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
• Vol. 31, Issue 6
McCrory Releases First State Budget Proposal Pay raises, jobs and prison closures to be debated in General Assembly by
SEANC Director of Communications
On March 20, Gov. Pat McCrory released his first budget, a $20.6 billion document, which contained a 1-percent pay raise and a 1-percent retiree cost-of-living adjustment. Overall, SEANC is optimistic that as the state economy continues to improve, legislative leaders will recognize the need to fund public services. “My fellow SEANC members, please remember the governor’s budget is the first step in the budget process and that nothing is final,” President Sidney M. Sandy said of the budget. “We are working tirelessly with lawmakers to maintain vital pubic functions performed by our members.” Jobs and Pay The greatest concern in McCrory’s budget for SEANC members is the plan to shutter five prisons — Wayne, Duplin, Bladen, Robeson and Western Youth Institution. In response, SEANC continues to meet with lawmakers and Department of Public Safety officials to plead our case and ensure that our neighborhoods and citizens are kept safe. On the brighter side, the budget also contained hundreds of new positions in the Department of Public Safety, including new probation and parole officer, post-release supervision and drug court positions to monitor felons
after they leave state prison. There are also new positions proposed to re-establish the state’s drug courts. This budget marks the second in a row that state employees are poised to receive a modest raise. In addition to a 1-percent pay increase for all state employees, the governor’s budget contains provisions to maintain longevity pay and $20 million for a salary adjustment reserve. The Budget Process The governor’s budget begins the annual process of funding state government. After reviewing McCrory’s budget, the N.C. House and the N.C. Senate will draft and vote on their individual budgets, negotiate a final budget and vote on a compromise budget. The General Assembly’s budget is then presented to the governor for his signature. The goal of the legislature is to have a new budget passed prior to July 1, 2013, when the new state fiscal year begins. This year the state Senate has its turn to craft the budget first. Your Role SEANC is continuing an ongoing dialogue and working with North Carolina’s General Assembly leaders as the budget process continues to unfold. If you want to express your opinion on the state budget to lawmakers, call the General Assembly at 919-733-4111.
What’s in Gov. McCrory’s First Budget Proposal? Pay • Provides a 1% pay raise for state employees • Maintains longevity pay • Proposes $20 million for the salary adjustment reserve
Public Safety • Closes Wayne, Duplin, Bladen, Robeson and Western prisons that employ 685 people • Provides funding for more than 300 new jobs,
primarily in probation and parole • Reinstates drug courts and adds 45 new jobs
Health Care • Contributes $45 million for FY 2013-14 and $136.2 million in 2014-15 to the State Health Plan
Retirement • Provides a 1% cost-of-living increase for retirees • Funds $36 million for the retirement system
Director’s Message By Dana Cope
SEANC Executive Director
Privatization isn’t the Answer for Medicaid Woes
Gov. Pat McCrory and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos proposed a plan in early April to hand over Medicaid administration to for-profit companies. McCrory stated the move would control costs, provide a better quality of care and increase efficiency. SEANC shares with the governor these goals for Medicaid, but we differ with the underlying premise that privatization is the key to fixing the Medicaid budget, providing better care or efficiencies. Public employees who deliver Medicaid services go to work each day Cope to save lives and protect the taxpayers by keeping watch over abuse by private contractors. North Carolina is not the first state to consider privatizing Medicaid services. Before rushing this decision, lawmakers need to understand what many other states have learned about the pitfalls of Medicaid privatization with costly results to taxpayers. In Texas, Gov. Rick Perry’s privatization scheme resulted in huge profits for Wall Street hedge funds and left the system in shambles. More than $500 million later, state employees had to step in to right the ship. In Kentucky, the new privatized system caused feuds between operators and healthcare providers while a private company sued to end its contract with the state, leaving the state holding the bill. In New Jersey, private Medicaid plans enrolled large numbers of low-income families and then denied up to 30 percent of their claims for hospital care, resulting in multiple lawsuits. Why have these failures occurred in other states? It’s simple — for-profit corporations are in business to make money. Private contractors save money by cutting corners or cutting 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 and additional offices. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: THE REPORTER P.O. Drawer 27727 Raleigh, NC 27611-7727
The Reporter • May 2013
off access to health care services. If a private corporation is successful in delivering fewer services, then a millionaire CEO and his shareholders make more money. State employees, on the other hand, are not motivated by profits. North Carolina citizens are our stockholders. We are not out-of-state companies caring for strangers. When we deliver quality health care services, we are working in our own community, we help care for our neighbors in their time of need, we prioritize safety and we control costs with a watchful eye for mismanagement, overbilling and profiteering schemes. SEANC looks forward to a vigorous debate over the future of Medicaid in this state and the best way to administer it. We are confident that, if given a level playing field, state employees can continue to provide life-saving services to the citizens of our state in the most cost-effective manner.
