University Holidays & Closings: Frequently Asked Questions

December 11, 2019

Who determines the holiday/closing schedule for the University?

The University holiday and closing schedule is based on input from the executive officers, Human Resources, Facilities, and the Academic Calendar Committee. Human Resources typically drafts various options and recommendations for consideration.

How many holidays are provided to University employees each year?

Per the State Human Resources Act, eligible employees receive 12 paid holidays per year.

Do UNC-Chapel Hill employees get the same number of holidays as employees at other agencies and universities in the State of North Carolina?

Yes. Each campus of the University System, however, designates the specific days it observes as holidays, which can vary based on their academic calendar and other institution-specific factors.

Why did the University decide to implement a winter closing practice?

Our research shows that the majority of employees use vacation time when students are on winter break. Furthermore, research reveals that closing for one week during this period will allow for a savings of approximately $250,000 in operational and energy costs, a measure that supports the University’s efforts to become a more sustainable employer as we strive to be a good steward of public and private resources.

Is UNC-Chapel Hill the only UNC System campus that closes for winter break?

No. Several other campuses in the UNC System have observed this practice for many years.

Could the University simply close for the winter break and designate those extra days off as additional holidays for employees?

No. The University does not have authority to add more holidays to the number of allowable holidays that the State of North Carolina Legislature establishes.

What if employees do not have leave to cover these days?

At the discretion of the supervisor, management may advance vacation leave to an employee based on individual circumstances and organizational requirements. The maximum advancement is the amount the employee would ear through the remainder of the current calendar year. An employee must be in pay status for leave to be advanced.

Employees must plan ahead in order to have the necessary leave days to cover the absence. State policy requires leave to be balanced at the end of the calendar year so employees who do not have leave to cover the absence will have their pay reduced for the hours that are needed.

What happens to recently hired employees who have not earned enough leave time to cover a winter break closing?

Eligible leave-earning employees who are in pay status for one-half or more of the regularly scheduled work days and paid holidays in December will accrue leave for the month of December and may use their vacation leave to cover the University Closed Days. Employees who do not have sufficient leave to cover one or both University Closed Days will not be paid for the day(s).

How should negative leave balances be handled?

A negative leave balance cannot be carried over from one calendar year to the next. If an employee is overdrawn on leave, it will be necessary to make deductions from the employee’s last paycheck of the calendar year or as soon after as allowable.

What types of leave can employees use to cover the University Closed Day(s)?

 Employees can use vacation leave, bonus leave, or accrued compensatory time to cover University Closed Day absences.

Can an employee use Community Service Leave (CSL) to cover a University-closed day?

Yes. Employees who may not have vacation or bonus leave available for a University-closed day, or those who wish to conserve those balances, are encouraged to consider utilizing available CSL as a way to manage the winter break closure and also support our community. View CSL policy details.

Will some departments be open on days that are designated as holidays and closings? 

Some departments have essential work that must be done (related to research, healthcare, safety, etc.) and designated employees report to work regardless of state, federal, or University holidays. SHRA employees who work on designated holidays must be paid holiday premium pay, in addition to hour for hour compensatory time up to 8 hours daily. State guidelines do not permit the University to pay premium holiday pay for the Closed Day during winter break.

 If employees want to work on days that the University is closed, can they do this instead of using their leave?

 No. The intent is for the University to be closed so employees do not have the choice to work or not. Supervisors, however, can require employees to work to perform essential functions.

Can employees be required to work on holidays? Do they get extra pay?

Yes, supervisors can require employees to work on holidays. If they do so, SHRA employees are paid holiday premium pay (an additional 1/2 of their regular rate) as well as given hour for hour comp time up to 8 hours.

Do employees get additional pay for working on University Closed Day(s)?

No, however, these employees will retain the leave they would have had to use if they had not worked during the closing. Example: An SHRA employee works 8 hours on a day that is designated as a holiday and 8 hours on a day that is designated as a closing. The employee would be paid holiday premium pay for the hours worked on the holiday and receive 8 hours of compensatory time. The employee would be paid regular pay for the hours worked on the closing day and does not use any leave for that day (no additional entry needed for payroll).

Who can provide additional information?

If you have any questions about the holiday schedule, please contact the Benefits & Leave Administration unit in the Office of Human Resources at 919-962-3071 or benefits@unc.edu.

January Learning Opportunities at the Office of Human Resources

December 3, 2019

All UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and staff are invited to attend classes hosted by the Office of Human Resources Organization and Professional Development team. Included in the course catalog for the month of January are classes such as Introduction to Situational Leadership, Communication Essentials, and Recycling Right at UNC.

The course catalog has also been updated through July 2020. All professional development classes are free for all UNC employees, but must be registered for in advance through ConnectCarolina.

Flyer: January 2020 Learning Opportunities & Registration Instructions

Course Catalog

Calendar: October Courses

State Budget Update

November 26, 2019

Please see below the latest update from Interim UNC System President, Dr. Bill Roper, regarding the state budget. 

Dear Colleagues, 

As you may have heard, the Legislature recently adjourned until January 14th following a week-long session focused on redrawing Congressional district maps. This action comes at the end of a long session, which began in January and ended on October 31st, featuring a number of bills that will impact the UNC System. Here is the current status of some important matters relevant to the work that we do. 

The State Appropriations Act (H. 966) provided significant funding for the University, including a number of UNC System Board of Governors-approved priorities. It included almost every UNC System policy request, including a number of long-held priorities, which provide additional flexibility to our institutions. H. 966 included more than $630 million in authorized funding for major renovations and new capital projects, as well as $80 million in much-needed repair and renovation funding to address our significant infrastructure backlog.  

However, the budget act only provided $15 million and $30 million in each year of the biennium for compensation increases, which equates to roughly a half (0.5) percent and one percent (compared to two and a half percent and five percent for most non-UNC System state employees). The final version of the budget was vetoed by Governor Cooper in late June. On September 11th, the House overrode the governor’s veto. This action moved the bill to the Senate for its consideration of the veto override. This discussion has yet to take place. 

Before adjourning on October 31st, the Legislature passed two significant bills impacting the UNC System. H. 231 would have provided the pay raises that were included in the budget for both UNC and NC Community College System employees, along with a retiree bonus. More importantly, the Legislature passed S. 354 (Strengthening Educator Pay Act), which would have increased the raises for UNC System employees by another $40.8 million and $82.1 million in each year of the biennium, contingent upon a veto override of H. 966. When added to the increase in the Faculty Recruitment & Retention Fund included in the budget, S. 354 would have resulted in a net increase of roughly four percent over the biennium. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed both bills, which leaves the UNC and the NC Community College Systems without new resources to provide critical raises until after the veto is overridden.

This past Friday, the governor offered a counter-proposal. This proposal includes limited (two percent) raises to University employees who are exempt from the State HR Act, while providing those who are subject to the State HR Act with raises equal to that of other state agencies. Rest assured, I will continue to fight for fair compensation increases for all University employees comparable to those received by other state employees. 

In short, I’m optimistic and hopeful that we’ll see a state budget implemented in January with the additional compensation funding included in S. 354. We appreciate the Legislature hearing our concerns with the original budget and offering its support for addressing our compensation needs.              

Sincerely, 

Bill Roper 

Department Deactivation Request

November 20, 2019

Campus Unit Finance Leads and HR Officers,

A recent analysis revealed that there are several departments without employees and expenses. There are also several departments with very few employees and very small expenses. This may have resulted from reorganization of the departments, or decisions not to use the department after it was established. This leads to more departments than necessary, and it increases the risk of inaccurate reporting. Please review your department structure, and close out any departments that are not needed.

Here’s a quick guideline to follow in order to accomplish closing out activities for department(s) for deactivation:

For Finance:

  • The chartfield string balances will need to be closed out including budgets, cash, fund balance, requisitions, encumbrances, etc.
  • Review defaults on pCard, commitment accounting funding, CBM module, income allocations, etc. and change accordingly.
  • Review and modify the owning department of source if necessary.
  • The OSR projects will need to be closed out.
  • Review and modify the department workflow if necessary.

The following queries can be used (in RPT) to review financial activities of the department(s):

o   NC_GL_ATTRIBUTE_SOURCE_DPT — to determine if the department id owns sources

o   NC_CPS_TB_DETAILS — to determine if the department id has financial activity

o   NC_GL_DEPT_INACTIVATE — to determine if the department id has finance activity inflight/pending transactions

For Personnel:

  • All positions (including vacant) and active employees/affiliates will need to be moved to another department via ePars (including funding grid).
  • Initiate and complete ePars for lump sum payments (MCD) and fundswaps (PAATs) as necessary to remove the department (deactivation) off of the chartfield string.
  • Review and modify ePar workflow if necessary.

To view personnel activity, go to Infoporte and click on the HR icon, then click on the following tabs to view the information:

  • Employees tab — to determine all appointing employees for the department id
  • Positions tab — to determine all positions including vacant for the department id
  • Affiliates tab — to determine if the department has affiliates assigned to the department id
  • Payroll tab — to determine if the department id has other payroll expenses assigned to it

For Student:

  • Confirm that there are no active students (enrollment) for the academic program tied to the department.  If so, contact student registrar/admissions office to determine the appropriate action.

For Campus Unit Leads, there are materials on the Teams site “UNC-CH Campus Unit Finance Leads” in the folder(click on Files) called “Department ID” for your convenience.  Please collaborate with the HR Officer in your campus unit regarding this initiative.

Attached is the Department Deactivation Request and Checklist form to help you with additional information.  Please complete the form and submit to me.

Please contact me with any questions.

Thanks,

Wendy Andrews
Subject Matter Expert for OEVC&P
Executive Business Manager
Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
224F South Building, CB 8000
200 E. Cameron Ave.
Chapel Hill, 27599-8000
Phone: (919) 962 9301

Department Deactivation Request

Advance notice: W-4 tax form changes coming in 2020

November 12, 2019

To: University Business Managers; Campus Unit Finance Leads; HR Officers and Secondary Contacts
From: Walter Miller, Director of Payroll Services
Re: Advance notice: W-4 tax form changes coming in 2020

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will update the Federal Form W-4 Employee Withholding Allowance Certificate. To comply with the form redesign, the University will need to update the current W-4 format in ConnectCarolina Self Service. While updating ConnectCarolina Self Service to the new W-4 format, neither W-4 nor NC-4 tax forms will be available in Self Service.

We are working closely with our partners in ITS to ensure the update is timely with minimal disruption to employees. We anticipate that the new form will be live in ConnectCarolina Self Service prior to the mid-February 2020 time frame and we will update quick reference guides accordingly. Other Self Service functionality will remain available during this time.

Here’s what employees can expect:

  • Action is not required by existing University employees unless changes to W-4 or NC-4 tax forms are needed.
  • Effective January 1, 2020, any first-time submission or employee change to the W-4 or NC-4 will need to be submitted on a paper form until ConnectCarolina Self Service is updated to match the new federal W-4 form requirements.  Please note that only the 2020 version of form W-4 will be accepted, and prior versions (2019 or before) cannot be accepted.
  • For security purposes, please write the PID at the top of the form and leave the Social Security number blank. Forms without a Social Security number can be emailed to payroll@unc.edu. Forms may also be sent via campus or US mail to the Payroll Services department.
  • Once the federal W-4 form changes are available in Self Service, employees will notice that the new NC-4 and W-4 forms will be separate forms in ConnectCarolina Self Service.
  • There will be significant changes to the 2020 W-4 federal form.
  • There will not be significant changes to the 2020 NC-4 state form.

We appreciate your help and patience in preparing for this change. Please expect a formal communication to all employees about this change in December. For any further information or questions, please contact payroll@unc.edu.

2019-20 SHRA Mid-Cycle Review Reminder

November 1, 2019

TO: All Human Resources Officers
FROM: Angenette McAdoo, Senior Director, Employee & Management Relations
DATE: November 1, 2019

The current performance management cycle for SHRA permanent employees started April 1, 2019, and ends March 31, 2020. Any employee who received a rating of Not Meeting Expectations in either their Overall, Institutional or Individual Goals for the performance management cycle ending March 31, 2019, must receive a mid-cycle review.  Mid-cycle reviews are typically due on October 31; however, OHR is extending the due date until November 31, 2019.  Please remind your managers that all off-cycle reviews must be submitted to HR leads for review.

Mid-cycle review guidance:

  • Mid-cycle reviews should be completed on the “Off-cycle and Probationary Review” forms.
  • Mid-cycle reviews should not contain the same quantitative review as the Annual Appraisal.
  • Supervisors should focus on where the employee is performing above and below expectations.
  • Mid-cycle reviews should focus on the elements that the employee received a rating(s) of “not meeting expectation.”

For additional guidance, please direct supervisors to https://hr.unc.edu/managers/toolkit/ 

If you have any questions or problems, please contact your EMR consultant.

REMINDER: FLSA Minimum Data Request

October 29, 2019

TO: HR Officers and Secondary Contacts

If you have not already returned your employee data related to the new FLSA minimum, please remember that we must have your response by noon on this Friday, November 1. The timetable remains very tight for compliance and we need to have an accurate count of the number of affected employees in order to evaluate options. Please return your spreadsheet to adam_beck@unc.edu. Thank you.

 

UNC System Salary Increase Freeze – FY 2019-2020

October 28, 2019

TO: HR Officers and Secondary Contacts
FROM: Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources; Lachonya Williams, Assistant Provost for Academic Personnel
SUBJECT: Important Update re: UNC System Salary Increase Freeze – FY 2019-2020

This is an important update regarding the temporary freeze on selected salary increase actions originally communicated via notice sent July 24, 2019.

Effective immediately, based on guidance from the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM), the previously communicated freeze on select salary actions (reclassification, labor market, equity, additional duties, distinguished professorships, etc.) is ended under the following conditions:

  • No salary increase shall be implemented that relies on entirely new funding expected in the FY 2019-2020 budget until such funds are officially appropriated in an enacted State budget or through an enacted mini-bill.
  • Increases should not rely on funding that is identified as a potential budget cut in any of the pending budget bills for FY 2019-2020.

These conditions will ensure that new permanent salary commitments are not made against funding that is not yet confirmed or may be at risk for any reason. Otherwise, existing eligible funding sources in the FY 2018-2019 budget or from non-State appropriations may be used to address salary actions that were previously delayed by this freeze. To assure compliance with this funding requirement, campus units should attest in the notes section of ePARs, “Your School or VC is using existing funds to cover this obligation.”

Generally, salary actions are processed on a current basis only. However, in light of the interruption to various salary actions over the past several months, retroactive salary actions may be proposed for actions delayed by the freeze where there is appropriate documentation of a prior intended effective date. Examples include salary adjustments for prior reclassifications, the prior assumption of additional duties, or equity actions that were previously documented but delayed by this freeze.

This is a one-time opportunity for situations that occurred from July 1, 2019 to present, and must adhere to the following conditions:

  • No retroactive actions related to the freeze may be processed after December 31, 2019
  • Salary actions processed for these situations must include appropriate documentation as to the basis of the retroactive date
  • No retroactive date in these circumstances may fall before July 1, 2019

Any pending faculty salary increase requests subject to the freeze that have been submitted to Academic Personnel do not need to be resubmitted to Academic Personnel.  Those pending increases will be processed according to the requisite approval guidelines.  You will be notified when the relevant salary increase approvals are obtained.

For SHRA and EHRA Non-Faculty actions, please work with your assigned consultant to process any actions previously reviewed that had been held pending the end of the freeze.

It is important to note that the existing Board of Governors (BOG) consultation process for salary actions of 5% and $100,000 and new positions budgeted at $70,000 or greater remains fully in effect. Therefore, any actions delayed as a result of the temporary salary freeze must still receive all of the necessary System Office and/or BOG pre-approvals per normal procedures prior to implementation.

At this point, we are still not in the position to release annual raise process (ARP) instructions or authorize the implementation of bonus leave until either an enacted State budget or mini-bill covering salary funding for the University.

Please address any questions to your department’s designated OHR Classification and Compensation and EHRA Non-Faculty HR contacts or the Academic Personnel Office as appropriate.

See also:

Secondary Employment for SHRA Employees

October 18, 2019

To: HR Officers and Secondary Contacts
From: Noreen Montgomery, Senior Director Employment & Staffing
Subject: Secondary Employment for SHRA Employees (Revised Form)

As a follow-up to the October 14, 2019 Carolina HR Council meeting, this is a reminder that the Secondary Employment Policy (the Policy) applies to all permanent SHRA employees regularly scheduled to work 30 hours or more per work week. Full-time State Agency or University employees working full-time have primary employment responsibility to the State. Therefore, other employment outside of North Carolina State Agencies or Universities is considered to be secondary employment.

The purpose of the Policy is to ensure that an SHRA employee’s secondary employment with another employer does not have an adverse effect on the employee’s primary employment and does not create a conflict of interest. The Policy applies to all employment not covered by the Dual Employment or Additional Employment policies.

Secondary employment is not permitted when it will:

  • Create either directly or indirectly a conflict of interest with the employee’s primary employment; or
  • Have an impact on, or create any possibility of conflict with, State operations; or
  • Impair in any way the employee’s ability to perform all expected duties, or to make decisions and carry out in an objective fashion the responsibilities of the employee’s position.

An employee must notify his/her supervisor and complete the newly revised  Secondary Employment Notification Form before engaging in secondary employment.  An employee must also report any changes in secondary employment status as they occur by completing and submitting a new form to their supervisor.  In addition, in January of each year, employees who are continuing secondary employment must submit an updated form to their supervisor.

Once signed by the supervisor, Secondary Employment Notification forms must be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources in a timely manner.  Additionally, Secondary Employment Notification Forms must be retained in the employee’s departmental and Office of Human Resources personnel files.

Please share this important information with your HR Representatives and supervisors/managers.  For more information on Secondary Employment please see: https://hr.unc.edu/employees/policies/other/secondary-employment/