February 1, 2017
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.
I. Call to Order & Consent Agenda—Chair Charles Streeter (9:15 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.)
- Welcome to Guests & Members of the Press
- Approval of January Minutes, Consent Agenda (SharePoint Link, Delegate-Only Access)
II. Special Presentations (9:25 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.)
III. Human Resources Update – Felicia Washington, Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement (9:40 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)
IV. Old Business (10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)
V. New Business (10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)
VI. Forum Committees (10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)
- Communications and Public Relations: Kelli Raker
- Community Service: Katie Musgrove
- Carolina Blood Drive: Ricky Roach
- 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
- Compensation & Benefits: Christine Greenberg
- Legislative Action: Phil Edwards
- Staff Relations, Policies & Practices: Ben Triplett
- Recognition & Awards: Natiaya Neal
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Kathy Ramsey/James Holman/Charles Streeter/Kewana Smith
- Executive Committee: Charles Streeter
VII. Announcements/Questions (11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
February 1, 2017 Employee Forum minutes
Attending (those who signed in): Bryan Andregg, Bonita Brown, Tiffany Carver, Mary Dahlsten, Shannon Harvey, Kathy James, Mary King, Jeanna Mccullers, Deborah Norton, Jackie Overton, Kathy Ramsey, Ricky Roach, Greg Smith, Kewana Smith, Charles Streeter
Excused Absences: Katie Musgrove, David Rogers, Katie Turner
Chair Charles Streeter called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. He noted that the Forum had been recognized at the UNC basketball game recently for its food drive donations. He said that the Forum’s participation, organized by Katie Musgrove, was the largest donation to the effort that competed against NC State University. He asked delegates to keep an eye out for other areas in which the Forum has made charitable contributions to UNC. Jackie Overton noted that the Forum had helped construct ten houses for ten State employees in ten months during her term as Chair in 2010. The Chair said he would take this information back to the UNC System Staff Assembly.
The Chair hoped that delegates had responded regarding the upcoming Vice Chancellor representatives’ meeting on February 8, 2017. He reminded delegates that they needed to complete a survey form to reserve their place. The Chair also encouraged delegates to nominate their colleagues for the various University service awards now open for nominations. He said that this practice would publicize the impact of Forum service upon campus.
The Vice Chair and Secretary conducted a roll call of present delegates. The Chair called for approval of the January minutes via the consent agenda. The minutes were approved.
The Chair welcomed Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor of the Office of Human Resources (OHR), to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. Butler said that OHR will soon revive its newsletter to all employees, entitled “Work Well.” He hoped that employees would provide feedback once it goes out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Butler said that the performance management review year now goes from April 1-March 31. He said that performance reviews will now evaluate performance on a three-point scale. Employees with questions about the performance review process should contact the Employee-Management team, led by Gena Carter.
Butler said that the University’s dental plan vendor has changed. Employees have been requested to produce personal ID cards. He said that subscribers can contact MetLife directly to obtain this card at metlife.com/benefits. This process may require registration at the website. Butler clarified that registration is not required to file claims with MetLife, however.
The TIAA Financial Fitness courses have been very successful, Butler said. Two sets of courses have already filled. He encouraged employees to be on the lookout for future editions of these courses. Butler noted that Fidelity also provides webinar classes to University employees on February 15, March 15, and April 19. The Office of Human Resources will announce these classes via e-mail.
The University’s Wellness Expo will be held at Rams’ Head on March 15, 2017. Ricky Roach said that he had signed up for the Expo on behalf of the University Blood Drive. He had not heard back about his reservation. Butler said he would follow up on this question.
Clare Counihan suggested that the new dates of the financial fitness course be included in the new Human Resources newsletter. Krista Prince asked if participation in the financial webinars required affiliation with the provider. Butler said that this affiliation is not required to participate.
Bryan Andregg asked if Butler could speak about prospective changes in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) related to part-time and temporary employees. Butler said he could speak generally but had not received guidance on what exactly will occur or what it will mean. He said the question was a “moving target” and said he would try to keep up with possible executive orders and federal legislation. He had nothing to report as of now.
Bonita Brown asked who possesses employees’ W-2 tax forms. Butler said that the Office of Human Resources business managers possess the forms for employees in his department. Departmental managers will direct their distribution in other areas. Employees can also obtain the forms through ConnectCarolina but must register for the Duo two-step authentication process.
The Chair thanked Butler for his report. He said that there was no old business for discussion. The Chair asked if there were any new business. There was no new business. Kelli Raker noted that the upcoming Forum elections need to be publicized. She and Katie Turner would work to publicize the Forum elections process, which begins with nominations in February and March. The Chair noted that the Forum has a membership of 43 delegates and yet has a full capacity of 60 delegates. He asked delegates to help find a good group of incoming candidates to run in the Forum elections. He also asked delegates whose terms are ending to consider running for office once again.
The Forum then broke into its various committees to discuss work to be done over the next six months of this term. This break took approximately 30 minutes.
Kelli Raker noted that the Communications and Public Relations committee will help design a webpage to help recruiting for new delegates. She said that the committee will look at using personal appeals as well as citing Forum contributions to campus life. The Chair suggested that the on-line nomination form use a CAPCHA interface to prevent spam submissions.
Ricky Roach reported that the Carolina Blood Drive committee will meet the following day. The committee had created a letter to the Red Cross regarding issues experienced the previous drive and otherwise.
Katie Musgrove reported that the Community Service committee will meet February 15th to begin planning for the Habitat for Humanity effort. She said that the committee will rely on Communications and Public Relations to provide publicity for the effort.
Clare Counihan reported that the Education and Career Development committee had no updates regarding the higher education panel. She said the committee hoped to hold the panela couple of weeks following graduation. She envisioned that the panel will include speakers on how to move through the UNC System and on ULEAD leadership in the workplace. She asked delegates to let her, Tiffany Carver or Krista Prince know of their interest in serving on the committee.
Regarding the professional development grant process, Counihan hoped that the applications will be open by mid-February. The committee is still considering the pros and cons of various features of the application, including obtaining signatures from supervisors and business managers. Krista Prince said that the committee is considering opening applications three times a year rather than only once a year.
The Chair said that the Carolina Campus Community Garden advisory committee needs someone to fill in for James Holman, who is out on sick leave. He noted that the committee works on distribution and planning issues for the committee.
Bryan Andregg said that the Personnel Issues committee had rescheduled a meeting with the School of Pharmacy on its supervisory review process. The committee also is interested in various federal and state issues as well as staffing and benefits questions.
The Chair noted that Katie Turner had sent out a resolution under consideration by the Faculty Council opposing the recent federal travel restrictions. He said that he wished to avoid politics but said that if the issue concerns staff the Forum should consider discussion. Clare Counihan noted that the Faculty Council Executive Committee had passed the resolution which would then be up for reaffirmation at the next Faculty Council meeting.
Kathy James reported that the Membership and Assignments committee had decided to hold the 25th anniversary event the morning of Wednesday, August 2nd. She invited volunteers to sign up. She said that the program and lunch will likely run from 9-noon but volunteers will be needed from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Former delegates, chancellors and chairs will be tentatively invited to the Friday Center for the event. The event will likely feature punch, cake, and a gift for attendees, as well as lunch for the previously mentioned guests.
James asked delegates to pass the word that the Forum delegate nomination process is now open. She said that the committee needs volunteers for the May 17th Chancellors’ Cup golf tournament. The committee will also work to put together gift bags and distribute lunch to golfers at the event. The Chair said that each campus has been asked to construct a gift basket representing their institution which will be raffled off to benefit the J.B. Royster Scholarship. He said that UNC-Chapel Hill has been fortunate enough to have 5-7 Scholarship winners and so should work to support the Scholarship’s fundraising. The Chair confirmed that sponsorships of golf holes will range in cost. He noted that the Forum would receive 20% back on all funds raised.
Natiaya Neal had no report from the Recognition and Awards committee but hoped to make an update at the next meeting. Attendees discussed the opening and closing dates for the Forum nomination process.
Bryan Andregg read the Faculty Council Executive Committee resolution on federal travel restrictions. The Chair said that these kinds of resolutions would usually go to the UNC System Faculty Assembly and Staff Assembly for consideration. He said that employees on campus will be affected by the travel restrictions in some way. Kathy Ramsey said that she learned from the Faculty Welfare committee that the restrictions will affect employees’ health benefits and pay. The Chair noted that the Forum could pass a resolution or proclamation voicing its opinion on this question.
Chrissie Greenberg asked if the Forum needed to pass a resolution simply to support the faculty. The Chair said that anything affecting staff on campus falls under the purview of the Forum, noting the large Burmese population at the University. Greenberg asked if the Personnel Issues committee should address this question. She said from her experience in the Study Abroad office, she had been told there would be little impact upon University staff as most figure this is a faculty and graduate student issue.
Krista Prince said that Muslims at the University are among those targeted and affected by the resolution. She said that Muslims from the affected countries will face difficulties hosting or visiting family abroad. Prince noted that Greenberg’s reference to “little impact” seemed to narrowly define impact. Krista Prince said that Muslims at the University are among those targeted and affected by the resolution. She said that Muslims from the affected countries will face difficulties hosting or visiting family abroad.
Chrissie Greenberg sought to separate personal feelings from the discussion, noting the international family here at the University. She understood the pain of the families involved but wanted to remain objective. Prince said that Muslim employees have expressed their personal and private shock at the restrictions and have indeed been impacted.
Shannon Harvey said that federal restrictions on border control may increase in the future. She said that it would be good for the Forum to take a stance now before the next scope of orders, as more countries might be targeted. The Chair clarified that the Forum did not need to write its own resolution or proclamation. He said that the Forum could merely express its support for the Faculty Council’s resolution.
Ricky Roach said that some people have a habit of making mountains from molehills. He said that the “so-called Muslim ban” only temporarily bans travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, leaving forty-six other similar countries unaffected. He did not know what would happen in the future but he doubted that the Forum’s resolution would carry much weight. The Chair said that what the Forum does has bearing here at the University. Roach said that the Forum should work to pick spots in which it can have the most effect.
Bryan Andregg said that the University employs a class of non-faculty researchers studying disease vectors in countries around the world. These employees are vulnerable to expressions of extremism that the restrictions may increase. He understood that these employees may not be able to continue their work. Chrissie Greenberg supported the University’s embrace of its foreign employees. She said that the Forum should work not to become political. However, she said that if the University has staff affected by the restrictions that is reason enough to speak out.
Sharon Brinson said that the Forum should send out a resolution to let affected employees know that they are part of the community represented by the Forum. She wished to make these employees feel safe and secure. Bryan Andregg reported that the Forum had approved only two resolutions in the previous year, meaning that the Forum had not used this tool excessively in recent times.
Jackie Overton said that the restrictions affect faculty and students in the academic area. She said that staff are also affected personally. She said that foreign staff deserve to have their feelings addressed as well. She noted the hardship of families that cannot travel due to the restrictions. Chrissie Greenberg said that this question is a politically charged one. The Chair said that the Faculty Council Executive Committee was aware of this point and had done its best to leave politics out of the resolution. Kelli Raker commented that one cannot entirely eliminate politics as a consideration from any situation. The Chair replied that the faculty resolution is as apolitical as possible.
Bonita Brown asked if the Forum wished merely to establish a stance on the issue or whether it wanted to provide other support to affected employees. The Chair said that the safest course is to show support to the community. Lori Haight asked if the Forum wished to show support for the Faculty Council as well. The Chair thought this was a good idea, but he did note that approval in the full Faculty Council for the Executive Committee resolution was not guaranteed. Bryan Andregg suggested seeing what the full Faculty Council will do. He suggested creating a statement in support of the resolution.
Clare Counihan said that the Faculty Council Executive Committee addressed the travel restrictions question due to a perception of imminent need. She said that if the Forum were to leave this question open, it may leave its foreign employees feeling vulnerable. She thought that staff will be impacted by federal executive orders due to recent events. The Forum should address these questions or risk falling short of expectations for members of the University community. She preferred that the Forum approve a statement not limited to the restrictions’ impact upon local staff and community.
Kelli Raker said that if the Forum wished, it could work to collect and publish names against the restrictions. She offered to work in this role. Bryan Andregg that the Forum should make a statement in support of the Faculty Council itself and the Council’s Executive Committee resolution on the subject of federal travel restrictions. Greg Smith seconded this motion. Lori Haight suggested adding an offer of support from the UNC-Chapel Hill community during this time. Bryan Andregg accepted this friendly amendment.
Parliamentarian Phillip Edwards said that to remain consistent with past practice, the Forum would write a letter of support, not create a resolution. In the absence of further discussion, the Forum voted on this “show of support” for the faculty and the UNC-Chapel Hill community. The motion was approved with one vote in opposition.
The Chair thanked the Forum for its willingness to discuss this question respectfully. Kathy Ramsey invited those interested to work on a separate statement in support of those affected by the travel restrictions.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:02 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary