Employee Forum Agenda
9:15 a.m.–Meeting: Pleasants Family Assembly Room, Wilson Library
I. Call to Order, Swearing-In of New Forum Officers, & Opening Remarks—Chair Charles Streeter
II. Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press
III. Special Presentations
- Catherine Shireman, Membership Director, Carolina Club
- Catherine is a native North Carolinian and a 1996 UNC graduate. Prior to joining the Carolina Club she was involved in fundraising at various local and national non-profit organizations, as well as Duke University School of Medicine. She lives in Apex with her husband and two children.
IV. Human Resources Update—Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington
VII. New Business
- Selection of Divisional Delegate Representatives for Forum Executive Committee
- Review Committee Tasks and Organizational Goals for Upcoming Semester
VIII. Forum Committee Selection of Meeting Times
- Carolina Blood Drive: Todd Hux
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
- Communications and Public Relations: Katie Turner
- Education and Career Development: Matt McKirahan
- Membership & Assignments: Angela Combs
- Recognition & Awards: Michael Highland
- Personnel Issues: Yvonne Dunlap
- Compensation & Benefits:
- Legislative Action:
- Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Michael Highland/James Holman/Charles Streeter
- Executive Committee: Charles Streeter
July 2, 2014 Employee Forum minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Nancy Beach, Jo-Ann Blake, Bonita Brown, Deborah Bush, Tammy Cox, Yvonne Dunlap, Oscar Fleming, Paula Goodman, Shane Hale, James Holman, Todd Hux, Karen Jenkins-Cheek, Arlene Medder, Whitney Mohr, Rushdee Omar, Jackie Overton, Christopher Powe, Kelli Raker, Kathy Ramsey, Samara Reynolds, Rocky Riviella, Christina Rodriguez, Renee Sherman, Charles Streeter, Katie Turner
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:18 a.m. He welcomed Ombuds officers Wayne Blair, Laurie Mesibov, and assistant Victoria Dowd. He also welcomed Gary Moss of the University Gazette and Matt Brody and Gena Carter from Human Resources. The Chair asked about members’ opinions of the recent article regarding night parking fees. He noted that one employee had been quoted as finding that housekeepers will be hit hard by the fee implementation as they cannot live close to the University and are thus priced out. The Chair imagined that this issue will gain more attention as the August implementation date comes closer. He noted that many employees may not have read information on the details of the night parking program. He urged delegates to inform themselves about the details of the program.
The Chair publicly thanked Chancellor Folt for her sponsorship of two golf teams in the recent Chancellor’s Cup tournament, held at NC State University last month. He noted that UNC-Chapel Hill finished fifth or sixth in the competition. Winston-Salem State won for the third year in a row. The Chair noted that the tournament was very successful and said that he wanted UNC-Chapel Hill to make more of an impact as a flagship school in competition, sponsorships, and prize contributions. Tammy Cox asked if the Chancellor plans to continue to sponsor teams for this purpose. The Chair said that he would ask the Chancellor to continue this sponsorship. He noted the many perks provided participants in the tournament, including gift cards and cash prizes. He noted that UNC President Tom Ross and Blue Cross/Blue Shield both had golf teams at the tournament. Shane Hale suggested that the Forum form an ad hoc sports committee to prepare for next year. The Chair wanted to find sponsors and prizes for next year’s event.
The Chair noted that the University Gazette had published a large spread on the Forum’s upcoming book club event as well as a photograph of Forum Chairs Charles Streeter and Jackie Overton at the University’s 20-year society banquet. The Chair planned to commission another notary public class for the fall due to the course’s popularity in the spring. He also noted the recent parliamentary procedure class. He hoped to simplify the Forum’s conduct of meetings to avoid undue procedural complication. He noted that Robert’s Rules of Order are strictly advisory and hold no legal status beyond what the Forum conveys. The Chair also hoped that the Forum would nominate its Community Award winner for the Governor’s Award for Excellence.
The Chair introduced Catherine Shireman, the membership director of the Carolina Club. Shireman noted that the Carolina Club began in 1993 as a place where faculty and staff could share ideas. She noted that the Club’s dues are amongst the lowest in the country. She described the dining specials and amenities available to members. She asked delegates what they would pay for unlimited breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. By comparison, the Chair noted that Rams Head charges $7.85/meal for its Express Plan. Shireman said that the Club is contemplating charging around $50/month for this service, along with another $31/month for membership. She noted that the billing would take place monthly and upfront. Whitney Mohr asked if delegates could bring guests. Shireman responded that guests would need to pay their own way or the member could absorb the cost for their guests. Oscar Fleming said that this plan would potentially encourage him to eat at the Club more often. Samara Reynolds said that the Club is a good option for entertaining employers. Todd Hux thanked the Club for donating pastries for the Carolina Blood Drive in June. Shireman said that the Club is undergoing renovations and will also change its menu to include more salad options. She said that the goal is to feed patrons within 30 minutes, if possible. Todd Hux noted the tailgating options that the Club provides.
Bonita Brown suggested that the Club take phone-in to-go orders to accommodate busy employees. Paula Goodman asked if these costs could be payroll deducted. The Chair thought that a OneCard option could be available if a payroll deduction option is not immediately ready. Shireman confirmed that members pay their dues quarterly. She noted that certain entertaining expenses for departments are tax-exempt also. She noted that the Club is integrated into the University’s accounting system. The Chair noted that implementing a payroll deduction option would probably be delayed because of the upcoming PeopleSoft implementation. He hoped to speak with new Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Matt Fajack about this idea.
The Chair said that the Forum would swear in its new officers in August. He welcomed Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Matt Brody to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Brody noted the recent news about a stalemate over the State budget. He said that the budget seems to involve Medicaid and K-12 issues more than State employee salary increases. He would be surprised if the Legislature does not implement across the board increases.
Matt Brody said that the transition for PeopleSoft will begin around October. He said that the University has an interest in implementing salary increases as soon as possible to avoid confusion with the PeopleSoft transition. He said that the EPA salary increase schedule could prove more difficult than the SPA increase, since EPA increases can be more difficult with Board of Governors and General Administration inputs to consider. EPA increases can be across the board or with discretion among departments to allocate among EPA employees. Samara Reynolds asked if employees under the two-year probationary period would not receive a salary increase this year. Brody said that these employees should not be deprived of a pay increase, but much depends on the will of the decision-makers in Raleigh.
Todd Hux asked when parking permit fees will increase the scheduled 2%. Matt Brody said that this will occur in the August 15 paycheck. He noted that University employees have faced parking fee increases, health insurance increases, and other difficulties these past years. He noted the difficulty of proceeding without regular salary increases, adding that going years without increases creates a cumulative effect which puts employees farther behind. Hux noted that current open positions at Facilities Services seem to offer $3-5,000 less than that paid any other current employee in similar work. He said that this difference, along with the two-year probationary period, hurt recruitment. He noted the particular case of a UNC-Wilmington employee who desired to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill but was caught by these restrictions. Brody said that there are restrictions in the current biennium which do not allow salary increases for lateral moves such as may have occurred with the UNC-Wilmington employee. Brody said generally that the University would not automatically assume that new and old employees should receive the same salaries. Human Resources would look at the individual job, the person hired to enter the job and the person leaving to determine appropriate compensation level. He would like to provide the UNC-Wilmington employee the salary increase, but cannot do so under current policy. The Chair noted that an employee has moved into positions with more responsibility but have not been able to receive increases due to this policy. He said that this restriction would not apply to a non-State employee hired in that position. He said that the State should give State employees the advantage in these situations, everything else equal.
