Attending: Carolyn Elfland, Karol Kain Gray, James Holman, Christina Lebonville, Denise Mabe, Brenda Malone, Chris Meinecke, Jackie Overton, Patricia Robinson, Marc ter Horst
Brenda Malone called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. She welcomed newly elected Forum delegates Christina Lebonville and Patricia Robinson. The group discussed arrangements for the June 11 community meeting on personnel flexibility. There was some question as to whether President Tom Ross would speak at that meeting. The Forum Office would contact Ross’ office to determine whether he would be able to attend. It was also suggested to invite Hannah Gage, the chair of the University’s Board of Governors.
Regarding service hour participation, Malone asked if the Office of Human Resources should make a presentation on the different types of community service leave. Jackie Overton outlined the different community service leave options, namely 24 hours for Option A, 36 hours for Option B, 120 hours for disaster relief, and 180 hours for organ donation. Overton said that employees can use community service hours on the campus garden via Option B. Malone suggested that these options could be publicized via the Human Resources Facilitator digest. Malone said that community service leave use requires prior approval from one’s supervisor. It was noted that participation in church activities is not allowed under community service leave. Marc ter Horst asked if this policy applies to EPA non-faculty. Malone said she was not certain and she would check. Chris Meinecke asked if the Office of Human Resources tracks these hours. Malone did not believe that Human Resources tracks these hours on an overall basis. Meinecke recalled that when he went to babysit a niece’s children in the wake of a tornado, this use was not considered community service leave.
Overton noted the reemergence of instances in which supervisors do not want their employees to participate in Forum activities. Malone said that supervisors are increasingly mindful of office demands in the wake of budget cuts. She suggested that the University provide delegates’ supervisors with an estimate of how much time will be devoted to Forum activities each month. Human Resources will produce such a letter after conversations with the Chancellor. Meinecke thought that delegates should speak with their supervisors up front before agreeing to serve. Malone agreed that these conversations would be useful.
Regarding payroll deduction for purchases Carolyn Elfland recalled that the committee had discussed this earlier and agreed that it would not occur. Overton said that the payroll deduction option was open. Karol Kain Gray recalled another option through the ERP. There were questions regarding when to do the deduction. Elfland noted that Health Care Systems gift shop employee enter payroll deductions at the point of sale. She said that this option was not available to the University now. The University will soon replace its old payroll system with PeopleSoft, so it made little sense to implement a new software change in the old system. Elfland noted state regulations governing the use of the campus OneCards preventing their use with unaffiliated vendors. She noted that Carolina Dining Services has relationships with Starbucks and other popular local restaurants. This money flows to Carolina Dining not directly to the vendors themselves. Under the terms of the contract, these funds must be raised in a University activity. Ter Horst confirmed that University employees cannot use the OneCard with private vendors. Holman asked about Student Store purchases. Gray said that the new PeopleSoft system will be implemented at the earliest in July 2013. Elfland said that the OneCard has three main use options: as identification, as a place to put cash to purchase items on campus without sales tax, and as a Wells Fargo debit card if desired. Malone said that many employees may not have heard of these options. The group then discussed different payroll deduction options that are provided when one has one’s picture taken for the OneCard.
Regarding schedule flexibility, it was noted that budget cuts had led to previous restrictions on schedule flexibility in Facilities Services. Malone said that gas prices have fallen slightly recently. She thought that the University should keep flexible scheduling as a viable option to the extent possible. The University is still trying to create viable remote work options, trying to find appropriate priorities within Office of State Personnel policy.
Overton noted that the Forum will hold its annual retreat on June 6, at which it will elect new officers and set the cadence for the new year. Lunch will take place around 11:30 a.m. The event will take place in the Upendo Lounge of SASB North.
Discussion turned to the personnel flexibility issue. Gray noted that the community college system is already implementing these changes and seemed to be happy. Malone said that she believed General Administration had adopted an inclusive approach to develop the initiative. Meinecke thought that given the history surrounding the question there need to be more details available. Holman agreed that people need to see the details. He said that employees are worried that they will not be legally protected as they are now with the option to take grievances to the State court system. Malone said that employees can still go to the State court system and have legal recourse if laws are violated. She said that in her four years at UNC-Chapel Hill, she had seen the current system work worse every year. Holman wanted to leave protections in place. Malone praised President Ross’ vision and approach to the question, noting the moderation that had been committed to in the guiding principles. She said that the guiding principles would give the protections that are desired.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 11 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary