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 919-833-6436. The Spotlight can be found on the SEANC website, www.seanc.org, under “News/Publications.”
The Board of Governors met on May 18-19, 2012, to discuss business important to state employees and retirees.
Pay Raise Call to Action – Call your N.C. House Representative at 919-733-7928 SEANC leaders called on members to act to secure pay raises. In last year’s state budget, $121 million was set aside for state employee pay raises. The N.C. House is now considering using that money to instead restore some education cuts. As an alternative to pay raises, House leaders are indicating they would give state employees a one-time bonus. A bonus is no substitute for a pay raise, which would be a permanent increase to base pay and improve retirement benefits, while a one-time bonus is just that. Now is the time to call your House lawmaker at 919-733-7928. Contact your House member to tell them that the General Assembly promised $121 million in last year’s budget. That money is for state employee pay raises. Using it for anything else is completely unacceptable. Help SEANC spread the word on your Facebook account and at work.
UNC President Tom Ross Pitches Guiding Principles, BOG favors SPA Rights University of North Carolina System President Tom Ross, a former judge and 20-year-state employee, addressed the BOG and discussed his proposal to govern university employees under a unified personnel system that would repeal State Personnel Act (SPA) rights and replace it with a set of "Guiding Principles." Ross stated that his goal was to provide the university system with more "flexibility," not deny employees the ability to participate in the State Health Plan or retirement system. After a question-and-answer period, it was clear that Ross and the BOG would agree to disagree on changing SPA rights for university employees. Ross' address to the BOG follows months of discussions between university personnel and SEANC leaders. Last year, SB 575 contained provisions to remove employees from the protections of the SPA and instead govern them under the UNC Board of Governors. Although the bill did not make "crossover" deadline in the General Assembly, SB 575 could still be added to a number of bills as a provision in this year's legislative session. This year, at the invitation of university employees, 1
SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins and Member Action Director Lynn Cote toured 13 of the 17 UNC system campuses and briefed members on the importance of SPA rights. Maintaining SPA rights is SEANC’s No. 3 policy platform objective this year.
Linda Coleman Says Thank You! The Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and SEANC Hero Linda Coleman stopped by the BOG to thank the association for its efforts in her primary election on May 8. Executive Director’s Report News You Can Use: Dana Cope was proud to report that SEANC membership has increased by 535 members since October 2011, an enormous feat given that many other civic groups have seen a decline in membership. SEANC Hero Linda Coleman is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor thanks to the association’s efforts.
Cope and SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins met with Gov. Beverly Perdue prior to her budget’s release and were informed that it contained a 1.8 percent pay raise for active state employees and a 1 percent retiree cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment. SEANC urged Gov. Perdue to increase the COLA. Later when her budget was released to the public, the COLA had increased to 1.9 percent.
Cope was invited to serve on SEIU President Mary Kay Henry's executive team at this month's SEIU Convention in Denver as a vice president. The vice president's post has a four-year commitment associated with it and the BOG voted to extend the terms of Cope's current contract in order to represent the association. If elected, Cope would continue to serve as SEANC's executive director.
After the Department of Public Safety issued a request for proposals to privatize inmate health care, the association published a study "Privatizing State Health Prisons: A Prescription for Making Taxpayers sick," and distributed it to all members of the General Assembly, the media and the BOG this month. The 68-page report details 20 years of failures in 33 states and the District of Columbia who have privatized inmate health care. The report lists examples of pay-toplay allegations, unsafe prisons and lawsuits resulting from inmate prison health care privatization. In sum, the report outlines how privatizing this core government service results in a waste of taxpayer dollars. SEANC's No. 1 policy platform objective is to oppose privatization and downsizing of state government services. Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin reported that SEANC’s finances are doing extremely well with total receipts at 60 percent and 53 percent disbursements. The association is on target to complete our mortgage obligation in March 2013.
SEANC Convention Community Service Project – Toys for Tots President Charles Johnson announced that SEANC's community service project at convention will be Toys for Tots. This year convention delegates will be asked to bring unwrapped toys for 2
children up to age 12 to be distributed statewide. Monetary donations will also be accepted. Toys for Tots prefers not to accept toys that resemble weapons or gifts with food. The Marines also prefer no stuffed animals or books as they have an abundance of these left over from last year. Johnson looks forward to making the holidays brighter for our state’s children with this project. District leaders are requested to share the service project at their annual meetings with delegates to ensure maximum participation.
My DrugCosts App The BOG voted to participate in a pilot project with My DrugCosts, a web-based program allowing consumers to access the State Health Plan formulary and determine if there are alternate generic or brand name medications that can be purchased at a lower price. The program can be accessed by computers, smart phones and other electronic devices free of charge. More information concerning the launch of this project will be forthcoming.
Awards Committee Chairwoman Gene Mills revised the nomination and criteria forms for awards and reinstated two media awards – media star and district media award. Awards forms will be available in late June on the SEANC convention website. The deadline for all award nominations is July 21.
Bylaws Committee Chairwoman Kim Martin reported all the delegate slots for the Denver convention are filled and thanked Chief of Staff/General Counsel Tom Harris for his assistance. The next meeting is July 19. Districts wishing to propose bylaws changed at SEANC's convention in September must first have their proposals approved at an annual meeting and forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org for a vote by the full Bylaws Committee in July. All bylaws that are approved will then be forwarded to convention for consideration.
EMPAC Chairman Wayne Fish announced that EMPAC met on March 3 and chose not to endorse in the governor’s race. The committee endorsed 27 legislative candidates for 2012 elections, and 21 out of those 27 candidates won in the primary, a 78 percent win rate, with one member in a runoff to be held on July 17. The association and SEIU spent $340,000 on the victorious race for Linda Coleman for the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor. In late August, EMPAC will decide which N.C. Council of State races SEANC will endorse in. The committee is not expected to endorse in all races. Insurance Board of Trustees Chairwoman Pam Hailey reported the SEANC Insurance Department gave out packets to all board members in attendance containing all of the insurance plans offered by the association. Optum Health Vision Plan is seeking to renew its contract with a 3-year rate guarantee, with no increase in premium. The insurance board of trustees recommended acceptance of the renewal and the BOG concurred. The MetLife Dental contract renewal is in negotiation and will be brought to the BOG in July. 3
Member Discount Chairwoman Janet Bunch reported 14 new businesses recruited since February.
Member Strength Chairwoman Angela Lyght reported a post-committee meeting in February to discuss the training event held at the Great Wolf Lodge. Surveys went out for member input, and results will be discussed at the next BOG meeting in July. Membership Chairman Spillman Grice reported that 35 districts are in the positive since last convention and every district in the North Central region is in the positive. Remember to recruit, recruit, recruit.
Planning Committee Chairman Tony Smith announced the committee will meet on June 7 to mark up next year’s budget.
Policy Platform Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins reported for Chairwoman Debby Bulter that the committee met on March 30. The next committee meeting is on July 18. Remember that all policy platform proposals, like bylaws proposals, must first be presented and approved at an annual meeting before being voted on by the full Policy Platform Committee in July. Convention delegates will then make the final decision about what policy platform objectives will make SEANC’s top 10 list to lobby on for next year. Retiree Council Chairman Bob Hopper reported the council met with Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) to discuss the State Health Plan and a cost-of-living increase for retirees. The next council meeting is on June 14.
Scholarship Foundation Chairman George Theissen announced the Don Jones Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Aug. 10 at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek. Hole sponsorships are $100 and the deadline is July 23. Scholarship training will be held at the annual convention in Greensboro. Annual application judging will be May 22-24. Youth Council Chairwoman Inetha Cousin announced that is it designing a survey and a webcast concerning voting.
President's Report SEIU Pre-Convention Briefing–Time to Lead. Unite. Win for the 99% SEIU delegates to this month's Denver convention were briefed by President Charles Johnson and SEIU Executive Vice President Tom Woodruff. SEANC also hosted SEIU delegates from locals in Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. 4
President Johnson, a member of the SEIU convention design committee, spoke about the SEIU Vision for a Just Society – “We believe in and will fight for a just society. Where all workers are valued and all people are respected. Where all families and communities thrive. Where we leave a better and more equal world for generations to come.” At the Denver convention, delegates will vote on officers and the SEIU agenda for the next four years. Look for an SEIU convention summary in the July Reporter.
Votes PASSED-To extend SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope's contract terms by five years and support his nomination as an SEIU vice president. PASSED-To establish a $2,000 discretionary fund for the executive director taken from the SEIU travel line item. PASSED- A motion to accept renewal of the Optum Vision Health contract. PASSED- A motion to participate in a pilot project with My DrugCosts. The next BOG meeting will be held July 20-21 at the SEANC Central Office.