The Board of Governors met on March 13-14 to discuss business important to state employees and retirees. New Executive Director On March 14, the Board of Governors offered and Mitch Leonard accepted and signed a three-year employment contract as the SEANC’s Executive Director. Leonard has served as Interim Executive Director since Feb. 9. He signed the contract in the conference room that bears his name on the 38 th anniversary of his work with state employees. He thanked the members who put their faith and trust in him and promised to help “right this ship.” Treasurer’s Report Chairwoman Gloria Evans reported on SEANC’s finances. Currently receipts are at 38% and disbursements are at 35%. Evans urged all BOG members to participate in the SEANC Scholarship Bowl-a-Thon on Saturday, March 14, to assist with the SEANC Scholarship Foundation’s revenues. Board Training Jeanne Allen conducted an interactive nonprofit board governance and roles training with the BOG. Allen explained the 10 most important roles boards play. BOG members broke out into small groups and discussed each role and its relevance to SEANC. You can find the responses to the below questions here. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Determine the mission & purpose Select the CEO Support the CEO and review performance Ensure effective organizational planning Monitor/strengthen programs & services Ensure adequate financial resources Protest assets & provide financial oversight Build a competent board Ensure legal & ethical integrity 1
10. Enhance the organization’s public standing President’s Report President Wayne Fish requested that each BOG member notify Alicia Miller of their district’s annual meeting by April 6 and urged all BOG members to attend the SEANC Scholarship Bowl-a-Thon on Saturday, March 14. Membership Report Chairman Bill Spade reported that the committee is hosting three different statewide recruitment days: April 23, June 16 and Aug. 12. Anyone who recruits and the people recruited on these days will be entered into a drawing for a five-day, four-night cruise leaving from Charleston, S.C. The committee also is increasing member recruitment incentives in the months of May-July 2015 from $15 to $25. Special recognition will be giving at convention to the district that recruits the most new members. Executive Director’s Report SEANC Executive Director Mitch Leonard thanked the membership for putting their faith in him as executive director and made several updates. Membership Recruitment Since Feb. 9, the association has had 280 membership cancellations, but has recruited even more new members than have cancelled in the same period – 304. SEANC Central Office Renovations continue in the SEANC Central Office to include the SEANC store, conference rooms and servery. The office has suffered two floods in recent weeks. It is estimated that these items will take two months or more to complete. General Assembly Leonard has been meeting with leadership in the General Assembly on across-theboard pay raises and cost-of-living increases for all state employees and retirees, and has interviewed with Capital Tonight, the AP and WFMY 2 on this topic. The governor’s budget proposal does not fund across-the-board raises or COLAs. There also is a possibility that active employees could end up with a premium on the 70/30 PPO if wellness incentives are not completed. Leonard met with Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) regarding his dues deduction bill, which would eliminate all associations’, including SEANC’s, dues deductions. SEANC is working with the State Employees’ Credit Union to begin using bank draft in addition to dues deduction. The gas tax bill has passed both the House and Senate in different forms meaning that a joint House-Senate conference committee will meet to determine if 500 DOT jobs will be eliminated. The Senate version included the job cuts while Speaker Pro 2
Tempore Paul “Skip” Stam (R-Wake) had the jobs restored during House debate in the Finance Committee. SEANC staff is working to keep the 500 jobs from being cut. Proposed legislation, SB6, would have retirees who come to work full-time in the active State Health Plan rather than retiree coverage. The state treasurer would foot the bill for that coverage using retirement system health benefits. This bill would be a huge relief to retirees who seek to come back to work without having their health benefits suffer. Personnel Changes Member Action – Kacee Gore has left the Member Action Department as Operations Manager and Resha Fortson will transition from her Member Action Coordinator (MAC) position to Operations Manager. Flint Benson is moving from Member Action to Government Relations, creating two vacant MAC positions. Government Relations – Suzanne Beasley is now designated as SEANC’s Senior Lobbyist, David Collins has been hired as a new lobbyist and Flint Benson is also transitioning to the department as a lobbyist. These new positions were available upon the retirement of lobbyists Mitch Leonard and Chuck Stone in December. Finance Procedures Leonard is reviewing operations and personnel manuals to ensure compliance and accounting for credit card use. There will be a review of credit cards to determine who requires credit cards and who does not. In the meantime, directors will review credit cards of employees to ensure that all receipts match charges and all charges that can readily be paid by check are being done so instead of using credit cards. SEANC will also bid out the contract for audit services next year. Chief of Staff/General Counsel/Ethics Liaison Report Personnel Policy Manual Changes – Tom Harris brought forward from the Executive Committee four Personnel Policy Manual changes that required advice and consent from the Board of Governors. The changes provide the same workplace protections to the chief of staff and directors afforded to other staff members and make it clear that the rules set forth in Personnel Policy Manual will be followed. The association had been allowed to alter these procedures as circumstances warrant. The proposed changes included the following. Please note that the italicized blue language was the language proposed for deletion: 1. This manual sets forth the policies, regulations and procedures applicable to the employees of the organization. The policies are consistent with those regulations for State employees to the extent legal and practical. Should a situation occur in which a policy is not written, the executive director may substitute a State policy until a new SEANC policy is adopted so long as such a substitution is consistent with applicable law. 3
The policies and procedures set forth in this manual are not to be relied upon by the employees as contractual statements. Except for any employee, such as the executive director, who has a unique, written contract with the Association, employees of the Association have no contracts of employment, and their jobs can be ended by themselves or the Association at any time. Moreover, the Association reserves the right to alter the application of these policies and procedures as specific circumstances warrant. 2. (New) The Executive Committee, subject to the advice and consent of the Board of Governors, is responsible for maintaining this manual, reviewing it at least once a year, and making the necessary revisions to all existing copies. The executive director is responsible for enforcing these policies, making copies available to each employee, communicating any changes to association employees and using this manual in the daily administration of SEANC business. Prior to making any changes, the executive director will get the consent of the Executive Committee. Any questions not covered in this manual should be referred to the Executive Committee for resolution. 3. IX. DISCIPLINARY ACTION, SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL Employees who have earned permanent status with the Association, with the exception of the chief of staff and directors, shall be disciplined in accordance with the procedures set forth in this policy. However, the Association may alter the application of these procedures as specific circumstances warrant. Probationary employees do not have access to these procedures and may be terminated with the proper two-week notice. However, good supervisory practices would encourage progressive disciplinary actions before termination of any employee unless such actions are not justified by the circumstances in the opinion of the executive director. 4. X. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE Once an employee has gained permanent status, with the exception of the chief of staff and directors, he/she has access to this procedure regarding his/her conditions of employment. The board voted to adopt the above proposed changes. Friend of the Court Brief Request Harris requested to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of SEANC in Wetherington v. N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety, a case in which the N.C. Supreme Court recently agreed to review a decision of the N.C. Court of 4
Appeals holding that the N.C. Highway Patrol lacked “just cause” to dismiss one of its officers for violating the truthfulness code of the NCHP. It is important that SEANC be heard on the issue since the outcome of the case has a potential effect on many of its members and other state employees as well. The request was approved by the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors. SEANC Core Values SEANC Core Values: During the last BOG, members were asked what SEANC’s core values should be and Harris reported the answers containing the most votes were: integrity (17), honesty (11), transparency (11), loyalty (11) and accountability (8). The board voted to incorporate the above terms gathering the most votes into SEANC’s Ethics policy. Awards Chairwoman Pam Hailey reported that committee will be meeting on March 17 to review the forms for judging this year’s award nominees. EMPAC Chairman Tony Smith reported that EMPAC held its first meeting and hosted two political advisors, one from each party, who had the same advice for SEANC and suggested the presentation be made at the annual convention. Smith’s goal is to improve grassroots lobbying. He told the BOG, “We’re in the fight of our lives right now.” Every EMPAC meeting is an open meeting and Smith would like more involvement from all SEANC members. The next statewide EMPAC meeting is May 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All areas should be involved. Smith also asked the BOG to stand behind the Executive Committee and support them. Expansion & Growth Chairwoman Gloria Upperman reported on the committee’s goals: • Educate ourselves on the issues • Build a strong committee of like-minded members • Build an organizational/recruitment plan on university campuses • Seek meaningful outcomes and a strong presence in athletic and county/local government through multi-dimensional growth and diversification strategies • Inform/educate legislators on the issues • Promote benefits of membership through marketing, social media advertising and other awareness activities • Draft a NC Bill of Rights for scholarship athletes During discussion, District 70 Chairman Benny Brigman suggested that the committee look into prioritizing temporary employees for SEANC membership. Insurance Board of Trustees 5
Chairwoman Doranna Anderson made a motion to renew the Boston Mutual TermLife Insurance contract with the rates to be the same for one year. The board adopted the motion. Member Strength Chairwoman Hiawatha Jones reported on the committee’s goals: • • • • • • •
Establish a Member Strength Chair in every district – completed Bring clarity between Membership and Member Strength – ongoing Work with District Member Strength Chair to disseminate information regarding Member Strength and its purpose – ongoing Establish relationship with retirees within every district – ongoing Develop a lobby list from each district area – making progress Work with Member Strength chair with developing a relationship with retirees Develop members through Member Strength to lobby, work with, and for the legislator
Retiree Council Chairman Spillman Grice reported that the committee met on Feb. 5. SEANC is requesting a 2-percent COLA and one click in the formula from 1.82% to 1.83% in the General Assembly. The Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System recommended a 1-percent COLA. • The Retiree Coordinator training held on March 11 in the SEANC Central Office was well-attended with 39 out of 52 districts represented. • Grice also reported that SEIU agreed to financially support the council o SEIU has agreed to help fund five Retiree Forums per region for a total of 25 forums (Contact Tiffany Woodard if interested in hosting a forum.) o SEIU has agreed to support SEANC by offering one full-time Retiree Coordinator staff position ▪ The council voted to make that one full-time position into twopart time positions to assist with all arrangements and presentation at the regional forums. Please contact Lynn Cote if interested. There is no deadline to apply at this time. ▪ The council will begin focus groups and targeted mailings to retired non-members (500 mailings per region) Grice reminded BOG members of a motion from last year regarding payment of SEIU retiree dues. The motion was that if retirees were not satisfied with SEIU’s retirement programs and funding for SEANC, that the council would recommend that the association only pay for one retiree per district as of Jan. 1, 2015. This vote was postponed until the next scheduled BOG. Scholarship Foundation 6
Chairman Mike Bell reported that the foundation raised $19,267 at the 2014 annual convention in memory of Dr. Yolyndra Green for a memorial Member-Only Scholarship that will be awarded annually to the top vote-getter in the Member-Only category. Also in 2014, more than 38,000 raffle tickets were sold by districts. The top-selling districts were 70, 68, 61, 59, 40, 11, 8 and 7. Scholarship Season announcements: • Deadline for applications received at district level should be postmarked no later than April 15 • Deadline for all judged scholarships (both district winners and non-winners) received at the Central Office should be postmarked no later than May 1 • Minor changes to procedure o Two different reporting forms are now required: District Winners’ Report and the State Competition Report Youth Council Member Action Director Lynn Cote presented the chairwoman’s report for Chairwoman Erica Simmons who was absent. The committee is seeking members under 40 who are interested in participating on the council and have several vacancies that need to be filled. New Business Convention – District 5 Chairwoman Sherry McCracken brought forward several suggestions for President Wayne Fish’s consideration as he plans the next convention. Ideas included returning to reserved Saturday night banquet seating, utilizing SEANC Parliamentarians vs. a professional parliamentarian and excluding staff from assisting in SEANC candidate elections. Fish stated that he would take the comments under advisement and that he would be using a SEANC Parliamentarian this year. Leonard announced that no staff will take any part in candidate elections. Votes PASSED – A motion from Executive Committee regarding four Personnel Policy Manual changes granting employment rights to directors and the chief of staff to be the same for all SEANC employees. (See above for specific language.) PASSED – A motion from the Executive Committee directing SEANC General Counsel Tom Harris to file a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of SEANC in Wetherington v. N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. PASSED – SEANC Core Values: A motion to define SEANC’s core values should be integrity, honesty, transparency, loyalty and accountability. PASSED – A motion from the Insurance Board of Trustees to renew the Boston Mutual Term-Life Insurance contract for one-year at current rates. 7
PASSED â€“ A motion to postpone the deadline vote to pay retiree dues for one retiree per district until the next scheduled BOG (May 15-16).