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THE

Publication

of the

State Employees Association

of

North Carolina • SEIU Local 2008 • May 2011 • Vol. 29 No. 3 • Circulation 55,000

“Take Pride in Carolina” Lobby Days & SEANC Warriors SEANC members make their voices heard in the General Assembly

PHOTO BY toni davis

By Toni Davis

SEANC members ask lawmakers to “Take Pride in Carolina.”

RALEIGH – Concerned SEANC members from all over North Carolina made their voices heard at the General Assembly during the association’s “Take Pride in Carolina” lobby day events. This year, SEANC sponsored three regional lobby days for the Eastern, Central and Western regions of the state on March 16, 23 and 30 in Raleigh. The focus of meeting with lawmakers was simple – to pass a common sense budget that supports working families instead of campaign donors with sweetheart privatization deals. “Our legislators need to put a face to the services we provide, and lobby day events are a great way to make that connection,” said Eastern Regional Representative to the Executive Committee Gene Mills. SEANC members did a tremendous job making the concerns of their fellow state employees and retirees known to legislators. Each day started with a briefing on the issues from SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope. Afterward, members split up into smaller groups and went to meetings with their representatives. Between scheduled meetings,

these hardworking members also caught different legislative leaders in the hallways and had discussions with them about the State Health Plan, the retirement system, proposed job cuts and state employees’ constitutional right to privacy. These regional lobby day events are a part of SEANC’s “Take Pride in Carolina” campaign. In mid-February, SEANC presented the governor and members of the General Assembly with your “Take Pride in Carolina” report. This report outlines more than $10 billion in savings that would fill the more than $2 billion budget deficit several times while still supporting quality public services and the men and women who provide them. Now, we need you to help push these budgetsaving ideas by becoming a SEANC Warrior.

SEANC Warriors The “Take Pride in Carolina” lobby day events continue the work of SEANC’s grassroots lobbyists known as SEANC Warriors. Each Monday night, SEANC members come to the General Assembly

after work as lawmakers come into town to begin the week’s legislative session. Employees meet as a group with the SEANC Legislative Affairs Department and are then divided into groups to discuss their concerns directly with lawmakers on the floor of the N.C. House and Senate. “It makes a very strong impression on lawmakers to see state employees in their SEANC blue week after week in the legislature,” said SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins. “Going to General Assembly has given me a better understanding of the legislative process. Each time, I become more informed about the budget and feel even more confident speaking to legislators,” said District 38 Chairman C.J. Stephens. SEANC Warriors have been meeting since the beginning of the legislative session and will continue to do so until the budget has passed. If you would like to join the SEANC Warriors on Monday nights, look for the meeting time which changes weekly in the SEANC Scoop email on Fridays. tdavis@seanc.org THE REPORTER MAY 2011

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public policy

State Health Plan Reform Bill is On the Move Health plan’s future in the balance due to NCAE’s political games By Cary Edgar

As a result SEANC negotiated with lawmakers to get the best deal for our members and make the SHP sustainable for the future. SEANC also voiced its opposition to premiums and unfair cost-shifting to employees in four legislative committees. The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) was noticeably silent in the initial hearing on this bill. Senate leaders pointed out that NCAE did not lobby them about this legislation until after the bill was heard in committee. Although undesirable, the premiums that appeared in SB 265 weren’t surprising considering Gov. Bev Perdue’s budget recommendations included premiums for the Standard 80/20 plan. Perdue’s budget opened the door to those premiums, but SB 265 balanced out that certainty by taking significant steps to reform larger problems with the SHP. However, in mid-April Perdue vetoed SB 265 at the request of NCAE, allegedly because the teachers’ lobby wanted the Basic 70/30 health plan to be premium free. During discussion on the bill, Senate leader Phil Berger said, “This is the governor basically vetoing her own plan.” The governor, after all, is the one who charged a premium in her budget to active employees and retirees for the Standard 80/20 health plan. The Senate promptly overrode the governor’s veto and sent the bill to the House. We say “allegedly” because prior to Perdue’s veto, House Speaker Thom Tillis met with Perdue and offered to make the 70/30 plan premium free to avoid the veto. Several of the stakeholders, including SEANC’s Executive Director Dana Cope, also met with Speaker Tillis late that week to make it clear that our goal is to get a bill that maintains health plan reforms and ideally a premium-free option.

PHOTO BY Cary edgar

In early March, Senate Bill 265 was filed with the purpose of reforming the State Health Plan (SHP) by transferring oversight to the state Treasurer’s office, establishing a SHP Board of Trustees including four seats comprised of active or retired state employees, abolishing the SHP’s punitive tobacco and BMI penalties and making cost-plus contracts unlawful. The bill also included health care premiums for active and retired state employees to help close a $515 million budget deficit in the plan. SB 265 achieved SEANC’s No. 1 policy platform objective as voted on by the 2010 convention delegates, namely to transfer SHP oversight away from the General Assembly and represented the first time that state employees and retirees would have an active voice in the future of the SHP. However, the bill also ran contrary to SEANC’s No. 3 policy platform objective to oppose any SHP premium charges.

SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope provided key testimony about Senate Bill 265 to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee on March 23. Why the urgency now?

The SHP is underfunded by $515 million. What we’ve been told is that this figure assumes that the state made changes to the plan by April 21 in order to keep its “grandfather” status under the federal Affordable Health Care Act. We have heard this deadline may be waived, but it was unclear as of press time. Thus if the General Assembly does not reach agreement, and therefore agrees to keep the status quo for the SHP, then another deficit of $88 million will be added to the SHP. This would create a total deficit in the SHP of $600 million. Would it be a bad thing to leave everything as is today?

The simple answer is yes. With a spiraling health plan deficit, it’s possible that lawmakers won’t bring up the SHP reform for another vote, but they will still have to find at least $515 million to fund the plan, in addition to fixing the state budget deficit that is more than $2 billion. Where will that money come from? It is likely to come from state employee job cuts, a reduction in funds to the retirement system and/or ending the SHP entirely by offering lump sum payments to state employees and retirees to purchase health care on their own. Word around the General Assembly is that the House was four votes shy of being able to override the governor’s veto. With these numbers in mind, SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins met with Speaker Tillis’ Chief of Staff Charles Thomas and representatives from NCAE and the N.C. Retired Governmental Employees Association. As always, Watkins continued to negotiate for the best deal possible for SEANC members, namely

SEANC’s No. 1 legislative priority in the General Assembly to transfer oversight of the SHP away from the legislature in order to achieve a sustainable health plan and maintain a premium-free option. A compromise bill emerged from the negotiations that included a one-sentence change to allow the Treasurer’s office to keep premiums as low as possible should the plan find additional savings. During floor debate, Rep. Tim Moore offered an amendment to make the 70/30 plan a premium-free option and the House passed the bill with this new provision in it by a vote of 82-35. The Senate disagreed with the new compromise bill so a House-Senate conference committee has been appointed to negotiate the bill’s differences between the two chambers. This is where we stand as of press time.

