Employee of the Month
September 18, 2015
Steve Muren, Lab Manager/Instructor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) department, is the recipient of the September Employee Recognition Award. Steve was nominated by Hasan Sevim with support from Dr. Ying Shang, Chris Gordon, and Andy Lozowski.
During my academic career of thirty plus years, I have worked with many staff members in different capacities. I would state that most of the staff members love their jobs and try to do their best to contribute to their institution’s well-being. However, there are a few who distinguish themselves from the rest in many ways, and Steve is one of those.
He has done an outstanding job in keeping the ECE’s labs in perfect condition, day-in day-out, ready to be used by about 400 students. This is no small task when you think about the equipment and software needs of nine different labs. The ECE faculty is extremely appreciative of Steve’s dedication, knowledge, promptness, and genuine care for the Department. Over and above his lab duties, Steve has regularly been asked to teach two courses per semester for the Department. These are the most fundamental courses of electrical engineering with large enrollments. He truly enjoys teaching, and he cares about the students wholeheartedly. I can see the enthusiasm in his eyes every time I see him in the hallway going to class; no wonder student evaluations show he is one of the highest-ranked teachers in the Department.
Steve cares about our students so much that, despite his incredibly busy schedule, he volunteers to mentor our student Solar-Car team. The School of Engineering offers two to three one-week residential “introduction to engineering” programs to high school students each summer. The representatives from various departments contributing to these programs have changed over the years, except the ECE representative, who has consistently been Steve Muren.
Looking at the criteria for this award, I can confidently say for each criterion that, “yes, indeed Steve meets and exceeds this criterion, too.” Steve Muren is an exemplary member of our staff.
- Hasan Sevin, Dean, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
I believe that Mr. Muren has demonstrated many great qualities in his performance working at SIUE for the last 11 years. He has earned numerous awards, such as the SIUE Employee Service Award, the SOE Outstanding Alumni Award, and the Outstanding Faculty Advisory Award. Mr. Muren has been doing an excellent job in his regular responsibilities; maintaining lab equipment in nine ECE labs, assisting with the selection and supervision of departmental teaching, assistants, and mentoring undergraduate and graduate assistants. Moreover, whenever anyone in the School of Engineering needs help, he is always willing to assist in whatever way possible.
He has a very easy-going and enthusiastic personality, and he explains materials very clearly, so students enjoy his classes and give very positive evaluations. Mr. Muren is always willing to help and support the needs of others. Besides completing his regular responsibilities, Mr. Muren serves as the faculty advisor and mentor for the SIUE Solar Car Team and has led them to numerous national competitions. In 2013, the SIUE Solar Car Team won the Spirt Award at the Formula Sun Grand Prix. Mr. Muren also teaches and mentors high school students during the annual SIUE Engineering Summer Camp to educate them about engineering and the many career options in the field.
Mr. Muren is a great asset to the School of Engineering faculty, staff, and students; and all appreciate him as a colleague, instructor, and mentor.
- Dr. Ying Shang, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized as Employee of the Month. I feel very fortunate and blessed to be able to come to campus every day to teach and work with my students as well as to work with all of my friends and colleagues in ECE, the School of Engineering and everyone across campus. It’s extremely satisfying to help my students prepare for and achieve success. Any recognition directed my way is only possible due to the support of the special people I work with. Thank you so much!”
- Steve Muren, Lab Manager/Instructor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Please join us in congratulating Steve Muren as the Employee of the Month on Friday, September 25th at 2:30 pm in the 1st floor atrium of the Engineering Building.
You can also send Steve a congratulatory email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions or comments should be directed to Deb Talbot at email@example.com or ext. 3642
Completion of the Annual Performance Reviews for Civil Service and Administrative/Professional Staff Employees
In June 2014 information was provided regarding the revised Employee Excellence Program (EEP). The following briefly identifies the important revisions to the EEP process for FY15:
If you recall, in order to close-out the FY14 performance year, it was necessary to conduct the annual performance appraisals on Civil Service and Professional Staff employees using that existing process. Also, beginning July 1, 2014 you were encouraged to use Phase I of the revised EEP process for performance goal setting expectations.
