Voice
Peonies bloom in the Butrovich parking lot. Alaska's and other northern countries' peonies are unique in the world for blooming in late June and early July, opening a market niche for the large perennial flowers. Photo by Monique Musick

Announcements June 2016

  • FY17 Benefit Plan Information
  • FY17 Compensation increase for staff to be applied as step increase and grid roll
  • Out-of-network Allowable Costs Increase to 200 Percent of Medicare Rates July 1
  • Single accreditation update
  • Fairbanks Custodial Contract Changes
  • Performance Appraisals due July 1
  • UAA transition to Google Apps for all email and calendaring begins June 26
  • Highlights from the SAA Annual Meeting
  • Voice Archives a Beneficial Resource

FY17 Benefit Plan Information

Your first deductions for the FY17 benefit plan year will be listed on your July 8 pay stub, but don't wait until then to make sure all of your deductions are set up correctly.

If you changed plans, elected a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or the Health Savings Account (HSA), or elected or changed your Supplemental Life Insurance or Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D), you can verify those elections in UAOnline now.

Log in to UAOnline at https://uaonline.alaska.edu, select “Employee Services,” and then “Benefits and Deductions.” Look for the Active deductions with the most recent "as of date." (Note: The HSA deductions are found under the "Flex Spending Accounts" link, and the Supplemental Life/AD&D insurance deductions are found under "Miscellaneous.")

If any of your deductions look incorrect, please notify your campus HR office as soon as possible. The sooner we find out about a problem, the sooner we can get it fixed!

Some things to consider when reviewing your deductions....MORE...

Out-of-network Allowable Costs Increase to 200 Percent of Medicare Rates July 1

UA Choice health plan participants will see an increase in the allowable cost paid to out-of-network providers beginning July 1. Premera allows self-insured clients such as the university to pay based upon Medicare rates. In an effort to encourage more providers to join Premera’s network, the allowable cost for out-of-network providers was reduced during FY16 from the 80th percentile of Alaska billed charges to 125 percent of Medicare charges for a procedure. With the start of the new fiscal year the allowable cost will increase to 200 percent of Medicare rates. MORE....

Two Anchorage orthopedic surgeons join the Premera Network

Two orthopedic surgeons in Anchorage will join the Premera newtork effective July 8: Stephen Tower, MD and Rick Miller, PA-C, both of Tower Joint Replacement Clinic. They will be paid at in-network rates with no balance billing for all lines of business.

Performance Appraisals due July 1

It is the time of year again to be thinking about and conducting performance appraisals. SW HR is currently working on the implementation of the new performance Management module, therefore, please continue to use the current performance appraisal for FY16. A pdf fillable form for your use is also posted on the SWHR website: http://www.alaska.edu/files/hr/performance_appraisal_form_ent.pdf

All SW employees should receive a performance appraisal. If the employee is new, or has been here less than six months, the numeric ratings in each competency section does not need to be completed. For those employees that have been employed for more than six months, the entire performance appraisal will need to be completed. Each supervisor and employee will need to work together to complete the goals section for the coming year.

All appraisals will need to be turned in to Michelle Michel by July 1, 2016.

If you have any questions please contact Michelle Michel at 450-8216.

Highlights from the SAA Annual Meeting

The 2016 SAA election results are in!

Go to www.alaska.edu/governance/ saa /elections/ to view this year's newly elected members.
Annual Meeting Highlights

Statewide Administration Assembly (SAA) members gathered at the University House for their annual retreat on Wednesday, June 22 , and met with President Johnsen, VP White, VP Rizk, and CHRO Hite McGee. They discussed current issues at UA including: Strategic Pathways, single accreditation, FY17 budget, annual performance evaluations, position descriptions, legislative advocacy, and how to best communicate with staff in uncertain times. The retreat also served as orientation for new SAA members: Sheri Billiot, Alison Hayden, Eric Johnson, Laycie Schnekenburger, and Josh Watts. Following a morning with UA senior administrators, SAA turned to internal business and elected new officers and selected new committee members. The 2016-17 SAA officers are: Eric Johnson (president), Chrystal Warmoth (vice president), and Buffy Kuiper (secretary). Members also discussed goals for the coming year, many of which focused on how to improve communication and increase staff engagement.

The next scheduled SAA meeting is Wednesday, July 20 in Butrovich 204 in Fairbanks and Bragaw 205 in Anchorage. Additional information about SAA meetings is available on their website.

FY17 Compensation increase for staff to be applied as step increase and grid roll

Salary increases for non-represented staff will be applied as both step movement and salary grid increase for fiscal year 2017. The 2.5 percent salary adjustment will be effective July 10, 2016. Employees will see a change in their salary in the August 5, 2016 paycheck.

The staff salary grid will increase 1.5 percent and one step will be applied. This is equivalent to the 2.5 percent salary increase for FY17 approved by the Board of Regents. For those employees that are on step 55, the base salary will increase 1.5percent and 1percent will be given in a one-time lump sum payment. Those employees placed at a step 0 will be given a one-time lump sum payment equivalent to the 2.5 percent.

Single accreditation update

Several months ago when President Johnsen began the review of single accreditation vis--vis three separately accredited universities, he asked Dr. Dana Thomas, former Statewide Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research and current candidate for UAF interim chancellor, to conduct an assessment.

Dr. Thomas’s detailed assessment plan can be found at the link below. The complete report will be available in late-July. http://www.alaska.edu/files/research/News_Updates/Detailed-Assessment-Plan-June-14-Revised-2.pdf.

Fairbanks Custodial Contract Changes

As part of a new custodial contract negotiation and cost-savings measure, ABM staff will no longer empty trash in offices or cubicle areas. Employees will need to empty their wastebaskets in common areas near their offices, where it will be picked up daily.

ABM staff will also clean offices two times per month rather than weekly as they have in the past.

These service changes, along with other minor adjustments in cleaning schedules in other areas, will save UAF nearly $100,000 each year.

If you have large waste items that will not fit in your common area, please label them as waste and put them in the hallway. If an item is not labeled it will not be hauled away. Please recycle cardboard and other paper products.

UAA transition to Google Apps for all email and calendaring begins June 26

On April 14th of this year, UA President Johnsen announced his desire that all UA campuses begin to use Google Apps for Education for email and calendaring within 30 days. Due to the complexities of transitioning an institution as large as UAA, concerns about proper handling of personal health information (PHI) that may transit our information systems, and to ensure that no data would be lost, UAA leadership requested an extension. Since then, IT staff have been diligently researching and planning a path to successfully meet our collective goal.

At a high level, here’s what you can expect:

  • UAA will begin the transition process on June 26.
  • When it’s your turn to move, you will receive an email when the automated process begins and another email when it ends. The process should take no more than one day.
    • During this time, you can still use email as you normally do.
  • The migration process will automatically move:
    • 90 days of email
      • Exception: Gmail will not accept attachments larger than 25MB. We are developing information resources you can use to help you manually move larger attachments to other services.
    • One year of calendar items
    • All your existing contacts
  • Once moved, you will need to use the Google mail (Gmail) system to send and receive email.

UAS has already transitioned their staff and faculty to the Gmail and Google Calendar services. As “early adopters” they discovered a significant number of issues – some of which have been solved and solutions adopted as part of the UAA transition.

Read more about the UAA Google Apps transition plan HERE.

Voice Archives a Beneficial Resource

Looking for information on benefits, budget updates, employee news or past announcements? The "Search Articles" box in the left menu of Statewide Voice pages is an easy to use portal for accessing older publication content. Use the power of Google to instantly bring up past Statewide Voice publications by name, topic or other search term. After 110 issues you'd be amazed at all the information available for review!

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