It is unknown what version of SHP reform will emerge from the negotiations, but what we do know is that the governor and NCAE have used the SHP as a political football to the peril of the 663,000 members who depend on it. After a $670 million cash infusion was needed to fund the SHP two years ago and needing $515 million now, it’s clear that the SHP needs to be reformed to be sustainable for the future. If no bill is passed, then we risk losing the SHP altogether. The very fact that the SHP reform bill is being used for partisan politics by NCAE and the governor clearly demonstrates why the plan needs to be moved away from the General Assembly. SEANC will continue to work non-stop in the General Assembly on your behalf to get the best deal possible for SHP members and to achieve your No. 1 policy objective for a sustainable health plan. cedgar@seanc.org

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THE REPORTER MAY 2011


public policy

Cash Points

Global

State Employees Work Hard and Deserve to Be Heard The following guest column was published in the Goldsboro News-Argus on March 20.

Here. There.

Everywhere. Whatever your destination, SECU’s Cash Points Global is the perfect choice for your travel needs and another alternative to your standard debit and credit cards! Visit any SECU branch, www.ncsecu.org or call the Contact Center at 1-888-732-8562 to open a Cash Points Global account. Cash Points Global is a controlled spending debit card tied to an SECU account.

THE

Toni Davis, Editor-In-Chief Cary Edgar, Managing Editor Amber Ernst, Associate Editor Mary Adelaide Riddick, Associate Editor Daniel Pate, Writer 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.

I would like to offer the following response to your editorial of March 8 titled “Who will blink: No one wants to cheat state employees. They just want it fair.” I am not able to speak to the services offered in other states but can say that the thousands of state employees of North Carolina provide valuable services to the citizens of this great state. These services encompass so much of everyone’s daily life. Have you ever considered how many state agencies are involved with us being able to go to work every day? To name a few, the Department of Transportation provides good roads, and the Division of Motor Vehicles enables you to get a driver’s license so you can drive to work and licenses so that your car can be driven. The Department of Insurance ensures that there are good insurance companies licensed in this state to provide you with automobile coverage. The Department of Crime Control and Public Safety ensures that you can get to work safely and ensures that the traffic laws are being obeyed. The Department of Agriculture ensures that the food you eat for breakfast is safe. I am proud to say that I am an active state employee with over 24 years of service. We do think that the state should be accountable to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent wisely. We are also the first to say that there are redundancies in the services being provided and that some areas could be realigned to make better use of tax dollars. We ask, though, that any changes that are made are well thought out and that the legislators be held accountable for their decisions. We ask our legislators to “Take Pride in Carolina” and pass a budget that continues to make North Carolina a great place to live. Recently, a “Take Pride in Carolina” report was released that shows over $10 billion in budget savings without harming quality public services. The governor and legislators should consider the information provided in this report when preparing the budget because the currently proposed cuts will wreak havoc on our citizens and deny us the basic services on which we all rely. North Carolina draws the best and the brightest from around the country and the world, and needs to continue to do so. But to go back to your original editorial, we deserve to have decent benefits. As state employees, we are required to contribute 6 percent of our pay for our individual pensions and the state is to also contribute a certain portion to the pension system. However, this has not been done in the past several years. We deserve to have a fully funded pension system. We also deserve to have a health plan that is run wisely and efficiently, not through a secret, no-bid contract. Did you know that we have to get several bids from various providers before a simple box of pens can be purchased; but, the General Assembly did not get any bids from health care providers before signing a secret no-bid contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield? Who knows how much this contract is costing the state each year? For the past several years, we have not received a decent cost-of-living adjustment to our salaries. Yet, just like you, we have had rising cost-of-living expenses, higher taxes, higher gasoline costs, higher health care co-pays and decreasing health care benefits. When the budget is being considered, state employees are always thought of last. This year, it appears that the legislators and the governor want to balance the budget completely on the backs of state employees. The governor has made it clear that she supports the welfare of corporations in North Carolina more than the welfare of state employees. State employees are citizens, taxpayers and voters. We provide valuable services to the citizens of North Carolina. We deserve decent benefits. We deserve the right to speak out when people have the wrong idea about what we do. And most importantly, we deserve the right to be heard. Betty Jackson District 38 member THE REPORTER MAY 2011

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public policy

Quotes to Note “I think all state employees are very concerned about what’s going to be happening during this budget cycle. State employees can be an easy target, but I think we need to look at the whole picture.” North Central Regional Representative to the Executive Committee and public health educator with the Department of Health and Human Services Doranna Anderson on why lawmakers must reform the state tax code and close corporate loopholes before cutting jobs in a Feb. 2 WRAL-TV story “Layoff notice to state workers could create problems.”

“There are so many tax loopholes in our state for the rich and corporations. When we file our taxes on April 15 do we get a tax break? Corporations do.” Western Regional Representative to the Executive Committee Henry Belada on the detriment to the state if leaders cut quality public services while handing over more benefits to wealthy corporations in a Feb. 7 letter to the editor of the Morganton News Herald.

“These people don’t really understand whose side we’re really on. We are fighting for them against greedy banks and greedy corporations and greedy governors.” District 17 member and N.C. A&T State University employee Laurie Gengenbach on the irony of anti-union arguments that ultimately benefit corporate welfare and not individual taxpayers in a Feb. 27 News & Observer article “Rallies clash loudly over union rights.”

“It’s real evident in our economy that there’s not a very equitable sharing of fruits of the labor and of the business. What’s happening is there are a lot of people at the top that are very rich and others who are not getting their fair share.” SEANC Chief of Staff/General Counsel Tom Harris on how middle-class families suffer by not having collective bargaining rights in the public sector in a Feb. 27 Winston-Salem Journal article “N.C. Unions say Wisconsin fight could invigorate labor movement.”

“Why are we allowing disastrous policies – failed policies I might add – to strip away vital services to taxpayers so the rich can get richer?” SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope speaking about the need to pass a common sense state budget in a Feb. 16 News & Observer article “Workers pitch budget ideas.”

“I’m sort of shocked that anybody in the legislature would want to open the state up to this kind of potential liability.” SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins on why Senate Bill 344, the Government Transparency Act, would be unconstitutional by subjecting employees’ records with unproven allegations or corrective actions in a March 15 News & Observer article “Sunshine Law.”

“While some of those positions are vacant right now, it’s still a service that’s not going to be provided to taxpayers when it’s not filled. There will be fewer nurse’s aides working in the public health system and fewer people operating snowplows. If the Legislature goes through with some of these job cuts, they’re going to face scorn from their constituents who need these services.” SEANC Assistant Director of Communications/Public Relations Cary Edgar on the scrutiny that Gov. Bev Perdue and legislators should expect if they drastically cut the quality public services that North Carolina taxpayers expect in a March 2 Carolina Public Press article “North Carolina’s budget woes mean hard days ahead for WNC’s public, private workers.”

“As a result of their respective approaches, SEANC continues to improve its standing in the Legislature and NCAE, which is known as a highly partisan organization, continues to see a steady decline.” Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee Co-Chairman Peter S. Brunstetter on SEANC’s work in the General Assembly in a March 24 newsletter to his constituents in Forsyth County.

