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Employee Forum Agenda

9:15 a.m. —-Meeting: Upendo Lounge, SASB North building

  1. Call to Order & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter
  2. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
  3. Special Presentation
      Christi Hurt, the University’s Interim Title IX Officer

Christi Hurt is the Interim Title IX Coordinator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Christi is currently on leave as the Director of the Carolina Women’s Center, where she leads efforts to promote gender equity related to staff, faculty, and student issues across the campus. She is a long-time advocate to eliminate violence against women, and has worked at the state, local, and national level to promote policy solutions to end violence and ensure treatment and services for victims. Christi previously served as the Acting/Associate Director of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and as a trainer, speaker, and writer with the National Sexual Assault Resource Sharing Project. Christi received her both B.A. in History and her Master in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Related Information


  1. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone
  2. Approval of July Minutes
  3. Old Business
  4. Approval of July Minutes
  5. New Business
  6. Forum Committee Reports
  • Bylaws Committee: Rotating Chair (July minutes)
  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Shelby Long/Arlene Medder
  • Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner
  • Education and Career Development: Lois Douglass-Alston/Matt McKirahan
  • Membership & Assignments: Paula Goodman
  • Recognition & Awards:  Michael Highland
  • Personnel Issues:  James Holman (July minutes)
    • Compensation & Benefits: Shelby Long
    • Legislative Action: David Fraley
    • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: Yvonne Dunlap
  • UNC System Staff Assembly: John Gullo/Koyah Rivera/Charles Streeter
  • Executive Committee: Charles Streeter (May minutes)

IX.       Announcements/Questions

X.        Adjournment




August 7, 2013 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Dan Barmmer, Nancy Beach, Jo-Ann Blake, Tiffany Carver, Tammy Cox, Lois Douglass-Alston, Yvonne Dunlap, Cindi Emerson, Jim Fuller, Paula Goodman, Maggie Grant, Michael Highland, Todd Hux, Karen Jenkins-Cheek, Shelby Long, Matt McKirahan, Arlene Medder, Aluoch Ooro, Kathy Ramsey, Koyah Rivera, Christina Rodriguez, Charles Streeter, Myint Thaung, Katie Turner, Clifton Webb

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  He noted that the Forum had changed meeting space in order to accommodate the Center for Faculty Excellence.  He welcomed guests and Human Resources representatives.  He noted that the Student Body President had asked about having the Forum join the first-year students and the faculty in a flash mob dance of the “Wobble.”

The Chair introduced Christi Hurt, the University’s Interim Title IX Director.  The Chair noted that he had attended definitions setting meetings of the Sexual Assault Task Force.  Hurt noted that her regular job is Director of the Carolina Women’s Center.  She was honored to follow Ann Penn in the Title IX position.  Hurt outlined the history of Title IX and the University’s responsibilities, noting that the law exceeds simply providing for gender equity in sports competition.  She said that sexual harassment precludes participation in the life of the University, according to the law.  She said that this definition had expanded in 2001 and then again in 2010.  Hurt said that the University needs to develop a robust plan to address sexual violence and preclude sexual violence.  She said that the University had rebuilt its policy quickly this spring given recent events.  Still, some were not satisfied with the outcome.  Chancellor Thorp charged the new Sexual Assault Task Force to look at policies and definitions associated with the policies.  Upon working on the definitions for Appendix A of the report, the students involved stopped until there was a commitment to work on faculty and staff concerns as well.

Hurt said that the Task Force was working on building internal protocols and response systems, particularly related to training and possibly web-based training.  John Gullo asked when this rollout might occur.  Hurt said that the proposals were going through the rounds of approvals.  Dan Barmmer noted that there were questions at the Forum’s May community meeting about appointing staff to the Task Force.  He noted that Chancellor Thorp had agreed with this sentiment.  Barmmer also noted that Duke University now makes a student convicted of sexual assault automatically considered for expulsion.  Hurt did not know what the University’s stance was on this question.  Associate Vice Chancellor Matt Brody said that employees convicted of a crime are under a duty to report this fact to their supervisor or to Employee Relations.  Senior Director Gena Carter said that this conviction does not mean automatic termination.  Lois Douglass-Alston said that the University’s reputation was hurt by the perception of a protective bubble for sexual offenders.  Hurt emphasized that the University’s campus-based system for handling sexual assault complaints does not preclude using law enforcement to bring charges.  Douglass-Alston noted that it is a frightening process.  Hurt agreed, but noted that only the University has authority to move suspected offenders from dormitories and other campus-related steps.  The Chair asked how the Forum could help the Task Force on process and policy.  Hurt said that she had heard support for mandatory sexual harassment training.  If this idea is approved, the Forum could help with its acceptance in all parts of campus.  Cindi Emerson thought that the University needed to find people to help walk survivors through the process with law enforcement.  Hurt said that the University is responsible for addressing connections one way or another.  She said that the Orange County Rape Crisis Center is the best in the country, but she lamented the lack of confidential space on campus for reports.  She said that the Carolina Women’s Center liaises with the Rape Crisis Center when necessary.

Koyah Rivera thought that sexual harassment prevention training should be mandatory.  Hurt felt optimistic about this possibility.  Tammy Cox asked for a definition of sexual harassment, and the Chair provided a definition from the Task Force.  Cox asked if there were a checklist for people who felt they had been harassed.  Hurt said that sometimes a situation demands more analysis as sometimes behavior may not represent a policy violation.  Christina Rodriguez asked if the LGBTQ community was represented on the Task Force, and Hurt said that Terri Phoenix had done a great job in this role.  She said that HAVEN support training will continue and that general support of survivors must be reevaluated and expanded.  The Chair noted the efforts of past delegates like Alan Moran to keep the Forum up to date on these matters.

Senior Director Ashley Nicklis noted that State employees have received FY14 leave, which is similar to the FY13 leave in that the leave will expire at the end of the fiscal year.  She noted that the State Health Plan will institute three plans on January 1, 2014.  The traditional 70/30 plan will still be free for employee only coverage, while dependent coverage will rise 3.5%.  The second plan will be the enhanced 80/20 plan, which will require the employee to participate in certain wellness initiatives or face substantial premium increases.  These initiatives include health assessments, designation of a primary physician, and attestation that the employee does not use tobacco products.  Employees will need to fulfill these requirements before October 31, 2013 to avoid premium increases in the 80/20 plan.  The third plan will be a high deductible plan that will work in association with health reimbursement accounts.  Human Resources will provide information sessions about the different programs once details are finalized.  Employees can make their designations at and the UNC Human Resources In Touch website.  John Gullo asked if employees must set up a meeting with their physician in order to attest to not smoking.  Nicklis said it was not necessary to take the form to a doctor.  If an employee attests to smoking, they will have the possibility of receiving cessation treatment.  Nicklis explained that the State Plan has implemented these changes in order to produce more ownership among individual users of their own health care.  Dan Barmmer asked why a primary physician is required.  Nicklis said that this person is charged to be comprehensively responsible for an employee’s well-being.  She said that the State Plan sees a high amount of emergency and urgent care use that would decrease with general consultations with primary physicians.  Barmmer was surprised at the high use of emergency care among State employees.  Nicklis said that 70/30 enrollees do not have to do the assessments.  Nicklis encouraged employees to do their assessments now if possible.  Barmmer asked if Human Resources officials will pass this information along.  Nicklis said that information sessions will take place in September along with hot memo delivery describing the program’s requirements.  Nicklis said that officials will be present across campus to help employees navigate the on-line process, particularly during the Employee Appreciation Event October 18.

Christina Rodriguez said that she would need time to designate a primary physician.  Cindi Emerson pointed out that one can designate a physician on the website and then change without penalty.  Shelby Long asked about the use of flexible spending accounts with the high deductible plans.  Nicklis said that the State would provide $500 or $1000 in a health reimbursement account, leaving the employee to bear all future health care costs to a maximum.  Long asked about the intersection of these two programs.  Nicklis said that their intersection is a bit tricky for tax purposes.

The Chair proposed that the Forum get information out about these changes as soon as possible.  Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone asked that the Forum wait until all of the information is presented by Human Resources in its final form then it could feel free to share this information.  Nicklis added that the FY14 leave is provided to all employees in pay status as of July 1.  Employees have the opportunity to use the FY14 leave for leave taken in July, 2013 if they act in August.  All FY14 leave will expire June 30, 2014.  Jo-Ann Blake asked what percentage of employees have used all of their FY13 leave.  This fact was not known.  Nicklis said that Human Resources encourages employees to use their FY14 leave before using other types of leave.  She said that employees with questions should contact their TIM support for help.

Matt Brody noted that the Connect Carolina project had seen its deadline delayed from January 1, 2014 in order to make sure that the launch is done properly.  He praised the work of the teams and said that the last six months have seen tremendous strides in implementation.  However, it was felt that January 1, 2014 was not a realistic date.  Concerning the State budget, Brody said that there have been cuts passed for State Government and the University System.  He said that deans, directors, and department heads have been asked to prepare for 2-5% cuts.  He said that the Provost and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration will work on crunching numbers over the next few weeks.  Koyah Rivera asked about the freeze on salary improvements.  Brody said that the final budget had expanded the previously limited set of salary improvements.  However, he said that the Legislature wants prudence on all salary increases.  He noted that the Office of State Personnel’s name has changed to the Office of State Human Resources.  Brody said that market adjustments of salaries are not allowed.  He said that SPA temporary employees cannot receive salary increases unless they move to another job.  He said that if an employee works two years at UNC that employee must receive the same salary as before for the same position.  Koyah Rivera asked about a salary action in the cue.  Brody said that Human Resources will need to make sure the action meets the new provisions.  Brody said that cumulative increases exceeding 10% in a fiscal year must be sent to General Administration, the President’s Office or the Board of Governors for their decision.

Matt Brody said that there will be no across the board raises for SPA employees.  For EPA employees, all increases must fit specific reasons.  Jo-Ann Blake asked about an employee volunteering for another position.  Brody said that an employee cannot volunteer for another position although a supervisor may assign EPA work.  If this is the case, the department can approach Human Resources to add additional duties to the employee’s work plan and have the option to add additional pay.  Brody said that different rules exist for FLSA exempt as opposed to non-exempt employees.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the minutes of the July meeting.  Michael Highland made this motion, seconded by John Gullo.  There were no dissenting votes or abstentions, and the motion was approved.

The Chair noted that the Sharepoint software will be used as a repository for Forum documents.  He would ask the Forum Assistant to send out specific instructions on the use of Sharepoint.  The Chair said he would push initiatives for technical advances for the Forum.  Lois Douglass-Alston suggested the Opening Doors 3-day diversity workshop sponsored by the School of Medicine.  Senior Director Kathy Bryant noted that the workshop is offered every March, June, and October.  Tammy Cox voiced her support of creating a book club.  Cindi Emerson said that the Forum needs to improve its brand awareness.  The Chair said that Forum t-shirts would help with this effort.  He also said that he would look for help from the group to improve awareness of the Forum’s work, particularly related to Forum elections.  He hoped to reach a larger percentage of constituents.  Cindi Emerson proposed a hybrid committee to work on these concerns.  The Chair invited Emerson to work with the Communications and Public Relations committee and the Membership and Assignments committee in this work.  Koyah Rivera asked about career paths and staff retention for those who manage employees, hoping to find more opportunities to grow in a formalized way.  The Chair said that the Forum used to have a brochure.  He hoped that the Forum could develop a more up-to-date brochure for the Employee Appreciation Event October 18.  Marilyn Couch asked who will work at the Forum’s table.  Matt Banks said that he would spend the day there along with willing delegates.  Gena Carter proposed that the brochure become part of the University’s onboarding documents.  Tiffany Carver proposed getting some permanent signage for the event to increase awareness.  Christine Greenberg noted that this signage is expensive but said that surplus might have some available for modification.  John Gullo asked if the Forum will vote to prioritize the different ideas on the roadmap of ideas.  The Chair asked that the Forum discuss this question on-line.

The Chair asked that delegates e-mail the Forum Office directly for topics for each month’s agenda.

The Chair noted that the Forum Bylaws committee had been charged to review the Bylaws every three years, as they were last reviewed in 2010.  He said that the committee is charged to review the Bylaws to insure that they are in keeping with current practice.  Dan Barmmer said that the committee had met July 18 to discuss the possibility of changing the Chair’s term of office, instituting a Chair-Elect, service requirements for officers, and electronic voting.  Arlene Medder reported that the Carolina Campus Community Garden committee had not met but was looking to expand its footprint.  Katie Turner said that the Communications and Public Relations committee was planning the next edition of InTouch, with a story deadline of August 15.  Stories will be published in their entirety on-line if not in the printed version.  Matt McKirahan said that the Education and Career Development committee studied the Live Mocha and Rosetta Stone language software question.  The committee looked into possibilities of partnering with the University Library to publicize this option.  The committee also discussed career tracks for Human Resources training as well as the re-introduction of a third tuition waiver as well as a Forum scholarship fund.  Yvonne Dunlap reported that the Personnel Issues committee had invited Human Resources representatives to attend a future meeting to discuss salaries and supervisory reviews.  The committee was also working on InTouch articles and legislative questions, as well as writing a letter to increase the hours of the Forum Assistant.  Dunlap said that the committee proposed inviting the coordinator for the University’s compliance line to speak to the Forum as well as holding a class on parliamentary procedure.  In addition, the committee was interested in information on career banding and the personnel policies handbook.  Senior Director Kathy Bryant said that the printed handbook will go to employees soon upon completion of last-minute updates.  John Gullo said that the Staff Assembly had heard from Vice President of Human Resources William Fleming about the new 90-day turnaround for grievance procedures.  He said that General Administration is still evaluating the impact of the Affordable Care Act.

The Chair noted a bill to allow access to social media accounts during hiring and grievances, a step that has implications for individual privacy rights.  He noted another bill to allow attorneys to participate in disciplinary hearings.  He said that the Executive Committee had worked on a budget for the Forum.  The committee was rethinking the need for a September social.

The Chair encouraged delegates to maintain an open dialogue with their supervisors to keep in mind the need to fulfill job responsibilities first.  He wanted to make sure that the Forum does not impede University work.  He emphasized that delegates are employees first.  He said that supervisors should be consulted about Forum service when the prospective delegate is first considering running for office.

The Chair noted that the Forum will elect representatives to the Staff Assembly in September.  John Gullo said that four all-day meetings are required of representatives each year.

The Chair noted that the Vice Chancellor/Provost meeting will take place every other month.  He said that the Board of Trustees had expressed interest in having the “Heroes of the Flood” participate in the September Board meeting.  Marilyn Couch said that she knew of some people who participated in this effort.  The Chair asked that Couch consult with Dan Barmmer about this event.

Jo-Ann Blake asked about the times of all-day General Assembly sessions.  The Chair said that he would consult with Assembly President Chuck Brink about representative service requirements.

In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn.  Lois Douglass-Alston made this motion, seconded by Jo-Ann Blake.  There was no discussion, and the meeting was adjourned at 11:37 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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