Employee Assistance Program & Resources

The Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity understands that with the losses we have experienced within our campus community, COVID-19 pandemic, and turbulence in our country and the world, faculty and staff (and their families and friends) may be dealing with a great amount of grief and stress. Our office is committed to providing resources to both employees and supervisors during this time. Please see below for important resources that can be utilized at any time:

Employee Assistance Program

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Employee Assistance Program is a free, confidential service which can provide support for both personal and work-related concerns. The EAP may also assist with legal/financial situations or help with work-life balance. Employees have access to confidential, completely private, 24-hour, 7-days-a-week counseling and online services.

As of January 1, 2021, EAP services are now provided through Kepro. Kepro may be contacted by:

  • Phone: (833) 539-7285
  • Website: mylifeexpert.com. (Username: SOWI).  Employees will need to create an account to access the EAP resources online.
EAP Services & Resources

Additional information pertaining to the services and resources available through the EAP may be found here.

Grief Handout

Given the recent losses within our community, we have also made available a handout provided by Kepro related to grief.

Recorded Webinars

Kepro has a number of recorded webinars available on their website to view at any time.  A few examples include:

  • Dealing with Grief and LossThe death of a family member or close fried is, undoubtedly, one of the most difficult experiences in life.  This webinar discusses the process and stages of grief and learning to move toward resolution of this emotionally trying time.
  • Emotional Composure – Remaining Unruffled & Dynamic Under Stress – Emotions are a healthy part of the human experience.  Acknowledging emotions and understanding your personal stress style is the first step in beginning to control them.  This webinar discusses a selection of customary stressors as well as techniques for exercising control over them.
  • COVID is No Longer a Sprint – It’s Now a MarathonThis webinar addresses how the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a sprint but is now a marathon.  It focuses on the categories of anxiety, common COVID apprehensions, and tools for reducing your COVID anxiety.
  • Practicing Mindfulness to Reduce StressMindfulness, the practice of maintaining a moment-by-moment consciousness of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and environment, through a calm nurturing lens, that stresses that there is no “right or wrong” way of thinking, feeling or doing things and reflecting only upon the present moment can lead to greater perspective, and calm from life’s stresses.
Monthly Webinars

Kepro provides live monthly webinars on a wide variety of topics.  Click here to view the webinar schedule for 2021.  January’s webinar – Leading During Uncertainty – is scheduled for Wednesday, January 13, 2021 from 12:30-1:30 p.m., and is designed to provide guidance for leading during the pandemic. You may register to attend this webinar through Kepro’s website.  The monthly webinars are recorded, uploaded to Kepro’s website and available to view at your convenience.

SilverCloud

SilverCloud is an online platform that offers self-guided, interactive programs and skill-building tools to help with mental health well-being and stress management.  It is available to all employees and students at no cost. To learn more or to begin using SilverCloud, click here.

 

The Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity stands ready to support employees and supervisors during this time.  Please feel free to contact Human Resources at (920) 465-2390 or hr@uwgb.edu if you would like additional information or have any questions.

Ergonomics for your home workstation

Are you starting to experience any of these symptoms after working at your home work station?

  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Loss of motion/flexibility
  • Stiff joints
  • Tingling

Listen to your body – these are symptoms that the ergonomics of your home workstation may not be right.  Make changes to your ergonomic environment at home so that your body is in a neutral position (DOA Proper Neutral Posture poster).  You want to avoid awkward posture (ex. slouching – shoulders should be relaxed and should have a straight line from lower back to top of head), avoid reaching out to get to keyboard or mouse (should be close enough to reach easily when your elbows are at 90 degrees), have your feet flat on the floor, and keep knees at 90 degree angle (if sitting).

The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) provides some additional helpful resources:

If you sit at a desk or table to work at home, consider making some small adjustments so that you are more comfortable.  In the example above, the picture on the right shows how she used items easily available at home to improve her work area.

  • She added a patio furniture cushion to her chair
  • Put a box under her laptop to improve her neck alignment
  • Connected a keyboard and mouse to her laptop to improve her posture
  • Put a shoe box under her feet to keep her knees at a 90 degree angle (could add a non slip pad under if needed)
  • Rested her wrists on a folded towel to improve her wrist position

Do you sit on the couch while working from home?  Here are some tips you can consider, that were used in the second photo.

