Agenda — December 6, 1995
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests
III. Opening Remarks
- Chief of Staff Elson Floyd
- Presentation of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates
- Recognition of Delegates for Service
IV. Employee Presentations—Scott Blackwood
V. Approval of Minutes of the November 1, 1995 meeting P
VI. Chair’s Report: Rachel Windham
- Riley Carter Resigns as Division 2 Delegate, Replaced by Carroll Swain
- Diversity Training with Faculty Council and Administrative Council
- Forum Annual Report Underway
- Chancellor Julius Chambers to Speak at January 3, 1996 Meeting
- Presentation at UNC-Greensboro on Creation of Forum
- Faculty Council/Forum Broadband Hookup Approved by Provost’s Office
VII. Unfinished Business
- Salary Task Force Report
VIII. New Business
- Pan-University Task Force
IX. Committee/Task Force Annual Report Highlights
- Nominating—Scott Blackwood
Þ Slate of Forum Officers
Þ Biographical Sketches Due December 15
- Orientation—Debi Schledorn P
Þ Delegate Buddy System
Þ New Delegates, First Alternates Sworn in January 3
Þ January Retreat
- Personnel Policies—Pat Staley
- Compensation and Benefits—Archie Lassiter/Tom Hocking P 4
- Public Affairs—Delores Bayless
- Recognition and Awards—Ann Hamner 4
- University Committee Assignments—Libby Chenault 4
- Career Development—Sharon Bowers P 4
Þ Report from Ken Manwaring on Status of Educational Assistance Programs
Þ Allocation of Staff Development Fund for Fiscal Year 1995-96
Þ Update on Concern about Lack of Evening Classes
- Salary Task Force—Delores Bayless/Trish Brockman
- Faculty Council Liaisons
- Partner Benefits—Linda Cook/Peter Schledorn
- Legislative Affairs—Laresia Farrington/Tom Hocking
- Land Use Planning—Ann Hamner
X. Human Resources Update
- Laurie Charest, Vice Chancellor, Human Resources
P = Included in Agenda Packet
4 = Annual Report Included in Agenda Packet
December 6, 1995
“ = Ex-Officio
Call to Order
Chair Rachel Windham called the meeting to order at 9:31 a.m. She welcomed the numerous guests to what was termed the Forum’s “Church Social” due to the unorthodox table setup. She introduced in the Chancellor’s stead Chief of Staff Elson Floyd to give opening remarks.
Dr. Floyd noted that this was the last Forum meeting for half of the assembled Delegates and commented on how much he had enjoyed working with the Forum during the last four months. He asserted that there is “a very strong commitment on behalf of this Administration to work effectively with the Employee Forum.” He said that if there are ways for the Administration to facilitate the Forum and its activities, members should let him know.
Dr. Floyd said there were four principal items that he would present at the day’s meeting. Before these concerns, he expressed the Chancellor’s regrets at not being able to attend due to a morning meeting away from the campus.
First, discussions had begun considering possible land use alternatives for the Horace Williams and Mason Farm tracts. He mentioned that the Administration was taking a new approach to involve members of the University, Chapel Hill and Carrboro communities. The community would have a chance to examine the proposed alternatives for use of the properties with no particular course of action recommended. The Administration wants to hear from these communities about the several alternatives in place.
In order to build a good land use policy for these two properties, Dr. Floyd said, it is necessary to hear from the individuals affected. The alternatives have all been openly displayed, and the consultants involved in creating these alternatives will return in the middle of December to answer questions. These reaction hearings will continue into the next month and, hopefully, the Administration will be in a position to make a specific recommendation to the Board of Trustees at its January meeting. While many Forum members had been involved at several points during the process, Dr. Floyd wanted to be sure that the Forum was informed about the tentative timeline for the process.
Secondly, Dr. Floyd said that he met with a student group opposed to privatizing the housekeepers. He reiterated that the General Assembly had directed General Administration to conduct a study of contracting out the housekeepers on all 16 System campuses. Chapel Hill would be impacted, but only to the extent that the other campuses are. This initiative is not one that the Administration is pursuing, but it is one that the University will have to respond to based on what happens at General Administration.
Thirdly, Dr. Floyd referred to the recent controversy involving a racist e-mail message that supposedly was sent from a University account. He was relieved to report that the message had not originated from the campus, but said it was still very discouraging and appalling that this type of behavior can still occur. In any event, Dr. Floyd said, many of us have had to deal with these types of statements and expressions for a long time. Nonetheless, it was unfortunate that individuals choose to create this type of environment.
Fourthly, Dr. Floyd mentioned the Administration’s coming legislative initiatives for the new year. Dr. Floyd said that the most important priority for the Administration is to insure an adequate salary base for both faculty and staff. He said that the Administration would continue to pursue salary concerns with the Legislature, stating that “it is absolutely essential that we maintain competitive salaries for faculty and staff if we are to meet the challenges of the next century.”
As his second legislative priority, the Chancellor would request that the Legislature match the funds raised by the University’s self-imposed tuition increase. If secured, this legislative commitment would total $9 million in unrestricted funds. Third, the Administration would advocate direct support of student health insurance for research and teaching assistants. This support would total around $4 million.
Also, the Administration would seek a reduction in Overhead Receipts from the current level of 10% to zero. If approved, this reduction would benefit the University by another $5 million.
In addition, the Administration would seek a reduction in the reversion rate (the planned dollars that go back to the State) from the current level of 2% to 1%. This measure would gain the University an extra $3 million, if approved by the General Assembly. Finally, there is a continuing need to address the technology needs and requirements of the campus, and the Administration would seek legislation towards this end.
Mainly, the Chancellor’s Office has been working to gain more flexibility for the University in administration of its business matters. The Administration has been working aggressively with General Administration in the area of “regulatory relief.” General Administration has reciprocated this effort, as well, Dr. Floyd said. Areas in which the University is seeking “regulatory relief” include construction, budget and personnel.
