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October 7, 2020

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Zoom Remote Meeting

NOTE:  This is a draft agenda and is subject to change without notice.

I. Call to Order & Opening Remarks: Chair Shayna Hill (9:15 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.)

  • Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press

II. Special Presentation (9:20 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.)

  • Ryan Collins, President, Graduate and Professional Student Federation
  • Dawn Osborne-Adams & Victoria Dowd, University Ombuds

III. Human Resources Update (9:55 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.)

  • Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity & Compliance Becci Menghini
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV. Consent Agenda (10:25 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.)


V. Old Business (10:40 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

  • Employee Forum Survey Update and Possible Town Hall

VI. New Business (11:00 a.m.-11:20 a.m.)

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:20-11:30 p.m.)


IX: Adjournment


October 7, 2020 Employee Forum minutes

Delegates Attending:  L.E. Alexander, Lauren Anderson, Dzenita Blackwell, Jessye Bongiovanni, Randall Borror , Rich Brandenburg, Alicia Brandt, Shane Brogan, Stephanie Brown, Sarah Carrier, Valerie Cartagena, Tiffany Carver, Allison Constance, Adrienne Cromwell, Jen DeNeal, Morgan Douglas, Elizabeth Dubose, Phillip Edwards , Stephanie Forman, Adrianne Gibilisco, Lateefah Gregory, Natasha Hanks, Leah Hefner, Jessi Hill, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth, James Holman, Quintara Jernigan, Mary King, Haydèe Marchese, Arlene Medder, Mandy Melton , Katie Musgrove , Ayla Ocasio, Joe Ormond, Le’Quisha Person, Kevin Robinson , Kelly Scurlock-Cross, Theresa Silsby, Greg Smith, Sarah Smith, Antonio Squire, Jake Stallard, James Stamey, Matthew Teal, Rose Thorp, Sarah Wackerhagen, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Jacob Womack

Excused Absences: Darren Abrecht, Robert Smith III

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:20 a.m. She welcomed guests and members of the press. She then welcomed Ryan Collins, President of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF). Collins noted that the GPSF represents nearly 11,000 graduate and professional students at the University. The Federation represents a separate division of Student Government alongside Undergraduate Student Government. The organization contains executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Collins spoke about the mission of the GPSF providing support and resources for students to succeed academically, ensuring apt educational, occupational and social conditions that are conducive to achieving their professional and personal goals, and representing student interest before the University, the Board of Trustees, and other governing bodies.

Collins spoke with warmth about the work of his executive committee. He invited the Forum to contact him to work on issues of mutual concern.

The Chair welcomed Director of the Ombuds Office and Ombuds Dawn Osbourne-Adams and Assistant University Ombuds Victoria Dowd. Osbourne-Adams thanked Dowd for her outstanding work during this uncertain time. She introduced newly appointed Associate Ombuds Joshua Canzona, recently hired after three years as the founding ombudsman at the NC School of the Arts.

Osbourne-Adams noted that Associate Ombuds Laurie Mesibov was unfortunately absent with a longstanding illness. She promised to pass on good wishes to Mesibov.

Osbourne-Adams thanked the Forum and its delegates for their work during these uncertain times. She asked delegates to speak on areas of hope in their lives given the current pandemic, and they did so. The Chair thanked Osbourne-Adams and the Ombuds Office for their work and wished them well in their new offices.

Becci Menghini, Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Compliance gave the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Menghini spoke extensively on Covid-19 workforce budgetary planning. She noted the limited authority available to the University to initiate personnel actions. She noted questions to be considered before carrying through with these actions, including 1) what sort of budget deficit to be solved for 2) what is the size of the budget deficit 3) what types of monies are impacted and 4) what tools are available to reach these goals.

Menghini emphasized that the University is seeking to address budgetary concerns through non-personnel measures but said that it would be irresponsible to ignore personnel-based actions. She said that currently, the units and areas subject to furloughs are primarily Auxiliary and Fee-Supported units. These areas have authority to impose temporary emergency furloughs upon their employees. Enrollment-supported and State Appropriations-supported areas are not affected by this authority.

Menghini differentiated among different tool types available to administrators seeking to address budgetary questions. Furloughs, temporary and permanent base salary adjustments, and early retirements are the main personnel actions available in general to administrators. She noted differences in tools by employee type (SHRA, EHRA-non faculty, Faculty). She added that the University has little authority to enact these broad actions unilaterally. Instead, the University usually must rely on direction from State authorities and the System Office before pursuing these actions across departments.

Sarah Carrier asked about obtaining prompt notice of any potential impacts or decisions regarding EHRA non-faculty employees. Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler said that there are defined notification period requirements specific to EHRA-non faculty discontinuations. In addition, there are other considerations regarding required notification periods for actions like furloughs or temporary salary reductions. He said that the intent of the Administration is to provide as much notice as possible going into these actions.

Sarah Carrier asked about the possible use of the University endowment to cover budgetary shortfalls. She hoped the administration would offer a clarifying response soon. Menghini noted the range of restrictions on use of endowment funds for these purposes.

Phil Edwards asked if the Board of Governors might dictate vertical cuts to specific campus programs or centers. Menghini thought that this was very unlikely given precedent and President Peter Hans’ statements.

Haydèe Marchese asked if employees experiencing a reduction in full time employment (F.T.E.) hours could be transferred to another unit to do work and meet the 1.0 F.T.E standard. Butler thanked Marchese for the idea and noted that OHR is looking for ways to redeploy impacted employees.

Joe Williams presented the open enrollment update from Benefits & Leave Administration. Employees can enroll via ConnectCarolina–>Self Service–>My Benefits–>Benefits Enrollment (on left)–>Health Insurance. Clicking the “Enroll Now” button will access the State’s Enrollment Portal. Williams added that employees can also enroll by phone by calling 1-855-859-0966. Open enrollment runs from October 15-31st, 2020.

Williams outlined the 2021 State Health Plan changes. He noted first that employees are defaulted into the 70/30 plan and must elect the 80/20 plan if desired. To save $60/month, an employee must attest that they are a non-tobacco user or, if a tobacco user, must complete a tobacco cessation session with their Primary Care Provider or at a CVS MinuteClinic by November 30, 2020.

Regarding NC Flex plan changes, Williams said that dental plans this year will feature lower premiums with all three Plan Options offered and no waiting period. Flexible spending accounts require re-enrollment each year, with current contributions ending December 31, 2020. Up to $550 of flexible spending account contributions will rollover to 2022. The new limit on contributions in 2021 is $2,750. Williams added that there is no evidence of insurability (EOI) required for cancer and specified disease coverage this year.

The UNC Group Term Life plan (MetLife Life) merged under a UNC System contract as of September 1, 2020. Coverage amounts remain the same, but new rates will see an overall 31% reduction in premiums. This new plan contains a new accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefit for employees that equals the employee’s amount of life insurance.

On January 1, 2021, the second phase of the UNC System MetLife Group Term Life plan will begin. Spouse coverage will change to $25,000 increments instead of $10,000 increments. The new guaranteed issue amount will be $50,000, with no evidence of insurability required. Spouse maximum coverage will increase to $250,000 with evidence of insurability. All minimum children’s coverage will automatically increase to $10,000.

Also, on January 1, 2021, any retiree from the University will have the option to purchase term life insurance as a retiree. MetLife will mail out enrollment information to retirees. The program will offer guaranteed coverage amounts to retirees, although additional coverage will require evidence of insurability. The Chair thanked Williams for his presentation and asked if there were any questions.

Sarah Wackerhagen inquired about whether there was an orthodontic plan option for adults and Williams confirmed there was not one at this time. Adrianne Gibilisco asked if the cancer insurance plan will cover when a “lesser” cancer like skin cancer should recur or another cancer emerge. Menghini responded that one should read up on the plan because there may be waiting periods or pre-existing conditions. Also, check on the Benefits open enrollment webpage for the source document on NC Flex plans and those rules.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the consent agenda. Katie Musgrove made this motion, seconded by Arlene Medder. There was no opposition, and the motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair noted that plans for an upcoming Town Hall on the University’s Covid-19 situation and response are still underway, with potential meeting dates in October or November.

The Chair welcomed Parliamentarian Kevin Robinson to present the work of the Bylaws Revisions subcommittee on first reading. Robinson explained the various proposed changes to language in the Bylaws, particularly changes to titles and a change to non-gendered language. There was a suggestion that the subcommittee change the imperative “shall” to “must” or “must not” as the latter is less pretentious. Robinson said that he would make this change for the revisions’ second reading.

At this point the Chair asked for a motion to enter closed session to consider a personnel matter. Katie Musgrove made this motion, seconded by Arlene Medder. The motion was approved by acclamation.

The Forum entered discussion of Resolution 20-04, honoring Laurie Mesibov. Katie Musgrove moved to approve this resolution, seconded by Arlene Medder. There was no opposition to this motion, and the motion was approved by unanimous consent.

The Forum then moved out of closed session. In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:34 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

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