  • Add a cushion or pillow behind your back
  • Use a TV tray or card table for your computer/keyboard
  • Put laptop on a box to improve neck alignment
  • Have feet flat on ground to improve circulation

If you stand while working at home, here are some tips that helped in the photo on the right.

  • Wear shoes for better support
  • Put laptop and/or keyboard on a box to change their height
  • Connect keyboard and mouse to laptop

Some other tips:

  • Monitors should be placed directly in front of you at the same height, so that your eyes stare straight ahead at them. (DOA Workstation Arrangement poster)
  • If you have two monitors, your primary screen should line up with your dominant eye (ex. if your right eye is your dominant eye, your right monitor should be your primary screen).
  • Do you have sufficient lighting that doesn’t glare on the screen?  Consider adding a lamp or supplemental lighting to your work area.
  • 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to avoid eye strain.
  • Every hour, take a stretch break – stand up, stretch your arms, neck and legs.  Do some hand stretching exercises.  (DOA Take A Break! poster)
  • Apply Ergonomics While Working From Home – helpful brochure from DOA

Please evaluate your home work station, and implement some of the changes noted above so that you feel more comfortable and keep your body healthy while working.

Phoenix Forward – Reminder of Workplace Expectations and Flexible Staffing Options

Workplace Expectations:

While our University is doing exceptionally well in maintaining a safe environment for students and staff, it is important that we not become complacent with our adherence to the COVID 19 Workplace Expectations. It is critically important that all faculty and staff continue to strictly follow the 3 W’s; Wear your mask / Wash your hands / Watch your distance. In addition to following the safety guidelines, it is also necessary that all faculty and staff follow public health principles when not on a campus. If you are attending any group event, you should still use face coverings and practice social distancing; you should continue to consider whether the activity you are participating in would place you, and subsequently your colleagues at risk of infection; and if you engage in an activity where social distancing is not possible or do not use face coverings, you should isolate from campus for 14 days from the date of that event.

Our University has successfully avoided outbreaks and dramatic increases in active COVID-19 Cases because of the dedication and willingness of our faculty and staff in complying with these safety standards, and we will remain able to operate with that continued commitment.

K-12 adjustments, eFMLA and Flexibility:

The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay and the Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity are committed to providing a flexible working environment to facilitate employee work/life balance while still meeting operational needs. The policies and processes referenced on the Phoenix Forward Leave Resources page provide resources for employees to facilitate the exceptional needs they may have if they become infected, suspected, or exposed-close contact to COVID-19. These policies and processes also provide flexibilities given modifications in K12 school delivery, closures and reductions or capacity of day cares, and limits to other day services provided to assist care takers during the COVID-19 event.

Outside of these formal leave policies (COVID-19 leave and eFMLA), if possible based upon departmental operations, supervisors are expected to allow employees options for remote work and/or flexible work schedules in order to accommodate childcare or caregiver responsibilities.

Office Staffing:

With the sudden move of many local K-12s to a virtual setting as well as the community spread of COVID-19 in Brown and surrounding counties, planned staffing for many offices have been disrupted.  While there is a desire to continue to provide as much direct service to the University Community as possible, it is understood that the need for employees to isolate due to infection or exposure to COVID-19 as well as needs of employees to assist with virtual learning may cause staffing issues that were not part of an operational area’s original planning. The priority of any operational area should be the safety of the University Community.

Employees should be reminded to complete the Reporting Form and of the isolation requirements if they become infected, suspected or exposed-close contact. Employees should be supported in their decision to isolate if they believe that they may place others at risk of exposure. The University continues to strongly encourage flexibility with employees who need to provide assistance with virtual learning.  Based on these priorities, office may need to amend their planned hours of on-campus operation. In the event that operational areas need to modify on-campus office hours, the area leader should be noticed of the need for modification. It is requested that any changes are clearly posted at the entrance so that members of the public are aware of these changes. If there are long-term changes to standard office hours, please communicate that change with Marketing & University Communication so that the campus snapshot can be updated as needed.