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Protecting Your Paycheck Toni Davis, Editor-In-Chief Jonathan Owens, Managing Editor Alicia Miller, Associate Editor Johnny Davison, Associate Editor Scott Heath, Associate Editor 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
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 • May 2013
Quotes to Note “I recognize that state employees and public services sacrificed during tough economic times and how important it is to you and your families to be fairly compensated for your part in making North Carolina a great place to work and live.” Executive Director Dana Cope in a March 20 WRAL story, “Educators, others skeptical of proposed budget”
“I’ve never seen anyone who wants to be in charge of everything, but responsible for nothing more than Janet Cowell.” Executive Director Dana Cope in a March 26 News and Observer article, “Employees group works to block changes to State Health Plan, retirement system,” explaining SEANC’s objections to the state treasurer’s attempt to take more authority over the State Health Plan
“We don’t understand the need to go in and make major changes to the retirement system out of fear that there might be a bill to change the way the legislature funds it.” Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins in a March 26 News and Observer article, “Employees group works to block changes to State Health Plan, retirement system”
From Social media SEANC believes #HB232 power grab provision expands Treasurer’s powers with no requirement for approval by the SHP Board of Trustees. #ncga
Privatization of services ...is never more efficient. The outsourced provider has not vested interest in service and it is absolutely never more cost effective.
SEANC’s official Twitter account (@seanc2008) on a bill that gives the State Treasurer more authority over the State Health Plan.
A comment from District 62 member Claire Primrose on a post on SEANC’s official Facebook page (facebook.com/seanc.local2008)
“State employees stand ready to help care for those patients in need of help.” A post on SEANC’s official Facebook page (facebook.com/seanc.local2008) on the possibility of opening a fourth psychiatric hospital in the state.
The Reporter • May 2013
All new state employees as well as old timers should join SEANC. I am retired and have been a member for 32 years! A comment from District 40 member Cathy Williams Sasser on a post on SEANC’s official Facebook page (facebook.com/seanc.local2008)
Legislators want to open up performance reviews to public By Jonathan Owens
SEANC Assistant Director of Communications
State employees’ privacy would be further intruded upon and the state would open itself up to lawsuits all for the sake of “being nosey” if bills currently filed in the legislature are passed. Sen. Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover) filed a bill, SB 332, in early March that proposes to make state employees’ evaluations available to anyone who wants to see them under the public records act. A similar bill has been filed in the N.C. House. Performance evaluations are, of course, subjective determinations of an employee’s performance and are one person’s opinion. As anyone who has ever had a performance evaluation knows, frequently they are challenged. Under these bills, the employees would have these evaluations released before they ever had a chance to pursue appeal. So what happens when what a supervisor writes in an evaluation is later proven to be patently false? The answer is
that the state could incur tremendous liability. SB 332 opens the door to 14th Amendment lawsuits which forbid states to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has held that property rights of employees whose records were released before they had a right to challenge the validity of the records were violated by potentially impacting their future employment prospects. SEANC advocates maintaining the privacy rights and equal protection of the laws on behalf of state employees and specifically fights opening state employee personnel files in any manner that divulges personal information about employees without serving a legitimate purpose. These bills only serve to lower employee morale, invite gossip, and ultimately cost taxpayers money when property rights are violated and employees’ good names ruined.
Photo SUBMITTED by Betty Jones
District 3 members Rhonda Robinson and Anne Castro were among the members who pitched in as District 3 sponsored a meal for 29 soldiers as part of the Wounded Warriors Project on March 9 in Boone.
District 60 Chairwoman Hiawatha Jones, District 24 Chairwoman Anne Marie Bellamy and District 3 member Anne Castro were in the audience at a recent House committee meeting concerning the State Health Plan.
