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HR Monthly Bulletin April

virtual graduation

With graduations being canceled or postponed, we would like to assist in celebrating all employees and/or children, grandchildren, and partners that will be graduating from any level of school or program. We are hosting a virtual graduation on May 8, 2020, at 6:00pm on the Human Resources Facebook Page (Northwest Missouri State University Human Resources). Please send us the following:

  • photo of the graduate
  • graduate's full name
  • school graduating
  • employee's full name
  • employee's Department/Office

We would like the information sent via email to the HR account (HRWEBPG@nwmissouri.edu). Please send all information by Friday, May 1, 2020.  Tune in on May 8 at 6:00pm on Human Resources Facebook page.

Employee Anniversaries

Congratulations to these employees for their milestone years of service in April 2020!

20 Years
Brenda Untiedt Advancement Data Resources & Communication Specialist Advancement

Important Payroll & Human Resources Reminders

Payroll

All employees, please enter your time for payroll on your timesheet at the end of each scheduled shift.
This will allow Human Resources and Payroll to track the COVID-19 Leave codes correctly and timely.  Make sure you are using code University Closed for the Northwest 80 Leave or Federal Leave for any of the 6 Federal Leave options that you are specifically approved to use.  Please continue to use personal Vacation and Sick Leave after the approved leave hours are exhausted.  Reminder, you are able to borrow up to 14 days of accrued leave.

Federal W-4 Forms
The Internal Revenue Service, IRS, has released a 2020 Federal W-4 form that is different from previous versions. The IRS is not requiring all employees to complete the 2020 Federal W-4 form, but advises all employees to review their paycheck and evaluate the need to make adjustments to tax withholdings. If employees do not complete a 2020 Federal W-4 form, withholding will continue based on the most recent W-4 form completed.  Effective January 2020, all new employees and employees making withholding changes must complete the 2020 Federal W-4 form.

We encourage all employees to consult their tax advisor to review existing withholding status, evaluate the impact and make any corresponding changes using the 2020 FederalW-4 form on MyNorthwest. Employees should complete the form online, print, sign and submit to payroll. Forms received by the 10th of the month will be included in the respective month’s payroll.

Contact the payroll office at 660.562.1108 if you have questions.

Human Resources

Fillable Forms & Electronic Signatures
In an effort to streamline processes and assist in easing our paper processes while working remotely, our IT team has been working to make many forms across campus fillable or electronic. The Bursar's office has updated the Tuition Waiver form to be fillable. You can access this form here.

Additionally, Adobe does have the capability for electronic signatures. If you need support regarding signing electronically, please let us know.

Finally, we have just a few friendly reminders when completing and submitting Personnel Action Forms:

  • Please complete all fields electronically. This will prevent confusion and provide the best legibility.
  • Please include all information requested on the form, including 919 number. This is crucial to our team to enter all information properly.
  • Please be as timely as possible when submitting these forms for processing so that we can apply compensation prior to payroll processing deadlines.

Should you have any questions or need support in any of these areas, please contact Human Resources at hrwebpg@nwmissouri.edu. As always, thank you for all you do!

Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony Nominees and Winners

Please join us in congratulating the nominees and winners of our student impact awards:

Student Impact Award-Faculty Winner:

  • Dr. Jodie Leiss, Assistant Professor, Health & Physical Education

Student Impact Award-Staff:

  • Judy Frueh, Assistant Director of Wellness Services/WHNP, Wellness Services (winner)
  • Lori Haws, Career Services Specialist, Career Services

Please join us in congratulating all the nominess and winners of our student employment awards:

The Northwest Award for Excellence Supervisor of the Year:

  • Jack Bilbo - Theatre Technology Director and Facility Manager, Fine and Performing Arts (winner)
  • Mark Hornickel, Manager of Communication, University Marketing and Communication
  • Erika Lees, Assistant Director of International Affairs, International Affairs
  • Ashley Strickland, Assistant Director Academic Support, Academic Success and Retention

The Northwest Award for Excellence Student Employment Team of the Year:

  • Admissions - Operations (winner)
  • Athletics – Equipment Room

The Northwest Award of Excellence Student Employee of the Year:

  • Heidi Roesener, Office Assistant, Office of Human Resources (winner, Student Employee of the Year)
  • Ashley Beffa, Office Assistant, Residential & Auxiliary Services (winner, Quality of Work award)
  • Haley Larson, Student Manager, President’s Office (winner, Professionalism award)
  • Natalie Coté, Museum Attendant, University Archives (winner, Uniqueness of Contribution award)
  • Ryan Talkington, Farm Assistant, Agricultural Sciences (winner, Reliability award)
  • Taylor Jones, Biology Assistant, Community Services Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge (winner, Initiative award)
  • Zoe Brink, Office Assistant, Admissions-Operations
  • Breanna Conover, Office Assistant, Wellness Services
  • Olivia Krohne, Data Assistant, University Police Department

In alignment with Northwest’s response to COVID-19, the Northwest Awards and Recognition Ceremony was held virtually via its social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) on April 6–17.  Nominees and winners received a copy of their nomination and certificate, and winners received their award via mail.  The Northwest Awards and Recognition committee thanks all who took the time to nominate individuals and teams for this year’s awards.

You can view a message from Dr. Jasinski, the award presentation and full list of nominees and winners here.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources

The Office of Human Resources would like to highlight the following resources that employees can use if needed. The EAP and TAO are completely confidential:

Employee Assistance Program
All Northwest employees are eligible to utilize Ability Assist Counseling Services sponsored by The Hartford. Please click here to read about the many benefits this program provides.

TAO-Therapy Assistance Online
This is a private online library of behavioral health resources. This is a free and confidential resource available to faculty and staff as well as students. Please click here for more information. Additionally, if you sign up with Be a Better Bearcat you will be eligible for prizes while also reducing your stress.

Wellness Services is offering a variety of on-line programming while we are all social distancing.  Make sure to follow us on social media @nw_wellness for all the updates. 

Personal and Professional Development Webinars

All BCBS members have access to free live webinars available through New Directions each month. Several topics are available for employees, leaders and parents.  

To register for a live webinar:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register for Live Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box

You can also view a number of archived webinars. To view:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “View all Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box
  4. Once in the Webinar Center, click "Live Webinars Archive" at the bottom of the screen
  5. After you register for the webinar, you will need to download Adobe connect to be able to view the webinar

 If you have any questions, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.

Benefits and Wellness Information

Blue KC Virtual Care App

If you download the Blue KC Vitual Care app, you will have affordable access to 24/7 health care. You can schedule a visit with a board-certified doctor or behavior health therapist right from your smartphone tablet or computer. Blue KC Virtual Care is convenient for everyday medical and behavioral healthcare. Click here for additional information. 

Spring 2020 Fitness Challenge

There is still time to sign up and be eligible for great prizes! Registration ends April 26. The Benefits and Wellness Committee feels it is important now more than ever for employees to stay physically active. For this reason, the Benefits and Wellness Committee will be sponsoring a six-week individual steps challenge, titled “Good Vibes.” The Good Vibes challenge takes travelers to 10 of the most beautiful beaches on the Hawaiian Islands AND encourages plenty of "chill" time to relax and connect with your inner vibe.

Click here for complete challenge details, including how to register. 

Other Spring 2020 Wellness Opportunities

5KXCV-KRNW Run for Radio Virtual Fundraiser

Practice social distancing while still enjoying the camaraderie of a 5K Run/Walk with other participants

  • Run/Walk 5K anytime-anywhere between April 11-25, send us a selfie & photo of your results.
  • Registration is $25 and $15 for Northwest students.
  • Register by April 12th to guarantee a t-shirt.
  • Online registration closes on Friday, April 17th @noon.
  • T-shirts, goodies, & prizes can mailed, delivered, or picked up at Wells Hall 224.
  • Proceeds support the programming on your local NPR station, KXCV-KRNW.
  • Support public radio & healthy living by taking part in our Run for Radio!

To register for the 5K Run/Walk, click the button below or go tohttp://www.kxcv.org/events/5K.htm

Be a Better Bearcat 

The spring 2020 Be a Better Bearcat series will focus on behavioral health, wellness and professional development opportunities available to employees. Employees have the option to participate in two different pathways. 

The first pathway involves completing modules in Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). TAO is online self-help available 24/7 for Northwest employees. Several behavioral health modules are available, including general well-being and resilience, stress, anxiety, depression, pain management, and relationships and communication. TAO is interactive and allows employees to watch engaging videos and complete exercises. Employees who earn five badges by May 1 will be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the spring semester. One TAO administrator will be able to see only the number of badges earned for those employees participating in the Be a Better Bearcat group. If you are interested in participating with TAO, email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu. TAO is completely confidential if you do not wish to participate in the Be a Better Bearcat group.  

UPDATE for the second pathway:

Due to COVID-19, on campus wellness workshops and career pathing events have been canceled. Any events that you attended prior to closure of campus will still count towards Be a Better Bearcat.

As an alternative, viewing a live or archived webinar presented by New Directions will also count towards Be a Better Bearcat.

