News for Employees
New Resource for Managers and Supervisors
A new online resource is designed to support UW–Madison managers and supervisors as they lead teams during uncertain times. Leading Teams during Disruption offers tools and recommendations that can help managers and supervisors respond with skill, confidence, and care to their team’s needs. The content also includes resources to help managers and supervisors take care of their own well-being. Best practices are suggested for responding to questions and concerns, discussing work expectations, maintaining team morale, and more. The new web page is the most recent addition to the collection of online tools for managers and supervisors from Learning and Talent Development.
UW–Madison Announces Additional Cost-Control Measures
Chancellor Rebecca Blank notified employees today that UW–Madison will be implementing additional expense reductions, including employee furloughs, in response to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university finances. The cost-saving measures include campus-wide furloughs, leadership pay cuts, a Work-Share program, position-specific furloughs, and possible reassignments. The largest financial contributions will come from campus leadership and the highest earners. These steps will take effect no earlier than May 15 and continue through October 31, 2020.
These short-term actions are estimated to save up to $30 million toward the more than $100 million shortfall the university is facing. These steps follow other actions that have already been taken to control costs, including canceling new investments, freezing travel, making changes to infrastructure projects, redoubling efforts to enroll a strong freshman class, and more.
The chancellor stressed that protecting the health and safety of our community is the university’s first priority. She expressed gratitude to all UW-Madison employees for their important role in the campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special thank you to those working onsite in essential capacities to preserve campus operations. The full text of the chancellor’s message can be viewed online and has been translated into multiple languages.
Furlough Information for Employees Online
The Office of Human Resources is providing furlough information online at hr.wisc.edu/covid19/furlough. Employees will find information on the various types of furlough and how they will be implemented, as well as details on the Work-Share program, reassignments, and voluntary leaves of absence. Details are also provided on leave provisions, possible eligibility for unemployment benefits, and employee benefits during furlough. Translations of key materials into other languages will be added in the coming days. Employees are encouraged to review this information, including the frequently asked questions, in order to better understand how the cost-saving measures may affect them. Employees will receive notification of their status and additional information in May.
Where to Find Help with Furlough and Leave Topics
UW-Madison is offering a variety of resources for employees who have individual questions about furlough, leave, and related topics. Employees are encouraged to contact the human resources (HR) department in their school, college, or division. A list of HR contacts can be found at hr.wisc.edu/contact. The Office of Human Resources also offers assistance and can be contacted at 608-265-2257 or email@example.com. For language assistance, employees may contact Cultural Linguistic Services (CLS). Direct line phone numbers for each language can be found at hr.wisc.edu/cls.
Where to Find COVID-19 Updates for Campus
Employees can find information on UW–Madison’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic online at covid19.wisc.edu. The site offers information on campus operations and services, health guidance, travel, workplace issues, and more. In addition, the Office of Human Resources has a website dedicated to human resources issues at hr.wisc.edu/covid19. This website provides information on issues such as reporting to work, telecommuting, leave policies, health and well-being, and more. UW employees are encouraged to visit both covid19.wisc.edu and hr.wisc.edu/covid19 regularly and to check these sites for answers to frequently asked questions.
Employees May Complete New W-4 Form Online
In December 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a new Form W-4 designed to help employees better estimate accurate tax withholding throughout the year. Completion of this new form is not required; however, some employees may be able to avoid having too much or too little federal income tax withheld by completing a new W-4 form. Employees are encouraged to review the new form and their individual tax situation. The IRs offers a Tax Withholding Estimator that can help you determine how to have the correct amount of tax withheld from your paycheck. Employees who wish to complete a new Form W-4 may do so online via Self Service. To view your current tax withholding information and make any changes, go to MyUW and click on “Update W-4” in the Payroll Information module. A tip sheet for completing the form is also provided.
Connect, Learn and Grow Series Launches
A new online series, Connect, Learn and Grow, offers online learning and connection for UW–Madison employees. The series will feature a variety of speakers and topics, with a new episode posted online each Wednesday. Episodes will continue to be available online after they are posted. In the first episode, real UW employees have a conversation about what they are doing to find balance and motivation in these challenging times. Connect, Learn and Grow is one of several offerings available at no cost in the Virtual Learning program from Learning and Talent Development.
Ombuds Office Helps with Work-Related Concerns
The Ombuds team serves the UW–Madison community with confidential guidance with work-related challenges, whether they relate to the new challenges presented by COVID-19 or to other issues. During the “Safer at Home” order, the Ombuds team is available via phone and video chat. Ombuds work with UW faculty and staff to collaboratively explore concerns, clarify issues, and consider options and resources. The services of the Ombuds office are available at no cost to all UW faculty and staff, including graduate students and post docs. To set up an appointment, leave a voice message at 608-265-9992, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the Ombuds team will respond within 24 hours. For more information about Ombuds, visit ombuds.wisc.edu.
Emergency Leave Programs for Employees Affected by COVID-19
UW–Madison employees who are affected by COVID-19 may qualify for paid leave under the federal program called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and/or under the UW–Madison COVID-19 Pandemic Employee Work Location and Leave Policy. UW COVID-19 leave is available to employees who qualify until May 1, 2020. The federal programs continue until December 31, 2020.
Employees must complete and submit a “Request for Leave under Federal Emergency and/or UW–Madison COVID-19 Leave Programs” for emergency leave taken from April 1, 2020, until May 1, 2020. Employees who wish to request emergency leave will work with their Divisional Disability Representative (DDR) to complete their request. The DDR will use the information provided by the employee to determine which program(s) the employee qualifies for. Employees can find contact information for their DDR at employeedisabilities.wisc.edu/divisional-disability-representatives-ddr. The request form and instructions can be found at hr.wisc.edu/covid19/emergency-leave. Additional details will be made available to employees in the coming days.
WRS Annual Statement of Benefits Now Available
If you were covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) in 2019, your WRS Annual Statement of Benefits is now available. To view your statement, go to MyUW and launch the Benefit Information module. Then click on the Statements tab and choose “2019 ETF Annual Statement of Benefits (WRS) Issued 2020.” The statement includes your 2019 earnings, retirement benefit projections, primary beneficiary designation(s) for your WRS account, and more. Resources to help you understand your statement can be found online at etf.wi.gov/retirement/wrs-retirement-benefit/my-statement-benefits. If you have questions, please contact your human resources office.