State Employees Association of North Carolina, SEIU Local 2008 1621 Midtown Place, Raleigh, NC 27609 • www.seanc.org 800-222-2758 • 919-833-6436 • Circulation 55,000
• Vol. 33, Issue 6
It’s Time for SEANC to Move Forward
joined SEANC’s predecessor, the North Carolina State Government Employees Association, in June, 1970, while working for the Department of Transportation in Asheboro. Just out of the army, I was used to working with others for a common cause. Seven years later, on March 14, 1977, I went to work for the association as its first field representative. Fast-forward 38 years to the day, I came out of retirement on March 14, 2015, to take over as full-time executive director in what has been the darkest time in the history of this organization. I have always thought of myself as a member rather than a staffer. Because of that, I made it clear to the Executive Committee and everyone who was in earshot that the only way I would take the executive director’s job is if we were completely honest with our members and ordered a full audit of our books. We sent a letter to each member detailing the results of that audit. It painted a pretty grim picture. Our former executive director had complete control, and used our finances like a personal checkbook. The amounts were staggering: More than $94,500 in excessive payments to a landscaper, $18,000 for a trip to China, $15,000 at Best Buy and $10,000 at another electronics store. The list goes on and on, to the tune of more than $293,000 in undocumented credit card charges and more than $494,000 in total charges without official SEANC purposes. You don’t have to tell me how mad this makes you. Believe me, it makes me just as mad as a dues-paying member of this organization for 45 years. I guarantee you that we will do everything in our power to collect every penny of the money taken from us over the years. We have already recovered some of it, and will continue that pursuit. We have also turned over our audit to the State Bureau of Investigation to help in their probe. What I care about most is you, our members, and the mission of this organization. I’ve been asked several times why would I ever come back to such a mess. My only answer is, “Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do.” In the last two-plus months that I have been executive
Director’s Message By Mitch Leonard
SEANC Executive Director
“Moving forward, this is no longer going to be a Dana Cope-led organization. It’s going to be a member-led organization dedicated to bettering the lives of all current, retired and future state employees.” Mitch Leonard, SEANC Executive Director
director, we have already made great strides. Some of the changes are listed on page 3 of this issue. We have a lot left to do, but I feel like we are on the right track. This column, along with the letter we mailed to each member and the email we sent to everyone we had an address for on file, is another attempt at transparency. The list of annual meetings is in this edition as well, and I am going to try to personally attend as many of them as possible. My door is always open to any member who wants to discuss the audit or anything else. Moving forward, this is no longer going to be a Dana Cope-led organization. It’s going to be a member-led organization dedicated to bettering the lives of all current, retired and future state employees. And we must move forward. We have big fights ahead. We still need a meaningful pay raise for all state employees and a cost-of-living adjustment for our retirees. We still have to protect due-process rights and point out the dangers of privatization. We still need to guard our retirement funds and advocate for an affordable State Health Plan. We need to recruit new members and get back to trainings. We need to pick ourselves back up and get back to work. There will be tough days ahead, to be sure. But I can guarantee you we will face them head-on, and I will keep you informed. firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Reporter • May 2015
919-836-9993 or Toll Free: 1-800-788-7771 email@example.com
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., 1621 Midtown Place, Raleigh, N.C. 27609. Periodicals postage paid at Raleigh and additional offices. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: THE REPORTER 1621 Midtown Place Raleigh, NC 27609
District 25 Chairman John Gullo, District 19 Chairwoman Martha Fowler and member Marie Tate met with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry after her speech at UNC-Chapel Hill on March 23. District 65 members Debbie Austin, Karen Simmons and Lynn Tuthill and Member Action Field Operations Manager Tiffany Woodard spread the word about SEANC at ECU’s Fitness Walk.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY LYNN TUTHILL
• SEANC’s General Treasurer now personally signs all checks issued by SEANC. • A manual check process has been implemented: The General Treasurer must be notified by email with a request to have a manual check processed, which will require use of the Treasurer’s signature stamp on the requested check. The email must contain a scanned copy of the Check Authorization Form/Purchase Order Request and a copy of the invoice associated with the check request. The Treasurer must email back approval for the finance staff to process the manual check, which will be attached to the check documentation. Upon the next on-site visit by the Treasurer, the manual check copy and all of the documentation will be made available for the Treasurer’s review and signature. • All manual checks require signature by the Executive Director or designee. • The Executive Director must review and approve all wire (ACH) payments. • No check can be issued without an approved Check Authorization Form/Purchase Order Request explaining fully the purpose for payment, regardless of the amount. • No purchase of $1,000 or more can be approved without three bids as mandated by SEANC’s Operations Manual. • Credit card assignments have been reviewed and reassigned only to individuals authorized to use a SEANC credit card. Each card and account number is assigned to just one staff member. • A credit limit of $5,000 has been set on each credit card. • Credit card charges are limited to fuel and hotel expenses unless approved by a supervisor. • Employees are not permitted to charge purchases on another employee’s credit card. • Division directors are required to review each employee’s credit card statement on a monthly basis to ensure proper documentation. • Credit card receipts must be filed with the credit card statements instead of filing them with an expense statement.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN OWENS
SEANC Financial Reforms in Place Following Audit
Jonathan Owens, Editor-In-Chief Beth Dew, Associate Editor Alicia Miller, Associate Editor State Employees Association of North Carolina 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. The Reporter • May 2015
Statewide Recruitment Day a Success!
PHOTO BY JOHNNY DAVISON
District 2 member Linda Pless dropped by the Alcohol Law Enforcement office in Asheville with SEANC member and Agent-inCharge Stacy Cox.
District 56 Chairman Raymond Vaughan (right) and Willie Pittman (left) with new member Cornelius Dickens.
PHOTO BY LARESHA FORTSON
District 66 Chairman Mike Kollock with members Veronica Boone, Monique Grajales and Jacqueline Clemons at an event at Caswell Developmental Center in Kinston.
District 68 Chairwoman Rita Woods with three new members recruited at the DOT Wellness Fair.
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY A.J. ALBERTSON
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY MIKE KOLLOCK
PHOTO BY TIFFANY WOODARD
SEANC members went out in full force on April 23 for the annual Statewide Recruitment Day. Events in Asheville, Morganton, Raleigh, Kinston, Greenville, Wilmington and more netted a total of 91 new members in one day!
District 38 Chairwoman Susan Gentry recruited members on the Halifax Mall in Raleigh, near the N.C. General Assembly.
The Reporter â€¢ May 2015
PHOTO SUBMITTED BY JOHNNY DAVISON
PHOTO BY BETH DEW
Member Action Coordinator A.J. Albertson signed up seven new members at a DOT office in Wilmington. District 5 members Dale Brittain and Johnny Burnette sign up a new member at the N.C. School for the Deaf in Morganton, where 10 new members were recruited.
Morganton districts rally for state employees District 7 Chairman Henry Belada was the emcee for the event, which featured speakers from both SEANC and the Burke County NCAE.
PHOTOS BY JONATHAN OWENS
Members from SEANC Districts 5, 6 and 7 gathered with EMPAC Area C and the Burke County NCAE to speak out for state employees and retirees on the lawn of the Burke County Courthouse in Morganton on April 18.
District 6 Chairwoman Sonya Akbar (right) and members Sherri Helton and Nathaniel Brown pose for a picture outside of the historic Burke County Courthouse. Statewide EMPAC Chairman Tony Smith presses for cooperation between SEANC and NCAE on issues including the retirement system and health plan administration.
District 7 member Connie Barnette speaks.
District 7 members Gary Harbison and Gwyn Wilkes listen to the speakers.
District 5 Chairwoman Sherry McCracken addresses the crowd.
The Reporter â€˘ May 2015
Retiring soon? Let SEANC help you transition By Brenda Hooker
Are You Ready to Retire?
SEANC Director of Member Benefits
To help you with the transition, here’s a few things to keep in mind: • At retirement, your SEANC membership dues are reduced to $5 per month — a savings of $48 annually. • It can take up to two months for your dues to be deducted from the retirement system, so please contact SEANC prior to your retirement so there is no lapse in your dues, especially if you are a SEANC insurance customer. • Be sure to enroll in the term-life insurance program before you retire. Term-life coverage is not available to members once their status changes to retired. • Make sure you obtain a SEANC retirement packet and return it to the SEANC Member Benefits/Insurance Department. If you submit your SEANC retirement packet after the 10th day of the month, you must include your insurance premium and membership dues for one month. • SEANC can be reached at 800-222-2758.
Retiring from state service can be an exciting and possibly confusing time for anyone. Luckily, SEANC is here to help. You can still be an active member of SEANC even after your last day on the job. In fact, five of SEANC’s Top 10 Legislative Priorities for 2015 relate specifically to retirees. SEANC advocates to make sure state government keeps your retirement secure. SEANC also fights for expansion of the Bailey Settlement, which exempts public service retirees from state income taxes. Also, SEANC’s discounts and insurance programs can stretch your money further and give your family peace of mind. Retirees receive a discount on their monthly membership dues as well. The state does not alert SEANC when a member retires, so it is very important to contact our office at 800-2222758 to ensure that your membership is maintained and insurance programs continue.
Note: There is a difference between retirement and disability income, and this difference affects how your dues and insurance premiums are deducted. Contact SEANC to ensure you are correctly categorized.
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The Reporter • May 2015
Member savings not available at front gate. Must purchase through SECU Branch or SEANC Office. Please verify park schedule before booking. Restrictions apply. ©2015 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.
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*Homeowners insurance is not currently part of Travelers new business offering in Florida. *Home insurance is not part of MetLife Auto & Home’s benefit offering in Florida and Massachusetts. *Homeowners coverage in Florida for Liberty Mutual is very limited and several restrictions may apply. Insurance is underwritten by The Travelers Indemnity Company or one of its property casualty affiliates, One Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183. In MA: Auto policies are underwritten by The Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts, One Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183, a subsidiary of The Travelers Indemnity Company. Insurance offered through Premier is not guaranteed by The Travelers Indemnity Company or any other Travelers company. In TX: Auto insurance is offered by Travelers Texas MGA, Inc. and underwritten by Consumers County Mutual Insurance Company (CCM). CCM is not a Travelers company. Coverages, discounts, special program rates or savings, billing options, and other features are subject to availability and individual eligibility. Not all features available in all areas. © 2015 The Travelers Indemnity Company. All rights reserved. Travelers and the Travelers Umbrella logo are registered trademarks of The Travelers Indemnity Company in the U.S. and other countries. MetLife Auto & Home is a brand of Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates: Economy Preferred Insurance Company, Metropolitan Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Metropolitan General Insurance Company, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty Insurance Company, and Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Company of Texas, all with administrative home offices in Warwick, RI. Coverage, rates, and discounts are available in most states to those who qualify. Met P&C®, MetCasSM, and MetGenSM are licensed in MN. © 2015 MetLife Auto & Home. L0215409533[exp0118][All States] Coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. The program cannot guarantee coverage. A consumer report from a consumer reporting agency and/ or motor vehicle report, on all drivers on your policy, may be obtained where state laws and regulations allow. In TX: Auto coverage provided by Liberty County Mutual Insurance Company and home insurance provided by Liberty Insurance Corporation. CA Department of Insurance license number: 0G92799. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company is licensed in Minnesota. Liberty Mutual is an Equal Housing Insurer. © 2015 Liberty Mutual Insurance. This information has been solely written and provided by Travelers, MetLife Auto & Home, and Liberty Mutual. SEANC is in no way responsible for Travelers, MetLife Auto & Home, or Liberty Mutual or the insurance provided under this Program. Travelers, MetLife Auto & Home, and Liberty Mutual operate independently and are not responsible for each other’s financial obligations. All costs associated with marketing this Program are paid for by Travelers, MetLife Auto & Home, and Liberty Mutual. PL-17116 New 2-15
District 1 2
Date June 30 June 4
Time 6:00 pm 5:30 pm
Place Ryan's Steakhouse, 374 Walmart Plaza Yao Buffet Sushi Grill, 153 Smokey Park Hwy.
Fairway Café (Boone Golf Club), 433 Fairway Dr.
May 28 May 21
6:00 pm 6:00 pm
Home of Shirley Thompson, 2978 Laura Dr. Western Piedmont Cafeteria, 1001 Burkbond Broughton Hospital Employee Cafeteria 1000 S. Sterling St. J. Iverson Riddle Development Center Gym 300 Enola Rd.
City Sylva Asheville
Dinner Y Y
Contact Name Tony Rickman Dodie Collins
Pat's Kitchen, US Hwy 74
OWASA, 400 Jones St.
Deborah Harney Jeremy Register
Contact Information firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 828.525.0777 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 828.448.9533 firstname.lastname@example.org 828.413.0427 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 828.217.2823 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 704.695.5523 53mjmartin@gmail 704.640.1777 email@example.com 704.779.4028 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 434.713.1476 firstname.lastname@example.org 910.461.1248 email@example.com 919.810.7483 firstname.lastname@example.org 910-624-6134 email@example.com 919.685.0410 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
919.452.8942 919-575-3070 ext 5041 919-939-9633 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org 919-452-7341 email@example.com 919.394.2316
Jerry Bridges Sherry McCracken
Golden Corral, 1540 US-29
Anson Maintenance, 1017 Old Prison Camp Rd.
Captain's Galley Seafood Restaurant 11032 E. Independence Blvd. CPCC, Hall Building Room #304 1112 Charlottetown Ave. NC School of the Arts, 1533 S. Main St Kernodle Senior Citizens Center 1535 S. Mebane St.
Southern Coastal Training Center 180 Sandhills Dr.
Camp Braham, Highway Old 75
June 26 June 18
6:30 pm 7:00 pm
Brass Lantern, 515 Spring Branch Rd. Dales Seafood, 107 South JK Powell Blvd. Agricultural Service Center Extension Auditorium 450 Smith Circle Rd. OWASA, 400 Jones St. Currie Visitation Center, Polk Correctional Institution 1001 Veazy Rd.
Hope Valley Diner, 3710 Shannon Rd.
SEANC Headquarters, 1621 Midtown Place
37 38 39
June 11 June 9
5:30 pm 6:00 pm
Susan Gentry Doug Skinner
Raleigh Garner Garner
Y Y Y
Mamie Harris Brenda Johnson Pat Holcomb
42 43 44
June 18 June 23 June 16
5:30 pm 6:00 pm 6:00 pm
SEANC Headquarters, 1621 Midtown Place Golden Corral, 6129 Glenwood Ave. DPS Enterprise Conference Room 2020 Yonkers Rd. Golden Corral Family Steakhouse 60 Son-Lan Parkway SEANC Headquarters, 1621 Midtown Place Carolina BBQ, 733 US-70 West Logan's Roadhouse, 1000 Timber Drive East
firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 919.272.2886 email@example.com 919-539-4427 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 919-413-8962 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 252-532-0538 email@example.com
SEANC Headquarters, 1621 Midtown Place
June 23 June 16
5:30 pm 5:30 pm
SEANC Headquarters, 1621 Midtown Place SEANC Headquarters, 1621 Midtown Place
Randy Bruton Danny Rose
Ralph's BBQ, 1400 Julian Alsbrook Hwy
Western Sizzlin, 1041 N Wesleyan Blvd. Training Center, Neuse Correctional 701 Stevens Mill Rd Cherry Hospital Conference Room 201 Stevens Mill Rd. Village Steakhouse & Pub Restaurant 5662 US Highway 70 E New Zeng's Palace, 411 South East Blvd. New Hanover County Extension Office, Arboretum 6202 Oleander Dr. Heritage House, 1303 S. King St.
Anita King Ricky Rivenbark
Parkers, 3109 S Memorial Dr.
GK Café & Catering, 3197 East 10th St.
King's Restaurant, Hwy 70 East
Golden Corral Family Steakhouse, 400 Hotel Dr.
Nixon Catering, 749 Virginia Rd. Elizabeth City St. University-Kermit White Center 1704 Weeksville Rd.
firstname.lastname@example.org 919-581-7933 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 910-520-8429 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org 252-714-8330 email@example.com 252-714-7818 firstname.lastname@example.org 252.208.3766 email@example.com 814.758.0024 firstname.lastname@example.org
Home of Buddy and Pat Gates, 2338 Stroud's Corner
The Reporter • May 2015
Periodical Postage PAID Raleigh, NC 1621 Midtown Place Raleigh, NC 27609
Budget, worker rights top concerns at GA By Jonathan Owens
SEANC Director of Communications
This month is going to be a critical time at the General Assembly. That’s why SEANC needs you! The state budget debate is sure to heat up soon. Gov. Pat McCrory released his proposal in March that didn’t include across-the-board raises for active employees or cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. SEANC is working hard with House and Senate leaders to make sure their proposals consider the importance of public services. Along with COLAs and pay raises, we are advocating for full funding of the retirement system and State Health Plan as well as keeping a watchful eye on privatization attempts and job cuts. Beyond the budget, SEANC is fighting an attempt to make significant changes to the statutes governing state personnel that would be harmful to the privacy and priority rights of state employees. The changes to state personnel laws popped up in a technical corrections bill just before the crossover deadline on April 30 with little notice. SEANC’s lobbyists were able to negotiate several of the troubling provisions out of the bill that passed the House.
SEANC needs you in Raleigh SEANC’s Government Relations department is here to help with your visit with lawmakers. All you have to do is let us know you’re coming. Just email email@example.com or call 800-222-2758 or 919-810-0272. If you can’t make it to Raleigh, call, write or email your legislators. Just visit seanc. org/legislators to find your representatives’ contact information.
But the bill still kicks the door wide open to invite political hirings and allows potential supervisors to access performance management documents in an employee’s personnel file during the hiring process. This is a privacy rights issue which would potentially expose the state to significant liability and lawsuits. It also still allows the Office of State Human Resources to set policies and rules that have the effect of law — a right currently given to legislators only. SEANC is also watching ongoing attempts to privatize parts of the Department of Transportation, prison operations and several other agencies. We need members to come down to the legislature and speak to your representative and senator face-to-face. Tell them why they should value the job you do for the state. firstname.lastname@example.org