Summer Hours 2019

Summer hours are almost back! This year’s summer hours setup is a little different than the past few summers, so here is some information to guide you on how things will work this year:3-2-sun-png-clipart

  • Summer hours begin the week of July 8 (the week after Independence Day).
  • Summer hours run through the week of August 30 (meaning that regular hours resume the week of Labor Day).
  • The summer campus hours will be 8 am to 5 pm Monday-Thursday, with campus closed to the public on Fridays (our current hours are indicated here on the website: https://www.greenriver.edu/campus/).  Not all shifts will align directly with the hours as there may be personal, departmental, or support needs that fall outside of those hours.
  • Employees should work out their individual schedules with their supervisors. While we are closed to the public on Fridays, employees can work on Fridays, with supervisor approval (HR approval is not required).  Please note, for employees who work on Fridays during the summer, we will have very limited services.  There will be no Facilities, Food Service, Bookstore, Mailroom, IT or HR support on those days, and no expectation that other offices will be available.

Here are a few notes to help clarify this year’s summer hours:

Q:  This seems less complicated than past requirements around summer hours.  What’s the catch?

A:   We know that better decisions are made when we give employees and supervisors the flexibility to work together to meet the unique needs of their departments.  We wanted simple and flexible.  No catch.

Q:   How do we complete our TLRs?

A:   That depends on your schedule.  In coordination with your supervisor, you can choose to work 4-10’s, or some combination (4-9’s and 4 hours leave, 5-8’s, or something else).  Once you and your supervisor agree on your schedule, fill out your TLR to reflect those hours that you’ve worked and/or taken leave.

Q:  Can I work 2-20’s?  Do I have to take a lunch break?  Can I start at 3:00am?

A:  There are some parameters around number of hours worked each day, lunch breaks and start times.  Our general rule is you should not work longer than a 10-hour day (plus lunch break) and if you are classified staff, you must take a lunch break.  We also strongly recommend starting hours for most staff to be no earlier than 7:00am.  That’s because we have Facilities staff and others whose regular start times are earlier so that they can get work done in your areas before you get here.  A sample schedule for a classified employee working 4-10’s could be M-Th, 7:00am to 5:30pm with a half hour lunch, or 7:00am to 6:00pm with an hour lunch.  These are just examples; talk to your supervisor to ensure department needs are adequately addressed.

Q:  Aren’t we prohibited from being here on Fridays?

A:  No, but please note that many campus services including IT, HR and Facilities will not be available on Fridays.

Q:  I am classified staff.  Can I work 32 hours one week and 48 hours the next week if it’s all in the same pay period?

A:  No.  Because of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules, you cannot work more than 40 hours in a one-week period, because that puts you in overtime status.

Q:  Don’t I have to have multiple approvals to be allowed to work on Fridays? 

A:  No, your schedule (subject to the conditions already noted above) should be worked out between you and your supervisor.  If you need HR help, just let us know.

Q:  Will my supervisor allow me to work on Fridays?

A:  You will need to discuss that with your supervisor.  We are encouraging departments to have conversations around staffing needs, and to be as flexible as possible.  You do not need HR approval to work on Fridays.

Q:  I am a supervisor and I don’t want to work on Friday, but I have classified staff who do.  Can my staff work without a supervisor?

A:  We are encouraging departments to develop schedules that work for the college and the employee.  In general, we need to have some supervisors and administrators here on Friday if we have staff working.  That’s because sometimes things happen that require individuals with specific levels of authority to be available.  An example might be a power outage, or a snowstorm.  We need someone on campus who is authorized to act on behalf of the college, however every department does not need to have specific supervisors working.  As an example, the Business Office might have people from Purchasing, Accounting and Budget all working on Friday, but the only supervisor here is the Budget Director.  That would be fine – we don’t need three supervisors here.  We might also not have any supervisors in the Business Office on a given Friday; however in that case someone would be identified as being available if needed, typically via telephone or email.  A situation where you might want to have a specific area supervisor present is if you have new employees – it might not be comfortable or even possible for them to work unassisted on Friday.  We also have entire departments who work on Fridays year-round, because the work they do has to happen whether we are open to the public or not.  We are trying to make things as simple as possible for everyone, while giving departments and individuals as much flexibility as possible.

