News for Employees
Use WiscVPN to protect data, get access
It seems as if each week brings news of some new breach of data security. WiscVPN can help protect you and your data from such breaches, and if you’re using a public wireless network it is absolutely vital. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. A variety of campus network resources can only be accessed by campus-based computers or via the campus LAN on an Ethernet connection. WiscVPN not only allows you to secure access to restricted campus resources from any network, it also encrypts data while it is in transit. Learn more and download WiscVPN on your devices.
Deadline is Friday for excellence award nominations
As a reminder, the deadline for nominations for the UW-Madison Academic Staff Excellence Awards is Friday, Jan. 13. Nine winners in seven categories will be named in March and honored at an awards ceremony in April and at the Academic Staff Assembly meeting in May. Nomination materials for all awards should be submitted electronically here. If you have questions regarding the awards, please contact Jake Smith at 263-2985, or email email@example.com.
Campus network service improvements are underway
Campus network service will be more secure and reliable due to some behind-the-scenes work underway at DoIT. This work includes replacing existing, open-source software, authoritative Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services with a commercially supported system. These updates will also ensure vital sites for relaying messages, such as wisc.edu and alerts.wisc.edu, have additional protection from network disruption. The change will make it quicker and easier to deploy security fixes and new features. It’s expected to be complete by late January.
Benefits enrollment period ends at 4:30 p.m. Friday
The Annual Benefits Enrollment period, your opportunity to review your benefits coverage and make choices for the 2017 plan year, is nearing its end. Employees must enroll or make changes by 4:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 11. Enroll through the eBenefits online tool. Changes are effective January 1, 2017. You may be eligible to change coverage for health, dental, vision and life insurance, as well as Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. FSAs, HSAs and Opt-Out Incentive plans require a new enrollment each year to continue participation. Review the benefit checklist. You can log into the MyUW portal to review your current benefit enrollments under the ‘View Benefits Summary Detail’ tab. The Annual Benefits Enrollment website will show changes in plans and coverage for 2017.
Be sure to plan vacation time as year nears end
As the end of the year nears, winter holidays are when many employees are thinking about taking a long, well-deserved break. Several upcoming holidays are falling on weekends so be sure to consult the legal holiday list to ensure you are getting approval for and are using floating holidays available to you within the given time frame.
FLSA changes to affect some employees' status
Approximately 3,000 campus employees will be affected when the Fair Labor Standards Act salary threshold is raised to $47,476 annually on Dec. 1. Some employees will see changes in their pay or FTE status, but most will experience a change in their FLSA exemption status, meaning they will move from salaried to hourly. Those who manage an employee who will be moving from FLSA exempt (salaried) to non-exempt (hourly) on Dec. 1, are encouraged to attend a forum being held on Nov. 3 and Nov. 18.
UW policy on voting during working hours
With the presidential election coming up on Nov. 8, questions have arisen about the policy for voting during working hours. Employees eligible to vote who find it impossible to vote during non-working hours will be allowed reasonable time off, without loss of pay, to vote. If this happens, employees should coordinate with their supervisor, to ensure that their absence from the workplace can be accommodated.
Instructors sought for Wisconsin Experience Seminar
The Center for the First-Year Experience is seeking qualified, passionate instructors to teach the Wisconsin Experience Seminar (Counseling Psychology 125) in fall 2017.
The course is a 1-credit, extended-orientation, first-year seminar designed to help new students (freshmen and transfers) make a successful transition to academic and student life. Instructors co-teach the class with an undergraduate teaching fellow, participate in a community of practice to enhance their teaching skills, and are compensated for their time and effort. To apply, please complete this application form with a cover letter, resume, and supervisor permission by Jan. 20, 2017.
Child care grants are available
The Office of Child Care and Family Resources is accepting grant applications from university staff employees to assist with the cost of child care. Private UW Foundation funds have been earmarked for employees on the lower end of the pay spectrum. This program helps make high-quality child care more accessible, which benefits the child, the employee and the employer. For more information, contact Teri Stratton at firstname.lastname@example.org or (608) 890-0436.
Bus ticket sales move to Union Box Office
On Nov. 3, the Wisconsin Union will move Van Galder Bus ticket sales from the Essentials Store to the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office. Located on the first floor of the Memorial Union, the Box Office is open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Box Office is not open regularly on weekends, so be sure to plan your trips accordingly.