Chancellor James Moeser has decided to give the $25,000 he could have received as a salary bonus to his Task Force for a Better Workplace as startup money for programs to improve the work environment for University staff.
Moeser had declined the bonus offered by UNC System President Molly Broad, saying he could not accept it in a year in which UNC employees received small or no increases. The money will come from campus funds, as it would have if Moeser had accepted the bonus for his own use.
The task force, composed of faculty, staff and students and co-chaired by Moeser and Employee Forum Chairman Tommy Griffin, was created last year after staff members complained about low wages and working conditions. Staff pay is controlled by the N.C. General Assembly, so the task force convened in an attempt to improve workplace conditions without raising salaries.
The task force developed short-, medium- and long-term recommendations of how to improve the University’s work environment, and the bonus money will go to implementing some of the recommendations that require dollars, although UNC officials said they did not yet know which ones.
Among the short-term goals are establishing an ombudsman’s office, to ensure employees are treated fairly in disputes, and creating wellness programs.
The medium-term list includes a boost in financial assistance available for employees to attend community college or college classes and the creation of more steps in the sliding fee scale for parking permits.
On the long-term list are expanding the employee tuition-waiver program and increasing child-care subsidy funds.
Griffin said he thinks the money would make some positive changes in terms of the quality of the workplace. “This’ll go a long way to help out,” he said. “It also says the chancellor really cares. He could have put [the money] in his pocket, and he didn’t. He understands the staff is really hurting, and this is his way of helping.”