February 2, 2022
UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum
Zoom Remote Meeting Only: Connection Details Below
NOTE: This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without notice.
I. Call to Order & Opening Remarks: Chair Katie Musgrove (9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.)
- Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press
- Recognition of Janet B. Royster Memorial Staff Scholarship Winner Jennifer Pruitt
II. Special Presentations (9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)
- Future of Work Playbook Discussion with Vice Provost Rick Wernoski, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becci Menghini, and Operational Excellence Transformation Managers Candace Reynolds and Suzie Baker
- Vice Provost Leah Cox on the Work and Progress of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
III. Roundtable with Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz & Provost Chris Clemens (10:00 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.)
IV. Human Resources Update (10:40 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.)
- Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becci Menghini and Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler
V. Consent Agenda (11:05 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)
- January Minutes
- Forum Committees
- Communications and Public Relations: Shane Brogan
- Book Club: Brooke O’Neal
- Community Service: Jacob Womack
- Carolina Blood Drive: Jen DeNeal
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Joseph Nsonwu-Farley/Janet Steele
- DEI Council: Janet Steele
- Education and Career Development: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Carolina Family Scholarship: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Professional Development Grants: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Membership & Assignments: Tiffany Carver
- Personnel Issues: Stephanie Forman/Matthew Teal
- Recognition & Awards: Natiaya Neal
- Rules: Jacob Womack
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Shayna Hill/Katie Musgrove/Keith Hines/James Holman/Laura Pratt
- University Committee Representatives
- Advisory Committee on Transportation & Parking: Shane Brogan
- Buildings & Grounds: James Stamey
- Carolina Peer Support Collaborative: Natiaya Neal/Joseph Nsonwu-Farley
- Policy Review: Phil Edwards
- Student Stores Advisory Committee: David Bragg/Evan Marsh
- Executive Committee: Katie Musgrove
- Communications and Public Relations: Shane Brogan
VI. Old Business (11:15 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.)
VII. New Business (11:20 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.)
VIII. Announcements/Questions (11:25-11:30 p.m.)
- Vice Chancellor Representatives Meeting – February 10, 2021 at 10:00 AM
For Zoom information, contact Matt Banks at firstname.lastname@example.org by 8 a.m. the morning of the meeting.
Also, please note that this meeting will be recorded, including all comments made in the ‘Chat’ feature.
February 2, 2022 Employee Forum minutes
Delegates Attending: L. E. Alexander, Jo-Ann Blake, Vanessa Blake, Jessye Bongiovanni, Randall Borror, Sharron Bouquin, David Bragg, Rich Brandenburg, Alicia Brandt, Shane Brogan, Tiffany Carver, Timothy Carville, Jen DeNeal, Elizabeth DuBose, Phil Edwards, Stephanie Forman, Adrianne Gibilisco, Chrissie Greenberg, Leah Hefner, Jessi Hill, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, James Holman, Brigitte Ironside, Kira Jones, Mary King, Anthony Lindsey, Evan Marsh, Arlene Medder, Manisha Mittal, Katie Musgrove, Joseph Nsonwu-Farley, Ayla Ocasio, Joseph Ormond, Sara Pettaway, Laura Pratt, Kelly Scurlock-Cross, Theresa Silsby, Janice Singletary, Sarah Smith, Jake Stallard, James Stamey, Janet Steele, Matthew Teal, Sarah Wackerhagen, Karen Webster, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Alice Whiteside, Tracey Wiley, Michael Williams, Jacob Womack
Chair Katie Musgrove called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. She started the meeting by recognizing Jennifer Pruitt, winner of the Janet B. Royster Staff scholarship. Delegates congratulated Pruitt for her accomplishment. The Chair next recognized delegate Robert Smith, who has recently been appointed as Vice Dean for the Gillings School of Public Health.
