HR News

Jim Duncan, ASEA's CEO, addresses staff during SAA's Union Brown Bag FAQ Forum. From left is Beth Behner, chief HR officer; Lisa Sporleder, SAA president; Duncan; and Dan LaSota, UAF.

SAA Hosts Brown Bag Forum with UA & ASEA

The Statewide Administration Assembly sponsored a question-and-answer forum on the staff unionization effort during the noon hour Sept. 3. Guests were UA's Chief Human Resource Officer, Beth Behner, and ASEA's Chief Business Officer, Jim Duncan. UAF employee, and member of the ASEA for UA organizing committee, Dan LaSota, also sat on the panel. It was moderated by SAA President Lisa Sporleder. For one hour, both sides answered staff-submitted questions about the unionization effort. Public Affairs filmed the forum, and SAA provided minutes.

To view a video of the forum click HERE.

To read the minutes of the forum download a Word document HERE.

ASEA Withdraws its Petition

The university received a copy of ASEA's notice to the Alaska Labor Relations Agency stating that the union is withdrawing its petition to represent university staff. 

Jim Duncan also wrote a message to staff, stating a major reason the union had difficulty in communicating the value of a union to staff was that the university actively opposed staff efforts to organize. He also said the university misstated ASEA's positions on issues. 

The university responded to those statements by saying the decision to withdraw its organizing petition was ASEA's decision to make. The university neither misstated facts nor discouraged staff from organizing. The university presented information and issues for employees to consider, asked employees to research the relative advantages or disadvantages of being represented and encouraged employees to vote.

Since ASEA announced the withdrawal of its representation petition, many employees have had questions about what the decision means.

It's important to know that ASEA’s action was not merely a request to postpone the election. The petition itself has been withdrawn and cannot be reactivated. The filing of a new representation petition would need to be based on a new showing of interest (at least 30 percent of members of a proposed unit signing representation cards, which are then submitted to ALRA). Following a withdrawal of the petition, ASEA and other unions could start a new organizing drive at any time.

If an election had been held and had resulted in a majority voting "no union," there would have been a 12 month waiting period before any union could file a new petition. ASEA's withdrawal of the petition creates a situation in which there is no minimum length of time before any union can file a new petition.

Employees have asked about the impact of the petition's withdrawal on the university's FY12 budget development, regarding a proposed compensation increase for staff.  In the next few days, the university expects to receive formal confirmation from ALRA that the representation petition has been dismissed.  After that, the university can go forward with its budget development according to regular processes. University Regulation provides that the Board of Regents will annually review the staff salary schedule.  The university consults with Staff Alliance and considers internal and external factors, including the Consumer Price Index, in determining annual salary adjustments.  See Board of Regents' Policy 03.01E.2 and University Regulation 04.05.043.

Although the union organizing campaign is over for now, the university will continue to actively communicate with staff regarding issues the campaign raised. A number of issues are topics that are still relevant to employees and have an impact on the overall UA budget, such as the health care plan. Also, the Statewide Administration Assembly (SAA) collected additional questions from employees at the Sept. 3 union organizing forum and asked the union and the university to prepare written responses. The university will provide its responses to SAA, because employees indicated they would still like answers. The university also will actively work with staff on development of the FY12 budget recommendation and on a continuing basis regarding issues such as employee health care. The draft budget goes to the Board of Regents for consideration at the Nov. 9 meeting.

If you have other questions on these topics, please e-mail Beth Behner or call Labor Relations at 907/450-8230.

Improving Wellness- One employee at a time

IHP program video featuring Rita Murphy

Looking for a little motivation to improve your health? Watch this video about the IHP wellness program available at UA and a great success story right here at Statewide.  VIEW

Registration is Open for Individualized Health Planning Sessions (IHPs)

Registration is open for the Individualized Health Planning sessions (IHPs), which begin Oct. 4. Sign up and participate in a series of six face-to-face health planning sessions with an experienced wellness consultant, who will customize a plan to help you achieve your personal health and wellness goals.
IHPs are a benefit of your UA Health In Action program, provided at no out-of-pocket cost to you. Program participation is limited, and sessions are filling-up fast.  Register today by visiting www.uahealthinaction.com

Avoiding the Flu is Worth a Shot

Ready or not, the flu season may begin as early as October. Since the best way of avoiding the flu is getting vaccinated, your UA Health In Action team is coming to a UA campus near you - in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.
This year's flu shot is a combination vaccine of seasonal flu and H1N1. The cost is $25, and payments must be made via cash or check. Vaccinations will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment necessary.

Thursday, October 7
9:00am - 1:00pm
UAA University Center, Room 143
WIN for Alaska, Inc. onsite contact: Judy Ellenburg

Wednesday, October 13
9:00am - 1:00pm
UAA Rasmuson Hall, Room 112
WIN for Alaska, Inc. onsite contact: Heidi Beer
Tuesday, October 12
9:00am - 1:00pm
WIN for Alaska, Inc. onsite contact: Gerald Damron

Presented by Carrs Safeway and WIN for Alaska, Inc.
Your UA Health In Action Wellness Program provider.

Fall into Fitness

Fall is a great time to get fit, so your Health In Action Team has put together a variety of fitness activities to help you stay active during this transitional time of year. Some classes require registration, as class size is limited. To register, click on the link in your area below, or visit www.uahealthinaction.com.
Anchorage <http://www.winforalaska.com/UAHealthInAction/HIA/FallAnch.html#1>
Juneau  <http://www.winforalaska.com/UAHealthInAction/HIA/FallJun.html#1>

Anchorage <http://www.winforalaska.com/UAHealthInAction/HIA/FallAnch.html#2>
Fairbanks <http://www.winforalaska.com/UAHealthInAction/HIA/FallFbks.html#2>

Anchorage <http://www.winforalaska.com/UAHealthInAction/HIA/FallAnch.html#3>
Fairbanks <http://www.winforalaska.com/UAHealthInAction/HIA/FallFbks.html#1>
Presented WIN for Alaska, Inc.
Your UA Health In Action Wellness Program provider.

October and November training calendar

The Statewide Office of Human Resources is sponsoring a variety of events in October and November.  The calendar is posted at


and identifies additional details about the following events:  

 “Facilitating Effective Meetings” 

Register here

October 4, 2:00pm – 3:30 pm  

Anchorage @ ULB 104

Fairbanks @ Butro 204 – Video-conference site

Kenai @ WARD 203  - Video-conference site

“Presentation Skill Building” 

Register here

October 5, 2010 10:00am – 11:30am

Anchorage @ BOB 205

Kenai @ WARD 116 – Video-conference site

October 6, 2010 1:15pm – 2:30 pm – Fairbanks @ Butro 204

“Living with Change” 

Register here

October 7, 2010 8:30am – 9:30am – Fairbanks @ Butro 212B

Kenai @ WARD 203 – Video-conference site

Anchorage @ GHH 103 – Video-conference site

Anita C. Madison, Vice President of Training and Consulting from ComPsych Corporation will present on the above topics.  These sessions are free and open to University of Alaska employees.  The sessions last approximately 60-90 minutes depending on the topic and participant questions.

SkillSoft E-learning

SkillSoft E-learning Demonstration:  
October 12, 2010 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

An online demonstration of the University’s employee e-learning resources will be offered on October 12 at 11:00 am.  The demonstration is helpful if you are not familiar with the online resources or would like to learn more about the SkillSoft resources available at no charge to University employees 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week.  If you have specific questions or would like to learn how to quickly search for a course or add a group of Safety courses to your “My Plan,” join this demonstration.  

 You can register for the demonstration at the following link http://www.alaska.edu/hrtraining/Calendar/showevent.xml?id=141&showDate=2010-10-23. Although the calendar shows the demonstration as lasting an hour, it may end earlier depending on questions.  Individuals are free to join and drop from the demonstration at anytime.  A reminder email will be sent to UA registrants one (1) to two (2) days before the event.   

For your convenience, credentials are included below.  To access the demonstration, you will need a computer, the URL address below, the password and a telephone using the toll-free number below.      
Call in number: 1-866-955-4255
Call in code: *7360698*
Password: alaska
To enter the session, at the scheduled time click the link below or copy the URL into your browser:
http://LIVE.skilldialogue.com/brands/WDG/WDG_WebInterpoint/join.asp?schedID=76181&sTopic=demo&sDateTime=12-Oct-2010%2012%3A00%20 PM
If you have not joined a demo in the past, there is a browser webcheck available to test your computer for compatibility before you join the session.  Click the link below or copy the URL into your browser:

Wednesday Webinars by ComPsych Corporation

The training calendar is posted at www.alaska.edu/hrtraining and includes webinars through March 2011.  The following webinars are scheduled for October and November:

October 13 – the webinar was cancelled in order to schedule in-person events October 4-7, 2010.
October 20 @ 11:00 am – Becoming a Better Listener
November 3 @ 11:00 am - How to Receive Criticism and Make it Work for You
November 17@ 12:00 pm – 10 Strategies for Improving Your Finances

The webinars are generally 45 minutes in length and are open to University of Alaska employees system-wide.  There are no fees to attend a ComPsych webinar, although supervisory approval is needed if the webinar takes place during the employee’s work hours. Employees may join these webinars from any computer and telephone.  A toll-free number is needed to join the audio portion of the webinar.  

To register, simply select the desired training event on the training calendar and enter your name, email address, telephone number and click “submit.”  Registered participants will receive a reminder email, login credentials  and the webinar handouts 24-48 hours prior to the webinar.  

If you have any questions about the above events, please contact Anne Sakumoto at (907) 786-1432  assakumoto@alaska.edu or Nick Whitmore at (907) 786-1411 syaslr@email.alaska.edu 

UA Health Link

Keep up-to-date on current wellness benefits and be inspired by healthy lifestyle tips through the UA Health Link. This online newsletter provides monthly updates on IHP programs, wellness breaks, current incentive programs and more. If you missed this month's issue, read it HERE.

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