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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Speaking up, health plan savings topics of March Employee Forum meeting

Employee Forum delegates learned how to speak up, work smart and save money at the March 6 meeting.

Three presenters shared updates on items of interest to employees:

 Speak Up Carolina: Kim Strom-Gottfried, the University’s director of ethics education and policy management, demonstrated the features of this online resource (https://speakup.unc.edu)intended to help Carolina community members respond more comfortably to challenging interactions. The site offers a toolkit of vignettes and responses as well as advice specific to the classroom, workplace, campus and community.

Carolina Excellence:Rick Wernoski, senior vice provost for business operations, told forum delegates that two Carolina Excellence (https://carolinaexcellence.unc.edu) pilot projects to improve hiring and procurement processes had achieved such good results (reducing time needed to hire employees and reducing the cost of processing small-dollar payments) that those projects are being implemented across campus in three cohorts.

Clear Pricing Project: Ardis Watkins, the legislative affairs director for the State Employees Association of North Carolina, a lobbying organization for state employees, explained this initiative from the State Health Plan to save $300 million for the plan and another $66 million for state employees. The initiative would base provider payments on the rates paid by Medicare plus a 77 percent profit.The plan will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, unless House Bill 184 passes and prevents the initiative from proceeding.

In other action:A resolution supporting medical coverage for transgender transition care (including hormone replacement, psychological counseling and assessment and surgical procedures) passed its first reading and will have a final vote at the forum’s April 3 meeting. To read the resolution, go to https://employeeforum.unc.edu/resolutions/resolution-19-03/.