Photo by AJ Alberston
Photo submitted by Bob Gibbard
Photo BY toni davis
First Vice President Art Anthony (from left), District 42 Chairwoman Sara McDonald, Treasurer Betty “BJ” Jones and Second Vice President Stanley Gales recruited 50 new members at the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte.
Pictured from left is District 22 Chairwoman Deborah Harney, Chuck Capps, Eddie Stanley and Michele Shaw at a recent recruiting event at Harnett Correctional Institution.
The Reporter • May 2013
State health Plan
SHP Enrollment Period Set for Late May By Johnny Davison
SEANC Communications Specialist
The time to make changes to your coverage elections with the State Health Plan is fast approaching. The SHP’s enrollment period is May 20-31. During this period you can enroll in the SHP, switch plans, and add or remove dependents without a qualifying event. If you are satisfied with your current plan, you do not need to do anything. You and any dependents will remain on your current plan. Any changes you make to your plan will take effect July 1, 2013, and unless you experience a qualifying life event, you cannot switch plans until the next open enrollment period. Since the SHP Board of Trustees approved moving the benefit year to a calendar year, this next benefit period will be from July 1-Dec. 31, 2013.
The Reporter • May 2013
If you have any questions regarding the open enrollment process, qualifying life events or your medical benefits,
visit the SHP website at shpnc.org.
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Annual Meetings Calendar District Date Time Place 1 June 25 6:00 pm Ryan's Steakhouse, 374 Walmart Plaza 2 June 11 5:30 pm J&S Cafeteria, 900 Smokey Park 3 June 25 6:00 pm Boone Holiday Inn, 1943 Blowing Rock Rd 4 Western Piedmont Community College Cafeteria 5 May 23 6:00 pm 1001 Burkemont Ave Broughton Hospital Employee Cafeteria 6 July 9 6:00 pm 1000 S. Sterling St J. Iverson Riddle Development Center Gym 7 June 6 5:15 pm 300 Enola Rd 8 June 27 6:00 pm Golden Corral, 1917 U.S. 421 9 June 6 6:00 pm Western Steer, 334 Southwest Blvd 10 June 10 7:00 pm Golden Corral Restaurant, 1540 U.S. 29 Troutman Barbeque Restaurant 11 May 30 6:00 pm 1388 Warren Coleman Blvd Captain's Galley Seafood Restaurant 12 June 20 6:00 pm 11032 E. Independence Blvd (Hwy 74) 13 June 12 6:00 pm Mimi's Restaurant, 10244 Perimeter Pkwy Winston-Salem State Univ., Anderson Center Main 16 June 11 6:00 pm Dining Rm, 601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr 17 June 17 6:00 pm Kernodle Senior Center, 1535 S. Mebane St 18 June 10 6:30 pm Pat's Kitchen, 1240 E. Broad Ave 19 June 18 5:30 pm OWASA, 400 Jones Ferry Rd Southern Coastal Plain OSDT Training Complex 20 June 8 10:00 am 180 Sandhills Dr 21 22 23 24 25
June 20 6:30 pm Camp Braham The Brass Lantern Steak House 515 Springbranch Rd June 14 6:00 pm St. Pauls Community Building, 111 N. Third St May 30 6:30 pm Town of Clarkton Train Depot, 95 N. Elm St May 30
June 11 6:00 pm
27 36 37 38
June 13 June 12 June 13 June 11
June 11 5:30 pm
40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 56 57 58
6:00 pm 5:30 pm 5:30 pm 5:30 pm
George Currie Visitation Hall-Polk C.I. 1001 Veazey Rd Golden Corral, 5006 Apex Highway 55 SEANC Central Office - Conference Room C Chief Engineers Conference Room, 4968 Beryl Rd SEANC Central Office - Conference Room A McKimmon Conference & Training Center 1101 Gorman St
June 10 June 27 July 25 June 18
6:00 pm 5:30 pm 5:30 pm 6:00 pm
Golden Corral, 3424 Capital Blvd SEANC Central Office - Conference Room A Smithfield BBQ, 7304 Knightdale Blvd SEANC Central Office - Conference Room A
June 20 June 4 June 21 June 6 June 11
5:00 pm 5:30 pm 6:30 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm
SEANC Central Office - Conference Room A SEANC Central Office - Conference Room A Texas Steakhouse, 1703 Julian R Allsbrook Hwy Western Sizzlin, 1041 N Wesleyan Blvd Neuse CI, Training Center, 701 Stevens Mill Rd Cherry Hospital Conference Room 201 Stevens Mill Rd Logan's Steakhouse, 1011 Sunburst Dr Onslow County Museum, 301 S. Wilmington St Arboretum of New Hanover City 6206 Oleander Dr Heritage House Restaurant, 1303 S. King St The Warehouse Restaurant, 305 Main St Brody School of Medicine, 2nd Fl Rm 2w-40 600 Moye Blvd
June 10 6:00 pm
June 11 6:00 pm June 8 11:00 am
June 24 6:00 pm
May 21 6:30 pm June 25 6:30 pm
June 18 5:30 pm
July 9 6:00 pm West New Bern Fire Department, 900 Chelsea Rd May 22 7:00 pm Nixon Catering, 749 Virginia Rd Elizabeth City St. University-Kermit White Center June 27 5:30 pm 1704 Weeksville Rd Golden Corral Family Steakhouse June 11 6:00 pm 4468 Vernon Ave
6:00 pm The Folded Napkin, 115 W. North St
City Sylva Enka Boone
Dinner Y Y Y
Contact Name Tony Rickman Lesia Manos Bob Gibbard Joe Brown
Contact Information firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
N. Wilkesboro Newton Concord
Y Y Y
Leonard Reynolds James Burgess Jim Nicholson
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Burlington Rockingham Carrboro
Y Y Y
Ron Woodson Pamela Locklear Martha Fowler
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
St. Pauls Clarkton
Harold Faulk Anne Marie Bellamy Tommy Griffin
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Durham Raleigh Raleigh Raleigh
Y N Y Y
Gracie LeSane Lynn Stephenson James Bridges Betty Jackson Creech
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Raleigh Raleigh Knightdale Raleigh
Y Y Y Y
Raleigh Raleigh Roanoke Rapids Rocky Mount Goldsboro
Y Y Y Y Y
Althea Boone Pat Acquista Sarah McDonald Duane Smith Mary Curtis Dee Carter Dewey Hamilton Shirley Ballard Grace Edwards Drew Stanley Sandy Pendergraft
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Y Y - lunch
Hiawatha Jones Leigh Bair
Marion Drake Bonita Barfield
Mike Kollock Lisa Burwell Stanley Drewery Rita Woods
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
New Bern Edenton
Y Y Light snacks
Elizabeth City Kinston
The Reporter â€˘ May 2013
Periodical Postage PAID Raleigh, NC P.O. Drawer 27727 Raleigh, NC 27611
SEANC Retirement Workshops Tour in Full Swing By Jonathan Owens
budget debate and funding changes to the Teachers and State Employees Retirement System. “The issues that face our retirees can be vastly different A SEANC retirement expert may be coming soon to a from those that affect active employees,” said SEANC town near you. Retiree Council Chairman Bob SEANC Lobbyists Mitch Hopper. “The workshops give Leonard and Chuck Stone, us a chance to reach out to working with the SEANC our members who may have Retiree Council and Membership questions but do not know Committee, have embarked on who to ask.” a tour of the state to educate The workshops are open to all retirees on issues directly affecting SEANC members. Because of them and gain feedback on how their obligations in the General to better serve their needs. Assembly, Leonard and Stone At the workshops, Stone, a are only available for workshops one-time SEANC President, on Monday and Friday. and Leonard, SEANC’s longest- District 7 members listen to a presentation on retirement Retirement workshops are serving staff member, will from SEANC Lobbyist Mitch Leonard on March 11 at planned throughout May in Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton. focus much of the discussion Carteret, Cumberland, Wake on changes to the State Health Plan including the state and Wayne counties. If you are interested in attending a treasurer’s surcharges, as well as Medicare. Come to learn retiree workshop, contact your district chairperson or the about differences between Medicare-eligible retirement and SEANC central office at 919-833-6436. non-Medicare retirement as well. Other topics addressed include the current federal firstname.lastname@example.org Photo submitted by Henry Belada
SEANC Assistant Director of Communications
The Reporter • May 2013