Forum Agenda — February 1, 1995
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests
III. Opening Remarks
•Chancellor Paul Hardin
•Drake Maynard and Nora Robbins, Human Resources Update
IV. Charging of recently elected Delegates and Alternates not previously charged
V. Approval of Minutes
VI. Ratify Executive Committee
VII. Ratify Nominating Committee
VIII. Employee Presentations
IX. Chairperson’s Report: Rachel Windham
X. Committee/Task Force Reports
•Career Development—Sharon Bowers
•Personnel Policies—Pat Staley
•Compensation and Benefits—Dottie Baker
•Public Affairs—Delores Bayless
•Recognition and Awards—Ann Hamner
•University Committee Assignments—Libby Chenault
•Nominating Committee—Scott Blackwood
•Salary Task Force—Delores Bayless
XI. Unfinished Business
•Forum Group Photograph
XII. New Business
•Discussion of Committee Structure and Strategies
•Possible Presentation by Susan Criscenzo – Employee Assistance Program
•Possible Presentation by Ann Dodd – Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and Director for Quality Improvement
•Forum Booth at Employee Appreciation Fair
February 1, 1995
Call To Order
The meeting was called to order by Forum Chair Rachel Windham. Rachel welcomed guests, including Mike Klein, Director, Transportation and Parking Services.
Chancellor Paul Hardin
• Comments on the January 26 Shooting — The Chancellor shared that although many good things had happened recently, he was continually drawn to the recent tragedy on Franklin Street. What might be most significant when something like this happens is to accept that we cannot remain detached or remote. The huge majority of people in society are non-violent and do not wish harm on anyone, but on the very day of this tragedy, the trials were underway for the man who opened fire in a Long Island commuter train and the man who shot a young male worker at the McDonald’s in Charlotte. When we do have acts of random violence, it is hard to find a silver lining. When it happens close, as in this case where the victim, the perpetrator and the hero are all “one of our own,” the episode has an immediacy that should sharpen our empathy and concern for these things whenever and wherever they happen. The Chancellor went on to say that we live in a world where acts of terrorism are practiced. Sometimes if they are remote geographically, and we do not know the victims, we might tend to remain blase. One thing that might come out of this, in addition to our emotional response for those most affected, is a growing empathy and concern for people around the world who are innocent victims of violence. Fortunately, our University has resources to help us cope with such a horrifying experience, and the Chancellor indicated that he had heard wonderful stories of continuing therapy and counseling on campus and believed that the community had rallied together.
•Budget Cuts — The Chancellor reported that he had no more news concerning possible budget cuts than he did at the January meeting. Mr. Hardin added that he thought, “almost everyone is awash in uncertainty, we just don’t know what is going to happen.” With regard to the new incumbents in Raleigh, the Chancellor expressed encouragement for the way in which they have sincerely approached their duties, stating, “I think we have some sincere people who mean well. We have a lot of inexperience. There is a heavy burden on all of us who are trying to help them understand their jobs and the needs of the University. We will continue to work hard at it.” The Chancellor concluded his remarks by reinforcing the importance of the Forum, “You are an important part of our community, spirit, and the expression of our community needs.”
Human Resources Update
Drake Maynard, Senior Director for Human Resources Administration and Nora Robbins, Senior Director for Human Resources Services
• Classification Compensation Study — Mr. Maynard stated that in Laurie Charest’s absence, he would address the issues that she would normally cover in her remarks. He commented on the Classification and Compensation Study, stating that in one sense, the study is complete. A draft report was completed by the Office of State Personnel on January 10 and is scheduled to be presented to the Legislature soon. What action, if any, the Legislature will take regarding the proposals is unknown, Maynard said. Adoption of proposed changes to the Compensation System would require increased spending, a prospect Maynard considered unlikely in a Legislature dominated by tax-cut talk. However, OSP officials have said they have authority to change the State’s Classification System without approval from the Legislature.
Mr. Maynard added, that he would share with the Forum the recommendations which are in the draft report. He explained the study looked at a new classification system known as the Decision Band Method, or the D.B.M. The study recommended that the State consider implementing this method for SPA employees. This system groups jobs into six major classes, which will result in fewer distinct classes if this recommendation is adopted. Of real interest to the Forum is the recommendations related to compensation. Currently, we have a single pay plan. A recommendation of the study is that the State move to five types of pay plans. A sub-recommendation is that these five pay plans be loosely organized around occupational groupings. This move would allow greater flexibility in addressing changes in the labor market. In addition, it is proposed that a new method be implemented that budgets State positions by providing agencies funding at the mid-point of salary ranges for all positions rather than at the current level or at the minimum for new hires.
The report also recommends a menu of compensation options, allowing each State agency and University to choose how its employees can be compensated. Mr. Maynard described the four options as:
1) Gain or Goal Sharing – a bonus plan
2) Skill or Competency Based Plan
3) Team or Small (Large) Group Incentives
4) Individual Incentives – performance driven
The report also recommends a one-year pilot program to test proposed changes before Statewide implementation. Carolina would not participate in the pilot program due to the size of our institution.
He concluded that he would prefer that any change in the Classification System be accompanied by a corresponding change in the Compensation System, adding that a partial change only would be difficult to administer. Mr. Maynard further explained that when people ask for a change in classification, what they usually really want is a change in pay methods.
Mr. Maynard introduced Nora Robbins as the next speaker.
• Training and Development — Ms. Robbins stated that a new, updated version of the Staff Handbook would soon be produced by the Department of Human Resources. Also in the works, is a new Employee Orientation Program for new staff which will include a video. Any ideas that anyone might wish to share in this regard should be sent to Ken Manwaring.
• Employee Services — Ms. Robbins gave an overview of several ongoing and future Human Resources improvements including:
1) A proposal has gone foreword to Chancellor Hardin for an on-site child care center for the University. It is not known what the outcome of that proposal will be.
2) Ms. Robbins mentioned that flyers were available on the back table detailing information sessions on the Child Care Subsidy Program available to students and staff.
- Employee Benefit Plans
1) She also announced upcoming Employee Retirement and Financial Planning Seminars.
2) Ms. Robbins stated that her office will be exploring the potential of going with a different short-term disability insurance carrier. Also, there is a review under way of the services and premiums of the Dental Insurance Plan.
3) She noted the planned development of a computerized system for processing some Human Resources forms.
4) There will be a review and monitoring of the Tax Deferred Annuity Program.
5) Ms. Robbins concluded her remarks by noting that the Term-Life Insurance Plan has been popular with University employees.
Indoctrination of New Members
The Charging Pledge was recited by all new delegates who missed the opportunity to be charged at the January meeting.
Approval of the Minutes
Upon motion by Dottie Baker and, second by Gary Pearce, the minutes of the Forum’s January meeting were approved unanimously.
Ratifying of the Executive Committee
The nominees for the Executive Committee which had previously been nominated by Division delegates were read. They included:
Division 1 – Mona Couts
Division 2 – Jon Thomas
Division 3 – Gary Pearce
Division 4 – Kay Spivey
Division 5 – Helen Iverson
Division 6 – Trish Brockman
Division 7 – Dottie Baker
Division 8 – Delores Bayless
Division 9 – Scott Blackwood
The motion to accept the nominees by acclamation was made by Archie Lassiter and seconded by Libby Chenault. The motion passed unanimously.
Ratification of the Nominating Committee
Scott Blackwood read the list of nominees for the Nominating Committee. They included Dee Marley, Jon Thomas, Cheryl Ward, Mona Couts, Peggy Barber, Peggy Cotton, Marshal Wade, Kathy Dutton, and Scott Blackwood. The motion to accept the nominees by acclamation was made by Trish Brockman and seconded by Laresia Farrington. The motion passed unanimously. Scott announced that the Committee would meet in the early part of March.
There were no Employee Presentations. Scott Blackwood indicated that he had learned that Joe Totten was interested in making a presentation about services provided by his office, and Scott wondered if it were appropriate for presentation at the March meeting or as an Employee Presentation. Rachel indicated that it was her impression that this opportunity was reserved heretofore for issue/concern presentations by Employees. Since the opportunity had not been used often by Employees, she wondered if the restrictions (no personal concerns) might be too limiting or if individuals were not well informed about the opportunity to present at the Forum’s monthly meetings. A suggestion was made from the floor that the opportunity for Employee Presentations should be more widely publicized. Rachel asked Forum delegates to promote and publicize the monthly opportunity for Employees to make presentations at Forum meetings. Returning to Scott’s earlier question, it was agreed that informational presentations about services, activities, etc. would be placed on the agenda as special presentations rather than as Employee Presentations.
Rachel reported that she received numerous congratulatory letters on her election to Chair, among them were letters from Chancellor Hardin, David Whichard, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Provost Dick McCormick, Vice Chancellor Garland Hershey, and Senior Legal Counsel, Susan Ehringhaus. Rachel announced that she had written a sympathy letter to the parents of Kevin Reichart on behalf of the Forum. She also announced that at the request of Provost McCormick, she would be serving on the University Strategic Planning Committee which will address, among other issues, long-range planning for the University.
• Compensation and Benefits — Dottie Baker announced that she had placed copies of the letter written by Donald Thomas to the University Insurance Committee on the back table for pick-up. Dottie asked Nora Robbins to address the issues raised by Mr. Thomas. Ms. Robbins stated that Mr. Thomas believes that the new term-life insurance rates are unfair to long-term employees. Mr. Thomas is unhappy that he will not benefit from the high premiums that he paid as a younger employee when he subsidized older plan members. Under the new plan the subsidies are being stopped and premiums are actuarial rate based. Ms. Robbins explained that the old plan may have resulted in imputed income which should have been taxed. The new plan aims to eliminate this problem. Ms. Robbins urged more educational efforts on benefits for University staff, explaining that the term-life plan is not a substitute for individual life insurance plans. Ms. Robbins concluded by suggesting that the Forum invite David Rubin to speak further on this issue.
- Orientation Committee Assignments — On Debi Schledorn’s behalf, Rachel shared that minutes of the Retreat are under way and should be available soon.
Rachel announced that a copy of the Revised Guidelines (October 1994) are available in the Forum Office for anyone needing a copy. In addition, members may pick-up Forum notebooks after the meeting or later from the Forum Office. The Forum Office Assistant, Susan Turbeville, announced that copies of the 1994 Forum group photograph were available for pick-up after the meeting for anyone who had not previously received one.
The following handouts were passed out by the Forum Assistant: phone lists for both the delegates and alternates, an abbreviated phone list, and a listing of division members.
Rachel asked that the Convenors from each Division stay after the meeting to edit their list of strategies for 1995 so that a complete, revised list could be shared with all Forum members at a later date.
Rachel reminded Delegates that they are expected to serve on at least one committee, but cautioned against overextending themselves by joining more committees than time or job responsibilities allow. It was suggested by Helen Iverson that the time reserved for Forum meetings (9:30-11:30) might be used for committee work when monthly meetings adjourn early.
It was decided that the Forum would invite Susan Criscenzo, of the Employee Assistance Program to speak at an upcoming meeting. It was also agreed that the Forum should invite Ann Dodd, Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor of Business and Finance and Director for Quality Improvement, to speak at a future meeting.
There was a brief discussion about the possibility of the Forum participating in the upcoming Employee Appreciation Fair. It was agreed that there should be a Forum booth at the Fair, and a volunteer task force was identified. Members include Ann Hamner, Marshall Wade, Laresia Farrington, Brenda Barnes, and Helen Iverson.
It was announced that Forum logo stationery was available from the Forum Office upon request.
Rachel asked that all Forum members help the Office Assistant clip newspaper articles about Forum activities for the files. All clippings should be mailed to the Forum Campus box #3488, or delivered to the Office Assistant at monthly meetings. Clippings should be marked with the source and date of publication.
Rachel showed a newspaper clipping which pictured the new representatives to the North Carolina Legislature for members’ review. She encouraged delegates to identify their representatives and write to them about salary increases and budget cuts.
Delores Bayliss indicated that Division Eight met recently and wondered if mailing labels were available by division. Scott Blackwood replied that they are being printed and can be obtained from him.
Archie Lassiter made the motion for adjournment which Delores Bayless seconded. The motion passed unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m..
Patricia Brockman, Secretary