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The SEANC Scoop STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION OF NORTH CAROLINA IMPORTANT LINKS

Member-Only Discounts SEANC Insurance

April 4, 2014

EMPAC endorses 22 primary candidates

SEANC in the News Update Contact Info Calendar of Events The Reporter

The State Employees Association of North Carolina announced its 22 bipartisan endorsements this week for the General Assembly primary election on May 6. The endorsements are made through SEANC's Employees Political Action Committee (EMPAC). "SEANC members are proud to support candidates, regardless of political party, who prioritize public services and the people who provide them," said statewide EMPAC Chairman Wayne Fish. For the list of the 22, click here.

SEANC in the news

Register for SEANC's Scholarship Strikeout! April 12 AMF East Carolina Lanes in Greenville Click here for more information and to register And don't forget, there will be nearly 20 raffle prizes to

The News & Observer reported this week that EMPAC endorsed candidates for the May 6 primary. It noted that of the 22 candidates selected, 10 are Democrats and 12 are Republicans, and two of the endorsed candidates – one Democrat and one Republican – are challenging longtime legislators. Also, in today's NC Insider, state pension plan chief investment officer Kevin SigRist said the plan's fees should be as low as possible and open to public scrutiny. However, he also says he believes the plan's management fees are in line with those paid by other states, and that it can be hard for people to understand the fees are a small percentage of the fund's total size. SEANC responded via Facebook and Twitter that if SigRist is so confident in the fees then he should urge Treasurer Janet Cowell to publicly disclose all records. Pension plan investigator Edward Siedle, whom SEANC hired to investigate the fees paid by the fund, believes those records will show the fees to be hundreds of millions of dollars higher than have been reported – fees that are being taken out of the pockets of taxpayers and state employees and retirees.


register for while there, including tickets to an ECU home football game, Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, the NC Zoo, an NC aquarium, the NC Symphony, The Carolina Opry and much more.

Want help paying for college? Time is running out. Applications must be postmarked April 15.

Scholarship Applications Available Online

EMPAC survey

SEANC recognizes CDSA employees as part of Public Health Week in April In recognition of April 7-13 being Public Health Week, SEANC will highlight this month areas where state employees are working to improve public health. We begin with North Carolina’s Children’s Developmental Services Agencies. These 16 agencies focus on providing services and support to families and children, ages birth to three, with developmental delays and disabilities. Unfortunately, as part of budget cuts demanded by the General Assembly, the state Department of Health and Human Services decided last year that it would consolidate four of the agencies in the east into one. This decision will combine the Rocky Mount, Cape Fear and New Bern agencies with Greenville's, which is run by East Carolina University – a decision that will have far-reaching effects not just for the employees faced with either losing their jobs or taking significant pay cuts, but also for those children and families currently receiving services in those 28 counties. To read more about the important CDSA services and SEANC’s actions, click here.

Please take a moment to answer this SEANC member survey about EMPAC.

The SEANC Store is now online!

SEANC proposes State Health Plan reforms Speaking at the March meeting of the State Health Plan Board of Trustees, SEANC health care lobbyist Chuck Stone formally requested eight reforms that will save taxpayers, members and the plan money, as well as increase transparency and improve the quality of the products offered. Among other requests, SEANC asked the board to eliminate payment in instances when hospital errors result in additional expense to the plan, to line up the Medicare Retiree enrollment and the federal Medicare enrollment periods, to reimburse members for overdraft fees and bad check charges arising from mistakes by the plan and its vendors, to provide more information to members about


the products offered by the plan, and to apply similar ethics in politics standards to the SHP's vendors as to the Board of Trustees. For a complete and more detailed list of SEANC's requests, click here.

Discount: Theme park tickets It's time once again to purchase your discounted tickets to all of the best area theme and water parks! SEANC and the State Employees' Credit Union are teaming up to offer savings at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, Jungle Rapids, Myrtle Waves, Dollywood and Tweetsie Railroad. Stop by any of the State Employees' Credit Union branches, beginning April 9, to purchase these discounted tickets. Find a branch near you.

State Employees Association of North Carolina 1621 Midtown Place Raleigh, NC 27609 800-222-2758 | seanc.org

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The SEANC Scoop STATE EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION OF NORTH CAROLINA IMPORTANT LINKS

Member-Only Discounts SEANC Insurance

April 11, 2014

SEANC continues pension plan battle

SEANC in the News Update Contact Info Calendar of Events The Reporter

Come bowl at SEANC's Scholarship Strikeout! Saturday AMF East Carolina Lanes in Greenville

Only a few spots left in the 1-3 p.m. timeslot! Click here for more information

The State Employees Association of North Carolina's fight to shine a light on how State Treasurer Janet Cowell is overseeing the $86 billion Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System continues. Our investigation, led by national pension plan expert Ted Siedle, has focused particularly on the large hidden fees that Cowell has been paying Wall Street money managers to invest our retirement dollars in high-risk investment schemes. To see the Treasurer's latest release of public records - albeit heavily redacted - click here. Have you ever wondered what happens when a committee convenes to discuss the future role of the person who hand-picked them? SEANC was curious, too. So lobbyist Suzanne Beasley attended, and live-tweeted, State Treasurer Janet Cowell's Investment Advisory Board meeting Thursday as members discussed her performance in managing the pension plan. During that meeting, several board members indicated they believe leaving sole fiduciary power over the pension plan in the treasurer's hands is an unsustainable practice. Not all legislators agreed, though, with Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) being the most vocal exception. Hise also was the most vocal disagreeing with a propoal that state employees and retirees should have a voice on any future board designed to manage the investment fund. For SEANC, though, supporting legislation to require a board management structure - with a voice from state employees and retirees will continue to be a priority as the General Assembly opens next month.


and to register And while there, don't forget to register for more than 20 raffle prizes, including tickets to an ECU home football game, Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe, the NC Zoo, an NC aquarium, the NC Symphony, The Carolina Opry and much more.

Thanks to the following districts for supporting this fundraising effort:

12, 26, 39, 42, 56, 60, 61, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68 and 70

Want help paying for college? Scholarship Applications Available Online Time is running out. Applications must be postmarked April 15.

EMPAC endorses 1 more primary candidate The State Employees Association of North Carolina announced a 23rd endorsement last week for the General Assembly primary election on May 6. SEANC's Employees Political Action Committee (EMPAC) endorsed Stan White (D-Dare) for N.C. Senate District 1, following a late endorsement by his regional EMPAC committee. For the complete list of the endorsements, click here.

SEANC recognizes Oral Health employees as part of Public Health Week in April In recognition of Public Health Week, April 7-13 being, SEANC will highlight areas this month where state employees are working to improve public health. This week we are looking at North Carolina’s Oral Health Section of the Department of Health and Human Services. Begun in 1918, North Carolina’s oral health program is the oldest dental public health program in the nation, and was created in order to combat the rampant oral health problems in the largely rural state. Its goal, to teach elementary school children about the need to take care of their teeth, is an especially important one today as, according to the state DHHS, 37 percent of children entering kindergarten are already affected by tooth decay. "Access to dental care is one of the biggest unmet health care needs in this state," said retired state oral hygienist Nancy Ferguson Brown.

Make your voice heard. Don't forget to register to vote. Today is the last day to register to vote in the May 6 primary. If you haven't already, be

To read our story on the oral health program, click here.


sure to visit your local elections office.

Want to help give back to your community? The SEANC Youth Council is springing into action to help Habitat for Humanity and wants you to join them Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, call Youth Council Chairwoman Kim Ross at 919-741-2192. To see how other members have helped out their communities recently, check out the SEANC Facebook page!

More State Workers Side with SEANC Congrats to the 76 new members who chose to empower themselves and the public services they provide by joining SEANC recently! Welcome new members from Fayetteville Technical Community College; Cape Fear Technical College; UNC-Chapel Hill; UNC-Greensboro; N.C. Central University-Durham; Robeson Community College; Fayetteville State University; Tri-County Community College; the state departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Labor, Public Safety, Transportation, and the Administrative Office of the Courts; and the schools in Caldwell, Caswell, Charlotte-Meckenburg, New Hanover, Person, Pitt, Surry and Union counties.

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI®) Benefits for Everyone Sweepstakes Pets are members of the family, they need protection too. Register today to get a free quote for VPI® Pet Insurance and enter for the chance to win an Apple® iPad miniTM and a Whistle fitness monitor for your pet. Check their website daily for more chances to enter. No purchase necessary and the deadline to enter is July 31, 2014. Click here for official rules.

The SEANC Store is now online!

Member Purchasing Power Are you in the market for a new computer, home appliance or other type of electronic device? If so, don’t forget to check out Purchasing Power! The program is offered to qualified SEANC members as a great member benefit! With Purchasing Power, you can buy new electronics and pay via payroll or pension deduction!

State Employees Association of North Carolina 1621 Midtown Place Raleigh, NC 27609 800-222-2758 | seanc.org


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April 17, 2014

Pay raises will be SEANC's primary focus of efforts during General Assembly's short session

Update Contact Info Calendar of Events The Reporter

The State Employees Association of North Carolina is continuing to remind lawmakers about the need for pay raises and cost-ofliving increases for all state employees and retirees this year. It has been six years since the last significant pay raise and COLA. Action by the General Assembly and Governor is long overdue. And in recent weeks and days, lawmakers have begun to publicly worry that the state budget might be tighter this year than anticipated because of both Medicaid cost overruns and tax receipts coming in below expectations.

The SEANC Store is now online!

However, in an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory said he is still hopeful state government finances will work out so all public school teachers and state employees can get raises for the coming year. As far as SEANC is concerned, though, state employees and retirees should not be punished because of poor planning by lawmakers. Six years is too long to go without a significant pay raise and we will continue to make securing one our primary focus as the General Assembly opens in a few short weeks.

Reminder Early voting for the May 6 primary begins April 24. Click here for a list of


EMPAC-endorsed candidates.

Scholarship Strike Out Bowl-a-Thon With 70 members attending from across the state, SEANC held a fun and successful Scholarship Strike Out Bowl-a-Thon on Saturday, April 12, at AMF East Carolina Lanes in Greenville. Winning the event was the team of Carlton Jarman, Edward Thompson, John Hines, Jackie Minter, Nicole Hunter and Jermaine Puryear (pictured). Adding to the fun, more than 20 prizes, ranging from tickets to the N.C. Symphony and a number of attractions in Myrtle Beach, S.C., were raffled off, also to benefit the SEANC Scholarship Foundation. To see more photos on our Facebook page, click here Most important, though, were the funds raised to help send SEANC members, their spouses and the children to two- and four-year colleges. The 2014 scholarship winners will be announced in June.

SEANC recognizes the State Lab of Public Health as part of Public Health Week in April In SEANC’s third installment of our series on public health, we’re taking a look at the State Laboratory of Public Health.

Often overlooked when considering the roles state employees play in keeping North Carolina healthy, it is, as Laboratory Director Dr. Scott Zimmerman said, the only area of public health that truly impacts every person in North Carolina’s life. From testing drinking water, as well as air and soil samples for contaminates, to monitoring the state for communicable disease outbreaks, to cervical cancer screenings, to newborn screenings, the


State Laboratory of Public Health is often in the background of people’s day-to-day lives. Without it, however, residents would likely be less healthy, and actions taken by the state and local governments to combat health concerns would likely be more costly. "We save the system money. We allow the focus to be narrow and the response to be specific," said Laboratory Director Dr. Scott Zimmerman. For our full story, click here.

More State Workers Side with SEANC Congrats to the 52 new members who chose to empower themselves and the public services they provide by joining SEANC recently! Welcome new members from Blue Ridge Community College; East Carolina University; UNC-Greensboro; UNCPembroke; the state departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Public Safety; and the schools in Alamance, Davidson and Graham counties. Contact Lynn Cote for more information on hosting an event at your worksite.

Go to Dollywood for family fun Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smokey Moutains in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Dollywood amusement park is a great family-oriented destination. In addition to standard thrill rides, Dollywood features the traditional crafts and music of the Smokey Mountains. SEANC members are eligible to purchase discount tickets at their local State Employees' Credit Union. For ticket prices, ordering information and to find a SECU branch near you, click here.

State Employees Association of North Carolina 1621 Midtown Place Raleigh, NC 27609 800-222-2758 | seanc.org


Scoop April 2014