New Employee Welcome

CWU's New Employee Welcome


New Employee Welcome provides you with the tools and information to get started on your track to success at CWU. Most of the information presented in this guide applies to all employees of CWU; however, some of the information is specific to you in your position and may not apply to all employees.

Learning Outcomes

After completing New Employee Welcome, you will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of understanding university policies and procedures.
  • Locate key policies and procedures that pertain to you.
  • Describe resources available to you as an employee of CWU.
  • Understand your Health and Retirement Benefits options and deadlines to enroll in each.

All About CWU

  • Vision and Mission


    "Central Washington University will be a model learning community of equity and belonging."


    "In order to be a community of equity and belonging, Central Washington University nurtures culturally sustaining practices that expand access and success to all students. We are committed to fostering high impact practices, sustainability, and authentic community partnerships that are grouded in meaningful relationships."

    Vision and Mission website

  • Spirit of CWU - The Wildcat Way

    The Wildcat Way is a university-wide commitment to service excellence tailored specifically for CWU and embraced, communicated and supported at all levels and across all departments and programs.

    The Wildcat Way is built around the university's core values that embrace inclusivity, diversity, and treating all people with dignity and respect. The program institutionalizes these values through our active commitment to five principles:

    • Be Welcoming
    • Be Inclusive
    • Be Knowledgeable
    • Be Responsive
    • Be Proud

    Wildcat Way Website

  • CWU Pride

    We are proud to be Wildcats for many reasons! Take the time to:

    • wear or display your CWU pin and Wildcat Way pin found in your Welcome packet.
    • create a CWU branded e-mail signature block - Directions
    • share about your new job on social media - Instructor will e-mail you a couple of different options.
  • CWU Campus Locations

    CWU is composed of six university centers in addition to our main residential campus in Ellensburg:

    • CWU-Lynnwood
    • CWU-Des Moines
    • CWU-Pierce County
    • CWU-Yakima
    • CWU-Moses Lake
    • CWU-Wenatchee

    We also have two instructional sites located at Joint Base Lewis McCord Military Base and Sammamish. A person doesn't need to live in Ellensburg to get a degree from CWU!

    CWU Campus Locations

  • A Visual Makeup of Employees at CWU

    CWU employs nearly 3,200 people composed of students, faculty, temporary/hourly, nonpermanent, exempt, and classified staff.

    Data as of February 2024:

    • 48% students
    • 19% faculty
    • 18% classified
    • 12% administrative exempt
    • 3% temporary/hourly, nonpermanent

Policies and Procedures

  • Position Types and Key Policies

    Being a public higher education institution, CWU has many policies and procedures that guide our daily interactions and the way we do business. Understanding the policies and procedures that pertain to you in your position is also key to your success at CWU. See links below for specific policies.

    • Civil Service (non-represented), Temporary/Hourly, Nonpermanent: CWU policies and Washington Administrative Codes (WAC 357)
    • Civil Service (Represented): Collective Bargaining Agreement
      • Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE)
      • Public School Employees of Washington (PSE)
      • Teamsters
    • Exempt Staff: Exempt Employees' Code (CWUP 6-0)
    • Faculty: Collective Bargaining Agreement (UFC)
    • Student Employees: Student Conduct Code (WAC 106-125)
  • Ethics and Other Policies to Review

    In addition to the key policies that pertain to your specific employee classification, you have a responsibility to familiarize yourself with other University policies and procedures as they relate to your employment.

    • Log into MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Policies & Procedures folder on the left >> General University Policies

    At the very least, familiarize yourself with the following four policies under 2-40 Ethics, Health and Safety, and Compliance:

    As a general reference, you might also check out the (2-30) Employee Policies.

    One of the first things you will do related to ethics at CWU is to complete the Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosure.

    • The disclosure will be sent to your CWU Outlook e-mail account from within 7 days of starting work.
    • Promptly answer the questions in the COI disclosure.

    To learn more about ethics at CWU, visit our Ethics in the Workplace web page.

