The Resource

In This Issue

Career Development
The Whole U
Combined Fund Drive
Fiscal Fitness in 2014
Home Loan Program
Retirement Savings

Published: January 8, 2014

Compensation at the University of Washington goes beyond salary. The UW offers a vast range of benefits—from the traditional to those offered by other premier employers to those that are truly unique to working at the UW. The Resource—UWHR's e-newsletter—keeps you informed of all of these offerings so that you can make the most out of your UW employment.


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. Submit the attendance incentive payment form to your department in time for processing and delivery to the Payroll Office by the deadline of Friday, January 31, at 5 p.m. UW Medicine employees, please note that there is a Medical Centers-specific form. See program information and the required forms.


PERS 3 Transfer Window Opens January 1
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 an annual option to transfer to PERS 3 between January 1 and January 31, 2014. To be eligible for the transfer, you must earn service credit in January 2014. This one-time transfer is irrevocable, meaning you cannot change plans at a later date. See Transferring from PERS 2 to PERS 3.


Flexible Spending Account Grace Period
Did you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through December 31, 2013? If so, you have a 2½ month grace period—from January 1 through March 15, 2014—to incur claims against your FSA through the 2013 vendor, ASIFlex. All eligible FSA expenses for services provided from January 1 through March 15, 2014, should continue to be submitted to ASIFlex so they can automatically process claims against the 2013 plan year or until your account balance reaches zero. If your claim exceeds the available funds from the 2013 plan year, and you are enrolled in a 2014 FSA, you can submit excess claim amounts to the 2014 vendor, Flex-Plan Services.

Remember, if you elected the Consumer-Directed Health Plan with a Health Savings Account for plan year 2014, you were required to incur services, file claims, and receive reimbursements for 2013 FSA expenses by December 31, 2013.

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.


Clean Up Your Paper Trail
Even in an increasingly digitized world, many of us still rely heavily on tangible objects like paper filing systems. In this class, discover organizational tools for taking charge of your workload, setting up your workspace, streamlining filing systems, and keeping top priorities moving forward. Register for Managing Paper, Projects, and Priorities.


Get a New Lease on Your Work Life
Tired of doing the same old thing? One-on-one career counseling can help you assess your career fit, make the most of your strengths, prepare for a job search, or plot a new path for your career. Sessions are offered through Training and Organizational Development Consultant Susan Templeton; the fee is $95 per one-hour session if paid with a UW budget number (with supervisor approval) or $109.82 if paid with cash, check, or credit card (due to a mandatory institutional overhead fee). Learn more about career counseling.


Invest in Research and Development
Develop your research administration knowledge! This short course is designed to help individuals build a foundational understanding of research administration, with a focus on the terms, basic concepts, policies, and practices within the field of research and their application at the UW. Register for Introduction to Research Administration.


Learn to See the Big Picture
The Master Process examines a set of tools for visually representing your organization’s way of doing business—all on one piece of paper. In this one-day workshop, examine how expectations, key processes, roles, systems, critical issues, and desired outcomes are connected, and start sketching out your own Master Process picture. Register for Master Process Planning.


Make Some Time
Time flies—don’t let it get away from you this year! In this half-day class, evaluate how your time is currently being spent, learn prioritization techniques, and improve your time management skills so that you feel more productive and less stressed at work. Register for Time Management.

The Whole U  

Try Something New this January: check out The Whole U.
The new Whole U website launched January 2 and has added new content each day. Explore the site to find something new to try this month, such as:

Live. If you like to be active, make sure to check out all the new sports and fitness discounts that are part of The Whole U Discount Network. Use the category search tool and check out “Sports” and “Fitness Memberships.” Soon you may find yourself hanging on a climbing wall, bouncing on a trampoline, or exhaling into a downward dog.

Learn. UW Alumni Association, in partnership with the Graduate School and the College of the Environment, invites you to a six-part free lecture series on The Future of Ice. A slate of renowned experts will cover issues including glacial retreat, wildlife at the poles, emerging forms of governance, and the changing Arctic environment’s impact on Inuit culture. Find dates, times, location, and online registration

Engage. The Whole U needs to know about the type of programming you’re most interested in. Take the Community Interest Survey by January 24 and be entered to win a University Bookstore gift card.

Thrive. Share one of your resolutions for 2014 on The Whole U Facebook page. Everyone who posts a picture of themselves working towards their resolution by January 31 will have a chance to win a Whole U t-shirt.


Campus MammoVan—Mobile Mammography Service
We know it's not always easy for you to find time to get a routine mammogram to screen for breast cancer but thanks to the UW’s partnership with Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), there's a faster and more convenient way to get screened: the MammoVan. This state-of-the-art mobile mammography service is scheduled to visit the south side of the UW Tower at 12th Avenue NE & NE 43rd Street on January 29. To make an appointment for this or another date, call 206-288-7800. Remember, women 40+ who are enrolled by a PEBB health plan are allowed one “free” mammogram screening per calendar year when seeing an in-network provider such as SCCA. Because it's preventive, it’s covered at 100% and not subject to the medical deductible, and you pay nothing!

Note: Uniform Medical Plan now covers preventive screening mammograms for women under age 40 who have risk factors which increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Learn more about this coverage.


Health Counts—UMP's Rewards Program for Good Health Habits
Health Counts is Uniform Medical Plan's wellness program that offers you the tools, encouragement and rewards to help you improve or maintain your health. When you engage in healthy behaviors and participate in Health Counts, you earn points and gift cards—up to $85 worth, provided that you complete a General Health Assessment by June 30, 2014. Most of the activities and programs you can do are on which is also where you report your progress. Health Counts is open to all adult UMP enrollees, including spouses and children ages 18 and older. Learn more about Health Counts.


Health Profile for Group Health Members
Get a jump on better health with an online report that assesses your risks and offers ways to improve your health. To access the Health Profile, you must first register on MyGroupHealth for Members so you have access to your personal online services. After you complete the registration process, you'll see a link to the Health Profile after you log in to your secure home page. Get started today.


Weight Watchers at Work
Weight Watchers teaches you how to stick to healthy living and have a healthier relationship with food so you can lose weight and keep it off. Sign up for a monthly pass to attend sessions at Schmitz Hall on Tuesdays, UW Tower on Wednesdays, and/or Health Sciences on Fridays. The pass allows you to enjoy lower monthly fees, attend unlimited meetings anywhere, and get free access to Weight Watchers eTools—interactive tools, tips, and recipes that help you stay on track. Learn how to get started.

Interested in starting a Weight Watchers meeting at your campus work site? If so, you can schedule a Weight Watchers Informational Meeting at your work site provided that at least 15 potential new members will attend and you’re able to offer a free space to hold regular meetings once a week. Contact for more information.


Did you know that walking for as little as 30 minutes a day improves circulation, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and promotes weight loss? In fact, according to the American Heart Association, for every hour of regular, vigorous physical activity like brisk walking, life expectancy may increase for some adults by two hours. Because walking regularly is one of the best things you can do for your heart, the UW has its very own walking community called UWalk!

UWalk is a virtual space where UW students, faculty, and staff can join walking groups, participate in events and group activities, keep track of their progress, and connect with a community of walkers to share stories and photos. Use your UW NetID to join a free walking group according to your personal preference. Get started today!


Start Fresh This Year - Quit Tobacco!
Here’s a win-win opportunity for tobacco users. Enjoy revitalized lungs, a fatter wallet, and lower health care costs by quitting tobacco using the free Quit for Life program. You’ll find plenty of information that supports a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking. Why wait? Start your quit plan today!

Combined Fund Drive  

UWCFD Results Show a Community of Giving
UW faculty, staff, and retirees have raised a record-breaking $2,179,613 for the UW Combined Fund Drive making 2013 the most successful year in the program’s 29-year history. The UW community’s generosity makes a difference for hundreds of charitable nonprofits in our neighborhood and around the globe.

During the campaign, $10,432 was raised through fundraisers for this year’s featured charity, the Northwest Burn Foundation, a local organization that advocates for burn prevention and improves the quality of life for burn injury survivors through a unique partnership with Harborview.

Many events and fundraisers were held all across our campuses and medical centers throughout the fall bringing awareness to the 3,800+ charities that benefit from the campaign. Thank you for supporting the UWCFD this year! Visit the site year-round for special events and opportunities including a Make-A-Wish Foundation airline miles drive in March and an Earth Day Challenge in April.

Fiscal Fitness in 2014  

Take Advantage of Free Retirement Planning Guidance
Whether your retirement is years away or just around the corner, did you know that you can receive free retirement planning guidance from a Fidelity or TIAA-CREF consultant? Dedicated to helping you reach your investment goals, you’ll find this individual appointment time a good opportunity to:

  • Ask about saving for retirement and other goals
  • Evaluate investment choices that meet your needs
  • Create an action plan to get and stay on track for retirement
  • Review retirement income options

Schedule an appointment in a way that works best for you! Get started today.


Credit Reporting 101
Wondering whether your credit is good enough to refinance a home or get an RV, boat, or new car? In this seminar, you'll learn how credit bureaus develop credit scores and come away with valuable tips to help you get the most from your creditworthiness. Find out what impacts your credit, why your scores may differ, how to get a free report, and the five easy steps to a better score. This seminar will be held on January 9 at the UW Tower and February 11 at Harborview Medical Center. Presented by Washington State Employees Credit Union. Access free event registration and information.


Financial Yoga: Stretching Your Hard-Earned Dollars
Stretching a paycheck is more important than ever. Learn tips that will help you gain control of your finances and reduce financial stress. Presented by School Employees Credit Union, this seminar will be held on January 15 at Bothell, January 29 at South Lake Union, and February 20 at Health Sciences. Access free event registration and information.


Building a Portfolio for Any Weather
The first step to smart investing is building a portfolio that’s appropriate for your situation. By understanding a few key investment principles, you can get more out of your retirement savings. Join Fidelity Investments at this free workshop where you will learn how to:

  • Determine an appropriate investment mix and your investment style
  • Select investment options that fit your approach
  • Manage your investment strategy to help meet your long-term goals

This seminar will be offered at Health Sciences on January 30. Room provided upon registration. Access workshop information and free registration.


In a world with so many financial obligations and options, it’s no wonder money management often seems overwhelming. That’s why the UW and our local credit unions have partnered with a financial fitness program called BALANCE. Through this partnership, you have access to free and confidential financial counseling services to help you get out of debt, design a money management plan, and achieve your financial goals. Learn more and/or download informational flyer.

Home Loan Program  

Ready to Buy a Home?
HomeStreet offers free lunchtime seminars to help you learn about a variety of homeownership issues related to budgeting, buying, remodeling, refinancing, and selling your home.

  • The Homebuying Process—Learn how to buy a home, starting with pre-qualification to mortgage applications, home inspections, and appraisals. Offered on January 14 at UW Tower, Seattle and January 23 at South Lake Union.
  • The Path to Homeownership—First-time homebuyers, consider attending this seminar to learn about today’s real estate market, how to use down payment assistance, and special programs designed for you. Find out what costs to expect in your first transaction. Offered on December 17 at UW Tower, Seattle.
  • Understanding Credit—Do you know why credit history is important when getting ready to refinance your home? Learn how to clean up your credit history and fix reporting errors. Offered on December 19 at Health Sciences and January 16 at Tacoma.

Register at or call 206-628-0207. Be sure to include the title, date, and location of the seminar. Also include your contact phone number in the event of class cancellation. The exact seminar location will be specified upon registration confirmation. View full schedule.


Free Home Ownership Counseling
Thinking of buying or refinancing a home but not sure how to get started? Why not schedule a free personal home ownership counseling session with a HomeStreet representative who can walk you through the process? These 30-minute, one-on-one sessions are both private and informative. Your spouse, partner, or potential co-signer is welcome to attend with you. A representative is scheduled to visit Bothell on January 21, UW Tower on both January 27 and February 24, and Health Sciences on February 25. Schedule an appointment at or call 206-628-0207.

Retirement Savings  

Build Your Nest Egg
With living costs and longevity on the rise, it makes sense to save as much as you can today for a more comfortable retirement tomorrow. In addition to participating in your basic mandatory retirement plan, you have the option to participate in the Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP) and/or the Washington State Deferred Compensation Program (WSDCP).

In the VIP, IRS pre-tax contribution limits allow you to save up to $17,500 this year, plus if you’ll reach age 50 by the end of 2014, 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.

In the WSDCP, income deferral reduces your current taxable income and allows the deferred income to grow untaxed until your retirement.

You can participate in all three programs in the same tax year! Learn more about the VIP and WSDCP.


Ready to Retire?
If you’re thinking of retiring within the next 12 months and you want to prepare a sound strategy, consider attending a free retirement workshop based on your current retirement plan and/or eligibility. Access workshop information and free registration.

  • Retiring from UW Retirement Plan (UWRP)—February 12 and March 12
  • Retiring from Public Employee Retirement System (PERS)—January 14 and 23, February 11 and 27

Remember, you must apply for PEBB retiree benefits (or deferral of insurance) within 60 days after UW-paid or COBRA coverage ends. If you miss that deadline, you will have to go back to work to re-qualify for PEBB retiree coverage.


Working it Out in the Workplace & SafeCampus Training
Part of a safe campus environment involves staff being able to resolve conflict safely and effectively. At work, conflict and disagreement will occur. Some of the primary causes of conflict are:

  • Poor communication: different communication styles can lead to misunderstandings between employees or between employee and manager. Make the extra effort to clearly articulate your ideas and follow up with questions to make sure everyone understands; this gets everyone on the same page.
  • Differing interests: sometimes individual workers “fight” for their personal goals, ignoring team and organizational objectives. Sit down with your manager and identify where your goals and interests align with the team’s current objectives.
  • Scarce resources: employees may feel they need to compete for available resources in order to do their job. When staff openly acknowledge this common stressor and discuss its negative impact, a new energy arises to address the issue.
  • Personality clashes: we are all different and have diverse personalities, traits, and experiences. The goal should be to understand and accept each other’s quirks and appreciate each other’s approaches to work and problem-solving.
  • Poor performance: when a co-worker is underperforming and it’s not addressed, tensions can grow. Performance issues should be addressed as soon as possible to foster accountability and curb resentment amid staff members. By actively resolving conflict when it occurs, we can create a more positive work environment and avoid escalating behaviors.

