing employees.  She said that Connect Carolina has affected the timeliness of this data, but said that officials understand the importance of this information.  Turner asked for an update on retention trends for staff given the popular focus on faculty retention.  Bryant said that she would pass this request on to Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor Gena Carter in hopes of setting something up.

Regarding the UNC System Staff Assembly, James Holman said that he would co-chair a Human Resources committee studying performance reviews for EPA non-faculty employees.  The committee will hopefully receive agendas for Human Resources Council meetings.  Kirk Montgomery said that the Personnel Committee will look at the 9.9% limitation issue.  Holman said that the Assembly will study the issue of temporary employees working 5-6 years in the same position without a change in status.  The Chair hoped that the Assembly could make some progress on this question this year.  He also noted that the University and the Assembly provided feedback on the State’s new adverse weather policy.  He emphasized that the Chancellor decides whether the University is open or not.  Victoria Hammett asked why there are repercussions when the University is closed.  The Chair said that the University still has to pay its commitments during closed days even when it is not producing classes or library time for students.  Shayna Hill noted that some graduate students must complete a certain number of competencies to graduate.

The Chair referred Forum delegates to the Executive Committee minutes included in the monthly agenda packet. Clare Counihan noted a number of Carolina Women’s Center trainings to come in September.

Responsible Employee and CSA Training

Sept 9, 2015 3-4:30, Toy Lounge Dey Hall or Sept 21, 2015 3-4:30, Toy Lounge, Dey Hall

This training session will fulfill the annual training requirement for employees who are designated as Responsible Employees and Campus Security Authorities.  Designated employees who attend this session will not have to complete the training online.  This session is open only to employees who are designated as Responsible Employees and Campus Security Authorities.  Other employees who are interested in learning more about Responsible Employee and CSA responsibilities should sign up for one of the Q&A sessions.  Questions or requests for accommodations should be directed to Jenn Scott, Title IX Program Coordinator at:

Responsible Employee and CSA Q&A Session

Sept 11, 2015 9-10am, Toy Lounge, Dey Hall or Sept 22, 2015, 10-11am, Toy Lounge, Dey Hall

This session is geared toward any employees who wish to learn more about the responsibilities of employees who have been designated Campus Security Authorities (CSA’s) under the Clery Act and Responsible Employees under the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct.  This Q and A session is not designed to meet the annual training requirement for employees designated as CSAs and Responsible Employees.  Rather, it will be an opportunity for any employee to learn more about these important roles.

Ronda Manuel moved that the Forum go into closed session to discuss conferral of an honorary resolution.  Kathy James seconded this motion.  The Forum voted to go into closed session.

[Closed Session.  Kirk Montgomery read resolution 15-03, conferring lifelong honorary delegate status upon former Forum Vice-Chair Brenda Denzler.  He read attestations for Denzler’s fitness for the award from former Forum Vice-Chair Dan Barmmer, former Forum Chair Jackie Overton, and former Forum delegates Lucy Lewis and Alan Moran. 

                The Chair asked if delegates had lingering questions concerning this resolution.  Katie Turner said that Denzler had been impactful in paving the way for the Forum’s publications and independence of spirit.  The Forum established itself as a credible force that did not divert itself from controversial issues during Denzler’s leadership of the newsletter.  James Holman noted that Denzler had really put herself and her job on the line for Forum causes. 

                Kirk Montgomery moved to call the question and end discussion.  Arlene Medder seconded this motion.  The motion was approved.  Katie Turner moved to approve resolution 15-03, seconded by James Holman.  The motion was approved with twenty-votes in favor, none opposing and one abstention. 

                Katie Turner pointed out that the Forum should not have announced its consideration of an honorary award publicly.  She said it would have been awful if the Forum had not approved this resolution.

                Krista Prince said that the Forum should work to establish set protocols for honorary delegates.  The Chair suggested that the Forum create a policy book to capture policies and procedures in written form.  The Chair also noted that letters from delegates in Divisions 1 and 6 had been mailed out already.  He said that the Forum needs an automated process to update its listervs.  He said that delegates should produce brief biographies and photographs for publication in these divisional letters. 

                Krista Prince moved that the Forum end its closed session.  Katie Turner seconded this motion.  The motion was approved by acclamation.  End Closed Session]

Kathy James moved that the meeting adjourn, a motion approved by acclamation.  The meeting adjourned at 11:04 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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