Agenda — May 3, 1995
9:30 a.m.—Meeting, Assembly Room of Wilson Library
I. Call to Order
II. Welcome Guests
- Introduction of Janet Tice, Campus Travel Coordinator
III. Opening Remarks
- Chancellor Paul Hardin
- Laurie Charest, Human Resources Update
IV. Special Presentation
- Patti Smith, Program Manager, Employee Programs
V. Employee Presentations
VI. Approval of Minutes of the April 5, 1995 meeting*
VII. Chairperson’s Report: Rachel Windham
- Hiring of Matt Banks as Permanent Forum Assistant
- Resignation of Dottie Baker, Movement of Tom Hocking to Delegate and Mitchell Copeland to First Alternate
- April 19 Rally on Polk Place
- Possible Forum Guidelines Revisions
- April Resolution Sent to Chancellor
VIII. Committee/Task Force Reports
- Nominating—Scott Blackwood
- Career Development—Sharon Bowers*
- Orientation—Debi Schledorn
- Personnel Policies—Pat Staley
- Compensation and Benefits—Archie Lassiter
- Public Affairs—Delores Bayless
- Recognition and Awards—Ann Hamner
- University Committee Assignments—Libby Chenault
- Employee Presentations—Scott Blackwood
- Salary Task Force—Delores Bayless/Trish Brockman
- Employee Fair Booth Task Force—Marshall Wade
- Faculty Council Liaisons
- Partner Benefits—Linda Cook/Peter Schledorn
- Legislative Affairs—Malinda Marsh/Tom Hocking
- Land Use Planning—Ann Hamner
IX. Unfinished Business
- Resolutions Honoring Deceased Employees—Referral to Recognition & Awards
- Resolution Urging Chancellor to Keep Request that Midpoint Not Determine Eligibility for Pay Improvements In the Forefront of His Thinking*
- OSSOG Issues—Publicity about Working Titles/Insertion of Working Titles into HR Files/Possible Invitation of OSSOG Group to Community Meeting
X. New Business
- Letter to Governor and Legislative Leadership Pursuant to Resolution Regarding Possible Budget Cuts*
- Concern about the New Recognition Policy Being Limited in Terms of Providing Rewards when Discretionary Funds are Not Available*
- Concern Regarding Retroactive Elimination of Overtime Paid on Holidays
- June Special Presentation
- New Convenor and Executive Committee Representative from Division 7
- Stationery and Envelopes in Forum Office
- Availability of List of Standing Committees of the Faculty
May 3, 1995
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 9:35 A.M. by Forum Chair Rachel Windham. She asked guests and members of the press to introduce themselves. Mike Hobbs of the University Gazette introduced himself. Janet Tice, Campus Travel Manager, introduced herself and detailed the responsibilities of her office. Janet said that her office, which exists under the auspices of the Materials Support Division at 440 West Franklin Street, was created as a focal point for coordinating travel within the University and also to save money. The function of her office is to make it easy for people to book travel arrangements, insure good service for travelers and reduce costs. Janet emphasized that she is not a travel agent who will be booking hotel or rental car reservations, but she is a travel resource. Individuals should call her with travel questions, keeping in mind that she is not a credit card company or an airline. Rather, Janet will act as a liaison between travel suppliers and the University and its departments. She is not another layer of bureaucracy but a facilitator, a problem-solver, and a resource in the area of travel. Part of her job, she said, is to communicate campus-wide news about special travel deals for University Employees, such as the recent USAir deal. Janet indicated that she is encouraged that use of travel deals doubled in May versus the previous six or seven months, when the deals were not widely publicized and not completely in place. She said that the USAir deal is very good, particularly for short trips, but encouraged Employees to use the best deal when planning travel. She asked that people with access to information-distributing capabilities contact her so that she can get further word out about available deals.
The Chancellor welcomed Ms. Tice, humorously noting that her very appearance at the University had induced USAir, American Eagle and Continental to make favorable changes at the Raleigh-Durham Airport. He noted that we are at the end of the academic year and that it is the season for awards and recognition. He recalled the Service Appreciation Banquet, with its recognition of many long-term, diligent Employees. At the C. Knox Massey Award Luncheon the previous Saturday, four University Employees had also been recognized. He recognized the winners: Ned Brooks, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs and Delegate of the Employee Forum; Barbara DeLon, Library Personnel Officer and woman about campus, involved constructively in almost everything the Chancellor could remember; Archie Ervin, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor of University Affairs, an unsung hero who works diligently on behalf of that department, particularly in recruitment and retention of minority students; and Robert E. Riley, Operator in Printing Services, a man whose award provoked moist eyes, a cerebral palsy victim from birth, who has always maintained his optimism and ambition, not only gainfully but usefully employed in service to the University. He noted that these recipients represented the thousands of Employees whose turns for recognition for excellent service lie ahead and the hundreds of Employees whose service has been recognized. The Chancellor indicated that he is impressed by the dedication of these Employees and their supervisors who showed attended the Banquet to honor these Employees. He said it was no wonder that the University continued to tick in good times and in bad.
The Chancellor then noted that the Forum would want to know whether we are in good times or bad. He said he was more optimistic than he had been a month earlier. There seems to be good signs coming from Raleigh. Originally there were cuts to SPA and EPA non-faculty positions in the House of Representatives budget. University Employees and other State employees spoke up, and the House changed its mind. There were other budget changes adverse to the University, but the one most pleasing was that the House revoked its determination to eliminate hundreds of SPA and some EPA non-faculty positions. The Chancellor added that although there still is a partial hiring freeze in effect because we do not know the outcome of the budget, there does not seem to be any foreseeable layoffs. Instead, departments have to demonstrate “real necessity” to justify new hires because the University wants to be ready for the upcoming budget cuts and most departments would rather hold some vacant positions for elimination, if necessary, rather than instituting layoffs. The Chancellor shared that the tax revenue projections were higher than expected, so the next round of budget negotiations would be more favorable to the University. The budget submitted by the Senate and the supplemental budget requests by Governor Hunt both boded well for the University. He repeated that the State is in good shape financially and that it is hard to understand why budgets will be cut for deserving enterprises when times are good.
The Chancellor said he had recently checked his appointments calendar and was not certain he would be able to attend the June meeting. In case this was the last time he would appear as Chancellor, he said he would not lose interest in the deliberations and good work of the Employee Forum. He said he was proud that the Forum came into being in his term as Chancellor, lauding the diligence and intelligent appraisal of issues by the Forum. He added that the Forum had provided good advice and had been very effective as the voice of the Employees. He said the Forum had completely justified and vindicated confidence in the Employees of the University. He thanked the Forum and asked for questions.
Dee Marley asked if the Chancellor could provide guidance about areas in which the Forum could make a difference. The Chancellor replied that in areas of general strategy with the Senate or the Governor or with others who may have influence with the General Assembly, we should assume good faith but should not assume that people in Raleigh know how serious the impact would be. No one in Raleigh means to harm the University. People there, he said, feel that the University System and the Chapel Hill campus are the great jewels of the State. He said he had concentrated on the unforeseen consequences of the General Assembly’s actions, communicating that we know they do not mean to hurt us, but sharing the negative results of their harsh budget proposals. He said he had seen a sheet summarizing the bottom-line impact to Health Affairs and Academic Affairs if the current House version passed. He said the bottom line summed up the impact on each area of the University, with cuts disproportionately falling on Academic Affairs. He had faxed to the Governor, the President Pro Tempore and the Speaker of the House a respectful letter underscoring the double-digit impact in the areas of undergraduate education and teaching. He urged the Forum to keep bringing these facts home to the Legislature. He emphasized how well-managed the University is, noting the statistics from General Administration stating that UNC-CH spends 4.3% of its total revenue on institutional support (administration from the Chancellor’s level down to the departmental level), which he said was the lowest in the system. In addition, he said the University is in the bottom quartile of all state research universities in the percentage of budget spent on administration. He said these facts were effective with the Legislature because they were true and because they belied the idea that Chapel Hill, because its budget numbers are big, must contain a lot of fat. He said any fat the University may have had was leeched out in the early 1990’s, adding that the University was lean and mean. He said that conservatives who believe in good management should laud the University as a fine example of good management. He said he wanted these facts presented in a friendly way, but we all should speak up strongly when people share proposals that will damage the University.
Helen Iverson said she found her lobbying efforts met with more success when she was specific about the damage particular budget proposals would do. The Chancellor concurred, interjecting that at the Federal level, rules have changed so that personnel support can no longer be built into Federal grant proposals. He asked the Faculty Council to provide him information on how many people derive all or part of their compensation from research grants (not overhead). There are 169 people who receive $1.025 million—pennies compared to the $244.6 million the faculty generates. He said that when a graduate student devotes half their time to a particular project, they receive $3-4,000 in compensation. He said that graduate students, secretarial and clerical support are among the 169 people who draw part or all of their salary from this $1.025 million. Dividing that $1.025 million by 169 people does not show that anyone is getting rich from this money (on average, $6065/person). The Chancellor added that we usually underpay, rather than overpay. He included these 169 people and their job responsibilities in a missive to the Governor and the Legislature, noting that they were all voters. He encouraged the Forum to continue to presume good faith, but also continue to be specific, attack the numbers and maintain the pressure.
The Chair thanked the Chancellor for breathing life into the Forum, stating that without the Chancellor’s support the Forum could not have gotten as far as it had in the last three years. She asked those assembled to stand and by their applause thank the Chancellor for his support over the past three years. The Chancellor said the Forum had already given him more than he deserved, acknowledging the three-legged stool he received as the 1994 Community Award recipient. He thanked the Forum for its support and friendship, saying it “meant more to me than you can ever guess.” The Chair shared that she hoped that budget cuts would not mean that the three-legged stool would have to be a two-legged stool next year.
Human Resources Update
The Chair welcomed Laurie Charest, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, who requested that some of her time be reserved for Drake Maynard, Senior Director of Human Resources Administration, who would discuss the final draft of the proposed layoff policy.
Laurie Charest reminded Forum members that the Chancellor’s Award nominations were due Friday, May 5. She spoke about the upcoming Employee Appreciation Fair, which she said would be a fun event for all. She mentioned her department’s efforts to get working titles into the automated system. Although all details had not been completed, the first input would be in June when job ratings are entered by the Human Resources Facilitators. She said this year the input screens would have a space for working titles. While this may not result in complete input of working title data, she said it would be a first step towards collecting working titles. Those not included in this first step would be attended via another mechanism. The Chair thanked Laurie and Human Resources for their quick and responsive action in responding to the Forum’s concerns.
Drake Maynard then solicited feedback about the new layoff policy. He said he had not heard many comments on the policy, and he wanted to give every possible opportunity for comments before his department proceeded to implement the policy. He noted that each member had a summary of the major changes in the layoff policy. He briefly outlined the changes.
- The most significant change is adding a new criteria of relative performance to the matrix on how positions are designated for layoff. Basically the WPPR, any awards, recognitions, commendations, disciplinary actions, or documented action by the department affects the relative performance. The emphasis, Maynard said, is on documented action about which the Employee is presumably already aware.
- Human Resources will now ask for slightly more information about how layoff decisions are reached within the department.
- Human Resources sets organizational parameters about layoff decisions. The department itself will determine the specific layoff.
- The State policy has considered military service as a part of State service in determining layoff status. This policy is now formally incorporated into the University’s policy.
- Human Resources has informally encouraged departments to allow an Employee to determine when they will receive their layoff letter, which gives the Employee some control over when their 12-month period of layoff employment priority begins and ends. This procedure is now formally incorporated into the policy.
- A new section explicitly states benefits available to laid-off Employees. New information now appears detailing what determines eligibility for severance pay or layoff priority.
- Finally, the new policy guarantees that when a position is eliminated, whether a person is in it or not, due to lack of funds or lack of work, the position shall indeed be abolished and the appropriate paperwork completed. The position shall not be filled at a later date by another Employee.
Maynard then asked for suggestions from the Forum. Peter Schledorn asked whether a position would be abolished no matter what the reason for the layoff, for example, due to a temporary lack of funds? Drake replied that when an Employee is separated because of a loss of funds, it would be assumed to be a permanent loss of funds. Where there is a loss of funds, meaning the position is no longer supported, then there is no longer a position. The policy states that we are to abolish the position and send the paperwork forward. If there is a lack of work, meaning the work is no longer going on, it is expected the position would be abolished. If it is a temporary loss of funds, and supplemental funds are being used to keep the position until permanent funds are identified, the policy would not require abolition of the position. If we are reorganizing and/or redesigning, then the policy would not require that the position be abolished.
Peter then inquired if a turnback directive was received involving all personnel in a department would the loss of these positions be permanent? Laurie Charest asserted that University-mandated budget cuts do not have the same permanent quality as budget cuts instituted from the State Legislature, so the turnback would depend on the permanency of the cuts. Peter said that in his reading of the policy, it was not entirely clear that abolition was the result of a permanent loss of funds.
Peter then asked Drake to describe in more detail how much leeway a laid-off Employee has to refuse an inappropriate job offer without losing their layoff status. Drake replied that, unfortunately, there is not a lot of leeway. He said “inappropriate” could incorporate a lot of things—one of the situations he opined to be “inappropriate” being a job within the same salary grade, but with a significantly lower salary. At this point, unfortunately, this situation is entirely within and contemplated by State policy. If a person is offered a job at the same salary grade as the job they were laid-off from, no matter what the salary is, and if they are qualified for that job, meaning they meet the minimum requirements of education and experience, and they turn that job down, they will lose their layoff priority. It may not be a job they want to perform, but it may be a job for which they are minimally qualified. One of the things Maynard wants to do is change the State policy. He said that what worked in 1979, rating jobs by salary grade, is virtually meaningless in 1995, when salary grades have very little relation to salary. State policy, he says, is still fixated on salary grade. His preference would be that if a laid-off Employee is offered a job they are qualified for plus or minus 10% of the salary they made in their previous job, then they would have to take that job or lose layoff priority. At this point, there is not the flexibility to manage layoffs by such a method, but that is the kind of thing Maynard would like to see changed in the State policy.
The Chair asked if the layoff decision made in part 7 was subject to approval by the Director of Employee Records. Drake said this was so, and the Chair asked that this be inserted into the policy to prevent the misconception that departments can make lay-off decisions and not be overruled. This change was made. The Chair then noted that a space was needed between numbers 3 and 4 on page 5, which Drake said he had already noted. Finally, in the last paragraph, “University Employees who will be laid off or have been already laid off and offered a salary….” should read “be offered….” Drake agreed to make this change.
Helen Iverson asked about reorganizations of departments and whether the rules about qualifications and longevity generally apply to Employees. Drake replied that these rules apply only to Employees separated or told they are going to be separated for lack of funds or lack of work within a department, reorganization, etc. But when there is reorganization and people retain their positions, this policy does not apply.
Tommy Griffin remarked that in the Physical Plant, Employees had to cover positions that would not be filled. The work was to be managed through overtime. Tommy said he did not see how this is considered, either lack of funds or lack of work, or as intelligent policy. Drake said that wherever you are, in the Physical Plant or elsewhere, there is no lack of work. He said that “lack of work” mainly referred to grants that conclude or contracts that are amended. Drake said that when a set amount of work has to be done by fewer people, those left have to kick up their effort. He agreed that it does not make sense to pay a premium wage to do work that had been accomplished at a standard wage.
Marshall Wade asked about the addition of military service time to State service when determining layoff status. For instance, he asked, would a veteran with 6 months of State service and fifteen years of military service have 15 years and 6 months State service time when considered for layoffs under the new policy. Drake indicated that the maximum period of military service added to State time is four years under this policy, so that the hypothetical 15-year veteran would have 4 years and 6 months of State service time. Marshall then inquired if that same veteran, with 4 years and 6 months State service time would have priority over someone in the same office with 3 years’ service time. Drake replied that would be true under the old policy in accordance with the Veteran’s Preference Program. It would also be true under the new policy, given all other things were equal, if the department elected to go with length of service as the determining characteristic. Drake reminded the group that relative performance could also be used as a defining characteristic in determining layoff status.
Marshall then asked what would be considered sufficient advance notice of a layoff as referred to under the new policy. Drake offered hypothetically the case of a department which was notified in January that a grant or contract would be terminated at the end of June. Under current policy, the department could immediately generate the letter and fulfill the obligation to notify the Employee 30 days in advance of separation. That would place the Employee in a 12-month layoff policy status from the date they received the letter. Drake then supposed that the Employee would like to delay the beginning of their layoff priority status until the first of June, for example. The new policy says that the department should notify the Employee as soon as possible when the layoffs should occur, giving the Employee the opportunity to say when they will receive their letter and enter layoff priority status, up to 30 days in advance of separation. The policy does not change the University’s requirement of a 30-day window, which Drake indicated was far more generous than the 2 weeks that the State requires.
In the absence of further questions, the Chair thanked Drake Maynard for appearing before the Forum and his hard work on the new policy.
The Chair introduced Patti Smith, the Program Manager for Employee Programs. Patti thanked the Chair for the opportunity to speak to the Forum. She said she had been with the University for 6 months. The mission of the Employee Services Department is to provide Employee services and programs to help Employees balance their work and personal lives. She said that much of what her department offers is considered perks, but is very necessary and she hopes Employees take advantage of the opportunities offered. One of the programs she manages is the Service Appreciation Awards, which includes the longevity awards for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service, with correspondent certificates, plaques, pins and the banquet. She reminded the Forum that nominations for the Chancellor’s Award were due this Friday. She said the Chancellor’s Awards which originated in 1991 were created to recognize Employees for more than just longevity.
Another program is the Employee Suggestion System, in which Employees may submit suggestions for cost savings or other improvements in any department throughout the University. The reward for making an accepted cost savings suggestion is a cash reward based on the net savings created during the first year. The reward for a non-tangible accepted suggestion can be up to 3 days’ paid leave.
Patti referred to the new Recognition Policy, created by a Recognition Committee chaired by Geneva Beattie and strengthened by Dee Marley, among others. The new Recognition Policy is not mandatory. Rather, it consists of guidelines and hints on how departments can set up their own Recognition programs. Patti said she would be happy to help set up a program based on the size of the department and the types of awards available. She noted costs were limited, so many of the awards would be non-monetary.
Patti recognized Gary Pearce, the Co-Chair of the Kerr Lake Advisory Committee. She said anyone wanting information about Kerr Lake should contact her or Gary. Kerr Lake is a wonderful resource for Employees. It is on a 230 acre peninsula near Henderson, North Carolina, about a 90 minute drive from Chapel Hill. Employees and their families can partake in boating, sailing, camping and other activities in the area. She also distributed a brochure describing opportunities for family reunions or for departments to hold retreats on the lake, a great facility that is also cost-effective.
Patti then mentioned the “Wall of Discounts” in Employee Services, at which Employees can get deals on trips to Disney World, Biltmore House, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, car rentals, hotels, the Morehead Planetarium, and the Triangle Dining Guide. She also noted the upcoming Durham Bulls Employee Appreciation Night for UNC-CH Employees occurring May 19th.
The Spouse Relocation Program is a resource for recruitment and retention of Employees. Basically, Patti talks with the spouse about employment opportunities in the area and at the University and helps the spouse network in their chosen field. There also are spouse relocation workshops held twice a year and relocation packets and brochures, all nice resources for new arrivals at the University.
Finally, she encouraged Forum members and others to participate in the University-wide Blood Drive, held Tuesday, July 25th. She said the summer is a crucial time for collecting blood since the students are gone and so many people are traveling. Last year they raised 738 pints; this year the goal is 1000 pints.
The Chair thanked Patti Smith for her informative presentation.
There were no Employee presentations.
Approval of Minutes of the April 5, 1995 meeting
The Chair opened discussion on approval of the minutes of the last meeting. Forum Assistant Matt Banks noted that Michael Klein of the Transportation and Parking Committee should be entered as a Guest, not as an Alternate. He also noted that on page 3, in the 6th paragraph, the text should read “…a new alternative type of coverage for Employees who did not want to elect as much as one times their salary.” rather than “one-tenth their salary.” He thanked Joan Richardson in Laurie Charest’s office for noticing the error.
Trish Brockman said that in the first sentence of the Chancellor’s Report it should read “The Chancellor thanked the Forum…” rather than “The Chair thanked the Forum….”
Sharon Bowers said that at the end of the 3rd paragraph under New Business on page 6 she did not ask “that these concerns be submitted to the group before their April 11 meeting.” Libby Chenault said she believed Pat Staley made this comment.
Laresia Farrington noted that at the top of page 7 the person identified as Diane Maynard should be recognized as Diane Riggsbee-Raynor.
Laurie Charest said that she did not recall making the comment “In Chapel Hill, OSSOG had changed only one-half of the University positions studied.” The Chair asked her to submit correcting language. (She said “in over half the positions here, [OSSOG’s] changes were already done.”)
Margaret Balcom informed the Forum Office that her comment that there are “8,000 SPA and EPA non-faculty Employees, including retired Employees” should read “not including retired Employees.”
The Chair asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the April 5 meeting as amended. Scott Blackwood made the motion with Laresia Farrington seconding. There was no further discussion, and the motion passed unanimously.
The Chair welcomed Matt Banks as the permanent part-time Forum Assistant.
The Chair announced the resignation of Dottie Baker. Dottie is replaced by Tom Hocking. Mitch Copeland is the First Alternate. Tom will step into Dottie’s role as Compensation and Benefits Committee Co-chair along with Archie Lassiter. She and the Forum welcomed Tom.
The Chair remarked on the turnout at the recent Polk Place rally, reported in the Daily Tar Heel at over 1000. She said one could not underestimate the impact of such a rally. She encouraged the Forum to continue its work and recognized SEANC and the students for their fine work in getting people out and enthusiastic.
The Chair said that the Executive Committee had begun the process of considering revisions to the Forum Guidelines. The changing character of the Forum necessitated such changes, she asserted. A prime example of changes is the assumption of duties by the Forum Assistant, duties formally ascribed to Forum Officers. She asked anyone with comments or suggestions for Guidelines revisions to please contact Matt with their ideas.
The Chair noted that the resolution approved in April had been sent to the Chancellor to be shared with the Administrative Council and used in any way he saw fit.
The Chair confided in the Forum that the Executive Committee had approved a momento for Margaret Balcom to recognize her service as Chair of the Forum. She asked that members and guests try to keep the momento a secret so it would be a surprise. Mention of the momento had been deleted from Margaret’s packet. Scott described what the Executive Committee had agreed to present—an inscribed silverplated picture frame with the photograph of the 1994 membership. The Chair said this gift would be ready for the next meeting. She said that the transition of Officers in January had been a bit awkward and that this gift should better acknowledge Margaret’s work.
The Chair mentioned that the order form for the Employee Appreciation Fair t-shirts was included in the agenda packet. She yielded the floor to Linwood Futrelle, Co-chair of the 1995 Employee Appreciation Fair who displayed the t-shirt, which costs only $8. Linwood said the Fair would have door prizes, including tickets for giveaways and a Apple Macintosh Performa, complete with modem, CD-ROM and a direct hookup to the Internet. He said the Fair would begin at the Smith Center May 19th at 11 p.m. Employees will need UNC-ONE cards for admission, and there will be shuttle buses to transport Employees to the Fair.
Linwood asked for volunteers to work the doors or distribute food; interested people should call Jerry Lawrence at 6-0221. He said that passes had been issued to temporary workers, but students would not be allowed. After getting a Discount Coupon Book at entry, Employees would get a bag lunch in about 10 to 30 seconds, if all goes well. Herb Paul of the Physical Plant supplied the lunch bags.
Peggy Cotton asked where one could get t-shirts. Linwood said they were in the t-shirt section in Student Stores.
Returning to her report, the Chair pointed out the revised list of Delegates and Alternates by division which was in the agenda packet. She said that the long and short lists containing phone numbers, e-mail addresses, campus boxes, etc. would be in the June agenda packet.
The Chair noted that Scott Blackwood had posted an e-mail and submitted to the University Gazette a solicitation for Division 2 nominees. She requested that members recommend worthy members of that division to serve on the Forum, since there currently are one vacant Delegate slot and six vacant Alternate slots. She said it appeared to be particularly hard to recruit people from that division since many worked shifts. She thanked the members of Division 2 for their help in recruiting nominees.
Scott Blackwood on behalf of the Nominating Committee amplified the Chair’s comments, hoping that members had received and acted on his e-mail message. One problem the Committee faced, he said, was that there was no way to print a list of the current Employees in Division 2. He asked that anyone interested in nominating someone, but who might not be sure of their division should call him or the Employee Forum Office, and they would ascertain the division. He said he had received two names already which he would follow up. He said that members of the Nominating Committee should have received a letter announcing the Committee’s first meeting, May 10, in Vance Hall. The Committee will address the issue of members from Division 2, then begin planning nominations for all open Delegate seats for 1996. He asked that members start thinking about who they would want to carry on the work of the Forum.
Scott also spoke about plans for the Spring/Summer Community Meeting. He announced that President Spangler would be unable to attend the upcoming meeting, so the Committee had begun work on a second topic, Employee Benefits. Nora Robbins agreed to join the Committee, and it had begun work on inviting a panel of speakers. The meeting now will take place towards the end of June, possibly July so that the Committee can put together the best panel possible.
Sharon Bowers from the Career Development Committee said that they had met to consider use of the $5,500 available for staff training. She said at their April meeting they had discussed several ideas, including apprenticeships for workers hoping to move into a different field, a $25 book allowance to supplement training paid for by the Employee Assistance Program and a Video/Voice Training Cassette Library. Ken Manwaring, Director for Training and Development, said that funding for an apprenticeship program already was in the works. Of the other two proposals, she said the goal of the Committee was to fund something accessible to as many people as possible. Sharon asked that members submit any further input by May 11. The Chair asked whether the Fund could be carried over into the next year. Laurie Charest said that it was possible to carry the funds into the next year, but that it might be best to spend the money. Since the Staff Development Fund has not approached its goal, fundraising might be improved if Employees could see that some good had come from the Fund.
Debi Schledorn announced that the Orientation Committee would meet this week. She asked that members submit any comments about Orientation activities, the contents of the blue notebooks, what members wish they had heard in their Orientation or improvements to the Orientation session in October and the Retreat in January.
Linwood Blalock spoke for the Personnel Policies Committee, which had had its meeting last month with Drake Maynard to discuss the proposed new layoff policy.
From the Compensation and Benefits Committee, Kay Spivey reported there was not a quorum at the last meeting.
Delores Bayless had nothing to report for the Public Affairs Committee, since they were unable to meet last month. The Chair inquired about the Public Affairs surveys. Trish Brockman replied that 4 surveys were returned by the group. The Chair said that she hoped this demonstrated that people were sending their own letters rather than expressing a lack of interest.
Recognition and Awards’ Committee Chair Ann Hamner reported that the Committee had not met, but it would meet next week to discuss the referred issue regarding deceased Employees.
Libby Chenault said that the University Committee Assignments Committee had met, but that she was unable to join them. She said she would e-mail the members of the Committee with the location of the next meeting.
Marshall Wade of the Employee Fair Booth Task Force announced that plans were well underway for the May 19th Fair. The balloons for the Employee Fair had been ordered, he said. They will be Carolina Blue with white lettering saying “EMPLOYEE FORUM/SERVING EPA-SPA/WORKING TOGETHER.” He reminded members that there was an order form for the Appreciation Day t-shirts in the May agenda packet. Also, he stated that Forum members could pick up nametags for the Fair either at the meeting or by contacting the Forum Office. He circulated the list for volunteers to work the Booth during the day and asked that someone help to prepare the Booth by 11 o’clock on the 19th. Ann Hamner said she would send reminders to people who volunteered to help during the week. Finally Marshall said that due to unforeseen circumstances, he would don the costume and become the Tar Heel Ram for the Fair.
Peter Schledorn, Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Partner Benefits, stated that the group had met once and would meet periodically over the coming months to obtain information and develop proposals. He said the Committee had received information about partner benefit plans in Carrboro, Chapel Hill and other private-sector enterprises.
From the Faculty Council Committee on Legislative Affairs, Liaison Tom Hocking reported that the Committee had not met.
Ann Hamner, Liaison to the Faculty Council Committee on Land Use Planning, noted that the last meeting with consultants had been covered adequately in the recent Daily Tar Heel. She said there was much concern about possible movement of the Finley Golf Course. She stated that the Committee would probably not meet for a while, but that she would keep the Forum updated on further developments.
The Chair indicated that the issue involving possible resolutions honoring deceased Employees had been referred to the Recognition and Awards Committee.
The Chair directed the Forum’s attention to the resolution included in the May agenda packet urging the Chancellor to keep the request that midpoint not determine eligibility for pay improvements in the forefront of his thinking. She reminded members of discussion about this issue at the last meeting which led to creation of the resolution. The Chair asked for a motion to approve the resolution. Tom Hocking made such a motion with Sue Morand seconding. There was no discussion, and the motion passed unanimously. The Chair agreed to forward the resolution to the Chancellor.
The Chair again thanked Laurie Charest for her work on the subject of OSSOG and working titles. She said the Gazette had written a fine article summarizing work in the area of working titles which was included in the Circulation Folder.
She then turned attention to the issue of inviting members of the OSSOG Study Group to the Fall Community Meeting, which had been suggested at the last meeting. Ann Hamner asked what exactly this program would be since OSSOG seemed to be a “done deal.” She asked what would be expected to come out of such a meeting. Helen Iverson said that the purpose of such a meeting would be to understand how the decisions about OSSOG were made and how they will affect everyone on campus. The Chair asked whether this meeting would be a worthwhile activity or should the Forum simply express its concerns in a letter to Human Resources and let Laurie use the information as she feels most advantageous. Laurie Charest said that she indeed thought that OSSOG was a “done deal.” She surmised creating greater clarification and understanding perhaps could best be accomplished at a Forum meeting or a Committee meeting, rather than a Community Meeting. She thought it would be difficult to get the titles to change, but that such a meeting could create greater understanding of the OSSOG process.
Helen Iverson said that people would be more inclined to accept the changes if they knew why they occurred. People know that OSSOG is a “done deal,” she said, but they want to understand what caused the changes. Dee Marley felt that a Community Meeting would not be the best place to discuss this issue, since those meetings were so large and were designed to deal with broader topics than OSSOG. Also, she said, a Forum meeting may not be the best place to address this issue. Rather, it would be best to get the people who need this information together with those who can provide it. The Chair agreed that everyone is not involved with OSSOG. She said that the Forum earlier agreed to send a letter to Laurie stating formally its concerns with OSSOG. Trish Brockman said that people who attended the Forum meeting could explain the changes to others within their departments. The Chair asked what the potential would be for a Q&A in the Gazette, which would allow people interested to submit their concerns and receive answers in a broadly disseminated medium.
Ann Hamner suggested that Human Resources Facilitators could distribute this information to the clerical staff and others affected. Laurie Charest replied that Facilitator training sessions in the last two weeks talked about OSSOG, its history, concerns and the good things that had come out of it. Trish Brockman said the problem with this solution is that many Human Resources Facilitators do not bring that information back to the departments. She said that no one in the Physical Plant knew anything about it. She said that the Forum should not rely just on the Human Resources Facilitators to relay this information.
Peggy Barber echoed this comment, saying that in her department people heard about the changes through word of mouth, not through the Human Resources Facilitators. She said perhaps it could be better emphasized that the facilitators should work harder to share relevant information received from Human Resources. She further said that since Phase 3 of OSSOG would be finished this summer, there will be a whole new group of people in Academic Affairs who will not know what their titles will be. Marshall Wade agreed, saying that since the Forum’s mission is to distribute information to Employees, it would be best to invite the OSSOG group to speak with the Forum. He said it would not hurt to have the information re-emphasized in Human Resources Facilitators meetings. Because the next phase of OSSOG will be implemented this summer, he said, the Forum would do best to hold this meeting soon, so that the resultant information would be available before, rather than after, the fact. Debi Schledorn concurred with this sentiment, saying that it is always best to hear something firsthand. She said that people concerned with OSSOG should be allowed to attend the Forum discussion and that the Forum should publicize in advance the OSSOG group’s attendance. Tom Hocking said that the Compensation and Benefits Committee could take the issue up either before or after the OSSOG meeting. The Chair asked if there was support for her collaborating with Laurie Charest to identify and invite people involved in the creation of OSSOG. The Forum agreed to support this action, and the Chair said she and Laurie would work to assemble a panel for perhaps the June or July Forum meeting.
The Chair directed the assembly’s attention to the letters to the Governor and the Legislative leadership regarding University budget cuts. The letters were addressed to Governor James B. Hunt, the Honorable Harold J. Brubaker, House Speaker, the Honorable Billy J. Creech, House Appropriations Co-Chair, the Honorable Theresa Esposito, House Appropriations Co-Chair, the Honorable George Holmes, House Appropriations Co-Chair, Senator Marc Basnight, President Pro Tempore, the Honorable Beverly Perdue, Senate Appropriations Co-Chair, and the Honorable Aaron Plyler, Senate Appropriations Co-Chair. She noted that these letters were created in accordance with the resolution approved at the April meeting. She asked if there were suggestions for any changes to the letters, the draft of which were circulated in the last agenda packet. There were no suggestions for changes, and the letters were circulated for Elected Delegates and Alternates to sign.
The Chair turned to concerns expressed by Paula Schubert about the recognition policy being limited for departments that lack discretionary funds. Debi Schledorn said that, unfortunately, there is real division between the haves and have-nots. She worried that this policy might contribute to further division and wondered if the funds could be found to equalize department opportunities to provide comparable awards. Peter Schledorn felt the policy might backfire if funds were not available to all departments. Those who are eligible for funded awards might be happy with the policy, but those who were not could feel additional cause for unhappiness. Dee Marley said there has always been division between the haves and have-nots in areas far more important than recognition, in equipment, for example. She said personally she felt that this issue should not become too connected to funds. She felt that it would be best to let each department find its own way and let the policy work for a while. Peggy Barber said she felt the opposite, saying that if each department does not have a discretionary fund, the policy should be limited to something available to each department. Ann Hamner said that when she worked on the policy, it was more to serve as a set of guidelines rather than rules. She said she supports Dee’s position, wondering how many “have” departments would implement a recognition policy anytime soon.
The Chair asked if there was any discussion of the differential budget situation when the policy was formed. Laurie Charest said that was the reason the Committee was formed, because recognition policies were already being created. The Committee wanted to make sure everyone played by the same rules. She said this was a real issue, but the Committee worked hard to make sure there were other ways available for departments without funds to recognize Employees.
Laurie was further concerned that these issues did not come up when the policy was under review by the Forum. She said to change the policy now would halt recognition policies already in affect for a number of years and could hurt morale. Dee seconded this comment, noting that there were only three comments on the policy from the Forum. The Chair said that it was important for the Forum to provide feedback in the period when a policy is being developed, not when the policy has already been implemented. She noted that while an Employee, not a Forum member, had provided the concern under review, she thought the Forum’s responsibility should be to review prospective policies, solicit and provide feedback before these policies are implemented. She too expressed concern that the Forum had not provided advice prior to the policy being instituted.
Peter Schledorn replied that the goal of this discussion is not to halt departments’ recognition programs, rather to expand programs so that all could reward Employees. Helen Iverson suggested using the Staff Development Fund to supplement departments lacking discretionary funds for this purpose. The Chair asked if there was support for this course of action, cautioning that departments spending their own funds may not feel it is fair that other departments without funds receive University support for their programs. Mona Couts reminded the Forum that Patti Smith had said that she would work with departments to create appropriate recognition programs for their particular needs and budgets, such as the chair massages for the Cashier’s Office. Mona said she felt it was more important that there be equality within departments rather than across all departments. She felt that if Human Resources was willing to work with departments to find programs to reward deserving Employees, they should make good use of this resource. Scott Blackwood seconded Mona, encouraging the Forum to let the policy go forward for a year, encouraging departments to implement these programs. Then the Forum could see which departments are happy with their programs and which might desire funds to carry out a program. Also, Scott queried, who will sit down and decide which departments have funds and which do not to fund a variation on this policy. How much time would this take? How will anyone determine which departments are “haves” and which are “have-nots.”
The Chair noted there were many views on this subject and asked if a motion on the issue could be made. Dianne Crabill moved that the Forum wait to see how the program works over a period of time. The Chair asked if there was support for this motion, asking Dianne to define “a period of time.” Laurie Charest then suggested that Patti Smith report back in one calendar year on the status of the policy across the campus, soliciting feedback from different departments. She said that one of the problems in the current discussion was that the Forum was working without complete information about how the policy was now working on campus. Dianne restated the motion that the Forum delay any proposal for a change in the current recognition policy pending a report in one calendar year from Patti Smith on how the policy is working in different departments, after which the Forum would recommend changes, if needed, or continuance of the policy. Marshall Wade seconded this motion. In the absence of further discussion, the motion carried unanimously.
Regarding retroactive elimination of overtime paid on holidays, the Chair referred to a discussion in a recent Executive Committee meeting. She said she did not know whether this involved a University-wide change or a department acting on its own. Laurie Charest replied that it did not involve a University change. The Chair suggested that members of that department, particularly the Delegate who brought the issue to the Forum meet with Drake Maynard to get clarification of the policy. The Chair emphasized that the change shared is not in response to a current or planned University policy.
The Chair noted that there had been discussion that Ann Dodd be invited to present the June Special Presentation about quality assurance. She said that Jane Brown also had been mentioned to speak on the issue of faculty-staff cooperation. The Chair said that she hoped one of the two would speak at the June meeting, and the other at the July meeting.
The Chair noted that with the resignation of Dottie Baker, there was need for a new Executive Committee member and Convenor from Division 7. She reminded the Forum that the position of Convenor was an informal one, created at the January Retreat to facilitate work within divisions. She asked that members of Division 7 meet after the meeting to elect replacements for both of these positions. [Debi Schledorn was elected Executive Committee Representative and Tom Hocking Division Convenor].
The Chair said that the new Forum stationery and envelopes were ready. Any member needing either should contact the Forum Office.
Also, the Chair said that in the Forum Office there is a list of the standing committees of the faculty available for checkout.
The Chair acknowledged Ned Brooks as the recipient of the C. Knox Massey Award. The Forum gave him a round of applause. The Chair noted that this was the second year a Forum member had been the recipient of the award. She encouraged those present to congratulate fellow Employees Archie Ervin, Barbara DeLon and Robert Riley on receiving this prestigious and coveted award.
The Chair noted that Jim Peacock received the Thomas Jefferson Award at the last Faculty Council meeting and gave his usual eloquent acceptance speech. She said Jim has been a friend of the Forum and has done much good for faculty/staff relations on campus. She encouraged Forum members to congratulate him.
The Chair said the Performance Management Review Board was getting geared up for the new fiscal year. She said solicitations for recommendations of individuals to serve on the Board had been made and most recommended were supervisory people. According to policy, each panel is comprised of two non-supervisory people and one supervisory person. Passing out information, the Chair asked that members submit nominations for the Board, particularly non-supervisory members.
Marshall Wade asked about member copies of the Human Resources Manual. Laurie Charest replied that copies were sent to the original members of the Forum. The Chair noted that most schools and departments have two and that the HR Manual was on the Internet. Still, she said she would ask Matt to contact former Delegates to see if they have the Human Resources Manuals, and they can pass them on to current Delegates.
The Chair encouraged the Forum to continue to write letters to the Legislature. She said she had read Anne Barnes’ comment that the decision-makers in Raleigh were not looking to the next election, rather to the next generation. The Chair retorted that perhaps Raleigh should be reminded that we are the next generation and we are looking at the next election. She encouraged members to remind the Legislature that each does vote.
Scott Blackwood thanked the Chair for her comments at the last two rallies on Polk Place. He said that the Chair, speaking second or third at both rallies, really brought the gatherings to life with her words. He also encouraged members to have their friends in the outlying 100 counties write the Legislature in support of the University, so that the General Assembly could not say that support was only from the “educated folks in Chapel Hill.” The Chair seconded this sentiment, saying that the more counties and precincts Legislators heard from the better. She encouraged everyone to get their friends and neighbors across the State to write a letter and mail it.
In the absence of further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Scott Blackwood made this motion and Trish Brockman seconded. In the absence of further discussion, the motion passed unanimously, and the meeting adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary