A bulletin distributed after each Board of Governors’ meeting for use in district newsletters, websites and meetings. For more information, contact the SEANC Communications/PR Department at 800-222-2758 or 919833-6436. The Spotlight can be found on the SEANC website, www.seanc.org, under “News/Publications.”
The Board of Governors (BOG) met on May 13-14, 2011, to discuss business important to state employees and retirees. Officer candidate announcements: The following members announced their intention to run for SEANC office for the 20112012 year: Charles Johnson for President* Sidney Sandy for First Vice President* Cheryl Moon for Second Vice President* Marilyn Jean Martin for Treasurer* *Incumbents Treasurer’s Report: Marilyn Jean Martin reported SEANC’s finances are doing extremely well with receipts at 61 percent and disbursements at 48 percent. Theme park ticket sales have increased more than 80 percent over this same time last year. Executive Director’s Report: Budget Update: Executive Director Dana Cope was pleasantly surprised by the state House of Representatives’ $19.3 billion budget, which was better for state employees and general government than the governor’s budget. The governor’s budget proposed the following: 10,000 job cuts (3,000 of which are focused on state employees while funding all teachers and teacher assistants at 100 percent), changes to the State Health Plan with a $21.50 premium for the Standard 80/20 plan and only funding half the contribution necessary to fully fund the retirement system. The House budget proposed more of a shared sacrifice between education and general government, which makes mathematical sense given that 60 percent of the state budget is in education. According to the Fiscal Research Division of the General Assembly, the bill cuts 2,569 state government jobs, 1,365 of which are vacant positions. Hardest hit in the bill was the education budget. K-12 education would lose 11,750 positions, and the UNC/ Community College systems would be given “management flexibility” to reduce their budgets, resulting in additional job cuts. Given the 10 percent turnover rate, it’s highly
likely that the vast majority of those displaced will be able to take another job in state government. The other major difference for state employees between the House and the governor’s budgets was in contributions to the retirement system. The governor’s budget called for only $115 million – less than half of the Annual Required Contribution, while the House budget fully funded the retirement system at $297 million. If passed, the retirement system would be fully funded by the legislature for the first time in 10 years. The budget is now under consideration in the Senate. The big debate expected between the House and Senate is in education funding. The Senate has indicated an intention to make further cuts to K-12 education while restoring some of the cuts made to the UNC System in the House budget. The House and Senate will work on a compromise budget that will then be sent to the governor for her signature. The conventional wisdom in Raleigh is that the governor is likely to veto the legislature’s budget, no matter what it is, due to education cuts (teacher’s assistants). State Health Plan (SB 323): Last week the House passed the State Health Plan (SHP) reform bill again and right now the governor is taking her time deciding whether or not she will sign it. This year the SHP faces a $515 million gap, which is growing by the day. SEANC was able to meet with the Republican leadership to work together on a series of reform measures to make the plan sustainable for the future. The bill would create the following reforms for the SHP: Achieves SEANC’s No. 1 policy platform objective (and one of the big reasons EMPAC did not endorse legislators in the last session) – to move oversight of the SHP away from the General Assembly and into a government agency Establishes a SHP Board of Trustees (four seats for active and retired state employees and four seats for health care experts) Abolishes the punitive BMI/tobacco penalties If the governor vetoes the SHP reform bill, it is likely to come at the expense of additional state employee job cuts, a reduction to the retirement system and/or ending the SHP by offering a lump sum payment for employees to purchase their own health care coverage. “Take Pride in Carolina” Campaign: The first two phases of the campaign, member education and outreach, are complete. The campaign’s outreach and education phases include: direct mail, a distinct website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, text messaging, three lobby day events and three hometown rallies. The final phase of the campaign is for TV and radio commercials, which will be launched at the appropriate time in the budget process. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina: Are pigs flying in the Triangle? SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope and Blue Cross CEO Brad Wilson have met to determine how and when our organizations could work together in the future. Wilson has been invited to address the BOG at a later date.