Regarding the PeopleSoft rollout, Matt Brody said that the last paycheck under the old system will be issued September 15 for biweekly employees and September 30 for monthly employees. He said that the transition period will require departments to shift to PeopleSoft afterwards. The Chair asked if the University will not hire anyone during the transition period. Brody said the University will process paperwork differently, with perhaps some delays. He added that the PeopleSoft implementation is a once in a fifty-year event. Deborah Bush said that she had been told by some Human Resources personnel that the University will not conduct hires in September. Brody said that job postings happen in PeopleAdmin. These changes may necessitate tweaking the start date for the new hires. There may be delays but the University will attempt to minimize them. Tammy Cox said that it is not unusual to require an employee to start on a specific date. She did not consider this change a massive interruption of University business. Brody asked for employees’ patience while the University switches systems. Shane Hale advised employees needing supplies to get their things earlier as the two week freeze may last longer. He did not know if the purchasing card system will be affected. Brody said that there may be a delay in reconciling purchasing card purchases. He noted that fellow University employees will work hard to finish the transition as soon as possible.
Matt Brody said that the State has announced a new directive regarding performance management reviews. He noted that the Office of Human Resources has recently wrapped up an eighteen month pilot program on management evaluations in various University departments. However, the State has just sent down an e-mail stating that a different procedure for performance reviews must be followed. Brody said that Human Resources will tweak its pilot forms to meet these new protocols. Brody said that there would be updates as to the progress of this issue at the next Forum Executive Committee meeting. Brody said that currently the Office of Human Resources has currently established pilot supervisory 180 degree evaluations, allowing employees to provide feedback on supervisory performance. Vice Chancellor Felicia Washington is currently being brought up to speed on this process. If it continues, the pilot will be extended in electronic form, starting next summer. Electronic data entry will be much more efficient than a massive paper exercise, Brody said.
Brody noted that with the Affordable Care Act’s implementation in January, the University will need to work out details of providing mandatory health insurance to all temporary employees working 30 or more hours a week. He said that the Legislature is considering a form of optional benefits insurance for these employees costing the State around $5400 per employee per year. This expansion has the possibility of costing the State millions of dollars. Todd Hux asked about the future of the 180 degree supervisory review. Brody expected that the new performance management review process will be ready by July. He said that much depends on the change in leadership at the University.
The Chair asked that minutes from the June retreat be approved at the next meeting. Matt Banks was not present at the retreat and Paula Goodman took minutes in his stead. He said that the Forum needed to investigate alternatives to Upendo Lounge for its June retreat. He noted that the Forum will need to find a different date to avoid conflicts with Facilities Services’ Summer Splash event. The Forum agreed to postpone approval of the minutes until the following month.
The Chair briefed the Forum on a meeting that he and Dan Barmmer had held with interim Associate Vice Chancellor Kevin Seitz concerning the Beyond Coal coalition proposal. Seitz had said that the administration wanted to support this proposal, but the way that the University invests does not make this possible. The University purchases a portfolio of investments that are impossible to untangle. The Chair concluded that doing a resolution in favor of the Beyond Coal Coalition program was not possible. Todd Hux said that the Coalition had wanted to diversify out of open-faced mining in the United States. The Chair said that he would ask Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Matt Fajack to speak in more detail about the issue of divestment. Oscar Fleming asked what the University could do instead to act against the ‘Filthy 15’ energy companies which mine coal. The Chair said that based on the information from Kevin Seitz, Beyond Coal’s proposals would have a negative effect on the University’s finances. Christina Rodriguez pointed out that Stanford University had recently voted to divest itself from its coal holdings. She thought that financial managers of the portfolio could figure out how to accomplish divestment if insisted upon by the University. Oscar Fleming asked if this subject is within the purview of the Forum’s mission. Tammy Cox observed that not all possible courses of action are feasible. Jackie Overton recalled former Vice Chancellor Karol Kain Gray’s observation that pursuing divestment is like “untangling cooked spaghetti.”
Katie Turner asked if the University should not know exactly what it invests where in the world as a general practice. Samara Reynolds asked if the University should inform UNC employees of the nature of divestment. The Chair said that the faculty, staff, and students do not hold authority to control University investments that responsibility belongs to the Board of Trustees, along with the Division of Finance and Administration. He said that these bodies’ charge is to obtain maximum return for investment and he understood that divestment would have a large negative impact on University finances. Reynolds asked about educating University employees about how they can divest from these companies in their own investments. Matt Brody said that the State Retirement Plan’s Board of Trustees operates in Raleigh. Employees can opt into social choice funds in their supplemental retirement accounts. Christina Rodriguez noted that there is a national conversation about divestment from coal investment that has taken hold at places like Stanford and Brown University. The Chair said that the Forum needed more discussion on the subject before taking a stance. He noted that the Coalition has not discussed the question with the Faculty Council. Katie Turner noted that the Faculty Agenda Committee had decided the subject was not in the purview of the Council or its mission.
The Chair noted that the Forum needs to select divisional representatives to the Forum Executive Committee. Delegates assembled by electoral division and selected these representatives: Division 1: Oscar Fleming; Division 2: Everett Deloney; Division 3: Jim Fuller; Division 4: Rushdee Omar; Division 5: to be determined; Division 6: Shane Hale; Division 7: Christopher Powe; Division 8: Karen Jenkins-Cheek; Division 9: to be determined.
The Chair said that he would send out the committee ideas from the June retreat. He asked for committees to be prepared to report out in August. He particularly asked committees to work to develop individual budget requests from the Staff Development fund by mid-July, and the Forum budget for their work by mid-August. The Executive Committee will consider these requests in depth in July and August.
The Chair noted that the Provost/Vice Chancellor meeting will take place July 10 at 10 a.m. in 311 South Building. He said that the Forum needs attendees and topics for these meetings. Ombuds officer Wayne Blair spoke about the stresses that elder care issues are placing on employees, faculty, staff, and students. He said it might be useful for the Forum to address this topic at the July 10 meeting. He noted that this question is complex, broad, and stressful for all involved, supervisors and employees trying to manage elder care questions. Matt Brody said that Human Resources is seeing this question arise with increasing frequency as baby boomers age and grow into these responsibilities. He noted the need to balance employee needs with departmental needs. He noted particular problems which can arise when employees do not use the Family Medical Leave Act provisions for elder care issues. Employees often will ask supervisors to accommodate absences to the point which may interfere with their job. Not being able to balance work, home, and elder care issues places a great deal of stress on employees and supervisors.
Karen Jenkins-Cheek noted the PACE elder care network serving Chatham, Lee, Durham, and Alamance Counties provides travel, medical, pharmaceutical and hospital services for families. She said that PACE has been a godsend for her, providing occupational and physical therapy for relations. She suggested that the Forum contact PACE representatives to have them make a presentation. Matt Brody encouraged employees facing elder care issues to contact the Employee Assistance Program. Wayne Blair was struck by the number of employees who are not aware of the services available to them in general.
Deborah Bush said that there is no equity across the University in how supervisors deal with these questions. She thought that a directive from a high level would be useful. Katie Turner offered to include elder care resources in an upcoming issue of InTouch, perhaps in coordination with Senior Director for Benefits Ashley Nicklis. Oscar Fleming asked about campus safety trends. The Chair said that the Provost/Vice Chancellor meetings are an opportunity for Forum delegates to interact with upper level administrators.
Katie Turner reported that the Communications & Public Relations committee had met to plan its next issue to be published July 24. The committee discussed holding a scavenger hunt August 14. The committee also will host the Forum book club discussion of Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg July 25.
Arlene Medder reported that the Carolina Campus Community Garden committee had met. She had sent notes from the meeting to the Forum Assistant.
Todd Hux reported that the Carolina Blood Drive had raised 116% of its goal, 990 pints of blood. He asked delegates to consider volunteering for the Forum’s Blood Drive committee to help with the winter drive in Fetzer Gym.
The Chair noted that SEANC is holding a fundraiser raffle.
The Chair called for a motion to adjourn. Todd Hux made this motion, seconded by Jackie Overton. The motion was approved by acclamation, and the meeting adjourned at 11:24 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary