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THE

State Employees Association of North Carolina, SEIU Local 2008 P.O. Drawer 27727, Raleigh, NC • www.seanc.org 800-222-2758 • 919-833-6436 • Circulation 55,000

December 2011 ● Vol. 30, Issue 2

State Treasurer Talks State Health Plan with SEANC Leaders by

Toni Davis

On Oct. 28, State Treasurer Janet Cowell addressed the SEANC Board of Governors (BOG). Normally the treasurer comes to SEANC to discuss the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System, but this time was different with Cowell turning her focus to the State Health Plan (SHP).

Photo by Mary Adelaide Riddick

RALEIGH – Last year SEANC including those with Blue was successful in achieving Cross and Blue Shield of its No. 1 policy platform North Carolina and Medco. objective to move SHP governance away from the Treasurer asks BOG for input General Assembly to the In order to best serve state treasurer’s office. This state employees and move placed two important retirees, Cowell asked state employee and retiree the BOG for input about benefits – health care and the SHP. Members asked retirement – under one Cowell for a ranking of executive agency branch. how North Carolina’s SHP However, the state treasurer’s compares to others across role in SHP operations is the country. BOG leaders vastly different from Cowell’s also asked for the SHP to role in the retirement system go after overpayments more where she serves as the sole aggressively and consider fiduciary for making all of transitioning to a calendar the investment decisions. year structure. SEANC The new SHP board will Executive Director Dana State Treasurer Janet Cowell addresses the BOG. consist of four state employee Cope suggested that Cowell representatives and four focus on the plan design experts who do not have conflicts of interest in the rather than the cost savings for the General Assembly. SHP. District 22 Chairwoman Michele Shaw has been To obtain more SHP input, Cowell will embark on appointed to the SHP board, which will begin work a statewide listening tour this winter. After Cowell’s in January. Cowell explained to SEANC leaders that remarks, SEANC President Charles Johnson said “We she will serve on the SHP board, but will only vote in are encouraged and we will do everything to support the instances where a tie-breaker is needed. State Health Plan.” Cowell said she “feels good about the new governance structure of the SHP” that will have oversight of contracts tdavis@seanc.org


Counselor’s Comments By Tom Harris

SEANC Chief of Staff/General Counsel

Election of SEANC Delegates to SEIU 2012 Convention SEANC will hold a special election by mail in the early months of next year to elect its delegates to the May 2012 SEIU convention being held in Denver, Colo. Federal law dictates how SEIU delegates must be elected. The SEANC 2011 annual convention amended our bylaws to set up a process compliant with federal law. See Article VII, Section 6 in the SEANC bylaws posted at seanc.org. Federal law requires that SEIU delegates be elected in a secret ballot election in which all eligible SEANC members are given a reasonable opportunity to vote. The election may be statewide or by district, or a combination of the two. Since SEANC statewide officers are elected by SEANC convention delegates only, they cannot serve as SEIU voting delegates unless they are also separately elected as SEIU delegates. New subsection 6.1 in our bylaws sets up two types of elections for SEIU delegates: a statewide election of at least five delegates to allow for the possibility that SEANC’s state officers can serve as SEIU convention delegates, and district elections to allow each district to also have a delegate. The SEIU Constitution sets the number of delegates for each local as 10 delegates for first 5,000 members plus one delegate for each additional 1,000 members. SEIU will notify SEANC of its delegate allotment in early 2012, in time to set up elections. Subsection 6.1 provides for how SEANC’s elections will be adjusted to match the allotment. Further, subsections 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 dictate how alternate delegates will be selected. Subsection 6.2 satisfies the federal requirement for notifying all SEANC members of the rules for nominations and elections of SEIU delegates which, in this case, will occur in The Reporter in early 2012. It also establishes who

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The Reporter - December 2011

is eligible to be nominated (any member in good standing for the preceding two years) and who may vote (any member in good standing on the date of the election). Subsection 6.3 satisfies the federal legal requirements to give the candidates a reasonable period of time to campaign and to hold the SEIU delegate elections by secret ballot. That subsection also provides that the candidate with the most votes, whether or not it is a majority of the votes, will be declared the winner and that a tie will be decided by a coin toss. These measures are necessary to avoid the prohibitive cost of holding a statewide runoff election by mailed secret ballot. tharris@seanc.org

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public policy

Quotes to Note

“We think it’s the big corporate giant versus the taxpayer and the little guy who blows the whistle. This is nothing but a lawsuit to intimidate him or other employees trying to do a public service and protect taxpayer dollars.” SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope defending former Baptist Hospital employee Joe Vincoli who is alleging overpayments by the state for health services provided at the facility, in a Sept. 8 News & Observer article “State audit: Hospital was overpaid $1.34 million.”

“It remains to be seen whether these moves will create any meaningful efficiencies.” SEANC Communications/Public Relations Director Toni Davis on whether agency consolidations will prove to be of any worth, in an Aug. 12 News & Observer article “Reuben Young will lead state Public Safety.”

“Comments like that lead me to believe the first ones who need drug testing are the state lawmakers. They would spend potentially millions of dollars to enact it and, as far as I know, we don’t have a widespread drug problem in state government.” SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope on N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis’ suggestion to implement drug testing for state employees, in an Oct. 13 News & Observer article “Tillis derided for drug test idea.”

Social Justice Prevails as Baptist Hospital Drops Whistleblower Lawsuit By Cary Edgar

A whistleblower lawsuit brought against a former administrative director of Winston-Salem’s N.C. Baptist Hospital has been dropped. The employee, Joseph Vincoli, discovered and notified State Health Plan (SHP) officials and legislators that the state was overpaying the hospital for health care services. He now works for the state and is a proud member of District 42. “This victory is social justice. It is a great reinforcement to all of those out there who act as good stewards of the taxpaying public. In a situation like this, when someone sees the state being potentially wronged or misled – it’s great to know that there are still folks out there who are willing to do the right thing,” said SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope. At SEANC’s Board of Governors’ meeting in July, leaders recognized this battle brewing between the corporate health giant and the fired employee and voted to contribute $5,000 toward Vincoli’s mounting legal defense costs. The hospital has not admitted wrongdoing. Despite that argument, a state audit released in early September revealed that the SHP overpaid Baptist Hospital $1.34 million over a five-year period. cedgar@seanc.org

The Reporter, USPS 009-852 (ISSN 1069 2142), is published nine times a year in the months of February, March, April, May, June, July, September, November and December for $2.50 per year, per member, by the State Employees Association of North Carolina, Inc., P.O. Drawer 27727, Raleigh, NC 27611- 7727. Periodicals postage paid at Raleigh, N.C. and additional offices.

POSTMASTER Send address changes to: THE REPORTER, P.O. Drawer 27727, Raleigh, NC 27611-7727.

The Reporter - December 2011

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2011-2012 SEANC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President Charles Johnson District 45 Raleigh Department of Correction

Piedmont Region Representative Wayne Talbert District 17 Yanceyville Department of Correction

District 1 Teddy Greene Bryson City Department of Transportation

District 10 Kim Martin Concord Department of Correction

First Vice President Sidney Sandy District 11 Indian Trail Department of Transportation (Ret.)

North Central Region Representative Betty “BJ� Jones District 42 Raleigh Department of Health and Human Services

District 2 Dodie Collins Asheville N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (Ret.)

District 11 Anthony Hall Morven Department of Transportation

Second Vice President Doranna Anderson District 47 Raleigh Department of Health and Human Services

Eastern Region Representative Gloria Highsmith District 65 Williamston East Carolina University

District 3 Doris Greer Boone Appalachian State University (Ret.)

District 12 Ashley Fenton Pineville Department of Health and Human Services

Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin District 12 Salisbury Department of Correction

South Central Region Representative Art Anthony District 39 Raleigh N.C. State University

District 4 Jimmy Davis Forest City Department of Correction

District 13 Kathy Whaley Charlotte UNC-Charlotte

District 5 Melissa Freeman Morganton Western Piedmont Community College

District 16 Melva Daniels Winston-Salem Winston-Salem State University (Ret.)

Past President Tony Smith District 5 Morganton Department of Correction

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DISTRICT CHAIRPERSONS

Assistants to the President

Insurance Board of Trustees Chairwoman Pamela Hailey District 58 Washington Department of Correction (Ret.)

Secretary to the President Betty Gautier District 38 Benson Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

District 6 Wayne Freeman Granite Falls Department of Health and Human Services

District 18 Pamela Locklear Red Springs Department of Correction

Retiree Council Chairman Bob Hopper District 9 Hickory Division of Motor Vehicles (Ret.)

Parliamentarian Ray Evans District 27 Hillsborough Division of Motor Vehicles (Ret.)

District 7 Henry Belada Morganton Department of Health and Human Services (Ret.)

District 19 Angela Lyght Durham UNC-Chapel Hill

Western Region Representative James Burgess District 9 Stony Point Department of Transportation

Parliamentarian Roy McGalliard District 5 Morganton Western Piedmont Community College (Ret.)

District 8 Leonard Reynolds Jonesville Department of Transportation

District 20 Cliff Brown Aberdeen Department of Correction (Ret.)

The Reporter - December 2011


Board of Governors District 21 Joel Valentine Manson Department of Environment and Natural Resources

District 37 James Bridges Garner Department of Transportation

District 47 Shirley Ballard Clayton Department of Environment and Natural Resources

District 63 Marion Drake Windsor Department of Correction

District 22 Michele Shaw Lillington Department of Correction

District 38 Betty Jackson Raleigh Department of Insurance

District 56 Grace Edwards Henrico Halifax Community College (Ret.)

District 64 Bonita Barfield Winterville Department of Transportation

District 23 Harold Faulk Nakina Department of Transportation (Ret.)

District 40 Althea Boone Garner Department of Correction

District 57 Drew Stanley Nashville Department of Correction

District 66 Lenell Miller Kinston Department of Health and Human Services

District 24 Anne Marie Bellamy Holden Beach Brunswick Community College (Ret.)

District 41 Mike Gould Raleigh Department of Correction

District 58 Marie Stone Goldsboro Wayne County Public Schools (Ret.)

District 67 Stanley Drewery Grifton Department of Correction

District 25 Jonathan Stephenson Durham UNC-Chapel Hill

District 43 Duane Smith Knightdale Department of Transportation (Ret.)

District 59 John Miller LaGrange Department of Health and Human Services

District 68 Rita Woods Creswell Department of Correction

District 26 Stanley Gales Durham Department of Correction

District 44 Sandra Johnson Raleigh Department of State Treasurer

District 60 Hiawatha Jones Goldsboro Department of Health and Human Services

District 69 Keith Renner Elizabeth City Department of Health and Human Services (Ret.)

District 27 Gracie LeSane Durham N.C. Central University

District 45 Dee Carter Raleigh Department of Correction

District 61 Leigh Bair Richlands N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts

District 70 Roland Best Kinston Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Ret.)

District 36 Christopher Gibson Raleigh Department of Health and Human Services

District 46 Dewey Hamilton Wendell Department of Revenue

District 62 Lewis Sasser Wilmington Department of Insurance (Ret.)

The Reporter - December 2011

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Photo contributed by Steve Lawson

Photo contributed by Steve Lawson

member action

State employees took part in the North Carolina Association of Workforce Professionals conference in Winston-Salem on Oct. 6 and a SEANC recruitment table was there on the scene. Pictured, left, is Fairley Grimes of Colonial Insurance and, right, District 17 member Carolyn Irving.

Photo contributed by Steve Lawson

Photo contributed by Steve Lawson

District 13 members participated in the UNC-Charlotte Fall Festival on Oct. 11 by sponsoring a recruitment table and a ring toss game with the university mascot, Norm the Niner. Pictured with Norm is District 13 member, Renda Gwaltney.

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The Reporter - December 2011

District 12 held a recruitment breakfast on Oct. 14 at the Union County Clerk of Court Office where several new members joined the association. Pictured, left to right, are District 12 member Shawntay Anthony, District 12 Chairwoman Ashley Fenton and District 12 member Blythe Cochran.

A SEANC recruitment and information table was set up at the North Carolina Rehabilitation Association conference Oct. 26-28 in Wrightsville Beach, where over 200 state employees were in attendance. Pictured, left to right, are District 64 member Rebecca Tyndall, District 21 member Kim Stewart and District 57 member Dean Bunn.


THE

Doug Sutton

Insurance Services Toni Davis, Editor-In-Chief Cary Edgar, Managing Editor Steve Lawson, Photographer

Providing quality and affordable insurance to SEANC members for over 30 years. We appreciate doing business with you!

State Employees Association of North Carolina P.O. Drawer 27727 • Raleigh, NC 27611 1621 Midtown Place • Raleigh, NC 27609 Telephone 919-833-6436, 800-222-2758 www.seanc.org

Advertising Policy SEANC accepts advertising material from companies and persons seeking to communicate with SEANC members. Acceptance of this advertising does not indicate SEANC approval or endorsement of any representation that the message, product or service is as represented by the advertiser. SEANC accepts no responsibility and shall not be liable for any use of or reliance on any such information, product or service. SEANC is a private entity and is under no obligation to carry advertisements of any nature, political or otherwise, that may be viewed as contrary to the interests of the association and its membership.

Please call us if we can be of service.

919-836-9993 or Toll Free: 1-800-788-7771 dougsutton@dougsuttonins.com

Governor’s Awards for

Excellence SEANC Members Recognized for Outstanding Service Congratulations to the following SEANC members who were recognized in November by the Office of State Personnel for their hard work and dedication to serving North Carolina. The Governor’s Awards for Excellence are the highest honor a state employee may receive. Outstanding State Government Service awards:

Lewis R. Ledford

Department of Environment & Natural Resources Division of Parks & Recreation SEANC District 42 member and Raleigh resident

Tyrone T. Williams

Employment Security Commission Employment Service Division SEANC District 56 member and Enfield resident

Estate Planning Essentials Need a Will? SECU can help! Plan ahead for those you love. For more information, visit www.ncsecu.org or ask to speak with a Trust Representative at your local branch. Attorneys participating in the Estate Planning Essentials Program are not employees or agents of the Credit Union (SECU) or its affiliates. SECU Trust Representatives are not employees or agents of the participating attorneys. The Credit Union is not providing legal services and is not responsible for the services provided by these independent professionals. The Estate Planning Essentials Program is an optional program for members. State Employees’ Credit Union® Credit Union members have the option to use an attorney participating in the program or to select their own attorney.

The Reporter - December 2011

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Periodical Postage PAID Raleigh, NC P.O. Drawer 27727 Raleigh, NC 27611

Advancing SEANC Through

Member Strength T.E.A.M! Training No Longer a Wait to Use Purchasing Power! SEANC members can now use Purchasing Power to buy computers, appliances and more via payroll deductions on the day they join, provided they have worked for the state at least six months. This is a great benefit for state employees and retirees! For more information, call 800-903-0703. Qualifications: • At least 18 years of age • Active or retired member of SEANC and a state employee for at least six months • Must earn at least $16,000 a year • Must have a bank account or credit card (to be used in case of non-payment via payroll or pension deduction)

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The Reporter - December 2011

The time is now to get more involved with SEANC! Join us for this exciting Member Strength T.E.A.M! training opportunity Feb. 1-3 at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord. Space is limited so register online today at seanc.org. This training will include the following:

• Gearing up for the 2012 legislative session • Preparing for the 2012 elections • Growing EMPAC • Member engagement • Team building and leadership development exercises • Growing membership • And more!

The registration fee is $100 per person, based on double occupancy. Members requesting a single room will have an additional $100 charge, for a total of $200 registration fee. For more information, contact Carri Derrick at cderrick@seanc.org or 800-222-2758.

December 2011 reporter  
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