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State Employees Association of North Carolina, SEIU Local 2008 P.O. Drawer 27727, Raleigh, NC • 800-222-2758 • 919-833-6436 • Circulation 55,000

November 2011 ● Vol. 30, Issue 1

SEANC Annual Convention “Takes Pride in Carolina” by Toni Davis

Photo by Amber Ernst

Convention Highlights

The 2011-2012 SEANC officers celebrate their induction at “A Night with the SEANC Stars” banquet on Sept. 10. Pictured, left to right, are Past President Tony Smith, Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin, Second Vice President Doranna Anderson, First Vice President Sidney Sandy and President Charles Johnson.

GREENSBORO – Nearly 850 convention delegates raised their voices and elected the association’s officers during the 28th Annual SEANC Convention held Sept. 8-10 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The officers began their one-year terms on Oct. 1. • President – Charles Johnson of Raleigh, a correctional captain with the Department of Correction’s Central Prison, with 19 years of state service • First Vice President – Sidney Sandy of Indian Trail, retired Department of Transportation maintenance engineer, with 33 years of state service • Second Vice President – Doranna Anderson of Raleigh, a 15-year state employee and Oral Health and Promotion branch head for the Department of Health and Human Services • Treasurer – Marilyn Jean Martin of Salisbury, a correctional captain with the Department of Correction’s Piedmont Correctional Institution, with 30 years of state service President Johnson fired up the crowd with his enthusiasm for SEANC during his address on Sept. 9 saying, “Can we change the course of politics in North Carolina? I really think we can!” Bylaws Convention delegates voted for the status quo and rejected two bylaws amendments – one that proposed two-year officer terms and one that would change convention to occur every two years beginning in 2014. Delegates also voted to formalize the Policy Platform Advisory and Personnel Benefits committees into the bylaws. For a summary of bylaws proposals adopted at the convention, see page 7.

Ranking SEANC’s 2012 Policy Platform Objectives (see page 7) Hearing from SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope, SEIU International Executive Vice President Tom Woodruff and special guests – State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, Gov. Bev Perdue and Sen. Tom Apodaca winner of the EMPAC Lisa B. Mitchell Legislator of the Year Award Celebrating SEANC member activists Debi Grzeslo and Stanley Gales who kept their jobs in this year’s budget due to SEANC action Giving back to our communities with nearly $18,000 in donations including $9,000 in monetary contributions and numerous baby shower items such as: strollers, travel systems, pack-nplays, diapers and clothing to benefit Operation Homefront of North Carolina (the items will be dispensed at military installations statewide) Hosting legislators and SEANC members during the legislative dessert reception Honoring new officers and members during “A Night with the SEANC Stars” banquet

First Time Delegate Finds SEANC Convention “Outstanding”

President’s Message

By Susan Gentry

By Charles Johnson

we are the emphasis. We don’t get the glory or respect we deserve – and I can live with that. But you need to pay me. That’s just the honest truth, and I speak plain English, that’s the only way I know how to do it. You don’t have to give me a bunch of awards or plaques. But once a month, I like a decent wage and I’d like the retirement system to be there when I retire. I look forward to working with each and every one of you. I look forward to visiting you in the mountains, in Greensboro, in Wilmington, and wherever else there’s a battle. If the good Lord gives me breath, I’m going to be right there with you. We’re going to fight hard, and we are going to succeed. We may not get all that we want, but we’re going to get some of it. Thank you and God bless.

In September, I attended my first SEANC Annual Convention. I had no idea what to expect. Although a member of SEANC for more years than I can remember, all of my SEANC experience to that point was based on the past two active years with District 38 and Area 10 EMPAC. Compared to many other events of similar size and nature I have attended, I found the SEANC convention to be outstanding. The things that stood out to me were: • The professional demeanor of the delegates. • The respect that the delegates showed to each other on the floor and to the speakers. (I was so impressed that 99% of the time, you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium once the gavel sounded.) • The generosity of the delegates as shown to their fellow state employees and to the many charities they support. • The passion that the delegates displayed as they made decisions on behalf of the members they represented. I left convention with a renewed determination to work to motivate my fellow state employees to become active in the fight for our jobs, our pay and benefits and our retirement. I hope that there are many other first-timers at convention next year who can experience their SEANC in the “bigger picture.” Congratulations to staff and to all members who were involved in putting the convention together. You did a great job.

Pressing Forward

This article is an excerpt of SEANC President Charles Johnson’s acceptance speech on Sept. 9. We are where we want to be right now – in a position of influence and direction in the state government. I challenge you, please be involved with what we’re going to do in 2012. Take part in your area EMPAC, be part of the endorsement process, ask questions, help us recruit new members; help us to be as strong as we’ve ever been when it comes to election time. We want to be as powerful as we’ve ever been, we want as many members as we’ve ever had, we want a PAC as big as we can get. We want to be able to influence what goes on from the mountains to the sea. We want to look out for jobs. Privatization will be back again, trust me. They not only want maintenance jobs, they not only want to stop people from serving the needy children of our community and of our state – they want them all. We cannot allow that to happen, we cannot let ourselves stand idly by and look at the victories that we had this past year and say “We did good, now we don’t have to press forward.” We must press forward. We have to lean over, bow our backs, stiffen our necks and get involved. We have to get our spouses and our kids and our neighbors involved. This is a battle for working people – Americans who want to have a job, a retirement plan and a decent life. We are vitally important to the production in this state and what the people do for North Carolina. We are the backbone, The Reporter, USPS 009-852 (ISSN 1069 2142), is published nine times a year in the months of February, March, April, May, June, July, September, November and December for $2.50 per year, per member, by the State Employees Association of North Carolina, Inc., P.O. Drawer 27727, Raleigh, NC 27611- 7727. Periodicals postage paid at Raleigh, N.C. and additional offices.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE REPORTER, P.O. Drawer 27727, Raleigh, NC 27611-7727.


The Reporter - November 2011

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The Reporter - November 2011


Photo by Sophie Brauns

Photo by Tony Booe

Photo by Amber Ernst

The Reporter - November 2011

Pictured during the EMPAC Legislative Dessert Reception are, left to right, District 39 member Mary O’Neill, Deputy Director of SEIU Public Services Division Keith Willis, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, District 20 Chairman Cliff Brown, District 20 member Heather Willett and EMPAC Chairman Wayne Fish.

Incoming District 26 Chairman Stanley Gales finishes his speech on Sept. 10 at convention, recognizing his granddaughters as a source of inspiration.

Photos by Toni Davis/Amber Ernst

Pictured, left to right, Wayne Freeman of District 6, Anne Marie Bellamy of District 24 and Henry Belada of District 7 accept awards in their categories of District of the Year.

Scholarship Cash Raffle Winners

Photo by Cary edgar

John Edmonds - $6,000 Arden Janelle Patterson - $3,000 District 59, Fayetteville Jeffrey Price - $1,000 District 42, Zebulon

SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope, District 26 member Gloria Upperman and President Charles Johnson enjoy the President’s Reception on Sept. 7.

EMPAC Sweepstakes Winners

Photo by Sophie Brauns

The Darrell Arnold Award is presented to SEANC staff members for their dedicated service to the association. This year President Johnson presented the award to the Legislative Affairs Department for their hard work at the General Assembly. Pictured above, left to right, are Chuck Stone, Ardis Watkins, Tony Booe and Mitch Leonard. (Suzanne Beasley is not pictured.) President Johnson also honored Communications/Public Relations Department staff members Amber Ernst, left, and Cary Edgar, right, for their great work on the “Take Pride in Carolina” report.

Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) with EMPAC Chairman Wayne Fish after receiving EMPAC’s Lisa B. Mitchell Legislator of the Year Award.

Steve Hutton of District 25 poses with his Distinguished Service award. Hutton was honored for his dedication to SEANC and to District 25.


Inetha Cousin of District 19 received the Member of the Year Award, which is bestowed upon a member who has demonstrated unselfish commitment and dedication to SEANC throughout the year.

Photo by Tony Booe

Chairman of the Scholarship Foundation Board George Thiessen displayed his North Carolina pride by dressing as the state bird, a cardinal, during the buffet dinner on Sept. 9.

Photo by toni davis

Photo by Sophie Brauns

Photo by toni davis

Photo by Amber Ernst

Photo by Amber Ernst

District 17 members Jeanette Dean, left, and Dan Efird, center, speak with Rep. Pat Hurley (R-Randolph), second from left, and District 17 member Fran Randolph, right, during the EMPAC Legislative Dessert Reception.

Photo by Sophie Brauns

State Treasurer Janet Cowell, left, is escorted down the convention hall by Sergeant-at-Arms James Moore.

Angela Lyght of District 19 is recognized as SEANC’s 2010-2011 Chairperson of the Year. This award is given to a district chairperson for their dedication and active support of SEANC both in words and actions.

Gov. Bev Perdue with Office of State Personnel Director Linda Coleman during convention. Photo by Tony Booe

Photo by Tony Booe

2011 SEANC Convention

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) speaks with District 17 member Andrew Murph Jr. Sen. Berger spoke to convention delegates about the General Assembly, including changes to the State Health Plan.

Rosa Parker - $5,000 District 40, Raleigh James McNair - $2,000 District 59, Dudley Ricky Barrow - $1,000 District 68, Columbia Harvester Best - $500 District 57, Wilson Sylvia Ross - $500 District 17, Reidsville William Crumpler - $500 District 57, Wilson Jerome McDuffie - $500 District 24, Clarkton

The Reporter - November 2011


Scholarship Foundation Board Raffle Brightens Horizon for Asheville Family

SEANC members from District 6 held a membership drive and cooled off with an ice cream social on July 28 in Morganton. Pictured, left, is District 6 member Sherry Helton greeting fellow state employees.

On August 11, District 7 Chairman Henry Belada, right, delivered 18 boxes of sandwiches to Burke United Christian Ministries staff member Wendy Mull, left, after SEANC sponsored a luncheon at J. Iverson Riddle Developmental Center. SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins spoke to two groups about what happened in the General Assembly this session and what may happen next year.

SEANC Members Donate Nearly $18,000 to Benefit North Carolina’s Military Children By Mary Adelaide Riddick


The Reporter - November 2011

Scholarship Foundation Board Chairman George Thiessen passes off the grand prize – a $6,000 check – to winner John Edmonds and his son.

Over the summer, Arden resident John Edmonds bought one Scholarship Foundation Board raffle ticket from District 2 member June Watkins, but he didn’t give the ticket much thought afterwards. In mid-September, Edmonds received a call that he had won the $6,000 grand prize. Edmonds, who was laid off from his job with a food service company in August, called the timing of the win “unbelievable.” Edmonds has six children, one of whom has cancer and was worried about paying for COBRA until his new job started. “This is a blessing, a huge blessing,” he said. “Real people do win this. I’m proof,” Edmonds said.

Photo by Tony Booe

During the 28th Annual SEANC Convention held in Greensboro, SEANC members donated nearly $18,000 in baby shower supplies and monetary donations to Operation All ‘Bout Children (Operation ABC), a service project sponsored by Operation Homefront of North Carolina. Operation ABC is a baby shower program for North Carolina’s military families that collects needed baby items and then hosts events to distribute the gifts to junior-enlisted families. SEANC members showered newborns with $8,600 worth of baby items including strollers, car seats, cribs, play yards and more to Operation ABC. An additional $9,000 in cash was also donated. “We are thrilled to have the support of SEANC who so generously gave to our young military families. Many of these parents are dealing with the deployment of their spouses during this special time and we’re so glad to bring them this support and joy,” said Operation Homefront of North Carolina President Jane Weaver-Sobel.

By Mary Adelaide Riddick

Photo by Kevin LeCount

Photo contributed by Henry Belada

Photo contributed by Wayne Freeman

member action

SEANC President Charles Johnson, left, is shown with Operation Homefront of North Carolina President Jane Weaver-Sobel, right, and a small display of SEANC’s donation.

Members of the 2011-2012 Board of Governors will be featured in the December issue of the Reporter.

If you need information about your specific SEANC district or board chairperson, please visit

Convention Delegates Adopt Bylaws Amendments During the 28th Annual SEANC Convention, delegates voted on Sept. 9 to adopt the following bylaws amendments: • Article VII, Section 6 was added. This section lays out the election guidelines for SEANC delegates to the SEIU convention. The SEIU convention is held every four years with the next one scheduled for May 2012 in Denver, Colo. • Article X, Section 6 was amended into two sections. Section 6 now permanently establishes the formation and outlines duties of the Policy Platform Advisory Committee; Section 7 sets up the formation and duties of the Personnel Benefits Committee. • Article XI, Section 1.4 was amended to read: The President of SEANC shall be responsible for making arrangements to record the annual convention. Previously the bylaws mandated a court reporter. The change allows other technologies to be used in lieu of a court reporter.

SEANC’s 2012 Top 10 Policy Platform Objectives (As determined by the 2011 Annual Convention)

1. Oppose privatization and downsizing of state government services. 2.  Seek to continue the recent legislative practice of granting the career growth component as a bonus for employees who are at the top of their salary range. 3. Oppose legislation that would remove state employees from the protections of the State Personnel Act. 4.  When a career state employee is notified of his/her separation by reduction-in-force and an available position is vacant at or lower than the same level, this employee, if qualified, must be offered the position over anyone who is not a career state employee. 5.  Support continuation of a defined benefit retirement plan for current and future state retirees. 6. Require the State Health Plan to notify members at least 60 days in advance of any benefit changes or HMO options. 7.  Seek change in policy for non-student temporary jobs (20 hours per week or greater) that remain temporary too long. 8.  Seek to extend the Bailey Decision to all employees hired prior to Aug. 11, 1989, by exempting state retirement income from state taxes. 9. Seek a change in vacation time currently earned in an hourly and minute format. 10.  Seek legislation requiring recruitment and hiring systems within the community college system be reviewed by the Office of State Personnel. The Reporter - November 2011


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

New Year, New Reporter We hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the Reporter which is now published nine times each year, in lieu of the Short Report. Our new eight-page format allows for faster production and more timely delivery of news to members. What hasn’t changed about the Reporter is that each issue will feature a variety Davis of articles, pictures, columns and of course, everyone’s favorite – district news! We hope your district will consider submitting a news item with a photograph from membership recruitment, legislative or political events to A full list of submission guidelines can be found at For a weekly SEANC news fix sent directly to your inbox, take a moment to sign up for the SEANC Scoop at Enjoy! Toni Davis Communications/Public Relations Director The Reporter Editor-In-Chief


The Reporter - November 2011

Doug Sutton

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November 2011 Reporter  
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