The Board of Governors met on May 31-June 1, to discuss business important to state employees and retirees. Officer Announcements The 2012-2013 SEANC Officers announced their intention to run for re-election in 2013-2014 at the 30th Annual SEANC Convention in September:
Sidney M. Sandy of District 11 for President Art Anthony of District 39 for First Vice President Stanley Gales of District 26 for Second Vice President Betty “BJ” Jones of District 42 for Treasurer
Treasurer’s Report Treasurer Betty Jones reported that SEANC’s finances are doing well with total annual budget receipts at 62 percent and 52 percent disbursements. President’s Report President Sidney M. Sandy encouraged the board to recruit new SEANC blood with an emphasis on younger members. He encouraged BOG members to give greater responsibilities to younger members of their districts. Sandy then encouraged districts to consider changing requirements for regional representatives to allow for non-BOG members to serve in that role. He also recommended changing terms for officers to two years rather than one. Sandy recognized SEANC’s staff, adding that they “do a tremendous job, but they can’t do it all. We need to pick up the ball and run with it ourselves.” He stressed the importance of BOG members to speak as one voice on issues important to state employees.
Executive Director’s Report Executive Director Dana Cope began with an update on the state budget debate now “more than halfway through” in Raleigh. He highlighted Gov. Pat McCrory’s first budget proposal, which was “revenue neutral” and contained a 1-percent pay raise for state employees and a 1-percent cost-of-living adjustment for retirees. The N.C. Senate recently passed its own budget based on their tax reform package that generates $750 million less in funding, which creates great problems for public services and the people who provide them. In order to cut this money from operating expenses, the Senate chose to cut 1,600 jobs and proposed no pay raises/retiree cost-of-living adjustments. Cope said he is hopeful that the N.C. House’s budget, which will be released soon, to be “somewhere in between” the first two budget proposals. Non-SEANC members have been contacting the office requesting SEANC fight to save their jobs during budget negotiations. Due to limited resources and BOG direction, SEANC is committed to saving SEANC members’ jobs first in the budget. This is a prime reason for state employees to join the association. Several tax reform proposals were released last week. Both the Senate and the House tax reform packages are based on a regressive model. They include a corporate tax cut and lower personal income taxes, but add sales taxes to many services that aren’t currently taxed. That affects people differently. The less money you make, the harder it is on you to pay for taxes on those services. Both will negatively impact state government and the delivery of public services. Gov. Pat McCrory continues his quest to rewrite the State Personnel Act and SEANC strongly opposes the bill in its current form. The governor’s proposal essentially makes all state employees political appointees subject to termination at will, and he has made it his personal fight. In a break from tradition, McCrory personally lobbied the General Assembly for the bill. SEANC continues to fight to remove the harmful aspects of the rewrite bill through negotiation, and plans to work with the Senate so that state employees don’t become political pawns. For more on the SPA, see the May 31 Legislative Update or the June Reporter. State Treasure Janet Cowell continues to attempt to further her own political ambitions at the expense of state employees’ health care and retirement. She is rumored to be planning a run for governor in 2016, and is in our view, using the power of her office to do that, along with the $80 billion she controls through the state retirement system. Her latest effort to appease her campaign contributors comes at the expense of autistic children of state employees. She has clearly directed her State Health Plan staff to derail coverage for these kids, which would cost the State Health Plan just pennies per member. Why? Because, insurance insiders tell SEANC, it opens the door for coverage to many other developmental issues, which would likely hurt 2
insurance companies’ bottom line. If that’s true, it’s immoral, it’s not right and we are highlighting it,” said Cope. A few members on Facebook have asked about a lobby day at the General Assembly. Cope said that this year SEANC members have instituted a practice of visiting legislators personally in small groups. “We’re able to be there every day now,” Cope said. “It is way more effective.” Executive Committee Recruitment Event Second Vice President Stanley Gales reported on a recruiting trip at the CIAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in Charlotte. He and several officers, districts and staff members participated in the recruiting effort, which yielded 50 new members. Ethics Committee Chairman Duane Smith proposed and the BOG passed new sections to the ethics code that broadened the application of the code, added new ethical standards and more completely defined the process for determining code violations. Additionally another proposal was presented that directed the presiding officer at any SEANC business meeting to not speak to the merits of a motion without first stepping out of the role of presiding officer and turning that role over to another officer. Smith proposed the following policy for SEANC Districts Use of Websites and Social Media:
The BOG adopted the committee’s proposal.
Convention Report SEANC Convention and Meeting Planner Alicia Miller provided a briefing on the 30th Annual Convention, which will be held on Sept. 5-7 at the Sheraton Four Seasons in Greensboro. The theme for this year’s convention is “Building a Better Tomorrow.” Registration is open now on the SEANC website. Thursday and Saturday night dinners are optional and tickets are available now through Aug. 9 on the website. The community service project will be the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals. 2016-2018 Annual Convention RFPs Miller presented the proposals from Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh for the 2016-2018 conventions. The BOG voted to remain in Greensboro at the Sheraton Four Seasons through 2018. Awards Committee The communications staff announced that the forms to submit nominations for awards is online. The deadline for submissions is July 20. Benevolence Committee Doranna Anderson announced that the Benevolence Committee has sent out 131 cards this year to the families of fallen members as well as a few “get-well-soon” cards. She also told the group that the Remembrance form is now online, and the deadline for submissions is Aug. 16. Bylaws Committee Chairman Jimmy Davis reminded districts that they have 15 days after annual meeting to submit bylaws change. There will be no exceptions to the deadline. If a bylaws proposal has an effect on another bylaw, you must submit changes to it as well. EMPAC Chairman Wayne Fish announced that EMPAC met on March 2 and discussed fundraising and changes due to redistricting. The committee will meet again on July 13 to hear from committee members on reorganization proposals. He also announced that EMPAC will be holding its annual sweepstakes again this year. He encouraged members to spread the word about SEANC, even if it just means putting a sticker on your car. Insurance Board of Trustees Chairwoman Pam Hailey brought a proposal to reduce the cost of SEANC’s vision insurance with United Healthcare (Spectera) by 5 percent July 1 due to a negotiation by staff and the board. It was unanimously approved. Hailey updated the BOG on several insurance products: Vision: In addition to the rate reduction, Costco is now accepting SEANC’s vision insurance and those who have vision insurance can get a reduced rate on hearing aids. 4
Pet: SEANC’s pet insurance through VPI is now available Term Life: Boston Mutual has added bereavement counseling for policy holders Dental: IBT is still negotiating rates for the upcoming year with MetLife Dental and will have an update at the July meeting.