Performance Evaluations: Non-Instructional Academic Staff & Limited Employees

As we begin a new fiscal year, it is time for annual performance evaluations for Non-Instructional Academic Staff & Limited Employees. Annual performance evaluations are a key component to employee performance and development. The objectives of annual performance evaluations are to provide all employees and their supervisors an opportunity to:

      • Discuss job performance
      • Set goals for professional development
      • Establish objectives for contributing to the department’s mission
      • Discuss expectations and accomplishments
      • Discuss career progression eligibility

Non-instructional academic staff and limited employees and their supervisors should begin the performance evaluation process for the prior fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020) as soon as possible. Please follow the procedure outlined on the Performance Evaluation Narrative Form, submitting the completed evaluation to the area leader’s office no later than Friday, August 28, 2020. Please note – An annual performance evaluation is not required for individuals hired after July 1, 2019 if a six-month evaluation has already been completed.

Part of the performance review process should be a discussion regarding changes in position responsibilities, appropriateness of the assigned title, and the eligibility towards career progression if employees are in a progression series title.

Per the UW-Green Bay Compensation and Pay Plan Policy, compensation adjustments must be based upon merit and employee performance.  Therefore, any future pay adjustments will be contingent upon satisfactory performance.

If you are interested in receiving training related to performance evaluations, career progression and title change, and/or academic staff contracts, or have any questions regarding these processes, please contact hr@uwgb.edu or (920) 465-2390.

Please review the statement published by the Academic Staff Committee on Annual Reviews here.

Workforce Wide Furlough Plan for July 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020

Commencing July 1, 2020 and continuing through December 31, 2020, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will implement workforce-wide furloughs for ongoing employees (not otherwise exempt) for the purpose of reducing overall institutional expenses in anticipation of reduced program revenue and loss of state funding.

Eligible employees will be furloughed November 27, 2020 (Day after Thanksgiving) and all campus locations will be closed for business on that date. In addition to that day, eligible employees will be required to take additional days of intermittent furlough between July 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020, with the number of furlough days based upon base annual salary as outlined within the Workforce-Wide Furlough Plan.

Individual notices outlining furlough allocations will be delivered to employees via email tomorrow, June 19, 2020. Employees currently on consecutive furlough will also receive that notice via postal mail.

For more information about the FY21 Workforce-Wide Furlough Program including process, timeline, and exemptions, please see the Workforce-Wide Furlough Plan.

Upcoming Legal Holiday Reminder

UW-Green Bay observes 9 legal holidays each year (click here for dates), in which the university offices are closed. There are exceptions for instances when a legal holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled day off (i.e. Saturday or Sunday).

If the legal holidays of January 1, July 4, or December 25 occur on a Sunday, university offices will be closed on the following Monday in observance of the legal holiday. If those legal holidays occur on a Saturday, employees are granted a floating legal holiday.

This year, July 4th (7/4) falls on a Saturday. Therefore, employees will be granted  floating legal holiday to use at their discretion, per supervisor approval.

University staff employees must use the  floating legal holiday hours during the calendar year it is earned. Academic Staff and Limited employees must use the legal holiday hours during the fiscal year it is earned.

Use of floating legal holiday should be reported as “Legal Holiday” on either your timesheet (University Staff) or absence entry (Academic Staff/Limited).

Questions?  Please contact us at payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu.

Out of Office Email and Voicemail Messages for Employees on Furlough

During an employee’s furlough period, they are not permitted to engage in any work, including responding to emails or voicemails.  To ensure that it is clear that an employee is unavailable, we ask that employees change their out of office notification during their furlough period on both their email and voicemail account. It is requested that both of these messages include information on how to make contact with the operational area in the event that an individual needs immediate assistance. An employee does not have to disclose that they are on furlough during this period of time, but they also are not prohibited from doing so.  The Office of Human Resources has published template messages which can be used for out of office email and voicemail messages while an employee is on furlough:

Email:

Hello.  I am out of the office and unavailable to respond to email between the dates of ____________________, 2020 and ____________________, 2020.  If this matter is in need of immediate assistance, please email _____________________ or call (920) 465-___________ and someone will be able to provide support.  I will respond to emails as I am able once I return to the office.

Voicemail:

Hello, I am unable to take your call at this time.  I will be out of the office and unavailable to respond to messages between the dates of _________________ and ________________.  If this matter is in need of immediate assistance, please call (920) 465-____________ to speak to someone who may help you.  Thank you.

For information about configuring out of office email replies in Outlook, please see Knowledge Base Article 84308. For information about accessing your VOIP voicemail box to configure an out of office voicemail greeting, please see Knowledge Base Article 98717.