Seeking Targeted Talent Development

Although there are more women and people of color moving into leadership  positions in both government and business, there is still a scarcity of women in leadership roles. A lack of targeted leadership development offerings could be a contributing factor. To find out more, click on the link below

Seeking Targeted Talent Development

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Paid Family & Medical Leave is Coming to Washington State

On behalf of Sheryl Gordon:

Starting in 2020, Washington State will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave to workers.  Washington State passed legislation in 2017 that established the “Paid Family and Medical Leave” (PFML) program that offers Washington workers the opportunity to receive partial wage replacement while on leave for qualifying family and/or medical events after establishing eligibility. This insurance program will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks, as needed, when they welcome a new child into their family, experience a serious illness, need to take care of a sick relative, and for certain military connected events.  If workers experience multiple events in a given year, they may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks, or up to 18 weeks if the employee experiences a serious health condition with a pregnancy that results in incapacity.

Premiums

Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program is organized as an insurance program, and like most insurance programs, it is funded through premiums.  Beginning on January 1, 2019, most employers will be required to withhold premiums from their employee’s paychecks, and many employers will be required to pay into the program too.

As directed by the Legislature, premium assessment begins on January 1, 2019 and benefits can be applied for starting January 1, 2020.

Great News

Green River College is opting to pay both the employer and the employee premiums to fund this new Paid Family & Medical Leave program! 

Details on How It Will Work

Eligible Washington workers will be able to use Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits starting in 2020.  The application and benefit payment process will be managed by the Washington State Employment Security Department.  For more information about PFML, go to www.paidleave.wa.gov

Holiday Campus Closings

Greetings Green River Colleagues!J-Happy-Holidays

The holidays will soon be upon us and we’d like to share this year’s holiday schedule. Our campus will be closed to the public beginning at noon on Monday, December 24, 2018 and Monday, December 31, 2018.   Employees should plan to work their entire regular shift on those days or, if on approved leave, submit vacation, personal holiday, or other appropriate paid leave for the hours of their entire regular shift not worked. Have a great holiday season!

Janus case information

As many of you will recall, last month the Supreme Court sent down a ruling that gavelprevents public employers and unions from requiring bargaining unit members to pay an agency fee or representation fee. If you are a member of a bargaining unit, you may have questions about how this affects you. The Office of Financial Management has posted a very detailed list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that should prove helpful in answering some of your most common questions. Please refer to the link below for more information!

OFM Janus FAQ list

Summer Hours are a-comin!

Last month, we let you know about the upcoming summer hours for campus. As a little reminder, here’s some information about what will happen beginning July 9:3-2-sun-png-clipart

  • Summer hours begin the week of 09 July (the week after Independence Day).
  • Summer hours run through the week of 27 August (meaning that regular hours resume the week of Labor Day).
  • The summer campus hours shall be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday-Thursday (our current hours are indicated here on the website: https://www.greenriver.edu/campus/).  Not all shifts will align directly with the hours as there may be personal, departmental, or support needs that fall outside of those hours.
  • The default work week for all employees shall be four (4) 10 hour shifts from Monday through Thursday.  Certain departments may have needs outside of those hours and will work with employees directly to set shift expectations.
    • Employees who cannot work the four (4) 10 hour shifts should contact their direct manager and their Employee & Labor Relations person (either Barbara or Chernenko).  Employees who cannot work the shift may be defaulted to five (5) 8 hour shifts.

As a note:

  • employees may request of their manager a schedule adjustment (for WFSE employees, this is 7.3 (B)(4)) at any time.  Schedule adjustments will be considered by the manager in coordination with Human Resources and may be granted if business needs can be met.
  • employees may request vacation time using the same college and departmental policies and procedures in place.

Summer Hours are on the way!

