Employee Forum Agenda
January 12, 2011
MEETING RESCHEDULED FOR 10 a.m.—-Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests & Members of the Press
III. Special Presentations
- Mary Beth Koza, Environment, Health & Safety
- Andy Johns, Carolina Counts
- Transportation & Parking
IV. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone
VI. Old Business
VII. New Business
VIII. Forum Committee Reports
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Sarah Poteete
- Communications and Public Relations: Carrie Goldsmith
- Compensation & Benefits: Dan Barmmer
- Education and Career Development:
- Legislative Action: Danny Nguyen
- Membership & Assignments: Myra Quick
- Recognition & Awards: Chris Meinecke
- Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: James Holman
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Chuck Brink
- Executive Committee: Jackie Overton
January 12, 2011 Employee Forum minutes
Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. She praised Facilities Services workers for their efforts in clearing the sidewalks after the recent snowstorm. She introduced Mary Beth Koza, director of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS). Koza noted that flu shots are still available to employees and students. She said that her department’s goal is to eliminate or reduce the number of on-the-job accidents that occur each year. She said that employees should go to the Employee Occupational Health Clinic if injured.
Koza noted that the University now uses Federal Express for all of its shipping of hazardous material. EHS is responsible for insuring that senders of hazardous material are trained in their safekeeping. EHS works on asbestos removal training, stormwater permit training, work in confined space training, and other areas. EHS also runs a recycling center for batteries. Jonathan Pletzke asked what one can do if one falls on the sidewalk due to the ice and snow. Koza asked Pletzke to report such an injury should it occur. She also urged people not to wear high heels or boots in icy conditions. Dan Barmmer asked if EHS could create an interactive map of areas that are safe and not safe on campus. Koza said this was a good idea, but she wondered how it could be kept up to date and who would be responsible for its upkeep.
The Chair introduced Andy Johns, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, to speak on Carolina Counts efforts in his area. Johns noted the amazing 39% growth in faculty research over the past year and the increasing need to insure research compliance under state and federal law. He said that the University is moving to an electronic IRB system. He said that the University maintains a system to insure that each faculty and staff member is paid according to time proportional to their funding on each grant. Due to improvements, the University has been able to reduce the reporting frequency for faculty and staff. The University will also issue an upgraded conflict of interest system in February. Johns noted that other UNC System campuses and campuses across the nation have contracted for the University’s software through a private company. This system generates a royalty stream that offsets the costs of development. Paul Kimple confirmed that the University is involved in upgrades of these systems. Marc ter Horst asked about non-disclosure agreements and the possibility of getting boilerplate forms for this process. Sohrab Habibi asked where these boilerplate forms are located, as a small biotech company he knew could use such a form to begin its process. Johns suggested that Habibi consult http://otd.unc.edu/ for assistance.
The Chair introduced Chief Jeffrey McCracken to discuss the University’s proposed five-year parking and transit plan. McCracken praised Habibi for his service on the Advisory Committee for Transportation (ACT). McCracken noted that the first five-year plan had been extended by one year. The Department of Public Safety (DPS) must find a way to meet expenses and obligations. He reminded the Forum that Public Safety does not receive any money from citations aside from a small allocation for overhead as the rest goes to the local school system. McCracken recognized Assistant Director of Parking Cheryl Stout and consultant Fred Burchett of Kimley-Horn and Associates. Burchett had produced an initial review of revenues and expenses for ACT. ACT will present its recommendations to the Board of Trustees in March.
Burchett said that the transit system will see a $6.1 million cost increase in 2015-16 because of inflation, transit increases and capital construction. The proposed plan would meet these obligations by increasing efficiencies and adding revenue sources. Efficiencies would include remote cashiering, LED lighting, meter pay stations, and license plate recognition systems. Burchett said that an imbalance now exists between those who pay for these services and those who use them. Night-time parking users and park and ride users currently pay nothing to use the system, while parking permit holders pay the majority of costs. ACT recommends raising parking fees, but only 2% annually starting in 2013-14. This minimal increase would leave UNC’s parking permit costs in line with what is paid at UCLA, Harvard, and other universities around the country. ACT also proposes charging $250/permit for park and ride use and $250/year for night parking permits. Students will not pay for night parking but rather will pay a $9/year transit fee. The implementation date for park and ride permits will be 2014-15. ACT also proposes raising the South Campus daily maximum from $8 to $10.
