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State Employees Association of North Carolina The SEANC Scoop January 7, 2011

Cope Corrects Misguided Editorial SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope responded to papers in Fayetteville, Morganton and Charlotte who ran a Fayetteville Observer editorial that wrongly sought to scapegoat state employees’ pensions and benefits as a cause of our state’s economic woes. In the op-ed, Cope stated, "The irony in this debate is that the pension system is in trouble not because state funds were used to contribute to the pension, but because the state of North Carolina didn’t contribute funds during time of economic prosperity."

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Budget Deficit Details Everyone is talking about how to close the $3.7 billion budget shortfall, but how was the shortfall created? The majority of the shortfall is a result of the loss of $1.6 billion in federal stimulus money that will not come to the state this year and $1.1 billion in lost revenue if the General Assembly allows a temporary 1 percent sales tax to expire.

SEIU Funds "Meet and Confer" Model Thanks to a grant from SEIU, past SEANC President Linda Rouse Sutton will lead implementation of "meet and confer" under Executive Order 45 for SEANC. The model will help with communication between employees and state leaders, allowing them to better discuss issues with executive agency management. Sutton can be reached at lsutton@seanc.org.

SHP Boss to Retire?? SEANC Says "Hit the Road, Jack!" Jack Walker, the executive administrator of the State Health Plan, has announced he will retire on Feb. 4, but left the door open for legislators to invite him to stay on through budget negotiations. SEANC says, "Hit the road Jack!" Walker ran the State Health Plan from 1999 to 2005 and again from 2008 to today. His legacy to state employees was to reduce benefits, increase costs and preserve the no-bid, secret contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

SEANC Hot Spots: Legislative Update Member Discounts SEANC in the News SEANC Insurance Update Your Contact Info Calendar of Events www.seanc.org 800-222-2758


Retiree Empowerment Month January is Retiree Empowerment Month! SEANC is calling for retirees to schedule a membership event and join a member action coordinator for recruitment events. Contact Tiffany Woodard at 800-222-2758 or call your member action coordinator.

Member Discount SEANC members can now sign up for membership discounts at BJs Wholesale Club! Save $10 and receive two months free when you sign up for their annual membership. More details are available on the SEANC Featured Discounts page.


State Employees Association of North Carolina The SEANC Scoop January 14, 2011

Thank You Winter Warriors! Thanks to all the state employee winter warriors who worked around the clock during this week’s storm to keep North Carolina up and running.

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Quick Links: Walker Retirement Delayed SEANC has confirmed with a State Health Plan official that Executive Administrator Jack Walker will remain at the helm until July 31 to complete budget negotiations. Last week The Scoop informed readers that Walker would retire on Feb. 4 unless he was asked to stay on in the job. We’ll put this news under the “better late than never” category.

Can't Touch This Yesterday SEANC lobbyists were shocked to hear Sen. Clark Jenkins (D-Edgcombe) ask “Aren’t some states using some retirement funds for school construction?” during a meeting of the PublicPrivate Partnerships Study Committee. Sorry Sen. Jenkins but the last time former Gov. Mike Easley took state retirement funds in 2001, SEANC members sued Easley and won in the N.C. Supreme Court.

Member Discount Need a new computer? Use your SEANC membership for a discount on a new laptop, electronics or accessories. The laptop offer is valid through Jan. 26.

SEANC Hot Spots: Legislative Update Member Discounts SEANC in the News SEANC Insurance Update Your Contact Info Calendar of Events www.seanc.org 800-222-2758


State Employees Association of North Carolina The SEANC Scoop January 21, 2011

Down With Privatization! Gov. Bev Perdue announced Thursday that she is against privatization of the state’s alcohol sales system saying "it was not the right business decision for the state." Ironically, on the same day the Department of Corrections proposed that a private contractor take over mental health treatment for inmates. State workers may recall that the last time DOC privatized two prisons in the 1990s, the state had to come take back the management of the prisons and clean up their private contractors’ mess. In 2010, SEANC also turned back a DOC effort to privatize their maintenance work.

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SEANC IT Workers Organize to Fight Privatization On Thursday, SEANC Legislative Affairs Director Ardis Watkins and her team met with state IT workers to discuss an action plan to fight Gov. Perdue’s proposed IT privatization plan. Privatization of IT services has been a dismal failure in states that have tried it--wasting billions of taxpayer dollars in Texas, Virginia and New York to name a few. When you examine the facts from these states it’s easy to see what a miserable business proposition IT privatization would be for North Carolina.

State Deficits Across the Country An article in the News & Observer pointed out that North Carolina isn’t the only state going through a budget crisis. In fact, 40 out of 50 states are projected to have budget shortfalls this year with Texas facing an estimated $15 billion to $27 billion deficit over the next two years. To read more, click here.

Member Discount - It's Tax Time! SEANC members can now receive special discounts from Liberty Tax Service. Use this service to file your taxes and you’ll receive 30 percent off! See the Featured Discounts page for more information or contact Renee Vaughan at 800-222-2758.

SEANC Hot Spots: Legislative Update Member Discounts SEANC in the News SEANC Insurance Update Your Contact Info Calendar of Events www.seanc.org 800-222-2758


State Employees Association of North Carolina The SEANC Scoop January 31, 2011

The General Assembly Convenes SEANC greeted the new N.C. General Assembly members on Wednesday, opening day of the 2011 session. With legisators soon to tackle a budget deficit of approximately $3.7 billion, now is the time for members to take action by attending sessions and contacting elected officials by phone. See the Legislative Update for more details.

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SEANC in the News District 39 member Mary O'Neill stood up for state employees in a WRAL interview on Tuesday evening. She said she hopes to be considered in the political battle of priorities over cuts, revenue and restructuring state government. "We're not just the state employee. We're your citizens, and we're the voters, and we're the taxpayers." For the entire story, including comments from SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope, click here.

Cope Advocates Defined Benefit Plan SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope spoke on Friday at the Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (TSERS) Board of Trustees meeting, advocating to maintain the defined benefit plan for state employees and not have an age requirement for retirement. The TSERS board voted "no" to a minimum retirement age of 55 for state employees.

Editorial Set Straight SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope responsed to a hugely misguided editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal about promoting salary cuts. Cope told the editor to look elsewhere for a scapegoat and spoke out against cutting state employees’ salaries to close the budget shortfall.To read the letter, click here.

Member Discount Are the cold temperatures driving you crazy? The Great Wolf Lodge offers exclusive discounts for SEANC members! Use the code provided and get 20 percent off the best available room rates as well as 15 percent off spa services. See the Featured Discounts page for more details.

SEANC Hot Spots: Legislative Update Benefits Bulletin Member Discounts SEANC in the News SEANC Insurance Update Your Contact Info Calendar of Events www.seanc.org 800-222-2758


Scoop January 2011