UF prepares for holiday closing period
This year, the university will observe Friday, January 2, 2009, as a holiday in addition to the regular December and New Year’s holidays. This decision was based on the proximity of that date to the holiday closing period that runs from December 25, 2008, through January 1, 2009. College of Medicine clinics located on the Gainesville and Jacksonville campuses will be open January 2, 2009; therefore, faculty and staff who have clinic responsibilities are expected to report for work.
On December 1, all TEAMS employees and 12-month Academic Personnel were credited with four personal leave days to be used during the period of December 26 to December 31 when the university is closed for the holidays. All TEAMS employees and 12-month Academic Personnel deemed “non-essential” who are off for these dates are expected use their personal leave days during this period.
UF vice presidents—working with their deans, directors, and department chairs—will determine which USPS, TEAMS, and 12-month Academic Personnel employees should be deemed “essential” personnel and, therefore, be required to work during this period. Essential 12-month Academic Personnel and TEAMS employees unable to use all or a portion of their four personal leave days during the scheduled period may use the personal leave days at another time from December 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009.
Essential TEAMS employees and 12-month Academic Personnel may use personal leave days in less than full-day increments. If a designated essential 12-month Academic Personnel (excluding post-doctoral associates) or TEAMS employee is required to work part of a day from December 26 to 31, the hours remaining in that workday (when the employee is not at work) should be reported using the “DPL-270 December Personal Leave” time-reporting code. The employee will be able to use the unused portion of his or her personal leave day(s) before the end of the fiscal year.
USPS employees are eligible for the official university holidays of December 25 and January 1 and 2. USPS employees considered “non-essential” who take December 26-31 off must enter vacation leave for those days, as they are not eligible for the four personal leave days. USPS employees may be required to use vacation or accrued compensatory leave during the holiday closing period if their departments choose to close or if their supervisors request it. In the event a USPS employee does not have vacation leave to cover the period, he or she may request vacation leave be advanced to cover that absence, in which case the department is obligated to provide it. USPS employees also may use leave without pay, in keeping with University of Florida policy, during this time (see related story).
In keeping with past practice, in order to be eligible for any paid holidays, employees must be in pay status for a reasonable amount of time on their last scheduled workdays prior to the holiday.
How to report the December Personal Leave days
Reminder: Personal leave days for exempt employees will not require approval; however, personal leave days for non-exempt employees will require approval.
TEAMS non-exempt employees:
Reporting 2008 paid holidays
UF employees' last paycheck for the 2008 calendar year will be issued on December 19 and will be for the pay period of November 28 through December 11, 2008. It will be available to view in My Self Service beginning the weekend of December 14. Although paycheck statements are available in My Self Service indefinitely, the year-to-date (YTD) balances on your final 2008 statement will only be available for you to view until the evening of December 18.
Due to the holiday schedule and the early payroll deadlines, on December 19 UF Payroll Services will begin processing the payroll for the pay period of December 12 through 25, 2008, for the paycheck dated January 2, 2009. Should you have a need for a copy of your December 19 paycheck with final YTD balances after December 18, your departmental payroll administrator will have access to it. However, please note that departmental payroll administrators will only have access to advices.
Please also note that although January 2, 2009, will be a paid holiday, paychecks will be issued as usual on that day.
Leave Administration encourages early time and leave entry through the holiday season. Please note the following important holiday and time- and leave-related entry dates and deadlines.
USPS staff not designated “essential employees” may request vacation leave advancement in the event they do not have sufficient vacation or compensatory leave to cover normal working hours if their departments shut down completely or choose to operate with minimum staffing for the holiday closing period of December 26 to December 31. Departments are obligated to grant the vacation advancement when requested under these circumstances. USPS employees also may use leave without pay, in keeping with University of Florida policy, during this time.
As in the past, if you are a USPS employee who wishes to be advanced vacation leave during the holidays, please report all vacation leave usage through Weekly Elapsed Time in the myUFL systems in a timely manner, allowing your vacation leave balance to become negative. A negative vacation leave balance will be allo wed December 26 through 31, 2008. The system will automatically disallow vacation leave usage after January 8, 2009, until your vacation leave balance is positive again.
This year, vacation leave conversion will take place at the end of the December 26, 2008 - January 8, 2009, pay period. If a TEAMS or vacation-accruing Academic Personnel employee’s vacation leave balance exceeds 480 hours, or if a USPS employee’s vacation balance exceeds 240 hours at the end of that pay period, the excess vacation leave hours will be converted to sick leave. Please note that vacation leave accrued during the December 26 - January 8 pay period will be included in the conversion.
To view your vacation leave balances, visit myUFL and navigate to: My Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > View Leave History. Any vacation leave taken on or before January 8 must be reported in the Weekly Elapsed screen before the January 8 conversion. Vacation leave taken after January 8 should be reported after the conversion occurs.Questions? Contact Leave Administration at (352) 392-5732 or email@example.com .
In preparation for reduced staffing during the holiday closing period, Human Resource Services has established a plan to ensure the needs of departments and employees are met. Normal deadlines and procedures will resume when HRS reopens with its regular staffing on January 5, 2009.
Benefits transactions for January must be completed by Dec. 12
If you cannot meet this deadline, please contact University Benefits at firstname.lastname@example.org or 392-2477 to discuss the earliest possible effective date. For assistance or questions regarding insurance during the holiday closing, please contact the People First Service Center at 1-866-663-4735.
Submit retirement salary reduction agreements by Dec. 17
Workers' compensation protocol for off-hours should continue to be followed during this time-frame. Call (352) 392-4940 for instructions on what to do in the event of a workplace injury. For assistance with other critical needs, please call HRS's Service Center at (352) 392-2477.
Before the New Year begins, please review any changes you made during the fall benefits Open Enrollment period. To access your benefits information, visit the People First web site and log-in with the user ID and password you used during Open Enrollment. If you have questions about your online enrollment or forgot your password, please contact the People First Service Center at 1-866-663-4735.
Deduction changes for Open Enrollment elections will start with the December 5 paycheck to pre-pay for coverage effective January 1, 2009. Supplemental state coverage carrying over—such as state-sponsored dental, hospital insurance, etc.—may include slight increases based on options you elected and company rate increases for the new plan year. If you enrolled in a state supplemental plan that requires underwriting (medical approval), your coverage is pending until People First receives notification from the company that the underwriting has been approved or disapproved. If the underwriting is approved, your enrollment will be processed and premium deductions will begin. You should receive notification from the company regarding your approval or disapproval.
Employees who made Open Enrollment changes to the UF Domestic Partner and Term Life plans will begin seeing deductions with the January 2, 2009, paycheck. Because reimbursement accounts (i.e., Medical, Dependent Care, Limited Purpose Medical, and Health Savings Accounts) provide tax savings based on the tax year, these deductions will begin on January 2, 2009, as well. New enrollments in plans such as long-term disability or long-term care will not become effective until the company has approved medical underwriting and the employee has been notified of the approval and process to initiate payroll deductions.
Please carefully review all deductions. If your earnings statement does not reflect proper deductions for plans you currently have or those you elected during Open Enrollment please contact University Benefits and Retirement at (352) 392-2477 or email@example.com as soon as possible.
Employees interested in participating in the Employee Education Program during the spring semester are reminded to register and complete their applications by the following deadlines:
UF students must register between December 29, 2008, and January 12, 2009, for the spring semester. All completed applications must be turned in to the University Registrar’s office located at 222 Criser Hall or by fax to (352) 846-1126 by 5 p.m. on January 13, 2009. No late applications will be accepted.
Santa Fe students should register during regular registration, which ends December 11, 2008. All completed applications should be turned in to the Santa Fe cashier’s office by this date. Registration after December 11, 2008, is permitted, but those applications must be turned in to the cashier’s office by 4 p.m. the next business day after registration.
Students attending other institutions should register before the registration deadlines at their approved institutions. Completed applications for the spring 2009 semester must be turned in by December 5, 2008, to Jamie Cooke, education coordinator, by fax at (352) 392-1055 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For program participation requirements, eligibility, and application deadlines, please visit the EEP section of HRS’s web site. For questions about this program, please contact Jamie Cooke, UF Training and Organizational Development, at (352) 273-1761 or email@example.com.
The University of Florida Police Department would like to remind everyone that increases in personal property theft happen at this time of year. Factoring in the current economic situation, this season has the potential to produce a higher increase in theft than in previous years. Faculty and staff can help prevent theft by working together and practicing the following safety tips.
Investment company representatives are at the HRS Building, located at 903 W. University Avenue, on a regular basis. Please call for an appointment.
The following workshop is the last offered this fall as part of University Benefits and Retirement’s ongoing Retirement and Financial Planning series.
Social Security and Medicare
Please refer to the Training and Development section of HRS’s web site beginning December 8 to view the entire spring schedule. University Retirement will offer a wide variety of workshops that will cover topics that are uniquely appropriate for the current financial climate.
Microsoft and Google each have released new beta versions of their web browsers—Internet Explorer 8 and Chrome, respectively. Beta releases are considered preproduction releases and are typically not the final version of the software, as the systems are still being tested.
Anyone trying out these new browsers should note that the People First system does not currently support either one. If you install one of them, you may have issues logging in and/or navigating in the People First system.
According to People First, once these web browsers are released in their final versions, research and testing will be conducted to determine what updates are needed to the People First system to support these browsers. Based on the extent of the required changes, People First will provide an update if and when the system will support them. Questions? Please call People First at 1-866-663-4735.
Registration for spring training courses opens December 8
Programs to be offered this spring include the Pro3 Series, Managing at UF: the Supervisory Challenge, business communication courses, and myUFL system training. For more information about UF Training and Organizational Development’s range of services—including special workshops, retreats, strategic planning, and more—visit its web site, call (352) 392-4626, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark your calendar — 2009 paid holidays
New FSA grace period provides more time to use plan-year contributions
All claims must be filed by April 15, 2009, or any remaining account balances will be forfeited. FSA reimbursement claim forms can be found on the People First web site or the forms section on the HRS web site. Please contact University Benefits and Retirement at (352) 392-2477 or email@example.com with questions.
Please contact your investment provider for more details, or visit the retirement section of HRS’s web site.
Keep your mailing address up-to-date in the UF Directory
These addresses are used for other important mailings as well, so please make sure that your address information is current. To review your information and/or make a change, login to myUFL and navigate to My Account > Update My Directory Profile.
The sixth edition of the UF ADA Compliance Office’s faculty guide was published in September. The new guide, Providing Services and Access to Students and Employees with Disabilities in Higher Education: Effective and Reasonable Accommodation, can be accessed on the ADA office’s web site.The new edition provides valuable information on working with employees and teaching students with disabilities. The guide, first published in 1989, has been used by many colleges and universities in the U.S. and other countries. For more information, contact the ADA Compliance Office at (352) 392-7056, or—for staff, faculty and students with disabilities—contact the Florida Relay Service at 711 for TDD/TTY access.
The University of Florida Bookstores will host their annual Faculty and Staff Event to celebrate their partnership with the university on Thursday, December 4, and Friday, December 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be held at the University of Florida Bookstore locations: the UF Welcome Center, Health Science Center, Law School, and Vet Med School.
Refreshments will be served and a 25 percent total discount off apparel, gifts, and general reading books will be offered to employees who present their Gator 1 ID cards. The discount will be valid during the event on select items in-store only.
To view an invitation to the event, please click here .
On December 8 and 9, the UF Office of Sustainability’s Green Team Network, in collaboration with Neutral Gator, will host a lightbulb exchange to help offset the carbon footprint of UF athletics. The team’s goal is to distribute 1,000 high-efficiency compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) to members of the UF community.
To participate, place an order with your department’s Green Team member the week of December 1-5, or visit the Green Team Google Group web site. The CFLs can be exchanged for incandescent bulbs for free, or you can buy the CFLs (without exchanging) for $1 each. The bulbs will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed at a table at the Colonnade on December 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and December 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When you reserve your CFLs, please include when you would like to pick them up and a phone number where you can be reached during business hours. If you have any questions, please contact Jason Fults, Green Team Project Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 392-7578, ext. 34.
UF faculty and staff will receive 10 percent off their purchases at the Harn Museum of Art's store from Nov. 29 through Dec. 24. Items offered in the store include art, books, jewelry, stationery, art supplies, home decor and children's items.
©2008 University of Florida Office of Human Resource Services