The UNC Employee Forum held a general meeting Wednesday to discuss a wide range of topics relevant to employee life at UNC.
The meeting, held at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center, was led by forum chairperson and UNC graduate Shayna Hill. The Employee Forum is a group made up entirely of non-faculty employees. According to their website, the Employee Forum's mission is to address the concerns of UNC employees "through mutual understanding, recognition of Employee contributions, and respect for the worth of the individual."
The impact of former Chancellor Carol Folt lingers
Carol Folt may no longer be the chancellor at UNC, but the fallout from her resignation was a major topic of discussion among the delegates. Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement Felicia A. Washington spoke to the delegates near the beginning of the meeting and laid out a possible timetable for when an interim chancellor could be named.
“Those of you who have been in any of the forums on campus where interim UNC-system President Bill Roper came and talked to students, staff and faculty, and if you’ve been reading the newspapers, then you probably know that we are all thinking at some point, I read mid-week, we will learn who the new interim chancellor will be," Washington said.
Roper named Kevin M. Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the interim chancellor later in the afternoon.
Washington, a former member of the UNC Board of Trustees, stressed the need for unity from the delegates.
“This body has always been so supportive of chancellors. Before I came here, I heard about it with respect to Holden, for example, and then with Chancellor Folt," Washington said. "And so I know that you will welcome and be supportive of the interim chancellor as well.”
Folt was brought up again later in the meeting when the Forum debated a resolution to grant Carol Folt lifelong delegate status. The meeting went into closed session for the discussion, and when the full meeting resumed, Administrative Assistant Matthew Banks announced that the Forum had voted 25-0 in favor of the resolution with two abstentions.
Plans for another shutdown
President Trump signed a continuing resolution Jan. 25 to end the longest government shutdown in American history until Feb. 15, when funding to government programs will once again stop unless a new deal is reached. With another shutdown potentially on the horizon, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Linc Butler said the University is already making plans for the future.
“We are continuing to stay close to it and pay attention to it and have conversations to make sure that our employees our taken care of during that time should we get to that point where there is a government shutdown,” Butler said.
Adverse weather resolutions
The Forum conducted a second reading over a resolution designed to protect employees' vacation days during times of adverse weather. Currently, during times of adverse weather, non-faculty employees who are not mandatory must use personal leave time for any work missed in Condition 2.
“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,” said Hill, who read from the Forum resolution.
After altering some of the finer details in the language of the resolution, the delegates voted to unanimously pass the resolution. Hill will send the resolution to Dawn Brown, who serves as chairperson of the Staff Assembly for the UNC system.
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