Learn more about resolving conflict and the escalating behaviors that can be precursors to workplace violence in a 50-minute training workshop. Open to students, faculty, and staff:

  • Tuesday, January 28, at 9 a.m. in Health Sciences Bldg., Room K069
  • Thursday, February 13, at 10 a.m. in HUB, Room 250
  • Tuesday, March 11, at 1 p.m. in UW Tower, on the 22nd floor in the Ravenna Training Room

Register for a workshop at the SafeCampus website.


Managing Credit and Avoiding Financial Issues

UW CareLink is here to help you get your financial ducks in a row for 2014. The first step to safeguarding your finances is to know where your money goes. That means tracking your expenses, always reading your monthly account statements, and checking your credit report once a year. To read more tips on keeping your money safe and planning for the future, check out this month’s UW CareLink Tip Sheet.

A one-hour webinar, Make Your Money Work for You: A Debt Management Plan, on January 21 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. will offer further tips to decrease your debt, maximize your credit score, negotiate with creditors, and rebuild your credit after major life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, or ID theft. You must pre-register at least one hour before the presentation. Go to (enter “UW” as the company code) and visit the Online Seminars section. Select the presentation and then register by clicking on the first or second session.

UW CareLink Consultations
Make a resolution to save for the future, pay down debt, or learn to create and stick to a budget. UW CareLink is ready to help you with the tools and information you need to manage your money. Receive a free 30-minute telephone consultation with a CPA or certified financial professional to discuss your financial future. This service is available to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff, their household members, and their dependent children residing anywhere in the U.S. To get started, call 866-598-3978 or visit (enter “UW” as the company code) and click on the “LiveConnect” button.


Unique Offerings at IMA: Self-Defense, Meditation & MBSR

Three unique classes are being offered at the Intramural Activities building this quarter. Self-Defense for Women is a 1-day workshop. For this class, the IMA quarterly membership fee has been waived. For the Intro to Meditation and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes, an IMA quarterly membership is required ($66 + tax) which can be purchased at the IMA front desk. If you have any questions, contact Fitness Coordinator Anne Garrett.

Self-Defense for Women 1-Day Workshop
Become aware and empowered at the Self-Defense for Women Workshop at the IMA on Saturday, January 25 from 1-5 p.m. Participants will discuss and practice non-physical skills including awareness, assertiveness, and boundary setting. Participants will also develop physical skills that employ simple techniques to increase options and build confidence. Instructor Jennifer McClearen is a black belt who has taught martial arts since 2006 and self-defense since 2008. The fee is $20, total. IMA members register online under Special Interest . Non-members register via email to Anne Garrett.

Intro to Meditation
The contemplative practice of meditation has scientifically proven benefits for your body and mind, and the way you interact with and impact the world around you. During each week of this course, you will learn and practice a new method of meditation. The goal is to establish a regular meditation practice that works for you—a practical tool for a centered, peaceful, and enriching life. The class is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from January 21-March 13 at 5:30-6:45 p.m. Fee is $54. Register online under Special Interest.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
Mindfulness is the practice of sustained focus, awareness of the present, self-exploration, and self-liberation with an accepting, open, and kind attitude. Practicing mindfulness can promote calmness, resilience, compassion, and expanded awareness. Scientific studies have shown decreased burnout, improved immunity, and improved athletic and academic performance. A course on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is being offered at the Intramural Activities building this quarter. One section will be offered on Tuesday mornings, January 21-March 11 from 7-9 a.m. and another section on Tuesday evenings, January 21-March 11 from 6-8:30 p.m. Both classes will meet for a retreat on March 8 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. This is offered at $120 as a benefit to faculty, staff, and students. Learn more about MBSR and the instructor, UW Medicine Professor Emeritus Dr. Richard Berger. Register online under Special Interest.


Take a Break
The Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) is offering a 10-week seminar this winter on user experience (UX), featuring industry experts who will speak about current issues and research in the field.

Each 40-minute talk will be filmed and will be followed by a Q&A session. Videos of each talk will be posted online. Members of the UW community and the public are welcome.

Seminars will be held on Fridays, January 10 – March 14, 11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m. at Loew Hall, Room 206 on the Seattle campus. View the full schedule of speakers and topics.

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