To register for a live webinar:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register for Live Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box

You can also view a number of archived webinars. To view:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “View all Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box
  4. Once in the Webinar Center, click "Live Webinars Archive" at the bottom of the screen
  5. After you register for the webinar, you will need to download Adobe connect to be able to view the webinar

The second pathway involves attending Wellness Workshops or Career Pathing events. Wellness Workshops are presented by Wellness Services and include sessions about stress, meditation, self-care and relationships. Click here for dates and times of workshops (refer to the University calendar at www.nwmissouri.edu for changes to locations, dates, times or for cancellations). Employees also may attend Career Pathing events sponsored by Student Employment. Career Pathing events provide employees with opportunities for personal and professional development. To register for an event, click here. Employees who attend six of any Wellness Workshops or Career Pathing events by May 1 will be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the spring trimester. If you are interested in participating, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu. Sign-in sheets are available at all Wellness Workshop and Career Pathing events. Be sure to sign in to those you attend. 

The Benefits and Wellness Committee also is implementing a year-long Be a Better Bearcat series. The series will focus on the available resources and tools found on the BCBS wellness portal, A Healthier You. Employees who earn 3,000 points between January 2020 and December 2020 will be entered into a prize drawing at the end of the year. Points can be earned by logging in, condition management, daily tracking through a connected fitness device and preventive actions such as flu shots, cancer screenings and completing the Health Risk Assessment. Points can also be spent on sweepstakes for a chance to win digital gift cards from BCBS. In 2019, 40 Northwest employees earned gift cards. For more information about earning points, click here. If you are interested in participating, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.  

Personal and Professional Development Webinars

All BCBS members have access to free live webinars available through New Directions each month. Several topics are available for employees, leaders and parents.

To register for a live webinar:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Register for Live Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box

You can also view a number of archived webinars. To view:

  1. Go to  https://eap.ndbh.com
  2. Enter Company Code:  YourEAP
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “View all Webinars” in the "Check out our Webinars" box
  4. Once in the Webinar Center, click "Live Webinars Archive" at the bottom of the screen
  5. After you register for the webinar, you will need to download Adobe connect to be able to view the webinar

 If you have any questions, please email healthybearcat@nwmissouri.edu.

Campus Recreation Offerings 

Please note: Campus Recreation offerings are not currently available due to COVID-19

The Foster Fitness Center, the Student Recreation Center and the Hughes Fieldhouse walking track are free for all employees and spouses to use. 

Free group exercise classes are also available at Foster Fitness Center at 12:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday; click here to see available classes.  

The Student Recreation Center has three basketball courts, a four-lane suspended track, a newly renovated exercise area and six racquetball courts. 

The Hughes Fieldhouse walking track is open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

The Mozingo Outdoor Education and Recreation Area (MOERA) is located nine miles from Northwest at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park. It offers a variety of outdoor programs, including a high ropes challenge course with a Carolina climbing wall, Alpine obstacle tower and TDC team-building course as well as a shotgun range, and canoes and kayaks on the lake. Contact Chase Hall at chaseh@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1759 for information and reservations. 

For a complete listing of campus recreations hours of operation, please click here

Mosaic Offerings

Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville is offering a personalized weight management program called Healthy Lifestyles. The program is designed to help people of all ages and sizes achieve an improved quality of life through medical nutritional counseling, teaching and lifestyle changes. For additional information about the program, click here.  

Insurance and Benefits Updates Related to COVID-19

Insurance Updates Related to COVID-19

As Northwest insurance carriers continue to provide plan updates related to COVID-19, a complete listing of that information will be made available to employees here. Below you will find the most recent updates.

BCBS COVID-19 Updates

Blue KC is taking steps to ensure you continue to receive the care you need. The following measures will be in place during the COVID-19 emergency period:

  • Access care from home
  • Prior authorizations for COVID-19 services are waived
  • Early medication refill limits are waived
  • COVID-19 test is covered with no cost share to you

Please click here for additional information. 

For the latest updates, visit https://www.bluekc.com/consumer/covid-19.html

Optum 2019 HSA Contribution Deadline Extended

CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27 and contains the following health plan provisions that apply to Health Savings Accounts:

  • Allows individuals to use money from pretax accounts (health savings accounts (HSA), flexible spending arrangements and health reimbursement arrangements) to purchase over-the-counter drugs. It also allows pretax purchase of menstrual products.

The federal income tax filing deadline has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. As a result, the amount of time that individuals have to make 2019 health savings account (HSA) contributions has also been extended to July 15.

Click here for the latest developments and up-to-date information on regulation changes related to health care spending and savings accounts.

MO Cafeteria/ASI Flex

Dependent Care Changes

If you have had a change in dependent care due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to adjust your dependent care contribution. Please contact ASIFlex at 800-659-3035 if you are interested in updating your contribution amount to see if you qualify. 

Claims Submission Deadline Extended

Due to current circumstances, the Office of Administration has extended the 2019 Missouri State Employees’ Cafeteria Plan claims filing deadline from April 15th to June 30th, 2020.

Student Employment

Student Employment Hiring Reminders:
Please begin hiring for the summer using the first day of work as the “query date”.  Here are a few things to remember, when completing summer rehire/new hire Electronic Personnel Action Forms (EPAF).

  • All spring positions have been mass terminated effective May 8th (last day of the spring semester), unless you terminated the position earlier. All current student employees who were hired in the spring and plan to continue working into the summer will need to be rehired (which includes creating the EPAF and the supervisor approving the EPAF) no later than April 29th.  New hires may be completed on or before their first day of work.
  • First eligible date for summer hiring is May 9th .

Please remember to post any vacancies for the summer semester.  You may do so by submitting a job posting request form, along with the job description.  All fall entry level positions may not be posted until SOAR dates begin in June. I will send another email when it is time to rehire/hire for the fall semester so please wait to enter those EPAF’s.

Contact Student Employment with any questions at 660.562.1140 or contact Paula McLain at pmclain@nwmissouri.edu.

Staff Council

Northwest Wesley Foundation wants to introduce additional services to the Bearcat community!
What: Prayer/Meditation Space
Purpose: To support interfaith practices, as well as, stress reduction. It is available for quiet contemplation, meditation, reflection and prayer.

Available for all students, faculty, and staff during normal hours of operation and when space is available. The Wesley Center is located just south of Hudson-Perrin at 549 W 4th St. For more information about the Wesley Center please visit www.northwestwesley.com.

Staff Council
Northwest Staff Council represents a unified voice for all Northwest Staff. To learn about the staff, upcoming events, or if you have any concerns please visit us at https://www.nwmissouri.edu/staffcouncil/index.htm

Employee Discounts

United Fiber
Due to the increased likelihood of remote work, United Fiber is offering Northwest employees who are current customers a free upgrade to their Home internet package (500 Mb). If interested, contact United Fiber at 800-748-1488.

State Employee Discount
The State Employee Discount Website provides Missouri State Employees and Retirees opportunities to purchase deeply discounted tickets for events the whole family can enjoy. In addition to Attractions and Entertainment, the website also offers year round savings for Education, Products and Services, and Technology.   
Use this link to find more information on other products and services available on the State Employee Discount website.

Interstate All Battery Center $10 Off Coupon
Interstate All Battery Center in St. Joseph is offering a $10 off coupon for any mobile device repair. Click here to access the coupon. This is only valid at the St. Joseph location.

Verizon Wireless Personal Account Discount
Verizon Wireless is offering employees of the University an 18% discount on their personal Verizon Wireless accounts. Employees will need to go to www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/employee/eleLanding.jsp to get the discount set up. You will use your work email address as verification of employment. 

Sprint Works Program
Click here for details on new promotions from Sprint.

Miscellaneous

Reminder: Bearcat Food Pantry
The mission of the Bearcat Food Pantry is to provide a source of food and necessities for Northwest students and employees experiencing food insecurity and hunger. The food pantry is located in the J.W. Jones Student Union and is accessible from 8 am to 5 pm. Northwest accepts food donations for the pantry at the Student
Engagement Center and the Student Affairs office both located on the 2nd floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union. For a list of most needed items, click here. Monetary donations to support the food pantry should be directed to the Northwest Foundation and are tax deductible.

"We Gotchya!" 
"We Gotchya!" is supplying feminine products in high-traffic ladies’ rooms on campus. For more information about “We Gotchya!” visit wegotchya.org.

Friends of International Students
Friends of International Students (FIS) is a community-based organization established to match interested area individuals and families (friends) with international students at Northwest. The program goals are to provide support to the students as they become adjusted to their new home and to promote friendship and understanding between people of different nationalities.

FIS is currently recruiting more friends to connect with international students. Friends are asked to make contact with assigned students at least once a month during their year-long commitment to the program. Contact can take many forms including family dinners, attending sporting events, pumpkin carving, and various other activities involving two-way cultural tradition sharing. For more information or to apply, please contact the board members at FIS@nwmissouri.edu or check it out online https://www.nwmissouri.edu/international/services/friends/index.htm.

Does your department need office supplies?
Please check the “How to Purchase Office Supplies” guide here: https://www.nwmissouri.edu/services/purchasing/pdf/How%20To%20Purchase%20Office%20Supplies.pdf. There are various binders, hanging file folders, and other office supplies available at no cost to departments at the Materials Distribution Center.

Purchase Requisition Training Videos
The Purchasing Department has created two instructional videos that explain how to create a purchase requisition and a Central Stores purchase requisition in Banner/INB. The videos are available here: http://www.nwmissouri.edu/services/purchasing/videos/index.htm