It is now time to conduct the annual performance appraisals on Civil Service and Professional Staff employees. The revised performance evaluation process offers a valuable opportunity to provide feedback on work activities and goals, to identify and correct existing problems, and to encourage and improve future performance. The forms may be downloaded from the new and enhanced website of the Office of Human Resources at http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/forms/index.shtml. The deadline for submission is June 30, 2015.
Newly hired Civil Service employees, or those who have recently been upgraded or reclassified, and are serving a probationary period do not have to be evaluated at this time. These employees will be evaluated using the probationary procedures/evaluation schedule. Similarly, Professional Staff hired within six months of the appraisal period will be exempt from the annual process this year. Supervisors are reminded that both the annual and probationary reviews are to be returned to the Office of Human Resources, Campus Box 1040, for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.
If you have completed a PDQ within the last year, and there are no changes, you may attach the form to a new cover page, obtain the appropriate signatures, and forward with the annual review and updated organizational chart. Please note page two of the PDQ (Summary of Changes in Duties and Responsibilities) should not be completed for the annual review process.
A completed annual performance evaluation packet for each employee evaluated that is submitted to the Office of Human Resources will include the following:
In closing, should you have any questions regarding the EEP process, the correct form to use, the proper use of the form, or problems downloading or accessing the forms, please don’t hesitate to call Bill Misiak at extension 2190 or contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you are most likely aware, no budget has been enacted for Fiscal Year 2016 which began on July 1, 2015. The lack of a State budget has put the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) in unchartered territory with respect to funding critical State services, including healthcare services for all plan participants enrolled in the State Employees Group Insurance Program.
As a covered plan participant, your medical, prescription, dental and vision plan services will continue. CMS has been working with and will continue to work with the plan administrators contracted with the State for these vital services.
All healthcare services will continue to be paid as long as possible. However, in the near future, CMS will no longer have the legal authority to continue to pay healthcare vendors for their services. Since the healthcare providers don’t know when they will be reimbursed for the care they provide, a few of the providers in plans (i.e., Cigna, HealthLink OAP, Coventry OAP and Delta Dental) have asked members to pay cash at the time of service. If this occurs with a dental claim, the provider will file the claim on behalf of the member and the member will be reimbursed directly by the plan. In the case of a medical claim, the provider will reimburse the member once the provider receives payment for the services.
Once a budget is approved and appropriate funding is in place, the State of Illinois will resume release of payments for healthcare services.
Please visit the “Latest News” section on the CMS Benefits website for information pertaining to your healthcare. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.
If you have any additional questions, please contact Benefits at x2190 or email@example.com.
Central Management Services (CMS) provided additional information regarding the change in the Prescription Benefit Manager (PBM) to CVS/caremark.
Part of the transition process will be communication to all membership in the self-insured health plans prior to July 1, 2015. Members should expect their welcome kits, including their new CVS/caremark cards, around the last week in June.
A misnomer that needs to be made clear is that CVS/caremark is the name of our new PBM. This does not mean that all prescriptions need to be purchased at a CVS pharmacy. The CVS/caremark network is very extensive and includes most of the large pharmacy chains, including but not limited to Walgreens, WalMart, CVS, etc. The network also includes roughly 26,000 independent pharmacies across the country.
Any time a formulary list changes, there is a chance that a specific drug will no longer be covered or will be covered at a higher copayment. Changing to a new PBM brings along a new formulary list of drugs. The 90-day grandfathering that was mentioned in the previous GI Notice prevents individuals who are currently taking a maintenance drug that is not covered under CVS/caremark’s formulary from experiencing a disruption of coverage through September 30, 2015. During the first 90 days of the new plan year, affected members will be notified by CVS/caremark to contact their prescribing physician to look for an alternate drug that is covered under the CVS/caremark formulary.
If you have any questions, please contact us in Benefits at 650-2190 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Central Management Services (CMS) announced:
the state Employee Benefits Handbook & Amendments the state Retiree, Annuitant and Survivors Benefits Handbook & Amendments have been updated on the Benefits website (www.benefitschoice.il.gov).
This includes previous updates and applicable amendments that were effective July 1, 2014. We thank you for your patience as we haven’t been able to keep the handbooks as current as they should be these last two years. However, with a new Administrative Services Manager on staff, we hope to keep current and post updates on a more timely basis.
Please note that the revisions effective July 1, 2015 have not yet been updated but we anticipate their posting on or before July 1, 2015.
