HR Newsletter - September 2023


As the leaves begin to change and the campus comes to life with the energy of a new academic year, we’re thrilled to welcome you all back to our vibrant university community.

The start of a new academic year brings with it a sense of renewal and opportunity. A time when we unite as a collective force committed to nurturing knowledge, fostering growth, and supporting our students in their pursuit of academic excellence. Our faculty and staff play an instrumental role in shaping the trajectory of our institution, and it is our privilege to stand alongside you as we embark on this exciting journey together.

Direct questions about anything in this newsletter to hr@cwu.edu


  • Earn your 2024 $125 Wellness Incentive by November 30

    Earn your 2024 $125 Wellness Incentive by November 30.

    Login to SmartHealth and track your activities today.

    Direct questions to 855-750-8866

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  • Welcome to the Wildcat Family!

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    • Jayden Alexander – Interscience Sport
    • Rebecca Posz – Human Resources
    • River Taya – Admissions
    • Griffin Lax – Custodial Services
    • John MacArthur – President’s Office
    • Nicole Linares – Financial Aid
    • Idalia Montanez-Miranda – Counseling Services
    • Alissa Sparks – Custodial Services
    • Luke Burson – University Police
    • Rachel Case – University Advancement
    • Tristan Blaisdell – Undergrad Studies
    • Joyful Opara – Special Ed Tech Center
    • Evelynne Samwel - Dining
    • Mia Loudenback - Dining
    • Jessica Zarkos – College of the Sciences
    • Alexandra Owens – SURC Kitchen
    • Brian Holley – Security Services
    • Emma Nelson – Biology
    • Trinity Brown – Panda Express
    • Renata Cummings – Admissions
    • John Ross – Aviation 
    • Logan Tasker – Aviation
    • Myana Hibbert – University Recreation
    • Madison VanRavenhorst – Learning Commons
    • Lexi Wicks – Publicity Center
    • Kaylee Loyd – Family & Consumer Sciences
    • Kelsi Mattison – Custodial Services
    • Raul Anaya – Custodial Services
    • Max Gross Shader – Aviation
  • Congratulations on Your Retirement!

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    Joseph Brooks – Music Department
    Gini Letson – Facilities Management Department
    Paula Moffatt – Student Involvement
    Karen Stephens – CWU Libraries
    Tinja Wyman – College of Business

  • Are You on Track for Retirement?

    Financial Wellness Week

    We are excited to announce an in-person fall Retirement Readiness workshop series
    October 9, 10, and 11 in the SURC
    .

    Presenters will include representatives from Fidelity, the Department of Retirement Systems, and the Health Care Authority.

    Registration will be required as the number of participants in each session is limited.

    Watch your email and Central Today for enrollment information.

    Workshop topics will include:
    • Top Steps to Take Before You Retire
    • PERS 2 & 3 Basics
    • Retiree Health Insurance
    • Choosing Between PERS 2 & 3
    • Planning for the Income You’ll Need in Retirement
    • Creating a Budget You’ll Actually Use
    • Preparing an Estimate with the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS)
    • Learning More about Social Security
  • First Choice Health

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    Access Employee Assistance Program resources with username ‘CWU’ to login. Available to CWU faculty, staff, and their family members. Or call 800-777-4114 for immediate assistance.

  • COVID

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    COVID continues to be part of our lives. Please refer to the latest information available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which currently advises:

    • Isolate from others when you have COVID-19.
    • Isolate if you are sick and suspect you have COVID-19, but do not yet have test results.
    • Stay home for five days and isolate from others if you test positive for COVID-19. 

    CWU is not currently monitoring vaccinations, symptoms, or isolation periods. We trust our employees to determine the best care and course of action for themselves and for others. Under normal circumstances, CWU does not require medical verification of the reason for use of sick leave by an employee. Supervisors are encouraged reach out to HR@cwu.edu if they suspect misuse of sick leave.

  • Did You Know?

    You can view your Vacation and Sick Leave balances, your Vacation Accrual Rate (the hours of vacation you accrue each month), and your Leave Anniversary Month (the month when vacation hours reduce to 240 hours if you’re over) under the ‘Employee’ tab within MyCWU.

  • askHR

    Q: Is there any additional leave available to those affected by the Washington State wildfires?

    A: Yes! Staff experiencing extraordinary impacts may be granted up to three days of leave with pay. This is only available during the current state of emergency. Supervisors – contact your HR partner and work with impacted employees to explore options including schedule/work location flexibility and use of other available leave.

  • You may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program

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    The U.S. Department of Education can forgive your student loan debt after 10 years of making 120 qualifying payments while working for a state agency or a qualifying public sector employer. To qualify, you must have Federal Direct loans. If you have Perkins or FFEL loans, you must consolidate into a Direct Consolidation. If you have Direct Parent PLUS loans, you may also need to consolidate. If you consolidate by the end of 2023, you will not lose PSLF qualifying payment credit due to the Income-Driven Repayment Program. Action MAY be needed before the end of 2023.

    Get Started: Use the PSLF Help Tool to complete a PSLF form and submit an employment certification request. Your form will be submitted to the PSLF servicer (MOHELA) for processing, which may take up to 90 business days. Create a MOHELA account to check on qualifying payment count. If MOHELA is not your current servicer, submitting a PSLF form will initiate a loan transfer from your current servicer to MOHELA, which can take an additional 90 business days.

    CWU Employer Identification Number (EIN): 91-6000618
    PSLF contact email: Payroll.Department@cwu.edu

    Direct questions on the Washington State Student Loan Advocate’s website.

  • Coming Soon

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    Watch your email in October for a link to the 2023 Employee Engagement Survey. This survey provides an opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of how faculty and staff feel about their work environment. CWU has participated in the state’s survey since 2021. Last year’s results indicated a need for a better understanding of how we measure success, clearer communication, and better change management and were presented to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) along with several mission and vision-aligned strategies for improvement. 

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