Skip to main content


UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center

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

Forum Social (breakfast served):  (9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.)

I.  Call to Order—Chair Charles Streeter (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.)

  • Employee Forum Community Award (3-Legged Stool)
  • Dr. Kim Storm-Gottfried, Director, Ethics Education & Policy Management

III. Human Resources Update – Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity, and Engagement Felicia Washington (10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

IV. Old Business (10:35 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

  • Approval of July Minutes (SharePoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)
  • Approval of August Minutes (SharePoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)

V.  New Business (10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

  • Staff Assembly Delegate & Alternate Elections

VI. Forum Committees (11:00 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.)

  • Communications and Public Relations: Kelli Raker
  • Community Service:  Katie Musgrove
    • Carolina Blood Drive:  Jim Fuller
    • Carolina Community Garden Advisory:
  • Education and Career Development: Katie Cartwell/LaToya Taylor
    • Carolina Family Scholarship:  Jacquelyn Copeland
  • Membership & Assignments:  Kathy James
  • Personnel Issues:  Bryan Andregg (September minutes)
    • Compensation & Benefits:  Christine Greenberg
    • Legislative Action:  Phil Edwards
    • Staff Relations, Policies & Practices:  Ben Triplett
  • Recognition & Awards:  Natiaya Neal
  • UNC System Staff Assembly: Kim Andrews/Charles Streeter/
  • Executive Committee: Charles Streeter

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

VIII.  Adjournment


September 14, 2016 Employee Forum minutes

Attending (those who signed in):  Bryan Andregg, Sharon Brinson, Bonita Brown, Tiffany Carver, Clare Counihan, Mary Dahlsten, Phillip Edwards, David Fraley, Lori Haight, Victoria Hammett, Shayna Hill, James Holman, Kathy James, Mary King, Jeanna Mccullers, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Michael Penny, Paula Poe, Krista Prince, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, David Rogers, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Charles Streeter, Latoya Taylor, Ben Triplett, Katie Turner

Excused Absences:  Gloria Camarena, Christine Greenberg, Karen Jenkins, Susan Lucas, Deborah Norton

Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:17 a.m.  He asked if listeners had any particular announcements or subjects that they would like to cover during the day’s meeting.  Ben Triplett noted that this is International Housekeepers’ Appreciation Week.  The Chair said that Facilities Services will hold a luncheon for these employees on Friday, September 23rd.  He asked that the Forum author a resolution or proclamation honoring these employees during the day’s meeting.

The Chair introduced Ashley Molesworth, the Forum’s new work-study student.  He noted that Forum delegates will have the opportunity to walk on the field prior to the UNC football game on September 17th.

Natiaya Neal read the criteria associated with the Forum’s Community Award, also known as the 3-Legged Stool.  These criteria include the need to recognize distinguishing contributions to the lives of faculty, staff, and students inspiring creativity, harmony, and teamwork.  She announced that Sharbari Dey, the Assistant Director of Education and Special Initiatives for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, had won the Forum’s Community Award for 2016.  Neal noted the breadth of praise from Dey’s nominators for the award which include the Carolina Women’s Center, Housing and Residential Education, Arts & Sciences, the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, and the Center for Faculty Excellence, among others.

The Chair introduced Professor Kim Strom-Gottfried, the University’s new director of ethics education and policy management as of August 1, 2016.  Strom-Gottfried works as the Smith P. Theimann Distinguished Professor for Ethics and Professional Practice with the School of Social Work.  In the wake of recent challenges, her new unit will establish working groups in integrity and ethics and policy to determine the “ecosystem” of culture and integrity in place at the University.  Strom-Gottfried wants to initiate a conversation concerning ethics at the individual, group, and unit level at the University.

Strom-Gottfried noted that the University is a radically decentralized place, with many different units establishing many different policies to govern University procedures.  She estimated that there are around 1,600 policies written at the University governing everything from human resources to aesthetic considerations.  Strom-Gottfried will seek to create a policy repository with a current and searchable database.  Her office will also work to separate brief, clear and enduring policies while also separating policies from procedures (which are more complex).  Her office will establish policy liaisons in different University units as contact points.

Strom-Gottfried observed that units may generally not follow policies when these policies are conflicting, ancient, non-functional, or seemingly do not apply to a particular situation.  She applauded the Forum for creating a moral courage award honoring former employee Rebecca Clark.  She noted that other things that get in the way of doing the right thing include a desire for power, fear, or apathy.  She would try to understand how to create a climate of accountability and ethical integrity at the University.

One of the ways Strom-Gottfried will work to create this climate is by holding discussions with campus leaders in order to understand the integrity landscape of the University.  Who do employees seek out when issues of moral distress arise?  She said that these leaders are resources for their co-workers and for her office.  She also said that her office would look at the scope of recording mechanisms in human resources and other processes.  She did not intend to “bigfoot” on other departments but wanted to help in areas in which gaps have arisen.  She said in building a culture of accountability, the University’s policy infrastructure is behind in some ways.  She said that things will take a while but she noted the immense goodwill throughout the University for these changes.

The Chair noted the conflict between policy and practice in any large organization.  Bryan Andregg asked what the Office of Ethics Education and Policy Management will look like in practice.  What expertise will it use?  Strom-Gottfried said that the office will have an associate director who will work to pick software for the policy repository.  Shayna Hill asked what resources employees will have in this area.  Strom-Gottfried said that at times units will want a point person to comment on particular situations.  The Chair thought that departments may not want the same people to be human resources managers and integrity liaisons.  Strom-Gottfried said that her office will work to identify gaps in knowledge in the two main areas of policy and integrity.

Mary Dahlsten related her experience as a business manager having a difficult time interpreting hiring policy versus practice.  She said that her office had lost two job offers in the past month due to inconsistencies between hiring policy and practice.   She asked what resources business managers can use to avoid this problem in the future.  Strom-Gottfried offered to follow up with Dahlsten in the future.

Clare Counihan asked about tensions between staff who know policy and supervising faculty who may not be as up to date on these questions.  Staff often do not have a way to push back in these situations.  She asked what authority or institutional mechanism would force this population to fall in line, given questions that arose with the Wainstein report.  Strom-Gottfried said that this tension is addressed in her moral courage research.  She said that her office will report directly to the Chancellor and will hold a place in the Chancellor’s cabinet.  She found that the various vice chancellors are supportive of hers work.  Tiffany Carver asked if Strom-Gottfried had consulted with the Ombuds Office.  Strom-Gottfried said that she had met with Ombuds officers Wayne Blair and Laurie Mesibov.

Ricky Roach raised the question of employees who work four ten-hour shifts only receiving eight hours of holiday pay, forcing them to take two hours vacation leave to retain their four-day work week.  Strom-Gottfried said that she would follow up to find out who made this policy.  Bryan Andregg said that Information Technology Services (ITS) offers an excellent model of information security liaisons. Strom-Gottfried had met with Kim Stahl to discuss ITS’ model.  She noted that there are pockets of high morale and integrity throughout campus which she hoped to foster.

Laurie Mesibov said that the Ombuds office will work to supplement Kim Strom-Gottfried’s work in any way possible.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler noted that the performance management update is due October 1st.  Annual enrollment in the State Health Plan will begin in October.  Rob Stevenson and Erica Guestin presented “Rock Enroll,” a ten-minute presentation on Health Plan enrollment.  It was noted that all employees will fall into the 70/30 plan as a default unless they act to enter the 80/20 or consumer-directed health plan (CDHP).  All three plans require employees to attest to being a non-smoker or enrolling in a tobacco cessation plan, or else be charged $480.  Employees seeking 80/20 or CDHP enrollment must complete and health assessment and confirm a primary care provider (PCP).  These attestations must be made on the State Health Plan website.  Employees completing their health assessments online by October 15 have the chance to win Amazon gift cards or an Apple Watch.

Generally, co-pays and urgent co-pays will decrease this year, while deductibles and emergency co-pays will increase in the 80/20 plan.  Employees in the 70/30 plan will see all four of these areas increase in 2017.

The State Health Plan will move to CVS/Caremark, meaning all members will receive a newly branded insurance card.  Some prescription drugs will no longer be covered.  Affected employees will receive notification from the State Health Plan.  Employees can use CVS/Caremark’s online drug look-up tool to compare costs.  Employees do have the option to appeal discontinuation of pharmaceuticals.

Preferred diabetic supplies will cost less in 2017.  These supplies include test strips, lancets, syringes, and needles, among other items.  Employees can now use the health benefits cost estimator to compare plan costs, determine premiums, and estimate out of pocket expenses.

Regarding NCFlex plans, there will not be many changes aside from MetLife’s ascension as the new dental plan carrier.  Human Resources officials will be available through October to provide personal enrollment assistance.  Employees having trouble with the online system can enroll by phone only through the State Health Plan from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9-3 p.m. Saturdays by calling 855-859-0966.

David Rogers asked how the decision to shift from Blue Cross/Blue Shield had come from.  Eric Stevenson said that the contract had been put out to bid.  Minutes are available on the SHP website.

Bryan Andregg asked if assistance will be offered to second and third shift employees.  Stevenson said that Human Resources has offered and some departments have requested help, while others have not.  He said that all employees will receive notifications about the sign-up period via e-mail.  Kathy James asked if employees could receive discounts on durable health equipment such as CPAP breathing machine for sleep apnea.  It was suggested that James consult with a health coach on this question.

Senior Employee and Management Consultant Tyler Enlow spoke on performance management review plans.  He noted that a toolkit is available from the website which includes policy from General Administration.  This toolkit includes resources, institutional goals, and appraisal information such as ratings and rating bias worksheets.  He noted that the University is governed by UNC General Administration in this matter, and plans are due by October 1st.

The Chair said that the UNC System Staff Assembly will likely hope to offer some input on these reviews.  Enlow said that each campus has representatives to offer input.  He and Kristy Nash serve in this capacity at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Shayna Hill noted that last year there was little time for supervisors to write up goals.  She said that less astute supervisors wrote their goals for the year instead of the few months before the plans are revised again.  She asked if Human Resources could emphasize that supervisors should write goals for achievability and measurability.  Enlow agreed that employees cannot achieve a year-long goal in six months.

Bryan Andregg said that the institutional goals ask for assigned weights to insure the integrity and accuracy of the plan.  He would like to see a tool to evaluate institutional advisory.  Enlow said that Human Resources will take into consideration this mechanism and hoped to have something available by April.  He suggested that supervisors assign each goal 10% as a starting point.

Latoya Taylor asked about employees writing their own individual goals.  Enlow said that while communications over evaluations must be a two-way street, supervisors should still write their employees’ goals.  He hoped that goals are enjoyable and exciting for the employee.  He hoped that the supervisor could find a way to make these goals quantifiable at the same time.  Victoria Hammett asked about rewriting employee work plans.  Enlow said that individual, institutional, and developmental goals altogether form the position description.  Employees should review their position descriptions for accuracy.  Hammett said that she had not rewritten her description in the past seven years.  Enlow said that supervisors should look at these descriptions prior to April 1st.  Ben Triplett confirmed that supervisors must complete only pages 1-5 of the appraisal plan.

Linc Butler said that in the last two years the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) has attempted to standardize the grievance policy at UNC campuses.  Previously, each campus had its own flavor of grievance policy.  General Administration’s impulse to standardize policies across the UNC System has since expanded to performance management plans.  He said that while General Administration has advocated tweaks in the policy, OSHR has not been flexible as the State wants consistency in these areas.

Butler said that the Department of Labor has revised the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to increase the threshold for overtime exemption to $913/week, more than two times the current schedule.  In addition, this schedule will adjust automatically every three years.  Employees not meeting this salary threshold will become hourly employees effective December 1, 2016.  Butler said that employee groups such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, and RAs are all by nature exempt.

Butler said that management has the option to increase EHRA employee salaries above the $913/week threshold through the annual raise process, out of cycle increases, or FLSA related increases.  Management can similarly raise their SHRA employees above the threshold through out of cycle or FLSA related increases.

The population of affected employees has fallen in recent months from approximately 1,300 employees to 94 SHRA and 90 EHRA employees (56 non-faculty, 31 residential faculty, and 3 part-time post-doctorate employees).  Given this reduction, the Vice Chancellor of Research decide to raise the salaries for all post-docs to the minimum level to maintain the overtime exemption.

Impacted employees who are now non-exempt will paid hourly and tracked through TIM.  They will become eligible for overtime and will receive compensatory time off if eligible.  This change does not change an employee’s position classification, position, salary, or designation for benefits.

The impact on pay cycles would have involved an initial shift to move to biweekly schedules this month, as of September 19th.  The University would have provided optional salary advances for those employees needing them.

Now, however, a change in direction will be to leave these employees on the monthly payroll which will mean these employees will no longer need a salary advance.  This change will allow more time for communication and training.  Thus, all EHRA employees will remain on the monthly payroll.  EHRA non-exempt employees will maintain their work hours in TIM, while faculty will record via the duration method and non-faculty via the time-in, time-out method.  Butler said that while in the short term these changes are not idea, they are better for affected employees while exposing the University to less risk.

Butler noted that employees and supervisors affected by this change will receive official notification and computer-based training and links to TIM.  The Office of Human Resources will also provide in-person training for supervisors of newly non-exempt employees.  The Office will also host an information and Q&A session in November prior to the December 1 implementation date.

Shayna Hill asked about compensating adjunct faculty who earn less than $47,000/year.  Butler said that employees whose primary responsibilities are teaching and instruction will remain exempt.  Research-oriented employees, on the other hand, will become non-exempt.  He encouraged employees with questions to reach out to Ann Lemmon of Human Resources.

Jo-Ann Blake asked about the difference between compensatory time and overtime.  Butler said that those eligible for overtime are paid at time and a half for hours worked over 40 hours a week.  Compensatory time is time worked over 40 hours a week that can be banked for 12 months.  If it is not used at the end of the twelve month period, it is paid out.  Employees are strongly encouraged to use compensatory time first for their leave.  Departmental managers decide which option employees should use.

David Rogers asked about EHRA employees who will be required to use a timesheet as of December 1, 2016.  Butler said that for the time being, these employees must enter their hours in TIM.  The University will try to find a permanent solution to this question soon.  He thought that the University’s maintenance of two different pay cycles is crazy, but he added that there are many players in this conversation.  He said that the existence of two pay cycles, monthly and biweekly, create s additional work and expense for his team.

Mary Dahlsten asked about SHRA employees who are not above the threshold.  What will happen when these employees leave, and their replacements are paid above the threshold?  Butler said that a position that is today exempt based on duties will remain exempt.  Departments have the option to put additional dollars to raise a position above the threshold.  Clare Counihan asked the average amount of salary increase employees have received as a result of the FLSA changes, across the University.  Butler did not have this information but said that the range of increases runs from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Linc Butler said that employees will be eligible for two legislative salary bonuses this year.  The first is a .5% bonus paid in October based on September pay rates.  The University awaits guidelines on the other bonus.  The University will not have much discretion on the structure of this latter bonus and must base it upon merit, Butler said.  He would have more information soon.  He noted that General Administration hopes to complete these merit increases by the end of October.  Butler said that the merit bonuses will take into account performance ratings and the timing of employee hiring.  He anticipated that the Office of State Human Resources will supply additional criteria for the merit increases soon.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the July Forum meeting minutes.  Kathy Ramsey made this motion, seconded by Natiaya Neal.  The motion was approved without opposition.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the August Forum meeting minutes.  Kathy James made this motion, seconded by Bryan Andregg.  This motion was approved without opposition.

The Chair noted that the Forum needs to elect delegates to the UNC System Staff Assembly.  The Forum needs to elect a three-year delegate, a two-year delegate, and an alternate.  The Chair serves the one-year delegate term.  Parliamentarian Phillip Edwards clarified the election process in light of the Forum Bylaws.  He said that the Forum could take nominations for all of the positions at once.  Secretary Kathy James asked which delegates would be interested in running.  Kathy James, James Holman, Kathy Ramsey, and Kewana Smith all indicated their interest in running for a place on the Assembly.

Sharon Brinson asked why delegates are expected to sign their ballots.  The Chair noted that the Open Meetings Law requires these signatures.

Ricky Roach reported that the Carolina Blood Drive committee had met September 19th.  The committee will meet again biweekly starting in October to prepare for the December drive.

The Chair said that he would send out notes from the recent Carolina Campus Community Garden advisory committee meeting.

Katie Musgrove of the Community Service committee said that the campus food drive will begin October 8th at the UNC football game. The drive will end October 21st in conjunction with the Employee Appreciation Fair.  She noted the number of departments that have already committed to host a collection bin for the drive.  She asked delegates to volunteer to work at a booth during the football game or to do other work during the drive.

Phillip Edwards announced the winners of the Staff Assembly elections.  Kathy Ramsey won the three-year term, James Holman won the two-year term, and Kewana Smith won the alternate position.

Lori Haight reported that the Communications and Public Relations committee continues to solicit donations for the October 21st scavenger hunt.  She asked delegates to e-mail ideas for donations.  She also asked if any documentation is needed for donated gift cards.  Lin Butler said that he would check into that question.  The Chair noted that the Forum must do its due diligence to find if gift cards are considered taxable income.

There was no update from the Education and Career Development committee.

Bryan Andregg reported that the Personnel Issues committee will discuss possible questions to obtain information from the campus diversity survey report.  He noted that a third party will host this data and so the raw data from the survey will not be available.  The committee will also look into asking Facilities Services to alter its work schedules in cases of adverse weather.  Andregg hoped that Facilities Services and other campus units could encourage participation in a new UNC Wellness program for employees.

Kathy James said that the Membership & Assignments committee will schedule booth shifts for the Employee Appreciation Fair event.  She would send out a Qualtrics survey to find volunteers.  Katie Musgrove said that the Community Service committee will also seek volunteers to work the food drive booth at that same event.

The Chair noted that the Recognition and Awards committee had no official report.  He said that there has not been official approval for the Rebecca Clark award for moral courage.  The Chair noted that University Day will fall on October 11th this year.  The installation of UNC System President Margaret Spellings will occur October 13th.  Additionally, the “Late Night with Roy” basketball event will take place October 14th.  Shayna Hill asked if employees will march with their departments this year.  The Chair said that he would find out more details.  He said it would be nice if administrative units had their own gonfalons (flags hung from crossbars) similar to academic departments.

The Chair held a brief drawing to award tickets to the September 24th UNC football game against the University of Pittsburgh.  Kathy James and Paula Poe won these tickets.

Ben Triplett asked about the creation of a central location for employee career development information.  The Chair noted that the Forum has a resource page that points to some of this information.  He noted that the Forum’s notary public classes are listed in the Office of Human Resources class schedule.

The Chair noted that J.R. Royster career development scholarship applications are due October 1st.  He would check into the status of the program.  He hoped that the Education and Career Development committee could discuss the professional development grant program at an upcoming meeting.

The Chair would send out agendas for the upcoming September 20th Executive Committee meeting that afternoon.

The Forum heard a draft proclamation from Ben Triplett honoring Housekeeping Services.  The Forum accepted this proclamation by acclamation.

In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:22 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

Comments are closed.