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UNC–Chapel Hill Employee Forum Annual Retreat Agenda

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SASB North-Upendo Lounge

9:00-9:15 AM          Morning Refreshment—Coffee, Tea, Pastries

9:15-9: 40 AM        Welcome and Introductions

9:40-10:00 AM        HR Update Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone

10:00-10:30 AM     Forum Business

  • Approval of May minutes
  • Resolution 11-01 Concerning Promotion of Fair and Equitable Human Resources Policies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Resolution 11-02 Concerning Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault
  • Resolution 11-03 Concerning the Personnel Flexibility Proposal within Senate Bill 575 and Advocating Retention of Rights Outlined in NC General Statute 126

10:30-10-40 AM                Break

10:40-11:30 AM       Election of Forum Officer Candidates
(Nominations and speeches from the Floor will be accepted)

  • ·        Forum Chair Candidate(s): Jackie Overton
  • ·        Forum Vice-Chair Candidate(s):   Marc ter Horst
  • ·        Forum Secretary Candidate(s): Myra Quick
  • ·        Forum Treasurer Candidate(s):   Denise Mabe
  •          Election of UNC System Staff Assembly Delegates
    • ·         3 Year Term Delegates Candidates: Danny Nguyen, Dan Barmmer
    •           2 Year Term Delegates Candidate(s):
    • ·         Alternate Assembly Delegate Candidate(s):

11:30-12 Noon             Guest Speaker: Provost Bruce Carney

12:00-1:00 PM             Lunch

1 PM -1:30 PM            Motivational Speaker:  Dr. Deborah Stroman

1:30-2:00 PM               Committee Descriptions by Current Committee Chairs

2:00-2:45 PM            Committee Breakouts, Initial Meeting to Establish Plans for the Year

2:45-3:30 PM               Committee Reports

  • Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Joshua Boone
  • Communications and Public Relations: Carrie Aldrich
  • 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


3:30-3:45 PM               Presentation of Certificates to Outgoing Delegates

3:45-4:00 PM                 Closing Remarks and Adjournment


June 1, 2011 Employee Forum minutes

Delegate Attendees: Kittie Allen, Teri Augustine, Dan Barmmer, Joshua Boone, Rick Bradley, Chuck Brink, Ellen Donna Brooks, Jennie Brooks, Gene Burns, Peggy Cotton, Jill Crowder, Ashley Fogle, David Fraley, Sharon Glover, John Gullo, James Holman, George James, Jason Jolley, Carleta Long, Denise Mabe, Mary Mackenzie, Chris Meinecke, Danny Nguyen, Jackie Overton, Myra Quick, Chuck Sockell, Jonathan Stephenson, Charles Streeter, Marc ter Horst, Jerry Waller, Clifton Webb, Aaron Williams

Other Attendees: Vicki Bradley, Matt Brody, Kathy Bryant, Bruce Carney, Kristin Lewis, Brenda Malone, Gary Moss, Deborah Stroman

Chair Jackie Overton called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. She welcomed delegates and Human Resources representatives, in addition to Gary Moss from the University Gazette and University Counsel Kristin Lewis.

The Chair welcomed Vice Chancellor Brenda Malone to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. The Chair said that she had worked to create partnerships with Human Resources, the Office of Legal Counsel, and South Building, among other entities. Malone said that she had been overwhelmed with the power, experience, and commitment of Forum delegates. She said that these qualities are what make the Employee Forum so effective and highly regarded. Malone noted that enrollment in the State Health Plan must take place by June 8 or employees will default into the 70/30 plan. The Benefits Office will help stragglers enroll at the Forum’s spring community meeting June 8. She said that there is a chance that new legislation will require a second enrollment period as 80/20 coverage will require a premium for the first time. Interim Benefits Director Ashley Nicklis said that only the 80/20 plan, not the 70/30 plan, will likely require a premium. Information about the second enrollment will be distributed in mid-July. The second enrollment itself will probably begin around September 1. A listener asked if rates for dependent coverage would rise, and Nicklis replied that all rates will likely rise. She did not have the exact figures yet on how much premiums will rise.

Malone noted that PRM Consultants have begun their work assessment on campus. She noted a degree of concern and unrest that have caused the University to employ PRM Consultants to do a deep dive into issues facing the Housekeeping Department. PRM has met with approximately 2/3 of Housekeeping’s 200 employees, each receiving a one-on-one interview. She said that the remaining interviews will need interpreters. She anticipated that all of the interviews will be complete in August. She said that PRM employs human resources professionals to conduct its interviews.

Malone took a moment to speak of the partnership between Human Resources and the Employee Forum. She said that there had been a strong partnership but that this year things have become more challenging. She said that the situation was not unique to UNC-Chapel Hill but that UNC-Chapel Hill had a unique intention to address issues facing staff. She said that Human Resources was proud to partner with the Employee Forum, particularly the leadership of Chair Jackie Overton. She praised Overton’s attitude and presence. She appreciated the open, honest, forthright, and respectful tone of discussions with the Forum.

