SWEAT Wellness Program Challenges Employees

Michigan Tech’s SWEAT Program recently launched a new challenge, Lucky 7, to university employees. Employees were asked to form 4-7 member teams and tackle a 7 week series of exercise challenges.  SWEAT Program Coordinator, Shannon Brodeur, explains more:

The SWEAT Lucky 7 Challenge is based on the idea that variety and social support are key elements of exercise adherence.  The goal of the challenge is to have teams of up to seven employees inspire and support each other to complete a variety of cardio exercises with the goal of making it a regular habit.  Each week, teams are provided a list of 7 cardio exercises, from hula hooping to salsa dancing to playing kickball.  Each exercise must be completed by at least one team member during that week to earn bonus tokens.  Along the way, team members may earn additional tokens by completing any cardio activity of their choice.  Incentive prizes are given out randomly each week with a grand prize given to each of the winning team members at the end of the challenge.”

The challenge was accepted by 16 teams of over 100 employees.

At five weeks into the challenge, SWEAT Lucky 7 participants have voiced that the challenge’s goal has been met and that they are not ready to let up. “I had several employees stop at the SWEAT table [Health Fair] to tell me how much exercise they have been getting in because of the challenge.” said Brodeur.

The competition has also peaked. Two Human Resources teams set aside a lunch hour, competing against each other in a game of kickball.  Both teams earned their weekly challenge point, but only one left the game with bragging rights.  Another Lucky 7 member organize a dodgeball challenge for interested participants and their family members earlier this week at the Houghton Elementary gym.  Pictures of each of these challenges are below.

The SWEAT Lucky 7 Challenge will conclude on November 23rd and the winning teams will be announced the following week.

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Human Resources Kickball Competition
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Lucky 7 Participants at the Dodgeball Challenge
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Lucky 7 Participants at the Dodgeball Challenge


Benefit Open Enrollment Now Open

Open enrollment is your opportunity to assess your individual and family needs and make changes to your benefit package selections. This would include changing health plans, adding/removing a dependent, electing to contribute to a health savings account or flexible spending account or changing any other benefits such as life or disability benefits. If you want to continue your current elections in 2015, you do not need to take any action.

Here is a brief summary of 2015 benefits:

  • There is no change in retirement benefits for 2015; Michigan Tech will continue to match up to 7.5% of your salary that you decide to save for retirement. Tax deferred as well as Roth options for 403b and 457b plans are also available without a match should you wish to save more for retirement. Keep in mind there are IRS maximums you are allowed to contribute.
  • There is no change in life insurance, dependent life insurance, voluntary accidental death and disability, short term disability and long term disability.
  • Tech will continue to offer both the PPO and HDHP health insurance plans. For the PPO plan, the premium will increase from $112 to $114 per person per month.
  • The HDHP will continue with no monthly premium, but you will need to decide what amount if any, you put in your tax sheltered Health Savings Account to cover health care deductibles and co-pays. Keep in mind that any amount you save in your HSA that is not used, is carried over to future years, even into retirement.
  • Eyecare and Dental coverage remains unchanged.

Please plan to explore and evaluate your benefit options and cost during at an Open Enrollment educational session.


HR Staff present at MI-CUPA-HR Conference

The Michigan College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (MI-CUPA-HR) Conference took place Oct. 23-24 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Michigan Tech staff conducted the following two sessions at the conference.

“Recognizing the Union Through Rewarding the Individual: A Bonus Program That Works Within a Union”

Presenters:
Amanda Cadwell, UAW Local 5000 president
Tina Sarazin, UAW Local 5000 vice president
Renee Hiller, director of human resources
Catherine Burns, manager of staff employment
Lori Weir, human resources generalist

“How Empowerment Can Build a Healthier Workforce: Evolution of Wellness at Michigan Tech”

Presenters:
Renee Hiller, director of human resources
Karen Hext, manager of benefits


Lunch and Learn to Cover Stress Management and Attitude

Benefit Services and Northstar Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will host a Lunch and Learn.

Don Grisham, President of Northstar EAP, will present an orientation to the program.  Topics Grisham will cover include stress management and attitude.

All employees are welcome; bring your lunch, and beverages will be provided. Mark your calendars:

Thursday, November 6
Noon to 1 p.m.
Memorial Union Alumni Lounge A.