  • Alcohol and Other Drugs at CWU

    CWU is a Drug Free Workplace, a workplace where "the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited."

  • Concern and Support Form

    There may be times when you observe an inappropriate behavior on campus. When this happens:

    • report the behavior using the Concern and Support Form link within MyCWU

Training and Development

  • Required Training

    CWU employees are required to complete training courses not only for our own safety but for the well-being of the CWU university community as a whole. Recognizing that employees have different learning styles, CWU provides a variety of modes of instruction.

    Keep in mind that differences exist in the required training for supervisors vs. non-supervisors.

    • See the Required Training web page for details about required training including additional training requirements for supervisors.

    To view all required training courses in MyCWU, go to the |Learning| tab and enter the term required into the search box.

  • Development Opportunities

    Part of being informed at CWU is keeping abreast of development opportunities available to you.

    CLA Online

    The Central Learning Academy team in Human Resources offers 24x7 access to an eLearning library with thousands of online courses, full-text books, and videos, to name a few.

    Education Benefits

    CWU offers a variety of education benefits as well as a tuition waiver program to help faculty, staff, their spouses and children, among others, achieve their education goals.

    Employee Wellness

    Student Union & Recreation Center, Outdoor Pursuits & Rentals, and more

Resources and Assistance

Human Resources and Payroll Services

  • Strategic Partners

    Human Resources serves as business and strategic partners. We provide access to and administer benefits, payroll and other programs that cover the entire life span of your employment. We provide HR- and payroll-related guidance and support, when needed, to managers and employees. As new employees, you will find most often that supervisors can answer employee questions and provide direction. The HR and Payroll Services websites are also valuable resources. If you can't find what you're looking for, feel free to call us!

  • Employee Leave

    Employee vacation and sick leave begin to accrue immediately upon employment and are available for use dependent on your hire date (review examples below).

    Examples of when leave becomes available based on your hire date:

    • Begin work on March 1...leave available for use April 1
    • Begin work on March 16...leave available for use May 1

    You will find more information about employee leave in your specific Policy/Bargaining Agreement.

    For ease of explanation, the reader understands that the four sections below regarding leave pertain only to employees who are entitled to that respective kind of leave.

    Vacation Leave

    Civil service and exempt employees accrue vacation leave each month:

    • Exempt employees: accrue 16.67 hours per month, prorated by FTE
    • Civil Service employees: begin accruing 9.33 hours per month, which increases with years of service, until the maximum of 16.67 hours is reached after 25 years of service; prorated by FTE
    • The month you begin employment is considered your anniversary month. On the first day of your anniversary month each year, you may not have more than 240 vacation hours accrued. If you do, that number will be reset (lost) to 240 hours on the first day of your anniversary month.

    View your Vacation Leave accrual through MyCWU:

    • MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Employee Leave Summary pagelet.

    Sick Leave

    Civil service and exempt employees accrue 8 hours of sick leave per month, prorated by FTE. There is no limit to the number of sick leave hours a person can accrue. In addition, there may be times when an employee is eligible for other types of medical leave including the following:

    • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML)

    Bereavement Leave

    Bereavement leave is paid leave due to the death of a family or household member.



    All Washington State employees, including those at CWU, receive eleven paid holidays:

    1. The first day of January (New Year's Day)
    2. The third Monday of January (Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday)
    3. The third Monday of February (President's Day)
    4. The last Monday in May (Memorial Day)
    5. The nineteenth of June (Juneteenth)
    6. The fourth day of July (Independence Day)
    7. The first Monday in September (Labor Day)
    8. The eleventh day of November (Veterans Day)
    9. The fourth Thursday in November (Thanksgiving Day)
    10. The Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday in November (Native American Heritage Day)
    11. The twenty-fifth day of December (Christmas Day)

    You must be in pay status on the workday before the holiday occurs to receive payment for the holiday.

    * Cyclic employees should refer to your specific policy or bargaining agreement for more information about this.

    All civil service and most exempt employees also receive paid Personal Days:

    • Exempt and non-represented Civil Service employees: three Personal Holidays that must be used between January 1st and December 31st - do not carry over to the next calendar year. Temporary exempt employees are eligible based on their employment pattern.
    • Represented Civil Service employees:


    WFSE and Teamsters

    Personal Holidays

    • 1 day
    • use January 1 thru December 31
    • does not carry over to next calendar year

    Union Personal Leave Days

    • 2 days
    • use July 1 thru June 30 of following year
    • do not carry over to next fiscal year
    May use after continuously employed by the State of Washington in a classified position for more than 4 months.



    Personal Holidays

    • 2 days
    • use January 1 thru December 31
    • do not carry over to next calendar year

    Union Personal Leave Days

    • 2 days
    • use July 1 thru June 30 of following year
    • do not carry over to next fiscal year
    May use upon hire.
  • Reporting Time Worked & Absences: Time & Attendance

    Time & Attendance is the name CWU gives to our system for reporting time worked and absences.

    Time & Attendance can be found in MyCWU:

    • MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Report Time folder

    All civil service employees and overtime-eligible exempt employees must report time worked as well as absences; exempt employees who are not eligible for overtime need only report absences.

    There are two pay periods per month:

    • 1st - 15th
    • 16th - end day of the month

    All hours worked and/or absences must be reported in MyCWU by the end of your shift on your last scheduled working day of the pay period.

    For questions about Time & Attendance, contact Payroll Services at (509) 963-1202 or e-mail

  • Pay Day, Direct Deposit, W-4 Tax Information, and W-2 Electronic Consent

    Pay Day

    CWU employees are paid twice a month:

    • 1st - 15th pay period: get paid for these hours on the 25th of the same month or, if the date falls on the weekend, get paid on the closest business day
    • 16th - end day of the month pay period: get paid for these hours on the 10th of the following month or, if the date falls on the weekend, get paid on the closest business day

    See the CWU Payroll Schedule for exact dates.

    All new CWU employees will pick up your first one or two paychecks in the Cashier's Office located in Bouillon 101. You must pick up each paycheck before the next pay day or it will be mailed to your Home Address listed in MyCWU:

    • MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Personal folder >> Personal Details >> Contact Details - to update Home address

    Direct Deposit

    We highly recommend all CWU employees set up Direct Deposit within your first couple of days of work to allow for electronic deposit of your paycheck directly into your bank account. Set up Direct Deposit through MyCWU:

    • MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Payroll >> Direct Deposit

    If you have worked on campus in the past, please check your bank information in MyCWU to make sure it is up-to-date.

    If you do not set up Direct Deposit:

    • visit Payroll (1st floor, Mitchell Hall) to complete a U.S. Bank Focus Prepaid Visa Debit Card form (may include fees).
    • subsequent paychecks beyond the first two will be mailed to your Home address listed in MyCWU.

    For questions about Direct Deposit, receiving a Prepaid Visa card, or about your paycheck, contact Payroll Services at (509) 963-1202 or e-mail

    W-4 Tax Information

    All CWU employees also need to set up W-4 Tax Information.

    • Do this through MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Payroll >> W-4 Tax Information.
    • Keep this updated.
    • Submit a new form if you have changes that affect the number of allowances you claim (i.e. marriage, new baby, change in dependents, divorce, death, etc.)

    W-2 Electronic Consent

    This provides employees an option to go paperless.

    • Do this through MyCWU >> |Employee| tab >> Payroll >> W-2/W-2c Consent.

Employee Perks and Discounts

Your employment with Central Washington University provides you access to a variety of added benefits in addition to competitive health, dental, and retirement benefits.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is provided by First Choice Health. EAP resources are available to you, your spouse, and children up to age 26 for help with a wide range of issues which might interfere with you being at your best.

Local Business Discounts

CWU employees enjoy discounts at numerous local businesses simply by showing our Connection Card. Discounts are offered at the discretion of the business establishment. Check out the list of discounts available to CWU employees.

CWU News

CWU employees reminded to manage records efficiently and effectively

April 12, 2024


Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series continues Thursday and April 25-26

April 10, 2024


More News