March 3 2021
March 3, 2021
UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum
Zoom Remote Meeting: Connection Details Below
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. Round Table with Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Bob Blouin (9:20 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.)
III. Special Presentations (9:40 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.)
- Nate Knuffman, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance & Operations on University Budget
- Catherine Brennan, Executive Director, Environment, Health, and Safety on COVID-19 Progress
IV. Human Resources Update (10:10 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.)
- Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Equal Opportunity & Compliance Becci Menghini
- Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler
V. Consent Agenda (10:35 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.)
- February Minutes (sent separately)
- Forum Committees
- Communications and Public Relations: Shane Brogan
- Book Club: Brooke O’Neal
- InTouch: Shane Brogan
- Community Service: Jacob Womack
- Carolina Blood Drive: Jen DeNeal
- Carolina Community Garden Advisory: Arlene Medder
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Antonio Squire
- Education and Career Development: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Carolina Family Scholarship: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Professional Development Grants: L.E. Alexander/Laura Pratt
- Membership & Assignments: Tiffany Carver
- Personnel Issues: Phillip Edwards/Stephanie Forman
- Recognition & Awards: Natiaya Neal
- UNC System Staff Assembly: Shayna Hill/Keith Hines/James Holman/Laura Pratt
- University Committee Representatives
- Advisory Committee on Transportation & Parking: Laura Pratt
- Buildings & Grounds: James Stamey
- Policy Review: Stephanie Brown
- Student Stores Advisory Committee: Keith Hines
- Executive Committee: Shayna Hill
- Communications and Public Relations: Shane Brogan
VI. Old Business (10:50 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.)
- Resolution 21-01 (Revised March 2, 2021) Regarding Combined Impacts of the Suspension on HR Actions and the University’s Acute Budgetary Challenges on Compensation Equity and Career Progression (Second Reading)
VII. New Business (11:15 a.m.-11:25 a.m.)
- Forum Elections
- Vice Chancellor Representatives Meeting — Thursday, April 8th, 2020 at 10 AM
VIII. Announcements/Questions (11:25-11:30 p.m.)
March 3, 2021 Employee Forum Minutes
Delegates Attending: Darren Abrecht, L.E. Alexander, Lauren Anderson, Dzenita Blackwell, Randall Borror, Rich Brandenburg, Alicia Brandt, Andrew Brennick, Shane Brogan, Stephanie Brown, Sarah Carrier, Tiffany Carver, Timothy Carville absent. Valerie Cartagena, Allison Constance, Adrienne Cromwell, Jen DeNeal, Morgan Douglas, Elizabeth Dubose, Phil Edwards, Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth, Jaci Field, Stephanie Forman, Adrianne Gibilisco, Chrissie Greenberg, Leah Hefner, Jessi Hill, Shayna Hill, Keith Hines, James Holman, Quintara Jernigan, Haydée Marchese, Evan Marsh, Mandy Melton, Arlene Medder, Katie Musgrove, Natiaya Neal, Ayla Ocasio, Joe Ormond, Le’Quisha Person, Laura Pratt, Kevin Robinson, Kelly Scurlock-Cross, Theresa Silsby, Robert Smith III, Sarah Smith, Jake Stallard, James Stamey, Rose Thorp, Matthew Teal, Sarah Wackerhagen, Michael Williams, Tracy Wetherby Williams, Jacob Womack
Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:17 a.m. She welcomed all to the March meeting of the Forum. She also noted that the pandemic had lasted nearly a year, and she hoped all were holding up well. She welcomed members of the press and Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz and Provost Bob Blouin to the Forum’s roundtable session.
Guskiewicz said that this year had been one of the most challenging in University history. He was amazed by the resilience of the campus community in this crisis and took a moment to say ‘thank you’ to campus staff. On another subject, he urged all employees to get the COVID vaccine as soon as it becomes available. His office will send an email tomorrow about planning for the fall semester and ongoing consultations with public health experts. He was very hopeful for a normal fall semester, like Fall 2018 and 2019. He anticipated a return to in-person classroom teaching with safety measures still in place, accompanying other major steps towards typical campus operations beyond the classroom.
Guskiewicz noted that the Governor’s new executive order will now allow students and fans to return to stadiums. He hoped that listeners would try to attend a game and thanked the Athletics Department for its work establishing a safe environment at these events. He also looked forward to the Carolina-Duke basketball game at the Smith Center this week along with around 2,500 senior students. The University will work to meet the Town’s important safety guidelines for the game this weekend.
Guskiewicz said that he is very pleased with progress regarding the University budget. He thanked those who have participated in budget conversations with leadership of schools and units. He anticipated that the University would achieve a balanced budget by June 2022 because of these efforts. He added that student enrollment remains steady, with total credit hours and total headcount standing even with last year. The Admissions office processed 54,000 applications this year, up around 20% from the previous year. The yield of students accepting offer of admission is 15%. Guskiewicz said that research funding has also stayed consistent, with upwards of $1.2 billion raised through the efforts of faculty and staff to keep Carolina a leading global research public university.
Guskiewicz was excited about plans for an in-person spring commencement, with two incredible speakers to be announced later that week. Finally, he noted the start of the new antibias and diversity training initiative, fulfilling a promise made around a year ago to the campus community. He was proud of the work of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and the History, Race, and a Way Forward commission. He acknowledged the concerns shared via the Forum Chair and the Staff Advisory Committee. He wanted that staff from all levels feel free to share their thoughts and opinions about how we move forward.
Provost Bob Blouin acknowledged President Biden’s announcement yesterday that enough doses of the vaccine will be available to the entire country by the end of May so that every American can be vaccinated. He noted that the recent addition of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be part of that effort. He recalled conversations with local health care experts who stated that the J&J vaccine is a very solid vaccine. He lamented that percent efficacy data is often used as a final determinant of value of one vaccine over another. Instead, the J&J vaccine has been thoroughly tested in different, more rigorous set of environments than other vaccines. The J&J vaccine also has the advantage of being single dose and does not require deep refrigeration, both very good advancements.
Blouin also said that the University will make a statement about the Governor’s recent executive order perhaps in the next week regarding any possible changes. The University will closely study any possible revisions to its gathering rule. Now, the University restricts gatherings to a maximum of 10 indoors or 25 outdoors. This rule is inconsistent with the State’s 25/50 and the Town’s 25/50 adoption of the Governor’s recommendation. The University will reevaluate its current rule soon.
Additionally, the University is actively considering summer and fall planning. The summer will probably resemble that of 2020, whereas the fall will plan for a best-case scenario of a return to a ‘near-normal’ experience. This experience will bring most faculty and students back to campus with primarily face-to-face instruction. Dorm occupancy will still be reduced from normal, pre-pandemic occupancy (8,500 students) to approximately 7,000 students this fall. Now, the University houses 3,200 students.
All will depend and is conditional based on the rapid changes taking place around us. Based on predictions of vaccine availability and the presumption that most of the country will in fact be vaccinated, with adherence to mask wearing and a continuation of aggressive testing and a near 80% or greater participation in the vaccine program, Carolina can have a near-normal experience this fall.
A delegate asked whether these conditions consider newly arising COVID variations. Blouin said that the United States has not tested aggressively for these variants to the degree other countries have. He understood that North Carolina will increase its vigilance in this area. To this point, the variants have not expressed themselves significantly in North Carolina, but these levels are being monitored carefully.
Blouin noted worries about a new variant from which the vaccine would not offer protection. He said that this possibility would require additional adjustments. He understood that all the major pharmaceutical companies making these vaccines are already manufacturing boosters for the variant. These boosters are likely to be available in the fall as well. He added that the University is very fortunate with the success of the Carolina Together testing program, which does have the capability to test for variants. He thanked Dr. Amir Barzin and his team for their work.
Keith Hines asked that given in-person University employees are being moved into Phase 3, will the frequency of their work on campus matter? He said that some people come in once a week. Executive Director of Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Catherine Brennan said that employees would need to self-identify to which group they belong in vaccine registration. Hines asked if Brennan could give context to the words “imminent return” in the new phrasing of the policy. Brennan said that “imminent return” means about to return to work, within a week or so. Hines noted that many mandatory employees have been working on campus since April. He emphasized that employees not returning until fall are not returning “imminently” to campus. Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Equity, and Compliance Becci Menghini added that employees should converse with their direct supervisor about their expectations for their position.
A delegate asked about the process by which employees’ names are being uploaded into the North Carolina vaccine system. Brennan said that the University bulk-loaded all its employees’ names into the State system yesterday, which led to the State’s email messages to employees. That email is just an introduction email. If one would like to receive the vaccine, one would click the link to register. The University receives no data regarding registration and eventual receipt of the vaccine. In the registration process, one would then state whether one meets any of the eligibility criteria. So, as of today, health care workers, those over age 65, and front-line essential workers are eligible.
A delegate asked if there will be a process whereby faculty, staff, and students must show proof of vaccination to return to campus. Blouin said that the University is not able to or possibly might not even want to mandate vaccines. Guskiewicz recalled that UNC System meetings did not indicate a strong probability that the CDC will mandate vaccinations for employees.
A delegate asked what has been done in terms of air handlers and filtration systems throughout the campus over the last year to make them more resilient and effective in reducing the spread of airborne particulates and pathogens in these spaces. Brennan said that the University has focused on airflow within buildings and filtration capacity. The priority to date has been buildings occupied by faculty, staff, or students during the spring semester. EHS now has the task of taking on buildings not addressed by this previous focus.
When workers find an area does not have the level of airflow desired, the University has purchased supplemental filtration systems for these areas. Brennan praised the work of the Facilities staff who have been hard at work over the last year in these many different buildings. Blouin also tipped his hat to all Facilities employees for their work keeping the campus safe. Guskiewicz agreed, noting the great volume of work that has led to the successful fall and spring semesters. He emphasized how appreciative South Building has been for this continued effort in difficult times.
An employee asked if the DHHS form has been adjusted to put University employees into Group 3. Another employee surmised that the form might not have been yet updated once the announcement was made. The form should be updated now.
An employee asked if UNC would become a designated vaccine distribution site to make receiving vaccinations easier for employees and students. Guskiewicz thought that further improvements may occur once the State moves into Phase 4. He noted that the Friday Center would be the likely vaccination site if it is placed there for all but students. Brennan added that Campus Health is actively looking at how to do mass vaccination of students. Students other than those in congregate living spaces will mostly fall into Group 5, the last to be vaccinated.
Guskiewicz noted that things are changing rapidly. He said that every day the University receives a different communication with the obvious direction to push aggressively to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. He added that the R&R lot has become a very efficient high volume vaccination site. The combination of the two should provide employees capacity to get their vaccinations.
Guskiewicz confirmed that students living in group housing will have the opportunity for vaccination in Group 4. Group 4 is now divided into two subgroups, the first with higher risk people with medical conditions starting on March 24th. The second subgroup includes students that live in congregant settings. Guskiewicz was excited that vaccinations are occurring so quickly, allowing the possibility of vaccinating some students prior to their return home at the end of the semester.
The Chair then welcomed Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations Nate Knuffman to speak on the University budget. Knuffman voiced his respect for the incredible work and contributions of staff at Carolina.
Knuffman noted that the University currently faces three major financial challenges. The first of these is a structural shortfall which is really a mismatch of recurring revenue and expenses that has evolved over several years. This shortfall totals around $100 million. Secondly, COVID has impacted several revenue streams in income producing units such as Housing, Dining, Parking, Patient Care, and Athletics. These revenue losses could total as much as $200 million this fiscal year. Finally, the University has an estimated $850 million in deferred maintenance need. The State is facing significant backlog statewide and the University’s funding needs exceed its maintenance budget each year.
Knuffman noted that the University has worked with the leadership of income-producing units to implement management plans and to address the operational and financial impacts of COVID. On deferred maintenance, the University is working to find a more reliable and dedicated source of funding to address this longstanding challenge.
Today, Knuffman’s focus is on the structural deficit. He shared a slide depicting the Carolina budget timeline and its evolution over the last two-plus years. The University did not have a working all-funds prospective budget before 2019 at all. Now, planners have a better understanding through the adoption of the centralized budget. The centralized budget also provides a foundation to make resource adjustments made necessary by COVID. Knuffman said that early mitigation measures helped Carolina last spring gain time and assess and avoid more draconian actions of other institutions. This fall, the budget process resumed. From September to November 2020, Finance met with over 30 campus units to discuss the budget situation and to re-examine each unit’s budget. In December 2020, Finance met with these units again to discuss a range of personnel and operating reductions for this current fiscal year ’21 and FY ’22.
Options considered included a range of 0-2.5% reductions to certain personnel funding, and reductions to certain operating funding both in this fiscal year and the next. Finance issued a memo in early January directing a 1.5% reduction in personnel funds and a 7.5% reduction in certain operating funds in FY ’21 and ’22.
Knuffman said that this framework best balanced the need for a balanced budget in a timely manner with recognition of implementation challenges. He paused to note that the 1.5% reduction in personnel is not an across the board cut to pay. Instead, this target would be met differently, including by not filling vacancies, not filling retirements or in certain limited circumstances reducing staffing. This process would help the University avoid broad, across-the-board, less strategic actions. The process also provides units ownership and time to identify options thoughtfully and strategically.
Knuffman praised staff at Carolina for their sacrifices as the University has held off on filling vacancies and personnel actions. He said that these sacrifices have provided additional time for decisionmakers and have made a big difference. Currently, units have submitted their plans to meet targets and senior leadership is reviewing and finalizing these plans. Finance plans to consult with units in the coming weeks.
Units are guided by major budget principles which have been consistently emphasized in discussions and in budget memos and directions. First is prioritizing the University’s core mission. Second is reducing and thinking about our budget strategically, evaluating program enrollment, performance, and alignment. Third is streamlining and eliminating redundancies, to complement short-term actions with longer-term savings to return to structural alignment. Fourth, consultation and communication are watchwords of this process. Finally, the University is asking units to consider all areas of personnel cost reduction with a focus on senior administrators.
Knuffman asked what outcome the University should expect from these actions. First and foremost, the University will balance its budget by fiscal year ’22 and thus will be better prepared for uncertainty related to COVID and State and national economies. These actions will help the University to obtain a better financial position more quickly which should allow a strategic reinvestment in top priorities in Carolina Next.
The Chair asked if there were questions for Knuffman. An employee asked if there is a timeline to expand the definition of “essential” spending or when these freezes may lighten a bit. Knuffman envisioned these limitations being in place through at least FY ’21. Re-evaluation will begin in the next fiscal year as to whether the University can expand its flexibility earlier.
Jacob Womack asked how much range the University is giving units to compensate an already existing employee at a higher rate if this course yields a gross savings instead of hiring a new employee. How much flexibility are units allowed, particularly given employees’ recent belt-tightening? Knuffman noted Finance’s intent to provide flexibility to units to have ownership over these questions at the level closest to what is needed. He said that there may be an opportunity to find a savings in the manner described. He said this example was a reason to resist across-the-board freezes on pay, salary actions, or hiring actions as much as possible.
An employee asked if the University would engage in hiring again, stating that this current stance of not hiring but for essential positions is unsustainable. Becci Menghini said that hiring would begin again but she did not know exactly when. She noted early discussions on the System level about a possible timeline for lifting parts of the suspension, but details are not yet finalized. Menghini added that the University is asking units to be very careful to ensure that they are hiring people on sustainable recurring dollars that can be maintained once put into place.
Gloria Thomas asked the criteria used to allow some units to go forward with hiring and while other units are refused. She acknowledged that sometimes the money is not available but in units where hiring is occurring the situation looks totally inequitable. Menghini said that this is a temporary suspension with a few exceptions. Any HR officer can submit a request through the exceptions process. An internal team of leaders consults the Chancellor every week to study the justification provided. Key questions include: is this work that cannot be done in any other way? And is this hiring COVID related? There are a handful of requirements and at least one must be cited on the exceptions form. The internal team along with the Chancellor makes decisions based on justifications provided.
Menghini said that this process is intended to allow some equity in a time when the University cannot allow unlimited hires while recognizing that some jobs need to have hires made. She appreciates that the process feels inequitable but said that access to submit through the form and the process is the same. Thomas’ point about funds available raises challenges concerning equity. Some units lack the resources to fill positions and manage budget cuts simultaneously. Menghini added that requests approved have been overwhelmingly supported by research side growth as well as COVID research.
An alternative way is to encourage temporary hires. Menghini said that the University has approved hires of temporary or time limited employees just until units can get a handle on their budgets. The University does not want to leave units lacking people to do the work, but also wants to avoid having units tied to salaries that they cannot maintain. Menghini said that the intent is not to hire these temporary positions in perpetuity, but to determine if these are positions needed to manage units. She noted that among the approved requests many are temporary or time-limited, others are in research environments and still others use justifications on the temporary suspension exceptions form. She said that the University is required to report all approved exceptions up to the UNC System office.
Thomas asked about unit leaders who are not as experienced in drafting these types of forms in the proper “UNC language.” Menghini did not think that the question was solely about language. She recalled pushbacks on requests from the School of Medicine and she had held many conversations with requesting HR officers. She said that anyone who believes that they do not have the right language for the form should reach out to their HR officer or directly to OHR leadership for guidance. She added that the process is not intended to shut down hiring altogether but just to manage a filter under expectation of a temporary suspension on hiring governed by rules about what requests may be approved. Menghini hoped that this process is the correct one but said that if it is incorrect, she wanted to hear about it. She added that questions for the petitioner are not an indication that the request will not move forward.
The Chair noted that this question has such weight for people in transactional jobs that must meet deadlines. She said that the strain has been incredible carrying the work of unfilled positions.
The Chair introduced Catherine Brennan to speak on COVID progress vaccines. She noted yesterday’s late-breaking news. She said that the University is encouraging everyone who can receive a vaccine to get one. She noted the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved this weekend. She was excited about the increasing numbers of all vaccines.
Brennan noted that North Carolina has a prioritization framework administered by the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This framework specifies who is eligible and when, based on those at the highest risk of exposure and the highest risk of hospitalization and severe disease.
Brennan went over the definition of Groups in the DHHS framework. She noted that the University had to verify that health care workers were indeed as claimed. Thus, the University uploaded names of these workers specifically to make this verification. The University is also uploading the names of individuals vaccinating people and volunteering at clinics.
Brennan noted the expansion of Group 3 vaccinations from March 10 to March 3rd, because of increased vaccine available. She noted that all campus employees have had their names uploaded into the State COVID vaccine management system. The State system contacts employees with instructions to schedule an appointment for a vaccine if desired and qualify for one under the self-identified eligibility criteria. She noted also that Group 4 has been split into two subgroups, the first of which includes adults at high risk for exposure, namely those with high-risk medical conditions. The second subgroup will include students living in congregate settings. The first subgroup will begin vaccinations March 24th with the second starting sometime in April. Everyone else who has not received a vaccine based on eligibility would fall into Group 5. She added that this information changes regularly. Brennan said that the Carolina Together website works to update its content with the most current information available.
Brennan offered to take additional questions. An employee asked whether she should choose the K-12 and child-care option or the frontline essential workers’ option. Brennan said that these options change periodically. She would check the site today to see what might have changed given the recent news. The employee then asked why the Friday Center was not listed as an option on the State website. Brennan thought that there might not be available appointments there. Vaccination appointments are available sporadically and disappear quickly through the State website. Checking daily is a good idea to obtain an appointment. Katie Musgrove noted a strange quirk in the Walgreens registration system that allows second shot registration only for days following the present day. Walgreens updates their appointments every day at 9 a.m.
Rose Thorp proposed establishing the UNC campus as a mass vaccination site to funnel appointment seekers back to campus. Brennan noted that the federal system licenses vaccination sites. She noted the huge Greensboro site that will be capable of 3,000 shots a day. She said that there are many available sites for employees. However, the University may establish its own on-campus site soon.
A chat question asked if someone has been vaccinated should they continue to be tested. Brennan replied that they should continue with testing, as variants may emerge that the vaccine may or may not work against.
Becci Menghini provided the Forum’s customary Human Resources update. She noted that employees who work with others who are not on the pre-populated list and have not received an email from the State can still make an appointment and receive vaccination. These people are simply not pre-registered in the system.
Menghini hoped to see the end of the temporary suspension on personnel actions soon, given favorable State budget news. The campus will likely be required to review exception requests with OHR, Finance, and the Chancellor needed to sign off on everything still.
In response to employee questions as to whether they can continue to work from home, Menghini said that the University awaits guidance from the System Office on remote work and telework provisions. Currently, the University is working under the communicable diseases policy, not the existing teleworking policy. The University awaits guidance on possible requirements of certain numbers of days or weeks in the office per month and possible restrictions on where employees may reside. She anticipated that restrictions would require employees continue to reside in the State of North Carolina.
Menghini noted questions from several campus units that would prefer a quasi-permanent remote work setup or a flexible work arrangement in which an employee may work on campus a few days a week and off campus the other days of the week. Menghini said that OHR wishes to do all it can to support units planning for that at some point in the future. Still, the University awaits guidance from the System Office to avoid inadvertently directing an employee to do something that must later be rescinded. The University must be careful to think about positional needs and not just the individual wishes of people when making these arrangements.
Menghini added that the campus must discuss which positions lend themselves to remote work and which would be better done on campus. This determination should be based on the duties of the work, not the person in the role. This process must discuss these determinations in terms of the challenges of remote work and how flexible schedules might affect this work.
The University has recently found that currently under the remote work policy that these decisions are not grievable and must be made at the supervisor’s discretion, with possibly some consideration of positional roles. She did not think the University could return to existing policy as written without running into future problems.
Menghini noted the additional planning involved for the upcoming fall semester would include safety provisions for masks and gatherings. The group setting would still require six feet distance if people are wearing masks. Would a smaller distance between desks be considered safe by the CDC if most people are vaccinated? Similar questions arise in work environments about spatial requirements of employees working together. She said that the single largest source of transmission has been eating and drinking together.
Thus, if an employee works in a cubicle with others in the same room, that employee may not be allowed to have drinks at their desk because they cannot take their mask down at all through the day. Menghini understood that this is a hard set of limitations to face. She noted differences between students in a classroom for 90 minutes versus employees in a room together for 8 hours a day. Again, she noted that things are changing quickly and often.
James Holman asked a question on behalf of other staff members who have had the vaccine. Must they use their own time if they have had side effects from the vaccine, or could they use COVID leave? Menghini recalled that OHR sent a notice on Friday that employees may use one day of COVID leave due to side effects depending on the kind of vaccination received. Leave is available to obtain the vaccination also. Leave beyond one day for side effects must be personal leave.
Stephanie Forman asked if Menghini could say whether the work-at-home guidelines will be completely set by the UNC System. Menghini said that much depends on the System guidance. It may be that UNC-Chapel Hill may pilot this idea in a few areas and not broadly. She understood the challenges this approach may present. She also noted the expectations of those who work at the University to do their best work and provide the benefits of community on campus together. She noted other arguments that the University can manage its space differently, that some people can work with lesser schedules, and other reasons. A question is whether the University can turn quickly based on System guidance to ensure that actions are done in an equitable way, depending on when the guidance is issued and other factors. She said that making this culture change will require time for OHR to do its best work.
A question from the chat asked if employees on temporary furlough who do not currently receive a paycheck would be registered on the DHHS vaccine site. The response was yes, along with the statement that the University now has very few people on temporary furlough now as many have been brought back. Another employee asked about any updates on early retirement packages. Menghini said that she had discussed this proposal with State Relations officials who thought that momentum had slowed for this idea in the General Assembly. She would have a call with System officials tomorrow afternoon to confirm this assessment. She did not have an update otherwise, beyond a supposition that any eventual plan will provide only six months to a year of retirement as an early package.
A delegate confirmed that the University is still losing revenue due to parking revenue cuts. She wondered how the remote situation affected the University budget. Wilhelmina Steen recalled that the Transportation & Parking budget is 99.9% receipt supported. The University has paid for local and regional transit to minimize the number of people parking on campus, and the department pays for all parking decks built on campus. These are very large bills. Transportation and Parking has taken steps to lower its bills as much as possible while helping people who had to come to campus. Steen noted that the University has implemented freshman parking on campus for the very first time.
Work/Life Wellness Manager Jessica Pyjas spoke on the upcoming virtual wellness week beginning March 8th. She noted that the virtual program is designed to replace in-person events that would have occurred annually every Wednesday during spring break. Virtually, the week will have session most hours of the day, planned to provide a variety of sessions that interest and work best for one’s schedule. Some of the sessions will occur after 5 p.m. and others are pre-recorded. Interested parties should consult go.unc.edu/wellnessweek/2021 for more details.
The Chair called for a motion to approve the consent agenda, with an exception for the Carolina Blood Drive committee. There was no opposition to this motion. Jen DeNeal reported that the Blood Drive will occur June 8th at the Smith Center. The planning committee will meet March 9th at 10:30 a.m.
Stephanie Forman agreed to lead the Forum through the second reading of proposed Resolution 21-01. Forman said that the Personnel Issues committee had decided to streamline the resolution from its first reading in February. This resolution addresses additional duties, compensation, and the 20% pay cap. The committee hopes to write another resolution that addresses career positions and career progression. Forman then read the resolution.
The Chair complimented the committee for its work, among them Phil Edwards, Stephanie Forman, and Rose Thorp. Forman thanked those who pointed out errors in earlier drafts. Jacob Womack asked if the Forum was required to have a second reading of the resolution. Parliamentarian Kevin Robinson said that there is no formal requirement under Robert’s Rules of Order, however the Forum has preferred to give employees and delegates a chance to take back the resolution for fuller consideration. Rose Thorp thought that the second reading provided a chance to narrow the focus of the first reading’s resolution while allowing time to become technically accurate about terminology and the deficiency the committee wished to address.
It was noted that delegates could move to table the resolution until a different vote to bring the resolution “off the table.” Michael Williams commented that the substance of the resolution describes difficulties in his area nearly perfectly. Tiffany Carver recalled that she had been doing someone else’s job in addition to her own the entire time of the pandemic. She thanked the committee for the work on the resolution. Jaci Fields supported for the resolution, saying that in Athletics there have been similar issues. Forman recalled that the financial tool mentioned in the resolution is likely not available, but other options might be allowed. Menghini said that the University has a request into the University System asking the General Assembly for full access to furloughs as a temporary budget tool. However, furloughs do not provide a recurring savings.
The budget requests a 1.5% savings in personnel in each of the next two years and a 7.5% savings on the operational side, again for the next two years. The University has focused on protecting people as much as possible, but this focus does lead to fewer people doing more of the work.
Jacob Womack clarified his earlier remarks stating his support for the streamlined revisions to the resolution. Rose Thorp said that her approach to writing this resolution would not preclude units from using their individual financial situations to afford these things.
Robinson outlined the Forum’s procedure to call a vote on a resolution. The Chair called the vote. Katie Musgrove recorded the roll call vote. Darren Abrecht AYE. L.E. Alexander AYE. Lauren Anderson AYE. Ashley Belcher absent. Dzenita Blackwell AYE. Jo-Ann Blake absent. Jessye Bongiovanni absent. Randall Borror AYE. Rich Brandenburg AYE. Alicia Brandt AYE. Andrew Brennick AYE. Shane Brogan absent. Stephanie Brown absent. Melissa Campbell absent. Sarah Carrier AYE. Tiffany Carver AYE. Timothy Carville absent. Valerie Cartagena AYE. Allison Constance absent. Adrienne Cromwell AYE. Jen DeNeal absent. Morgan Douglas AYE. Elizabeth Dubose AYE. Phil Edwards AYE. Nicole Eggleston absent. Shayla Evans-Hollingsworth AYE. Jaci Field AYE. Stephanie Forman AYE. Adrianne Gibilisco absent. Lateefah Gregory absent. Chrissie Greenberg AYE. Natasha Hanks absent. Zebadiah Harris absent. Leah Hefner AYE. Jessi Hill AYE. Shayna Hill AYE. Keith Hines AYE. James Holman AYE. Quintara Jernigan AYE. Mary King absent. Haydée Marchese AYE. Evan Marsh AYE. Jeff McQueen absent. Mandy Melton AYE. Arlene Medder AYE. Kadejah Murray absent. Katie Musgrove AYE. Natiaya Neal AYE. Ayla Ocasio AYE. Joe Ormond absent. Le’Quisha Person AYE. Laura Pratt AYE. Kevin Robinson AYE. Tom Ross absent. Kelly Scurlock-Cross AYE. Theresa Silsby AYE. Robert Smith III AYE. Sarah Smith AYE. Antonio Squire absent. Jake Stallard AYE. James Stamey AYE. Rose Thorp AYE. Matthew Teal AYE. Sarah Wackerhagen AYE. Michael Williams AYE. Tracy Wetherby Williams absent. Jacob Womack AYE.
The motion passed. The Chair congratulated the committee and thanked all for their hard work. She pointed out that the Peer Recognition Awards are coming up and she asked those interested to check in with Natiaya Neal and the Recognition & Awards committee.
The Chair noted that a call for delegate nominations would go out that day. In April, following the election, orientation will take place for new delegates. New delegates will be sworn in at the May meeting. New officer elections and peer recognition awards will occur in June. In July, the Forum’s annual retreat will take place.
In the absence of further discussion, the meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:26 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary