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May 2016 • Vol. 34, Issue 4

THE

REPORTER

State Employees Association of North Carolina

The state must give raises and COLAs this year Did you know your pay was cut last year?

It may not be evident in the paycheck you take home each month. But it’s there, every time you pay your rent or for medicine or groceries. Each year that state employees and retirees do not receive a significant raise, they fall further and further behind. The annual Consumer Price Index shows that the cost of goods and services rose by 2.1 percent last year, and since state employees got a one-time bonus of $750 rather than a raise, while retirees didn’t get anything, both groups’ salaries bought 2.1 percent less than they did a year earlier — an effective pay decrease. The “Carolina Comeback” Gov. Pat McCrory loves to talk about does not pertain to state employees and retirees. Since 2010, state employees have seen an effective pay decrease of 8.96 percent. Even worse, retirees’ pension checks now buy a whopping 10.5 percent less than they did in 2010. This has to change. State employees and retirees deserve more respect than this. The state needs to raise pay

In This Issue 2 3 4-5 7 8

Public Policy Members in Action Annual Meetings Scholarship Bowl-a-Thon State Health Plan

SEANC SALARY RETIREMENT SYSTEM INCREASE Salary AND and Retirement System Increase History HISTORY Total Net Pay Loss

Total Net CL Loss

Year

ce Salary Increase

2015

$750 1-Time Bonus

2.1%

-2.1%

0

-2.1%

2014

$1,000 + 40 hours

1.6%

.74%

1.0%

-.6%

2013

40 hours

1.9%

-1.9%

0

-1.9%

2012

1.2%

2.1%

-0.9%

1.0%

-1.1%

2011

0

3.2%

-3.2%

0

-3.2%

2010

0

-1.6%

0

-1.6%

-8.96%

2.0%

-10.5%

Total

3.5%*

CPIŦ Yearly erage

1.6% 12.5%

Reree CL

*Based on erage salary of $42,700 ŦCosts of Goods and Serices

enough to meet the rising cost of goods and services this year. SEANC is advocating for a 5-percent pay increase for active employees in the General Assembly’s short session, which is already under way. SEANC will also call on legislators to respect retirees with a 2-percent cost-of-living adjustment and a change to the retirement formula of 0.02 to 1.84. This would give retirees a comparable increase to active employees. Projections show a large surplus of state revenue this year once again. The money is there. These increases are but a drop in the bucket to the effective pay cuts of the last decade. It is literally the least the legislature can do. Gov. McCrory has already announced that he would seek a 5-percent raise and other bonuses

for teachers, but made no mention of raises for other state employees or retirees. He needs to understand that while teachers do need raises, all state employees and retirees are in desperate need of a meaningful increase. Please contact your legislators today and tell them you can’t take another pay cut.

Lobby legislators for your raises Find out more about why you should join us at the legislature this short session in Statewide EMPAC Chairman Tony Smith's column on Page 2. Visit seanc.org/legislators to find your legislators' contact information.


PUBLIC POLICY Calling all members to the capital

W

ith the General Assembly back in session, it’s important to remind every member of what we can do to make sure state employee issues get the attention they deserve. In an earlier issue, I challenged members to re-engage in grassroots lobbying by contacting their legislators in some way — preferably in person by making the trip to Raleigh. Grassroots lobbying is what SEANC and its predecessor organizations were founded on. And with this being an election year, we can have a significant impact on the debate by being engaged. Legislators are already keenly aware that state employees vote. It’s why there’s usually a good chance we’ll get raises and cost-of-living adjustments for retirees in election years. Simply put, politicians try their best not to ruffle feathers in election years. We need to make sure they know that by ignoring our needs — pay raises, affordable health care and retirement security — they are ruffling a whole bunch of feathers. Come to Raleigh and talk with your legislators in person about SEANC’s priorities. Our staff can set up meetings and prepare with you to have productive conversations with your representatives. An in-person visit is much more effective than a call or email. But if you can’t make it to Raleigh, you still have opportunities to make a difference. Members of the General Assembly aren't like the president, a U.S. Senator or even the governor. They usually live near you. You may even run into them in church or at the grocery store. Do not waste any chance to let them know state

2

THE REPORTER • May 2016

employees and retirees matter. Before you say that you “don’t want to bother them,” remember, you are a voter. In that respect, they work for you, especially in an election Statewide EMPAC Chairman year. Don’t be Tony Smith afraid to speak up. And, you can always call or email lawmakers if you are unable to contact them in other ways. Direct lobbying by members keeps a personal pressure on legislators who are endorsed by and who receive money from EMPAC, making sure they are following through on their promises to us — North Carolina’s state employees and retirees. We have had several victories in the past that have come as a direct result of lobbying by members. Most recently, in February, we were able to stop a massive cost shift to all state employees and retirees from the State Health Plan Board of Trustees because enough of us spoke out. But we need more of you stepping up. We need participation from everyone. It can’t be the same few members meeting over and over with legislators. We need fresh faces at the General Assembly every day. They need to know that there are a lot of us, which means we are significant. Join me in Raleigh one day during this short session to show our elected officials that we are vital to North Carolina's success. To find your legislators' contact information, go to www.seanc.org/legislators or contact SEANC Government Relations at 1-800-222-2758.

SEANC's TOP 10 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES 1. Seek to reestablish a fully paid individual health care benefit equivalent to the current PPO 80/20 in place as of June 30, 2013, for all active qualified and retired state employees 2. SEANC will oppose privatization and downsizing of state government services 3. Request that GA fully fund employee salary compensation prior to considering other appropriations 4. Seek to have SEANC continue to protect dues deduction options from being deleted from the North Carolina state payroll 5. SEANC supports continuation of a defined benefit retirement plan for current and future state retirees 6. Seek cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retired state employees in the amount equal to active state employee pay increases 7. Oppose legislation that would remove state employees from the protections of the State Human Resources Act 8. Seek to provide the state income tax exemption provided through the Bailey Act to all retired state employees 9. Seek restoration of the employer's contribution to the Retirement System that will at least match the employee’s contribution 10. Seek legislation allowing SEANC full access to public workplaces for the purposes of member recruitment without employee intimidation or enforced limits to SEANC information, personnel and volunteers


MEMBERS IN ACTION SUBMITTED BY JOHNNY DAVISON

LYNN COTE

District 39 sponsored a legislative update lunch on April 4 in Raleigh. At left, District 39 member Mark Dearmon addresses the guests. Below, District 39 members Kathleen Snyder (left), Sherry McFeaters (right) and George Thiessen work the registration desk.

LYNN COTE

JOHNNY DAVISON

SEANC Member Relations Representative Johnny Davison and District 2 Chairman Cliff Johnson share SEANC information with attendents at a Blue Ridge Community College event on April 6.

THE

District 7 Chairman Henry Belada speaks to county employees, state employees and retirees at a SEANC informational meeting and discussion forum sponsored by Districts 5, 6 and 7 in Morganton on March 31.

REPORTER

Jonathan Owens, Editor-In-Chief Beth Dew, Managing Editor Amanda Wise, Associate Editor Sara Cowell Coburn, Associate Editor

State Employees Association of North Carolina 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.

SEANC AUDIT COMMITTEE NOTICE The 2015 SEANC Annual Convention amended our bylaws to establish an audit committee comprised of members to review and audit SEANC financial operations at both the state and district levels, in order to ensure the financial integrity of our association (Article VIII, Section 3). Major responsibilities of the audit committee include: 1. Receiving and investigating allegations or concerns involving financial operations or mismanagement at the district/state level 2. Selecting an independent N.C.-licensed Certified Public Accountant to prepare an annual audit and ensure implementation of recommendations 3. Recommending changes to district/state financial operations Members having concerns involving financial operations are encouraged to report them to the audit committee email address at auditcommittee@seanc.org. Audit Committee Chairman Wayne Holliday The Reporter, USPS 009-852 (ISSN 1069 2142), is published six times a year in the months of November, February, April, May, July and September 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, Please send address changes to: THE REPORTER ● 1621 Midtown Place ● Raleigh, NC 27609

THE REPORTER • May 2016

3


ANNUAL MEETINGS Top 3 reasons to attend your district's annual meeting Now is your chance to directly affect the association’s priorities and guiding principles for the coming year by bringing ideas and concerns to your district’s annual meeting before they are decided upon at convention. Here are three reasons to attend:

recommendations to the attention of those with the authority to enact change — namely, the governor and the General Assembly. Bylaws amendments decided

You are the best source for identifying opportunities to improve your workplace practices. Policy platform objectives and bylaws amendments are voted on at district-level annual meetings before being considered by a statewide committee, who then may pass them on to the convention for a vote.

Bylaws keep SEANC moving forward. They define the purpose and internal structure of our organization. When you vote at your annual meeting, you are making a difference on the ground floor. Changes in bylaws begin at district level and must be approved by at least one district before they are brought to the state bylaws committee. If approved, they are presented at the annual convention to be voted on by all delegates.

Policy platform objectives decided

Experts available to assist you

1. DETERMINE SEANC's DIRECTION

The policy platform objectives outline the procedures and goals that guide the association’s lobbying activities. They offer a way for us to bring our collective

Chairpersons and policy platform and bylaws committee members are available at the meeting to assist you in developing your ideas into formal

amendments or objectives and in drafting revisions to existing policy.

2. DELEGATES, DISTRICT OFFICERS ELECTED Delegates to the convention and district officers are chosen at annual meetings. In addition, candidates for SEANC's statewide officers will lay out their own visions for the coming year and ask for your support.

3. UPDATE ON ISSUES, GAIN NEW IDEAS

Representatives from the SEANC staff will provide an update on the legislative session, State Health Plan, retirement system, membership news and more. Also, the district annual meeting gives you the opportunity to gain new ideas on ways to protect, enhance and advocate for your rights and benefits. The list of annual meetings is available on Page 5. Please take a second to look over the list and mark your calendar to attend.

How SEANC's Policy Platform Objectives and Bylaws Amendments are Developed

4

THE REPORTER • May 2016


ANNUAL MEETINGS CALENDAR District

Date

Time

1

June 21

6:30 p.m.

Place

2

June 1

5:30 p.m.

3

June 28

6 p.m.

4

June 13

6 p.m.

5

May 26

6 p.m.

6

June 14

6 p.m.

7

May 26

5:30 p.m.

8

June 18

2 p.m.

Beehive Training Center, 1002 Main St.

9

June 23

6 p.m.

Jackson County Senior Center, 100 County Senior Center Yao Buffet Sushi Grill, 153 Smokey Park Hwy. Fairway Café (Boone Golf Club), 433 Fairway Dr. Cleveland County Cooperative Extension, 130 South Post Rd. Western Piedmont Foothills Higher Education Center, 2128 South Sterling St. Collett Street Recreation Center, 300 Collett St.

City

Dinner

Contact Name

Sylva

Y

Jim Rowell

Asheville

Y

Cliff Johnson

Boone

Y

Pat Reighard

Shelby

Y

Tim Southard

Morganton

Y

Sherry McCracken

Morganton

Y

Sonya Akbar

Morganton

Y

Henry Belada

N. Wilkesboro

Y

Leonard Reynolds

4500 Highway 10 West

Newton

Y

Barbara Leatherman

Golden Corral, 1540 US-29

Concord

Y

James Hartley

Anson Maintenance, 1017 Old Prison Camp Rd.

Polkton

Y

Kenny Brower

Golden Corral Family Steakhouse, 685 Fleming Dr.

10

June 6

7 p.m.

11

June 16

6:30 p.m.

12

June 2

6 p.m.

Logan's Roadhouse, 2336 W. Roosevelt Blvd.