Finally, the Chair shared the news that longtime delegate Phil Edwards will soon leave the University for a new opportunity elsewhere. The Chair thanked Edwards for his service to the Forum as Parliamentarian, Chair of the Personnel Issues committee, and representative to the University’s Policy Review Committee. The Chair praised Edwards as a steadfast advocate for UNC staff and a really trusted colleague as well. Edwards recalled his experience working under three different chancellors and three or four provosts. He said that the Forum has remained steadfast and has been his favorite professional experience, working with all the delegates across the university. He encouraged delegates to continue their work even when it seems that progress is not immediate.
The Chair welcomed Senior Vice Provost for Business Operations Rick Wernoski, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Becci Menghini, and Operational Excellence Transformation Managers Candace Reynolds and Susie Baker to provide an update on the future of work project. Menghini noted that the team had discussed progress this school year with the Chancellor’s Cabinet. The design team for the project included employees across campus, including the Forum Chair. The team worked to assemble the flexible work option playbook supporting equitable and consistent decision making for supervisors and employees, complete with a set of implementation resources.
Menghini noted that the future of work project solidifies flexible work location options for non-faculty employees. Faculty have flexibility built into their schedules and are not leave-earning employees generally, so the project’s focus remained on non-faculty employees.
Still, the core of Carolina’s mission is to have a fully residential living and learning experience that brings together students, faculty, and staff in a world-class teaching, research, and service endeavor. Menghini said that the University is fully committed to retaining this residential experience, knowing that resultant interaction and collaboration are the heart of what Carolina does.
This commitment means that the University differs from other industries in that it cannot go fully remote or negotiate flexible work arrangements under different conditions. Menghini added that to be the best, Carolina must recruit and retain the best workforce possible, and adjust, as the workforce market is indeed changing. The University is committed to ensuring that the workforce needed is available to achieve this residential mission, while providing work environments in which employees can excel and grow and which provides some of the flexibility that other competitors are now granting.
The team observed two principles in balancing these objectives. Menghini said that while conversations regarding opportunities to save and consolidate resources have occurred, the project was early on directed to strive towards the University’s residential mission and then finding a workforce to meet this mission. Additionally, Menghini said that before the University could really plan to permanently eliminate on-site workspaces for employees, it would need to find whether its flexible work arrangements have been successful. In sum, Menghini noted the guideposts overseeing this work place it firmly within the UNC System policy framework provided to team members beforehand. She reminded listeners that employees must live in the State of North Carolina, within an approximately 90-minute drive of campus.
Final decisions about flexible work at the University remain the purview of the supervisor and leadership, Menghini said. The future of work project is intended to give employees a voice in the conversation, but in the end, flexible work arrangement decisions are driven by unit business needs.
Menghini praised the future of work design team for its efforts on this employee-driven project. She thanked team members for their work negotiating complexities about how to keep Carolina great through its recruitment and retention of employees, done through the framework of existing structures and policies.
Rick Wernoski praised Candice Reynolds and Susie Baker as instrumental in facilitating discussions for the design team. Reynolds said that the team worked to define guardrails for the project, then turn the resultant process over to campus schools and units. She hoped that this approach would provide guidance to supervisors trying to negotiate these questions and provide consistency for employees in similar roles in different parts of campus. Additionally, the approach would endeavor to provide a framework for teams and individuals to conduct conversations around flexible work arrangements.
Reynolds said that the team posted communications about the rollout online this past Monday. The team has trained HR officers and also presented to the joint cabinet and the Chancellor the previous day. The team will also have upcoming articles in the WorkWell newsletter and the Well.
Reynolds said that the team has created a flexible work options playbook that will be the primary resource in conversations on this subject. The playbook includes a decision-making framework as well as implementation resources. Resources include a pdf of work location options for job categories, including on-site, hybrid, or remote. This large spreadsheet lists every job category on campus. The playbook will guide and document the conversation between employee and supervisor. The other resource piece is the school and unit plan, which HR officers, deans, and vice chancellors will use to pull together information for all non-faculty employees and their unit to submit plans for central review.
Schools and units will have the opportunity to create these plans in February and March. Unit leaders will kick off the process in their areas, determining how the process could work and whether a unit requires different parameters given its unique characteristics. The unit proposal goes to a department assessment, with internal deadlines established by the unit leader and HR officer. This department assessment step is where unit leaders think about what arrangements work best for them and their teams.
Reynolds said that leaders must think beyond the COVID pandemic to longer term goals to best meet business objectives and delivery of services. The next step is the series of individual conversations between supervisors and employees. These talks go through the playbook’s decision-making framework, completing the work location form and reaching a decision in each case, known as the individual assessment step.
After individual assessments have been completed, the dean or vice chancellor reviews for final submission to the central group for approval, with a deadline for submitting school and unit plans of March 31, 2022. Plans can be submitted earlier, if desired. The next step is central approval, which will see questions about decisions then eventual approval of various plans. Once plans are approved employees will need to receive at least 30 days’ notice to implement their new working arrangement if it differs from current practice. Schools and units have until June 30, 2022 for the full implementation of their plan, again with March 31st the deadline for submission.
Responding to questions, Reynolds noted that the UNC School of Medicine is out of scope for this playbook as that School has already launched its own effort. Beyond March 2022, plans will undergo annual review. Each process can also be managed out of the normal cycle in consultation with the HR officer.
Reynolds noted that work location options were centrally determined for all job categories, to provide consistency across campus. For equity purposes, people in similar roles across campus have the same starting point for these conversations. Decisions could go different ways depending on job functions or other characteristics but all positions would have the same starting point for discussion. Exception requests can be submitted as part of the school or unit plan. A difference of opinion about worksite locations appropriate for the position in question would result in an exception request to have a flexible work arrangement beyond what is outlined in work location options by job category.
Reynolds emphasized that these decisions are based on the business needs for each position. There are multiple ways business needs can be met, with employee preference making up the second most important factor in the playbook. This measurement is not based on performance levels but is instead based on business needs for the position. Work location decisions are not time-limited but will be reviewed annually and amended as business needs change.
Human Resources officers must report work location designations to the UNC System Office via ConnectCarolina as part of a new reporting requirement. These officers should be employees’ primary point of contact for questions.
Shayna Hill asked if designations are loaded on ConnectCarolina as a change in job requiring full position management of that position. Becci Menghini could not confirm that the position is indeed changing as there is no guarantee the next person in that job will be in the same position. The decision will be tied to the person as well.
Phil Edwards wondered if a mechanism exists for the University to support units with necessary technology if a job is classified as a hybrid or remote option. He asked if there would be some mitigation for use of personal technology for work purposes. Reynolds said that this has not been included within the playbook, but that the question itself is part of the playbook checklist. If an employee does not have the equipment to work remotely, it would not make sense for that person to be a hybrid or remote worker. Certain security requirements apply and need to be followed.
The Chair hoped that the University would find some funding to support schools and units and bolster IT budgets to implement this program fairly and equitably. Different units will support flexible work arrangements depending on their level of funding.
Jacob Womack commented that the playbook was very thorough and very well done. He thought the response to the issue was very robust and does address retention and recruitment issues. He looked forward to the rollout. He asked about the lack of appeal process, and about the composition of the central committee that makes the final decision on playbook items.
Reynolds responded that there is not a central appeal process. Concerns with decisions can be addressed within the school or unit, either through discussions with one’s supervisor or by going through HR. Menghini said that primary decisions will occur at the dean and vice chancellor level, in a way similar to the pilot program. Supervisors will make recommendations that will roll up to the deans and vice chancellors. The central group reviewing these decisions includes representatives from the HR office, the Chancellor’s office, the Provost’s office, and Finance. This group will study long-term implications regarding business needs and factors like leased space freed by flexible work arrangements, for example.
Menghini recalled that the pilot program focused on back-office functions, with one office assessing online services provided as a percentage of remote work done offsite. Menghini was impressed that this unit is using data to drive where changes might occur. The central group will concentrate on broad-based perspectives on how these arrangements are designed, how they are functioning, and how to respond to complaints about the arrangements.
Stephanie Forman agreed that the playbook looks great. She thanked the team for highlighting the different types of schedule options around compressed work schedules and seasonal flexibility, laying out options and encouraging flexibility. She praised the playbook’s advancement of previously unknown options available to employees and supervisors.
Elizabeth Dubose praised the team’s work as well. She asked about resources for people new to supervising people who do remote work and are responsible for their output and the quality of their work. Reynolds said that there are such resources serving as guidance for supervisors in the playbook. The guidance is not extensively detailed, but it does provide trainings on LinkedIn. There are no plans for UNC-specific training in this area. The Chair proposed a possible build out of the course options list to guide supervisors through this process. Wernoski thanked the Chair for her feedback and said that revisions to the playbook will occur as things move along.
Jen DeNeal also praised the spectacular work of the team in responding to concerns from employees as well as the Forum. She asked why deans and vice chancellors are not required to submit plans. She observed that many times, equity concerns at the University arise not from the policy but the way a policy is carried out. She said this omission opens the door for a vice chancellor to leave these decisions to supervisors without creation of a formal plan.
DeNeal also noted situations in which senior people work out of State for an extended period of time, coming to campus maybe 10 days in a yearlong period. In sum, she encouraged the central team to make submission of plans a requirement for deans and vice chancellors, with a correspondent look at what departments will commit to doing for the next year. This method would help solve some of these backdoor equity problems. She added that this requirement would mitigate the need for an audit of plans. The Chair thanked DeNeal for this point from a policy perspective. She thanked all for their remarks and for their responses to concerns about the coming timeline for submissions.
The Chair then welcomed Vice Provost Leah Cox to speak about the work and progress of the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Office. Cox thanked the Forum for the invitation to speak. She was pleased that the Office had just hired new senior director Pamela “Trish” Harris. Harris will work on student access as well as a variety of other projects. The Office is also hiring two trainers and educators, hopefully selecting candidates by the following week. Cox said that these individuals will do training, education, and new projects and initiatives across the institution.
Cox said that the Office is also looking for an assistant director to work on student access retention programs. Harris is also looking for an administrative assistant. Cox encouraged listeners to send candidates to the Office website for more details and to apply.
Currently, the Office is getting ready to do work around inner group dialogue taken from the University of Michigan model. This dialogue facilitates difficult conversations around identity, be it race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Office seeks facilitators willing to receive training for these discussions. Cox hoped that by summer 2022 the Office would be ready to do some training of trainers in this area.
Cox said that the Office is also working with Lynn Williford of Institutional Research to do a climate survey of the University, as the University has not conducted such a survey for five or more years. The Office will partner with Hillel International to survey life and culture for Jewish students here. The Office will issue a progress report on the Diversity & Inclusion Council’s work on a variety of issues. Cox said the Office has several subcommittees working to review campus policies from a D&I lens. Finally, the Office has worked to revise the departmental website. Cox thanked delegate Adrianne Gibilisco for her work on revising the campus calendar related to religious holidays.
Cox invited listeners to contact her office with questions or concerns. She shared that the Office is looking to set up a large resource of trainings in a potential certificate program, with the cooperation of campus departments and schools. She hoped to provide more updates at a future meeting of the Forum. The Chair said that the Forum would welcome Cox to return to the Forum at any full body meeting.
The Chair welcomed Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and newly installed Provost Chris Clemens to participate in the Forum’s traditional roundtable discussion session. Guskiewicz wished all good morning. He thanked the Chair for her presentation to the Board of Trustees last week. He was grateful for her advocacy of staff. He also thanked the team who presented on the future of work earlier in the meeting. He restated the importance of maintaining a world-class residential experience while retaining and attracting an exceptional workforce. He was confident in the progress of this priority for his Administration in discussions with the UNC System Office and other System institutions. Finally, Guskiewicz thanked Dr. Cox for her presentation and leadership of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He was grateful for her expertise and wisdom.
Guskiewicz was also glad to introduce to the Forum UNC-Chapel Hill’s new Provost and Chief Academic Officer Chris Clemens. He said that Clemens would soon join the assembly following teaching a class that morning. Guskiewicz recalled his work with Clemens as he had hired him as a senior associate Dean for the Sciences to replace him when he became Dean of the College. Clemens had done a great job in this role moving initiatives along. He later became the senior associate Dean for research in the College. Most recently, Clemens became the executive director of the Institute for Convergent Science.
Clemens said that he had taught “Medieval Foundations of Modern Cosmology” that morning. He recognized Shayna Hill as former Forum Chair and as the business officer for Statistics and Operating Research department.
Clemens said that his focus as Provost will be as chief academic officer. He said that faculty are the Academy in that they are here to teach and train students for their future in the State. Students will build new inventions and industries with technologies and basic research. Clemens then spoke on faculty advancement matters briefly. He also stated that staff were relevant to the academic mission in that the work of faculty and students couldn’t happen without staff support.
Clemens said that he wanted to work with the Forum and to hear from employees about issues affecting staff and was thus grateful to visit that morning. The Chair welcomed Clemens and congratulated him on his assumption of the office of Provost.
Stephanie Forman asked Guskiewicz what else is coming regarding staff retention besides the future of work reforms. Guskiewicz noted the strategic plan Carolina Next’s Innovations for Public Good, with one of those initiatives addressing career development. He noted that leaders are meeting to discuss key performance indices to find opportunities for upward mobility. He had discussed this matter with other System chancellors and the UNC System Office to find ways to eliminate barriers to promotions from within.
Chancellor Guskiewicz noted that the University has balanced its budget, which will allow development of a strategic reinvestment fund that will allow salary increases for staff and units in a way not done previously. The balanced budget will allow discretionary ARP options to be developed with school and unit leaders to identify individuals for these increases.
Clemens noted that the entire University depends on the goodwill of staff given the strains of the pandemic. He asked what would help rebuild this goodwill through the budget. Forman thanked Clemens for acknowledging this fact. She recalled Keith Hines’ comment two years ago that staff’s empathy buckets are empty, and people are running on empty. She added that many employees have taken on responsibilities of those who have left the University, taking on the work of two or three other people on top of their regular work. She hoped to find ways to pay people for doing that additional work. Acknowledging this reality is great, she said, but compensation is better.
Matthew Teal noted that roughly 75% of attendees at the University’s recent mental health summit were staff employees. He asked for any updates on what the University is doing to enhance mental health resources available for staff. Guskiewicz recalled the staff needs came through clearly at the mental health summit. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Amy Johnson noted the series of recommendations from the summit which were a jumpstart to ongoing conversations. Johnson said that the University will hold a series of monthly seminars on mental health, ending with a colloquium in the spring.
Johnson recalled that the impetus to the mental health summit was the spate of student suicides on campus and the need to meet this challenge. She noted that the University plans to introduce a central hub of website resources, a physical extension of the Heels Care Network. She anticipated further communications to the Forum regarding resources and events. Guskiewicz noted that as of February 1st, the University has joined the JED Foundation, which focuses on the prevention, intervention, and post-intervention of suicide for students.
Becci Menghini noted other resources for staff, such as the employee assistance program, a telehealth program (which is experiencing delays in tying it to the State Health Plan), employee leave, and a faster tempo in hiring and providing position upgrades. She noted that there are limitations on discretionary money use, but this is another tool to impact mental well-being of employees positively.
Menghini noted structural obstacles to holding a “day off” for staff employees, but she hoped the idea of a “no meeting day” could still take place. She added that the University has found resources to extend mental health first aid training courses, which serve employees on the front line dealing with students or other employees who may have mental health issues. She asked the help of the Forum in advancing these ideas forward.
Phil Edwards said that some units on campus have relied upon temporary employees to fill this gap of responsibility. He wondered if the University could reconsider the status of these people who are doing the core work of the University.
Michael Williams reported he had been invited to apply for supervisory positions being told that he would have to keep doing his current job, as the department has no plan to backfill the old job. He said that people in his division are turning down opportunities because of the lack of a plan to create entry level replacement positions.
Forman noted that often during student “days off” meetings and requests for staff will skyrocket, leading to a ton more work. Sarah Smith asked about the lack of bereavement leave for staff employees. In particular, she asked if this is a State level benefit. She had been forced to dig into her sick and vacation leave for this purpose. Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler said that all new types of leave must emerge through legislation, then proceeding to the Personnel Commission before rollout to agencies and universities. He recalled that the common view of decisionmakers that sick leave serves as bereavement leave.
Drawing from the chat, Clemens asked about the ability to purchase bagels and coffee through trust or other funds, inquiring whether these purchases were still locked down and when this policy might change. Menghini said that as policies are written, people can use non-State funds to purchase food, subject to existing restrictions.
Leah Hefner asked about the rising cost of living for employees in maintaining long term stable and affordable housing. She hoped that the University would move to improve this situation in the future, recalling the two years without raises that undermine this year’s 5% increase. She asked if the University could offer a cost-of-living adjustment, as school systems do to supplement teachers’ salaries. She observed that funding sources for these increases are different, but she still wondered what University leaders could do to help.
Guskiewicz said he had consulted over 18 months with local community leaders, the mayor, and the town council to explore options to create affordable housing in Chapel Hill. He noted that 60% of University employees must drive from outside Orange County to get to campus. He said that the University has hired a consultant to study properties around town that the University owns that might be used for affordable housing. He noted that the ratio of single-family homes to jobs available is much too high: 2.7, when the ideal is 1.5 or less. Guskiewicz also said that the University is consulting with other campuses that have found ways to build in cost-of-living adjustments.
Randall Borror asked about the prospect of the University granting employees the right to sell back their paid time off (PTO). Menghini said that the University does not have local authority to do this now. However, University officials could pass this idea to the System Office for further consideration.
The Chair thanked Chancellor Guskiewicz and Provost Clemens for their remarks and presence that morning. She welcomed Vice Chancellor Becci Menghini to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Menghini noted that campus infection numbers are declining, and she thanked all for their diligence ensuring that the campus is masked up and protected. Menghini reminded the Forum that employees are now encouraged to upload their booster shot certification to be eligible for prize drawings. She added that public health experts continue to state that the best protection from the virus is to wear a mask and to obtain vaccinations and boosters. She noted that these boosters are available on campus and the University does provide employees time off to obtain these shots.
Menghini noted questions related to the federal mandate which was expected to establish that all campus employees must obtain a vaccine. Menghini said that the expected implementation deadline for the mandate has passed because of a stay in the courts. The University thus is not enforcing the mandate as it continues to wait. That said, she encouraged employees to obtain vaccinations for reasons listed previously.
Menghini recalled that SHRA non-faculty employees should have received their one-time bonus in December, along with a retroactive two-and-a-half percent base increase which should have appeared in January paychecks. Additionally, the campus has the authority to implement discretionary increases, upon identification of central funds. Units are being asked to contribute to this fund. Units have also been asked to make recommendations and payments, should they be approved, will happen in March. Finally, the next two-and-a-half percent increase will occur in July 2022.
Menghini recalled that January paychecks are the first to draw benefits premiums for the new year. She reminded employees to check that these draws are accurate based on their prior selections during open enrollment.
Finally, Menghini noted that the System Office will conduct in March a pulse survey of employees, adding several COVID-related questions to that structure. This survey follows previous full-scale engagement surveys commissioned by the System. The University will translate the survey for non-English speaking employees and will ensure it is broadly available to employees upon release.
Senior Wellness and Work/Life Manager Jessica Pyjas spoke about upcoming events scheduled by her office for February and afterwards. She directed listeners to consult the WorkWell newsletter for more details on these offerings. The Chair expressed her thanks to Pyjas for these updates.
Kira Jones asked if there has been discussion about having UNC COVID testing facilities also support faculty and staff family members. Menghini said that at this point several other options now exist for testing. She noted changes to eliminate symptomatic testing, with new advice to employees who feel symptoms to stay home or take a home test. Employees can now return to work five days after their symptoms clear. She did not think that the University has the capacity to open testing to families, although she would present this concern to find if leadership desires testing expansion. She added that the issue has more to do with staffing and testing capacity rather than funding.
Matthew Teal understood that there have been some discretionary funds available for merit raises. He asked if Menghini could clarify who is eligible for these raises, the criteria and approval process for the raises, and the timeline for distributing funds. Menghini recalled her remarks a few minutes ago regarding the timeline to distribute these funds as March, with varying requirements that have come from the State and the System Office. For SHRA employees, increases can only be market rate or equity increases, while for EHRA non-faculty employees, increases may be merit-based if the particular employee has received a “Meets” or “Exceeds Expectations.” She added that this is campus-based funding only, which cannot be applied across the board. Here at UNC, the campus has designated addressing equity, compression, and market rate impact as priorities.
Stephanie Forman asked if the UNC-Chapel Hill market rate in various career bands equals the “real” market rate for similar careers within these bands. Linc Butler said that there is a contributing, journey, and advanced market rate for each position depending on its classification. If a position is below its set market rate, it could receive an adjustment to bring it forward.
Forman asked if there were any information as to whether market rates would be updated. Butler said that his office has heard that they will not be adjusted soon. Forman asked if this refusal is tied to the possibility of a new career banding model. Butler said that the State Office of Human Resources has final authority to grant permission to adjust these ranges. He imagined that the Office is looking to move into implementing new classification and compensation system, leading to a short-term reluctance to adjust rates even though such adjustment is desperately needed.
Shane Brogan asked at what level funds would need to be found for these increases. Menghini said that the College would give guidance to departments about making requests, with eventual omnibus College requests being submitted to the Center. The Chair confirmed that employees under any disciplinary action, or beyond an increased threshold, are not eligible for these increases.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the consent agenda, with any committee updates pulled out for discussion. Shayna Hill asked that the UNC System Staff Assembly report have room for discussion. Arlene Medder moved to approve the consent agenda, seconded by Laura Pratt. The motion was approved without opposition.
Hill noted that the Staff Assembly is working to address salary compression and salary equity concerns. She said that the State has not updated career bands since 2018. She invited delegates to attend the full body meeting of the System Staff Assembly on March 14th and 15th.
Stephanie Forman noted that the Personnel Issues committee would likely seek more information on the classification and compensation system and how it results in such disparate outcomes for staff employees. The Chair suggested inviting Senior Director for Classification and Compensation Adam Beck to either an Executive committee or a Personnel Issues committee meeting.
Shayna Hill proposed inviting Adrianne Gibilisco to the March Staff Assembly Chairs’ meeting to discuss the alternative holidays issue further. Gibilisco agreed to work on this subject. The Chair recalled an idea about working with HR to develop a one-page document to instruct TIM administrators on alternative holiday coding. Gibilisco was amenable to this suggestion and offered to work further on the question, perhaps bringing it up at the next Vice Chancellor representatives’ meeting.
Keith Hines noted his work with Jessye Bongiovanni on planning the upcoming community meeting. He invited delegates to contribute if possible. The Chair recalled that Ombuds officer Dawn Osborne-Adams had shared a book on Community that might be relevant to this planning effort.
Laura Pratt noted that the Graduate School will soon host the President of Johns Hopkins University Ron Daniels to speak on what universities owe democracy. This event will take place February 16th. The Chair shared a link to the March book club website in the chat.
Jacob Womack spoke on the requirement to follow open meetings laws. He said that his research had found that the Forum and the UNC System Staff Assembly do not have to follow these laws. The Chair thanked Womack for his comments and proposed getting final word from the University Counsel’s office on this question.
In the absence of further discussion, Arlene Medder moved to adjourn, seconded by Elizabeth DuBose. This motion was approved at 11:27 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary