P ublication of the S tate E mployees A ssociation of N orth C arolina • SEIU L ocal 2008 • S ept . 2011 • V ol . 29 N o . 4 • C irculation 55,000
State Employees Association of North Carolina, Inc.
SEANC Members Prevail in Tough Economic Times Fellow SEANC Members, In these tough economic times it’s important to remember that a victory is not necessarily about gaining something. A victory can also be about keeping something. This is the case right now because of the dedication of our legislative affairs team and courageous member advocates. For the first time in years, the legislature has voted to fully fund the state retirement system. For too long our retirement system has been getting by without matching funds from the state; the system has stayed afloat with your hard-earned dollars leveraged in strong investments. This may have worked for a while, but it is not a viable option for long-term growth and stability. With the stock market declining, it was more important than ever that the state start fully funding the retirement plan. The budget that was passed twice by the legislature fully funds the retirement system. Thank you to our hardworking lobbyists! Our legislative affairs staff has not been the only force working hard at the General Assembly. Past President Tony Smith and I joined Johnson more than 60 prison maintenance workers at the General Assembly to fight a House bill that would have opened the door to prison maintenance privatization. Together we made a strong case with legislators for these dedicated employees, and we won. The bill was amended to study the issue. This is a victory – saving 450 jobs – thanks to all the prison maintenance workers who joined us to take a stand and educate legislators on the importance of these positions. Prison maintenance workers were not the only state employees who spent time at the General Assembly protecting vital services. Nearly 80 percent of funding for the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Oral Health Section was slated to be cut – eliminating 50 positions in preventive dental health services throughout the state. This cut would have eliminated a vital service provided to at-risk children. Workers from the Oral Health Section work hard everyday to identify dental problems in high-risk children, and dental decay is the most common chronic disease in those children. For many of these kids, interaction with a DHHS hygienist is their first dental experience. SEANC Warriors like Second Vice President and Oral Health Section worker Doranna Anderson came to the General Assembly to educate legislators about the value and importance of these services. DHHS Dental Hygienist Bonnie Johnson of District 22 was also profiled on the front page of The News & Observer saying, “I meet children who have no idea how to use a toothbrush.” Saving these jobs was another victory thanks to dedicated SEANC members who stood up, spoke out and took action! Member involvement was key this session in three major victories: protecting the services we provide, funding our retirement plan and accomplishing five of our Top 10 Policy Platform Objectives. But your involvement cannot stop just because the General Assembly is in recess. Next year we face a general election – so now is the time to support EMPAC. I encourage all of you to become more involved in SEANC. Bring your thoughts and concerns to me. Stay informed about what is happening with SEANC by signing up for email alerts at seanc.org/email/. The success of this association is up to each and every one of you. Thank you,
Charles Johnson SEANC President
Victories Jobs Saved
SEANC saved the jobs of members who alerted the lobbying staff about programs that were on the chopping block. Examples include prison maintenance workers and positions from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Oral Health Section.
Efforts to privatize prison maintenance and Information Technology Services were thwarted this year. SEANC spent countless hours educating legislators that our professional state employees can do the same jobs as private contractors in a cost-efficient manner with improved safety and security for our neighbors and citizens.
Pay Cuts/Furloughs Avoided
Despite a more than $2 billion shortfall, no mandatory furloughs or wage reductions were included in the state budget. Longevity pay was also maintained for state employees.
Merit Pay Raises Secured
In the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget, $121 million in funding was secured for merit pay increases.
SHP Governance Change Achieved
SEANC successfully advocated for control of the State Health Plan (SHP) to move away from the General Assembly to the state treasurer. SEANC also championed a governing board for the SHP that includes four out of eight voting seats comprised of state employees and retirees, giving plan members an equal voice in SHP decisions.
Premium-Free SHP Option Protected SEANC protected a premium-free health care option for employees and retirees participating in the SHP.
SHP Cost-Plus Contracts Ended
As part of the SHP reforms, SEANC achieved its longterm goal to stop awarding future cost-plus contracts to SHP vendors, saving money for employees and retirees.
Retirement Plan Fully Funded
SEANC successfully lobbied the General Assembly for full funding of the retirement system. The system will receive a $248.1 million contribution in 20112012 and $336 million in 2012-2013.
Minimum Retirement Age Averted
SEANC lobbyists successfully protected employees from legislation that would have required a minimum retirement age.
Worker Rights Maintained
Due to SEANC action, 22,000 university employees maintained their State Personnel Act (SPA) rights. If those employees’ SPA rights had been removed, it would have set the wheels in motion for more agencies to strip SPA protections from employees. SEANC also protected state workers’ personnel files, including performance evaluations, from being released to the public.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
2011 N.C. General Assembly Session-in-Review By Ardis Watkins, SEANC Legislative Affairs Director
After months of hard work by SEANC lobbyists and member advocates, five of SEANC’s Top 10 Policy Platform Objectives were accomplished this session and numerous benefits were protected or enhanced in this budget.
Pay While other states were looking at furloughs and wage reductions, money has been set aside in the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget for state employees’ merit pay increases.
Jobs While it is too soon to know exactly how many jobs will be cut as a result of the budget, early indications from the state budget office show that at least 527 general state employees lost their jobs, not including public education. This is a fraction of the 10,000 jobs that Gov. Beverly Perdue called to be cut in her budget, none of which were teachers or teaching assistants. The governor estimated that at least 3,000 of these jobs would be filled. While SEANC lobbied for no job cuts, the final state budget was a great improvement on what the governor proposed.