Update to IL Pension Reform
The State Universities Retirement System (SURS) updated its website regarding the Illinois Supreme Court Decision about pension reform on May 8, 2015. http://www.surs.com/news-features The court determined that Public Act 98-599 is unconstitutional. SURS also sent the following:
“SURS is currently reviewing the Illinois Supreme Court’s unanimous decision affirming that Public Act 98-599 (Pension Reform) is unconstitutional. There has been no change and will be no change in administration of SURS based upon this decision.
The stay ordered by Judge Belz put implementation of the law on hold.
- No changes had been implemented by SURS.
- No changes will be implemented based upon the Supreme Court decision.”
The State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), also shared the following link about pension reform:
We have also updated the pension reform link at the site below:
If you have questions or concerns, please contact us in Benefits at 650-2190.
Leave Policies for Bone Marrow Donation, Organ Donation and Blood or Blood Platelet Donation
After consultation with the applicable constituent groups, we have added polices regarding leave for bone marrow donation, organ donation and blood or blood platelet donor leave. Below is a summary of each leave policy.
Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave
Status employees, who have been employed for six months or more, may be granted paid leave time for the purpose of donating bone marrow or organ(s). Bone marrow and organ donor leave is provided for under State of Illinois Compiled Statutes 5 ILCS 327- Organ Donor Leave Act.
An employee may use up to 30 days of organ donation leave in any 12-month period to serve as a bone marrow donor and up to 30 days of organ donation leave in any 12-month period to serve as an organ donor.
Blood or Blood Platelet Donor Leave
Status employees, who have been employed for six months or more, may be granted paid leave time for the purpose of donating blood or blood platelets. Blood or blood platelet donor leave is provided for under State of Illinois Compiled Statutes 5 ILCS 327- Organ Donor Leave Act.
Employees are eligible to take leave as follows:
Please click on the link below for the applicable full policy available on the Office of Human Resources website.
Civil Service employees: http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/policies-civil-service.shtml
Administrative employees: http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/policies-admin-pro-staff.shtml
Excess Vacation Usage - REMINDER
As a reminder, all employees must use their excess vacation before the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2015 unless written permission for carry over is granted by the respective Vice Chancellor. In no case will excess vacation be carried past September 30, 2015. Excess vacation is anything above the limit an employee may carry over from one fiscal year to another. Departments will need to track use of excess carryover on employee timesheets since Banner does not carry excess vacation from one fiscal year into the next fiscal year.
Employees who elect to retire with unused excess vacation will only be paid out the value of their vacation at their vacation limit.
An employee may view his/her vacation carryover limit by viewing their leave balance information in Cougarnet. Below are the directions to view leave balances:
CougarNet (Self-Service) - https://ssb.siue.edu/pls/BANPROD/twbkwbis.P_GenMenu?name=homepage
Link to Leave Accrual Rates and Additional Information: Administrative Staff Leave Category 80
Please contact your Leave Administrator or Kirk Greer at 650-2190 if you have any questions.
Medical Care Assistance Plan - Updates for FY16
As a reminder to all employees who participate in the Medical Care Assistance Plan (MCAP), Central Management Services (CMS) has shared the following with us:
MCAP no longer has a grace period but will have a new rollover feature.
Participant MCAP accounts no longer have a grace period for which to use remaining MCAP funds. The grace period was the additional 75-day period after the end of the plan year (i.e., September 15th) that allowed MCAP participants to incur expenses and utilize their remaining MCAP funds. For the current plan year FY15, participants will only be reimbursed eligible expenses incurred through June 30th. Claims for reimbursement of remaining FY15 MCAP funds may be submitted through the end of the run-out period, September 30, 2015, but expenses must have been incurred by June 30, 2015.
Eligible MCAP participants (you must still be an active employee on July 1, 2015) who have a balance remaining in their MCAP account after September 30th will have up to $500 of that account balance automatically rolled over to the FY16 plan year. The rollover funds will be available on or about October 7, 2015. Any additional unused amounts above $500 remaining in the account after the run-out period ends will be forfeited.
Note: This rollover will occur and be available for use even if the employee does not re-enroll for the FY16 plan year. However, if the employee does not re-enroll, the debit card will not be active and claims will need to be filed through the website, paper or mobile app. In the event the employee is a dependent of an individual with an HSA, any amount rolled over must be waived in order to be in compliance with IRS rules.