Hailey also announced that at convention, Liberty Mutual will give $5 for every SEANC member who calls for a quote to SEANC’s community service project. Details will be forthcoming. She concluded by reminding members of the vacancies on IBT, which will be filled through elections at the convention. IBT takes no nominations from the convention floor. To nominate a SEANC member for IBT, district chairperson need to send a biography of the proposed candidate to Pam Hailey and Director of Insurance Brenda Hooker by July 22. Member Discount Chairwoman Janet Bunch reported that 79 new businesses have been recruited since Feb. 2013. Doug Ledford of District 2 recruited 66 Hardee’s locations. The committee will once again recognize the top three recruiters at convention. She reminded members to notify SEANC staffer Beth Dew if discounts on the website need updating and she encouraged members to explore gift certificates on PerksCard site. District 66 Chairman Mike Kollock stood to praise the discounts he recently received to an Elmo show and Carolina Panthers game. Member Strength Chairwoman Kim Martin reported the findings of a survey the committee had conducted for the last two weeks through the Scoop. The survey found that most people join because we fight for them, but do not wish to be active beyond paying membership dues. The survey found: 92% would recommend SEANC to others 82% are satisfied with membership 45% did not wish to be contacted 42% have never been to a SEANC meeting or event. Other survey information included: A word cloud showed words like “benefits,” “voice,” “fight” and “lobbying” were used most often in user input section What would it take to get you involved? “Being informed of when meetings were” was the top answer. What restricts you from attending SEANC meetings? “Distance to meeting, family obligations, work conflicts” were the top answers. The next committee meeting is on Friday, July 12.
Membership Chairman Spillman Grice reported that membership recruiters have been busy. He gave a shout out to the officers who worked the CIAA tournament and added 50 new members. He then encouraged others to hold events and get busy. “It’s not too late to have a successful recruiting year,” he said. The cutoff date for recruiting this year is Aug. 23 at close of business. This is the last day to count toward convention delegate total. At the Feb. BOG meeting, Grice issued a challenge – the district with most percent increase in each region would receive a $200 gift card. The winners were: West – District 6, with a 1.41% increase South Central – District 40 with a 2.5% increase Piedmont – District 18 with a 4.2% increase North Central – District 45 with a 6.79% increase East – District 63 with a 8.43% increase He announced a new incentive program launching Monday and lasting through Aug. 19: Repeat recruiters get $20 for every five new members and first-time recruiters get $15 for three new members. Grice also recognized districts in the plus for the year in membership totals. 3rd Place – Piedmont 2nd Place – North Central 1st Place – East He concluded by saying the committee with the help of SEANC Lobbyists Mitch Leonard and Chuck Stone and the Retiree Council have held 19 retirement workshops so far and have two more planned for June. Policy Platform Chairwoman Doris Greer announced that the committee has received one new objective for the upcoming July meeting. She encouraged members to talk about Policy Platform at annual meeting get some new interest. The committee will meet again in July. Planning The Planning Committee met last week and crafted a budget that is $7,400 less than last year. It will be mailed out to BOG members in a few weeks and voted on at the July BOG meeting. Retiree Council Chairman Bob Hopper thanked all involved for the retiree workshops set up across the state. He added that the council is now sending out an SEIU newsletter on federal issues including Social Security and Medicare (included in Epacket). 6
Scholarship Foundation Chairman George Thiessen reported that the board has awarded 41 scholarships totaling $33,500 this year. There were 97 applications submitted. He added that the board had printed 42,000 tickets for the raffle at the convention, and at $1 each he expects them all to be sold. The Don Jones Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Aug. 9 at Keith Hills Golf Club in Buies Creek. There will be a hole-in-one challenge and putting challenge hosted by Events America as well. Districts can sponsor holes for $100 each. He concluded by saying the board is looking to replace its East Region representative, who resigned recently, and must appoint someone. Anyone with interest should contact Thiessen. Youth Council Chairwoman Felicia Chiambiro announced that the council continues to participate in recruitment events across the state including the CIAA tourney. It is now publishing its first brochure. On April 24, the council held a day of service at SECU Family House, donating $726 and volunteering there. Members pressure washed the grounds, cooked food and did yard work. Members of the council also attended the Minority Pioneers meeting and recruited seven new members. Immigration Report Hiawatha Jones, Gloria Upperman and Flint Benson reported on efforts to pass national comprehensive immigration reform. Votes PASSED-A motion that requires SEANC districts to submit all new legal contracts to SEANC General Counsel before being entered into by the district effective immediately. PASSED-A motion prohibiting districts from entering into contracts that waives or creates liability for SEANC. PASSED- A new SEANC policy for districts use of websites and social media PASSED- A motion ordering all districts who have current contracts with Aramark at Walnut Creek to revoke those contracts unless they can be renegotiated to exclude alcohol sales. Money from SEANC reserves will be used to pay penalties that may arise.