Lastly, the Administration continues to finalize the capital improvements and renovations and repair sections of the budget. He said that much of this labor would be coordinated with General Administration. The University has already submitted preliminary information to General Administration with a final report to be delivered in the next week or so.
Dr. Floyd said that this overview of the University’s coming legislative agenda was still subject to input by interested parties, but that he wanted to share this preliminary glimpse with the Forum. He said he would be happy to answer any questions members had.
Regarding capital improvements, Margaret Balcom asked if the Administration would ask for something new since, as she understood it, these improvements customarily are not considered during the short legislative session. Dr. Floyd answered that the Administration had chosen to telegraph to the Legislature some of its continuing capital requirements. He said it is important to gain the Legislature’s ear at each opportunity.
Tommy Brickhouse referred to a recent nationwide survey that found the majority of workers felt unmotivated, that worker empowerment was a joke and that workers do not like the companies for which they work. These results seemed to point towards a fundamental social change in America regarding workplace relations. He asked if Dr. Floyd had any comments, particularly in relation to the Employee morale problem on campus.
Dr. Floyd responded that the University had embarked on the Carolina Quality Initiative which endeavors to create an environment that recognizes and cultivates Employees and their ideas into everyday work life. The survey Tommy referred to harkened back to why these quality initiatives are so important. The University, Dr. Floyd said, really wants to foster an environment in which people are recognized. The Chancellor and he have spent much effort the past few months in this regard. When the Chancellor speaks about creating a “customer-oriented” environment, he refers directly to the problems mentioned in that survey. The challenge, he said, is to change the workplace culture to recognize the customers we are serving. Dr. Floyd said it was telling that many Forum members do a particularly good job in just this area, but that we need to create an environment that will permeate the entire University.
Mona Couts noted that North Carolina State University had split its tuition increase half between libraries and financial aid. She wondered if the Administration was worried about a backlash from the Legislature concerning Chapel Hill’s use of the tuition increase.
Dr. Floyd cautioned that some of the internal issues at N.C. State were different than on this campus, reflecting differing sets of priorities. NCSU felt their library required even more attention than the one at UNC, and, thus, decided to dedicate a larger share of the found monies to that need. This does not mean that our University libraries do not need attention; rather, given their internal situation, N.C. State chose to emphasize support for their libraries over other needs. Here, the Administration chose to divide the funds among the three options allowed by the General Assembly. He said that we would need to wait to see what the repercussions would be, but he thought that the University had compelling arguments for the way it chose to allocate these funds.
Margaret Balcom asked whether there was any preliminary information about how the Housekeeping Initiatives were working. Dr. Floyd said that he had received the monthly report sent periodically to the Chancellor on this subject. He said that the Administration was moving aggressively to follow through on this work. Laurie Charest offered that she would speak about the training initiatives in her Human Resources Update, as these initiatives were open to Employees throughout the University. There will be more information forthcoming from her office on this subject soon. Currently, supervisory training is underway and next week there will be information available about the certified nursing assistant program. Consultants will begin to interview interested applicants beginning in January. Also, Laurie said that the Counseling Service had completed about one third of the interviews in the housekeeping department. Any feedback that members could provide would be very useful, she said. In all, she thought that the implementation process was well underway. Dr. Floyd praised the work of Human Resources and Vice Chancellor Charest.
Sue Morand inquired how the mentioned “regulatory relief” would take place. Dr. Floyd replied that some fiscal requirements are very strict. As an example, the flood at the Student Recreation Center made life difficult for many Employees. One of the difficulties with the renovation of the Center was the difficulty in securing bids for work on the project because of limitations on bid amounts. If the University had more flexibility in bid amounts, it would have enabled it to respond much more quickly to these problems. One of the issues that the Chancellor emphasizes is being customer oriented, enabling the University to respond to customer needs as quickly as possible. In fact, the University responds as quickly as it can based on the regulations in place. This is an example of the “regulatory relief” the Administration seeks. In effect, the Administration is saying, give us the flexibility we need and we can better provide the accountability the General Assembly requires. Hopefully, more decisions can be made locally rather than going to Raleigh.
Dr. Floyd thanked the Forum for its time and said that he would work to answer any questions the Forum may have.
Scott Blackwood took a moment to present the Forum’s 1995 Community Award, also known as the 3-Legged Stool Award which is awarded to a recipient who emphasizes community between faculty, staff and students. When the call went out for nominations this year, one candidate, he said, stood head and shoulders above the rest. There has been no one who has done more this past year to extend and redeem the Carolina community than Rachel Windham, the Community Award Winner for 1995.
In presenting the Award, Scott said, “Rachel began her career as a secretary at South Building and has worked her across campus and up the ladder in her 22 years as a State Employee. She began her term as Forum Chair by making the job her own and has led throughout the year by her fine example. She has not missed a Forum meeting and whenever there is a campus meeting, she has not missed the chance to shake a hand or introduce a colleague. Because Rachel constantly speaks with us, she effectively speaks for us. There have been any number of occasions, at the April Polk Place Rally, University Day or the October Faculty Council meeting, when she has surely stolen the show. She has spoken to the heart of Carolina, portraying us as hard workers that care about the future of the University, its students, and the State. Her confessional form of speaking has promoted a true sense of community among staff and has inspired new identification with staff concerns by the Administration and with interests beyond the campus. Her talk about leaders and followers and how, in a perfect world, they would interchange back and forth has helped Rachel to foster communication, teamwork, initiative and innovation among the groups with which she comes in contact. Rachel’s opportunity to address the University and the State may have come from her position as Forum Chair, but the dreams and visions she has shared are her own. She has insured that Employees are no longer the ‘silent majority’ on campus, and has drawn attention to Employees’ contributions and potential.”
Scott presented the 1995 Community Award to Rachel Windham, concluding the Employee Presentation Committee’s work for the year. Rachel commented that she had always felt trust was a hallmark of teamwork, and she was surprised to find her Executive Committee had kept a secret of the Award through these last months. She quoted John Motley Morehead who said: “when you leave your footprints in the sands of time, they ought to say two things about you: you did your part and you got your share.” She hoped that this Award indicated that in some small way she had done her part, and that if she never received another thing on campus, she would feel she had gotten her share. She thanked the Forum very much for the honor.
Welcome to Guests
The Chair welcomed members of the press Mitch Kokai from WCHL, Betsy Hall from the Chapel Hill Herald and Mike Hobbs from the University Gazette. Also, she welcomed Kay Wijnberg, the first Chair of the Forum, and Margaret Balcom, the second Chair of the Forum, among others.
Presentation of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates and Recognition of Delegates for Service
Dr. Elson Floyd, Vice-Chancellor and Chief of Staff of the University, was asked to present outgoing Delegates with certificates of recognition signed by Chancellor Michael Hooker and Chair Rachel Windham. The Chair read a statement noting each Delegate’s service to the Forum, reproduced here:
Departing Delegates’ Service Contributions
|Replaced Jon Thomas from Division 2
|1995: Career Development; Nominating; Personnel Policies; Salary Task Force;
1994: Personnel Policies
|1995: Orientation; Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force
1994: Executive Committee Representative from Division 4; Compensation & Benefits Liaison
|1995: Chair, Public Affairs; Co-Chair, Salary Task Force; Executive Committee Representative from Division 8; Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force
1994: Executive Committee Representative from Division 8; Public Affairs
|1995: Vice Chair of the Forum; Chair, Employee Presentations; Chair, Nominating; Executive Committee Representative from Division 9
1994: Chair, University Committee Assignments; Nominating;
|1995: Personnel Policies;
1994: Co-Chair, Personnel Policies
|1995: Chair, Career Development; University Committee Assignments
1994: Career Development
|1995: Secretary of the Forum; Co-Chair, Salary Task Force; Executive Committee Representative from Division 6; Orientation; University Committee Assignments; Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force
1994: Co-Chair, Public Affairs
|1995: Chair, University Committee Assignments;
1994: University Committee Assignments
|1995: Compensation & Benefits; Liaison to Faculty Council Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits
1994: Chair, Compensation & Benefits
|1995: Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force;
1994: Executive Committee Representative from Division 2; Personnel Policies Liaison
|1995: Co-Chair, Compensation & Benefits;
1994: Compensation & Benefits
|Replaced Malinda Marsh from Division 5
|1995: Nominating; University Committee Assignments
1994: Co-Chair, Recognition & Awards; Nominating
|1995: Executive Committee Representative from Division 3; Compensation & Benefits; Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force;
1994: Compensation & Benefits
|1995: Employee Appreciation Fair Booth Task Force
|1995: Chair, Orientation; Executive Committee Representative from Division ; Personnel Policies
1994: Executive Committee Representative from Division ; Orientation;
|1995: Chair, Personnel Policies;
1994: Co-Chair, Personnel Policies
|Replaced Clifton Stone from Division 2
|1995: Nominating; Personnel Policies;
1994: Nominating, Personnel Policies
|1995: Compensation & Benefits
1994: Compensation & Benefits
The Chair noted that these Delegates represent at least 400 years of University service, an average of approximately 18.18 years per Delegate. She thanked these Delegates for their fine work.
Approval of Minutes of the November 1, 1995 Meeting
The Chair referred members to their recent agenda packet. Helen Iverson moved that the minutes of the November meeting be approved as written. Laresia Farrington seconded this motion. There was no discussion, and the minutes were approved unanimously as written.
Sadly, Riley Carter had resigned from the University to be replaced as a Delegate through the end of 1996 by Carroll Swain of Public Safety. The Chair asked members to welcome Carroll to the Forum. Also, she said, there were no more Alternates from Division 2, but reported that the Executive Committee had decided not to hold a special election since new Division 2 representatives would be sworn in January 3.
Regarding Diversity Training, the Chair stated that she heard that the November 3 session was a good one, but Pat Fischer expressed some concern about the lack of faculty participation. She hoped that future sessions would be better attended.
The Chair said she had begun work on the Forum’s Annual Report, although she could not guarantee that it would be available before the January meeting. Similarly, the Executive Committee’s Annual Report would wait until after the Committee’s December 19 meeting. She hoped these two reports would be ready in January or early February.
Chancellor Julius Chambers of North Carolina Central University agreed to speak to the Forum on the social and economic distance between students, faculty, and staff on University campuses. Chancellor Chambers will speak January 3 after opening remarks. The Chair encouraged departing members to attend the January meeting to hear him speak, anticipating that the Forum is in for a “real treat.”
The Chair reported that she had been invited by the Provost’s Office of UNC-Greensboro to speak about the creation and growth of Chapel Hill’s Employee Forum. UNC-G has an Employee organization which they are revitalizing and wanted some information about how Chapel Hill and Appalachian State have organized their groups. She said it was a great day and that all involved were very gracious. The Chair said she had much information to pass on to the next Chair. Also, she said that Appalachian’s Staff Council had done many good things with their group which had been in existence since the early 1970’s. Those in attendance left Greensboro with the idea to strongly urge President Spangler to encourage the Chancellors on other System campuses to institute the Employee Forum concept, so that there would eventually exist such a body on each System campus. Accordingly, these groups could eventually speak for all Employees in the UNC System. She said that she would work with the incoming Chair to pursue these ideas, or at least pass them to President Spangler.
Funding for installation of a broadband hookup for the Faculty Council and Forum Offices was approved by the Provost’s Office. The Chair hoped that soon the Office would be on-line and that the Forum Assistant could then relieve Kay Wijnberg and Judy Hallman of their voluntary work administering Forum broadband matters.
The Chair noted that Ron Penny from the Office of State Personnel had responded to Laurie Charest’s letter transmitting the Forum’s motion on the new Reduction in Force policy. She thanked Laurie for passing the motion along and for sharing the resultant response. These letters were in the routing folder.
Also in the routing folder was a letter that Fred Mueller, Chair of Physical Education, Exercise and Sport Science sent to Louis Seagroves praising William Rice for going beyond the call of duty in averting another flood of the SRC. The Chair thanked William for his quick work and Fred for calling attention to this service beyond the call of duty.
The Chair noted that she had received approximately twenty responses to the call for comments about internal communications on campus. She hoped that the Chancellor’s Internal Communications Task Force could make good use of this information and that the Forum would hear some feedback soon.
In the November issue of News & Notes, through an oversight, there had been no mention of either the Continuing Delegates or the departing First Alternates. The Chair made a point to thank these two groups for their great work, saying she owed a “special debt” to each.
Last but not least, the Chair thanked her Dean whom she said had been extremely patient as she has served as both Chair of the Forum and the Performance Management Review Board. She thought he might refer to this situation privately as “the year from hell.” She thanked Dean John Stamm who stood behind her and let her do what she felt best for the Forum and for the University this year. Also, she thanked Darryl Russell and his crew for faithfully setting up and dismantling the room each month.
Delores Bayless read from the Salary Task Force’s December 6 Recommendations. These recommendations stem from the Task Force’s meeting with the Executive Committee and Drake Maynard from Human Resources, incorporating suggestions and information from each.
A formal report was presented by the Employee Forum Salary Task Force in regards to the examination of two independent compensation surveys. This document is to present the Salary Task Force recommendations from that report.
The Employee Forum Salary Task Force recommends the establishment of a Blue Ribbon Commission to examine existing compensation surveys, including the two independent compensation surveys researched by the Employee Forum Salary Task Force. The Task Force feels the Commission should be under the auspices of the Chancellor. The Commission’s purpose is to have experts in the field look at the numbers, do their own survey, if necessary, and document the data in a reliable, scientific way that others will trust. A Commission with appropriate representation, a buy-in by appropriate people as it moves along, and the Chancellor’s declaration to improve staff salaries as a priority for this year and the next five years will focus attention on this issue.
The Task Force recommends that a comparison with other, surrounding universities, similar in size and mission be explored. If the University could create or commission a study like the two viewed by the Salary Task Force, with someone to properly interpret it, Employees could strengthen their case with the General Assembly. The University could, in a shift of priorities, create an on-campus resource to conduct these studies, perhaps through a reallocation of resources within Human Resources. (The Task Force understands that UNC-CH Human Resources is currently pursuing such a position.) The effort now needs more energy and a wider focus, which the Chancellor and other agency heads could provide, as well as a rededication of resources or the commitment of new resources.
This Commission should have the authority and resources to make a definitive compensation comparison of SPA and private not-for-profit organizations. The Task Force recommends that compensation experts, SPA Employees, and members of other relevant organizations serve on the Commission. These organizations could include the UNC-Chapel Hill Office of Human Resources since that office will house the UNC-CH Human Resources Compensation expert; the Office of State Personnel since it has experience conducting these types of studies; the General Administration since compensation affects the entire system; the General Assembly since it will receive the Commission’s findings; and the Board of Trustees since the Commission will need its support and cooperation.
The Task Force suggests that the best option would be to use internal resources to conduct this study, if appropriate, since this course would save funds. The Chancellor may option to rely on outside sources, if he prefers.
This Blue Ribbon Commission would undertake to definitively say whether SPA salaries are comparable to those in the local market. This Commission, partnering with the Office of State Personnel, could result in more approval for salary improvements.
The Task Force further recommends that the University or the General Administration ask the General Assembly to approve a special one-time permanent appropriation, similar to the salary adjustments fund concept, that would fund the currently unfunded pay improvements and any that the Commission may find from its own local study.
Submitted by Delores Bayless, Chair, Angell Beza, Patricia Brockman, Ruby Massey and Kay Wijnberg.
Dee Marley asked if the Task Force had any idea how much money or time it would take to implement these recommendations. Delores Bayless answered that the Task Force had not considered a monetary commitment, but thought that studying these issues would take much more time than four volunteer Employees could provide. They thought that this problem would need a full-time compensation expert with time to concentrate on this specific issue. There was the worry that if one person had this job and other responsibilities, the long term focus it required would be ignored. Similarly, the Commission aspect would designate specific individuals responsible for interpreting the relevant data. In comparison, the Task Force took one year to discover only preliminary information about the two surveys studied.
Libby Chenault asked whether the title “Blue Ribbon Commission” implied something special, different than a Commission or a Task Force. Delores responded that designating a Blue Ribbon Commission would give the work a higher profile and induce more people to pay attention.
Libby then asked where the Commission would be centered because in one section it mentions the Chancellor’s functionality, but the organizations represented on the Commission do not fall under the Chancellor’s authority. Delores agreed that these bodies do not fall under the Chancellor’s authority, but said that in pursuit of the Forum’s charge to make recommendations to the Chancellor, the Task Force thought it best to let him decide the Commission’s composition and focus. It would be otherwise inappropriate for the Forum to do anything, but make recommendations. The Chancellor may choose to confer with General Administration and may subsequently wish to broaden the Commission’s scope. Kay Wijnberg agreed with Delores’ comments.
Delores inferred that the Task Force’s focus was on making recommendations that were logical and served as a basis to go forward. They hoped that its work would be a driving force to get something started and finished as a positive approach to salary concerns and that recognition at a high level would result in publicity and scientific rigor.
Margaret Balcom asked why the recommendations were limited to surrounding universities. Compared to salaries in South Carolina or Georgia, on- or off-campus, salaries in Chapel Hill look very good. Margaret stressed comparing the University with peer institutions. Delores responded that the Task Force examined universities, agencies and institutions that were cited in the two compensation studies used. Kay Wijnberg commented that major, surrounding campuses were studied in both surveys.
Laurie Charest felt that there was a real tension in the recommendations between a comparison with “peer institutions” and the University’s ties with the System and the State. Because of these latter attachments, Chapel Hill’s peer group changes dramatically. She said that the Office of State Personnel already is conducting salary surveys of peer States. When the Task Force was composed, she advanced, it began by examining whether UNC-CH had specific unique salary comparison issues that needed examination. Laurie said she was not sure which way the Task Force wished to go, noting that the recommendations contained elements of both of these goals. She did not believe the recommendations could address both criteria adequately.
Delores Bayless asked if there were any suggestions as to how the recommendations could be rephrased. She noted that Angell Beza had found that the Office of State Personnel conducts these surveys also, but the information needed for this type of comparison was not available. Angell had wondered why certain classes are not listed and others are. Delores felt that she could not unilaterally say at this point whether the recommendations should address only UNC and asked the Forum for its thoughts.
As a beginning, Margaret Balcom suggested striking the word “surrounding” from the third paragraph because there are other universities similar in size that we may not consider our peer institutions. Delores agreed to this change.
Also, Margaret asked whether the recommendations dealt solely with universities, recalling that initially the Forum considered Triangle businesses as well. Delores thought that the recommendations sought to extend discussion to surrounding universities in exploration of the issue. Margaret recommended a comparison strictly with peer institutions and Triangle businesses if that is what the Task Force intends since others may not understand this intention if it is not spelled out. Delores asked if the Forum had a problem with Margaret’s suggested change.
Tom Hocking asked whether Delores was presenting these recommendations as an information item or whether she wished the Forum to take action on the report. He thought that from a parliamentary standpoint, there could be no discussion of changes until the recommendations had been put forth as a motion and seconded. Delores indicated that the Task Force’s intent was to present its work as a recommendation for action that the Forum would vote yes or no. Following this motion, there was the goal that the Task Force be dissolved. Accordingly, Delores Bayless moved that the Forum accept the Salary Task Force recommendations as written. Helen Iverson seconded this motion. The Chair then called for discussion which would include consideration of language changes previously presented.
Tom Hocking voiced his concern that there was no call for a report back from the Commission at a specific date. He worried that nothing would be done unless the Task Force established a time frame for the work. He recommended incorporating Margaret’s comment about the need for a comparison with peer institutions, thus deleting the language “surrounding,” from the third paragraph. Tom felt that the issue transcended local and State boundaries and that the Commission should concentrate on peer institutions.
Also, while it may be nice to compare with area businesses, Tom noted Laurie Charest’s comment that the Office of State Personnel is already studying this comparison. He thought that this overlap and other problems indicated that the recommendations needed more study. Tom was not certain that there could be enough done at the day’s meeting to “tighten up” the recommendations here. While he would like to pass the recommendations without delay, he felt that without tightening up their logic, the issue would not receive the serious attention it deserved. The Chair agreed that the recommendations should not be rushed through at less than top quality just because this was the Forum’s last meeting of the year. She said that the Forum might need to ask members of the Task Force to continue until the recommendations were in acceptable shape.
Delores reminded the Forum that the Task Force had sought comments from the Executive Committee. The Chair responded that the entire Forum had only received the recommendations that morning. Delores asked then that members take the recommendations away and provide their comments to the Salary Task Force towards another revision. Tom Hocking noted that the motion may be withdrawn with the permission of the second or may be tabled until the next meeting.
Libby Chenault wondered if there should be two separate documents resulting from the Task Force’s work. She thought that if what the Forum wanted was a statement for action, it should create a different type of document to emphasize what it believes should be done rather than detailing how it should be done. Delores clarified that the intention of the Task Force was to provide the groundwork for whatever motion or resolution would go forward to the Chancellor. The current recommendations were not necessarily what should be sent to the Chancellor, Delores said. She asked if Forum members would let Task Force members know if they disagree with what the recommendations now say.
Scott Blackwood apologized to Delores for not responding earlier to the Task Force’s call for feedback after the November 21 Executive Committee meeting, but he said he still was not sure what direction the recommendations should follow. He thanked the Task Force for its hard work over a period of months and felt that the issue was important. Yet, he felt that the studies mentioned may provide only an “apples and oranges” comparison for many SPA classifications. Scott recommended that UNC Human Resources report at a future Forum meeting on what work they have done in this area and what work they plan for the future. Scott based his recommendation on comments about Human Resources’ movement on the issue made by Drake Maynard at the November 21 Executive Committee meeting.
Tom Hocking suggested that the report be accepted, allowing the Task Force to dissolve with the thanks of the Forum. Following this acceptance, the Forum could refer the issue to its Compensation & Benefits Committee for further discussion. He envisioned two different documents: one, recommendations from the Task Force and two, a process through which the Forum could act. He felt that the Committee could do a good job in developing this process. Consequently, he suggested that the Task Force move that the recommendations be put on the docket for next year towards creation of a well thought out action plan. Tom thought that the concerns expressed demanded more examination. He, thus, moved as a friendly amendment that the Forum accept the report and charge the Compensation & Benefits Committee with further development of its recommendations.
Dee Marley asked if acceptance of Tom’s motion meant that the Forum was adopting the Salary Task Force recommendations as written for action. Delores Bayless offered a substitute motion that the Forum accept the Salary Task Force recommendations to be placed on the docket of the 1996 Compensation & Benefits Committee to address the recommendations and put forth actions relevant to these recommendations. Laresia Farrington seconded this motion. Sue Morand suggested that the title of the recommendations be changed from “Salary Task Force Recommendations” to “Salary Task Force Recommendations to Compensation & Benefits Committee 1996.”
Marshall Wade asked what was the difference between tabling the motion as opposed to changing the motion. The Chair said that tabling the motion would mean that discussion would cease and could begin again with a new group which had not been privy to earlier discussions. Kay Wijnberg clarified the difference between “accepting” and “adopting” a report. She said that “accepting” a report was no more than receiving it for further study while “adopting” a report implied an ensuing call for action arising directly from the document. The Chair thanked Kay for that useful clarification. Delores repeated her motion.
Trish Brockman asked how the 1996 Compensation & Benefits Committee would have any more insight into this issue than the full Forum or the Salary Task Force. Delores suggested that the Compensation & Benefits Committee invite members of the Salary Task Force to its first meeting to provide that insight. The Chair reminded the Forum that committee structure is not limited to Forum members and that any Employee may serve or provide input. The Chair called the question. The motion was approved by a voice vote with Scott Blackwood opposed. The Chair thanked Delores and the Task Force for their long, hard work to bring the Forum to this point in the process.
The Chair recalled that Ned Brooks had suggested at the September 6 Forum meeting that the Forum create a Task Force to address Pan-University allocation issues in response to an earlier lack of response time on these concerns. She recalled that Ned, Mona Couts, and Ann Hamner had indicated their interest in serving on this Task Force. The Chair asked if there were any other interest in serving on the Task Force. Helen Iverson and Tommy Griffin indicated their willingness to serve. The Chair said she would pass this information on to the new Chair for appointments to the Task Force.
The Chair called on committee Chairs to give their reports and cite highlights of their Annual Reports. Chair Scott Blackwood of the Nominating Committee noted that the election of Forum Officers will take place at the January 3 meeting after entering members are sworn. The slate of candidates are: for Chair, Ann Hamner and Tom Hocking; for Vice-Chair, Tom Hocking and Kay Spivey; for Secretary, Eddie Capel, Mona Couts and Dianne Crabill. Biographical sketches are due December 15 in the Forum Office for inclusion in the January agenda packet.
Cheryl Ward asked if the floor was now open for nominations. Scott asked that interested members submit a nomination form for their candidacy expressing their willingness to serve and the enthusiastic support of their supervisor and work unit. Scott said that the Nominating Committee had difficulties this year with nominees for delegate and officer positions not securing the support of their supervisor. The Chair clarified that the current Guidelines state that the slate for Forum officer candidates is set at the December meeting and no more nominations are to be accepted for these positions until the January election, when there may be nominations from the floor. (Forum Guidelines Section VII. D. Election of Officers 2. Nominations) Scott thanked the Chair for her clarification.
From the Orientation Committee, Chair Debi Schledorn hoped that continuing members had the chance to meet their incoming Delegate “buddies.” She said that continuing and new Delegates and First Alternates would receive invitations to the January 18 Retreat in the next week and should RSVP by December 19. The retreat is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Friday Center. There is a lot of money involved so members should try to turnout. Finally, the Committee had distributed its Annual Report at the morning’s meeting.
There was no report from the Personnel Policies Committee.
Co-Chair Tom Hocking of the Compensation & Benefits Committee noted that the minutes of the Committee’s last meeting and its Annual Report were included in the December agenda packet.
Chair Delores Bayless of the Public Affairs Committee reported the Committee’s Annual Report was distributed that morning. She pointed out that there had been a suggestion that continuing members consider changing the Committee to a Task Force for future work. The former Committee wished to do many things, but did not have time.
From Recognition & Awards, Chair Ann Hamner stated that the Committee had not met in November, but that the Committee’s Annual Report was included in the agenda packet.
From University Committee Assignments Committee, Chair Libby Chenault brought forth a motion that Eddie Capel be approved as the Forum representative to the Heels for Health Advisory Board. Ann Hamner seconded this motion. There was no discussion, and the motion was approved unanimously. Libby said that the Committee had included its Annual Report in the recent agenda packet.
Chair Sharon Bowers of the Career Development Committee yielded the floor to Ken Manwaring to report on the Educational Assistance Program. Ken stated that the Program was at the same level as it was the prior fiscal year with around $10,000 and 160 participants. For the first quarter of the new fiscal year, there was around $5,000 available for 52 participants, a higher number of participants than previously. Ken mentioned that the tax-exemption status of the Program was dependent on discussions in the U.S. Congress. Chair Rachel Windham thanked Ken and his department for handling administration of this program. She also mentioned that the Staff Development Fund’s appropriation was $7,400 this year and that work was continuing on examination of expanding evening classes at the University.
Margaret Balcom noted that at one time Career Development had researched the possibility of getting advances under EAP rather than relying on refunds. Ken Manwaring responded that the draft of the program was halfway completed, pending another visit from Jack Lemon. He said that work on this concern had been sidetracked, but would be resumed when the Career Development Committee meets in the new year.
The Chair thanked Committee Chairs for their hard work throughout the year. She said that they had done a great job and led the Forum in a round of applause for the Committee Chairs and the members of Forum committees. The Chair asked that Committees which had not submitted Annual Reports make sure that the Forum Office received a copy.
Recalling the earlier discussion, members of the Salary Task Force had nothing further to report.
Neither Peter Schledorn or Linda Cook had anything to report as Liaisons from the Partner Benefits Committee.
Tom Hocking, Liaison to the Faculty Committee on Legislative Affairs, reported that this Committee had not met in November, but would meet December 7 at 8:30 a.m. One of the issues to be discussed was trying to find ways to appeal to legislators’ sense of largess by performing good works in their home districts, “taking UNC on the road.” Also, the Committee received a list of boards and commissions from the Governor’s Office so that faculty could volunteer to serve the State instead of simply asking for money from atop the ivory tower. The Chair asked Tom to make sure that he mentioned staff members’ equal willingness to serve. Tom said that faculty members were working to incorporate staff into this process. The Chair said that because there would only be a short session in 1996, Employees would have to hit hard and loud to influence the Legislature.
Ann Hamner, Liaison to the Faculty Committee on Long-Range Land-Use Planning, said that they had met the last week with the consultants JJR. She recalled Dr. Floyd’s earlier mention of the forming land-use process for the Horace Williams and Mason Farm tracts and said that she had copies of some of the recommended alternative land use plans for members to examine. Margaret Balcom mentioned that the next University Gazette contained a preview of these alternative uses with a request that Employees submit feedback within the next two weeks. The Chair thanked Forum Liaisons for representing Employees in conjunction with the faculty.
Human Resources Update
Laurie Charest thanked departing Forum members for their hard work and service, saying that they had done a “wonderful job.” She introduced a new staff member in Human Resources, Sue Levy, the University’s Work Family Manager. Laurie said that she was very glad that Sue had joined the University and hoped that members could find time to introduce themselves.