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THE REPORTER MAY 2011


2011 Discount Theme Park Tickets SEANC and the State Employees’ Credit Union have teamed up once again to offer members theme park ticket discounts. Tickets are on sale through Sept. 30 at all SECU branch locations and the SEANC Central Office. Regular Adult Admission

SEANC & SECU Price

$63.99

$51

$51.99

$35

$57.99

$35

$35.46

$26

$35.46

$26

$53.75

$26

$33.99

$26

Williamsburg, VA

Charlotte, NC

Doswell, VA

Myrtle Beach, SC

Concord Mills, NC Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach, SC

Greensboro, NC

SEANC and SECU are not responsible for lost tickets. No ticket refunds or exchanges. See official theme park websites for child ticket prices and height requirements, park calendars and hours of operation. Visit www.seanc.org and click SAVE or contact Carri Derrick at cderrick@seanc.org or 800-222-2758.

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

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STATEWIDE SALES AND SERVICE Fran Albritton, LUTCF Locust, NC 704-485-8062

Chris Harris Greenville, NC 252-531-1218

Jeff Tate, LUTCF Henderson, NC 252-438-3334

Ty Cobb, CFP Angier, NC 919-639-2300

John Hill New Bern, NC 252-229-0774

Will Walters Fayetteville, NC 910-483-6210

Rob Jernigan Fayetteville, NC 910-483-6210

Scott Kittrell Sanford, NC 919-303-5976

Ron Jackson Raleigh, NC 919-781-6716

PHOTO BY amber ernst

Mark Younts Salisbury, NC 704-637-9554

House Representative Joins SEANC Family

PROTECTIVE LIFE

NC State Employees Service Office 8364 Six Forks Road, Suite 200 Raleigh, NC 27615 Toll Free 800-334-1217 Local 919-844-1777 www.ncbenefits.com

On Tuesday, March 8, Member Action Director Lynn Cote recruited Rep. Stephen LaRoque, a Republican House member representing Greene, Lenoir and Wayne counties, into the SEANC family. Welcome Rep. LaRoque to SEANC and District 70!

Use payroll deduction for all your important purchases.

Rent a SEANC Conference Room today. Let SEANC provide an 

impressive environment  to make your meeting  or training session a  success!

Purchasing Power is a unique member benefit program, which helps you purchase the new, brand-name computers, electronics and home appliances you want and need for you and your family through the ease of payroll deduction. Go online today to see the latest products Purchasing Power has to offer!

Visit www.SEANC.PurchasingPower.com or call 800-903-0703 Group Code: SNC2191

Conference rooms for up to 100 people are available for rent at the SEANC Central  weekday includes a professional business environment with audiovisual equipment, access to a food preparation area and room arrangement to suit your needs. Conference rooms A and B can be combined into one large room for $300 per weekday.

LOCATION: 1621 MIDTOWN PLACE, RALEIGH, NC 27609 Contact SEANC at 800-222-2758   or meetings@seanc.org to secure your conference room today.

6

THE REPORTER MAY 2011


public policy public policy

The The Perils Perils of of Privatization Privatization

By Ardis Watkins, SEANC Legislative Affairs Director By Ardis Watkins, SEANC Legislative Affairs Director In December 2010, Gov. Bev Perdue proposed Most importantly having state employees provide IT In December 2010, Gov. Bev Perdue proposed Most importantly having employees IT privatizing Information Technology Services (ITS) services also prevents the state disastrous resultsprovide that have privatizing Information Technology (ITS) services also prevents thewhere disastrous results has that been have for North Carolina. The proposal was ofServices great concern happened in other states IT services forSEANC North Carolina. The proposal wasprivatizing of great concern happened in states companies. where IT services has been to as research shows that these contracted outother to private For example in to SEANC as research shows that privatizing contracted out experienced to private companies. For example in services in other states has proven to be costlythese and 2010, Virginia a loss of online services services in other of states has proven toinformation. be costly and 2010, Virginia experienced a loss online shutting services risks the security citizens’ personal in 26 state agencies for more thanofa week, risks security ofbudget citizens’proposal, personal information. in 26 state agenciestoforprovide more than a week, shutting In thethegovernor’s however, she down the ability public services for In the governor’s budget she down the Inability provide publicrenew services for proposes consolidating ITSproposal, under thehowever, Department taxpayers. Texas tocitizens couldn’t vehicle proposes consolidating ITS under theHer Department taxpayers. InorTexas citizens couldn’t renew of vehicle of Management and Administration. proposal registrations driver’s licenses for a period time of Management and Administration. Her proposal registrations driver’s licenses for a period time suggests that streamlining ITS functions will due to privateorvendor failures in delivering theofterms suggests completion that streamlining ITSbyfunctions will duethetocontract. private vendor failures in delivering the terms facilitate of projects deadline and of facilitate completion of projects by deadline and of the contract. within budget. Rumors of layoffs and reduction-in-force within budget. Rumors layoffs If the governor recognizes that these agency measures in theofwestern part and of the reduction-in-force state may indicate If the governor recognizes that the these agency measures the western partthe of same the state may consolidations will allow the state ability to that NorthinCarolina is on path to indicate failure. consolidations will allow quality the state the within abilitythe to that North Carolina is are on the same path have to failure. continue providing in-house services SEANC members who IT employees been continue budget, providing in-house quality services within the SEANC on members whoduring are ITlunch employees havethese been specified why is she considering privatization? meeting Mondays to discuss specified budget, why is she considering privatization? meeting Mondaysa during to legislators discuss these issues andonformulate plan to lunch educate on issues and formulate plan to educate legislators on the importance of IT aservices in government. They the importance IT services in government. They have also been of attending Monday night lobbying State employees can and do provide the have also been attending Monday night lobbying sessions at the General Assembly in order to connect State employees can and do provide the quality public services needed at a lower sessions at the General Assembly in order to connect with lawmakers. quality public needed at a lower bottom-line costservices than private vendors. More with lawmakers. This is not the first time SEANC has had to fight bottom-line cost thanemployees private vendors. More importantly, state will more is not the first has had fight backThis privatization in time state SEANC government. In to2009, importantly, statemeasures employees will more likely take proper to ensure the back privatization state maintenance government. across In 2009, chatter of privatizinginprison the likely take of proper to ensure the security Northmeasures Carolina taxpayers. chatter of quickly privatizing prison maintenance state was squelched by SEANC across efforts.the It security of North Carolina taxpayers. state was quickly squelched would by SEANC efforts. is interesting that lawmakers ever have suchIt interesting lawmakersoutwould ever have ais notion afterthat contracting operations for such two Think about it: a private company is in business a notioninafter outresulted operations for state two prisons 1996,contracting which then in the Thinkmoney. about it: a private is in business to make There is nocompany other purpose. If that prisonsback in 1996, which resultedin in2000 the after state taking control over then operations to make money. There is noitother that company has shareholders, will purpose. work to Ifmake taking back control over operations in 2000 after poor management. companyprofit has to shareholders, it will work happy. to make enough keep those shareholders If poor Inmanagement. this session, the move to privatize prison enough profit istoprivately-owned, keep those shareholders If that company it is still happy. going to session, the in move to privatize prison maintenance was passed the House April 14. In this session, House Bill 335, aonproposal to thatpreoccupied company iswith privately-owned, it is still going to be making a profit. maintenance was passed House on April 14. House Billdoor 335, a proposal tothe open the door to prison open the to prison in maintenance privatization, be preoccupied with do making profit. State employees their ajobs in the most costHouse Bill 335, proposal towas open thetodoor to prison maintenance privatization, amended by Rep. was amended bya Rep. Nelson Dollar study the isState employees do manner their jobs in the most costeffective and efficient possible. The state maintenance by Rep. Nelson Dollar to study issue rather than take sue rather thanprivatization, take these the 450was jobsamended from hardworking effectivehas andbeen efficient possible. The state state budget tight manner for years and every Nelson to study the issuestate rather than take these 450Dollar jobs from hardworking employees. state employees. budget hashasbeen for years and more every work state employee hadtight to adapt to doing these 450 job jobsloss from stateimportance employees.to While is hardworking always of utmost employee had to But adapt to doing more with fewer has resources. IT professionals in work state Whilemore job loss is always of utmost importance to SEANC, money in corporate pockets while the with fewer resources. professionals state government have had But to doITmore with lessinwhile SEANC,security more money in corporate pockets while the public’s and tax dollars are compromised government havethe hadsecurity to do standards more withthat lessprotect while also maintaining public’s and tax dollars are as compromised is what security should concern all of us taxpayers. also maintaining thesuffering security standards thatthrough protect fellow citizens from identity theft is whatvendors should are concern all of tousprovide as taxpayers. Private in business returns fellow citizens from suffering identity theft releases of personal information such asthrough social Private vendors areinvestments. in business toDedicated provide returns on stockholder’s state releases numbers of personal information such as social security or driver’s license information. on stockholder’s investments. Dedicated employees are in it to provide quality services state and securityhardworking numbers orstate driver’s license information. Those IT employees also often employees in itCarolina to provide quality services and security for are North citizens…and that’s our Thosecritical hardworking IT employees have missionsstate to protect services also that often help securityline. for North Carolina citizens…and that’s our bottom have critical missions to protect services that help maintain homeland security. bottom line. awatkins@seanc.org maintain homeland security. awatkins@seanc.org

