Announcements: February 2018
- Travel Project seeks efficiencies and improved user experience
- Board of Regents public gathering Thursday, March 1, 4:30 p.m.
- Celebrating the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program
- Nominate a colleague for Staff Make Students Count award
- Required violent intruder training
- Reduction in health plan annual charge for FY18
- How to protect your data and devices while traveling with tech
- Wellness program deadline April 30
- Notice of public records salary request
- Outstanding Employee and Department Award - Nominations are OPEN!
- Want to follow the Banner 9 upgrade?
- SAA February meeting highlights
Travel Project seeks efficiencies and improved user experience
The Travel Project is a comprehensive reexamination of UA’s travel program with the goal of streamlining our processes, making them more user friendly, creating a process that will allow access to airfare, lodging, and transportation discounts to save UA money, and improve travel reporting capability.
Three cross-university work teams were formed by leadership from each main campus: Implementation Group, Focus Group, and Oversight Group. The Implementation Group has been learning configuration capabilities for UA’s new Concur travel system and vetting recommendations on how to configure Concur for UA to the Focus and Oversight groups. An in depth review, restructure and rewrite of UA travel regulations are in progress to address issues and streamline the travel process. Collaborative meetings are being held with the travel project groups to review draft regulation and process change recommendations.
Please see the UA travel project website at http://www.alaska.edu/travel/ua-travel-project/ for more details. If you would like to receive project updates via email, please click here to subscribe to the travel project listserve.
Reduction in health plan annual charge for FY18
The actual health care claims for FY17 were much lower than projected, therefore your employee deduction will be reduced. This will be accomplished by reducing the total amount of the employee contribution for FY18 (the plan year “goal” amount) by $475 per enrolled employee. This means you might have some paychecks in the remaining months of the plan year with no employee health care deduction.
When will you see this reduction?
It depends on what plan you are on and when you started on the plan. For example, 12-month employees on the CHDP since July will see a reduced deduction in their paycheck on March 2, 2018, and no employee deductions after that. Less-than-12-month employees who have been on contract since the summer will see the reduction sooner. Employees on the 750 Plan will see the reduction later.
Please Note: Deductions for dependent charges and credits for the wellness rebate will continue as scheduled; this change does not affect those items.
Why don’t we just reduce the bi-weekly deduction for health care?
The goal of the JHCC is to manage the plan to keep the deductions steady from year to year as much as possible. This practice allows employees and their families to plan and make informed decisions. Health care inflation is still here, high dollar claims are still happening and we do expect an increase in overall health care costs over time. It’s better to keep rates steady than to risk a roller-coaster pattern of lower and higher rates year over year.
Wellness program deadline April 30
FY18 Wellness Program Deadline Reminder
Don’t forget that the wellness program deadline is 4/30/18! All program requirements must be completed by this date in order to receive the FY19 wellness rebate. Verify that you are all set by logging-in to your Healthyroads account and going to the ‘Incentives’, ‘Plan Summary’ page. 100% on both progress bars means you are all set!
Still need to complete items to reach your 100%?
- Your Personal Health Assessment (PHA) may be completed by clicking directly on it from your ‘Plan Summary’ page.
- Campus biometric events are currently being held and you can view all biometric options on the on the UA benefits/wellness page—scroll down until you see ‘Biometrics Screening Information’.
- If you are needing points to reach your 5, take a look at your ‘Plan Summary’ page to view all options and the ‘Wellness Calendar’ to view any upcoming opportunities for those.
Contact UAs On-Site Wellness Program Manager, Sara Rodewald if you have any questions or need additional clarification on the program and requirements:
Notice of public records salary request
- Employee Name
- Bargaining Unit
- Employee class (ECLS)
- Job classification title
- FY17 Regular Earnings
- FY17 Overtime Earnings
- FY17 Gross Earnings
- FY17 Staff Benefit Rate
Outstanding Employee and Department Award - Nominations are OPEN!
SAA February meeting highlights
- Interim Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Paul Layer was introduced and answered questions from representatives. VP Layer serves as the 'cognizant chancellor' for SW and, as such, will respond to any requests, proposals, or suggestions from SAA representatives. He's also a pretty easy guy to talk to – stop into Butro 202I to say hello.
- SAA representatives continued to discuss the possibility of creating a break/recreation room in Butrovich.
- 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.
- SAA agreed to hold a food drive throughout the month of March to benefit the Fairbanks Community Food Bank. Keep an eye out for more information.
- The nomination period is open for SW's Outstanding Employee and Department awards. Use this form to nominate a co-worker today!
- Representatives also heard updates from the UA Staff Alliance, to include changes to the new hire process, FML process updates, Open Enrollment is moving to UAOnline, the equity in pay and market salary study will likely be complete near the end of FY18, and the Staff Makes Students Count nomination period is open. Visit the SMSC website for more information.
Celebrating the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program
A reception celebrating the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program took place Feb. 7 at the Governor's Mansion in Juneau. Due to generous support from The Ted Stevens Foundation, the program will honor the late Senator Ted Stevens' legacy of public service for years to come by educating Alaska's future leaders.
Thank you to Alaska Governor Bill Walker for hosting the reception, special guests Lily Stevens-Becker, daughter of Senator Stevens and Karina Waller, executive director of the Ted Stevens Foundation, and to the many legislators, legislative staff, and others who attended to recognize our interns.
Nominate a colleague for Staff Make Students Count award
The nomination period is now open for the 2017-18 Staff Make Students Count award. Consider nominating a staff member who you know goes above and beyond when helping UA students.
The nomination form and additional criteria can be found at the UA Staff Alliance website.
The deadline for nominations is Monday, March 19.
Please direct any questions about Staff Make Students Count to email@example.com.
Required Violent Intruder Training
In keeping with the University of Alaska’s safe environment measures, University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Chief Steve Goetz provided a required violent intruder training session for all Butrovich Building employees.
The session covered what to expect if a violent intruder enters your work area and what tactics you can use to increase your chance of survival.
If you missed the in-person training you can vew the recording. Please let Dawn Lighthall know when you've watched it so she can add you to the list of participants.
https://media.uaf.edu/media/t/0_bcor8pty (starts at about 2:30)
How to protect your data and devices while traveling with tech
Due to enhanced security measures in most countries, travelers with tech should be prepared for possible disruptions or additional wait times during the screening process. Here are some steps you can take to help secure your devices and your privacy.
Good to know:
- While traveling within the United States, TSA agents at the gate are not allowed to confiscate your digital devices or demand your passwords.
- Different rules apply to U.S. border patrol agents and agents in other countries. Federal border patrol agents have broad authority to search everyone entering the U.S. This includes looking through any electronic devices you have with you while you are traveling. They can seize your devices and make a copy for experts to examine offsite. Learn more from the Electronic Frontier Foundation about digital privacy at the U.S. border.
Protect your tech and data when traveling:
- Travel only with the data that you need; look at reducing the amount of digital information that you take with you. This may mean leaving some of your devices at home, using temporary devices, removing personal data from your devices, or shifting your data to a secure cloud service. Authorities or criminals can't search what you don't have.
- Most travelers will likely decide that inconvenience overrides risk and travel with electronic devices anyway. If this is the case, travelers should focus on protecting the information that they take with them. One of the best ways to do this is to use encryption. Make sure to fully encrypt your device and make a full backup of the data that you leave at home.
- Before you arrive at the border, travelers should power off their devices. This is when the encryption services are at their strongest and will help resist a variety of high-tech attacks that may attempt to break your encryption. Travelers should not rely solely on biometric locks, which can be less secure than passwords.
- Make sure to log out of browsers and apps that give you access to online content, and remove any saved login credentials (turn off cookies and autofill). This will prevent anyone from using your devices (without your knowledge) to access your private online information. You could also temporarily uninstall mobile apps and clear browser history so that it is not immediately apparent which online services you use.
Get your device travel ready:
- Change your passwords or passphrases before you go. Consider using a password manager if you don't use one already.
- Set up multifactor authentication for your accounts whenever possible for an additional layer of security.
- Delete apps you no longer use.
- Update any software, including antivirus protection, to make sure you are running the most secure version available.
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to avoid automatic connections.
- Turn on "Find My [Device Name]" tracking and/or remote wiping options in case it is lost or stolen.
- Charge your devices before you go.
- Stay informed of TSA regulations and be sure to check with the State Department's website for any travel alerts or warnings concerning the specific countries you plan to visit, including any tech restrictions.
- Clear your devices of any content that may be considered illegal or questionable in other countries, and verify whether the location you are traveling to has restrictions on encrypted digital content.
- Don't overlook low-tech solutions:
- Tape over the camera of your laptop or mobile device for privacy.
- Use a privacy screen on your laptop to avoid people "shoulder surfing" for personal information.
- Physically lock your devices and keep them on you whenever possible, or use a hotel safe.
- Label all devices in case they get left behind!
These guidelines are not foolproof, but security experts say every additional measure taken can help reduce the chances of cybertheft.