Benefits and Leave


Investing in You

CWU's comprehensive benefit package includes an annual contribution of over $13,000 toward health insurance, over $10,000 toward retirement, and a combined total of 40 days off for holidays, vacation, and sick leave. Depending on plans selected, your cost will vary for health insurance from $26 - $341 per month and 5-15% for retirement. CWU waives up to 50% of tuition for employees' dependents and employees may be eligible for the public service loan forgiveness program.

Insurance & Retirement

CWU offers a comprehensive benefit package to keep you healthy and plan for your future.

Get and Stay Healthy:

  • Medical, Dental, and Vision Care: reasonable monthly medical premiums - the university pays majority of premium cost. Vision and dental coverage included at no additional cost!
  • Life Insurance: Basic coverage provided at no cost, and term policy available with group rates and guaranteed coverage.
  • Stay Fit: CWU offers a wellness incentive and access to join our fitness facility.
  • Support for You and Your Family: The Employee Assistance Program includes access to legal, financial, eldercare, ID theft, and home ownership resources.

Plan for the Future:

  • Retirement Plans: CWU offers the option of pension plan or a hybrid retirement plan and access to supplemental pre-tax savings plans.
  • Financial Planning & Education: As a CWU employee you have access to certified financial planners at no cost to you alongside financial and retirement planning tools and trainings.

Leave & Holidays

Rafting on Yakima River

As a member of our Wildcat Family, you receive the following:

  • Up to 25 days per year of Vacation
  • 11 Observed Holidays
  • 12 days per year of Sick Leave

View more detailed information regarding leave and holidays.

Perks & Discounts

A picture of downtown Ellensburg

Several perks and discounts are available to CWU employees.

  • College Savings Plan: The Washington State GET Program is a 529 savings plan created to help save money tax-free for eligible education expenses.
  • Dependent Tuition Waiver: CWU waives up to 50% of tuition for eligible staff and faculty dependents and distinguished retirees.
  • Discounts: CWU employees can receive discounts at various restaurants, wireless service providers, and the local Central Transit in Ellensburg by showing your CWU Connection Card.
  • Employee Assistance Program: The EAP resources are available to you, your spouse, and children up to age 26 for help with a wide-range of issues.
  • Employee Tuition Exemption: CWU employees who wish to start, continue, or finish their educational journey may waive tuition for up to eight credits each quarter.
  • Faculty and Staff Transitional Housing: A limited number of on-campus apartments are available for rent with 6 to 12 month leasing options. These units are subject to availability.
  • Guaranteed Education Tuition: The Washington 529 Education Savings Plans help families save for a variety of college and education expenses.
  • RecWell Membership: CWU Recreation offers a wellness membership for current Faculty and Staff.
  • SmartHealth Wellness: Eligible employees can qualify for an annual $125 wellness incentive.
  • Student Loan Forgiveness: CWU employees receive access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
  • Washington Secretary of State Productivity Board Program: The Productivity Board incentivizes state employees to help our government operate more efficiently.
  • Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter: Faculty and staff may purchase a Yakima-Ellensburg Commuter monthly Transit Pass via pre-tax payroll deduction.

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