Collective Bargaining Update
Contract negotiations continue between Kent State University and the Kent State chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which represents tenure-track faculty. The current contract expired at midnight on Aug. 22. Tenured and tenure-track faculty members have been issued continuation contracts at the same salary and benefits levels pending the outcome of the bargaining process.
Negotiations between the university and Local 153 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will begin this month. The current contract with AFSCME expires Sept. 30. The AFSCME Local represents 361 full- and part-time employees on the Kent Campus working in Dining Services, Residence Services and University Facilities Management.
The chief negotiator for the university for both negotiations is James Kurek with the law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP. Future negotiation updates for managers will be communicated through Management Update and are also available online at www.kent.edu/hr/labor/collective-bargaining.cfm.
New Policy Revisions for Business Meals and Hospitality Expenses
Revisions to administrative policy 3342-7-02.5, regarding business meals and hospitality expenses payable or reimbursable from university funds, will take effect Sept. 1. The changes provide more detailed guidance regarding expenses associated with business meals and hospitality activities.
The policy will be available on the Kent State Policy Register beginning Sept. 5 (in Chapter 7). Areas that the policy addresses include:
- Related expenses associated with sponsored programs;
- The use of university funds for tickets to university events;
- Allowances for gatherings of students or employees for work-related recognition or retirement;
- The acceptable payment methods for authorized expenses;
- The use of university funds to pay for social club memberships (not allowed);
- The use of university funds for office parties, decorations and paper products used by office staff for consumption of food or beverages (not allowed); and
- Details the process for requesting an exception to the policy.
Questions should be directed to Anne Brown, associate vice president, Business and Administration Services, at 330-672-0984 or email@example.com.
Important Student Employee Information
The August issue of Management Update provided information on how student employees can apply for a refund of their accumulated Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) contributions. Please note that eligible student employees, upon termination of public employment in Ohio, should apply online for a refund at the OPERS website. The student workers should not contact the Kent State Payroll Office, as was stated in last month’s article.
In other student employee news, the state of Ohio will announce in early October whether the minimum wage will increase next year. If there is an increase, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012. Please keep in mind that if the minimum wage does increase, all levels of the Student Employment Pay Plan will be adjusted accordingly. Supervisors will not have to take action. Career Services will update the hourly salaries for only those students who fall below the minimum in each of the three hourly pay levels.
Questions regarding student employment may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or Ami Hollis, associate director, Career Services, at 330-672-8380.
Still Time to Nominate Your Choice for Excellence
Nominations for the third President’s Excellence Award are being accepted through Sept. 16. The award recognizes Kent State staff who have demonstrated their daily commitment to carrying out the university’s Excellence Agenda. In the first two years of the President’s Excellence Award, 21 recipients were recognized and each recipient received a check for $1,000 after taxes.
Full-time classified and unclassified employees at all campuses who have been employed by the university for a minimum of one year, and are in good standing with the university, are eligible to be nominated. Past recipients are not eligible to be nominated for a minimum of two years following their award and faculty are not eligible.
Information on the award criteria, the nomination process and the nomination form are available on the President’s website. Please share this information with your staff and consider nominating an employee(s) who you feel is deserving of this award.
For questions, contact Carla Wyckoff at 330-672-5857 or email@example.com.
What’s New in HR Training and Development?
Institute for Excellence
While the current class of the Institute for Excellence (IE) is still hard at work, HR Training and Development is already planning for the 2012 program. Feedback and the data from current participants and their supervisors demonstrate that the IE is creating stronger, more effective leaders.
Now is the time to start thinking about whether you or someone from your unit should be considered for the next class. Once again there will be two tracks for the IE: 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 for the 2012 Institute for Excellence will be available later this fall. You can contact Bob Hall, Manager of HR Training and Development, for more information. He can be reached at 330-672-0894 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Webinar on Employment Law
This 60-minute webinar will be held on Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. It is part of the Training and Development monthly webinar series and is designed for Kent State managers, supervisors and anyone who wants to learn more about this topic. Participants will learn the basics of employment law by exploring thought-provoking cases that range from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Fair Labor Standards Act and more. A representative from the Office of General Counsel will be present during the webinar to assist with questions.
Register online for the webinar. For additional information, contact Ann Lacey at 330-672-0899.
Get Ready for Open Enrollment
Kent State faculty and staff are invited to attend the Open Enrollment Benefits and Wellness Fair on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. in the Kent State Student Center Ballroom.
Employees will be able to meet with representatives from the university’s medical, dental, vision insurance and other benefits-related vendors for 2012. There will also be healthy cooking demonstrations, live fitness demonstrations featuring Zumba, line dancing and information on strength training.
The fair is an excellent opportunity for employees to get all the information they need to make their decisions for Open Enrollment, which is Oct. 9-21.
September Leave Balance Reminders
Please remind staff in your area about the two September deadlines for employees who earn vacation. You should also make sure that leave approvers have reviewed and approved any outstanding leave reports.
The annual sick leave conversion is Sept. 1-14 and the process will be done electronically through the My HR tab in FlashLine. Per policy 6-11.2, administrative policy regarding conversion of sick leave, eligible full-time employees with a balance of at least 500 sick leave hours may convert a maximum of 40 hours to vacation or a combination of vacation and personal leave. Eligible part-time employees with a minimum balance of 250 sick hours may convert up to 24 hours. Eligible employees have received an email with instructions on how to convert the time.
Classified and unclassified staff has until Sept. 30 to use vacation time that has accrued beyond the maximum allowed. After Sept. 30, any vacation balances beyond the maximum will be forfeited. Employees who are over the allowed maximum have been notified through an e-mail.
Detailed information on both processes was included in the August Management Update. Questions on the sick leave conversion or the vacation cutback should be directed to a member of the HR records staff at 330-672-2901.
Volunteers Needed for Tax Season
The offices of Tax and Treasury Services, Payroll and Global Education at Kent State are partnering to participate in the IRS volunteer tax assistance program. The program offers qualified individuals, including students and members of the community, free assistance in preparing their tax returns.
Please share the news about this program with your staff and let them know that volunteers are needed to help prepare the tax returns. Training will be provided and the time commitment is minimal. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can call 330-672-8622 or send an email to email@example.com with your name and contact information.
Who’s in Charge of Your Website?
University Communications and Marketing (UCM) is asking all academic and nonacademic department heads to verify the person(s) who have access to the following: to update your website if it is housed in CommonSpot, the university's content management system; and to use Siteimprove, a tool that reports errors and broken links on your website.
To verify that the appropriate individuals have access, please take the time to review the Excel file at http://www.kent.edu/ucm/services/web/commonspot/upload/commonspot-user-account-list.xls. The easiest way to search the file is to hit CTRL F (find), enter your department (example Justice Studies), and scan to where this 'finder' functionality takes you in the document. Be sure to click Find Next, to see all individuals associated with your department's website.
If you find an individual(s) who needs to be added/deleted from the list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with instructions. Those instructions should indicate whether someone's access should be revoked or whether a new individual should be added. In the latter instance, that person should also contact UCM at the above email address for access instructions and a user training session.
Questions should be directed to Lin Danes at email@example.com.
Dates to Remember:
Sept. 5 Labor Day (university closed)
Sept. 8 International Literacy Day
Sept. 11 Patriot Day (10th anniversary of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks)
Sept. 17 Constitution Day, Citizenship Day
Sept. 21 International Day of Peace
Sept. 22 Bowman Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., Kent Student Center Ballroom; $9 Register online.
State of the University Address, 4 p.m., Kiva, Kent Student Center.
Sept. 23 First day of Fall
Sept. 29 Open Enrollment and Wellness Fair, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Kent Student Center Ballroom
Sept. 28-30 Rosh Hashanah – Jewish observance
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.