MCAP ROLLOVER FAQ’S
Can I use my MCAP account for FY15 expenses incurred after June 30th?
No, only expenses incurred from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 are eligible for reimbursement out of your FY15 MCAP account since the new rollover option has replaced the previous grace period.
Does the rollover amount count against the $2,550 maximum contribution limit?
No. Participants can still choose to contribute as much as $2,550 even if they roll over $500 from the previous plan year.
How much can I roll over to the next plan year for my MCAP account?
You can roll over up to $500 to the next plan year and still enroll for up to the maximum election of $2,550 for FY16. The rollover from the current plan year will be added to your FY16 election on or about October 7, 2015, and can be used for services rendered between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
What happens if I don’t re‐enroll for FY16 but have money left over from FY15?
As long as you are an eligible employee (i.e., not terminated or retired) on July 1, 2015, the rollover will occur regardless of whether you re‐enroll in MCAP for FY16.
Will my MCAP payment card work in FY16 if I do not re‐enroll but have money that rolled over from FY15?
No. The payment card will not work if you do not re‐enroll for FY16. You will only be able to submit manual claims, meaning you must pay for your healthcare expenses using personal funds and request reimbursement.
What happens if I have $700 in my FY15 MCAP on June 30th?
You may turn in FY15 receipts during the run‐out period of July 1 through September 30, 2015, for expenses incurred through June 30, 2015. After September 30, up to $500 of the FY15 money remaining in the account will be rolled over on or around October 7, 2015. Any additional unused amounts above $500 will be forfeited.
What are the rules to be eligible for the $500 rollover?
On July 1, 2015, you must be working full‐time or part‐time not less than 50% and be eligible to participate in one of the State’s health plans.
What happens if I terminate employment on August 15, 2015, and had a rollover amount?
Your rollover funds will be available on or around October 7, 2015. If you enrolled for FY16 and elect MCAP COBRA, your card will be reactivated for use and the rollover funds can be accessed when they become available using the card. If you terminate or retire on August 15, 2015, and do not choose MCAP COBRA, the FY15 rollover funds, in addition to any available FY16 account balance, may only be used for services rendered between July 1 and your MCAP termination date.
If you have questions regarding the grace period or rollover, please contact the FSA/CSP Unit at (217) 558-4509, or contact Benefits at 650-2190.
Benefits Choice Open Enrollment
For benefits eligible employees, it is FY16 Benefits Choice Open Enrollment!
Central Management Services (CMS) will be mailing a short summary of the FY16 Benefits Choice booklet to your home soon. There are a few changes in FY16, which are highlighted below, including no increase to employee health premiums or prescription costs. Deductibles, however, have increased.
Changes for FY16 include:
Ongoing FY16 vendor selection:
Items remaining the same for FY16 (until state negotiations conclude):
For detailed information on the FY16 Benefits Choice period, please visit the CMS Benefits Choice Page: http://www.illinois.gov/cms/Employees/benefits/StateEmployee/Pages/BenefitChoicePeriodFY2016.aspx
To view the FY16 Benefits Choice Booklet, please click on the link and select the FY16 booklet:
To download the appropriate forms to make changes during this Benefits Choice period, please visit the CMS Benefits Choice Forms page:
Please contact Benefits staff for more information at 618-650-2190 or email us at email@example.com.
The Office of Human Resources (HR) is now using HireTouch; SIUE's new online position management and applicant tracking system, for all Civil Service position approval and applicant placement processes.
To request to hire or fill a Civil Service vacancy, department staff that will be responsible for position management, position approval and applicant tracking processes will need to have access to the HireTouch system. All new or replacement Civil Service vacancies must go through this system.
For training and to gain access to the system please complete the System Access Request Form and send to Information Technology Services (ITS), Box 1068 or fax ext. 3055. https://www.siue.edu/its/forms/pdf/sarf.pdf
HR will be notified by ITS once the System Access Request Form is received and HR will contact the requester regarding training, functional roles within HireTouch and assign the appropriate access.
For questions contact Tamika Johnson or Doug James in the Office of Human Resources at 618-650-2190
HireTouch System User Training
HireTouch System User Training sessions are currently available. Please contact Doug James, IT Support Analyst, at 618-650-3068 to schedule your training. Please note: If your department does not have a current Civil Service opening, you do not need to schedule training at this time.
After you have completed the System User Training and when your department is ready to begin the position approval process (Request to Hire, Position Control, and Position Description Questionnaire-PDQ) for a Civil Service opening, click HERE for next steps to gain system access.
FISCAL YEAR-END PAYROLL REQUESTS
In preparation for the FY16 roll process, scheduled during the week of June 22, 2015, we are asking departments to submit all necessary Changes of Assignments/Job Change Request Forms, Redistributions and Change of Status Forms that affect FY15 as soon as possible. Any of these Changes received in Payroll by June 16th will be processed on the last FY15 (FA/SM12) payrolls that pay June 30, 2015 and will be reflected on the June month-end AIS reports. Please complete and submit your contracts, or changes timely to allow 2-3 business days for securing signatures from the respective offices such as Research and Projects and the Provost Office. Again, the paperwork must be received in the Payroll Office by June 16th to ensure processing on the last FY15 payrolls.
After the above-mentioned payrolls, any Change Forms or contracts that pertain to the previous fiscal year and do not affect a state account will be processed in FY16. The 2nd payrolls in July and August (FA/SM14&16) will be available to submit changes for state accounts that affect FY15, as allowed by the state lapse period, this includes retroactive adjustments as well.
July and August (FA/SM14&16) cut-off dates:
The changes must be received in Payroll by July 16th (FA/SM14) and August 14th (FA/SM16) respectively. Again, please allow 2-3 business days for securing needed signatures.
Biweekly and Student cut-off dates:
In addition, the Biweekly and Student Payrolls that cross the fiscal year are tentatively scheduled to be processed on July 16, 2015 (BW15) and July 9, 2015 (ST14). The department time entry cutoffs for these payrolls are 10:00 a.m. on July 14, 2015 (BW15) and July 7, 2015 (ST14). We are asking departments to submit all necessary Adjustments, Change of Status Forms that affect FY15 prior to these payroll cutoff dates. The hours will need to be entered day-by-day in the proper fiscal years. Instructions, including an example for this department time entry process are available on the Human Resources website at http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/payroll/index.shtml (Banner Payroll Documents)
If you need assistance with the Biweekly or Student payrolls please contact Kayla Orban at x2103 or Donte` Howard at x2126.
Salary Deferral Program FY15-16
To: Employees who work 9, 10, or 11 months
As a reminder, to begin salary deferral for the FY2015-16 academic year, a Salary Deferral Authorization Form has to be on file in Payroll. The Salary Deferral Authorization Form is only effective if submitted to Payroll before your new academic contract begins. If you participated in salary deferral last year you do NOT need to submit another form to continue.
NOTE: To be in compliance with the IRS guidelines, the salary deferral program is irrevocable during the 12-month period and changes cannot be made until the next contract year.
Term Academic Employees: If a term contract is not renewed before the end of the academic year, any defer pay balance will be paid out in a lump sum along with your final paycheck at the end of the term contract.
The guidelines and forms are available on the Human Resources website at http://www.siue.edu/humanresources/forms/index.shtml under Salary Deferral. We also encourage you to take advantage of the new Salary Deferral FAQs and Salary Deferral Calculator. The Salary Deferral Calculator is used to provide an estimate of gross pay.
Again, the Salary Deferral Authorization Form must be received by Payroll prior to your first day of employment for FY2015-16, preferably no later than July 1st. All employees choosing to defer for FY 2015-16 may begin submitting forms ASAP.
Also, if you participated in the salary deferral program in FY 2014-15 and choose not to continue, a Revocation Form must be received by Payroll no later than July 1st. The Authorization Form and Revocation Forms are fillable and may be saved and then e-mailed as an attachment from your e-mail address to Payroll Officers Rasheda King at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robyn Courtway at email@example.com. After July 1st 2015 confirmations will be sent to the e-mail address you provide on the form.
If you have any questions, please contact Rasheda King or Robyn Courtway in Payroll at ext 2190.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, religion, national origin or sex in violation of Title VII.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville prohibits discrimination against employees, applicants for employment and students on the basis of age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or veteran's status.