 

 

Interim Policy on Extension of Carryover for Vacation, Personal Holiday and Compensatory Time through June 30, 2021

The COVID-19 crisis has had a disruptive effect on employee schedules, including the ability to take planned time off. Some employees have vacation or personal holidays that must be used by June 30, 2020 or they risk forfeiting those benefits/paid time off entitlements. UW System has recently published SYS 1200- Interim 05, Vacation, Compensatory Time and Personal Holiday Carryover. This interim policy temporarily amends several policies related to the carryover of paid leave to allow employees the option of carrying over these leave balances for an additional year.

A. Vacation Time

For the duration of this interim policy, UW System Administrative Policy 1210, Vacation, Paid Leave Banks, and Vacation Cash Payouts, section 4.D.2 is amended to include new provisions, 4.D.2.c and 4.D.2.d, which read as follows:

“c.  Notwithstanding section (b) above, any unused vacation time carried over from fiscal year 2019 into fiscal year 2020 may be carried forward one additional fiscal year.  Vacation carried over in this manner must be utilized by June 30, 2021.

d. Notwithstanding any institutional policies to the contrary, any amount of unused vacation time earned in fiscal year 2020 may be carried over into fiscal year 2021. Vacation carried over under this section must be used by June 30, 2021.”

B. Personal Holidays

For the duration of this interim policy, UW System Administrative Policy 1211, Personal Holiday and Legal Holiday Administration, section 4.A.3.b is amended to include a new provision, 4.A.3.b.v, which reads as follows:

“v.  Notwithstanding section (iii) above, any personal holiday hours earned in fiscal year 2020 may be carried over, without limitation, into fiscal year 2021.  Hours carried over under this section must be used by June 30, 2021 or they will be lost.”

C. Compensatory Time

For the duration of this interim policy,  UW System Administrative Policy 1277, Compensation, section 6.D.II.4 is amended with an additional bullet point, which reads as follows:

“- Compensatory time earned in calendar year 2019 which is unused as of April 30, 2020 shall be treated as though it were earned in calendar year 2020.”

For questions about the above policy changes, please contact the Office of Human Resources and Workforce Diversity at hr@uwgb.edu or (920) 465-2390.

Updated COVID-19 Leave Policy & Reporting COVID-19 Leave

In a recent update to SYS 1200-Interim 02, COVID-19 Leave Policy, up to 272 hours of COVID-19 leave (prorated by % FTE) may be made available to employees who cannot perform their assigned duties due to the COVID-19 pandemic for the period of March 16, 2020 (3/16/20) through May 1, 2020 (5/1/20). This emergency policy implements leave provisions and workplace flexibility options to prioritize the health and safety of the UW System community and provide additional leave for certain UW System employees to be used during the COVID-19 pandemic if employees cannot work. This leave category expires on May 1, 2020 (5/1/2020).

Reporting COVID-19 Leave

Biweekly employees will record COVID-19 leave on their timesheet in the MY UW Portal in the same manner as other eligible leave types.  A new Time Reporting Code of EMRGY – COVID Emergency Leave will be available to select under the Time/Absence Code Field.  Employees should indicate the reason for COVID-19 Leave (illness, unable to work remotely, childcare, etc.) in the Comments field on the timesheet.  Please see the Tipsheet for additional details. 

Monthly employees will record COVID-19 leave by utilizing the March COVID-19 Leave Report and/or the April COVID-19 Leave Report.  The COVID-19 Leave Reports shoud be completed and sent via email to supervisor for approval  (cc:payrollandbenefits@uwgb.edu)  The payroll and benefits team will process once all approvals have been received.

Please see the updated COVID-19 Leave & FMLA Expansion – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for information about eligibility, reporting requirements, and other details.

 

Assistant Professor – Geoscience

The Department of Natural & Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay seeks applicants for a tenure-track position in Geoscience. The ideal candidate will be interested in teaching geoscience courses in physical geology, mineralogy and petrology, ore deposits, structural geology, and/or field geology of the Great Lakes region. Those with the desire to support and collaborate with interdisciplinary programs in Environmental Science and Water Science are encouraged to apply.

For further information and position responsibilities, please see the full position announcement.

To ensure consideration, please apply by Sunday, April 12, 2020.