Can We Come For a Visit? Can We Come For a Visit? Would your work site or agency benefit from having a special update and Would yourabout work what’s site or agency benefit having a specialDo update and discussion going on in thefrom General Assembly? you need discussion aboutand what’s on about in thespecial General Assembly? you need someone to come speakgoing with staff SEANC projects Do or initiatives? someone to come and with staffinformation about special SEANC projects or initiatives? Are your co-workers in speak need of more about insurance, retiree benefits Are your co-workers in need of more information about insurance, retiree and scholarship programs? Contact SEANC today to invite a memberbenefits action and scholarship programs? Contact SEANC today to invite a member action coordinator to visit. coordinator to visit. You can arrange for this by reaching out to You canLynn arrange by reaching or outlcote@seanc.org. to 800-222-2758 Member Action Director Cotefor at this Member Action Director Lynn Cote at 800-222-2758 or lcote@seanc.org.

THE REPORTER MAY 2011 THE REPORTER MAY 2011

7 7


LOBBY DAYS

Eastern Lobby Day

Central Lob

PHOTO BY toni davis

Rep. Carolyn Justice meets with SEANC District 62 member Laura Overstreet during the Eastern Lobby Day on March 16 in Raleigh.

PHOTO BY Amber Ernst

SEANC District 60 member Hiawatha Jones meets with Rep. Larry Bell during the Eastern Lobby Day. Jones shared SEANC’s “Take Pride in Carolina” report with Rep. Bell to show him ways the legislature can cut the state’s budget and save jobs.

PHOTO BY Daniel Pate

District 66 member Mike Kollock speaks to Rep. Stephen LaRoque during the Eastern Lobby Day on March 16. Kollock spent the day lobbying legislators on ways to cut the state’s budget deficit without sacrificing quality public services.

Sen. Wesley Meredith meets with SEANC District 22 member Chuck Capps during SEANC’s Central Lobby Day on March 23. Capps explained to Sen. Meredith SEANC’s “Take Pride in Carolina” report, showing him how to close the budget gap by eliminating corporate tax loopholes.

PHOTO BY Amber Ernst

PHOTO BY toni davis

Rep. Nelson Dollar meets with SEANC members during the Eastern Lobby Day. Pictured, left to right, are SEANC Lobbyist Chuck Stone, District 39 member Faye Childers, Rep. Dollar, District 70 member Douglas Wilson and District 39 member Joe Childers.

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THE REPORTER MAY 2011

SEANC members speak with Rep. Rosa Gill, left, during the Central Lobby Day on March 23. Pictured beside her, left to right, are Second Vice President Cheryl Moon, District 43 member Jerry Thompson, District 42 Chairwoman B.J. Jones, District 45 Chairman Jonathan Williams, District 45 member Deborah Eato and EMPAC Chairwoman Amaka Flynn.

Left to right, District 19 member Inetha Cousin, Piedmon Angela Lyght and District 42 Chairwoman B.J. Jones meet The members shared SEANC’s “Take Pride in Carolina” rep to close the budget gap while protecting essential public s


Lobby Days

Western Lobby Day

bby Day

PHOTO BY Mary Adelaide Riddick

nt Regional Representative to the Executive Committee t with House Minority Leader Joe Hackney on March 23. port, highlighting cost-savings the state should consider services.

First Vice President Sidney Sandy continues to sign up new SEANC members throughout Western Lobby Day. Here, Sandy signs up Rep. Frank McGuirt.

PHOTO BY Amber Ernst

District 39 members Marcelle Kennedy and Mary O’Neill discuss SEANC’s “Take Pride in Carolina” campaign during the Central Lobby Day. SEANC members from the central region met at the General Assembly to lobby legislators.

PHOTO BY Mary Adelaide riddick

PHOTO BY Amber Ernst

PHOTO BY Mary Adelaide Riddick

PHOTO BY Amber Ernst

Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin signs up Rep. Rodney Moore as a SEANC member during the Western Lobby Day on March 30.

District 3 member Kathy Howell speaks with Rep. Jonathan Jordan and asks him to support State Health Plan reform on March 30 during Western Lobby Day.

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

9


columns

Counselor’s Comments

President’s Message

by Tom Harris

by Charles Johnson

SEANC Chief of Staff/General Counsel

Union: Not a Four-letter Word

UNC Proposes To Strip Employees of SPA Rights

We’ve all seen recent discussions on the evening news about unions and heard politicians and pundits argue about them. Some of us have attended rallies in their support. Unions and their efforts are being vilified by some and applauded by others. As state workers, we need to understand why unions are an important and positive force in this country. First, we need to remember that “union” is not a four-letter word. We all enjoy the benefits of labor struggles that have taken place not only in the United States but all over the world for more than a Johnson century. Worker rights are an everyday expectation in today’s society and are a direct result of the struggles of our union forefathers.

Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins and I met recently with UNC system representatives who informed us that the UNC Board of Governors (BOG) is asking the General Assembly to exempt nearly 22,000 of its employees from the State Personnel Act (SPA) and give the BOG authority to adopt the human resource (HR) policies for those employees. This proposal has been included in Senate Bill 575. Since the delegates at the 2010 SEANC convention had made opposition to legislation like this their second-highest priority, Harris we were curious to hear how the proposal would be defended. What system representatives said is that the proposal purposely lacks details so the BOG will have flexibility to make the new policies even more advantageous for employees than SPA policies. Since they also said that the BOG is seeking input from employees, here is information to help you form an opinion. University System SPA Employees Would Lose Property Rights to Jobs: If university system employees are exempted from the SPA, they would lose the property interest in their jobs obtained when they gain career employee status after two years of employment. This is because they would lose protection of the SPA requirement that career employees can be disciplined only for “just cause.” Both North Carolina and federal courts have held that such a property interest can only be created by statute or local ordinance, not by resolution or policy. Thus, the BOG could not replace this right by adopting an HR policy to match SPA’s “just cause” provision. As a result, SPA career state employees would also lose the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the Office of Administrative Hearings, the State Personnel Commission and the courts. They become “atwill” employees unless they have an employment contract for a specific term, and then they could be made “at-will” employees at the end of the contract’s term. “At-will” employees can be demoted or discharged for no reason or any reason as long as it is not a reason specifically prohibited by law. University System SPA Employees Would Lose SPA Pay: Another big detriment of this proposal would be the loss of pay raises given to the state’s other SPA employees. Typically the General Assembly gives the university system a lump sum of money and no guidelines for giving raises to its EPA employees. If history is any indication, this could mean that favored positions, such as faculty and administrators, would get a disproportionate share of the raises while others would get raises lower than those given to SPA employees. Comparison to Current EPA Non-Faculty Employees, Who Lack Many SPA Rights: While there is no certainty about what policies the BOG will adopt to replace the SPA rights that would be lost, one logical place to look is existing policies for current EPA non-faculty staff. That comparison shows that additional SPAprovided provisions lost would include: reduction-in-force re-employment rights and severance pay, longevity pay, promotional priority for career state employees, protection from hiring decisions based on political affiliation and whistleblower protections, including protection from retaliation for communicating with a state legislator at his or her request. Opposition to SPA Removal Still Merited: We concluded that the university system’s arguments for the proposal gave us insufficient reasons for considering a change to SEANC members’ stated priority to oppose legislation such as this proposal. While we will be advocating SEANC’s position to the General Assembly on your behalf, we urge university system employees to share their opinions with the staff assemblies on their campuses, as the BOG has asked for this input. Also watch for SEANC’s legislative updates that will alert you at appropriate times to contact your legislators about this issue.

Worker Rights Include:

• Equitable Living Wages • 40-hour Work Weeks • Child Labor Laws • Vacation Time • Holidays • Equal Treatment Regardless of Race, Color, Religion, • Safe Working Conditions  National Origin, Age or Disability Sex,

We, as citizens of this great country, have come to expect these things. These are commonplace elements in every workplace, but there was a time when this was not the case. At one time in our history, children labored for 16 hours a day, sweatshops locked doors to trap workers and coal miners were paid in company dollars that could only be spent in company-owned stores that sold inferior and sometimes tainted products. You could also be denied a job because of your race, religion or gender. These are not large concerns for us anymore because unions paved the way for workers to earn fair pay for fair work under safe and equitable work conditions. While we may not enjoy collective bargaining in North Carolina, we must remember that it is a right we are fighting for. It means so much more than negotiating a wage. Collective bargaining will allow us, as state workers, to negotiate with our employers about issues like work conditions, hours, training, health and safety and grievances. Unions give us a collective voice. When you are standing in a crowd, which voice is more likely to be heard – the voice of one or the collective roar of 55,000? SEANC gives us unity; this is our collective roar to be heard over the arguments of politicians and pundits. There are 50 states in this country and North Carolina is only one of two that expressly prohibits public sector collective bargaining. As always, we are working to make North Carolina one of the majority – not the minority. cjohnson@seanc.org

Do you want to see just how far labor struggles have come in the last century? Visit the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh and its year-long photography exhibit titled “The Photography of Lewis Hine: Exposing Child Labor in North Carolina 1908–1918.” Hine was a staff photographer with the National Child Labor Committee. His work documents the plight of child workers in the state’s textile mills a century ago.

For more information, visit ncmuseumofhistory.org. 10

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

tharris@seanc.org


columns

Executive Director’s Desk by Dana Cope

SEANC Members “Take Pride in Carolina” The “Take Pride in Carolina” campaign is rolling full steam ahead. We began this journey with the leadership of our executive committee, board of governors and EMPAC approving a multi-faceted campaign that would showcase our members’ $10 billion common-sense solutions to close the budget gap. This campaign provides a path for lawmakers to choose a budget that makes North Carolina a great place to live. In mid-February, SEANC launched this campaign with a press conference to debut your Cope “Take Pride in Carolina” report. The event received statewide media coverage, particularly because the financial savings outlined in the report are much greater than the amount of the state deficit. The report offers lawmakers a stark difference from the governor’s budget proposals, which suggested state employee layoffs as a means to pay for continued corporate giveaways. Instead, SEANC members suggested ways to expand the revenue base, eliminate tax loopholes and stop corporate welfare. Immediately after the press conference, SEANC’s legislative affairs team dispatched the reports to every member of the General Assembly. The report was just the beginning; we took your ideas and launched them into a new website – takepridecarolina.org – dedicated wholly to the campaign and ongoing budget debate. You can also follow news from the campaign on Twitter at twitter.com/takepridenc or see daily news updates and discussion on the campaign’s Facebook page at facebook.com/takeprideincarolina. These efforts will also be illustrated in new videos on a dedicated YouTube channel and through a text messaging campaign. No one knows better than state employees that proposed cuts to vital services would wreak havoc on our state by denying taxpayers the basic needs they expect and rely on. That is why I am so proud of our members for sharing their personal stories and contributing to the “Take Pride in Carolina” campaign. Using your stories, Web videos and television and radio commercials are being produced to make your voice heard even louder in the legislature. We have also used tried and true methods to speak with elected leaders and the public. We sent mail directly to SEANC members and lawmakers, held three lobby day events in March and led three hometown rallies in Morganton, Greenville and Raleigh in April. Together we must remind our lawmakers that North Carolina draws the best and the brightest from around the country and the world, and they need to pass a budget that will allow us to continue to do so. We are continuing to advocate for

you and with you in the General Assembly every day. The bottom line is that the governor and the legislature need to pass a budget that shows they understand the importance of putting North Carolina and North Carolinians first. Thank you for making this debate possible. Thank you for “Taking Pride in Carolina.” dcope@seanc.org

“Take Pride in Carolina” report...... tinyurl.com/4rgrsvf

Facebook................................... facebook.com/takeprideincarolina YouTube........................................ youtube.com/takeprideincarolina Twitter............................................ twitter.com/takepridenc Website.......................................... takepridecarolina.org Mobile updates ............................ text “TPIC” to 68753

