The Board of Governors met on July 25-26 to discuss business important to state employees and retirees.
Candidate Announcements The following members announced their intention to run for the SEANC Executive Committee in 2014-2015: • • • • •
Rita Woods of District 68 (East) Gracie LeSane of District 27 (North Central) Marilyn Jean Martin of District 12 (Piedmont) Martha Fowler of District 19 for Alternate Rep. (Piedmont) Ricky Rivenbark of District 61 (South Central)
Treasurer’s Report SEANC Betty “BJ” Jones reported that SEANC’s finances are doing well with total receipts at 73 percent and 66-percent disbursements. SEANC received its independent audit by A.T. Allen & Company which was favorable with no issues of concern.
Member Sanctioned A member filed an ethics complaint against another active member on July 1 to General Counsel/Ethics Officer Tom Harris on the grounds that this individual had engaged in activities that would undermine SEANC’s goals and objectives. Prior to the BOG, President Sandy appointed a member-led committee to investigate. The committee deemed there was a violation of the SEANC ethics policy and reported it to the Executive Committee, which agreed and forwarded it to the BOG for a hearing pursuant to the SEANC Ethics Policy. After holding a hearing in executive session, the BOG determined there was a violation and voted to place the individual on probation for a period of three years with certain conditions. President’s Report 1
President Sidney M. Sandy welcomed SEIU’s Executive Vice President for the Public Division Eileen Kirlin and N.C. liaison Kathy Eddy to the meeting who are visiting from Washington, D.C. Sandy urged members to sign up for SEANC’s text message program. Members may opt in to receive special action alerts about what’s happening in the General Assembly or for urgent member news by texting the word SEANC to 787753. To end service, reply stop or contact Matt Whittle. Message and data rates may apply, depending on your phone plan. District chairpersons are requested to share this new program with their members. Sandy reminded BOG members that this year at convention, the community service project will be the SEANC Scholarship Foundation and Sandy will shave his beard if the districts donate more than $12,000 and entire head if $18,000 is raised. Please begin to fundraise and/or set funds aside for your district to participate in this worthy project that benefits SEANC members, their dependents and spouses.
Executive Director’s Report SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope reported the legislature is close to adjourning. SEANC continues to strongly advocate for pay raises, COLAs and permanent bonus leave days. Cope and President Sandy have been meeting with SEIU’s Kirlin with a goal to increase our membership to 60,000 members within 12 months. To achieve this goal, SEANC will need more ambassadors in the workplace and will start a robust member exchange program with other SEIU locals to learn about membership recruitment best practices and to develop a new membership recruitment plan. •
Eileen Kirlin: Ms. Kirlin addressed the BOG and informed members that workers around the country are suffering. Public employees are the last of the middle class who have decent, full-time jobs pensions and health care benefits. She noted that politicians use pensions against state employees to stir trouble within our own communities—those who have retirement security, pensions versus those who do not. The challenge is for SEIU and SEANC members to lift up all working people with good wages, pensions and health care coverage. SEIU intends to organize an additional 100,000 new workers, with 5,000 of them being SEANC members in the upcoming year and will be devoting resources to assist SEANC with this effort. Hart Research Poll Results In: SEIU hosted a telephone survey of North Carolina State Employees at SEANC’s request from June 17 to 30, 2014. Guy Molyneux of Hart Research Associates briefed the BOG on the results which included input from 994 employees, including 403 SEANC members and 591 active non-members about their views on the association and for nonmembers what would entice them to join the association. The biggest takeaways were:
Largest obstacle to non-members joining SEANC-SEANC does not have a visible presence with non-members; in fact this is the biggest reason that non-members give for why they are not members. What appeals about SEANC to non-members-Nonmembers are more likely to join if they are told that SEANC is a strong advocate that stands up for public employees and fights for them vs. pitching member benefits. Type of organization that non-members want to join: State employees want an aggressive advocate who looks out not just for state employees, but also for the communities in which they live. And state employees see membership as being about building a strong voice to improve state employee jobs and services to the community.
Communications/Convention Update Meeting and Convention Planner Alicia Miller provided an update for the 2014 Annual Convention. District chairpersons will be inducted on Saturday, Sept. 6 at the “A Night with the SEANC Stars” banquet. The deadline for a new video contest open to members, with a grand prize of $1,000, has been extended until Aug. 27. The winner of the video contest will be selected by convention delegates. •
Trainings: District treasurers and scholarship training will be held on Thursday, Sept. 4 from 9-11 a.m. Please make every effort to have your district representatives attend these trainings. Additional trainings will take place during the convention session. Rooming List Information: Once you receive room confirmation numbers from the hotel, please make any room changes directly with the hotel (Reservations - Denise Marble, Manager) o If you have a delegate change during convention, please complete the Delegate Change Form located at the Information Center (outside of Guilford Ballroom) Bylaws and Policy Platform: Proposed bylaws and policy initiatives that will be voted on at the convention will be posted to the convention website page by Aug. 1. All delegates will be able to view this information once they log into the web site.
Miller announced the following dates for convention:
August August 15 – Banquet RSVP and ticket sales deadline, (Thurs., $25 and Sat., $45) August 15 – Remembrance information/photo submission August 20 - Final membership numbers go out August 21 - Delegate Add/Change Form available online August 27 - Delegate Add/Change Form and video contest deadline 3
Awards Chairwoman Pam Hailey reported that the committee will meet Aug. 5 to judge the awards. Benevolence Committee Chairwoman Regenia Melvin asked that all persons send in pictures of district members who have passed in the last year. Fill out the form at seanc.org/convention/remembrance. Deadline is Aug. 15.
Bylaws Committee Chairman Jimmy Davis reported the State Bylaws Advisory Committee met on Wednesday and reviewed 16 proposed amendments. On July 24, the Bylaws Committee voted to send five amendments for consideration by delegates. Convention voting will be conducted by electronic keypads at convention and the Bylaws Committee will be administering the election. Topics include proposals: • • • • •
To allow membership to local government employees To clarify membership privileges To reduce district rebates from 20 to 15 percent To change the timeframe for submitting bylaws within 10 business days after approval by vote at a district’s annual meeting and no later than July 15 To change certain bylaws with a simple majority
EMPAC Chairman Wayne Fish reported that EMPAC-endorsed Shelly Willingham of Edgecombe County won his House District 23 race where there was a July run-off for the Democratic nomination. Willingham faces no opponent in November. Chairman Fish has led a member lobbying campaign at the General Assembly to fight for pay, healthcare and retirement this session.
The EMPAC sweepstakes tickets have recently been sent and the return rate is high. More than 1,200 donations have been counted thus far. All members are urged to return their sweepstakes tickets by Aug. 29 for a chance to win cash prizes from $5,000 to $250. There is no cost to participate in the sweepstakes.
This year at the EMPAC reception at convention, only endorsed candidates will be invited.
Insurance Board of Trustees Chairwoman Doranna Anderson requested the BOG renew the Accidental Death and Dismemberment and dental policies. The BOG voted to renew the policies. Boston Mutual and Hyatt Legal will have open enrollment in September. The deadline for filing for an IBOT seat has ended. The following members will be on the ballot at convention: 4
• Doranna Anderson of District 47 (North Central) • Nicole Hunter of District 43 (North Central) • Barbara Pace of District 16 (Piedmont) • Elizabeth Linney of District 69 (South Central) • Lewis Sasser of District 62 (South Central) • Henry Belada of District 7 (West) • Janice Smith of District 3 (West) Please note that this is the final list of IBOT nominees as persons are not permitted to run for the IBOT from the convention floor. Member Discount The Member Discount Committee recruited 64 new businesses since the last BOG meeting including Colonial Williamsburg, Sam’s Club (statewide) and Harry & David Gourmet Gifts. The deadline for recruiting businesses is July 31 if you want to participate in the Member Discount contest. The top three statewide business recruiters will be recognized with cash prizes at convention: • • •
First Place-$500 Second Place-$300 Third Place-$200
Member Strength Chairwoman Hiawatha Jones updated the BOG on the committee’s goals to educate, engage and empower members. The committee is preparing teams ready to conduct rapid response at the legislature and calls to action. The committee met on July 21 to adopt the principals of a new workplan and a leadership activity rewards points system. Membership Chairman Bill Spade announced regional winners from the last membership recruitment challenge from Feb. to May. Each winner received a $100 prize (West split their prize due to a tie.) Congrats to Ron Fields who recruited 277 people. The winners are:
Russell Anderson of District 66 (East) Douglas Murray of District 26 (North Central) Ron Fields of District 20 (Piedmont) Joe Cagle District 22 (South Central) Sandra Bristol of District 7, Sherry Helton and Dale Shaffer of District 6 (West)
Kudos to District 17’s Sager Furr who is visiting one agency per month. He is an example for all district chairpersons. The committee issued a 10-percent challenge for each district to grow by convention. Districts who meet the challenge to grow membership by 10 percent will be recognized at the convention. 5
Planning Committee Chairwoman Linda Rouse Sutton presented the Planning Committees’ proposed Fiscal Year 2014-15 budget to the BOG for consideration and a vote. The SEANC budget funds member operations and programs and includes a $1,000 staff raise. The BOG voted to pass the budget. Policy Platform Chairwoman Doris Greer reported that the committee met and several new policy platform objectives will be considered by the convention. Topics include: • An independent audit of the North Carolina Retirement System • Equal raises for COLAs and pay raises • State Health Plan ratings and ethics • To ensure that DPS employees who work a 12 hour day, get 12 hours of vacation on their day off
Retiree Council Chairman Spillman Grice reported that the council met July 10. Several members have stepped up to run for vacant council seats. The announced candidates are: • • • • • • •
Delores Jones (East) Roland Best of District 70 (East) Alfred Johnson of District 42 (North Central) Martha Fowler of District 19 (Piedmont) Laura Overstreet of District 62 (South Central) Harold Faulk of District 23 (South Central) Johnny Burnett of District 5 (West)
Members may run for Retiree Council seats from the convention floor.
Spillman Grice made a motion that SEANC only pay retiree dues for one retiree in each district beginning in January 2015 unless certain conditions were met by SEIU. The motion passed. Scholarship Foundation Chairwoman Shirley Ballard reported that the board met on May 20-22 for annual state application judging and awarded $38,000 in scholarship to 46 recipients. Ballard thanked President Sandy for his willingness to have the SEANC Scholarship Foundation as the convention community service project and urged districts to donate. Ballard also urged each district to sell all of their cash raffle tickets
Several members have announced their intention to run for board vacancies. The Scholarship Foundation also permits members to run from the convention floor. Announced candidates include: • • • • • • • • •
Sherry Dodge of District 56 (East) Tate Johnson of District 67 (East) Angela Edwards of District 16 (Piedmont) Phyllis Comer of District 16 (Piedmont) Nichole Hunter of District 43 (North Central) Chevella Thomas of District 27(North Central) Tiffany Allen of District 1 (West) Jim Rowell of District 1 (West) Brad Renegar of District 2 (West)
Youth Council Members volunteered with Habitat for Humanity on July 18.
New Business Benny Brigman of District 7 0 requested that all persons in District 66 be informed of the proposed merger of District 66 and 70 and asked the BOG to reconsider its merger. The BOG agreed and approved a motion to do so.
Linda Rouse Sutton led a District Consolidation Committee this year and distributed a document on district consolidation, merger or jurisdiction to establish new procedures (hyperlink here).
Staff Retirement Steve Lawson is retiring this fall as the SEANC Lead Member Action Coordinator and SEANC Executive Director paid tribute to his service. Votes PASSED-A motion to place a member on a three-year probationary period with certain conditions for violating the SEANC Code of Ethics. PASSED-A motion to accept the findings of SEANC’s independent audit. PASSED-A motion to accept the 2014-2015 SEANC budget. PASSED-A motion to renew SEANC’s AD&D insurance policy. PASSED-A motion to renew SEANC’s dental insurance with no more than a 2.1% increase for one-year. PASSED-A motion for SEANC to reduce its retiree dues payments from its full retiree members to 51 people—one retiree in each district beginning in January 2015, if SEIU does not meet certain guidelines. PASSED-A motion to reconsider the merger of Districts 70 and 66. PASSED-A motion to accept the District Consolidation Committee’s guidelines for future district mergers.