Recently replaced lighting makes the west hallway of the Butrovich building brighter to the benefit of plants and art appreciation. Photo by Monique Musick

Announcements: January 2018

  • Good cybercitizens make the Internet a safer and better place
  • Violent intruder training requirement
  • FY19 wellness rebate payout change
  • On-campus biometric screenings
  • Wellness Program deadline reminder
  • Impact of tax changes will be seen on paychecks no later than March 2
  • 2017 W2 available in UAOnline
  • people.alaska.edu to replace EDIR
  • Bona fide termination required for PERS and TRS retirements
  • Want to follow the Banner 9 upgrade?
  • SAA January meeting highlights

Good cybercitizens make the Internet a safer and better place

"The Internet is a powerful and useful tool, but in the same way that you shouldn't drive without buckling your seat belt or ride a bike without a helmet, you shouldn't venture online without taking some basic precautions." This is an important reminder from the National Cyber Security Alliance that cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility as an individual and a member of our ever-growing online community. Here are some tips to keep in mind as we work together to create a better, safer digital world for ourselves and others.

  • Own your online presence. To keep yourself safe, set privacy and security settings on web services, apps, and devices to your comfort level. You do not have to share everything with everyone. It is your choice to limit what (and with whom) you share personal information.
  • Be a good digital citizen. The things that you would not do in your physical life, do not do in your digital life. If you see crime online, report it the same way that you would in real life. Keep yourself safe and assist in keeping others safe on the Internet.
  • Respect yourself and others. Practice good netiquette, know the law, and do not do things that would cause others harm. The Golden Rule applies online, as well.
  • Practice good communications. Never send an e-mail typed in anger. Put it in your draft folder and wait. Keep in mind that digital communications do not give the reader the same visual or audio cues that speaking in person (or by video or phone) does.
  • Protect yourself and your information. Use complex passwords or passphrases, and don't reuse the same password or variations of a simple phrase. Better yet, enable two-factor authentication or two-step verification whenever possible.

Violent intruder training requirement

In keeping with the University of Alaska’s safe environment measures, University of Alaska Fairbanks Police Chief Steve Goetz will be providing a required violent intruder training session for all Butrovich Building employees.

Learn what to expect if a violent intruder enters your work area and what tactics you can use to increase your chance of survival.

All employees are required to attend one of  two presentations.

1.      Monday, February 19 1:00-2:30 in Butrovich 109
2.      Tuesday, February 20 10:00-11:30 in Butrovich 109

A sign in sheet will be available at the training to confirm attendance. A reminder email will be sent a few days prior to the first available date. Please contact Dawn Lighthall (907-450-8026, dllighthall@alaska.edu) if you have any questions.

On-campus biometric screenings

UA has scheduled the remainder of the campus biometric events! Any employee, spouse/FIP currently on the UA Choice Plan who has not already completed a biometric screening for FY18 may participate. All event details are posted on the UA benefits/wellness page—scroll down until you see ‘Biometrics Screening Information’.

If you are unable to make the campus events, there are many other options for getting your biometrics completed. A Quest Patient Service Center (PSC) is available in Fairbanks and Anchorage, the UAA Student Health & Counseling Center may complete these for employees, or you can visit your healthcare provider and submit your results via a healthcare provider form.

Wellness Program deadline reminder

Don’t forget that the wellness program deadline is April 30! 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. Having 100 percent on both progress bars means you are all set!

UA's On-Site Wellness Program Manager Sara Rodewald is the person to contact if you have any questions or need additional clarification on the program and requirements: 

Phone: (907)450-8203
Email: sararo@ashn.com

Bona fide termination required for PERS and TRS retirements

The State of Alaska has implemented a new regulation affecting what it means to terminate employment. This could affect you if you are on a state retirement plan and desire future employment on a temporary basis (including adjunct faculty) with the university after retirement. This new regulation refers to bona fide separation of employment and pre-arranged return to work agreements, and is effective for PERS and TRS members retiring or being rehired on or after January 1, 2018. Changes are not being made to the university’s pension plan at this time.

In the simplest terms, this means that to be considered a bona fide termination, a retiree may not return to work in any capacity with the same employer from which they retired for at least 6 months if they are under age 62 at retirement, or 60 days if they are age 62 or older. In addition, there can be no pre-arranged return to work agreement, either verbal or written, at the time of termination. This means you can't have a future job, contract or agreement to work part time, teach a class or work on a grant.

Details on this regulation can be found on the State of Alaska Division of Retirement and Benefits web site. Please review the Retiree Return to Work Policy, the Violation Procedures and the Frequently Asked Questions, all found on that site.

If you have questions about how this could affect you and your retirement, please contact the Division of Retirement at (800) 821-2251.

SAA January meeting highlights

The Statewide Administration Assembly held a regular business meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2018. Below are highlights from the meeting.
January SAA Highlights
  1. Sara Rodewald provided an update on the HealthyRoads program and the requirements for receiving the annual wellness rebate. More information can be found of the UA Wellness website
  2. Fairbanks SAA representatives received AED/CPR training on Friday, January 26. Safety training opportunities for Butrovich and Bragaw will be scheduled in the coming months. 
  3. SAA representatives heard HR updates from the Staff Alliance meeting. The Joint Health Care Committee approved a change to the payroll deduction for employee health plans allowing the deduction to end sooner then originally planned. Dependent benefit payments are not affected by this change. 
  4. SAA representatives discussed the upcoming upgrade to Banner 9. More information about the upgrade can be found on the OIT Banner 9x project website
  5. SAA is preparing to open nominations for the 2017 Outstanding Employee and Department awards. Start thinking about a co-worker or department that helped make your year better. 
  6. SAA representatives are planning new Lunch 'n' Learn sessions for spring. If you have any ideas for an interesting session, please share it with Eric Johnson (enjohnson@alaska.edu).
  7. In membership news, Arthur Hussey has joined SAA as the second alternate, and Shiva Hullavarad will continue as SAA president through June. 
SAA will meet next on Thursday, February 8. All staff are welcome and encouraged to attend. You can also reach out to SAA members between meetings to share ideas and concerns. Additional information about SAA meetings is available on its website.

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.

FY19 wellness rebate payout change

UA listened to your feedback and updated how the wellness rebate will be distributed. Previously this was paid out bi-weekly over the course of the fiscal year. NEW for FY19, the wellness rebate will now be distributed as a lump-sum payment! Employees and spouses/FIPs who complete the wellness program requirements by April 30, 2018, will get their rebate as a lump sum in November. That means you could see a $600 or $1,200 boost in your pay just before the holidays. This includes the earned rebate for any eligible spouse/FIP enrolled on the plan in November.

Why are we making this change? The reason is twofold, really. A process improvement team suggested that a lump sum would be easier to administer and would streamline the process for payroll. The Joint Health Care Committee agreed and thought it might be a better incentive to get some people who don’t think that bi-weekly credit is big enough to bother to complete the program.

Just complete the program, and have your spouse do it too, and you’ll see a rebate of $600 or $1,200 in November. All the details are on the wellness web page. You can also call our program manager, Sara Rodewald, for help at 450-8203.

Impact of tax changes will be seen on paychecks no later than March 2

On January 11th, the IRS released new tax tables for withholding of federal tax. It is required that employers implement the new tax tables in their payroll systems by February 15th. This means that any impact to your take home pay due to these changes will show on your paycheck issued on March 2nd at the latest.
There is no requirement for you to submit a new W-4 form for 2018 unless you would like to change your withholding elections. The W-4 form for 2018 has not yet been released by the IRS. You may continue to use the 2017 form for now.
You may want to contact your tax preprarer to determine how changes due to the Tax Reform Legislation may impact you.  

2017 W2 available in UAOnline

UA employees may now access the online version of their 2017 W-2 in UAOnline at https://uaonline.alaska.edu. After you login, select 'Employee Services' and then 'Tax Forms'.

The online form can be printed and submitted to the IRS. For detailed information, please refer to the following URL:

For additional information about your W-2 and contacts for tax forms issued by the University of Alaska, refer to the Tax Information links at the following URL:

*A printed 2017 W-2 form will also be mailed (postmarked) to employees by January 31, 2018. Please allow 1-2 weeks for delivery via the U.S. Postal Service.

people.alaska.edu to replace EDIR

The electronic directory people.alaska.edu will replace EDIR at UAF and UA Statewide beginning Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

With EDIR, directory information was both viewed and edited in EDIR. After Feb. 5, people.alaska.edu will be the tool to search and view directory information, while UAOnline will be used to keep the directory information up-to-date. Self-service directory information updates will be made in the same familiar place you already go to update personal information -- UAOnline.

Now that each person’s directory information will be edited directly in UAOnline; department admins, PPAs and EDIR admins will no longer be editing personal directory information for others.

EDIR is open for edits through 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, 2018. That means that PPAs and EDIR admins will to be able to update directory information for others until that time. All information submitted by the close of business on Feb. 2 will be reflected in the people.alaska.edu directory.

PPAs and other administrators may assist individuals in making changes or corrections in Banner using established business practice, and/or submitting forms to appropriate department(s)/business office(s).

Please visit the OIT Directory Services page to learn more; including links to how-to pages for People and EDIR.

For more information, a project summary and links to project details are available on OIT’s website: https://www.alaska.edu/oit/edir/summary/

If you have questions please contact the OIT Service Desk: http://alaska.edu/oit/get-help/

Want to follow the Banner 9 upgrade?

Please visit the project websites maintained by the OIT Project Management Office for Human Resource, Financial Aid and Student adoption of Banner 9. The Finance area is managing their own functional area upgrade to Banner 9.
Banner HR 9x User Adoption Project: http://alaska.edu/oit/banner-hr-9x/
Banner FinAid 9x User Adoption Project: http://www.alaska.edu/oit/banner-finaid/
Banner Student 9x User Adoption Project: http://www.alaska.edu/oit/banner-student-9x/
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