February 2014

Feb. 27, 2014 -- Overtime law

QUESTION

How is it that the University does not have to follow the State of Alaska's Law on Overtime? If overtime is not allowed and compensatory time is, why are there no provisions to document the comp time on a time card. This would protect both the employee and the employer (from my perspective).

From SoA website:
What is the State law regarding overtime?
Employees are entitled to overtime compensation for
hours worked over eight hours in a single day. Employees
are also entitled to overtime compensation for hours
worked over 40 hours in a single week. To count t
he hours over 40 hours in a week, count only the daily hours the employee worked up to eight hours for each day he
worked. If the employee worked over eight hours on any
day that week, those hours have already been counted as
overtime hours and need not be counted again. Overtime
compensation is 1 1/2 times the employee's regular rate of
pay.

RESPONSE

From Tara L. Ferguson, PHR, CCP, Compensation Director

The University of Alaska doesn’t follow state overtime guidelines is because the law states that the university is exempt from state laws; therefore we follow federal guidelines on overtime, which is anything over 40 hours of regular time worked in a week is considered overtime.

Also, according to the University Policy and Regulation (R04.05.020.D.1.B) Nonexempt employees will not be eligible for compensatory time-off in lieu of overtime pay. This regulation does not prohibit the arrangement of flexible working schedules for employees which do not exceed 40 hours in any work week.

Feb. 27, 2014 -- UAF hold music

QUESTION   

Can the hold music for UAF be changed? I have listened to it several times while on hold and it's such a downer!  Isn't there some other classical music that can be used instead?

RESPONSE

The telephone system is normally set up to play KUAC-FM http://kuac.org/kuac-fm/, but there was a problem with the quality. Telephone Services has a ticket in with CISCO and hopes to have it repaired soon. 

 

Feb. 24, 2014 -- First floor Signers' Hall bathrooms

QUESTION

Is there a plan to fix up the bathrooms on the first floor of Signers' Hall? They look awful and it doesn't seem like a very good impression for people to get from one of the main buildings on campus.

RESPONSE

From Marianne Freelong, Customer Service Manager, Facilities Services

The 3 bathrooms on the first floor of Signers' Hall are scheduled to be painted within a few months.

Feb. 17, 2014 -- Healthyroads website

QUESTION

I went to the Healthyroads website and registered recently. It was terrible! I took the Personal Health Assessment and was offered no advice. During the assessment, I had to choose what services would work best for me: web or phone options only. I thought the reason we switched to Healthyroads was because they could offer some in-person assistance. Is this not the case?   The results to my PHA also indicated that I needed to visit my Dr. for screenings. I called my Dr. and was told I would be charged $220 for this. Why are we paying for a website that we can get for free from other sources (myfitnesspal.com, sparkpeople, etc)? and in return, why do I have to pay for my screenings? Isn't that the point of paying for a Wellness Program? If every faculty and staff member have to pay for screenings, who is actually going to participate in this program?

RESPONSE

From Erika Van Flein, Director of Benefits, Statewide Office of Human Resources

The Healthyroads website has a vast array of features, planners, trackers, learning materials and more. The Personal Health Assessment gives you an overall picture of your state of health and gives you information on ways to improve. The coaching options (online or telephonic) are available to you, as well as resources to learn about healthy lifestyle changes you can make. When we originally planned this program, on-site coaching was definitely a component. However, with the budget reductions facing the university in the next and future years the on-site coaching was cut from the program. 

Screenings can be done through your doctor's office, and the UA Choice health plan will cover these screenings at 100%. Also, we plan on offering screenings through the wellness program at service centers around the state, and on-site screenings in April. More information on these will be coming soon.

Feb. 12, 2014 -- Human Resources feedback

QUESTION

I don't know how to make a Human Resources complaint.  Do I just physically go to the HR office?  Or do I need to contact a specific person, and how do I figure out who that person is?

RESPONSE

From Anita Hartmann, Associate Director UAF Office of Human Resources

Any UAF employee can use the HR Suggestion Box to make helpful suggestions for improvement in human resources procedures or processes. The HR Suggestion Box tab is located on the UAF HR home page  http://www.uaf.edu/uafhr/  at the top of the left menu column.  If an individual has a concern about a specific  process, procedure, or HR staff,  the individual can send a written statement to either the Interim Director (Brad Lobland, balobland@alaska.edu) or the Associate Director (Anita Hartmann, amhartmann@alaska.edu).  HR staff contact information may be found on the UAF HR Home Page under "HR_Staff_Listing" which is a hotlink to  http://www.uaf.edu/files/uafhr/Staff-Listing-for-website,-no-description-1-31-2014.pdf 

Feb. 7, 2014 -- KUAC's locked doors

QUESTION

Why is KUAC working behind a locked door? It's really weird to have to access them by banging on a door. Was there a security problem in that basement?


RESPONSE

From Keith Martin General Manager/Director of Technology and Engineering, KUAC-TV 9/FM 89.9

KUAC is a 24/7 operation that houses more than $4.5 million in operating equipment, necessary equipment to keep 3 channels on radio and 7 channels on TV operating. In the past we were able to keep the door open during normal business hours. Unfortunately, KUAC went through a substantial personnel reduction process Spring of 2009. Initially, we tried keep the doors open with the reduced personnel, but we found that without a full-time receptionist and office manager we could not control traffic into the station. After having some equipment stolen and not having the staff to greet visitors we decided we needed to lock the door. The decision to close the doors did not come lightly, as we thoroughly enjoy when community members stop by the station. Visitors just need to knock and our staff will come open the door. We felt that the minor inconvenience of a knock was better than the security risk of leaving the doors open.

Feb. 4, 2014 -- Budget poster costs

QUESTION

Recently someone asked how much it was to produce the Budget 101 poster and the answer was that it cost $97 to print it. The answer seemed to imply that $97 was the only cost because all the people who worked on it were "staff time", hence that effort was "free". Perhaps it would be possible to figure out what the cost of the Budget 101 project really was, including all the payroll hours it took to get it done?

RESPONSE

From Julie Queen, Office of Management and Budget

Part of UAF's role is to communicate the budget and the conditions that impact it in a clear and concise way. The Budget 101 poster was developed in response to a general UAF community request to build better awareness of the overall budget. While $97 was purely reflective of the actual cost to print the posters, related staff time was also minimal (estimated 8- 12 hours). We were able to maximize efficiencies by using templates, fonts and logos from the UAF Brand Book. These tools are available to assist any UAF office in creating professional work-products with limited effort. Information contained in the poster was also pulled from other existing documents.

UAF has a responsibility to the campus and its constituents to share budget information. The poster was developed in response to that need. We will continue to make investments to promote transparency and awareness of UAF's finances and welcome your ideas on how best to do this.

Please be sure to submit your ideas for cost savings via the web form located at: http://www.uaf.edu/finserv/omb/budget-planning/suggestions/


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