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HR Goes Casual for a Cause

If you stop by Michigan Tech Human Resources (HR) today, you will notice staff dressed in casual attire.  HR has decided to schedule one non-Friday day per month for it’s employees to dress casually. HR employees must donate a minimum of $1.00 to participate, with all collected donations to benefit the American Cancer Society.

We would like to thank you for understanding our philanthropic participation.

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Immigration Services Snapshot

The role of Academic Immigration Services in Human Resources is to work with employees and hiring departments as they navigate immigration process. The Immigration and Visa Coordinator, Madeline Mercado Voelker, is to assist departments in mapping out the immigration process and in addition to prepare, submit and monitor petitions.

Below is a snapshot of Academic Immigration Services petitions currently in process from Academic Year 2013-14: from H1B work Visas, I-140 Petitions, to I-485 (Green Card) petitions.

Immigration Data


All Michigan Tech Job Applications Now Submitted Electronically

As of October 1, 2014, all Michigan Tech job postings will be set up in PeopleAdmin, an online hiring and application tracking system.  Candidate applications are collected electronically, and can be reviewed online by search committee members.

In 2011, Michigan Tech began using PeopleAdmin, building the system framework for each employee type at Michigan Tech.  This began with non-union staff positions, UAW and POA union positions, and then faculty positions.  This fall, Employment Services and HR Information Systems have finalized the set up and are now posting the last employee group, AFSCME union positions, through PeopleAdmin. Employment Services and HR Information Systems continue to work together to provide excellent service to both the interested applicants and those conducting a search.

 

 

 


Flu Vaccine Clinics Announced

Portage Health will offer four flu vaccine clinics on campus this fall. The vaccine is by form of injection at a cost of $30 payable at the time of service. (Cash, check or credit card will be accepted). Shots will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis; no appointment is necessary.

If you are insured by Michigan Tech’s Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) health plan, your vaccine is free of charge and will billed to insurance if you present your BCBSM member ID card at the time of service.

Employees, retirees and family members are welcome. Be prepared to show a picture ID and anyone under the age of 18 cannot be vaccinated without parental permission. A spouse and/or child may attend without the employee.

Students are welcome to attend the clinics as well. Students with Michigan Tech’s Aetna student health plan will also have their vaccine billed to insurance.

The clinics are as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 15 during the Health Fair from at noon to 4:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Isle Royale Ballroom
  • Tuesday, October 21 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge
  • Monday, October 27 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge
  • Thursday, October 30 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge
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Healthy Cooking Classes with Dining Services

Dining Services will offer two cooking classes this fall as part of Michigan Tech’s employee wellness programs. The following classes are available to benefit eligible employees.

  • Healthy Greek Cuisine, Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – Learn more about Greek Cuisine with Ernie Beutler of Dining Services.
  • Healthy Moroccan Cuisine, Friday, October 10, 2014 – Learn more about Moroccan Cuisine with Chef Eric Karvonen of Dining Services.

At each session you will prepare a meal and eat what you make.

Registration is necessary and class sizes are limited to 12 participants, please register on the Wellness Programs Page.

Contact Benefit Services at benefits@mtu.edu with questions.


Roth Contribution Option Now Available In Retirement Plans

TIAA-CREF and Fidelity now offer a Roth contribution option in the Michigan Tech retirement plans. Employees may take advantage of more choices in retirement planning by making after-tax contributions to your retirement account.

Fidelity and TIAA-CREF will be on campus to introduce the new contribution option, explain the differences between a Roth vs. traditional pretax contributions, and discuss benefits and considerations of both. Additionally, confidential one-on-one consultations will be available by appointment.

On campus workshops and confidential one-on-one consultations are as follows.

Fidelity Investments Workshop – Designing Your Financial Roadmap / Roth Option
Tuesday, September 23, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Ballroom A
Registration is available at http://getguidance.fidelity.com/ or by calling 800-642-7131.
To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Fidelity on October 7 – 9, 2014 call 800-642-7131.

TIAA-CREF Workshop – The New Roth Contribution Option
Tuesday, October 14, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in Alumni Lounge
Registration is not necessary.
To schedule a one-on-one consultation with TIAA-CREF on October 14 – 15 call 800-732-8353.

See Retirement for more information. To enroll in the Roth, simply complete the Supplemental Retirement Account Enrollment/Change form and send it to Benefit Services for processing.

Contact benefits@mtu.edu or at 906-487-2517 with questions.