Voice
Halloween is coming! Dress up individually or as a department and come get your photo taken on Halloween between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m on Tuesday Oct. 31 in the Butrovich 109 foyer. Photo by Monique Musick.

Announcements October 2017

  • Employees will be able to change HR addresses online starting Nov. 1
  • Annual Leave Cash-In program expanded
  • Health Care Authority Feasibility Study under review
  • Students must complete Title IX training by Oct. 31
  • Changes Coming to the Health Savings Account!
  • Winter holiday closure 2017-2018
  • Healthyroads Wellness Program Updates
  • EDir decommissioning announcement and request for action
  • Stay Informed on Social Media
  • October SAA meeting highlights

Employees will be able to change HR addresses online starting Nov. 1

Starting Nov. 1, you will be able to update your address used for HR communications by simply updating your mailing address in UAOnline. HR communications include items such as your W2 forms, health benefit information, paychecks and other important notices.

Previously, employees who changed their mailing address through UAOnline still had to submit a paper request through the HR office to update the address used for HR communications. With this new process, the paper form is no longer needed.

Once you have changed your mailing address in UAOnline, there is a one hour delay before your HR address display is updated. Please take a moment to make sure your mailing address is up to date in UAOnline.

For more information, please contact your campus HR office.

Students must complete Title IX training by Oct. 31

Students are required to complete Title IX: Sex and Gender Based Discrimination Prevention training by Oct. 31, 2017 in order to access registration for Spring 2018. Students may complete the training online or attend an in-person session on campus.

Changes Coming to the Health Savings Account!

Since July 1, 2013, the university’s Health Savings Account (HSA) has been set up like the health plan and the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) with a fiscal plan year. To make it easier to manage your HSA, we’re moving to a calendar year plan. This will help you know exactly how much you’re contributing on a calendar year basis, making it easier to manage your taxes and avoid problems with over-contributing to the account.

Now you can manage your HSA like you manage a voluntary 403(b) account (also known as the TDA), by telling us how much to take out each pay period up to your desired goal amount.

At the end of December, we’ll be converting our HSA to a calendar year plan. The goal amount you elected during open enrollment last spring, or at the time of hire if hired since July 1, will remain in effect until you submit a request to change it. The new 2018 Calendar Year HSA form will be available soon. You will be able to determine the amount deducted from each pay period up to your desired goal amount.

The 2018 HSA limits will increase to $3,450 for an individual and $6,900 for family coverage. The age 55 catch up is staying at $1,000 per year. Remember, you can claim the catch up if you turn 55 at any time during 2018.

If you’d like to change your current HSA deduction for 2018, please have your form submitted to your regional HR office no later than December 15. If you don’t turn in a new form, your current bi-weekly deduction will continue to the goal amount.

More information on the HSA can be found on the benefits website:
http://alaska.edu/benefits/health-savings-accounts/

Winter holiday closure 2017-2018

As a cost-saving measure, Statewide (SW) observes a winter holiday hard closure period during which all university business offices are closed. This year the winter holiday closure will be December 25, 2017, through January 2, 2018. Some departments may observe additional soft closure days Dec. 20-22, 2017, and Jan. 3-5, 2018.

December 25-26, and Jan. 1-2, are university paid holidays. On the hard closure days that are not paid holidays (Dec. 27-29) employees will need to take annual leave, leave without pay, faculty time off or furlough day(s). If an employee is participating in the soft closure, they will need to take annual leave, leave without pay, faculty time off or a furlough day.

In an effort to support work life balance, supervisors and unit leaders are encouraged to give time off to employees during the soft closure. Department supervisors and unit leaders determine who is required to work to maintain SW operations during soft closure periods. Employees should coordinate with their supervisor regarding leave options and schedules. Employee retirement eligibility (PERS and TRS) may be affected if leave without pay exceeds 10 days in a calendar year.

Taking leave during the holidays is a good opportunity for employees to use their leave hours and helps departments manage their budget costs for leave taken. Taking time off work helps all of us be more efficient and creative.

If you have questions, please contact:

SW Human Resources at 907-450-8215 or ua-swhr@alaska.edu

October SAA meeting highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly held a regular business meeting on Thursday, October 12. Below are highlights from the meeting.
 
October SAA Highlights
  1. Sara Rodewald gave an update on the HealthyRoads wellness program at UA and noted there were some changes this year. Specifically, if an employee or spouse met three of the five requirements last year, they only have to fill out a personal health assessment this year to receive the rebate. More information is available on the HealthyRoads website.  
  2. Representatives continued to discuss the possibility of creating a break/recreation room in Butrovich.  
  3. SAA representatives continued their discussion of safety training (CPR, AED) for SW employees. They will continue to work with CRO Tim Edwards and will notify SW staff when they can sign up for the training. 
  4. The 2017 Thanksgiving Potluck will be held on Friday, Nov. 17. A sign-up sheet for dishes will be distributed in the coming weeks. Add this event to your calendar.
  5. SAA has again enrolled in the Adopt A Family program for the holiday season. More information will be available at the Thanksgiving Potluck.
  6. Representatives also heard updates on restructuring the annual leave cash-in, which should be completed later this fall. 
SAA will meet next on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in Butrovich 204 in Fairbanks and Bragaw 210 in Anchorage. All staff are encouraged and welcome to attend. Reach out to SAA representatives to share your ideas and/or concerns. Additional information about SAA  ​​meetings is available on its website. ​ 
 

Annual Leave Cash-In program expanded

Starting October 30, all non-represented benefit-eligible UA employees, regardless of pay grade, will have the opportunity to cash in up to 40 hours of annual leave once per fiscal year. Employees must have at least 40 hours remaining in their annual leave bank after the cashed-in hours are deducted.

Potential changes to the program were first announced in a memo to staff governance in May 2017. It was announced that employees would need to first take 80 hours of annual leave as time off before being able to utilize the program. Realizing that employees at all pay levels lose annual leave each year because they cannot take enough time off, the requirement to take some annual leave first was dropped.

Please visit the UA Benefits website at http://alaska.edu/benefits/leaves/annual-leave-cash-in/ for more information.

Health Care Authority Feasibility Study under review

The State of Alaska recently announced the availabilty of a new study on the feasibility of establishing a consolidated health care authority for Alaska.

The Commissioner of Administration was directed by SB 74 to procure a study evaluating the feasibility of establishing a Health Care Authority (HCA) in Alaska to consolidate purchasing strategies and/or coordinate plan administration for all groups funded directly or indirectly by the State of Alaska including: Medicaid, SOA retirees, SOA employees, school district employees, the University of Alaska, state corporations, and political subdivisions (municipalities, cities, and boroughs).

The study has been released to legislative leadership and to the public and the Department is accepting public comments through October 30, 2017. A summary of comments will be available with the final reports.

The university is reviewing the study and will be submitting comment to the Division of Retirement and Benefits. We see some pros and cons to the recommendations in the reports, and will be working with the state to make sure they consider our needs when deciding on any future actions.

View the report at http://doa.alaska.gov/HCA.html

Healthyroads Wellness Program Updates

Read all about the FY18 wellness program HERE. There are a variety of wellness activities going on in November. If you are working on earning your 5 points, read about what new options you have this month below!

If you have any other questions on the program, take a look at the UA benefits/wellness page or please contact UAs On-Site Wellness Program Manager:
Sara Rodewald
(907)450-8203

sararo@ashn.com

  • On-Site Education: Healthy Eating During the Holidays
    • What: Education session that provides tips and tricks for staying on-track with your wellness goals over the Holiday season.
    • When: Thursday, November 16th, from 1-2pm
    • Where: UAF, Reichardt 138
    • Or, attend remotely by registering and using the link emailed to you to join at the start. Call-in details will be provided upon call-in.
    • Reward: 1 incentive point
  • Join Now!
    • Idita-Walk Challenge
      • Enrollment open until December 30th
      • Challenge Dates: 11/04/17—04/07-18
      • Goal: 1 million steps
      • Worth 1 incentive point for successfully completing. You must have a fitness device/app linked to your Healthyroads account in order to join and participate. Learn about your options HERE
  • Coming Soon!
    • Maintain Without Gain Challenge
      • Enrollment: November 12-18
      • Challenge Dates: 11/19/17—01/06/18
      • Goal: Maintain weight within a 3lb gain during the Challenge duration (lose as much as you wish!)
      • Worth 1 incentive point for successfully completing.

EDir decommissioning announcement and request for action

EDir Decommissioning Announcement

EDir is the Enterprise Directory used by the University of Alaska Statewide and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The University of Alaska Statewide, Office of Information Technology, will decommission EDir by Februrary 1, 2018. The decommissioning project timeline involves having every EDIR-dependent service transferred, reconfigured, redesigned or retired by January 1, 2018.

Request for Action

If you know of an EDir-dependent service, please contact the project manager or project team member with whom you work to support your service. The team member table is provided on the project announcement website linked below. Ensure that the team member has planned for the impact to your service and is prepared to implement or assist you in implementing changes to your service.

To learn more please visit the project announcement website:  https://www.alaska.edu/oit/edir/

Stay Informed on Social Media

The University of Alaska accounts on Facebook (www.facebook.com/uasystem/) and Twitter (@UA_System) provide regular campus and system news highlights, meeting and event coverage and increasing engagement opportunities. If you don't already, please follow our pages on social media today and get timely information all month long.

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