Monroe

Y

Jean Martin

13

June 28

6 p.m.

CPCC, Hall Building Room #304-305 1112 Charlottetown Ave.

Charlotte

Y

Linda Colbert

16

June 14

6 p.m.

NC School of the Arts Performance Place, 1533 S. Main St.

Winston-Salem

Y

Willie Bailey

17

June 20

6 p.m.

Kernodle Senior Citizens Center, 1535 S. Mebane St.

Burlington

Y

Contact your district chairperson for more information.

18 19

June 21

5:30 p.m.

20

June 13

10 a.m.

21

June 16

22

June 9

23

April 15

7 p.m.

24

May 19

6 p.m.

25

July 12

5:30 p.m.

26

June 15

6 p.m.

Currie Visitation Center, Polk Correctional Institution 1001 Veazy Rd.

27

June 6

6 p.m.

Bleu Olive, 1821 Hillandale Rd.

28

June 8

5:30 p.m.

George's Restaurant, 2555 Capitol Dr.

37

July 14

5:30 p.m.

38

June 9

5:30 p.m.

39

June 14

Dan Efird Lisa Martin

OWASA, 400 Jones Ferry Rd.

Carrboro

Y

Marie Tate

Southern Coastal Training Center 180 Sandhills Dr.

Raeford

Y

Tammi Blake

6:30 p.m.

Camp Braham, Highway Old 75

Butner

Y

Janice Bass

6:30 p.m.

Brass Lantern, 515 Spring Branch Rd.

Dunn

Y

Deborah Harney

Panchito's Mexican Restaurant, 515 N. JK Powell Blvd.

Whiteville

Y

Harold Faulk

Cooperative Extension Service, 45 Government Rd.

Whiteville

Y

Charlotte Williams

OWASA, 400 Jones Ferry Rd.

Carrboro

Y

John Gullo

Butner

Y

Stanley Gales

Durham

Y

Sam Rogers

Creedmoor

Y

Felicia McKinnie

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

Y

Furman Beckwith

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

Y

Margaret Reader

5:30 p.m.

Golden Corral, 6129 Glenwood Ave

Raleigh

Y

Doug Skinner

DPS Enterprise Conference Room 2020 Yonkers Rd.

Raleigh

Y

Vernice Whyms

Hibachi Grill, 3131 Capital Blvd.

Raleigh

Y

Wendell Powell

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

Y

Sara McDonald

40

June 16

5:30 p.m.

41

June 13

6 p.m.

42

June 16

5:30 p.m.

43

TBA

5:30 p.m.

Carolina BBQ, 733 US-70 West

Garner

Y

Debra Dunston

44 45 46

June 21

6:30 p.m.

Garner

Y

June 8

5:30 p.m.

Logan's Roadhouse, 1000 Timber Drive East Contact your district chairperson for more information. SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

Y

Pat Holcomb Joyce Yelverton Randy Bruton

47

June 21

5:30 p.m.

SEANC Central Office, 1621 Midtown Place

Raleigh

Y

Shirley Ballard

56

June 17

6:30 p.m.

Ralph's BBQ, 1400 Julian Alsbrook Hwy.

Weldon

Y

Grace Edwards

57

June 9

6 p.m.

Parkers BBQ, 2514 US Hwy 301 South

Wilson

Y

Daisy Stancill

58

June 8

6 p.m.

Goldsboro

Y

Marie Stone

59

June 16

6 p.m.

60

June 13

6 p.m.

61

June 17

6 p.m.

Ted's Charcoal Steak House, 337 Northeast Blvd.

Neuse Correctional Training Building 701 Stevens Mill Rd. Cherry Hospital Conference Room 201 Stevens Mill Rd. Village Steakhouse & Pub Restaurant 5662 US Highway 70 East

62

June 13

6 p.m.

New Hanover County Extension Office 6206 Oleander Dr.

63

May 24

6 p.m.

Heritage House, 1303 S. King St.

64

June 14

6 p.m.

65

June 21

5:30 p.m.

66

May 26

6 p.m.

67

June 7

6 p.m.

Golden Corral Family Steakhouse, 400 Hotel Dr.

68

May 26

7 p.m.

Vernon James Center, 207 Research Station Rd.

69

June 23

5:30 p.m.

70

June 3

7 p.m.

Goldsboro

Y

Kathy Merritt

East Goldsboro

Y

Hiawatha Jones

Clinton

Y

Ricky Rivenbark

Wilmington

Y

Lewis Sasser

Windsor

Y

Marion Drake

Parkers, 3109 S. Memorial Dr.

Greenville

Y

Gene Mills

GK Café & Catering, 3197 East 10th St.

Greenville

Y

Alicia Simpson

Kinston

Y

Lisa Burwell

New Bern

Y

Patricia Moore

Plymouth

Y

Rita Woods

Elizabeth City

Y

Keith Renner

Kinston

Y

Benny Brigman

Little J's Pizza and Subs, 2459 US 258 North

Elizabeth City St. University-Kermit White Center 1704 Weeksville Rd. Lenoir County Shrine Club, 1558 US Hwy 70

Contact Information jrowell20@gmail.com 828.507.9456 clifford.johnson57@yahoo.com 828.507.2991 reighardp@appstate.edu 828.525.0777 rtntune@carolina.rr.com 704.473.2619 sherrymccrckn@yahoo.com 828.409.0124 akbarsonya@yahoo.com 828.448.9533 woodchop7@charter.net 828.413.0427 tworeynolds@embarqmail.com 336.957.7997 leatherlee@charter.net 828.217.2823 hartleyjames2000@yahoo.com 704.640.6902 browersauto@windstream.net 704.695.5523 53mjmartin@gmail.com 704.640.1777 ms.lhc@hotmail.com 704.779.4028 baileyw620@triad.rr.com 336.341.5112 defirdjr@triad.rr.com 336.964.2488 lisa.martin@ncdps.gov 910.206.2827 marie.tate65@gmail.com 336.684.6851 tammiwblake@hotmail.com 910.977.4597 janlbass64@gmail.com 919.685.0410 deborahharney@ymail.com 910.494.3768 haroldfaulk@atmc.net 910.840.0889 cwilliams2464@nc.rr.com 910.740.1488 johnagullo@outlook.com 919.452.8942 sbghud@gmail.com 919.475.8306 srogers6036@gmail.com 919.225.1277 seanc28districtchair@gmail.com 919.394.2316 fbeck5304@hotmail.com 919.434.8634 reader_margaret@yahoo.com 919.272.6486 dwskinner46@gmail.com 919.452.0561 vawhyms@aol.com 919.559.9827 d41wpowell@live.com 919-539-4427 roadrunner1415@yahoo.com 919.696.6488 ddunston1@gmail.com 919.618.5389 ncsupink@yahoo.com joyceyelverton41@yahoo.com claybrut@aol.com shirleyballard07@yahoo.com 919.222.8242 edwagrace@gmail.com 252.536.1375 daisy.stancill@ncdps.gov 252.289.0074 truetarheel1@hotmail.com 919.988.0368 kathy.merrit@dhhs.nc.gov 919.738.8729 joneshiawatha@gmail.com 919.330.7743 rreagan22@hotmail.com 910.675.7198 lsasser@ec.rr.com 910.520.0265 tdrake@martin.k12.nc.us 252.484.0822 tylerstormspring31@gmail.com 252.258.0950 alicia040679@yahoo.com 252-714-7818 lisa.burwell@dhhs.nc.gov 252.208.3766 pmoore54@yahoo.com 814.758.0024 rita.woods@ncdps.gov 252.394.6244 vrkeithr@yahoo.com 252.207.5578 bbrigman1948@gmail.com 252.560.7245

THE REPORTER • May 2016

5


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THE REPORTER • May 2016

Visit www.ncsecu.org for more information! www.ncsecu.org


SEANC Scholarship Bowl-a-Thon SEANC Scholarship Foundation Bowl-a-Thon & Silent Auction

Join the State Employees Association of North Carolina Scholarship Foundation as we host a bowl-a-thon to benefit our scholarship program. nt Sile n Auctio

WHERE:

WHEN:

Saturday, May 14

Grea

t

Prize p.m. s Buffaloe1-3 Lanes Northor 3-5 p.m. 5900 Oak Forest Drive Buffaloe Lanes North Raleigh, NC 27616 5900 Oak Forest Drive ● Raleigh, NC February 28 from 1-3 p.m. or 3-5 p.m.

HOW MUCH: REGISTER:

s

Award

$20 per or will $100 per team of thousands six Proceeds fromperson the event be used to award of (shoes are included) dollars in educational scholarships to SEANC members, Complete a registration form today! Payments can be made their spouses and their dependent children.

via registration form online at www.seanc.org/bowl-a-thon withTickets: a credit (Visa, $20card per person orMastercard $100 per teamand of sixDiscover accepted) or checks made payable to SEANC Scholarship Foundation. To register, sponsor a lane or for more information visit Deadline to register is February 6.

www.seanc.org/bowl-a-thon

For more information contact Alicia Miller or Beth Dew at 800-222-2758.

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Refer a current SEANC member & earn a $25 reward to apply to your next Purchasing Power order. refer.purchasingpower.com *Promo valid for 10% off orders of $300.00 or more. Offer excludes Apple Products, Automotive, Doorbusters & Flash Sales. Promo code must be entered at time of checkout for discount to be applied. Only one promo code may be used per order. Promo code cannot be applied to previous purchases or combined with other offers. Discount applies to cost of products only. Products and pricing are available while supplies last and are subject to change without notice. Individual eligibility requirements and spending limits apply. See site for details. “A Better Way to Buy” is a trademark, and “Purchasing Power” is a registered trademark, of Purchasing Power, LLC. Other trademarks or registered trademarks used are the property of their respective owners. © 2016 Purchasing Power, LLC. All rights reserved.

THE REPORTER • May 2016

7


Periodical Postage PAID Raleigh, NC 1621 Midtown Place Raleigh, NC 27609

Health Plan Board to Discuss Changes Again The State Health Plan Board of Trustees will meet on May 13 to vote on changes to the plan that could affect state employees’ benefits and premiums in the coming year. If you’ll recall, in late January the State Treasurer’s office recommended changes to the plan that would have included cutting the PPO 80/20 option as well as spousal coverage currently available to plan members. Officials claimed the changes were a response to a mandate from the General Assembly that they take “sufficient cost-saving measures” in order to receive future funding.

SEANC released a video soon after the proposal was announced highlighting the many changes and the negative consequences of them that went “viral” through SEANC social media outlets. At the Feb. 5 SHP board meeting, Rep. Darren Jackson (D-Wake) asked the board to delay the changes until the legislature returned to session. SEANC Director of Operations Chuck Stone spoke on behalf of the association, and SEANC’s representative on the board, former president Charles Johnson motioned to delay benefits changes until the board’s May meeting.

As of publication, the General Assembly had yet to provide a definition of what it considers "sufficient measures," and plan officials had not released details on the changes they will recommend to the trustees at the May meeting. SEANC will remain vigilant against detrimental changes to SEANC members’ health care benefits. Stone intends to speak out at the meeting as well. Be sure to pay attention to SEANC social media outlets on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the State Health Plan Board of Trustees’ May 13 meeting.

How can I be more active in advocating for my own pay and benefits as a state employee? By opting in for SEANC’s new text messaging program to receive special action alerts straight from SEANC! Just text 787753 with message SEANC

Text Messaging

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

YouTube

Text SEANC to 787753

fb.me/SEANC.Local2008

@SEANC2008

linkd.in/1bs4fZT

youtube.com/seancmedia


May 2016 Reporter