Senior Director of Human Resources Programs Vicki Bradley spoke on the PeopleSoft initiative. She said that this system will be implemented in late 2012 or early 2013. She said that the University will “go vanilla” with its implementation, minimizing customization as much as possible. She said that the core team had met with campus working groups as well as division and administration groups.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the May minutes. Jonathan Stephenson said that President Tom Ross had said that courts will recognize policies created informally equally as policies created by statute. The Chair had other changes to the minutes that she communicated to the Forum Assistant. Chuck Brink made a motion that the minutes be approved, seconded by Joshua Boone. The motion was approved by acclamation.

Resolution 11-01, concerning the promotion of fair and equitable Human Resources policies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was offered on second reading. There were no further revisions offered. Jonathan Stephenson moved that the resolution be approved, seconded by John Gullo. The motion was approved with 29 voting in favor and 3 against.

Resolution 11-02, concerning sexual harassment and sexual assault, was offered on second reading. Ashley Fogle noted that the resolution was first offered in April. Joshua Boone asked if the authors still wanted the resolution to reflect the April introduction. Chuck Brink praised Alan Moran for taking the draft of the resolution to the UNC System Staff Assembly. Fogle said that the resolution tried to recognize the good work done on campus for the student population in this area. She hoped that the campus could improve services to campus staff also. Chuck Brink moved that the resolution be approved, seconded by Myra Quick. The motion was approved by acclamation.

Resolution 11-03, concerning the personnel flexibility proposal within Senate Bill 575 and advocating retention of rights outlined in NC General Statute 126, was presented to the Forum. The Chair noted that there had been a good discussion at the May meeting and on the listservs about this issue. Chuck Brink said that no changes would be enacted until policies are approved. Jonathan Stephenson disagreed, saying that if the legislation is approved, University employees would become at-will. Brenda Malone said that this was not true, as employees’ status would be subject to change as President Ross had committed to the Forum in May. Stephenson said that he had consulted with labor attorneys across the State who found differently. Brink said that employees would lose their jobs under the legislation only for cause. Stephenson said that the case of Steele v. Lance found that property rights become stronger only if written into statute. Dan Barmmer said that Senate Bill 575 did not preserve many protections that the Forum had wanted kept. He said that the resolution was written to retain these protections. The Chair asked for a vote on the issue. Chuck Sockell moved that the resolution be approved, seconded by Myra Quick. The motion was approved by a vote of 24 in favor, 1 opposed, and 7 abstaining.

Secretary Myra Quick oversaw the Forum officer elections. Jackie Overton had previously been nominated for Chair. Dan Barmmer nominated Jonathan Stephenson to run for Chair. Jackie Overton was elected Chair of the Forum. Marc ter Horst was elected Forum Vice Chair by acclamation. Myra Quick was elected Forum Secretary by acclamation. Denise Mabe was elected Forum Treasurer by acclamation.

The Chair noted that Staff Assembly delegates are elected from each campus. The Staff Assembly reports to the President of the UNC System. Jonathan Stephenson was elected to the three year term of the Staff Assembly by acclamation. Danny Nguyen and Ellen Donna Brooks ran for the two-year term to the Assembly, with Nguyen winning. John Gullo, Jason Jolley, Ellen Donna Brooks, and Clifton Webb each ran for the alternate position of the Staff Assembly, with Webb winning.

Barmmer asked if the Forum needed two Staff Assembly alternates. Brink noted that the Chair has the power to appoint alternates if needed. He noted that the alternate can attend the Executive Committee meeting of the Staff Assembly at General Administration.

The Chair read a list of recent accomplishments of the Forum. Jolley asked why the Forum had chosen to publish its community meeting notices in color rather than on-line. The Chair said that the Forum had been granted black and white pricing for the color printing as a test of ITS’ color printing system. She said that the Forum sends out hot memos to all employees because some employees do not have ready access to computers. Jolley noted that many employees simply throw printed materials into the recycling bin.

The Chair introduced Provost Bruce Carney. Carney said that the people he works with are exceptional. He thanked employees for their work and noted that the three past years had been very challenging. Carney reported that the University would likely see a 12.3% budget cut. He noted that legislators perceive UNC-Chapel Hill as being wealthy compared to other institutions. He said that the University will likely advocate for a large tuition increase this year, but this increase would not likely help the campus this year. He hoped that the State would provide for a modest salary increase next year. Jason Jolley asked about deviating some funds donated to the University. Carney said that most donated funds come with direction about their use, requiring permission to deviate. He said that Erin Schuttepelz, the University’s Director of State Relations and Communications, had worked to explain the structure of University funds to House leadership. Carney noted that President Tom Ross had gone to bat for graduate students. Mary Mackenzie asked where the cuts would concentrate. Carney said that some units cannot take further cuts, such as Human Resources and Finance and Administration. He feared that the consequential cuts will hit at the structural integrity of the University, harming graduate students and fixed term faculty. Carney said that a large tuition increase will become necessary given how stretched University budgets have become. He said that a 1% salary increase for staff is possible if the economy permits. Chuck Brink noted that there had been talk about program elimination in the UNC System Staff Assembly. Carney said that there is an initiative to prevent unnecessary duplication of programs. However, he said that every UNC System campus will need departments of English and History, for example. Ross’ job will be to implement these cuts in a rational matter. How many Schools of Social Work does the University System need, given that UNC-Chapel Hill’s School ranks in the top ten nationally? Brink asked how this initiative would impact staff. Carney said that UNC-Greensboro had asked permission to start a School of Pharmacy while UNC-Chapel Hill’s School ranks in the top 2-3 nationally.

At this point, the Forum took a break for lunch.

The Chair introduced Dr. Deborah Stroman from the Department of Exercise and Sport Science to speak on attitude, behavior, and character. Stroman advised the Forum to get involved with technology and social media to improve its branding, using resources such as Facebook and Twitter. She encouraged the Forum to collaborate with other organizations. The Chair praised Stroman’s influence with the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus on behalf of University housekeepers. She said that anything affecting minorities, women, Burmese or any other University community members draws all as partners to the table together to exert additional influence. Stroman agreed, saying that every organization needs teammates. She said that if freedom is missing here, it is missing everywhere. The Caucus’ mission is not meant to separate itself from other organizations. Ashley Fogle asked if Stroman could speak on models of leaders pushing or being nice as effective models. Stroman said that the best teacher is gentle yet firm, raising expectations. She praised men as opposed to women in a corporate environment who display a thick skin and willingness to let go of issues. Jason Jolley asked about individuals using organizations to advance their own personal grievances. Stroman said that the Forum functions as a democracy and she hoped that it could weed out plots to advance select issues. She said that the democratic process should diffuse legitimate questions from illegitimate ones. She said that leaders are great listeners. The Chair noted that individuals with singular issues should take these to the grievance process or the Ombuds office.

The Chair introduced Forum committee chairs to describe the functions of their committees. Chris Meinecke spoke on the work of the Recognition & Awards committee. He noted that the group had culled nominations for the Peer Recognition awards. Joshua Boone noted that the Carolina Community Garden committee had worked to design a brochure and oversee volunteer work at the garden. He said that many kinds of vegetables were grown there, as well as beehives. He said that community workshops and University classes were designed around the garden. Clifton Webb asked if delivery of vegetables to housekeepers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays counts as community leave.

Dan Barmmer noted that Carrie Aldrich had chaired the Communications committee, which had worked to publish InTouch, the Forum newsletter, four times a year. Chris Meinecke said that the committee could use writers and editors, as well as people experienced with social media. Barmmer said that the Compensation & Benefits committee had worked with the Staff Relations, Policies, and Practices committee and the Legislative Action committee this past year. Chuck Brink said that this committee usually writes resolutions on policy affecting the Forum. Chuck Brink said that the Education and Career Development committee had a role in the use of the Staff Development fund, a fund which had been funded by the Coca-Cola company back in 1993 during the University’s Bicentennial. He said that the program had been used to fund a staff training library, a notary public class, on-line education, and textbook subsidies, among other items. He recalled the internships supporting the clerical skills program that were also partially supported by the Staff Development fund. George James asked about possible reimbursement for housekeepers who attended the basic clerical skills program. Brink noted that the basic clerical skills program was undergoing a revamp of its functions.

Danny Nguyen of the Legislative Action committee reported that group had worked on grievance policy changes, bringing those recommendations to the State Personnel Commission. He said that the group had to do a lot of reading to keep up with legislative developments. Myra Quick said that the Membership and Assignments committee had worked with the Forum Office to run elections and the Forum orientation and retreat. James Holman said that the Staff Relations, Policies and Practices committee had worked on departmental items.

Following a breakout of the committees into side rooms, the committee chairs were announced. Dan Barmmer will chair the Compensation & Benefits committee, Jerry Waller the Communications committee, Rick Bradley the Education and Career Development committee, Ellen Donna Brooks the Legislative Action committee, Myra Quick the Membership and Assignments committee, Chris Meinecke the Recognition & Awards committee, and James Holman the Staff Relations, Policies and Practices committee.

The Chair asked that the Forum elect its Executive Committee via e-mail over the course of the next month. She noted that the Forum had asked its delegates to spend a full eight hours of work time at the Retreat. In response, she was cancelling the Provost/Vice Chancellor meeting and the Executive Committee meeting for June. Chuck Brink discussed the distribution of delegates among various Forum electoral divisions and possible reform of this process.

The Chair said that the Forum will work to get its message out via hot memo. She looked to swear in the new officers on July 13. She went over the structure of the community meeting on June 8. Finally, she noted that the Forum will hold its 20 th anniversary event March 7, 2012. She said that the Forum will invite chancellors who presided during the Forum’s tenure as well as its previous officers. The Chair thanked the Forum for its vote of confidence in electing her to a second term.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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