Resolution 19-01, Concerning Adverse Weather Leave

 

RESOLUTION OF THE EMPLOYEE FORUM

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL

 

February 6, 2019

 

WHEREAS the Mission of the Employee Forum is to address constructively the concerns of Employees of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, including the representation of staff concerns to Chancellor Carol L. Folt, University officials, and the University community; and

 

WHEREAS, these concerns include SHRA employees’ disparate treatment and loss of earned leave during times of adverse weather and emergency events; and

 

WHEREAS, the current University Adverse Weather and Emergency Event Policy (effective 1/1/2016)[1] (“Policy”), specifically Condition 2 (Suspended Operations) provisions, has disparate and unequal effects on employees, resulting in real loss of earned vacation leave for employees; and

 

WHEREAS the Policy mandates that employees must not report to work and must leave campus during times that the University’s operations are suspended through no fault or control of its employees, and does not compensate them for the time lost;

 

WHEREAS, the Policy forces SHRA employees who are not authorized or for whom it is infeasible to make off-site work arrangements to make up this loss through methods such as use of their own earned leave time, leave without pay, or work outside their normal work schedule to make up the time in a burdensomely short period of time; and

 

 

WHEREAS, the Policy does not grant institutional-level authority to timely designate Condition 3 (Closure) as appropriate, resulting in a onerous petition process wherein Condition 3 is only declared in extremely limited circumstances; and

 

WHEREAS, the retroactive declaration of closure, while well-intended, created an inequity for employees who were forced to decide whether to use vacation/compensatory leave, accept leave without pay, attempt to make up the time, or work off-site in reliance on the designations communicated as they occur;

 

THEREFORE, the Employee Forum recommends that the Chancellor and her designees recommend and advocate that the State of North Carolina remove the Condition 2 (Suspended Operations) designation from the Policy, and vest decision-making authority for Condition 1 (Reduced Operations) and Condition 3 (Closure) at the University leadership level with greater discretion in determining what emergency circumstances or weather conditions constitute the level of risk or challenge severe enough to warrant closure of the University and full compensation of its affected employees.

 

FURTHERMORE, the Forum recommends that the Chancellor and her designees advocate that the State of North Carolina Legislature, the Office of State Human Resources, and the UNC Office of Human Resources change the current adverse weather policy to allow use of all available personal leave options including sick time for absences that are related to adverse weather and emergency events.

 

FURTHERMORE, the Forum recommends that the make-up period for any outstanding Condition 2 time owed be extended to 1 calendar year from the date of the event.

 

Signed on behalf of the Employee Forum,

 

 

Shayna Hill,

Chair

[1] University of North Carolina System Adverse Weather and Emergency Event Policy: Effective 1/1/2016 https://hr.unc.edu/files/2017/01/Policy-AdverseWeather-01012016-2.pdf

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