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 Oct. 28-29, 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 20122013 year: Sandra Johnson of District 44 for Second Vice President Jimmie Horton of District 63 for Treasurer Regional Representative Election: The South Central Regional Representatives to the Executive Committee were elected by their peers at the BOG meeting. The new representatives are District 39 Chairman Art Anthony and the alternate will be District 62 Chairman Lewis Sasser. Treasurer’s Report: Marilyn Jean Martin reported that SEANC’s finances are doing extremely well. Staff was conservative with the SEANC budget and beat budget projections by 9 percent with $303,000 unspent and $2 million in cash on hand at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. This is the third year in a row that staff has met all SEANC obligations under budget. As of Oct. 31, the balance on the SEANC Central Office building is $307,000 and the association is projected to make its last mortgage payment on 1621 Midtown Place in January 2013. Special Visitors from SEIU International: SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry spoke to the board about her three priorities in the campaign to “Fight for a Fair Economy.” 1. Good jobs now 2. No more cuts (to Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security) 3. Everyone must pay their fair share 1
The SEIU campaign to “Fight for a Fair Economy” is echoing these priorities at the national level, much like the SEANC “Take Pride in Carolina” campaign earlier this year. As an advocate for quality public services she asked, “What does it mean to have a common good in this country? Good means that we are our brother’s keeper.” Henry asked board members to identify their chief concerns so that SEIU International can be of assistance. Board members responded with two key areas: 1. Fight privatization of prisons 2. Preserve SPA protections for university employees Eileen Kirlin, International Executive Vice President for the Public Services Division, was present at the meeting and pledged to fight for both of these concerns nationally. Henry also pointed out that different locals around the nation are deciding whether they will endorse Pres. Barack Obama in the 2012 election. She acknowledged that SEANC has decided to remain neutral in presidential politics, as is standard in the association’s history. Briefing from State Treasurer Janet Cowell: State Treasurer Janet Cowell addressed the board with updates about the retirement system and the State Health Plan (SHP). Treasurer Cowell feels good about the new governance structure of SHP with a board of trustees consisting of eight members – four state employees and four experts. This board will have oversight of contracts. Cowell will serve on the board but will only vote in instances where a tie-breaker is needed. The board members’ terms will begin in January. District 22 Chairwoman Michele Shaw will serve on the SHP board of trustees. Cowell asked the BOG for input to pass along to the new trustees and noted that she will embark on a listening tour about the SHP in November and December. SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope suggested that the SHP board focus on the design and priorities of the plan itself. BOG members asked Cowell for a ranking of how North Carolina’s SHP compares to others across the county. BOG members also asked for the board to go after overpayments more aggressively and consider transitioning the SHP to a calendar year structure. After remarks from Cowell and Shaw, SEANC President Charles Johnson said, “We are encouraged and we will do everything to support the State Health Plan.” Executive Director’s Report: Executive Director Dana Cope reported that state government added 2,600 jobs to the September payroll according to a recent WRAL report, as hiring managers were allowed to fill vacancies. Unfortunately, news for next year’s state budget is not good. Already, the state Medicaid funding is $200 million - $300 million in the hole and the economy is not expected to improve in the near future. As a result, SEANC will focus on the state budget and inevitable cuts that will come from the Congressional supercommittee tackling the federal deficit. The result in our state is likely 2
to be less money for government programs, but a continued mandate to provide those services (ex. Medicaid). Cope told the BOG, “Now is the time to get in the boat and row together and focus on the things that really matter: what comes out of the legislature and the outcomes of the election.” Convention update: Cope reported that convention evaluations were positive. Director of Communications/Public Relations Toni Davis provided an overview on the 2011-2015 contract with the Koury Convention Center as it was voted on by the BOG on Sept. 9, 2009. Room rates in 2012 will be $130 plus 13.75 percent state and local taxes and no one is required to purchase buffet tickets. Lawsuit against employee dismissed: In July, the BOG approved $5,000 in financial assistance to aid the lawsuit of District 42 member Joseph Vincoli. The member was being sued by N.C. Baptist Hospital for blowing the whistle on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s overpayments to the SHP. On Oct. 28, the Winston-Salem Journal reported that Baptist Hospital dropped its lawsuit against Vincoli after a state auditor’s report confirmed Vincoli’s complaints were valid. Member Discount Committee: Chairwoman Janet Bunch reported that the committee recruited 21 businesses since Aug. 1. For a full list of discounts, visit the SEANC website and log in to the member-only section. Member Strength Committee: Chairwoman Angela Lyght reported that the committee’s goal is to have 4,860 of our 55,000 members attend a member strength event this year (ex. training, conference, General Assembly lobby day, etc.). Lyght also reported that Member Strength TEAM training will take place Feb. 1-3 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, with a goal of continuing to connect SEANC’s passions to action with intensive leadership development training. President Johnson set a goal of 300 members to attend. Districts will pay $100 per person, double occupancy, to send members to the conference. Districts will be required to pay for meals and travel costs to and from the training. Insurance Board of Trustees: Chairwoman Pam Hailey reported that the vacancy on the board from the Piedmont region has now been filled by District 19 member Martha Fowler. She informed the BOG of a rate increase for MetLife dental insurance effective Jan. 1, 2012. The monthly premiums will increase 17 percent for the high option plan and 7 percent for the low option plan. Hailey cited low participation but high usage as a major factor in the cost increase. Despite the cost increase, the plan is described as a Cadillac plan with a $3,000 benefit when most plans have a $1,250 benefit.
Membership Committee: Chairman Spillman Grice kicked off a save-the-date membership challenge in October with 30 districts participating. Over 225 members joined at 30 events – so a big thank you goes out to the districts that participated. District 70 member Douglas Wilson won $100 for recruiting 30 new members since convention. Grice reported that 14 districts have started off the year with more members gained than lost. Those districts are as follows: 2, 6, 16, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 47, 57, 63, 66, 68 and 69. Policy Platform/Personnel Benefits Committee: Members assigned to the Policy Platform committee are being asked to advise the association in a dual capacity by serving as the Personnel Benefits committee. A Personnel Benefits Committee will be responsible for making recommendations to SEANC about personnel benefits. This was voted on at convention but no funds have been provided for the committee. Retiree Council: Chairman Bob Hopper recommended moving the SHP to a calendar year structure in 2013, in an effort to assist Medicare-eligible retirees. There is currently a $63 million surplus of income in the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System and Hopper advocated that it be used for a retiree cost of living adjustment. The board voted to approve both of these ideas (see votes). Scholarship Foundation Board: Chairman George Thiessen reported that the board met earlier in the week and passed a budget to award 36 scholarships totaling $30,000. Scholarship requirements have changed this year and the new forms and scoring sheets will be distributed electronically when they become available. Thiessen also reported that the scholarship board is raffling a set of golf clubs at $1 per ticket. Tickets were distributed to district chairpersons and must be returned with money to the February BOG meeting for a chance to win. The drawing will be held at the February BOG meeting. EMPAC: Chairman Wayne Fish reiterated that EMPAC has set a goal to raise at least $1 million for the next election. Thus far, $311,561 is in the bank and a total of $800,000 is projected to be raised by the election. Important Dates: Dec. 3 – EMPAC area interview training for 2012 elections, opening up to all districts and all chairpersons at 10 a.m. Feb. 1-3 – Member Strength TEAM training, Great Wolf Lodge in Concord Other Updates:
President Johnson announced that the bylaws advisory committee would lead the delegate selection procedures for the next SEIU convention to be held in May in Denver, Colo. District 44 Chairwoman Sandra Johnson reported that her district is participating in fundraising for the Race for the Cure to benefit breast cancer research. Donations are requested to host a tent at the Raleigh race next year. For more information, email Sandra at email@example.com. VOTES: PASSED – a motion to support the movement of the SHP to a calendar year structure in 2013, in an effort to assist Medicare-eligible retirees PASSED – a motion to support an 8.33 percent employer contribution for the state retirement system for 2012-2013, which would result in a 1.9 percent cost of living adjustment for retirees PASSED – a motion to accept the MetLife dental rate increase PASSED – funding of $54,000 to purchase an office scanning system PASSED – transfer $67,000 from reserve account for Member Strength Training Feb. 1-3 FAILED – a motion to restrict staff involvement in elections and appointments The next BOG meeting will take place Feb. 17-18 at the SEANC Central Office in Raleigh.