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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

March 2012

• Vol. 30, Issue 4

Trustees Support Retirement Funding COLA increase for retirees may find sympathetic ear in General Assembly by Jonathan

Owens

At its Jan. 19 meeting, the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees sided with SEANC by asking the General Assembly to continue funding for TSERS at an annual required contribution of 8.33 percent. Funding at this level could support the system for the next year and provide a much-needed cost-ofliving adjustment of 1.9 percent for retirees, which SEANC’s Board of Governors voted for at its October meeting. “We appreciate the board’s commitment. It shows dignity and respect to our retired members who served the citizens of North Carolina,” SEANC Retiree Council Chairman Bob Hopper said. SEANC Lobbyist Mitch Leonard advocated for the funding at the meeting, and also emphasized needed changes to the plan’s disability restrictions and vesting requirements. The COLA decision now rests with the General

PHOTO BY JONATHAN OWENS

SEANC Communications Specialist

SEANC Lobbyist Mitch Leonard (right) speaks to the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees on Jan. 17.

Assembly, which convenes in May. When N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis was asked by a SEANC member at T.E.A.M! Training in Concord on Feb. 2 if he was supportive of a retiree COLA, he said, “That is something we have to do. We’ve got to keep pace with the cost of living, otherwise we’re cutting people’s pay.” jowens@seanc.org

Three SEANC Members Running for Governor by Jonathan

Owens

SEANC Communications Specialist

Gov. Beverly Perdue, a SEANC member, announced on Jan. 26 that she would not seek a second term as the state’s chief executive in the 2012 election. Perdue’s decision opened up speculation over who would step in to represent the Democratic Party in November. As of press time, three SEANC members — Lt. Gov. Walter

Mayor Pat McCrory announced he would once again seek the Republican Party’s nomination. “I think it’s great,” District 38 member Mildred Mitchell said of the association’s representation in the race. “It speaks volumes about SEANC and Perdue the power of our organization.” Dalton, state Rep. Bill Faison and The primary is set for May 8, and former U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge the general election is on Nov. 6. — had filed to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination. Former Charlotte jowens@seanc.org

Read SEANC’s statement on Perdue’s decision on page 3


President’s Message By Charles Johnson SEANC President

Pressing Forward in the Legislature Privatization, SPA Rights Remain at the Forefront in May Session

D

uring the 2011 SEANC convention, I stressed the need to press on and continue to do all we can to better the lives of all state employees. This year is off to a great start, but there is a lot of work ahead. First, the threat of privatization is back! The Department of Correction is investigating outsourcing health care services. The Department of Health and Human Services is doing the same for health care in the forensic unit, and we know that this is just the beginning. SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins has been briefing employees around the state while the legislature has been out of session, educating members on the dangers of privatization and learning from the front line how our employees improve the public’s safety, provide quality health care Johnson and offer new ideas to save our state money. SEANC was able to stop efforts to privatize prison maintenance and IT services last year, but we must press on to educate the legislature on why state employees are the best, most cost-efficient and dedicated choice for public service work. State employees do a much better job than outsiders. We have a stake in this state for our children and our children’s children. Some in the legislature have tried to convince us that privatization saves money, but in reality it does not. It simply lines the pockets of politicians with campaign donations from companies bidding on contracts. It also encourages a race to the bottom during a touchy economic time that we are trying to overcome. We know that privatizing state government services will result in fewer services, more costs for taxpayers and a lower standard of living for people in North Carolina. Once again, health care is also a major concern for all state employees. SEANC has been an integral player in making sure state employees are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the State Health Plan by advocating for the newly

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The Reporter • March 2012

Privatization Key Points

o It doesn’t save money! Privatization usually results in taxpayers paying more for services from cost overruns. It also creates a middle man to administer the contracts. State employees prioritize people, corporations prioritize profits. o It can jeopardize public safety! Corporations want to maximize profits, which can result in cutting corners. This may lead to reduced quality, lower standards for worker safety, poor record keeping and corruption. o N.C. has a failed history of privatization! One must only look at the catastrophic results of Pamlico and Mountain View prisons in the late 1990s, where state workers were called on in less than two years to straighten out a mess created by private corporations who administered these facilities.

formed SHP Board. Now is the time to set our sights on asking the board — who is in charge of the plan — for more health care options. We must press on, pushing for more options that best fit our families’ needs. We are individuals and individual families and we should be treated as such. Another victory from last year we must keep alive is maintaining workers’ rights and protection for all state employees! Last year, we did a great job in fighting to keep the protection for 22,000 university employees under the State Personnel Act. Although this was a victory for both SEANC and the university employees, we must continue to press forward to maintain this protection for all state employees. We must oppose any legislation set out to remove the protection under the State Personnel Act! Without these protections, watch out for an anything goes mentality with unqualified political hires running wild. Remember to continue pressing forward. It is up to us to keep North Carolina a great place to work and live! cjohnson@seanc.org


PUBLIC POLICY State Employees Association of North Carolina

SEANC’s Statement on Gov. Perdue’s Decision Not to Seek Re-election Fellow Members, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced that she will not seek reelection to a second term. SEANC appreciates her service to North Carolina and will continue to work in partnership with her to make this state a great place to work and live. SEANC also looks forward to meeting with all candidates for governor, regardless of political party, after the Feb. 29 filing deadline. SEANC will continue to focus on the issues that better the state workforce and the more than 9 million North Carolinians who depend upon the vital services state employees provide. SEANC members must continue to stay the course. We have no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent issues. We will continue to be an issue-driven, nonpartisan organization and we trust our members to provide direction for the association in due time as the 2012 election nears. Thank you for all you do for SEANC.

Dana Cope Executive Director

Charles Johnson President

The Reporter - March 2012

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NEWS TO USE

SEANC, Cabinet Heads Meet on EO 45 Quarterly Partnership Meetings with Agency Leaders Move Forward by

Toni Davis

Think things could run more smoothly at your worksite? Voicing your concerns just got a whole lot easier — and more effective — thanks to SEANC! On Jan. 10, SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope briefed Gov. Beverly Perdue’s cabinet on the partnership outlined in the governor’s Executive Order 45 between SEANC and government managers to improve public services, reduce costs and create workplaces that value the ideas of all employees. The governor’s Executive Order 45 provides an opportunity for employee associations who represent at least 20 percent of the employees in an executive branch the opportunity to meet with agency heads on “... areas of mutual concern, including ways of improving employeemanagement cooperation, ways of more efficiently and cost effectively delivering high quality services to the public, and the terms and conditions of employment.” The good news for members is that SEANC has met this 20 percent threshold in all of the governor’s cabinet agencies and is ready to help you! In January, SEANC’s Intergovernmental Liaison Linda Rouse Sutton and Director of Member Strength Kevin LeCount, along with Office of State Personnel Director Linda Coleman, met with all state cabinet members including outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Lanier Cansler, Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle, Secretary of Administration Moses Carey, DENR Secretary Dee Freeman, Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, Transportation Secretary Gene Conti, Public Safety Secretary Reuben Young, Revenue Secretary David Hoyle and former Information Technology System Chief Information Officer Jerry Fralick to discuss how to best implement the partnership in each of their agencies. After the cabinet-level agency secretaries meetings on Executive Order 45, LeCount and Sutton met with Coleman and Carl Dean, governmental liaison with the N.C. Office of State Personnel, to plan the next steps in the process of establishing agency steering groups for SEANC members to have meaningful input at their worksites. This month SEANC members in certain agencies are encouraged to participate in a survey that will prioritize areas of concern in order for SEANC to focus its efforts

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The Reporter • March 2012

PHOTO BY TONI DAVIS

SEANC Communications Director

SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope (top left) meets with Gov. Perdue and her cabinet on Jan. 10.

What is Executive Order 45?

Executive Order 45 continues SEANC’s access to state facilities for membership recruitment and establishes two partnership opportunities: 1) Provides an annual meeting with the governor and quarterly meetings with the State Personnel Director to associations, like SEANC, that have at least 2,000 members in the state (500 of whom are state employees). 2) Establishes meetings in executive branch agencies to facilitate employee access to cabinet agency leaders through public employee associations, including SEANC, with at least 20 percent membership in the cabinet agency for a minimum of four times per year.

on what matters most in each agency. “SEANC isn’t taking a cookie-cutter approach to this partnership. We want to customize our meetings for each worksite based on members’ feedback,” said Sutton. If you have an idea for the partnership prior to receiving the survey, contact Kevin LeCount at klecount@seanc. org. tdavis@seanc.org


NEWS TO USE A quick glance at Gov. Perdue’s Executive Order 45 and how SEANC can help you in your workplace What agencies are covered by the Executive Order? The order applies to all departments and agencies that directly report to the governor. It also invites and encourages, but does not mandate the University of North Carolina system, community colleges and Council of State agencies to participate in the executive order as well. How does this order impact SEANC’s advocacy efforts in the General Assembly? The General Assembly continues to decide pay, health care and retirement benefits and SEANC will continue to lobby for all state employees in accordance with the 2012 Top Ten Policy Platform Objectives as voted on by 2011 SEANC Convention delegates. Who can participate in Executive Order 45? In addition to SEANC staff members and agency leaders, interested members will be selected by the association, not the agency, to participate in on-site meetings. How can Executive Order 45 improve my workplace? This is a significant step forward with communicating within agencies and sets in place a consistent process for workers to speak with their employer making for a more accountable, transparent and efficient government.

Tax Deduction Notification Federal law requires SEANC to provide all members with a written estimate of what portion of membership dues goes to lobbying and political expenses. The majority of dues paid by SEANC members who are current state employees is allowable as an “employee business expense” under federal income tax. However, the part of the dues that SEANC uses for political and lobbying purposes is not tax deductible. For the tax year 2011, the non-deductible political action lobbying amount is $1.11 per month. The same federal law requires SEANC to give its members an estimate of 2012’s political action lobbying expenses that are paid from dues. The anticipated figure for the 2012 tax year is $1.37 per month. Members are encouraged to consult a tax professional about individual tax returns and liability.

If you have a concern about communications, equipment, safety, ways to better serve the public, shift concerns or cost-savings ideas, then SEANC stands ready to help bring those concerns to management’s attention and follow through on your concerns. Can I anonymously share a concern that I have? Yes. Contact SEANC Member Strength Director Kevin LeCount at 919-833-6436. What is the difference between this management and employee partnership and collective bargaining? Collective bargaining results in a binding contract. The partnership will lead to better collaboration and problem solving between management and employees. If I am interested in SEANC representing me at an agency meeting, who do I contact to schedule it? Contact Member Strength Director Kevin LeCount at 919-833-6436. tdavis@seanc.org Sign up now for the

Lois W. Forrester Memorial Golf Tournament Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Format: Four-person Captain’s Choice Cost: $70 per player for nonmembers of club; $43 for regular members; $53 for local members

to be held May 17 at Boone Golf Club 433 Fairway Drive Boone, NC 28607 For more information, contact Bob Gibbard at 828-262-3039 or gibbardro@appstate.edu

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 • March 2012

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SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope recognizes N.C. State Personnel Director Linda Coleman as a “true SEANC Hero.”

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The Reporter • March 2012

SEANC President Charles Johnson explains the importance of delivering an effective public message during a presentation from SEANC Communications Director Toni Davis (right).

PHOTOS BY JONATHAN OWENS

PHOTO BY ALICIA CLAPP PHOTO BY JONATHAN OWENS

District 24 member Viola Spencer and District 18 member Rosetta Bell (above) and District 24 member Katrina Melvin (at right) hold up signs during an explanation of the benefits of joining SEANC by the Member Action Department staff. District 19 member Renee Frink said afterwards she left the event feeling empowered. “I didn’t realize how much joining SEANC and being active can make a big difference. I’m down for the cause and have already talked to six other UNC Healthcare coworkers about SEANC.”

More than 350 SEANC members came together for a three-day intensive T.E.A.M! Training in Concord Feb. 1-3. The training focused on how to recruit, communicate and motivate state employees and retirees as well as SEANC’s legislative priorities for 2012, including opposing privatization, maintaining SPA rights and retirement security.

PHOTO BY JONATHAN OWENS

PHOTO BY JONATHAN OWENS

T.E.A.M! TRAINING

Leaders from both houses of the General Assembly — N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis (left) and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who presides over the state senate — spoke to members on Thursday about the upcoming legislative session.


