The Board of Governors met on May 15-16 at the Holiday Inn North Raleigh to discuss business important to state employees and retirees. Treasurer’s Report SEANC General Treasurer Gloria Evans reported on SEANC’s finances. Currently receipts are at 54 percent and disbursements are at 51 percent for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Evans discussed an amendment to the Operations Manual for a new mileage reimbursement policy suggested by the audit and the Executive Committee. It requires anyone seeking mileage reimbursement from SEANC to provide a Mapquest printout showing the total miles traveled for official SEANC business. The board voted to approve the motion. President’s Report President Wayne Fish announced that he will not run for re-election and thanked the board for supporting him through this tough time for the association.
Fish then allowed District 36 Secretary-Treasurer Lynn Stephenson, District 36 Chairwoman Felicia McKinney and District 21 Chairwoman Janice Bass to address the board over an ongoing dispute between the districts. District 36 moved to Central Region Hospital in Butner from the Dix hospital when it closed, but Granville County, which includes Butner, is currently assigned to District 21. The existence of two districts at the hospital has caused problems. The board voted to allow Pres. Fish to create a committee of regional representatives and Executive Committee members to hash out a compromise between the districts.
Convention Report Meetings and Convention Planner Alicia Miller gave an update on planning for the 2015 convention. This year’s convention will be held Sept. 10-12 at Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The theme will be “The Future is Now” as selected by President Fish. The Executive Committee and Board of Governors will
meet on Wednesday, Sept. 9, then regular business sessions will start at noon Thursday and extend all day Friday and Saturday morning.
The Carolina on My Mind Dinner Buffet was a hit last year, so it’s coming back again this year and will include bingo this time. The Saturday night awards banquet will also include the swearing in of new district chairpersons and officers and be hosted by Steve Lawson.
The Scholarship Foundation will once again be the recipient of funds raised from the community service project. Deadlines • July 24 o District Table Reservation o Hospitality Preference Room o Raffle Information o Awards Submission Deadline • July 31 o District Delegate Registration/Rooming List • August 10 o Banquet RSVP and ticket sales deadline o Remembrance information/photo submission
Executive Director’s Report SEANC Executive Director Mitch Leonard reported the State Bureau of Investigation is still conducting interviews and reviewing records in regards to the Dana Cope situation. They have “left no stone unturned” and have gone back to 2010, even further than our audit. A full audit of EMPAC finances is almost complete and will likely be made available in mid-June. Leonard assumes that the SBI will wait until the EMPAC audit is complete to make any recommendations to the District Attorney. Leonard reported that sending a letter to all members on the audit cost more than $30,000 and highlighted a problem we have in reaching our members. He estimated that 60 percent of those members who received the letter had no idea the scandal had occured. To be effective legislatively, we need to be able to reach the members quickly. We need to review all methods of communication to make sure we are reaching our members. Leonard said we also have a problem with involvement from active workers. We need to take a long look at how and when we meet and make sure we can accommodate our workers’ schedules. The more participation, the better our recruiting numbers will be.
The workgroups Leonard appointed have started meeting. The committee on bank drafts has had several meetings already. The training committee has already completed its work. At the legislature, Leonard reported that details of the Houseâ€™s budget would be released soon. All indications point to state employees and retirees receiving a pay increase and a cost-of-living adjustment.
SEANC is hoping to work on a few more issues with H495, a bill to overhaul much of state personnel laws. It passed the House, but lobbyists have already started talking to senators about several points with which we disagree. Leonard said as a former DOT worker, he is very concerned about privatization efforts in the department. He asked members to please report to the office anything they hear or experience regarding outsourcing. SEANC is working with Sen. Shirley Randleman to get her Joint Program Evaluation Committee to study privatization and if it really saves the state any money.
As for SEANC operations, the financial reforms put in place after the audit are working. Leonard reported he had a receipt for every charge on a SEANC credit card last month. Rex Foster announced that he will retire from the finance staff on June 30 but will continue to work part time until the finance department is on strong footing. Building renovations are not complete, and Leonard estimates they will take at least another 30 days.
Mary Oâ€™Neill joined the staff on a part-time basis to help with finance. As EMPAC Treasurer, she has been very helpful on the audit, all of which was done as a volunteer. Leonard praised the Member Action department for continuing to recruit even in this difficult time. He then praised the whole staff for its hard work in general.
Ethics Policy SEANC Government Relations Director Ardis Watkins, who now serves as ethics liaison for the association, reported on our ethics policy. In review with outside counsel, she said, it is evident that a lot of parts of our current policy need to be reworked in order to tighten up language. We must make sure members have a voice and that voice is never squashed. We need clear wording to show exactly what is ok and what is not.
Retiree Council Chairman Spillman Grice reported that the N.C. Alliance for Retired Americans has a need for funding to pay a salary for one part-time staffer. The council will send them $1,000 to help with that cost. 3
Chuck Stone is state co-chair for the Fourth Branch. They asked for our retiree email addresses to help with their lobbying efforts. The board approved allowing them to use our addresses. Grice reported that in July 2014 retirees expressed dissatisfaction with SEIU, and announced they would consider paying for just one member per district for SEIU membership rather than every retired member. He pointed out that SEIU promised $78,000 for mailings and forums, and SEANC has not received a dime yet.
A motion was made and tabled at the July 2014 BOG meeting to pull membership from SEIU for each retiree except one per district. Grice cautioned that if SEIU membership were pulled it would result in losing 17 delegates from the SEIU convention. The board voted to approve the motion, which means SEANC will pay SEIU membership dues for all active members and just one retired member per district. Policy Platform Chairwoman Doris Greer reported that the committee will meet on July 23. She asked board members to bring at least one policy platform idea from their annual meeting.
Awards Chairwoman Pam Hailey said the awards committee met on March 17. She reported that submissions are once again very low. She implored the board to submit nominations. She also announced several changes to recognize nominees at convention, including an additional ribbon added to badges.
She said the committee would recommend to the Executive Committee that the current three category system for recognizing districts of the year be cut to just one category. It will be up to the Executive Committee to decide whether to send the request to the board for a vote at the July meeting. The awards committee will next meet on Aug. 4 at Central Office. Bylaws Chairman Jimmy Davis reviewed the proper procedure for submitting a bylaws amendment. Amendments MUST BE IN THE SEANC OFFICE BY JULY 20. The state bylaws committee will meet on July 22 at noon, with the advisory committee meeting on July 21.
EMPAC Chairman Tony Smith told the board he cancelled the May 2 EMPAC meeting because the audit was not done. He expects the committee to meet again when the audit is complete. He reported his committee has already found a few reporting errors, but they are things that can be fixed with the board of elections. He is not expecting any wrongdoing to come out of the EMPAC audit, but it is clear some policy changes are needed. He commended Mary Oâ€™Neill for her work with the
auditors. Smith reiterated the need for grassroots lobbying, saying we “don’t have the money other groups have, but we can make a difference. We are a lot more powerful that we think we are.”
Insurance Board of Trustees Chairwoman Doranna Anderson reported that the board did not like MetLife’s new dental proposal that would raise premiums significantly, so they were told to come back with a better proposal, which she expects to have at the next meeting. The board is reviewing a new vision plan as well. Each region will have an open slot on IBT at convention. Anderson reminded the board that nominations must be sent to both herself and Member Benefits Director Brenda Hooker by July 17. She reminded board members that if they want to have a benefits fair with their districts, contact Hooker.
Membership Chairman Bill Spade reported changes to the monthly Member Action Report. It will just be one page from now on. A total of 91 new members were recruited as part of the statewide recruitment day on April 23, in which 25 of 52 districts participated. The next such event will be held on June 16. The incentive amount for recruiting five new members has increased from $15 to $25 through the end of July. The committee is working on a uniform system for deleting delinquents. Similar to the new member recruiting incentive, a member will receive $25 for every five delinquent members returned to current and will be entered in a drawing for a cruise to be given away on the convention floor. Also at the convention, the committee will recognize the association’s top recruiters and the districts in the “black” in membership numbers for the year.
Member Action Director Lynn Cote reported on figures since our recent scandal. Since Feb. 9, 1,035 new members have been added, including reinstatements, online applications and hard copy applications. A total of 1,229 members have been deleted, but that includes 148 deceased, 442 deletions and 639 cancellations. Despite the scandal, membership has recruited 900 true new members and seen only 639 true cancellations.
Member Discount Chairwoman Janet Bunch reported that 17 new businesses have been signed up for discounts since the last board meeting. She reminded the board to get the discounts contest entries in by May 31 to qualify for a chance at a Carowinds getaway. She also reminded the board that theme park tickets are now being sold at the State Employees’ Credit Union. Member Strength Chairwoman Hiawatha Jones went over the differences between her committee and the Membership Committee, saying “we retain after recruiting. Educate, Engage Empower.” The committee met on May 12 and went to the General Assembly to
lobby for pay raises. The committee met with many legislators, including Rep. Don Davis, Rep. Louis Pate, Rep. Cecil Brockman and Rep. Susan Fisher. They also met with Mitch Leonard. Henry Belada rose to speak about rally Districts 5,6 and 7 held with with NCAE on April 18 at burke County Courthouse in Morganton. He went over planning Robo calls and getting media attention for such an event.
Planning Committee Pam Hailey reported that Chairwoman Linda Rouse Sutton was unable to attend the meeting, but that the planning committee would meet in June.
Scholarship Foundation Chairman Mike Bell stated that the foundation raised $4,750 in profits from its bowling event, $1,400 from the silent auction alone. Judging for state scholarship winners will happen Tuesday (May 19) through Thursday (May 21). The board received raffle tickets at the meeting, and Bell reiterated that it is important to keep up with all tickets and bring unused ones to convention. Bell thanked Pres. Fish for making the Scholarship Foundation the recipient of the community service funds again this year. He also announced that the Dr. Yolyndra Green scholarship will be given for the first time this year to the highest scoring Member Only applicant.
New Business District 69 Chairman Keith Renner rose to address the “I Am SEANC” Facebook page. Kim Martin said she was Member Strength Chairwoman when it was created to recognize great members. Because of recent controversy on the page, it has been taken down. Renner said he thinks it is still up but not accepting new members. District 64 Chairwoman Betsy Lee Hodges rose to address recent deaths at DPS facilities and urged lobbyists to remind legislators of the dangers members face. Votes
PASSED – An amendment to the Operations Manual to require Mapquest printout for mileage reimbursements.
PASSED – A motion for the president to appoint a committee to settle dispute between Districts 21 and 36.
PASSED – A motion from the Retiree Council to provide the Fourth Branch with SEANC’s retirees mailing lists to include email addresses.
PASSED – A motion to pay SEIU dues for just one retired member from each district. Election announcements PRESIDENT – Wayne Fish will not run for re-election. PRESIDENT – Ross Hailey will run 1st VP – Stanley Drewery will run 2nd VP – Gloria Evans will run