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Friday September 24th

Employee Forum committee discusses COVID-19 survey and town hall

<p>Screenshot from the Employee Forum Executive Committee's virtual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.</p>
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Screenshot from the Employee Forum Executive Committee's virtual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.

UNC’s Employee Forum Executive Committee held its monthly meeting Tuesday to discuss updates from the COVID-19 employee experience survey, a future town hall and changes to the forum budget.

Who is on the committee?

  • The executive committee is comprised of representatives from each of the nine divisions of employees. 
  • The executive committee sets the agenda for the entire Employee Forum, which strives to connect employees and University administration, advocate for all employees and celebrate employee achievements.

What’s new?

  • The executive committee discussed the implications of a survey sent to employees in late August to assess the impact of COVID-19 on their well-being. The report will be shared with the administration by the end of this week, forum Chairperson Shayna Hill said. 
    • “I think people really want to hear about actions, especially because things have come out in the report – people are still uncertain, they’re worried, they’re stressed,” Arlene Medder, the Carolina community garden liaison, said.
  • The committee is planning a town hall with the administration to discuss the report and to assess the needs of all employees — especially staff.
    • “Something that really came through in the report and reading so many of the survey responses was that staff feel ignored both in communication and decisions and that the University’s focus is on faculty and students,” Stephanie Forman, personnel issues co-chairperson, said. 
  • The trust fund for the Employee Forum has been cut, program manager Matt Banks said.
    • “Our spending is extremely limited, and we are still pursuing spending of certain items: the blood drive, professional development grants, a couple other smaller items that were listed,”  Ayla Ocasio, forum treasurer, said. 

What’s next?

  • A conversational town hall to discuss the COVID-19 survey report among employees, community members and University administration will likely take place before Thanksgiving, Hill said.
  • Conversations about the spring semester are underway, but without knowing how many students will come back to campus, the committee does not know how to advise.
    • Approximately 1,000 students currently live on-campus, including some student employees. If the University decides to re-densify campus by filling rooms to single occupancy, the executive committee will make recommendations for employees to adjust accordingly.
    • “We’re sort of dancing around the issue of, ‘Are more students being brought back to campus?’” Hill said. “That has to be talked about openly.”
    • The Campus and Community Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations on how to safely bring students to campus, met on Tuesday afternoon after the Employee Forum Executive Committee meeting.
  • The committee meets the third Tuesday of each month. 


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