From the Desk of Stephen Dodge
April 5, 2019
Over the last few months representatives of the Department of Human Resources have been busy on many fronts from collective bargaining, to benefits renewal and a collaboration on the technology front. We have also developed a new wellness program that is currently being piloted! I encourage you to read this message to learn more about these initiatives and how they may impact you.
Over the winter, bargaining teams for Memorial and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), reached tentative agreements for the following locals: 7803 and 1804; 7804 and 1809; and 7801. These locals represent Campus Enforcement and Patrol personnel as well as Custodial and Maintenance personnel on the St. John’s and Grenfell campuses. The University’s Board of Regents approved these tentative agreements at its March 14, 2019 meeting and a formal signing of the agreements will be taking place this month. Once these agreements have been signed, there will be further communications with employees of these locals. Please stay tuned.
Also at the March 14 meeting, the Board of Regents approved renewal of the university’s group insurance plans as recommended by the University Benefits Committee for the policy year beginning April 1, 2019. With this renewal there are the following increases: health insurance 2.3 per cent, dental insurance 3.3 per cent, and basic life insurance 2.4 per cent. The long term disability rate has been reduced by 11.1 per cent and there are no changes in the rates for travel insurance, AD&D, or dependent and optional life insurance. For detailed information on the group benefits renewal, please click here. Information for postdoctoral fellows participating in Memorial's group insurance plans can be accessed here.
Annual pension statements
The 2018 pension statements for the Memorial University Pension Plan have been posted on the my.mun.ca portal. These confidential, personal statements outline the estimated benefits each employee in the pension plan is entitled to upon retirement based on information maintained by the department as of Dec. 31, 2018.
Employees are encouraged to review their statements which can accessed in the portal by choosing the Employees tab and then the Memorial Pension Information and Tools option. Anyone who feels there is a discrepancy with respect to any of the information provided is asked to complete the “Pension Data Adjustment Form” and return it to MyHR, room A4023B or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Where inaccuracies are identified, Human Resources will investigate and adjust records accordingly. In the event of a discrepancy between the department’s electronic records and source documentation, the source documentation will be taken as correct.
In March our team was also pleased to announce the launch of Memorial’s new online application system, MyCareer@MUN. This project was a collaboration with Information Technology Services (ITS) that leveraged existing skill-sets in both departments to improve the services provided to all stakeholders involved in the job competition lifecycle at Memorial.
With MyCareer@MUN, internal and external candidates applying on a potential career opportunity at the university now experience a streamlined process with a modern, professional and responsive interface. The most notable change is that all applications are now submitted electronically. While external candidates have been able to apply online for many years, this is a new process for our internal candidates. The new system also removes the use of printed forms, the need to manually store paper, and it saves candidate resumes, cover letters and documents in a private and secure manner for a year so people applying to more than one position are able to easily access and update their documents.
Those interacting with the new system from an administrative perspective also experience benefits as selection committee members can now receive candidate information electronically and review/screen candidate applications online.
For detailed information on the new system, please check out the Gazette article.
Wellness initiatives at Memorial are always popular amongst employees and we are pleased to report that we have developed a new wellness pilot project. This pilot project, called Move It Memorial, targets musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs).
MSIs are the number one type of lost time injury in Newfoundland and Labrador and constitute 66 per cent of all claims involving lost time from work in the province over the last five years. With this in mind, our Wellness and Ergonomics Programs teamed up to develop this pilot project.
Phase one of the project began in the fall and was offered to the university’s trades employees. This phase involved a 90 minute in-class training session to help trades employees identify MSI signs, symptoms and risk factors. The session also included information on wellness initiatives, proper body mechanics and stretches. Each shop was visited by the program leads and provided with any necessary accommodations as well as information on stretching. Phase two is currently being piloted within Human Resources and is focusing on people who spend the majority of their work day sitting at a desk. This phase also involves an in-class training session and employees involved are required to add movement to their day for every 45 minutes of sitting. These employees are also provided with stretches that they are to perform throughout the day. More information on this pilot and additional phases will be provided as we move forward with this initiative.
While the winter months have been busy, we have a lot planned for the coming months. We have collective bargaining with the remaining NAPE locals at Marine Institute, as well as with CUPE. Once collective bargaining is concluded we will then turn our attention to future planning.
In closing, I would like to mention that we have two employee recognition events taking place in coming weeks. One event recognizes employees with 20 and 25 years of service and another event recognizes employees who have 30, 35, 40, 45 and even 50 years of service at the university. In total 204 employees are being recognized between the two events. I would like to congratulate and say “thank you” to all of these employees for their years of service and dedication to Memorial.