Lobby Days March 16, 23, 30 - Raleigh

Hometown Rally Days April 9 - Morganton • April 16 - Greenville April 30 - Raleigh

New Identity Theft Insurance Product Available Identity theft is a crime that occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to create new credit or bank accounts, purchase goods or services, perpetrate criminal acts, obtain employment or commit other crimes. It often begins with the theft of a social security number, credit card or bank card number or phone card. Identity theft can be devastating, and the process of restoring your name can be overwhelming and costly. Beginning May 1, SEANC is offering a new Kroll insurance product for members to protect themselves against the often destructive effects of this crime. The ID TheftSmart™ program provides

policyholders with assistance from a licensed investigator to restore their name and correct errors with various banking and identity accounts that may have been compromised. This program also provides continuous credit monitoring in order to catch identity theft early. This protection costs $8 each month for SEANC members or $14 each month for members plus a dependent. For more information or to enroll in the program, please contact the Insurance Department at the SEANC Central Office at 800-222-2758 or seanc.org/insurance.

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

11


member action

Legislative Priorities and Bylaws Amendments Begin with You By Amber Ernst In preparation for the annual convention, districts will soon begin updating SEANC’s policy platform and considering bylaws amendments. This annual process begins at district-level annual meetings held each summer, where members consider recommendations for their legislative policy platform for next year’s General Assembly session and changes to the rules that govern our association. A schedule of district annual meetings is updated daily on SEANC’s online calendar at seanc.org/calendar.

Bylaws Keep Us Moving SEANC bylaws define the purpose and internal structure of our organization. In order to make a change to any bylaws that govern our organization, a suggested amendment must first be passed by at least one district at its annual meeting. This recommended amendment is then brought to the state Bylaws Committee and, if approved, is presented at the annual convention to be voted on by all delegates. “It is important that districts follow state bylaws when structuring new amendments so that we protect the integrity of the organizational process,” said Bylaws Committee Chairman Cliff Brown.

Policy Platform is Key to SEANC’s Mission

recommendations to the attention of those with the authority to enact change – namely, the governor and the General Assembly.

District Meetings Begin the Process

District annual meetings begin in May and must be held no later than July 15 – so now is the time to turn your recommendations for change into formal policy platform objectives and bylaws amendments. The format for changes to SEANC’s policy platform objectives can be found at tinyurl.com/4opty7z. The format for bylaws amendments can be found at tinyurl.com/4n8n5qj. All recommendations should clearly describe the desired change or new activity proposed and should include a meaningful rationale. A well-developed rationale increases the likelihood that a given recommendation will be endorsed at SEANC’s annual convention. In developing a rationale, ask yourself a few questions. How will this amendment serve the purpose of SEANC? How will this recommendation, if adopted, improve the state’s efforts to recruit or retain a qualified workforce or improve a workplace practice? Will it provide savings? Will it improve the delivery of a public service?

Need Help?

In order to protect and enhance the rights and benefits of current, retired and future state employees, the policy platform outlines the policies and objectives that guide the association’s lobbying activities. It represents our members’ best thinking about how to recruit and retain our most valuable resource – state employees. You are often the best source for identifying opportunities to improve workplace practices. The policy platform offers us a way to bring our collective

Each district has a policy platform chairperson and a bylaws chairperson. Policy Platform Advisory Committee members and Bylaws Advisory Committee members are available to assist you in developing your ideas into formal objectives or amendments and in drafting revisions to existing language. You may also contact your district chairperson for additional information about the process. aernst@seanc.org

How SEANC’s Policy Platform and Bylaws Amendments are Developed The Process Begins

Statewide Policy Platform & Bylaws Advisory Meetings

Members formulate ideas about policy and bylaws to present at district annual meetings.

All 53 districts’ policy platform and bylaws chairpersons meet to vote on policy and bylaws objectives approved at district annual meetings. Approved policy objectives and bylaws amendments are forwarded to convention delegates for a vote.

April

12

May

June

July

August

September

District Annual Meetings

Convention

Members present policy and bylaws ideas for a vote. Approved ideas are forwarded to the statewide policy platform and bylaws advisory meetings.

The week after Labor Day, more than 800 SEANC delegates debate and vote on policy objectives approved by the statewide Policy Platform Committee and bylaws amendments approved by the statewide Bylaws Committee. Those objectives that are approved by a majority vote become the association’s policy platform in the General Assembly for the upcoming year. The Top Ten Policy Platform Objectives guide the association’s lobbying activities. Bylaws amendments are approved by a majority vote, except Articles I, II, IV, V, XI and XIII, which require a two-thirds vote.

THE REPORTER MAY 2011


member action

SEANC District Annual Meetings Dist.

Date

Time

Location

1

June 30

6 p.m.

Jackson County Community Service Bldg., 538 Scotts Creek Rd.

2

June 14

6 p.m.

J&S Cafeteria, 900 Smokey Park Hwy. 1923

3

June 14

6 p.m.

4

June 28

5

City

Dinner

Sylva

District Chairperson Teddy Greene - tgreene@ncdot.gov

Asheville

Yes

Dodie Collins - dodiesputer@aol.com

Holiday Inn Express, 1943 Blowing Rock Rd., Hwy. 321 South

Boone

Yes

Doris Greer - dorisgreer@charter.net

6 p.m.

Evan & Shirley Thompson’s House, 2978 Laura Rd.

Shelby

Yes

Jimmy Davis - seanc_d4@yahoo.com

May 24

6 p.m.

Western Piedmont Community College, Hildebrand Hall Cafeteria, 1001 Burkemont Ave.

Morganton

6

July 12

6 p.m.

Broughton Hospital Chapel Assembly Room, 1000 S. Sterling St.

Morganton

7

May 26

5 p.m.

J. Iverson Riddle Development Center Gym, 300 Enola Rd.

Morganton

Yes

Henry Belada - woodchop7@charter.net

8

May 19

6:15 p.m.

Fire Mountain Restaurant, Hwy. 421 North

Wilkesboro

Yes

Larry Brent Reeves - brentreeve@charter.net

9

June 16

6 p.m.

Boxcar Grill, 3140 North Oxford St.

Claremont

Yes

Bruce McCrary - brucemccrary@yahoo.com

10

June 17

6:30 p.m.

China Grove Community Center, 412 South Myrtle St.

China Grove

Yes

Kim Martin - kmartin@ctc.net

11

May 16

6 p.m.

DOT Maintenance Bldg., 1017 Old Prison Camp Rd.

Polkton

Yes

A.D. Hall - adhall227@yahoo.com

12

June 16

6 p.m.

Logan’s Steakhouse, Hwy. 74

Monroe

Yes

Jim Rowell - jimrow@carolina.rr.com

13

May 24

5:30 p.m.

Harbor Inn, 8805 University East Dr.

16

June 14

6 p.m.

Winston-Salem State University, Diggs Gallery, 601 South Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

17

May 16

6 p.m.

18

June 7

19

June 21

20

Melissa Freeman - mfreeman@wpcc.edu Wayne Freeman - wfreeman8009@gmail.com

Charlotte

Sue Eldridge - eldridgem@bellsouth.net

Winston-Salem

Yes

Melva Daniels - acey326@hotmail.com

Golden Corral, 3108 Garden Rd.

Burlington

Yes

Wayne Talbert - awaynet@embarqmail.com

6:30 p.m.

Shoney’s, 1320 East Broad Ave.

Rockingham

Yes

Larry Miller - mla04@doc.state.nc.us

5:30 p.m.

OWASA Administration Bldg., 400 Jones Ferry Rd.

June 11

10 a.m.

First Baptist Church, 200 East New York Ave.

21

June 16

5:30 p.m.

Sheriff’s Satellite Office, 1546 South Campus Dr.

22

June 16

6:30 p.m.

Indigo Room, 121 East H St.

23

May 13

7 p.m.

St. Pauls Community Bldg., 111 North 3rd St.

24

May 19

6 p.m.

Powell Melvin Cooperative Extension Bldg., 450 Smith Circle Dr.

25

June 14

5:30 p.m.

Top of the Hill, 100 East Franklin St. # 3

26

June 7

6:30 p.m.

Polk Correctional Institute, GEC Visitation Room, 1001 Veazey Rd.

Butner

27

June 9

6 p.m.

Ole NC Bar-B-Que, 4201 North Roxboro St.

Durham

Yes

Gracie LaSane - gracie_lesane@msn.com

36

June 1

6 p.m.

BBQ Lodge, Hwy. 70 West

Garner

Yes

Bruce Dixon - bruce.dixon@ncmail.net

38

June 9

5:30 p.m.

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

C.J. Stephens - cjstephens@nc.rr.com

39

June 7

5:30 p.m.

McKimmon Center (Room TBD), 1101 Gorman St.

Raleigh

Art Anthony - araleighwood@netscape.com

40

June 9

6 p.m.

DOC Enterprise Conf. Room, Yonkers Rd.

Raleigh

Anne Brown - anneciccbrown@gmail.com

41

June 13

6 p.m.

Golden Corral, 11016 Capital Blvd.

42

June 23

5:30 p.m.

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

43

May 19

5:30 p.m.

Cheryl Moon’s House, 209 Westover Dr.

44

June 14

6 p.m.

Logan’s Roadhouse, 1000 Timber Dr. East

Garner

Yes

Sandra Johnson-Lemon beachesawaitme@aol.com

45

May 25

6 p.m.

Logan’s Roadhouse, 1000 Timber Dr. East

Garner

Yes

John Williams - williams44@bellsouth.net

46

June 16

5:30 p.m.

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

David Hardy - dhardy07@bellsouth.net

47

June 21

5:30 p.m.

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

Doranna Anderson - danderson83@nc.rr.com

56

June 17

6 p.m.

Ralph’s BBQ, 1400 Julian R. Allsbrook Hwy.

Weldon

Yes

Michael Johnson - jma01@doc.state.nc.us

57

June 14

6 p.m.

Golden Corral, 921 North Wesleyan Blvd.

Rocky Mount

Yes

Darius McLaurin - dlmc1@nc.rr.com

58

June 14

6:30 p.m.

Holt Lake Bar-B-Que & Seafood, 3506 Hwy. 301 South

Smithfield

Yes

Marie Stone - otherchuckstone@aol.com

59

June 13

6 p.m.

Cherry Hospital, Conference Center, 201 Stevens Mill Rd.

Goldsboro

Yes

John Miller - John.Miller@ncmail.net

60

June 9

6 p.m.

Texas Steak House, 303 Spence Ave.

Goldsboro

Yes

Hiawatha Jones - hjones242@nc.rr.com

61

June 17

6:30 p.m.

Small Town’s Calabash Restaurant, 322 South Monk St.

Magnolia

Yes

Mike Bell - mtwbell@embarqmail.com

62

June 13

6 p.m.

New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Dr.

Wilmington

Yes

Lewis Sasser - lsasser@ec.rr.com

63

May 17

6:30 p.m.

Heritage House, 1303 South King St.

Windsor

Yes

Marion Drake - dma14@doc.state.nc.us

64

June 21

6:30 p.m.

The Warehouse Restaurant, 204 West Main St.

Winterville

Yes

Gene Mills - tylerstormspring@gmail.com

65

June 21

5 p.m.

Brook Valley Country Club, 311 Oxford Rd.

Greenville

Yes

Gloria Highsmith - highsmithg@ecu.edu

66

May 25

6 p.m.

King’s Restaurant, Hwy. 70 East

Kinston

Yes

Lenell Miller - ttbod85@yahoo.com

67

July 12

6:30 p.m.

West-Newbern Vol. Fire Department, 900 Chelsea Rd.

68

May 17

6:30 p.m.

Nixon Catering & Banquet Facility, 749 Virginia Rd.

69

June 23

6 p.m.

Elizabeth City State University, K.E. White Graduate Center, 1704 Weeksville Rd.

70

June 14

6:30 p.m.

Kinstonian Family Restaurant, 208 East New Bern Rd.

Kinston

Yes

Roland Best - rolandbest@embarqmail.com

71

May 26

6:30 p.m.

Parker’s Barbeque, 2514 Hwy. 301 South

Wilson

Yes

Stuart Glover - comanchecreekllc@yahoo.com

Carrboro

Angela Lyght - angela_lyght@unc.edu

Southern Pines

Cliff Brown - seanc2@nc.rr.com

Creedmoor

Joel Valentine - joel.valentine@ncdenr.gov

Erwin

Yes

Michele Shaw - micheleshaw22@gmail.com

St. Pauls

Yes

Jeremy Register - jgr74@ymail.com

Elizabethtown Chapel Hill

Terry Baker - ghostbuster151@yahoo.com Yes

Jonathan Stephenson - stepheja@email.unc.edu Stacy Dowdy - dsl13@doc.state.nc.us

37

Joseph Qubain - jqubain@ncdot.com

Wake Forest

Yes

Raleigh

Betty Jones - betty.jones@dhhs.nc.gov

Knightdale

Nicole Hunter - nhunter1@ncdot.gov

Trent Woods Edenton

Frank Brown - bfe.dist41@yahoo.com

Stanley Drewery - stanley.drewery@doc.nc.gov Yes

Elizabeth City

Rita Woods - lra01@doc.state.nc.us Keith Renner - vrkeithr@yahoo.com

Please attend your district’s annual meeting to learn about workplace and retirement issues directly affecting you and your family. To find out your district number, go to seanc.org under “Districts.” Please contact your district officers to confirm the meeting dates, times and locations as they are subject to change, or check the Calendar of Events at seanc.org/calendar. THE REPORTER MAY 2011

13


member action

Photo contributed by Cindy Crawford

Members from District 13 not only volunteered at the Fire and Life Safety Quiz Bowl in Mecklenburg County on March 17, but also donated $500 to the cause. The event consisted of fourth- and fifth-graders from 32 local schools testing their knowledge on fire safety. This year marked the fourth time the district has helped out with the contest and the 33rd year of the competition.

District 6 was showing some love for its members by holding a membership event on Feb. 14 that included a Valentine’s Day raffle and a SEANC information session. Pictured is District 6 member Deb White showing off one of the prizes given away at the raffle. The event was held in the employee cafeteria at Broughton Hospital and featured door prizes including stuffed animals, baskets and candy to members who attended.

District 20 gave back to its community on Feb. 19 by donating $500 to Girl Scout Troop 1276 of Lee County. The donation was made after members from the troop attended a district meeting in November. Pictured is District 20 member Harry Atkinson, right, presenting the check to members of the troop.

14

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

On March 19, Districts 6 and 7 joined forces to hold a pancake breakfast and membership drive at Fatz Cafe in Morganton. This was the first time that a SEANC event was held at Fatz Cafe, which turned out to be a prime location as more than 125 people attended to raise more than $500. Pictured, left to right, are District 6 member Dale Shaffer and District 7 members Mary Franklin and Jane Powell.

Photo by Mary O’Neill

Photo contributed by Harry Atkinson

Photo by Henry Belada

Photo by Sherry Helton

For more than eight years, District 2 members have auctioned off items at Brunk Auctions in Asheville in order to raise money for community causes such as the MANNA FoodBank. Members attend every auction and they raised more than $400 at the March 12 event. Pictured, left to right, are District 2 Chairwoman Dodie Collins, District 2 members Wayne Fish and B.J. Hodges, SEANC Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin and District 2 members Debra Robbins and June Watkins.

Members of District 39 braved the freezing waters of Lake Raleigh on Feb. 26 in order to help raise money for Special Olympics North Carolina. The district sponsored its very own “Subzero Team,” consisting of three runners and two plungers, for the N.C. State Polar Plunge and 5K Run event. The event raised nearly $60,000 and it was the third consecutive time that District 39 participated. Pictured from District 39, left to right, are member Kathleen Snyder, Chairman Art Anthony and members Ryan Hancock and Wanda Simmons.


member action

DAVID G. SCHILLER KATHRYN H. SCHILLER DARA DAMERY

__________________________________________________

Photo by Sandi Jones

MARVIN SCHILLER, Of Counsel CAROL M. SCHILLER (1940-2009)

Members of District 60 help out patients at the Southeastern Medical Oncology Center (SMOC) in Goldsboro by regularly donating snacks. The district takes part in this tradition four times each year in order to provide a little more motivation for the patients as they continue their recovery. Pictured, left to right, during a Jan. 24 donation are SMOC nurse Jenny Raper and District 60 member Marcie Green.

PROFESSIONAL PARK AT PLEASANT VALLEY 5540 MUNFORD ROAD • SUITE 101 RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA 27612 www.schillerfirm.com (919) 789-4677

Class Actions

Retirement Benefits

Employment Law

Social Security Benefits

Family Law

Wills & Estates

Personal Injury

Workers’ Compensation

Marvin Schiller was lead class counsel in Faulkenbury v. Teachers’ & State Employees’ Ret. Sys. (1997) (recovering disability retirement benefits for several thousand State employees, teachers, law enforcement officers, other public employees, and their families) and Simpson v. Local Govt. Ret. Sys. (1987) (public employees’ benefits vest after 5 years of public service). He authored the SEANC amicus curiae brief in Bailey v. State (1998) (exempting some public employees from State income tax on their retirement benefits). Firm members have ably represented hundreds of State employees and teachers for over 35 years in employment, retirement benefit, workers’ compensation, and injury cases.

Photo by Patti Jordan

Firm members established the Carol Masters Schiller Distinguished Scholar of Neurology Chair at the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill.

District 65 showed their support by raising $1,000 through car washes and bake sales for the 2011 Relay for Life of Pitt County. The event, which celebrates the lives of people who have battled cancer, will be held at South Central High School on April 29 and 30. The district will sponsor their own SEANC Purple Crusader and SEANC Gold Crusader teams in the event. Pictured, left to right, are District 65 member Lynn Tuthill, Relay for Life Accountant Adam Wells and District 65 member Debbie Austin.

Doug Sutton

Insurance Services Providing quality and affordable insurance to SEANC members for over 30 years.

Photo contributed by Lenell Miller

We appreciate doing business with you!

On Feb. 11, District 66 members were happy to present Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy the first ticket to the Springtime Scholarship Gala. Pictured, left to right, are District 66 member Paula Moffitt, District 66 Chairwoman Lenell Miller, Mayor Murphy and District 66 member Pam Yelverton. The membership recruitment event, held on April 1 at the Lenoir County Shrine Club in Kinston, featured music from funk artist Kirby “Phunkplayah” Hamilton and awarded door prizes to the first 50 guests.

Please call us if we can be of service.

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

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

15


State Employees Association of North Carolina P.O. Drawer 27727 Raleigh, NC 27611

Are You JUST Reading the Reporter and the Short Report? You’re Only Getting a Fraction of the SEANC Updates! By Daniel Pate If you haven’t submitted an email address to SEANC then you’re missing out on many ways to stay informed about what’s going on to protect the quality public services you provide. Members who register their email address are able to receive electronic updates each week. The SEANC Scoop is sent on Fridays and contains top state employee news, The Legislative Update, SEANC in the News stories and a featured statewide member discount. The Legislative Update includes the latest news from the General Assembly and the actions SEANC has taken to protect public services and the people who provide them. This publication is the best way to stay informed on what SEANC is doing for you in the General Assembly. Email is your best bet to immediately receive urgent news from SEANC. For example, members received messages last month that included invitations to rallies and calls to action in the General Assembly that would have been impossible to advertise in the Short Report or the Reporter. In addition to email alerts, SEANC offers many Internet tools to facilitate involvement and update

16

THE REPORTER MAY 2011

members on a regular basis. The SEANC website contains a vast amount of information on the organization and offers access to district bulletin boards, SEANC in the News articles and member discounts. SEANC’s presence in the social networking sphere – Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube – also allows members to interact with others and view footage of SEANC events. For example, you can watch all the speeches made at the “Save the American Dream” rally that took place in Raleigh on Feb. 26 by accessing the SEANC YouTube channel. If you are not receiving emails from SEANC, go to seanc.org/email and register your information to start receiving electronic updates. If you don’t have an email address, it’s very easy to get one. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! offer free email services with a simple registration process. Don’t get left behind! Send us your email address and receive the latest information as we continue to push for the services that make North Carolina a great place to live. dpate@seanc.org

Periodical Postage

PAID

Raleigh, NC

What You Can Receive Through Email News Alerts: Information about new legislation, invitations to events and rallies, SEANC responses to major employee issues and immediate notification of news that pertains to you. SEANC Scoop: Weekly updates on recent happenings, media coverage, member discounts and links to SEANC pictures and videos.

The Legislative Update: Latest news from the General Assembly and details on what SEANC is doing to protect quality public services. facebook.com/SEANC.Local2008

twitter.com/SEANC2008

youtube.com/seancmedia

flickr.com/photos/seanclocal2008/


May 2011 Reporter