In a similar vein, Laurie mentioned that the University had begun its plans to create a joint Child Care Center with UNC Hospitals. Both the Hospital Board and the Board of Trustees had approved plans for the Center. There are tentative, hopeful plans that the Center will open in fall of 1997. The Center will accommodate approximately 120 children at a site near the Friday Center. Advertisements will go out December 15. Laurie said she was very pleased that the University is moving forward in this area.
As an information item, there was new Federal legislation requiring drug and alcohol testing for holders of commercial driver’s licenses. Individuals must hold a commercial license if they operate either vehicles with more than 15 passengers or extremely heavy machinery. There are about 60 Employees who hold these licenses. The University must begin this program by January 1, 1996. Under the new policy, Human Resources must do pre-employment, random, suspicion, post-accident and follow-up drug and alcohol testing for Employees holding commercial driver’s licenses. Training to acquaint these Employees with the new policy began December 5 with all concerned Employees trained in the next couple of weeks. Laurie wanted to inform the Forum of the onset of this new policy, noting that the University generally does not require drug and alcohol testing except in a few specific cases required by law, such as with law enforcement.
Another approved policy change is that the Office of State Personnel has granted an extension of the period in which non-exempt Employees may take accumulated comp time from two months to twelve months. Laurie said she was very happy to announce this policy as it would allow Employees in jobs in which “busy periods” are longer than two months to have a full year to take comp time. Human Resources hopes to have the University policy written by January 1 in order to allow Employees involved in student registration to benefit from this change.
On the subject of comp time, Laurie reported that the Policy Advisory Committee was considering the issue of compensatory time for exempt Employees. That Committee met last week on this issue and Drake Maynard planned to meet with the Chair of the Forum’s Personnel Policies Committee to get some additional feedback on that issue.
Having already spoken about the housekeepers’ initiatives, Laurie announced that there would be three information sessions on December 11 for Employees interested in participating in a Clinical Nursing Assistant Program. This is a 120 hour instructional program that will prepare people for jobs as clinic nursing assistants. Durham Tech will offer this program on campus to any interested Employees. The information sessions will take place at 7 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Memorial Hall. She encouraged members to spread the word about these information sessions.
Enrollment for North Carolina Flex is underway, Laurie said, though Human Resources received information on the program at the last minute. Enrollment dealines were extended due to the delay.
Margaret Balcom asked why the current dental plan is not pretax. Laurie Charest said that the General Assembly granted authority to General Administration for pretax and Flex plan, but did not grant this authority to the individual universities. General Administration has never delegated this authority to the University, and we still do not have the authority to grant pretax status. Human Resources would like to undertake implementing pretax status, as would other System campuses, but currently we do not have the authority.
Peggy Barber asked if there were any other North Carolina Flex information sessions between Friday, December 8 and Tuesday, December 12. Nora Robbins replied that there are no more in this part of the State, but that if departments are interested may contact Human Resources to set up an appointment or to order a video that may answer questions. The Chair said that these sessions were very informative and encouraged anyone with doubts to attend and get their questions answered. Peggy said that there have been many questions. Laurie Charest said that Human Resources had received many specific, situational questions about the plan from Employees. Laurie said that there is a special number that Employees may call to get answers. For many questions, Human Resources has had to consult with the State Flex Plan to get answers to people in a timely way. She encouraged Employees to ask these questions since many of the reimbursement provisions were “use it or lose it.”
Margaret Balcom asked if Employees stay in the current dental plan and it is cancelled, would Employees be able to get into the new plan tax-deferred. Laurie Charest said that the dental plan will always be tax deferred, hoping that there will not be a cancellation of the current plan.
Nadine O’Malley asked how admission to the new Child Care Center would be conducted. Laurie said that Human Resources did not know yet how admission would be handled. She expected that there would be more applicants than there are slots available. Working out these details is part of the work that will be done in the next year and a half. The only commitment that exists now is that children enrolled in Victory Village Day Care will have the option of being enrolled in the new Center and that priority will be given to their siblings. Other than this proviso, there is no defined mechanism yet. Decisions about this mechanism, she assumed, would be made by a separately incorporated board of the Center. Composition of the board will be part of the planning process. Concerning a lottery system to assign slots, Laurie said that she knew that other day care centers use lotteries, but she could not say what would be done in this case.
In jest, Eddie Capel asked if the University was considering establishing a day care center for retired or retiring Employees. Laurie replied that she did not know of such a plan.
The Chair thanked Laurie for her report and for the cooperation of her office which allowed the Forum to accomplish so much in the course of the year.
Announcements and Questions
Michael Klein apologized for not being able to attend the November 1 meeting of the Forum. He welcomed Marshall Wade as the Forum’s new representative on the Transportation and Parking Committee. Michael announced that one of the major initiatives his department is considering for the next year is an Evening Parking Program, particularly for North Campus. He noted that at times in the evening, parking resembles anarchy, but that there seems to be no efficient way to prioritize parking at night. Michael encouraged members to provide Marshall Wade with any suggestions about mollifying this problem.
Peggy Cotton asked what would be done with the newly acquired Michie property. Michael Klein answered that the current expectation was that the property would become a parking area. He anticipated that the site would be linked with existing parking lots and would serve possibly 40 or so Employees with an equal number of visitor slots. Michael thought construction would not take place until the fall of 1996 in order to “do it right” as a full scale lot.
Ann Hamner, speaking for the Orientation Committee, asked outgoing members to turn in their notebooks to the Forum Office or to send a check written to the Employee Forum for $7.
The Chair announced that 8×12 photographs would be available to Forum Delegates after the meeting, one to a Delegate.
