December 13, 2016 Executive Committee minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Bonita Brown, Gena Carter, Phillip Edwards, David Fraley, Jim Fuller, Lori Haight, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Kathy James, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, Greg Smith, Charles Streeter, Ben Triplett
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. He welcomed the committee to the holiday gathering at the Hickory Tavern in Carrboro, North Carolina. He thanked all for the work they have done this past year and also looked forward to the work of the next six months.
The Chair noted that four new initiatives were new to a calendar related to staff. He welcomed Kelli Raker to present on the staff portion of the Task Force for Violence Prevention, a document that has been in process since April 2015. The purpose of this effort was to work on recommendations to prevent workplace violence. Shayna Hill asked about commissioning a class in “verbal judo” for University units to de-escalate conflict resolution situations. Kathy Ramsey noted that Human Resources offers conflict resolution courses for campus supervisors. She did not know if this course would address what Hill had in mind. The Chair offered that the recently introduced mental health first aid course could address this question. Kathy James said that the HAVEN course for allies could conceivably address this need. She noted the recent BEACON application for smartphones that can connect staff with support.
Ben Triplett asked why the task force seems to focus on implicit bias versus discrimination and violence. Raker said that on-line intimidation and harassment are justifications to build on addressing this question. Triplett suggested offering more in-person training on this subject and also reducing the use of politicized terms such as “implicit bias.”
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the November minutes. Katie Musgrove made this motion, seconded by Kathy Ramsey. The motion was approved with one abstention.
Shayna Hill noted that the Forum budget has been difficult to monitor given problems with accessing program codes through InfoPorte. She noted that the Forum’s budgets are rolled up in larger Human Resources budgets. She suggested that Human Resources could create a separate program code just for Forum expenditures to help sort these particular purchases. Gena Carter asked who would have access to this information. Hill said that the Forum Chair or Forum Treasurer would probably be the best person to gain this access. Carter said that she would speak with Human Resources Accounting following the meeting.
The Chair said that he had approached Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Matt Fajack to speak about Carolina Services (now Shared Services). Ricky Roach recalled that he had asked about possible layoffs when Chancellor Folt addressed the Forum in December. The Chair noted that NC State University had undergone a similar process which had increased the number of students served by different units while reducing staff. Gena Carter added that NC State is very centralized with all of Human Resources, Finance, and Facilities Services employees in one shop. UNC-Chapel Hill, on the other hand, is very decentralized. Lori Haight had heard that a great number of NC State employees left in the wake of their reorganization effort. Carter said that other factors may have contributed to that impression. The Chair hoped that Fajack or a representative from his office could attend a future meeting to help answer questions about the recent e-mail on the Shared Services project.
The Chair reported that the UNC System Staff Assembly Executive Committee had heard from Vice President for Human Resources Matt Brody that officials are working on alterations in State law to allow flexibility in certain State policies. He said that there was not a mention of removing protections from State employees. The Chair thought that smaller schools would feel the impact of flexibility more than UNC-Chapel Hill and other larger campuses. He also noted differences in market rate compensation between the Research Triangle and Cullowhee, for instance. Shayna Hill said that the market rate bands have not been updated since 2012. She said that there are very few available paths to providing deserving employees with merit salary increases.[I needed to be away from the meeting taking care of the lunch bill at this point. I did not record the committee reports from this meeting.]
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at approximately 2 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary