Attending: Dan Barmmer, Karol Kain Gray, Christina Lebonville, Brenda Malone, Arlene Medder, Jackie Overton, Carol Tresolini, Anna Wu
Brenda Malone called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. She noted that departments have received a budget management letter. Karol Kain Gray said that business managers have held an all-day meeting with UNC General Administration Vice President for Finance Charles Perusse, concerning possible 2-5% budget cuts for campuses. Malone said that Governor McCrory had sent a letter to State agencies asking them to do all possible to reduce funding, including eliminating salary increases, limiting purchase of goods and services, reducing administrative spending, evaluating contracts, and maximizing revenues. Gray said that Perusse thought this letter did not apply to the University System. Malone noted that the letter had not applied last time, but that the University System participated in these cuts voluntarily. Gray said that salary increases should occur when justifiable and that the University must spend on what it needs to run efficiently. Malone said that the University would be sensitive with the Governor’s letter until it heard directly from Raleigh. There was worry about a shortfall due to Medicaid expenses. Jackie Overton noted that the Governor will release his budget on March 18. Malone said that all University expenses will see more scrutiny. She noted comments about the perception of spending at the University meaning that everyone would need to be mentally tighter.
Malone responded to a question as to whether employees’ total State service could be included on the annual benefits statement. She said that ORBIT carries this information and, since the calculations are complex, Human Resources had elected to leave this task to ORBIT. It was noted that the Grounds Department has been asked to print ORBIT statements for its employees. Malone said that Human Resources wanted to put on its documents only what it can control. She asked if the new benefits statements were helpful. A majority of attendees indicated that the statements are helpful. Malone noted questions about the expense of creating such a nice document. She said that there was a minimal extra expense involved in making the documents presentable. Attendees thought that the document was clear and comprehensive. Malone noted that the company that helped with production has asked to share the design with other clients. Dan Barmmer asked about grandfathering in certain health benefits. Malone said that what will occur will be determined by the Legislature’s intent. Jackie Overton noted that historically there has been a cut-off date after which changes, such as the increased time required to vest, are applied to new hires. Malone said that Neil Alexander, the new Director of the Office of State Personnel, has reached out to agencies to ask what is causing anxiety in their areas. She looked forward to meeting him.
Jackie Overton asked if there were any further updates regarding staff serving as adjunct faculty. Brenda Malone said that only FLSA-exempt employees can teach as adjunct faculty, as employees subject to the FSLA have their hours strictly monitored. Malone noted that Danny Nguyen’s issue was that he had dual employment outside the University as an adjunct faculty member at NC Central University. Malone said that she had lifted the twelve month rule on dual employment. She said that Nguyen would still need to obtain approvals but that he should reach out to herself or Ashley Nicklis for more detail on how to move forward.
Karol Kain Gray said that she would inform Payroll to insure confidentiality on employee W-2s. Gray said that she would confer with Vice Chancellor for Research Barbara Entwisle and General Administration on the implications of the federal sequester. Carol Tresolini said that the impact has so far been very individualized, in which sometimes the principal investigator has been protected and others not. Gray said that General Administration has requested an increased consistent bonding threshold of $500,000 for capital limit.
Brenda Malone asked if there were other issues. Jackie Overton noted that the Forum’s community meeting will take place Tuesday, May 21 from 9-11 a.m. in the Student Union Auditorium. The meeting will feature UNC System President Tom Ross and Chancellor Holden Thorp. The meeting will deal with the implications of the legislative session. Malone said that she could not be present for that meeting but said she would send on Matt Brody or Gena Carter in her stead.
Jackie Overton commented that the pool of candidates for the Chancellor’s search has been very deep this year. Brenda Malone hoped that the announcement would occur in April, or at least before the end of June. She noted that the timetable for the transition may need time for discussion between incoming and outgoing administrations.
Brenda Malone noted that Human Resources had conducted the supervisory evaluation pilot in Housekeeping. She reported that the process had worked out very well. Facilities Services and Housekeeping had gotten through the process, with Human Resources compiling the results. Malone said that the exercise gave supervisors an opportunity to evaluate themselves in this more developmental design scheme. Christina Lebonville asked how the evaluations were organized. Malone said that just about everyone responded to the surveys, which were offered for all three shifts. The survey asked ten questions, moving from general topics to an opportunity to opine. Human Resources intended to do this survey on-line, but had read questions to those with mixed abilities in English. Jackie Overton noted that the Forum will conduct electronic elections for delegates this year. She asked for help in obtaining access to second and third shift employees to help these groups with voting. Anna Wu suggested that Overton contact Housekeeping Director Darius Dixon or his assistant, Natasha Lee, for assistance.
Jackie Overton noted that James Holman has stepped back from his Forum duties recently in the wake of his mother’s passing. Christina Lebonville has taken over as chair of the Forum’s Personnel Issues committee. Attendees commented positively about the previous day’s health fair in the Rams Head recreation center. Brenda Malone noted complaints from employees about having to pay for parking after 5 p.m. Overton said that all park and ride lots will be pay lots as of August 15, 2013. She said that all free night and weekend parking will go away in two years. All of this extra revenue is required because of Chapel Hill Transit’s need for more revenue. Malone wondered if the University had some leverage in these negotiations. Overton noted that the University six years ago had seen five straight years of five percent parking permit increases. Avoiding further parking permit increases is the reason for these other reforms. Malone recalled not being able to come into work on a weekend due to a sports event. Overton said that Public Safety can accommodate employees in this situation.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 10:54 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary