The Resource

Also In This Issue

Career Development
Combined Fund Drive
Fact or Fiction

Published: January 12, 2011

You earn more than a paycheck when you work or teach at the University of Washington. Come discover how to make the most of your UW employment by exploring The Resource — UWHR’s e-newsletter designed to keep you informed of offerings from across the University that help you make the most out of UW employment.

Keeping Your Resolutions  

UW CareLink
Have you begun this new year with a few resolutions? Consider meeting with a CareLink counselor—five confidential, in-person sessions with a professional counselor could help you develop strategies to keep those resolutions. Call 1-866-598-3978 (dial 9 first if calling from a campus phone).


Resolve to Save More for Retirement
Does maximizing your retirement savings rate high on your list of New Year's resolutions? When you consider that people are living longer and health care costs are on the rise, it's easy to see why it should. The IRS limit on pre-tax contributions allows you to save up to $16,500 this year, plus if you’ll reach age 50 by the end of 2011, you can make an additional $5,500 "catch-up" contribution to quickly boost your account balance and make up for lost time as retirement nears. To learn more about the Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP), contribution limits, and catch-up provisions, see the VIP web page.

For an added boost, you have the option of participating in the Washington State Deferred Compensation Program (WSDCP). In fact, you can participate in your basic retirement plan and the VIP and WSDCP in the same tax year at the same time. See the WSDCP web page for more information.


First Quarter Review of Your Retirement Portfolio
Spend time this quarter getting your financial matters in order for 2011! Representatives from Calvert, Fidelity, TIAA-CREF, and Vanguard are making frequent visits to campus to provide individual retirement plan checkups. They’re available to meet with you and your spouse—either by phone or in person—to provide general investment information, discuss your savings objectives, or review an existing account. Sign up for your free consultation today!


Quarterly Market Update for Active Investors
Get market savvy in 2011 by learning about the driving forces behind recent developments influencing the financial markets. This up-to-the-minute, in-person update is designed for investors who actively manage several funds within a portfolio. Register now for this free Quarterly Market Update to be held on January 28 at Parrington Hall or February 18 at Health Sciences. Presented by a Fidelity Investments representative.


New Year's Inventory for Health, Happiness, and Prosperity
Set your personal goals to optimize your health, happiness, and prosperity for the year—goals like "eat the rainbow" and "get moving!" Read more.


Start Out Fresh: Quit Tobacco this Year
Here’s a win-win opportunity for tobacco users. Enjoy revitalized lungs, a more solvent wallet, and lower health care costs by quitting tobacco through Free & Clear’s Quit for Life program. Start today! Also check out UW CareLink’s Tip Sheet. You’ll find information that supports your New Year’s resolution to stop smoking.


Weight Management in 2011
Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions, yet most people wind up going at it alone without any support. Those who resolve to lose weight in the New Year and work with a program such as Weight Watchers find they are better able to keep their resolution in the long run. Read more.

Career Development  

Professional & Organizational Development (POD) courses are open to all UW employees, subject to supervisor/budgetary approval and UW’s release time policy. Please view our policy page for additional information.


Customer Service Excellence
In this interactive half-day course, learn how all points of customer contact can occur in the best way possible—whether that's dealing with external customers on the "front lines" or providing service and support to colleagues down the hall. Access course information and registration.


Discovering Your Dependable Strengths
This two-day workshop uses a proven process for uncovering what you do best and learning new ways to use your unique excellence. The more you know about your strengths, the more you understand how to adapt to them to different careers and the changing demands of the workforce. Access course information and registration.


Introduction to Research Administration
This short course is designed to help individuals build a foundational body of knowledge within research administration, with a focus on the terms, basic concepts, policies, and practices within the field of research and their application at the UW. (Note: This class covers material from the first session of Q0120 Fundamentals of Grant and Contract Management, which has been discontinued.) Access course information and registration.


Career Counseling Helps UW Employees Thrive
As dozens of UW staff members have now discovered, Professional & Organizational Development’s career counseling service can help you uncover your unique strengths, be more competitive in the job market, and chart a new path for your current or desired career. Although there is a charge for this service, those who have received career counseling through POD’s Susan Templeton can attest to its value.

Two UW employees who benefitted from career counseling in 2010 are Kathy Hobson and Carmen Cook. The two were motivated to pursue career counseling for very different reasons—Kathy needed to find a new job and Carmen hoped to develop a career plan—and both were thrilled with what they gained through their one-on-one sessions with Susan. Read more.


Federal Health Care Reform Law Triggers Special Open Enrollment
Effective January 1, 2011, national health care reform laws allow you to keep your qualified dependents on your medical coverage up to age 26. They can be married or unmarried and they do not need to be students or tax dependents to qualify for Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) coverage. Review Frequently Asked Questions.

  • For dependents aged 20-25, you have from now through March 1, 2011 to enroll these dependents or make a change to your PEBB health plans, including dental and life insurance. Dependent verification will be required for first-time enrollments. Changes and enrollments will be effective January 1, 2011.
  • During this one-time special open enrollment period, subscribers may also disenroll dependents aged 20-25 if they were automatically added to your account and you do not want them on your plan. Disenrollments will be effective January 31, 2011.

Annual PERS3 Transfer Window Opens
If you're a member of the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Plan 2 and you were enrolled in the plan prior to March 1, 2002, you have the option to transfer to PERS Plan 3 through January 31. (Note that you must earn service credit in January 2011 to be eligible to transfer and your decision to join Plan 3 cannot be changed at a later date.) Learn more.


Flexible Spending Account Grace Period
Did you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through December 31, 2010? If so, you have a 2½ month grace period—from January 1 through March 15, 2011—to incur claims against your 2010 FSA. All FSA claims for services provided from January 1 through March 15, 2010, will automatically be processed against the 2010 plan year first, if filed by the claims filing deadline for that plan year. If your claim exceeds the available funds from the 2010 plan year, any excess will be automatically applied to your 2011 FSA if you’re enrolled. Otherwise, they will be forfeited if you did not enroll for a 2011 FSA .Learn more.


Annual Attendance Incentive Program - Deadline January 31
Each January, UW employees who accrue sick leave and who have a year-end balance exceeding 480 hours may request to be paid for a portion of their unused sick leave that was accrued but not used in the previous calendar year. Payment is made at the rate of 25% of the hourly equivalent of your pay rate and all hours compensated are deducted from your sick leave balance.

The Payroll Office must have all attendance incentive payment forms by Monday, January 31, 2011, at 5 p.m. Submit the form to your department in time for processing and delivery to the Payroll Office by the deadline. See program information and the required form.


Campus HR Operations Moves to the UW Tower
Beginning January 21, Campus HR Operations, which consists of Upper Campus HR, Health Sciences HR, and UTemp Staffing, will be working in a new location: the first floor of the C level of the UW Tower.

No significant disruption in service is expected; however, phone lines may be temporarily down on the move date. Individual email addresses and phone numbers will not be changing, but you will be able to find updated main office numbers and mailing address information on the HR Contacts webpage beginning January 21.

Campus HR Operations will be joining Medical Centers HR Operations, Compensation, and Professional & Organizational Development already at the UW Tower.

Combined Fund Drive  

UW Combined Fund Drive Campaign Breaks New Record
UW faculty and staff imagined a difference by pledging more than $2 million to local, national, and international charities through the 2010 UW Combined Fund Drive campaign. Top non-profit recipients include Northwest Harvest, University of Washington Foundation and its many programs, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, United Way of King County, Doctors Without Borders, and University District Food Bank.

The University of Washington community’s generosity is appreciated —now more than ever— and is making a significant impact in the lives of so many. Thank you for participating in the most successful UW Combined Fund Drive campaign to date.


Social Security: A Foundation for Planning Your Future
Do you know what benefits to expect from Social Security and when they will be available to you and your family members? Register to attend a free seminar on January 25 at Health Sciences to gain a better understanding of how the Social Security and Medicare systems work. Access seminar information and registration.


Family Caregiver Network

  • Are you wondering about elder family members’ ability to care for themselves?
  • Is there a "right" time to begin the conversation?

Bring these questions and concerns to the Family Caregiver Network and gather information and ideas through discussion with others in similar situations. Register for the Family Caregiver Network meeting Tuesday, January 25, at noon in Loew Hall.


Why You Should Attend Violence Prevention Training
Preventing violence on campus is a responsibility we all share as UW community members. Early intervention with appropriate resources or referrals to services that can assist with coping strategies, reducing stress, and/or resolving problematic situations helps reduce the risk of violence occurring. Come learn about warning signs, UW resources for counseling and safety, and policies so you know whom to call and what to do. February 3, 10-11 a.m. (Odegaard) or March 9, 1:15-2:15 p.m. (Health Sciences). Register now for this free training session.


Eldercare Consultations
Eldercare Consultations can help you assess your loved one’s present situation and gather information for their care and support. Email WorkLife to schedule an individual consultation.


New Parent Services
Are you expecting a baby this year? Plan ahead; check out Becoming a Parent to find information about leave planning, benefits, and the many UW resources available for new parents.


Take a Break
Sooner or later, we all have business that takes us by the Suzzallo Library. Called the “Soul of the University” in the 1930s by then-University President Henry Suzzallo, the library was central to the vision of the UW as the “University of a Thousand Years.” As you pass by, take a moment to look up and see if you can locate a series of shields, which are the coats of arms of various universities around the world. Plan to return when you have more time to visit the exquisite Suzzallo Reading Room.


There are fitness centers that are "just" that and fitness centers offering social activities, salon services, and more. If you are getting serious about exercise, consider the options available through UW Discounts.


Life at work is busy, busy, why should people be recognized or thanked when they are just doing their job? Because employee recognition is a cornerstone of a healthy work environment. Remember:

  • A simple “thank you” counts as employee recognition.
  • Recognition is not a scarce resource—you can’t use it up or run out of it.
  • No budget is too small to afford employee recognition.
Fact or Fiction  

FACT OR FICTION: Everything you want to know about local weather is on UWIN.

FICTION. Only a brief summary of our weather appears on UWIN. But there’s good news—UW’s Cliff Mass, professor of Atmospheric Sciences, writes a blog about our area’s weather which may help satisfy your curiosity and answer a popular question these days: When will it snow again?


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