3-2-sun-png-clipartThough we’re enjoying some fantastic spring weather, our minds can’t help but turn to (what we hope will be) an even better summer season! With that in mind, here are the guidelines for summer hours this year:

  • Summer hours begin the week of 09 July (the week after Independence Day).
  • Summer hours run through the week of 27 August (meaning that regular hours resume the week of Labor Day).
  • The campus hours (current hours as indicated here on the website: https://www.greenriver.edu/campus/) shall be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Not all shifts will align directly with the hours as there may be personal, departmental, or support needs that fall outside of those hours.
  • The default work week for all employees shall be four (4) 10 hour shifts from Monday through Thursday.  Certain departments may have needs outside of those hours and will work with employees directly to set shift expectations.
    • Employees who cannot work the four (4) 10 hour shifts should contact their direct manager and their Employee & Labor Relations person (either Barbara or Chernenko).  Employees who cannot work the shift may be defaulted to five (5) 8 hour shifts.

As a note:

  • employees may request of their manager a schedule adjustment (for WFSE employees, this is 7.3 (B)(4)) at any time.  Schedule adjustments will be considered by the manager in coordination with Human Resources and may be granted if business needs can be met.
  • employees may request vacation time using the same college and departmental policies and procedures in place.

Classified Staff In-Service Day

On behalf of the Classified Training and Development Committee, we invite all classified staff to a workshop focused on equity, diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace. February 6, 2018 will feature two options for attending this workshop: 10a-11:30a and 2:30-4pm in the SU River Room (supervisors: make note that, while areas should remain open, employees should be given the time to attend one session). Below is a little bit of information about our day’s facilitator, Debi Jenkins!

Debra (Debi) Jenkins has over twenty years of experience transforming lives as an innovative developmental life coach, teacher and, presenter. Debi is a tenured professor of Early Childhood Education and Psychology, Department Head of Early Childhood Education, and Chair of the Behavioral Sciences Division at Clark College. Debi is also a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and the Intercultural Development Plan which are effective developmental coaching tools. Debi’s expertise in life coaching, teaching and presenting is in the areas of lifespan development; issues of diversity, justice, equity, and inclusion; and institutional climate/ organizational change.Debi Jenkins

 At the core of my Share the Flame work reside the questions: How do I nurture the souls of those individuals who are in my sphere of influence? How do I engage them in reconciling the various complexities of their multi-contextual lives with the work of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion? And how do I cultivate the importance of self-care to preserve their commitment to their work, families, and collective communities? ~ Debra (Debi) Jenkins

It’s Open Enrollment Time!

OPEN ENROLLMENT RUNS FROM NOVEMBER 1st – 30th

Changes you can make:Open Enrollment

  • Change your medical or dental plan, including waiving for an eligible reason;
  • Add or remove an eligible dependent;
  • Enroll or re-enroll in Medical Flexible Spending or Dependent Care Assistance Program

For more detailed information, see the latest For Your Benefit Newsletter:

https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/pebb/state-higher-education-newsletter-1710.pdf

 

Hourly Employees Explained

Posted on behalf of Chernenko Wheatley, Employee & Labor Relations Manager.hours2

Temporary employees are a great asset to the support of department operations here at Green River, but there are guidelines and restrictions of which supervisors must be aware.

Under Article 5.1 of the Classified Union Collective Bargaining Agreement, individuals in temporary appointments are limited to one thousand and fifty (1,050) hours of work in a twelve (12) consecutive month period from the individual’s original date of hire. Because of this time constraint, supervisors need to effectively manage the number of hours their hourly employee is working.

Article 5.1 (A) tells us that individuals in such temporary appointments who work between three hundred fifty (350) hours and one thousand fifty (1,050) hours over a twelve (12) consecutive month period become members of the bargaining unit and begin paying union dues.

Individuals in temporary appointments become eligible for medical benefits once the employee accrues 480 hours within a six month period and with a minimum of 8 hours each month. The employee will maintain that benefit if they continue working a minimum of 8 hours per month. By staying at 16 hours (or fewer) per week, we remain within the limit.

Hourly positions do not qualify for vacation leave and must adhere to the scheduling needs of the department.

*Special Considerations:

  • Hourly Student Employees: Under article 5.1 (A), individuals who are in temporary appointments and are students in a half-time or more capacity are NOT eligible to become members of the bargaining unit.
  • Work Study Students: The different hour constraints (16 for benefits, 1050, etc.) and other considerations (i.e. union notification) are dependent upon the amount of financial aid a student is awarded. Please direct any questions regarding such hourly employees to Financial Aid.

For further guidance, please take a look at the Temporary (Hourly) Employee page on the GatorNet under Administration>Departments>Human Resources>Hourly (Non-Permanent). Here you will find information about the hiring process, general guidelines and other helpful links.

Please submit any further questions to our Employee & Labor Relations Management team: Chernenko Wheatley or Barbara Iribarren

Salary: What’s In a Number?

Salary

When looking at a job that is within a career path, many people look to the salary to determine if it is going to be a step in the right direction. Often, as an employee we wonder how does the employer come up with this number?  As an employee, there is so much more that goes into your compensation than just your base salary though. When an employer is considering salary for a position they have to take into consideration not just the fair market value for direct wage and salary payments  but also the long term budget for employer contributions towards benefits and payroll taxes (i.e. Health/life insurance, retirement, Medicare, Social Security and Workers Compensation).

Yet the salary and ensuring that the salary is equitable and consistent within the industry is important. How, exactly, is compensation determined within higher education and more specifically at the state college level? Various industries refer to labor market salary surveys to determine salary for positions. These salary surveys take into consideration a variety of different factors such as:

  • Competencies: What is the level of knowledge, skill and ability needed for the position?
  • Market demand: Demand for certain positions can be high which can affect the salary.
  • Location of Position: What is the cost of living? Is the location in a rural or urban area? Level of Travel?

It is important to use a labor market survey that best fits your organizations structure, industry and size to make accurate wage and salary comparisons. Each year, Green River College participates in an annual administrative salary survey that is published by the State Board of Technical and Community Colleges (SBCTC). The survey is designed to collect salary data on key administrative and professional positions in each Washington State community and technical college as an aid to colleges in setting administrative salaries.

Most position codes and descriptions are identical to those used in the College and University Personnel Association (CUPA) survey and there are also position descriptions used that are unique to our Washington State Community and Technical College System.

Classified

Salaries for our classified staff are set by the state Department of Personnel (DOP) and the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE).  The DOP provides a list of all classified positions, a job class description and a link to the pay range and step.

http://www.dop.wa.gov/CompClass/JobClassesSalaries/Pages/ClassifiedJobListing.aspx

Link to the WFSE salary schedule:

http://www.hr.wa.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/CompensationAndJobClasses/Salary%20Schedules/2015Jan1_GS%20Min%20Wage%20Adj/GS%20Rep_MinWage.pdf

Faculty

Salaries for faculty are determined by a similar scale in that both work/teaching experience and education are reviewed to determine their initial salary placement on the salary schedule which is found in the Green River United Faculty Coalition Agreement: http://www.gatornet.greenriver.edu/evp/Documents/UF-Contract-2011-14.pdf

Exempt Staff

Exempt staffs (including Administrators) are determined based on the specific job description as well as state and regional comparisons. The following is a link to the 2014 administrative salary survey that we participate in each year http://www.sbctc.ctc.edu/college/hr/System-Salary-Survey2014v1.2.pdf

W-2 Wage

While these are the places we determine the base wages of employees, there is sometimes additional pay for work done outside of the normal scope of a job.  While the reported wage for a position might be one amount, the wages in the course of the year may be different.  The total salary plus additional monetary compensation for work are called the W-2 wage.  As a state employee, your W-2 wage is subject to public disclosure.  The information for all state employees is available at http://fiscal.wa.gov/Salaries.aspx

As you have read, compensation is definitely more than just a number and how the employer gets to that number for each position is determined by various factors. Hopefully, this post has provided you with some insight and knowledge into how compensation is evaluated for positions within our organization.