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Employee Forum Agenda — February 3, 2010

9:15 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library

I.            Call to Order

II.           Welcome Guests & Members of the Press

III.          Opening Remarks

IV.         Special Presentations
* Senior Director for Benefits & Employee Services Brian Usischon on State
Health Plan Concerns

* Assistant Director for Parking Services Cheryl Stout on Parking Concerns

* David Baron on HOPE Garden
* Special Assistants to the Chancellor Joe Templeton and Mike Patil on
Carolina Counts

V.          Human Resources Update with Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

VI.         Employee Presentations or Questions

VII.       January Minutes Not Yet Available

VIII.       Old Business

IX.         New Business

X.           Stretch Time

XI.         Forum Committee Reports

* Communications and Public Relations: Carrie Goldsmith/Amy Preble
o Forum Newsletter
* Community Affairs, Recognition, Awards and Outreach: Teena Burton
* Compensation & Benefits:
* Education and Career Development:  Cate Cunningham/Koyah Rivera
* Legislative Action:  Jonathan Stephenson
* Membership & Assignments:  Aluoch Ooro
* Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Marc ter Horst

XII.        Chair’s Report (Executive Committee):  Tommy Griffin

XIII.       Task Force/University Committee Reports

XIV.       Announcements/Questions

XV.        “Go Around the Room”:  A Chance for Attendees to Share the Issue
Most on their Minds

XVI.        Adjournment


February 3, 2010 Employee Forum Minutes


Chair Tommy Griffin called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  He welcomed guests and members of the press.  He noted the good spirit of campus employees who participated in cleaning up the campus after the weekend’s snowfall.  The Chair then introduced Senior Director for Benefits & Employee Services Brian Usischon to give details on the State Health Plan changes.

Usischon said that premiums would rise 8.1% this year.  Employees this year must make an active election into the 80/20 pool, with all employees defaulted into the 70/30 pool.  This means that approximately 11,000 of the University’s 12,000 employees must take action to remain as before in the 80/20 plan.  Employees entering the 80/20 plan must attest that they do not smoke tobacco.  This will be an on-line enrollment process and Human Resources will run a campaign to make employees aware of the process.  Enrollees in the 70/30 plan will see their cost for primary care visits rise from $25 to $30; specialist visits rise from $60 to $70; their deductible increase from $600 to $800; and the maximum out of pocket rate increase from $2750 to $3250, not including deductible.  Body Mass Index (BMI) testing will begin on July 1, 2011, with those in the 80/20 plan required to have a BMI of less than 40 and attest to no tobacco use.  On July 1, 2012, 80/20 enrollees must have a BMI of less than 35 and attest to no tobacco use.

Usischon said that employees without computer knowledge will have someone to help them with enrollment, as Human Resources will communicate about the enrollment during March.  Usischon did not know yet the mechanics of the testing.  He said that the premium cost for family coverage will rise from $533 to $580.44 for the 80/20 plan and from $450.36 to $490.34 for the 70/30 plan.  Usischon noted that UNC has the lowest subsidies of coverage among peer institutions.  Usischon offered to provide more details once they become available.  The Chair noted that many people in North Carolina have no insurance at all.

The Chair introduced Special Assistants to the Chancellor for Planning and Initiatives Joe Templeton and Mike Patil to talk about the Carolina Counts initiative.  The Bain Corporation has provided three resource people, Pam Yee, Robin Hull, and Anthony Fluent, to work with the Carolina Counts initiative through January and February.  Templeton noted that the Carolina Counts champions had met with the Chancellor to talk about process, roles, and responsibilities.  He noted that the University had received a great amount of publicity in the New York Times and the Kiplinger Report through the Carolina Counts process that was now also underway at Cornell and UC-Berkeley.  Templeton reiterated the Chancellor’s goal that Carolina become the best managed university in America.

Mike Patil noted that 140 potential projects are now underway under the Carolina Counts banner, with seven projects already implemented.  One third of these projects are strategic, dealing with core decisions, one-third tactical (for example, hiring FedEx or DHL), and one-third policies and procedures.  Ideas under investigation include moving to a single source for selected office products or to one cell phone plan.  Patil directed interested listeners to the website for more information.

Lucy Lewis voiced skepticism about the process given that the Bain recommendations called for reductions in the upper and middle layers and the University has mainly seen layoffs from the front line lower employees.  Templeton said that Carolina Counts role does not have to do with the budget.  He hoped that the layoffs were congruent but there is not a simple mapping of the Bain report with the layoffs.  Lewis said that employee morale was really in line with what was recommended.  Brenda Malone said that layoffs have been tied to budget reductions taking into account layers and spans but these do not mean that the work done was unnecessary.  She said that a lot of work is done at these different levels.  Lewis said that she did not advocate an “off with their heads” approach to the middle and higher level employee layers.  Templeton noted that the Chancellor optimally has ten reports, with each of these having another ten reports, and so on.  He said that more people have been laid off at the bottom of the pay scale because there are more people there.  He said that it was important to do work as efficiently as possible.  Templeton commented that the Provost probably has twenty direct reports but Carolina Counts will encourage a reduction to ten reports.  However, the organizational structure of the University will change slowly.  Ryan Greenway asked how the Forum could help.  Templeton said that the Forum had expressed an eagerness to participate at the team level which would be possible in some cases but not in more technical areas.  Patil asked delegates to write in with suggestions.

Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone presented the Forum’s customary Human Resources update.  Malone said that Human Resources will conduct an effectiveness survey to see how people feel about the organization.  Human Resources will send out this survey in the middle of the month.  Malone reported that Chancellor Thorp had sent his regrets that he could not attend due to a death in his family.  Todd Hux asked if the survey will ask for names of respondents.  Malone said that the survey will aggregate smaller departments and will not identify respondents by name.  Ryan Greenway suggested that Human Resources work to publicize the Carolina Counts website.

The Chair called for a few moments of quiet in memory of the Chancellor’s family member.

Jackie Overton said that Cheryl Stout was unable to attend the day’s meeting because of the snow.  She said that the Advisory Committee on Transit (ACT) was ready to look at how to structure parking fees.  Todd Hux asked what percentage of permit costs are used for the Chapel Hill Transit service.  Overton said that approximately 20% of permit costs are used for the service.  Hux asked what will change now.  Overton said that the cost of materials and gasoline has increased and the increases will be passed to the permit holders.  Additionally, permit money is needed to pay for the new parking decks, which do not generate revenue until after their tenth year.  The new Ramshead lot cost $72 million for a few hundred spaces, for example.  Overton said that the committee was looking at night parking as one option, although this idea is unpopular with students and others.  She said that the University must likely choose between night parking and raising permit fees to absorb costs.  She said that night parking will likely need the support of the Employee Forum to win approval.

Ryan Greenway asked if more police would be necessary to monitor night parking.  Overton said that these police are already in place to monitor fire lanes and handicapped spaces.  Todd Hux questioned how many people actually ride Chapel Hill Transit.  Another delegate remarked that the buses are usually full in the mornings and afternoons on certain routes.

At this point, the Forum took a five minute break.

The Chair said that the January minutes were not yet available.  He said that the UNC System Staff Assembly had called for a Day of Service.  The Forum would respond by conducting a food drive for the Chatham and Alamance County food banks.  He asked delegates to help put out boxes for the food bank.  Also, the Forum will work with a local Masonic lodge to collect shoes for the people of Haiti.  Finally, the Forum will work on ten Habitat for Humanity houses starting in the fall of 2010.  He hoped that delegates would join to support these efforts.

The Chair reported that he had attended the Board of Trustees meeting and had discussed employee morale.  There was no report from the Communications or Community Affairs, Recognition, and Awards committees.  A delegate from the Compensation & Benefits committee reported that group would seek parity with the faculty’s fifteen weeks of paid maternity leave, possibly by asking Senator Ellie Kinnaird to sponsor a bill.  Kinnaird introduced a similar bill in 2005.  The Chair suggested that committee write a resolution to that effect.  There was no report from the Career Development committee.  Danny Nguyen reported that the Legislative Action committee had met on Friday to discuss revisions to the letter protesting tobacco testing.  The committee also will discuss the possibility of a resolution on the lost tuition waiver.  Aluoch Ooro reported that the Membership and Assignments committee would meet that next week.  There was no report from the Staff Relations, Policies, and Practices committee.  The Chair reported that the Executive Committee had met with the three remaining Provost candidates.

Aluoch Ooro commended the work of the crews who kept the sidewalks clear.  The Chair said that administrators, housekeepers, and groundskeepers had all worked together on the weekend displaying their “Tar Heel Heart.”

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11:14 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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