Retirement The Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System was fully funded by the legislature for the first time in years. The governor’s budget proposal did not fully fund the system, so SEANC worked directly with legislative leadership and secured full funding. Although there will be no cost-of-living adjustments, this funding will keep your retirement future secure.
State Health Plan After years of work, SEANC was successful and had governance of the State Health Plan (SHP) moved from the General Assembly to the state treasurer’s office to receive appropriate oversight and end the constant cost-shifting to state employees and retirees. Moving the SHP away from the General Assembly was SEANC’s No. 1 policy platform objective. The new SHP governance includes a board of trustees with four seats comprised of active or retired state employees, allowing members a strong voice at the table when decisions are made about the plan. The new SHP will have a premium of $21.62 per month for active employees who opt for the Standard 80/20 plan. For Medicare-eligible retirees, the Standard 80/20 plan will have a premium of $10 per month. The movement toward SHP premiums was set in motion when Perdue included a premium for the Standard 80/20 plan in her budget. SEANC opposed the premium in all legislative committee meetings, but supported the governance changes. As the premium goes, the damage had been done in the governor’s budget and was irreversible. For the Basic 70/30 plan, no premium will be charged for active or retired state employees. SHP administrators told the legislature late this session that the costs associated with the plan were less than forecasted and that the plan had some reserve money. Subsequently, the General Assembly passed a bill allowing the treasurer to use those funds to keep the Basic 70/30 plan premiumfree for state employees. A premium-free option is SEANC’s No. 3 policy platform objective.
State Personnel Act University employees who are subject to the State Personnel Act (SPA) faced the loss of those protections when SB 575 was filed. The bill would have removed SPA protections from 22,000 university employees. SEANC worked with Senate leaders to ensure that these vital protections were not lost. SEANC has fought this issue almost every year with one agency or another, but SB 575 would have been the largest single removal of SPA employees. This bill had implications far beyond the university system. If university employees were removed from the SPA, other agencies would begin pushing to have their workers removed as well. Protecting state employee SPA rights was SEANC’s No. 2 policy platform objective.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
HB 335 would have opened the door to privatize prison maintenance workers, resulting in job cuts and deterioration of services. Three prisons have contracts with private vendors for maintenance and as the time to renew the contracts drew close, legislation to allow bids on all prison maintenance became an issue. Corrections employees turned out on multiple occasions to lobby legislators against the proposal, showing a strong and unified SEANC presence. At the end of the day, SEANC prevailed. The three prisons with private prison maintenance remain private, but HB 335’s language was rolled into HB 773 – a bill directing a study to compare the costs of private prison maintenance against state-provided maintenance. This bill also dictated that no further privatization can occur while the issue is being studied. This stopped what would have otherwise been legislation leading to mass prison maintenance privatization. The month before session started, Perdue announced her plan to privatize Information Technology Services. From then on, it was a battle for SEANC to save these positions. The final budget rejects the governor’s plan to bid out these state jobs. Opposing privatization was SEANC’s No. 4 policy platform objective.
Personnel Files SEANC fought back legislation proposing to open the details of state employees’ work records to the public, including performance evaluations. SEANC believes such legislation would be a violation of employees’ constitutional rights. SEANC lobbyists were encouraged that House and Senate leadership responded to these concerns and the bills (SB 344 and HB 685) did not move this session. Protection of these rights is SEANC’s No. 6 policy platform objective. email@example.com
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New Retirement Law Passes
with State Government Recruitment Benefits Intact By Mary Adelaide Riddick SEANC members and future state employees received a big win in June with the passage of HB 927, the State Pension Plan Solvency Reform Act, after harmful sections concerning minimum retirement age, a cap on sick leave and an earnings cap were removed.
Minimum Age and Sick Leave
Cause Concern In the initial version of the bill, five sections caused concern for current and future state employees: 1. Establishing a minimum retirement age of 60 that would have applied to any newly-hired employee beginning Aug. 1 regardless of years worked. 2. Changing the retirement formula from using the highest four years of salary to the highest 10 years. 3. Limiting sick time accrual to a maximum of 12 days per year worked. 4. Capping salary increases at 15 percent per year over four years with a maximum increase of 40 percent over a four year time frame. 5.Creating a new rule so no employee may earn more than the governor ($135,590).
To address state employee concerns, Executive Director Dana Cope and SEANC lobbyists met with House Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell (R-Forsyth), who sponsored the bill, about SEANC’s opposition to the above sections in HB 927. Specifically, SEANC shared information from the retirement system that the average state employee retires at 59 – just shy of the 60 years proposed by the bill. This information helped Rep. Folwell understand that these provisions weren’t necessary. SEANC is committed to protecting and enhancing the rights and benefits of current, retired and future state employees. As such, the association was concerned that some changes in HB 927 would hurt the state’s recruitment efforts. The provisions that were removed show the General Assembly’s commitment to hiring the best and brightest in state government. “We are appreciative that with the changes made to the bill, Speaker Pro Tem Folwell kept vital recruitment tools in the state’s employment toolbox,” said SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope. In the final bill, five sections were removed. One change mandates that new employees hired after Aug. 1 must work 10 years to achieve vesting. Previously, vesting was achieved after working five years. The bill also makes improperly receiving a deceased state employee’s retirement benefits a Class 1 misdemeanor. firstname.lastname@example.org
State Health Plan News – SEANC Member on the Board; Interim Executive Administrator Named Congratulations to District 22 Chairwoman Michele Shaw of Lillington for being appointed to the board of trustees of the State Health Plan (SHP). The new governing board of the SHP includes four out of eight voting seats comprised of state employees and retirees, giving plan members an equal voice in SHP decisions. Shaw was appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and her term expires June 30, 2013. Jack Walker, the executive administrator of the SHP, retired on June 30. Treasurer Janet Cowell has named Lacey Barnes as the interim executive administrator. Barnes has been involved with the plan since 2006, and she has served as deputy executive administrator since February 2009. District 22 Chairwoman Michele Shaw
Quotes to Note “They always find a way to give their staff members higher salaries and pay raises than the rest of state government.” SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope on the bipartisan trend of giving pay raises to employees working for legislators in a June 11 News & Observer article “N.C. House Speaker Tillis gives his staff fat raises.”
“We have got to let people know, you are not going to drag us through the mud. This is not a black issue or a woman issue. It’s real simple. This is workers.” SEANC President Charles Johnson on the vilification of hardworking state employees in an April 30 News & Observer article “State employees rally against layoffs.”
“I commend SEANC for their tireless efforts on behalf of our state employees.” Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) giving praise to SEANC for working with House and Senate leaders to reform the State Health Plan in a May 18 Associated Press article “NC legislative leaders, Perdue declare health deal.”
“(The inmates) will riot if things are not kept intact.” SEANC Past President Tony Smith on why privatization of prison maintenance would imperil public safety in an April 10 Morganton NewsHerald article “State employees rally against cuts.”
“We hope the rising tide lifts all boats.” SEANC Director of Communications/PR Toni Davis commenting on municipal wage increases in a June 8 Fayetteville Observer article “Fayetteville city employees’ pay raises outpace most across state.”
“A cost-plus contract never should have been put in place, especially for taxpayers footing the bill. No one other than Blue Cross Blue Shield knows whether it’s a good deal because it was never put out to bid. It was a no-bid, secret contract from the very beginning.” SEANC Assistant Director of Communications/PR Cary Edgar on why the newly-public Blue Cross contract for the State Health Plan is only a small step in the right direction in an April 9 News & Observer article “Wraps finally are off BCBS state contract.”
“We’ve got to come in at the middle for a solution and use some common sense approaches – a bit of revenue enhancements, which Republicans don’t like, and some cutting of government to make it more efficient, which Democrats don’t like. We’re in the middle. We’re a nonpartisan organization. We want to deliver the most effective public service.” SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope on why the best way to approach the budget crisis is with a balanced and bipartisan solution in a May 13 interview with News 14 Carolina’s show “Political Connections: Budget Cut Effects.”
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
SEANC Saves Dental Public Health Services An interview with Cary Edgar
Photo by Doranna Anderson
SEANC District 20 member Beverly Bizzell is a public health dental hygienist with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Oral Health Section. In recent state budget negotiations, legislators proposed eliminating this program, putting the jobs of these state employees on the chopping block. After the program was saved by SEANC’s efforts in the General Assembly, we sat down with Beverly to talk about the value of the services she provides and what it felt like to see it all at risk.
Beverly Bizzell is a 35-year state employee, working as a public health dental hygienist with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Oral Health Section.
were some of your first thoughts when Q: What you heard that the program might be cut? A:
Personally, it really saddened me. I’ve been employed with this program for 35 years, serving thousands of citizens in two counties. It surprises a lot of people to know that the N.C. Oral Health Section is the oldest dental public health program in the nation. It started in 1918 because so many children were having dental pain and infection, and the goal of the program was to educate people and prevent oral health problems that would turn into something greater and more costly in the future. It saddened me to think of the loss of such an amazing program and a valuable service to high-risk and low-income citizens. When I saw the actual language in the budget that proposed to eliminate this public service, I was amazed. It was reduced to one sentence. After 93 years of dental health treatment for the poorest and most disadvantaged children in this state, we were reduced to one sentence in the budget. It’s like you’re in court, charged with a crime you didn’t commit, and you aren’t even allowed to have a defense.
you think that leaders in this state Q: Do understand the work that you do? A:
I’ve come across some people who think that our services could be provided by someone else or some other program, either public or private. That’s entirely untrue. When a public health dental hygienist stops providing care to a local community – that service cannot be replaced by another provider. There are so many providers that do not accept Medicaid – and in some rural communities, there aren’t enough dental health providers anyway. If legislators want or need to cut programs, fine. But at least understand the value of a program before you move so quickly to eliminate it.
Q: Tell me what you do and why this service is so important. A:
Q: What satisfaction do you get from your work? A:
I would never have stayed in this role as long as I have if I didn’t feel like I was having an impact on the world around me. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to know that I’m helping those who often have nowhere else to turn for answers, direction or resources. There was a young child recently that I assisted – he was hearing-impaired and his family had very little in the way of resources or education. He had been to a dental office already and had encountered a challenge with communication because of his impairment. So here he was, afraid and in such need of treatment that they had to refer him to a specialist. Unfortunately, while we were trying to find a specialist who would see him, he lost Medicaid coverage and we had to start the process all over. I was eventually able to advocate for him to arrange for treatment directly from the UNC School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill. I can’t save everyone, but who knows if that family would have given up at some point without my help to medically assess the problem and then get them matched up with the right service. email@example.com The Reporter, USPS 009-852 (ISSN 1069 2142), is published in the months of March, May, September and November for $3 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.
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We are the front line of defense and prevention in the communities we serve. By the time someone goes to get treatment for a dental problem – it has usually become pretty severe, and is likely to be very expensive. The costs for dental treatment are paid by everyone – whether it’s through out-of-pocket private insurance or public programs like Medicaid or Health Choice. Sadly, when this type of quality public service is gone, only then do people suddenly realize the preventive value of what we were providing. Our patient is the community. When legislators lose sight of this, North Carolina loses ground. Sometimes people get caught up in the idea that we should only be funding treatment programs – but preventive health represents the best investment for our citizens.
you think state leaders underestimate how costly it would Q: Do be to eliminate this program, in terms of future costs? A:
Absolutely. And I’ll give you the perfect example. In Montgomery County, for the last year, the No. 1 reason for admission to the emergency room was dental pain. It became such an issue there that one of the emergency room physicians sought help from the hospital’s foundation. Now granted, these emergency patients were adults – but it’s likely that they are adults who received inadequate dental care as children! And dental disease is the No. 1 chronic disease for children. Not asthma, like a lot of people would think – but dental decay.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
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Toni Davis, Editor-In-Chief Cary Edgar, Managing Editor Mary Adelaide Riddick, Associate Editor Amber Ernst, Associate Editor Daniel Pate, Associate Editor
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THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Executive Director’s Desk
by Tom Harris
by Dana Cope
SEANC’s Nonpartisan Philosophy Serves Members Well Recently I told The News & Observer “our issues, taxpayer issues and state employee issues, are not partisan. We have a philosophy around here that we have no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, but permanent issues.” SEANC’s philosophy, combined with our decision not to endorse candidates in the November 2010 election, served the association well this year in the General Assembly. The November elections brought a sea change as Republicans took control of both houses in the General Assembly after more Cope than 100 years in the minority. With this new influence came a new burden, closing a budget gap of more than $2 billion.
SEANC Chief of Staff/General Counsel
Pleasant Surprises from the U.S. Supreme Court
Our decision not to participate in endorsements was a very smart move.
Sometimes pleasant surprises can come from the most unexpected places. For employees, the U.S. Supreme Court has recently been one of those places. While the Supreme Court’s current composition, with conservatives outnumbering liberals 5-4, would suggest that its employment law decisions would favor employers, during its 2010-2011 term the Supreme Court rendered three decisions that expanded the rights of employees. As these decisions apply to circumstances SEANC members may encounter, they are explained below.
Oral Complaints Are Protected: In Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, employee Kevin Kasten repeatedly complained orally to his employer that it was illegally omitting certain work time from his timecard. When his employer later fired him for refusing to punch out at the times when it had required, Kasten sued alleging his employer had actually fired him because of his complaints and, thus, had violated the federal law prohibiting employers from discharging any employee “because such employee has filed a complaint” under the federal overtime statute. The trial court dismissed Kasten’s lawsuit on the grounds that “filed” meant that his complaint had to be in writing to be covered by the statute, and the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court reversed, holding that Kasten’s oral complaints to his employer were indeed covered.
It solidified the Republican party’s view of SEANC as a nonpartisan organization standing for more efficient government and our members’ best interests – not any one political party. As a result, SEANC had a seat at the table during this year’s budget development instead of being on the outside looking in. While the governor chose to shed thousands and thousands of SEANC members’ jobs in her budget recommendations and ignore our $10 billion in budget savings from the “Take Pride in Carolina” report, this was not the case in the General Assembly. In sharp contrast, Republicans decided to return millions from Golden LEAF to the general fund, increase court fees and examine the sale of a Department of Transportation plane. These are all solutions from the “Take Pride in Carolina” report and represent an effort to preserve the vital services that SEANC members provide to North Carolinians. But SEANC’s input wasn’t limited to the budget. When House Speaker Pro Tem Dale Folwell filed a measure to incent State Health Plan (SHP) members with a 10 percent payment from any errors found on their bills, he specifically cited SEANC’s “Take Pride in Carolina” report as the source of the idea. When the SHP bills were being discussed, it was SEANC in the room requesting that legislators transfer oversight of the plan to a government agency, abolish the punitive tobacco use and BMI penalties and create a health plan board where state employees and retirees would design its benefits. When lawmakers considered removing 22,000 university employees from the protections of the State Personnel Act, SEANC was able to work with Senate leaders to have the measure halted. When a bill was introduced to completely open up state employees’ personnel files to the public, SEANC was able to protect employees’ privacy. When reduction-in-force rights were threatened in the budget, SEANC worked to have them restored. Republicans have treated SEANC like a respected partner in the legislative process, not just a giant ATM at election time. During this session, SEANC was welcomed as a meaningful voice in policy discussions and a vital partner in negotiations before legislation was passed. As a result, SEANC was successful this year in shaping public policies to benefit our members. For those of you that may think I’m lauding Republicans because I am one, think again. I am a registered Democrat – a Democrat working with Republicans at the General Assembly on behalf of state employees and retirees who have permanent issues – no matter who is in charge.
Discharged Employee Protected Even When Ultimate Decision Maker Has No Discriminatory Intent: In Staub v. Proctor Hospital, employee Vincent Staub was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, which required him to attend weekend drills and summer camp. His immediate supervisor, Janice Mulally, often complained about scheduling difficulties caused by Staub’s military duties and said she would like to get rid of him. Eventually, the employer’s vice president for human resources discharged Staub based on Mulally’s report that Staub had violated a work policy. Staub sued alleging that his military service was the actual reason for his discharge, which violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Court of Appeals reversed a jury verdict favoring Staub on the grounds that the employer could not be held liable where the supervisor with the illegal motive was not the person charged with making the ultimate discharge decision. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court reversed, holding there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that Mulally’s illegal motive, even though not shared by the vice president, had been a “motivating factor” that resulted in the vice president’s discharge decision. This case has broader implications than just cases arising under USERRA because Title VII also employs the “motivating factor” standard in determining whether illegal employment discrimination has occurred.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Non-Complainers Can Be Protected: In Thompson v. North American Stainless, L.P., an employer fired the fiancé of another employee who had filed a gender discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The discharged fiancé filed a lawsuit alleging that his firing violated the anti-retaliation prohibition of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex and race, among other things. The trial court dismissed Thompson’s lawsuit because it read Title VII to protect only the person filing the original complaint. The Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court. Surprisingly, the Supreme Court held that the fiancé was protected by the anti-retaliation prohibition even though he had not filed the original complaint because he was in the “zone of interest” protected by Title VII’s antiretaliation provision. Decisions in future cases will undoubtedly identify what other employees may fall within this protected “zone of interest.”
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Candidates for SEANC Statewide Office Announced By Amber Ernst
SEANC leadership for 2011-2012 will be determined by approximately 850 delegates at the 28th Annual SEANC Convention on Sept. 9. SEANC Bylaws require members to announce their candidacy in writing or in person to the board of governors no later than 45 days prior to the annual convention, or nominations can be submitted from the convention floor. Statewide officer terms are for one year and begin Oct. 1 and run through Sept. 30, 2012. Officers may hold the same office for two consecutive years. In addition to statewide officers, district chairpersons will elect regional representatives to the executive committee by their respective regions (East, South Central, North Central, Piedmont and West). Only 2011-2012 chairpersons are eligible to run for these positions.
As of press time, the following members had announced their candidacies for statewide SEANC office:
Candidate for President Charles Johnson
Incumbent President Charles Johnson is a District 45 member and Raleigh resident. A 19-year state employee, he is a correctional captain at Central Prison in Raleigh.
SEANC Convention Community Service Project Join SEANC in saluting our men and women of the armed forces and their families for their sacrifice by participating in the 28th Annual SEANC Convention community service project – Operation All ‘Bout Children (Operation ABC). 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.
Candidate for First Vice President
Sidney M. Sandy Incumbent First Vice President Sidney M. Sandy is a District 11 member and Indian Trail resident. He is a retired 33-year state employee from the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The showers are open to every branch of the armed forces – active, reserve and guard. The spouse or military member must be of juniorenlisted rank (E1-E6) and be at least 6 months pregnant or have a child less than 3 months old.
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Candidate for Second Vice President Doranna Anderson
Incumbent Second Vice President Doranna Anderson is the District 47 chairwoman and a Raleigh resident. A 15-year state employee, she is an oral health education and promotion branch head with the Oral Health Section of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Candidate for Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin
Incumbent Treasurer Marilyn Jean Martin is a District 12 member and Salisbury resident. A 30-year state employee, she is a correctional captain at Piedmont Correctional Institute in Salisbury.
• Baby gates • Baby supplies (bottles, pacifiers, etc.) • Baby wipes • Bathing/hygiene items • Bibs • Car seats • Cribs/bassinets • Crib bedding • Diaper bags • Disposable diapers (newborn/size 1) • High chairs • Infant toys • Strollers
Items will be collected on Thursday, Sept. 8, at convention. For more information or additional questions, contact Mary Adelaide Riddick at email@example.com, 919-833-6436 or 800-222-2758.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Convention Training Thursday, September 8 EMPAC’s $1 Million Mission Can be Achieved in 2012 EMPAC budget projections show that at the current rate of participation, we are close to our goal of having $1 million on hand by the election in November 2012. With a minimal investment of time and talent, SEANC members can turn the $1 million mission into a “mission accomplished.” Come and learn how to get involved. Public Speaking Training: SEANC and Beyond Clammy hands? Shaky voice? Jumbled speech? If this is what you have when faced with public speaking, come join a fun and interactive training session to polish your confidence and learn to face the crowd. Whether you need help speaking to a large meeting or a small group of co-workers, this session will explore ways to engage your audience and deliver your message in a compelling and thoughtful way. Retiree Activism: SEANC is Calling for Greater Retiree Involvement With state employees retiring in droves, SEANC has seen an uptick in retiree membership. Now is the time to tap into this potent political force and help SEANC retirees find ways to become more involved in our important work. Scholarship Training One of our most popular programs, SEANC scholarships are an excellent benefit for many of our members and their dependents. Learn how this important program works and become involved in the process at the district or state level. This will be the only scholarship training offered this year. All district scholarship chairpersons are encouraged to attend. SEANC Insurance Covers More than Our Members Learn how SEANC insurance products cover not only members’ supplemental insurance needs, but also provide recruitment and retention incentives that benefit the entire organization. The dividend that SEANC insurance pays goes far beyond the individual and helps grow districts and our entire membership.
2011 SEANC Cash Raf f le Tickets $1
Draw i Sept ng . 10 do no
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GET YOURS TODAY!
GRAND PRIZE $6,000 Contact Renee Vaughan at 919-833-6436 or 800-222-2758
FIRST PRIZE $3,000 SECOND PRIZE $1,000
State Employees Association of North Carolina Proceeds benefit the SEANC Scholarship Foundation
Friday, September 9 District Treasurer Training (required for all district treasurers) District treasurers, whether new or returning, this training covers the basics of how to build the monthly financial statement and also delves deeper into how SEANC district treasury requirements keep SEANC’s overall finances strong and transparent. Meet and Confer: Modeling the Successful Employer/Employee Relationship Since public sector collective bargaining is illegal in North Carolina, the order allowing employees to meet and confer is the next best thing for building strength in our workplaces. SEANC won meet and confer rights in 2010, but the administration has been slow to implement the policy. Learn about successful meet and confer examples and help plan the next big victory for state employees through this important collaborative process. Member Strength Ready to help lead SEANC actions in your workplace, district, at the General Assembly and beyond? Attend this training to learn how SEANC member leaders and staff are preparing to significantly grow SEANC member involvement and realize the strength that is hidden in our membership. This is a must-attend training for state employees and retirees who want to shape the future. Membership Recruitment: The Most Important of Member Actions SEANC membership recruitment is the lifeblood of the organization. It is the most important of all member actions. Join the Member Action Department and learn how our organization needs more action from within the ranks to grow membership numbers and help realize our most important goals.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Got Talent? EMPAC donors - can you sing, dance, play an instrument, perform magic or make people laugh? Come show off your talent!
7th Annual EMPAC Event SEANC’s Got Talent Thursday, Sept. 8 7 p.m. - Legislative Reception 8:30 p.m. - Talent Competition followed by karaoke
Sign up to compete by contacting Mary O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at the EMPAC table at convention by 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 8. Free to delegates and registered convention guests who sign up for or are currently giving through EMPAC payroll deduction or for members who make a minimum $25 annual donation to EMPAC.
DAVID G. SCHILLER KATHRYN H. SCHILLER DARA DAMERY
PROFESSIONAL PARK AT PLEASANT VALLEY 5540 MUNFORD ROAD • SUITE 101 RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA 27612
Photo by Steve Lawson
MARVIN SCHILLER, Of Counsel CAROL M. SCHILLER (1940-2009)
SEANC Members Show Their Support
Social Security Benefits
Wills & Estates
Marvin Schiller was lead class counsel in Faulkenbury v. Teachers’ & State Employees’ Ret. Sys. (1997) (recovering disability retirement benefits for several thousand State employees, teachers, law enforcement officers, other public employees, and their families) and Simpson v. Local Govt. Ret. Sys. (1987) (public employees’ benefits vest after 5 years of public service). He authored the SEANC amicus curiae brief in Bailey v. State (1998) (exempting some public employees from State income tax on their retirement benefits).
SEANC members Kathy Gardner of District 9, June Albright of District 4 and Judy Sherrill of District 5 are shown at the SEANC table on April 13 during the Judicial Support Staff Conference in Winston-Salem. The ladies stopped by to hear the latest on SEANC news in the General Assembly.
Firm members have ably represented hundreds of State employees and teachers for over 35 years in employment, retirement benefit, workers’ compensation, and injury cases.
Photo by Lynn Tuthill
Firm members established the Carol Masters Schiller Distinguished Scholar of Neurology Chair at the University of North Carolina Medical School at Chapel Hill.
SEANC Members Volunteer at Children’s Hospital Telethon
Photo by Michele Shaw
Several SEANC members volunteered during the 2011 Children’s Miracle Network Telethon June 3 and June 5 in Greenville. Helping out at the check-in desk were, seated from left, District 65 member Debbie Austin, event participant Vivian Bazemore and, standing from left, District 65 members James Willis and Lynn Tuthill and District 66 member Sandra Dunn. More than $1.1 million was raised, and all donations benefit University Health Systems Children’s Hospital and the 29 counties it serves.
District 22 Meet and Confer
STATEWIDE SALES AND SERVICE Fran Albritton, LUTCF Locust, NC 704-485-8062
Chris Harris Greenville, NC 252-531-1218
Jeff Tate, LUTCF Henderson, NC 252-438-3334
Ty Cobb, CFP Angier, NC 919-639-2300
John Hill New Bern, NC 252-229-0774
Will Walters Fayetteville, NC 910-483-6210
Mark Younts Salisbury, NC 704-637-9554
Scott Kittrell Sanford, NC 919-303-5976
Ron Jackson Raleigh, NC 919-781-6716
NC State Employees Service Office 8364 Six Forks Road, Suite 200 Raleigh, NC 27615 Toll Free 800-334-1217 Local 919-844-1777 www.ncbenefits.com
SEANC Intergovernmental Liaison Linda Rouse Sutton, right, talks with District 22 members Carol Nutting, left, and Clifford Campbell, center, at Harnett Correctional Institution’s first meet and confer discussion.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Photo by Lynn Tuthill
District 65 Donates Money to Earthquake Relief Fund Lynn Tuthill, second from right, presents an $850 check to Japan native and East Carolina University counselor Yuko Kishimoto, far right, designated for the Tohoku Region Pacific Coastal Earthquake Iwaki City Fund. The money is being used to help Iwaki residents affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and to restore and rebuild the city. District 65 donated $500 and members raised an additional $350. Pictured, left to right, are Marsha Hall, Beverly Bower, Debbie Austin, Tammy Heller, Camilla Dawson, Tuthill and Kishimoto.
District 12 Grows Its Membership Photo contributed by Orie Henry Jr.
District 12 members Marva Adams, right, and Janet Dilena, center, talk with Flordeliza Arbon about the benefits of SEANC membership during an informational meeting at the Mecklenburg County Department of Revenue in Charlotte on May 4. Arbon was one of five employees who joined SEANC during the meeting.
Photo by Lynn Tuthill
District 59 Member Orie Henry Jr. shares a moment with Andrea Bone of Meals on Wheels. Henry was recognized as District 59â€™s Member of the Year for the 8-16 hours each month he spends delivering meals to homebound residents of Wayne County.
Photo by Steve Lawson
District 59 Member Volunteer of the Year
District 65 Participates in Relay for Life District 65 sponsored two teams, the Purple Crusaders and the Gold Crusaders, in the 2011 Pitt County Relay for Life, where thousands of participants celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer and help fight back against the disease. Combined the teams raised approximately $7,000 for the event on April 29-30. District 65 challenges each district to participate in their local Relay for Life!
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
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Laid off? Not sure where to turn for help? As a member of SECU, turn to us… Meet with an SECU representative to discuss: Budgeting
Health, Life, Auto and Home Insurance
Visit www.ncsecu.org, contact your local branch or the SECU Contact Center at 1-888-732-8562.
You’ve never been so happy to be carded As a SEANC member, you can take advantage of more than 3,000 member discounts when you travel or right in your own backyard! Save on everything from amusement parks, automotive services, restaurants, travel, shopping and so much more. Visit www.seanc.org and click SAVE.
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
SEANC Awards Annual Scholarships Compiled by Cary Edgar
This year, the SEANC Scholarship Foundation awarded 45 statewide scholarships. The five categories of statewide scholarships include: Four-year financial – a $1,000 scholarship to attend a
Britney Oakley, Kittrell School: UNC – Greensboro Daughter of District 21 member Toni Howard-Hunt, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Lindsey Barnes, Atlantic Beach School: N.C. State University Daughter of District 67 member Jay Barnes, N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Alisha Privette, Wadesboro School: Campbell University Daughter of District 18 member Alvin Privette, N.C. Department of Correction
Logan Dawson, Goldsboro School: UNC – Chapel Hill Daughter of District 59 member Larry Dawson, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Charity Rayburn, Asheville School: Clemson University Daughter of District 2 member Sherry Rayburn, Buncombe County Schools
Emily Garcia, Charlotte School: UNC – Charlotte Daughter of District 13 member Christine Garcia, UNC – Charlotte
two-year junior college or four-year university
Two-year financial – a $500 scholarship to attend a community college, technical school or trade school Four-year merit – a $1,000 merit scholarship to attend a two-year college or four-year college or university
Two-year merit – a $500 merit scholarship to attend a community college, technical school or trade school
Member only – a $500 scholarship awarded to state employees who are SEANC members
Scholarships are also awarded on the district level. Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!
Kathryn Reilly, Raleigh School: N.C. State University Granddaughter of District 39 member Zola Turner, N.C. State University (ret.)
email@example.com Four-year financial ($1,000) Dail Berry, Engelhard School: East Carolina University Daughter of District 68 member Belinda Berry, N.C. Department of Correction
Rachel Burch, Marble School: Mars Hill College Daughter of District 1 member Angela Burch, N.C. Department of Correction
Kari Carr, Dunn School: East Carolina University Daughter of District 22 member Terri Carr, Harnett County Schools
Hunter Greene, Laurel Springs School: UNC – Charlotte Son of District 8 member Carol Greene, N.C. Department of Transportation
Erica Hawkins, Greenville School: East Carolina University Daughter of District 71 member Joe Hawkins, N.C. Department of Transportation
Kuylain Howard, Kannapolis School: Elon University Son of District 10 member Rashan Howard, N.C. Court System
Taylor Safford, Whiteville School: UNC – Greensboro Daughter of District 23 member Jerry Huggins, N.C. Department of Transportation
Alina Shevchenko, Holly Springs School: Wake Technical Community College Daughter of District 20 member Nataliya Rice, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Anthony Thomas, Morganton School: N.C. A&T State University Son of District 6 member Betsy Forney, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Two-year financial ($500) Kayla Campbell, Goldsboro School: Wayne Community College Daughter of District 60 member Kathy Campbell, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (ret.)
Cana Rierson, Danbury School: Rockingham Community College Daughter of District 16 member Donald Rierson, N.C. Department of Transportation
Steven Taylor, Cullowhee School: Haywood Community College Son of District 1 member Teresa Taylor, Jackson County Public Schools
Four-year merit ($1,000) Dakota Icard, Connelly Springs School: Montreat College Daughter of District 5 member Tammy Icard, N.C. Department of Correction
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Joey Arthur, Waxhaw School: N.C. State University Son of District 11 member Cheri Arthur, Union County Public Schools
Chelsea Gerhart, Columbia School: N.C. State University Daughter of District 68 member Michael Gerhart, N.C. Department of Correction David Gu, Raleigh School: UNC – Chapel Hill Son of District 44 member May Gu, N.C. Department of Public Instruction Rachel Harrison, Chapel Hill School: Boston College Daughter of District 25 member Lisa Gangarosa, UNC – Chapel Hill School of Medicine Sterling Herron, Butler, Tenn. School: Milligan College Son of District 3 member Linda Herron, Appalachian State University
Mariah Hukins, Raleigh School: Duke University Daughter of District 37 member DeMorris Hukins, N.C. Department of Transportation Ruth Ann McDaniel, Morganton School: Clemson University Daughter of District 6 member Carolyn McDaniel, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (ret.) Kristin Roman, Kinston School: East Carolina University Daughter of District 66 member Lori Roman, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Shannon Taylor, Winston-Salem School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Daughter of District 16 member Greg Taylor, Winston-Salem State University Anna Tramble, Hickory School: UNC – Chapel Hill Daughter of District 5 member Tara Tramble, Caldwell County Schools
Aanya Udyavar, Fayetteville School: UNC – Chapel Hill Stepdaughter of District 22 member Nick Ganesan, Fayetteville State University
Andrew Warburton, Marion School: UNC – Charlotte Son of District 4 member Gordon Warburton, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Sherri Cook, Charlotte School: Belmont Abbey College District 12 member, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Angela Edwards, Winston-Salem School: Winston-Salem State University District 16 member, Winston-Salem State University
Two-year merit ($500) Sydney Babb, Raleigh School: Wake Technical Community College Daughter of District 16 member Jeffrey Babb, N.C. State Highway Patrol
Jessica Kidd, Wallace School: Sampson Community College Daughter of District 61 member Shelby Kidd, Sampson Community College
Jordan Willett, Cameron School: Sandhills Community College Daughter of District 20 member David Willett, N.C. Department of Transportation
Shannon Homesley, Charlotte School: UNC – Charlotte District 13 member, UNC – Charlotte
Anita King, Goldsboro School: University of Phoenix District 60 member, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Dawn Lanaville, Elizabeth City School: Fielding Graduate University District 69 member, N.C. Department of Correction
SEANC Vision Plan Offers, Rich Benefits and The Best of Both Worlds
COMINg 10/1/2011: OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR SEANC MEMBERS
Our national network of more than 33,000 providers is made up of both private practices and retail chains. This offers you the best of both worlds: the personal service of a private provider, along with the convenience, extended hours and selection offered by retail chain providers. Please see www.seanc.org for benefits and rates. Premiums can be deducted from your payroll/pension or you can be invoiced for them.
Lemika Morris, Knightdale School: University of Phoenix District 47 member, Employment Security Commission of N.C.
Wanda Pugh-Trice, Wilmington School: Gardner-Webb University District 62 member, N.C. State Ports Authority
Latina Shelley, Greenville School: Mount Olive College – Washington District 64 member, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Terry Westry, Greensboro School: Guilford Technical Community College District 17 member, N.C. A&T State University
Joyce Yelverton, Goldsboro School: N.C. Wesleyan College District 45 member, N.C. Department of Correction
Join us - SECC Fall Charity Fair Friday, October 28th 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Bicentennial Mall – Raleigh Games & Prizes!
State employees and retirees of state government have supported charities they care about through the State Employees Combined Campaign since 1984. On behalf of the charities who have received your contributions over the years, we thank you for being a part of this proud tradition.
UnitedHealthcare Vision® coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, located in Hartford, Connecticut, or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by Spectera, Inc., United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Plans sold in Texas use policy form number VPOL.06 and associated COC form number VCOC.INT.06.TX. OptumHealth | Optimizing Health and Well-Being | www.optumhealth.com © 2011 OptumHealth, Inc. All Rights Reserved. M49573 6/11
NORTH CAROLINA STATE EMPLOYEES COMBINED CAMPAIGN
For more info., visit www.ncsecc.org or call 919-821-2886 THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
State Employees Association of North Carolina P.O. Drawer 27727 Raleigh, NC 27611
Rent a SEANC Conference Room today. Let SEANC provide an
impressive environment to make your meeting or training session a success!
Show your SEANC membership card and receive a $2 discount on each ticket purchased for your group! Gate Price
Hours of Operation April 1 – Oct. 31, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Nov. 1 – March 31, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
North Carolina Zoo 4401 Zoo Parkway Asheboro, NC 27205 800-488-0444 or 336-879-7000 www.nczoo.org
SEANC Contact: Renee Vaughan at 919-833-6436 or 800-222-2758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE REPORTER SEPTEMBER 2011
Conference rooms for up to 100 people are available for rent at the SEANC Central weekday includes a professional business environment with audiovisual equipment, access to a food preparation area and room arrangement to suit your needs. Conference rooms A and B can be combined into one large room for $300 per weekday.
LOCATION: 1621 MIDTOWN PLACE, RALEIGH, NC 27609 Contact SEANC at 800-222-2758 or email@example.com to secure your conference room today.