Collective Bargaining Update
Contract negotiations are underway between the university and Local 153 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The current contract with AFSCME expired Sept. 30. We continue to operate under the terms of the expired contract and the next bargaining session is scheduled for Oct. 9. The AFSCME Local represents 361 full- and part-time employees on the Kent Campus working in Dining Services, Residence Services and University Facilities Management.
Managers can find updates on negotiations with both AFSCME and the Kent State chapter of the American Association of University Professors (tenure-track faculty) at www.kent.edu/hr/labor/collective-bargaining.cfm.
Advisory for Job Searches with International Candidates
The Office of the General Counsel provides the following information concerning language that departments must include when advertising for a position in which it is expected that candidates from foreign countries, with foreign degrees, may apply.
The information is listed below. Departments should coordinate these and all job position ads with the Talent Acquisition unit in Human Resources; to ensure the proper language is used.
For more information, contact Michael Pfahl, associate counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-672-2982.
Currently, the university's standard advertising language includes a reference to the degree requirement and in most instances a specialty (e.g. masters degree in accounting). However, when the final candidate is chosen, there are instances where the masters degree is from a foreign institution is just as acceptable as one from a U.S. institution.
Due to recent decisions handed down by the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals and the Office of Administrative Appeals (both federal-level administrative review boards relating to immigration matters), the University's current standard language is not sufficient for limited instances when the following conditions are present: 1) a successful international candidate, 2) with a degree from a foreign institution, and 3) may seek to use this job advertisement to gain permanent residency due to their employment at Kent State University.
Thus, in situations where the posted position may attract an international applicant pool, the Office of General Counsel advises that the department include the language "or a foreign degree equivalent" in the advertisement (e.g., masters degree in accounting or a foreign degree equivalent) where a foreign degree will be acceptable in place of a U.S. degree. Such language is not required where only a U.S. degree will be accepted.
Election Poll Worker Guidelines
There is a general election next month in Ohio, and managers are reminded that the university has a category of paid leave for employees who volunteer as poll workers during a general, primary or special election. Permanent part-time and full-time classified and unclassified employees can request “poll worker leave” from their supervisor, subject to the following conditions:
- The request must be made in writing, at least 14 calendar days prior to the election;
- The request must include the employee’s intent to serve as a poll worker and specify the county in which the employee intends to serve; and
- The request must be turned in to the employee’s immediate supervisor.
Employees are only eligible to receive paid leave for their time as a poll worker on an hour-for-hour basis, up to the maximum number of hours the employee was regularly scheduled to work on an election day. Following the election, the employee must submit a Poll Worker Leave Verification form, signed by the employee and a representative from the Board of Elections.
More information is available online or by contacting Mary Jane Hannahs at 330-672-2100 or email@example.com.
HR Webinar of the Month
Earlier this year, Human Resources Training and Development launched a monthly webinar series. Each webinar lasts for one hour and focuses on a specific topic. Past topics have included time management, dealing with difficult behaviors in the work place, managing change and employment law. The webinar format allows for employees to engage, share and learn right from their desks.
The list of webinar offerings and registration information is available at www.kent.edu/hr/register. Managers and supervisors also receive a monthly email with information on all training opportunities.
For additional information, contact Bob Hall at 330-672-0894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Nominations for Institute for Excellence
A new class of the Institute for Excellence will begin in January. Once again there will be two tracks: the Administrator track for those who have direct reports and/or manage a department; and the Individual Contributor track for those who have no direct reports and do not manage a department.
Applications will be available later this month on the Institute for Excellence website. You will also find detailed information on both tracks on the website, as well as a sample curriculum from the current class.
Time for Annual Open Enrollment
The Open Enrollment period for eligible faculty and staff to select medical, vision, dental insurance and other benefits-related options for 2012 is Oct. 9-21. The booklet with 2012 information will be available online beginning Oct. 9. The website will have links to various resources, including access to the secure, online enrollment site. Employees will receive a postcard at their home address with more information.
Questions about health care benefits for 2012 should be directed to the Benefits Office at 330-672-3107 email@example.com.
Open House at University Health Services
Please remind employees that University Health Services (UHS) will be holding a faculty and staff open house on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The event will showcase the newly renovated DeWeese Health Center on the Kent Campus and also help increase awareness of the services UHS offers to faculty and staff.
The open house will feature health and wellness resource materials, free blood pressure screenings, weight checks and chair massages. Flu shots will also be administered at a cost of $20. If the employee has insurance with one of the university’s providers (Medical Mutual or Anthem), there is no charge.
Dates to Remember:
National Disability Employment Awareness and Italian American Heritage Month
Oct. 7 - 8 Yom Kippur – Jewish observance
Oct. 10 Columbus Day (university open, holiday observed Nov. 25)
Thanksgiving Day: Canada
Oct. 12 - 14 Sukkoth – Jewish observance
Oct. 14 - 15 Kent State Homecoming; events include the Homecoming parade and the football game between the Golden Flashes and the Miami Redhawks. More information available atwww.ksualumni.org/homecoming.
Oct. 15 Sweetest Day
Oct.18 - 19 Hoshanah Rabbah – Jewish observance
Oct. 27 - 28 18th Annual Conference Celebrating College Teaching in Kiva. More information may be found at www.kent.edu/utc/index.cfm.
Oct. 31 Halloween
Tell Us What You Think
This e-newsletter is designed to keep you, the managers and supervisors, informed. Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think of it, along with any comments or suggestions. You may contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
For information about events and programs for university employees, please check out the Faculty and Staff calendar and share the information with your staff.