The Chair shared some highlights reflecting on the Forum’s year. In January the Forum elected its officers and attended its annual Retreat. In February, the Chair was asked to serve on the University’s Strategic Planning Committee which she had served on throughout the year for the University. The Forum participated with SEANC in several rallies against proposed cuts to the University budget. It collaborated with the Faculty Council on Domestic Partner Benefits, Legislative Affairs and Long-Range Land Use Planning. The Forum had many motions and resolutions, including a resolution asking the Administration to keep in the forefront of its thinking full implementation of the Office of State Personnel pay improvement guidelines and for correspondent salary increases for all eligible Employees. This resolution led to the Chancellor’s presentation of Employee salary needs to the Board of Trustees for the first time in living memory. The Forum addressed concerns about OSSOG through collaborating with Human Resources to increase use of working titles and, later, by organizing a special presentation to answer questions about the history and thinking behind OSSOG. Delegate Ned Brooks was selected as a C. Knox Massey Award winner, while 1994 Forum Chair Margaret Balcom received a Chancellor’s Award. The Forum provided a broad range of Employee input on policy issues throughout the year. The Forum hired Matt Banks as its permanent half-time assistant. The Forum considered questions about differences between have and have-not departments under the new Recognition Policy. The Forum made Chancellor Hardin a lifetime, honorary Delegate to the Forum.
In June, there was a Community Meeting on Employee Benefits that attracted around 225 people to the IOG Auditorium. The Forum approved a motion to increase the EAP allowance from $250 to $350. It began periodic conversations about Chilly Climate for Minorities on campus, holding two open meetings in coordination with Student Government and the Faculty Council. The Forum moved into its own office at 200A Carr Building and received the generous help of Facilities Management and the Physical Plant in making it one of the best darn 8×8 offices on campus. We said good-bye to Dick McCormick and hello to Dick Richardson; good-bye to Paul Hardin and hello to Michael Hooker and Elson Floyd.
On September 28, Chancellor Hooker spoke at the Forum’s Fall Community Meeting, attracting over 400 Employees anxious to meet our new leader. Helen Iverson won SEANC District 19’s Distinguished Service Award. Tom Hocking was elected Chair of SEANC District 25.
On University Day, Employees and Forum members processed—around 245 Employees strong. The Forum developed and approved a motion creating, in cooperation with Training & Development, an Audio & Video Training Library, a motion ultimately approved by the Chancellor. We approved a motion developed by Recognition & Awards acknowledging on a periodic basis deceased Employees. The Forum moved to investigate, through Career Development, the declining number of evening classes available to Employees seeking professional training to benefit the University.
The Forum was instrumental in pulling together opinions and information regarding Employee morale and the housekeepers’ issue. The Forum revised its Guidelines this year to resemble more closely its operating procedures. It made a motion opposing changes in the State layoff policy and another motion pledging further investigation of the different personal and institutional issues involved. The Forum made a motion honoring the Employees, faculty and students who fought the August 27 flood which was distributed to Facilities Management and the Physical Plant and hung in the Student Recreation Center, among other places. It held a special election to ensure Employee representation from Division 2.
The Forum welcomed its new members with Orientation sessions, receptions and designated partnerships through a “Buddy” system with more experienced Delegates. The Forum approved preliminary recommendations regarding Domestic Partner Benefits at the University and throughout the State. It formulated plans for a nomination process with the inclusion of biographical sketches for Forum officer candidates and developed formal criteria for its Community Award. The Forum was asked to recommend uses for $7,400 in the new year’s Staff Development Fund.
Because of these accomplishments and others departing members should feel very proud of the work they did this year. In addition, the Forum made assignments and nominations for Employee representation on the Chancellor’s Award Committee (Marshall Wade); the Conflict of Interest Board(representatives not yet named); the Advisory Committee for Heels for Health (Eddie Capel); the University Insurance Committee (Tommy Griffin); the Sexual Harassment Advisory Committee (Laurie Charest, Shirl Davis, Ann Edwards, Phyllis Rone-Burrell, Darryl Russell and Judith Scott); Transportation and Parking Committee (Marshall Wade); 15-501 Citizens’ Advisory Committee (Paula Schubert); among others.
The Forum heard special presentations from Joe Totten from the Counseling Service; Susan Criscenzo from the Employee Assistance Program; Patti Smith from Employee Services; Janet Tice in her new job as Travel Coordinator; Jane Brown from the Faculty Council; Ralph Voight and Drake Maynard on OSSOG; Ann Dodd on Total Quality Management; Lindsay Reeves of Heels for Health; and Joe Totten on changes in the Disciplinary Procedure. The Forum heard Employee presentations from Pat Bigelow, former Chair of SEANC District 25, regarding legislative cooperation; Helen Iverson about SEANC’s Gospel Fest and the Chair concerning barriers to cooperation between faculty and staff.
David Lanier left the University to be replaced as a First Alternate by Andy Bunch; Cassandra Minor and Jeff McCracken left as Delegates to be replaced by Riley Carter; Shava Averett left the University and was replaced by Alice Taylor; Dottie Baker left the Forum and was replaced by Tom Hocking; Malinda Marsh left the University and was replaced on the Forum by Wendy Mann; the Forum’s Special Election for Division 2 added Bill Bates as Delegate and Frank Alston as First Alternate; Jon Thomas, Clifton Stone, Bill Bates and Riley Carter eventually left the Forum to be replaced as Delegates by Frank Alston, Karen Torry, Bobbie Lesane and Carroll Swain. Division 2 was be the division which experienced difficulty in maintaining a full complement of representatives.
The Chair looked back on the hard work of the Forum and was satisfied. She thanked Forum Assistant Matt Banks for the hours he put in to make the Forum look good on paper, and could not say enough about how important Scott Blackwood and Trish Brockman had been to her over the course of the year and how they have helped her through the good and bad times. She said serving the Forum and the University had been a great pleasure and that the Community Award was the icing on the cake.
She closed sharing a quote from Chancellor Hooker she thought could be useful to the Forum’s future: “People who have faith that something is true should not be swayed by a university education; faith is on at least as sound a footing as reason; reason, when pushed to the limit, makes room for faith by revealing its own limitations.” Tearfully, and with great dignity, Chair Rachel Windham thanked the Forum for 1995. Those assembled gave her a standing ovation.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn. Scott Blackwood made this motion, with Trish Brockman seconding. There was no discussion, and the meeting was adjourned at 11:34 a.m.
Finis Coronat Opus
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary