September 11, 2019

UNC-Chapel Hill Employee Forum

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, Sonja H. Stone Center for Black Culture and History

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
    • Introduction of Assistant Vice Chancellor & Chief of UNC Police David Perry

II.  Special Presentations (9:20 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.)

  • Walter Miller, Director of Payroll Services, on Recent Payroll Changes
  • Tanya Moore, Associate Vice Chancellor for Univ. Communications, and Jane Calloway, Director of Internal Communications, on The Well
  • Cheryl Stout, Director of Transportation & Parking, on Night Parking Implementation
  • Rudy Jones, Associate Director, Equal Opportunity & Compliance Office, on Count Me In

III. Human Resources Update (10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)

  • Interim Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Becci Menghini
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler

IV.  Consent Agenda (11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.)

V.  Old Business (11:10 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.)

  • Need for New Forum Treasurer
  • Need for UNC System Staff Assembly Delegates

VI.  New Business (11:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)

VII. Announcements/Questions (11:30 -11:35 a.m.)

VIII.  Adjournment

MINUTES

September 11, 2019 Employee Forum Minutes

Delegates Attending:  L.E. Alexander,  JoAnn Blake, Ashley Belcher, Rich Brandenburg,  Sarah Carrier,  Tiffany Carver,  Timothy Carville,  Adrienne Cromwell,  Morgan Douglas,  Phil Edwards,  Stephanie Forman,  Adrienne Gibilisco,  Chrissie Greenberg,  Zebadiah Harris,  Shayna Hill,  Keith Hines,  James Holman,  Mary King,  Jeff McQueen,  Clinton Miller,  Kadejah Murray,  Natiaya Neal,  Ayla Ocasio, Joe Ormond,  Jim Potts,  Laura Pratt,  David Rogers,  James Stamey, Allison Standard, Rose Thorp

Excused Absences:  Darren Abrecht, Allison Standard Constance, Katie Musgrove, Rocky Riviella, Tracy Wetherby Williams

Chair Shayna Hill called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m.  She recognized David Rogers, who noted that the Campus Recreation Festival will take place later in September.  He invited listeners and the community to attend the event at the Outdoor Education Center.  The Chair noted the discussion at Thinkposium the previous Wednesday.  She also noted the August 28th community meeting on the State Health Plan which was co-sponsored by the Forum, Faculty Governance and the Carolina Black Caucus.  She reported that around 250 people attended the meeting with another 500 or so people viewing via Zoom software.

The Chair welcomed newly appointed Chief of Police David Perry.  Perry was glad to have the opportunity to speak with staff employees.  He recalled his background as Chief at Florida State and Deputy Chief at Clemson University.

The Chair welcomed Director of Payroll Services Walter Miller to speak on recent payroll changes affecting employee paychecks.  To begin, Miller recalled previous meetings with the Forum at which he discussed the drive to make W-2 forms for employees paperless, changes in the direct deposit process, and updates to the self-service tab in ConnectCarolina.

Concerning adjustments to the biweekly pay calculation, Miller recalled that these changes are part of a long-standing historical process.  He noted that most fiscal years contain 26 biweekly pay periods, but the University must prepare for a 27th biweekly event, even though it occurs only once every 12-13 years.

Miller emphasized that employees’ total annual salary remains the same, but in this fiscal year, biweekly pay amounts will decrease slightly due to the 27th biweekly pay period falling in 2019-20.  In 2019-20, employees will be paid their annual salary for 2096 hours of work, as opposed to 2080 hours of work in the previous two fiscal years.

Miller recalled that 40-50 years ago the University underwent a fiscal crisis due to the advent of the 27th pay period for its biweekly employees.  Ever since, the University has planned for this occurrence by adjusting the average pay for hours worked.  Most years that number does not change much or is not noticed when it is adjusted upward.  When the amount paid is adjusted downward, however, employees generally notice and point out the discrepancy from previous years.

Tiffany Carver noted that she had called Miller asking for an explanation of these calculations, given employee feelings of being underpaid and underappreciated.  She said that employees rarely read memos attached to electronic notifications on pay stubs.  Carver asked if Payroll Services could find another better way to communicate the importance of this change.  She worried that the process as enacted seems covert to some employees.  Miller said that his office would look for better ways to bring attention to the policy.  He noted that many things about the payroll system have been done based on previous practice.  Carver commented that the change felt abrupt to many employees.

Miller noted that the change to a 27th pay period will occur again in 2025.  Members asked that Miller’s presentation be distributed to the group for further review.  Keith Hines thought that an e-mail regarding pay rate changes would be closely read by everyone affected.  Miller noted that only biweekly paid employees, not monthly paid employees, are affected by the 27th biweekly pay period in 2019-20.

Phil Edwards asked if UNC-Chapel Hill’s approach to this question was unique or has it been duplicated by other campuses.  Miller was not familiar with other campuses’ approach to this question but noted that NC State had consulted with his office.  Carver thanked Miller for his patience on the phone while addressing her questions.  Miller said he was happy to take the time to answer questions and alleviate any confusion on this subject.

The Chair next introduced Vice Chancellor for University Communications Tanya Moore and Director of Internal Communications Jane Calloway to speak on the creation of The Well, a new website for faculty and staff.  Moore said that the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) had found a general desire among employees to access all top stories related to the University in one place.  Moore presented a prototype of the Well, which is a response to this desire for consolidated news presentation.

Jane Calloway thanked delegates Lori Haight and Greg Smith for their work on the steering committee that oversaw the Well’s creation.  She recalled meeting with the Forum Executive Committee in August to seek feedback on another prototype.  She said that the Well will include the top stories that will interest community members across campus.  Today’s edition features the State Health Plan community meeting and the appointment of Chief of Police David Perry, for example.

Calloway said that the design team is working to include an ongoing daily feature on “5 Things to Know” as well as the “Carolina People” feature from the University Gazette.  The site will also include “Focus Carolina” recordings of faculty conversations with WCHL listeners, an ongoing feature which reached fifty sessions this year.

Calloway said that navigation areas will include News, Employee Resources, Around Campus, Carolina in the News, and Quick Links.  Laura Pratt asked how this change will impact the paper version of the University Gazette.  Calloway said that the Gazette is beloved but has reached an ending point.  Communications will sunset the periodical after a final edition this fall.  Employees will be transferred to work for the Well and other Communications projects.

Arlene Medder asked about mobile access to the Well.  Calloway appreciated any feedback from employees on this or any other subject.  She noted that the Well will go live at https://thewell.unc.edu on September 23rd.

The Chair welcomed Director for Transportation & Parking Cheryl Stout to speak on night parking and other questions.  Stout recalled that she had visited the Forum several times to discuss night parking plan as part of the five-year parking plan.  She noted that the Forum Chair has served on the nighttime parking implementation team.  She also noted that the upcoming budget for the department will pay to improve and replace equipment for revenue control systems, LED lighting, bicycle share programming and the Triangle Transloc Point2Point service.

Stout reminded the Forum that Transportation & Parking is receipt supported and receives no State funding whatsoever.  The department relies on the Advisory Committee on Transportation (ACT) to communicate with various University departments, including the Forum.  Stout recalled that this is the third five-year plan of Transportation & Parking.  Previous plans have greatly relied on daytime permit holders to support needed increases.  Departmental fees have also allowed Transportation and Parking to meet budgets along with student fees which play a huge part.

Stout said that students have voted to pay fees to cover the $6 annual weeknight parking fee, excluding first-year undergraduates who are not eligible to park on campus.  She noted that employees whose work hours fall between 5 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. may purchase a weeknight parking permit based on a sliding salary scale.  This scale ranges from $234/year for those earning less than $32,000 annually; $258/year for those earning $32,000-$50,000 annually; $309/year for those earning $50,000-$100,000 annually, and $402 a year for those earning more than $100,000 a year.

Stout noted that daytime permit holders will not have to purchase nighttime permits or pay night parking fees.  She noted the number of ways for employee mass transit users to obtain night parking permits through the move.unc.edu website.

An employee asked how Transportation & Parking makes community members aware of these changes.  Stout said that Transportation & Parking communicates a great deal through its website, e-mail, and other means.  James Holman asked how the department will stop employees from parking in the Hospital Visitors’ deck (the Dogwood deck) if they’ve done that previously.  Stout said that the University has made it a priority to save visitor patient spaces for patients only.  She said that employees can let the department know about their appointments to park in the Dogwood deck if they are indeed a patient.  James Stamey said that employees can obtain Dogwood decks permits for the day upon talking with an attendant and showing proof of their appointment.

Natiaya Neal said that while parking in her assigned place in the Cardinal deck, Athletics had her move her car for a game.  She parked elsewhere but received a ticket in her new space at 11 p.m. at night.  She asked that Transportation & Parking communicate the requirement that permit holders move their cars for games and other events at new employee orientation. Stout hoped the new system would provide for these moves in less cumbersome ways.  She agreed that communication is the biggest key to resolving this situation.

Jo-Ann Blake confirmed that employee permit holders will receive tickets if they do not relocate from the Cardinal deck and other campus lots in advance of basketball and football games and other events.

Sarah Carrier noted the difficulty that Housekeeping and other lower paid employees will have paying even the sliding scale for night parking.  She asked if employees have some way to donate to these employees for this charge.  Stout said that Transportation & Parking has no authority to collect money or charge fees outside the dictates of its founding ordinance.  She said that any financial aid fund would need to be administered through the Office of Human Resources or another University organization.  She noted the history and financial circumstances of employees varies and granted that these questions are very difficult.  She offered to advise the Forum if it wished to pursue this question further.

An employee asked about the allocation process for staff.  Stout said that departments assign parking permit spaces for their staff.  Transportation & Parking allocations to departments are based 80% on the total number of employees per unit and 20% on the total number of years served in each unit.  Departments set their own criteria for how their permits are allocated among faculty and staff employees.  She said that parking permit assignments can change year by year due to construction, decreasing employment in one’s department or other departmental policies.

Sarah Carrier asked the best way to discuss night parking with temporary employees in UNC Libraries.  She said that the fee is a major concern among these employees and for dining services employees.  She commented that the fee can really break the bank for poorer people.  She asked how the Forum should approach this question given that the onus is on us to help each other.

Stout responded that the Forum has representation on the Advisory Committee for Transportation (ACT).  She added that the Forum could explore finding different ways of pooling funds.  She noted that there are rules governing parking that can transform this aid into a disallowed benefit.  She said the question of whether aid becomes a benefit can create departmental and University-wide equity issues.  She noted that daytime parking permit holders already bear the largest share of the funding burden.  She again was willing to work with the Forum on these difficult conversations.

Arlene Medder asked if light pollution on campus will increase as a result of the changeover to LED lights.  Stout was not certain but offered to talk to departmental engineers.  James Stamey confirmed that all daytime parking permit holders can park legally without further charge after 5 p.m.

An employee asked about construction and service parking spots reserved by contractors.  Stout said that the University does not allow contractor parking to impact day permit holders.  Any space taken by construction must be reimbursed to the University by the relevant contractor.  Any permanent removal of a parking space requires a $20,000 reimbursement.

James Holman asked about disability spaces that allow parking after 5 p.m.  Stout said that officially designated spaces (with the wheelchair logo) never allow others to park.  However, UNC-designated disability spaces are reserved only from 7:30-5 p.m. each day and anyone may park in these spaces outside these hours.

Keith Hines asked about parking permit availability to commuter alternative members.  Stout said that these employees can obtain twenty free nighttime parking passes and one per month daytime pass through https://move.unc.edu.

The Chair welcomed Associate Director for Equal Opportunity and Compliance Rudy Jones, to speak on the Count Me In campaign.  Jones asked how many had heard of this program previously.  He encouraged listeners to stand up and be counted, noting that employees who report themselves as part of the disabled population can stand among the 77% of employees with disabilities.  Jones said that the University wants to attract talented faculty, staff and students who might face disabilities.

Jones said that employees without debilitating health problems could still self-identify under the Count Me In program.  He noted myths about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and said that the ADA encourages self-identification.  He said that information reported is sensitive and protected.

Jones said that self-identification involves 1) logging into ConnectCarolina, 2) finding the Personal Information page 3) choosing the self-identification tab 4) filling out the relevant form and 5) clicking “Submit.”

Jones noted that the 2019 Empowering Carolina event will take place Wednesday, October 30th at the Alumni Center.  The event will discuss creating a mental health friendly campus and will feature a buffet lunch.  He noted that upwards of 250 people registered for the last event, so he encouraged listeners to register early.  Rose Thorp asked about requesting accommodations, noting that request fulfillment takes upward of 30 days, sometimes more or less.  Arlene Medder said that employees who self-identify need assistance and access when their condition changes.  Jones invited employees to reach out anytime.

The Chair welcomed Interim Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Becci Menghini to present the Forum’s customary Human Resources update, among other concerns.  Menghini noted that the upcoming banquet for employees accumulating over 25 years’ service would occur at a breakfast October 2nd.  Two-hundred seventy-five employees will be recognized for this honor.  Employees with five, ten, and fifteen years’ service will receive a certificate and a Student Stores gift.

Menghini said that Carolina Cares/Carolina Shares campaign will begin October 1st.  She encouraged employees to give generously to this effort.  On September 12th, the Red Cross will conduct a blood drive at the Giles Horney Building on Airport Drive.  Employee Appreciation Day will occur October 18th, featuring employee performances and art displays in addition to the usual festivities.  She asked employees to serve as volunteers for the occasion.

Menghini noted that the Chancellor has sent a message announcing forums creating opportunities to build community together.  These locations and times will vary.

University Day will take place Saturday October 12th with a full processional.  October 26th will be the University’s Homecoming game.  State Heath Plan enrollment will occur from November 2-19th.  The Chair said that she had reached out to Rob Stevenson about making a presentation on the enrollment process in October.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler said that TIAA webinars on financial management will occur in conjunction with the Carolina Women’s Center.  The newsletter WorkWell will examine the exit interview process.  Senior Director for Employee & Management Relations Angenette McAdoo will explore the process of these interviews:  how information is obtained, follow-up steps, trends and concerns, leading to ways to make this process easier.

Concerning the Legislature, Butler noted reports from wral.com that the House had voted to override the Governor’s veto.  The next step in budget passage would be a vote to override by the Senate.  Butler said that the legislative “mini-bills” will still take effect if signed by the Governor.  He said that there have not been legislation affecting UNC System or Community College employees in these “mini-bills.”  Much remains in flux this legislative session, Butler said.

Chrissie Greenberg confirmed that the original budget bill does not include UNC employees, as the original legislation has separate language for UNC System employees.  The Board of Governors will set rules for distribution of funding from the Legislature, leading Greenberg to conclude that there will not necessarily be a set salary increase for this or next year.  Butler added that some discretion will be granted to individual campuses to make decisions on salary increases.

Becci Menghini noted that some estimates indicate that the UNC System employees will receive $15 million overall, equaling around a .5% increase across the board for employees.  She said that the Board of Governors could decide to implement any increase across the board or to establish other rules for distribution.

Greenberg asked about changes in compensation based on compression.  She said that EHRA salaries seemed easier for which to achieve flexibility than SHRA salaries.  She suggested that increased use of EHRA non-faculty designations could add flexibility to the University’s salary structure.  SHRA salary raises rely on legislative salary increases, which can create complex calculations for administrators.  Butler said that he would be happy to discuss this point further following the meeting.

Phil Edwards asked if there was an estimate as to when the salary increases will occur.  Butler said that once the legislative budget is passed, the process cascades rapidly through the Office of State Human Resources and the Board of Governors, which each work quickly to get relevant rules established and approved.  Much will depend on the timing as to when the budget is approved.

Laura Pratt asked if salary increases will likely be made retroactive to July 1st.  Butler said that much depends on the approved bill.  He had no reason to believe that the Legislature will not implement a July 1st effective date.

Arlene Medder asked if there was any update on adverse weather or health care resolutions approved by the Forum.  Butler had no report in these areas but said that his office continues to push for improvements.

The Chair called for a motion to approve the consent agenda.  Greg Smith asked that the Communications & Public Relations committee report be removed from the consent agenda.  Arlene Medder made this motion seconded by Natiaya Neal.  The motion was approved.

Smith noted that the committee will soon begin planning for Employee Appreciation Day on October 18th.  He asked for help in approaching local businesses to contribute to the Forum scavenger hunt.  In addition, delegates can serve by hiding tickets on the day of the hunt.

Smith added that the Communications & Public Relations committee sought to do an Instagram feature on Forum delegates.  He asked interested delegates to contact him.

The Chair recalled that the Forum had need of a new Treasurer following Karlina Matthews’ recent resignation due to a promotion to a new position.  She proposed to appoint new delegate Ayla Ocasio to that position, upon the agreement of the Forum.  Ocasio noted her experience in theatrical finance in New York City.  Parliamentarian Jeff McQueen clarified that the Chair has power to appoint delegates and officers when necessary.

The Chair requested a vote of confidence for her to make the decision to appoint Ocasio.  The Forum made and approved this motion.

The Chair noted that the Forum needs to select a 2-year delegate and an alternate to serve on the UNC System Staff Assembly.  She briefly described the duties of each position, particularly related to travel off-site at meetings.  She also noted the degree of information communicated to delegates and the opportunity to make recommendations to influential System administrators.

Tiffany Carver moved that the Forum hold its election in October, giving interested delegates a chance to prepare remarks.  This motion was approved by acclamation.

The Chair noted that this is International Housekeeping Week and asked for a motion to approve Proclamation 19-02 regarding Housekeeping Services.  She read the proclamation.  Arlene Medder moved that this proclamation be approved, seconded by Phil Edwards.  The motion was approved.  The Chair invited delegates to join her at events honoring housekeepers at 5 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. the following day in the Great Hall of the Student Union.

The Chair asked a motion to consider resolution 19-04 concerning proposed policy for paid parental leave.  Rose Thorp, chair of the Personnel Issues committee, asked that the Forum approve the resolution upon suspension of the rules in order to communicate the Forum’s sentiments to the Board of Governors’ meeting that month.  Phil Edwards read the resolution.  Laura Pratt moved to suspend the rules to allow consideration of the resolution lacking a second reading, seconded by James Stamey.  The motion was approved.  Pratt then moved to approve the resolution.  This motion was also approved.

The Chair thanked the Personnel Issues committee for its work in this area.  In the absence of further discussion, James Stamey moved that the meeting adjourn, seconded by Tiffany Carver.  The meeting adjourned by acclamation at 11:24 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Matt Banks, Recording Secretary

 

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