T.E.A.M! TRAINING TO GO

Planning for the 2012 Legislative Session By Ardis Watkins

SEANC Legislative Affairs Director

For the 2012 legislative session, we’re upping the ante. It’s no longer enough just to be a SEANC Warrior. We need SEANC Heroes! You see, while warriors fight for a cause, heroes show up in extraordinary circumstances. And this year, we are facing those circumstances. Three major issues are sure to crop up again this session — privatization (particularly of correctional personnel involved in health care); State Personnel Act rights (particularly in the university system where there is currently a bill to remove employees from the SPA) and retirement. It’s no coincidence that the 2011 convention proclaimed these issues as SEANC members’ areas of greatest concern. Watkins At first glance, these topics seem to affect only a specific group of people. But the fact is that they are truly universal topics, because if one group of employees loses their jobs to privatization we can expect to see more and more companies pushing to take their “piece of the pie” and privatize another part of state government — and then another and so on… The losers in the privatization deal would be the taxpayers. Studies have shown repeatedly that privatization costs more for states in the long run. More importantly, real experience with privatization in North Carolina has shown the same thing. So Department of Correction employees facing an illconceived effort to privatize their work should not stand alone. This fight affects all of us. And if 22,000 university employees lose their SPA rights, you can bet that every state agency will soon ask to take those same rights from their employees as well. SPA rights are essentially your property rights in your job. Without them, state employees are at-will employees who can be terminated for practically any reason (or none at all). Traditional wisdom holds that treating public employees as atwill employees makes no sense unless one is comfortable with politics dictating judgment of job performance. That is, after all, what makes public service different than private sector work. Public employees work in an inherently political environment. All decisions about public employees are made not by stockholders, or CEOs, but by politicians. So being “at will” could potentially mean getting fired for

T.E.A.M! TRAINING

SEANC’s Top 3 Legislative Priorities for 2012

o Oppose privatization and downsizing of state government services. o Seek to continue the recent legislative practice of granting the career growth component as a bonus for employees who are at the top of their salary range. o Oppose legislation that would remove state employees from the protections of the State Personnel Act.

belonging to a certain political party. That is unacceptable. So the UNC employees facing the threat of losing their SPA rights should not stand alone. Their fight affects all of us. Retirement seems a lifetime away for many active employees. But the last few decades have made it painfully clear that everyone should be concerned and proactive in planning their financial future. Last year the General Assembly did something that had not been done in a decade. They took proper care of the state employees’ retirement system. In fact, they put in as an “employer contribution” exactly what the actuary actually recommended. Sounds like common sense, right? So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the system had been in utter neglect for a decade. The previous 10 years of legislative leadership let employees continue funding the system with 6 percent from their checks every month while the state put amounts ranging from zero to little more than half of what the employees were contributing. So the General Assembly leadership needs to be absolutely congratulated for doing what the actuary originally said was necessary, because those concerns had fallen on deaf ears for years. More importantly, members need to encourage the General Assembly to keep the funding for the coming fiscal year and give a COLA to retirees. Retirement is a future rather than current concern for too many of us. Our retirees advocating for proper care of the retirement system should not stand alone. SEANC members, it’s time to stand up and be heroes for your fellow state employees and for yourself. awatkins@seanc.org The Reporter • March 2012

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THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BALLOT AND CANNOT BE SUBMITTED IN PLACE OF ONE

2012 SEIU CONVENTION

DELEGATE ELECTION NOMINEES May 27-30 | Denver, Colo.

SEANC members will select 56 delegates (five statewide and 51 district-level) for the 2012 SEIU Convention, scheduled for May 27-30 in Denver, Colo. Ballots will be mailed to each SEANC member. In districts with only one nominee, that nominee has been elected by acclimation. Members must choose one district delegate and five statewide delegates. Nominees for Statewide Delegate (five will be chosen): n Doranna Anderson n Joe Brown n Inetha Cousin n Sue Faulk n Gerald Greene n Nina Griswell n B.N. (Bob) Hopper n Wanda Hunt n Nicole Hunter n Mike Latta n Marilyn Jean Martin n Erica Ricks n Sidney Sandy n Sharon Sharpe

D12 — No Candidate D13 — Mary Sue Eldridge D16 — Linda Dale Moore Carolyn Perry D17 — Wayne Talbert William H. Williamson D18 — Pamela Locklear D19 — Angela Lyght D20 — Tammi Blake Trudy Ann Bryan-Urso D21 — Janice Bass D22 — William Spade D23 — Harold Faulk D24 — Anne Marie Bellamy Katrina Davis Luke Salley D25 — Jonathan Stephenson D26 — Stanley Gales Nominees for District Delegate Shanticia Hawkins (one chosen per district): D27 — Miss Jaye Allen D1 — Bryan P. Cooke Janet H. Bunch Jim Pressley Chevella Thomas Tony Rickman D36 — Dianne (Dee) Carter D2 ­— Wayne Fish Bruce Dixon Lucky Hudson D3 — Anne W. Castro Robert Gibbard D37 — James Bridges Doris Greer Nilesh Surti Kathy Howell D38 — Betty Jackson Rhonda S. Robinson D39 — Art Anthony D4 — Jimmy Davis D40 — Darius McLaurin D5 — Tony Smith D41 — Michael J. Gould D6 — Wayne Freeman D42 — Amaka Flynn D7 — Henry Belada Betty Gilbert D8 — Leonard Reynolds Alfred Johnson Betty “BJ” Jones D9 — James Burgess Virginia Sanders D10 — Kim Martin D43 — Duane Smith D11 — Anthony “A.D.” Hall

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The Reporter • March 2012

D44 — Sandra Johnson D45 — Darcell Carter D46 — Dewey D. Hamilton, Jr. Sharyn Wilson D47 — William D. (Danny) Rose D56 — Delores Jones Michael A. Johnson D57 — William Drew Stanley D58 — Marie Stone D59 — Kathy Merritt John Miller Carolyn Moore LoriceYelverton-Worrells D60 — Hiawatha Jones D61 — E. Leigh Bair

D62 — Angela Keith Lewis Sasser D63 — Marion Drake D64 — Bonita Barfield Doug Mace Gene Mills D65 — Gloria Highsmith D66 — Michael Kollock Lenell Miller Jojuana Threatt D67 — William Boyle D68 — Rita Woods D69 — Baldwin Keith Renner D70 — Roland Best Douglas Wilson

SEIU Convention Delegate Ballot May 27-30 Denver, Colo. Mark an “X” or a “a” in the box next to the name of the candidate of your choice. Do not put your name, initials or any other identifying information on the ballot. Ballots containing identifying information will be voided.

E L

District 1 Delegate to SEIU Convention

Statewide Delegates to SEIU Convention

Vote For Only One

Vote For No More Than Five

Bryan P. Cooke

Doranna Anderson

P

Jim Pressley

Joe Brown

M A

Tony Rickman

S

Inetha Cousin Sue Faulk

Gerald Greene Nina Griswell B.N. (Bob) Hopper Wanda Hunt Nicole Hunter Mike Latta Marilyn Jean Martin Erica Ricks Sidney Sandy Sharon Sharpe

Ballots will be mailed March 2. If you have not received your ballot by March 10, please contact SEANC Chief of Staff/General Counsel Tom Harris at tharris@seanc.org.


MEMBER ACTION

PHOTO SUBMITTED BY STEVE LAWSON

PUBLIC POLICY

District 10 held a membership appreciation and recruitment gala on Jan. 20, with 30 members in attendance. Here, SEANC member Ken Beaver (left) stands with new member David Sells of Piedmont Correctional Institution, who joined SEANC at the event.

IMPORTANT NOTICE CHANGE OF CARRIERS FOR THE BASIC $1,000 ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT (AD&D) INSURANCE THAT SEANC PROVIDES TO ALL ELIGIBLE MEMBERS Effective Oct. 1, 2011, the carrier of SEANC’s basic $1,000 AD&D insurance benefit provided to all eligible members is Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA). A copy of the certificate and summary of coverage is available on the SEANC website. If you are unable to access the website, contact us and we will mail you a copy. It explains the features, limitations and exclusions of this benefit. As of Oct. 1, 2011, the beneficiary designation on file with SEANC’s previous carrier, Reliance Standard Insurance Company, continues to be the beneficiary designation under the new LINA coverage. As a member, you are always free to review and update your beneficiary designation.

Quotes to Note

“We serve the people of the state of North Carolina. That’s noble. It’s the best thing going in the world. How many of you guys have missed birthdays, anniversaries and even funerals? You have served. There is no difference between you and soldiers, except that soldiers serve the whole country and we serve the state of North Carolina. Be proud of it. You provide a service and you have to stand up for you.” SEANC President Charles Johnson, a veteran, at T.E.A.M! Training in Concord on Feb. 1

“We haven’t had a raise in three years. Now the governor wants to give big corporations tax cuts.” SEANC Second Vice President Doranna Anderson, in Business North Carolina’s January cover story, “State of the Unions”

Please note that claims incurred prior to Oct. 1, 2011, are subject to the terms, conditions and limitations in effect prior to that date and are the responsibility of Reliance Standard Insurance Company. Claims incurred on or after Oct 1, 2011, will be subject to the terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of Group Policy AK-050464 underwritten by LINA.

“You hear that public unions are bankrupting states. Well look in North Carolina. We have no public unions [with collective bargaining], but we still have deficits because of the lack of revenue….the other side just keeps beating that drum.”

SEANC strives to make these changes with as little inconvenience to members as possible. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact a SEANC insurance specialist at 919-833-6436 or 800-222-2758.

David Zonderman, SEANC District 39 member and history professor at N.C. State, in Business North Carolina’s January cover story, “State of the Unions”

The Reporter • March 2012

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ONE-ON-ONE: Michele Shaw, State Health Plan Trustee

Taking Charge of Your Health Plan District 22 member is an active state employee on SHP board by Johnny

Davison

The State Health Plan Board of Trustees met for the first time on Jan. 5-6 after SEANC successfully advocated for control of the plan to be moved away from the General Assembly and for equal representation from state employees and retirees on the board. The plan provides health coverage to more than 664,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and dependents, and is headed by a board of 10 trustees. State Treasurer Janet Cowell only votes in instances of a tie. Four of these members are state employee representatives and four are experts. SEANC District 22 member Michele Shaw was appointed to the board in late December by Senate leader Phil Berger.

Q A Q A

: What goals do you want to achieve as an SHP trustee? : As a trustee I would like to see a more affordable, user-friendly plan. : What will the State Health Plan board act on this year?

: We made two votes at our first meeting to start the Employer Group Waiver Program, which should result in a huge savings for the State of North Carolina. The first vote provides additional revenue from the federal government to reimburse the plan for brand-name prescription drugs for Medicare retirees, which saves about $19 million annually and reduces the unfunded liability for retiree health insurance by $6 billion. The second vote placed a cap of $100 per 30-day prescription on brand-name drugs with generic equivalents. Changes in the prescription drug contracts had resulted in members having to pay a $200-$250 co-pay per monthly prescription for some brand-name drugs. In the very first meeting, we had those two votes. That’s tremendous. I only see good things for the plan this coming year. We’d like to bring something new and innovative that members have not seen before. The board, the treasurer and the plan staff are very excited about this change

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The Reporter • March 2012

PHOTO BY JOHNNY DAVISON

SEANC Correspondent

SEANC District 22 member Michele Shaw listens to presentations during the first meeting of the State Health Plan Board of Trustees on Jan. 5.

and the possibilities of the plan for the future of North Carolinians.

Q

: You embarked on a listening tour to hear state employees’ and retirees’ views about the plan. What are their concerns?

A

: Plan members are concerned about the high cost of care for their loved ones and themselves. They’re concerned about the cost of co-pays and prescriptions. They can’t afford to pay more for what they are getting.

Q

: During your first meeting, you cast the only “no” vote to support a 5.3 percent premium increase. Tell us about this vote.

A

: That vote was for a 5.3 percent increase to the premium that people on the 80-20 plan pay now, which will go into effect on July 1. It was already built in last year to the budget of the health plan. I cannot in good conscience vote for a 5.3 percent increase. The amount of money doesn’t matter; it’s the principle behind it. There has been enough cost shifting to the members of the plan, and I felt it was my job, as the active state employee on the board, to say, “Enough is enough.” jdavison@seanc.org


THE

Doug Sutton

Insurance Services Toni Davis, Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Owens, Managing Editor Alicia Clapp, Associate Editor Johnny Davison, Associate Editor

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.

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The Reporter • March 2012

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

Scholarship Season is Here Again! Deadline is April 15 to Apply for Annual SEANC Awards by Jonathan

Owens

SEANC Communications Specialist

Scholarship season is here again, and the time for this year’s collegebound students to apply for one of SEANC’s awards is now! SEANC offers scholarships to active and associate members, their spouses and dependent children based on financial need and merit. There are also special member-only awards given to any member who is working full-time and enrolled in at least six hours of undergraduate work or three hours of graduate work. Last year, SEANC awarded 45 scholarships to students for use

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The Reporter • March 2012

at two- and four-year institutions. Wanda Pugh-Trice, a Purchasing Agent with the State Ports Authority in Wilmington, received a $1,500 award in 2011 to continue her education at Gardner-Webb University. She plans to graduate in May, and said the SEANC Scholarship was “a big help” in

allowing her to achieve her goals. “It was very helpful, especially with the way tuition is increasing every year,” Pugh-Trice said. “I was able to pay for all of my books with it. I never thought I would get it, but I did and it helped out a lot.” Applications are now available online at www.seanc.org and the deadline to apply is April 15. The SEANC Scholarship Foundation Board reviews applications and announces winners in early June. For more information, contact Renee Vaughan at rvaughan@seanc. org or 919-833-6436. jowens@seanc.org

March Reporter 2012  
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