Monthly Archives: April 2014

Feedback Requested on Discontinuation of Mailed Paychecks and Auto-Deposit Advisories

The individual mailing of employee paychecks and auto-deposit advice was discontinued beginning with the April 4 paydate. According to an announcement printed in the January Statewide Voice (reprinted below) this is a cost-containment effort. Staff who would no longer be receiving paper checks were also sent multiple e-mails to inform them of the change. The HR Offices at all campuses have been involved in this move as well. Communication and outreach may have varied by location.

This cost-containment move did not receive the usual vetting through governance and had only minimal public notice. As your elected staff representatives, we want to provide you with an opportunity to provide your feedback on this transition, report any problems with the process, share suggestions for improvements, ask questions and otherwise report back on how this change has affected you. If you would rather not use this blog to provide feedback, please contact your local governance representative or Human Resources office.

Thank you,
Staff Alliance

http://www.alaska.edu/voice/2014/jan-2014/announcements/:

Paychecks No Longer Mailed Beginning April 4
As part of ongoing efforts to reduce costs, individual mailing of employee paychecks will be discontinued beginning with the April 4, 2014 paydate, Human Resources has announced.
UA currently spends more than $26,000 per year in postage to mail employee paychecks to individual addresses. Once implemented, campuses will receive all checks for their physical location in a single shipment. The campus will then distribute the paper checks to employees.

In addition, paper copies of direct deposit advisories also will no longer be generated.

To further help in the systemwide cost containment effort, UA’s Human Resources strongly encourages direct deposit and the elimination of paper paychecks whenever possible. Conservative estimates place the cost of generating a manual paper check at approximately $6 per employee, per pay period. More liberal interpretations that add in labor costs put this estimate as high as $50 per check, per pay period. Electronic payments are estimated to cost only 30 cents by comparison.

There are multiple additional benefits to using direct deposit:

  •  It is safe, secure and convenient.
  • Direct deposits can be divided across up to six different banks per pay check.
  • Money is deposited in your bank (or banks) on payday, whereas manual check delivery may be hampered or delayed due to weather, avalanche or other circumstances.
  • Direct deposit saves money for the system and helps EVERYONE.

If you have any questions about the process of setting up direct deposit, please contact Human Resources.

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Vice Chair Testimony to the BOR April 3, 2014

Greetings!
I wanted to share a transcript of my testimony to the Board of Regents on April 3. Many great things happened at the meeting including the approval of the Shaping Alaska’s Future Effect Statements and deadlines for a common calendar and GER’s across all campuses.

For more information about the meeting read the release here: http://www.alaska.edu/opa/enews/2014/404/

If you have an issue you would like to bring to Staff Governance please contact us.
Thanks,
Monique Musick
Staff Alliance Vice Chair

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Good morning madame chair, Regents, President Gamble thank you for this opportunity to speak today. I am Monique Musick Vice Chair of Staff Alliance. Chair Carey Brown was unable to come today and I am thrilled to be here instead.

Staff Alliance held a two day retreat in March up in Fairbanks. Twice a year we meet in person and have the time to more thoroughly discuss important issues than our regular monthly business meetings allow.

During the retreat we passed a resolution in support of the university’s position against SB 176. The sensible restrictions currently within policy and regulation strikes a balance between our right to bear arms, and the university’s mission. Staff governance groups have shared the briefing sheet, legal analysis and other resources with staff throughout the system and are encouraging them to write to their legislators with their stance on this issue.

There is a lot happening in Juneau that has our attention. Budget reductions, cost savings measures, and the growing need to accomplish more with less fall heavily on staff. We will be watching closely as this session nears closure to see what happens to our operating and capital budgets and will be advocating as we can for funding the Board’s priorities. Governance representatives will continue to work with administration at all levels to help address the funding shortages and adjust accordingly. For the opportunity to be involved in shared governance I would like to express our sincere gratitude.

Vice President Dana Thomas was able to join us during the retreat to provide an update on Shaping Alaska’s Future. We’ve offered our input throughout the process and are excited to see the Effect Statements before you today. This incredible transformational effort is exciting to be involved in and will be (and already is) so beneficial for the university and the state.

In addition Associate General Counsel Mike O’Brien came to a retreat session to discuss the workplace bullying training effort. Staff Alliance passed a resolution encouraging the other MAUs to also offer this training during our fall retreat and were interested in knowing how that was progressing. The feedback from the sessions held at Statewide has been very positive, and not surprisingly correlates to quite a few bullying claims coming to HR. The impact on HR is part of what is being considered now by the other campuses. I attended a session myself and found the clear definitions, examples and discussion very insightful. I’d like to thank Anne Sakumoto, Mike O’Brien, Rhonda Ohms and everyone who has worked to put this training together and help address this issue.

The Confidential Hotline was also discussed during the retreat in the context of both workplace bullying and the expanded fraud waste and abuse policy. As a member of the implementation team I can say I am excited to see this resource coming online soon and support the new policy.

The Compensation working group has reconvened and is working with HR to revise our proposals regarding leave, flex time, geographic differential, bonuses and other matters of high interest to staff as well as beginning to look at FY16 compensation, especially in light of anticipated budget restrictions.

We discussed some bylaw changes that will be introduced at our next meeting to add Secretary and Treasurer positions. Taking more responsibility for our own records and budget will help take some pressure off the system governance office.

Lastly we discussed the new wellness vendor Healthyroads and the rebate incentive for using the wellness program. We discussed in general the new plan rates, and are happy to note that the wellness incentive will have a real impact for everyone on the UA Choice plan that chooses to participate.

Nominations have been received for the 2014 Staff Make Students Count Award and we look forward to presenting the honored staff members at a future meeting.
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Note that in a follow-up question it was clarified that staff were asked to use their own time and resources for contacting their legislators, and that it was made clear in communications that staff on both sides of the issue (CSSB 176) are encourage to share their stance.

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