Mandatory retirement contributions begin with
July 15 paycheck
All retirement-eligible employees—except employees enrolled in DROP or classified as reemployed retirees without renewed membership—are now required to contribute 3% of their gross eligible earnings to their respective retirement plans. This includes those employees in the Florida Retirement System (FRS) pension plan and investment plan as well as the Optional Retirement Program (ORP).
UF’s Office of Human Resource Services has prepared an instruction guide to assist employees with interpreting the new retirement deduction codes on their paychecks. The guide can be viewed on the HRS web site at www.hr.ufl.edu/forms/default.asp#retirement.
Employee Education Program accepting applications for fall semesters
A popular benefit available to eligible UF faculty and staff, the Employee Education Program (EEP) provides tuition assistance for up to six credit hours of eligible college-level courses per semester. Employees interested in participating in the EEP during the fall 2011 semester should register and turn in applications to the institution they plan to attend by the deadlines listed below.
University of Florida:
EEP Registration Period: August 11–26
EEP Applications Due: 5 p.m. on August 29
Registration after August 26 is subject to a $100 late registration fee.
Santa Fe College:
EEP Applications Due: July 14, 4 p.m.
Registration is still permitted after July 14; however, the EEP application must be turned in by 4 p.m. the next business day after registering.
Employees attending other institutions due to their work location should register before the registration deadlines at their approved institutions. Completed EEP applications for the fall semester must be turned in by Friday, July 29, to Kenya Williams, education coordinator, by fax at (352) 392-1055 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For complete program participation requirements, eligibility, and application deadlines, please visit the EEP section of HRS’s web site. If you have questions about this program, please contact Jamie Cooke, UF Training and Organizational Development, at (352) 273-1762 or email@example.com.
Applications for Managers’ Cohort to be accepted in August
UF managers now have the unique opportunity to complete the “Managing at UF: The Supervisory Challenge” certificate with a cohort of peers. Participating in the cohort can provide managers with a forum in which to discuss issues related to leadership and management with like-minded leaders on campus.
Applications for the 2011-12 cohort will be accepted beginning August 1 when UF Training and Organizational Development’s fall registration opens. Please note that spaces are limited; managers who apply for the cohort option will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
As part of this program, each participant will engage in a 360-degree evaluation process to help direct his or her professional development. Designed to provide participants with insight into skills and behaviors needed to be effective leaders and based on the UF competency model, the UF Leader 360 will provide feedback from the employee’s manager, peers, staff members, and others (as identified by participant).
To learn more, please visit the Training section of the HRS web site.
Is your department ready for a hurricane?
With the start of hurricane season, each UF department should prepare for potential storms. Here are a few key facts to keep in mind regarding your hurricane response:
The UF home page will be the primary source of information regarding class cancellations, campus closures, and work schedules. Announcements will also be sent to faculty, staff, and students via e-mail.
Checklists are available on Environmental Health & Safety’s Emergency Management page to assist departments in preparing their work spaces for hurricanes should the university close. The Departmental Tropical Weather Response and Recovery Plan template assists departments with developing their hurricane plans.
UF will follow forecasts and information provided by the National Weather Service-Jacksonville and the National Hurricane Center. Additional weather resources are available on UF’s weather page at www.ufl.edu/weather.
Are you personally ready for a hurricane?
An important part of preparedness is also making sure your family and home are ready for a storm.
Take actions now to be prepared including assembling a disaster supply kit.
Know in advance if your role at UF will require you to work during or immediately after a storm and make necessary arrangements for your family and pets. Tips for preparing a personalized family disaster plan are available from the Florida Division of Emergency Management and IFAS Solutions for Your Life.
If Alachua County is threatened by a hurricane, shelters will be opened on campus for UF faculty, staff, students, and their families. Shelter locations and information will be posted on the home page. In most cases, on-campus residents and those living in sturdy construction, non-flood prone areas can shelter in their home. If using a shelter, please bring a change of clothes, bedding, pillow, toiletry items, and your prescription medications.
In the event of a power outage, have a battery-powered radio in your home to monitor local media including announcements from UF. Campus radio stations will provide information and simulcast WCJB TV-20 newscasts when appropriate.
Additional information on hurricane preparedness, including a short video, is available at http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/disasterplan/Hurricane.htm.
Going on a leave of absence?
If you are planning to go on leave (medical, parental, or personal) in the near future, be sure to contact the University Benefits and Retirement at (352) 392-2477 as soon as possible to find out how it will affect your insurances.
With certain types of leave, you may be entitled to receive the employer health and life contributions for a period of time—while others absences like a personal leave require employees to pay 100% of both employer and employee contributions for the duration of leave. Based on your circumstances, a counselor can advise on your options and determine how many sick/vacation hours are needed to maintain your biweekly premiums for the period you will be out.
Once your leave begins, you have only 31 calendar days from that date to change or cancel your insurance plans; otherwise, you must wait until the annual Open Enrollment period. Upon return from leave, you should also contact University Benefits immediately to discuss changes or re-enrollment into any plans you may have cancelled. Questions about types of leave, duration and required paperwork should be directed to the Leave Administration office and inquires about insurance plans should be directed to the University Benefits office. Both offices may be reached by calling (352) 392-2477.
RecSports offers fitness memberships to UF Faculty and Staff
RecSports memberships are now available to faculty, staff, and their spouses/partners in a variety of options—for 2-week, 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month time periods. An additional weekend-only membership is also available for individuals who have difficulty squeezing in a workout during the week. For convenience, both 12-month Faculty/Staff memberships can be purchased through payroll deduction. Memberships provide access to:
- The newly expanded Southwest Recreation Center complete with locker rooms
- The Student Recreation & Fitness Center located in the heart of campus next to Florida Gym
- An opportunity to jumpstart your fitness program by hiring a nationally certified Personal Trainer
- A small Group Training class focusing on personalized workouts and individual progression, perfect for any fitness level
- Four different types of massages
- Indoor Intramural Sports teams such as basketball and indoor soccer
As a reminder, UF faculty and staff also have access to the following activities without a RecSports membership by showing a valid Gator1 ID card:
- Lake Wauburg’s facilities, which include boating, swimming, a challenge course, a climbing wall and bouldering grotto, sailing, disc golf, along with a football field, softball field, and picnicking areas
- Outdoor intramural sports leagues, such as flag football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and softball
- Recreational swimming at the outdoor Florida Pool and the indoor Stephen C. O’Connell Center Pool
- Use of open recreation fields and tennis courts scattered throughout campus
For more information on memberships, visit the Rec Sports web site or call (352) 846-1081.
USPS personal holiday awarded for 2011-12
The 2011-12 USPS Personal Holiday was awarded after payroll closed on July 7. However, employees will not be able to view the hours in their balance or enter the hours for use until July 25. Any USPS employee who wishes to use his or her personal holiday during the pay period of July 8-21 will need to enter vacation and change the “VAC 185-Vacation Used” to “PHD 260-Pers Holiday Used” after July 25. The 2011-2012 Personal Holiday must be used by the end of the next fiscal year (i.e., June 2012). Contact Leave Administration at (352) 392-2477 with any questions.
Get relief from low back pain
UF pain medicine experts can devise a treatment plan just for you
In the United States, 76 million people suffer from chronic pain. A substantial number of them have low back pain. This month's InfoGator For Your Health newsletter addresses treatment strategies to reduce pain.
Need help quitting smoking?
UF’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) continues to offer its group smoking cessation program as well as individual coaching sessions. Find out more in this month's InfoGator For Your Health newsletter.
Register for fall training in August
Mark your calendars— registration for UF Training and Organizational Development’s fall semester of professional development workshops will open on August 1.
Pro3 fiscal management certification changing in September 2011
Starting September 6, the requirements of the Pro3 certification in the fiscal management track will change. Classes that provided instruction about financial transactions before the May 10 upgrade will no longer count and instead will be replaced, as needed, by equivalent courses with course numbers beginning with PST9. Employees who are in the middle of completing their fiscal management certification are encouraged to finish by the end of summer. Those who have not done so by the fall may find they need to retake certain workshops (if they have not already taken them due to training required as a result of the recent myUFL Financial Systems Upgrade) in order to complete their certification. Questions? Concerns? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date! Open Enrollment slated for fall 2011
Be sure to mark your calendar with some very important dates coming up this fall. The annual benefits Open Enrollment period runs September 26 through October 21. This is the only window of time during the year in which you can make changes to your insurance plans without having a qualifying status change/event. In conjunction with Open Enrollment, the annual Benefits Fair is scheduled for October 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Touchdown Terrace in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Insurance and retirement vendors will be available to explain details about their plans and answer specific questions you may have. There will also be food and prizes. Watch for more details in upcoming editions of the InfoGator. Questions? Please contact University Benefits at (352) 392-2HRS or email@example.com.
Going on vacation this summer? Don’t forget your Gator Perks!
UF’s Gator Perks Program keeps growing! Nearly 200 vendors now offer discounts to UF employees on cruises, hotels, vacation homes, rental cars, restaurants, theme parks, outdoor activities, and other services and products. This program is available at no cost, and UF employees can stay informed of exclusive discounts, sales, and promotions. Visit the Gator Perks section of the HRS web site and enjoy the rest of the summer!
Free summer meals available for kids in need
During the summer months, many parents have difficulty providing additional food resources to replace the meal their children may have been getting at school for free. To help, Alachua County Public Schools’ Food & Nutrition Services offers a Summer Meal Program in Alachua County for children 18 and under. There are no requirements to participate except their showing up at one of the meal sites for breakfast and/or lunch. Please see this flyer from the Alachua County Public Schools for details and share this information with others.
Gator Growl tickets on sale August 22
Tickets for Gator Growl 2011 will go on sale starting Monday, August 22, on gatorzone.com. Tickets are $15 for students and $25 for guests. Hosted by Florida Blue Key, Gator Growl—now in its 88th year—is produced by more than 500 student volunteers, making it the largest student-run pep rally in the world. Each year, Gator Growl is held the night before the Homecoming football game and has featured such world-renowned musical and comedic talent such as Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Jay Leno, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. If you have any questions, please contact Rosie Posada, director of Ticket Sales, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gator CSA program offers local produce
Members of the Gator Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program may choose from one of four area farms and pick up fresh produce on campus throughout the calendar year. Weekly shares vary in size and produce type, reflecting the local growing season and conditions. Typically an average of four to six items of produce per week is provided over the course of the season. CSAs primarily run from mid-October to June, and there are two campus pick-up locations from which to select. To learn more, visit the Sustainable UF web site.
Discounted care for furry Gators
The University of Florida Veterinary Hospitals now offer a 10% discount to all UF faculty, staff, and students as well as Shands employees. The discount includes any veterinary service including routine wellness exams, vaccinations, diagnostic tests, therapies, surgeries, and 24-7 emergency care. Appointments may be scheduled through the Large Animal Hospital by calling (352) 392-2229 or the Small Animal Hospital by calling (352) 392-2235. Presentation of a valid Gator1 card or Shands ID badge is required at the time of the appointment. For more information, please visit the UF Veterinary Hospitals’ web site.