Convention Theme Named: President Charles Johnson announced the 28th Annual Convention theme – “Take Pride in Carolina.” The convention will be held Sept. 8-12 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. This year’s community service project is Operation All ‘Bout Children (Operation ABC), which collects baby items and hosts events to distribute the gifts for North Carolina’s junior-enlisted military families (E1-E6). SEANC will be collecting new baby shower items on Thursday, Sept. 8, at the convention. Awards Committee: Chairwoman Mary O’Neill announced changes to this year’s award submissions for convention. This year the committee will accept submissions electronically. Forms are online and the deadline for submission is July 22. All awards will be presented at the Saturday night banquet during convention. Please submit all completed forms to Amber Ernst at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bylaws Advisory Committee: Chairman Cliff Brown presented an update on potential bylaws changes that districts are considering. Two bylaws amendments that the committee is working toward involve twoyear officer terms and a biennial convention structure beginning in 2016. A biennial structure means that the convention would be held every other year instead of annually. The rationale is to align officer terms and the SEANC convention more closely with the state election cycle. SEANC must also change its bylaws to elect members to the SEIU convention to concur with federal law. The bylaws amendment would specify how the elections would occur. For questions or to submit district bylaws changes, please email Brown at email@example.com. EMPAC: Chairwoman Amaka Flynn reported on EMPAC’s goal to increase district participation and requested district leaders to solicit members to join and/or increase their PAC participation during upcoming annual meetings. Flynn also announced that EMPAC is on target to have $787,000 for use in the 2012 elections. Insurance Board of Trustees: Chairwoman Shanticia Hawkins and Director of Insurance Brenda Hooker brought forward a recommendation from SEANC’s Insurance Board of Trustees for a new pet insurance product called the Healthy Paws Pet Health Plan. Rates vary by animal – $25 per month for a dog and $15 per month for a cat. The plan covers treatment of all injuries, accidents and illnesses with lifetime benefits of $25,000 per pet. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. The BOG voted to accept the proposal, and enrollment details will be forthcoming. Membership Committee: The committee encouraged convention delegates to participate in their Fantastic Five challenge and recruit five members before July 25. Members who successfully recruit five new people will get a t-shirt and $10. Minority Council: Chairman Nilesh Surti has finalized an anonymous survey to gather data regarding minority issues in the workplace from SEANC members. It will be distributed soon to all members.
Member Discount: Chairwoman Janet Bunch reported that 14 new businesses have been signed up since February 2011 for a total of 161 new discounts this year. Planning Committee: Chairman Tony Smith announced the committee will meet on June 8 to plan next yearâ€™s budget. Policy Platform Committee: Chairwoman Debby Butler reported that the committee will meet on July 21. Retiree Council: Chairman Bob Hopper reminded members that SHP enrollment is ongoing and that all members will be moved to the Basic 70/30 plan effective July 1, unless they fill out an enrollment form for the Standard 80/20 plan. SEANC health care lobbyist Chuck Stone clarified retiree enrollment procedures. The only people who do not have to take action are those retirees for whom Medicare is their primary insurance. Plan members for whom Medicare is their primary insurance must sign up if they wish to add or drop dependents. If this is the case, you must take action and fill out the forms. All non-Medicare retirees will be moved to the Basic 70/30 plan unless they complete an application and attestation form for the Standard 80/20 plan that stipulates plan members meet the tobacco and BMI requirements. Plan members who do not meet the tobacco or BMI requirements can still enroll in the Standard 80/20 plan if they enroll in nutritional counseling and/or a tobacco cessation program. Scholarship Foundation Board: Chairman George Thiessen reported the scholarship board will meet from May 24-26 to judge scholarship entries. Scholarship raffle tickets are now on sale for $1 to benefit the foundation. This year the foundation will award $10,000 in prizes at convention â€“ grand prize is $6,000, first prize is $3,000 and second prize is $1,000. Youth Council: The committee is selling raffle tickets for $1 to benefit a scholarship. Prizes will be awarded at convention and include three trips to Myrtle Beach, Carowinds and Kings Dominion. Votes: PASSED - A proposal by the Insurance Board of Trustees to offer pet insurance. The next BOG meeting will be July 22-23 in Raleigh.