Paul Kimple asked Public Safety to limit permits sold so as not to oversell lots. Stout said that Public Safety does not try to create a restrictive environment for permits. She hoped that Public Safety would be able to meet the demand for park and ride permits without limit. Charles Sockell asked whether the city-owned lots at Eubanks and Carrboro would be made park and ride gated lots. McCracken said that Public Safety will need to consult with the Towns prior to final implementation. Marc ter Horst asked about night parking availability for staff when students will not have a night parking permit requirement. Stout said that Public Safety is negotiating for exclusive use of the Steele and Caldwell lots for employees. She said that Public Safety does restrict night parking in certain areas, such as for patient visitor needs. Danny Nguyen confirmed that daytime parking permit holders will not need to purchase another permit for night parking.
Sandra O’Buckley said that Chapel Hill Transit service should improve, given that some Transit Trippers had driven past numerous commuters without stopping this past fall on the ‘D’ route to Franklin Street. Stout said that O’Buckley should report such instances to Public Safety, which will turn them over to Chapel Hill Transit. Habibi said that Chapel Hill Transit’s service is a mess. He said that Chapel Hill Transit could provide more service, but it makes decisions in silos. The Chair noted that she had asked Forum members to attend Advisory Committee on Transit meetings last month. McCracken noted that Chapel Hill Transit had commissioned an efficiency study in order to improve its service. Kimple said that the University needs to pro-rate its permit charges to reduce the impact on lower-paid employees. McCracken noted that in the last five year plan the higher-paid employees absorbed most of the increases. He said that the plan was not yet finalized and could change.
Pletzke asked why the University would delay raising the daily maximum on South Campus from $8 to $10. He also asked why departments seem to shuffle the number of permits available each year. Stout said that the South Campus lots are primarily devoted to patient care and lower-income patients have been adversely affected by increases in the past. She said that departments receive various permit allocations through the year due to fluctuations in permit availability related to building construction. Pletzke suggested that non-patients (such as pharmaceutical salespersons) without validation could be forced to pay more, but Stout replied that there is a significant administrative cost in requiring validation. There is also the possibility that traffic out of the deck would be impeded with a validation requirement. James Holman asked why employees with night parking permits must move in advance of sporting events. Stout noted that Athletics contributes to the capital construction of campus lots. This is the only way to insure efficient, multiple use of the system. O’Buckley recalled a time when 8-10 P2P buses were doing nothing in the S11 lot. These drivers refused to take non-handicapped commuters, stranded due to CHT having canceled routes due to inclemental weather, to any destination. McCracken said that the University does not have eight P2P shuttles. Stout said that disability permits are there and buses are staged at S11 to provide service because there is not enough disability access. Danny Nguyen asked if there would be any weekend parking changes, and Stout said that there would not be aside from operating some facilities as pay lots. Stout said that the University has many years to develop its night parking plans. Public Safety will take into account the Forum’s input as it makes its proposals.
Senior Director Gena Carter noted the recent memos with regard to the University’s hiring freeze. She said that the Chancellor is committed to sharing information about these matters. She also said that the new SPA grievance policy revisions went into effect January 1. New filing forms for grievances are available on the Human Resources website. Support person and panelist training will begin January 14. Carter said that Human Resources hopes to increase interest in alternate dispute resolution programs. Director of Human Resources Communications Kathy Bryant said that the workplace literacy program will enroll employees in the spring semester. Employees must get supervisory approval before taking these courses.
Paul Kimple moved that the Forum approve the November minutes, seconded by Sohrab Habibi. The motion was approved by acclamation. Sohrab Habibi moved that the Forum approve the December minutes, seconded by Sarah Poteete. The motion was approved by acclamation.
The Chair noted that the last two Vice Chancellor/Provost meetings had been cancelled because of lack of attendance and topics. She said that she personally had access to these decision-makers at these meetings. She encouraged other delegates to attend. She would meet with new UNC System President Tom Ross, Chancellor Holden Thorp, Provost Bruce Carney, and Faculty Chair McKay Coble that month.
The Chair noted that there have been suggestions that State employees take a 5-15% pay cut, with projections that up to 21,000 State employees will lose their jobs. She noted that Chancellor Thorp had opposed implementing furloughs because this option only provides non-recurring fund cuts. She said that the Legislature would reconvene January 26 with a $3.7 billion budget shortfall. Kimple noted that other universities across the nation have implemented pay cuts and furloughs. Marc ter Horst noted that the Building Blitz would continue January 14. Sarah Poteete said that the community garden had received an in-kind gift from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. The committee had submitted a proposal for support to the Chancellor. Chris Meinecke said that the Recognition & Awards committee would work on the peer recognition awards, with an eye to holding a ceremony in June.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 12:06 p.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary