Author Archives for Utah Public Employees

Summer Public Employee Appreciation Days

Be sure to join us for one of our Public Employee Appreciation Days this summer at an agency near you! We will be bringing lunch and some of our vendors with exclusive discounts available for members. Members and non-members are more than welcome to come to any of these events – Keep in mind that new members and their recruiters will receive $20 when they join UPEA. So it’s a great to sign up if you haven’t already!

If you don’t see your agency on this list, don’t worry! We will be visiting smaller agencies as well with some nachos or ice cream.


Date / Time Name of Building Location Address of Location


Thurs. May 30th from 11:30-1:00pm Provo Regional Center 150 East Center Street, Provo
Thurs. June 6th from 11:30-1:00pm DWS / Heber Wells 160 East 300 South, SLC
Tues. June 11th from 1:00-3:00pm Utah State Developmental Center  895 N 900 E, American Fork
Thurs. June 13th from 11:30-1:30pm Cal Rampton Complex 4501 South 2700 West, Taylorsville
Weds. June 26th from 11:30-1:00 SLC Office of Education 250 East 500 South, SLC
Thurs. June 27th from 11:30-1:00pm Office of Recovery Services 515 East 100 South, SLC



Date / Time Name of Building Location Address of Location


Thurs. July 11th from 11:30-1:00pm State Office Building 450 North State, SLC
Thurs. July 18th from 11:30-1:00pm Ogden Regional Center 2540 Washington Blvd., Ogden



Date / Time Name of Building Location Address of Location


Thurs. Aug. 1st from 11:30-1:30pm SLCo Govt. Center 2001 South State Street, SLC
Thurs. Aug. 22nd from 11:30-1:30pm Tax Commission / MASOB 210 North 1950 West, SLC
Tues. Aug. 27th from 11:30-1:00pm Cannon Health Dept. 288 N. 1460 W., SLC


Join Us for our Public Employee Appreciation Day Kickoff Party!

To celebrate the start of summer and our annual Public Employee Appreciation Days, we are throwing a kickoff barbecue here at the UPEA office! It will be held on Wednesday, May 29th from 11:00-2:00. All public employees are welcome to stop by for some burgers, hot dogs, and all kinds of summer treats!

UPEA members and non-members are welcome to stop by – so bring your coworkers for some lunch!

2019 General Council

UPEA Recognizes Contributions of Delegates, Honorees, and Staffers

The 2019 General Council recognition banquet was a success. More than 150 delegates, honorees, and staff members celebrated the hard work devoted to the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) this year.  Many honorees for the Public Employee Salute, the MACU/UPEA Scholarship, and the top district recruiters attended to accept their awards.

UPEA’s outgoing president, Mark Murray, introduced the attendees at the head table, including Executive Director Todd Losser. Losser then introduced the UPEA staff members and thanked them for their work this year.

Hannah Gorski and Eric Buchanan then introduced the Public Employee Salute winners and invited them to the stage to be recognized. If you’d like to read about the Public Employee Salute winners, please click here for the complete article.

Kendle Zdunich then joined Eric Buchanan on the stage to congratulate the UPEA/Mountain America Scholarship winners and read about their academic accomplishments. To read more about the scholarship winners, please click here to read the complete article.

Finally, Murray recognized the top recruiters from each district, and then announced the recruiter of the year, Capt. Joe Doman with the Utah Department of Corrections. Murray thanked Doman for his hard work recruiting this year and encouraged all members of UPEA to work hard to grow the Association.

Brody Young, UPEA Member and Law Enforcement Ranger, Shares his Powerful Story with Delegates

Utah State Parks Ranger Brody Young’s story of survival inspired delegates at UPEA’s General Council.

On the night of Nov. 19, 2010, Young was ambushed while on patrol and shot nine times. He waited several hours for help to arrive and survived several surgeries after the incident. He captivated the audience with his retelling of the events that unfolded, and his description of what it took for him to return to work as a law enforcement officer. Young credits his will and fight to live on his training and on mercy from above.

Young is a UPEA member, and currently is the assistant boating program manager for Utah State Parks and Recreation.

Click here to learn more about Young and his incredible story.

Gov. Herbert’s Deputy Chief of Staff Praises State Employees and UPEA’s Work

Mike Mower, deputy chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert, praised public employees for their strong work ethic and dedication to their clients and the state.

“From what I have seen, public employees in the state of Utah are the most dedicated, persistent, and motivated employees I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” he said.

Mower himself is a public employee and a member of the UPEA. He applauded the hard work that UPEA staff and leadership executed at the Capitol during the legislative session, keeping lawmakers focused on the importance of public employees’ service to the state.

UPEA would like to thank everyone who attended General Council as a delegate, speaker, vendor, or honoree this year. The 2019 General Council was a success, and UPEA appreciates everyone who helped make it great.



Candidate Sought for Retirement Membership Council

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) has an open seat on the Utah State Retirement Membership Council. This seat has a four-year term, which begins July 1, 2019, and ends June 30, 2023. The individual who fills this seat will represent the interests of all public employees. The duties of the council members are as follows:

  • Recommend to the Utah Retirement Systems (URS) Board and to the Legislature, benefits and policies for members of any system or plan administered by the URS Board
  • Recommend procedures and practices to improve the administration of the systems and plans and the public employee relations responsibilities of the board and office
  • Examine the record of all decisions affecting retirement benefits made by a hearing officer
  • Submit nominations to the URS Board for the position of the executive director if that position is vacant
  • Advise and counsel with the URS Board and the director on policies affecting members of the various systems administered by the office
  • Perform other duties assigned to it by the URS Board

There is no stipend for this position; however, the URS Board may decide to reimburse council members for their travel and expenses when attending meetings.

UPEA encourages any working member who would like to be considered for this position to apply. You must be a current, active UPEA member. Interested individuals should apply be sending, faxing, or emailing a letter of intent as well as a resume no later than June 1, 2019 to:


Attn: Kendle Zdunich

1000 W. Bellwood Ln.

Murray, UT 84123



UPEA and Mountain America Credit Union Honor 4 Exceptional Students

Over the past several years, the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) has partnered with Mountain American Credit Union to award three deserving students with a $1,000 scholarship. Both UPEA and Mountain American hope that with the help of these scholarships, these students will continue to work hard and serve the community in the future. These scholarships show the Association’s gratitude to public employees for their continued dedication.

Emily Yang is the first recipient. Yang in the fall will start her sophomore year at the University of Utah. She is studying chemistry and plans to go to medical school. Yang graduated from Skyline High School with a 3.99 grade-point average (GPA), and she’s also finished her first year of college with a 4.0. In high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society and, among many other service projects, helped to raise money for surgeries to repair children’s cleft lips. She currently volunteers at Primary Children’s Hospital in the patient services department. Her biggest interest outside of school is table tennis. She is the president of the University of Utah table tennis team and leads the team to national competitions.

The second scholarship winner, Ella Devey, will graduate from Herriman High School this May with a 3.9 GPA and is on track to earn seven academic awards. She will attend Utah State University in the fall and plans to study humanities to begin a career in social or political science. Devey serves the community in many ways, including tutoring fellow students, volunteering at the food bank, and completing service projects for domestic violence survivors. Throughout high school, she has participated in numerous musical activities, such as marching band, wind symphony, and jazz band. She’s been accepted into the Southern Utah University Honor Band for three years and Utah All-state band this year.

Kasidee Lamb is the third scholarship recipient. She will graduate from Sky View High School with a 3.9 GPA after taking several honors and AP classes. She will attend Dixie State University in the fall, where she plans to study health sciences and become a dental hygienist. Lamb has already started her own jewelry business and creates unique pieces to sell on Instagram. She also plays competitive soccer and will be on the women’s soccer team in college. Lamb enjoys serving her community and has been a member of the Smithfield City Youth Council for three years. She also serves on the Cache Cup Youth Committee, her church youth group, and the Sky View Boys and Girls Association.

After reviewing all of the applications this year, UPEA had a hard time narrowing it down to three. The Association felt a fourth candidate should also receive an award, and Mountain America was generous enough to offer another $500 scholarship to Kilee Lamb.

Lamb worked hard to graduate from high school with a 4.0 GPA, while taking concurrent enrollment and honor classes. She continued her academic success at Dixie, where she is currently studying business administration with an emphasis in accounting. Lamb maintains a 3.95 GPA even while managing her own art and design business and playing competitive soccer. She was granted a scholarship to Dixie to play women’s soccer and has served as team captain. The team has given her the opportunity to volunteer at youth soccer camps, teach soccer to special needs children, and referee youth games. She also helped to plan and organize the Alzheimer’s walk on campus that raised more than $18,000.

UPEA was impressed by the applications it received, and looks forward to seeing the continued growth of this scholarship opportunity.

Thank you to everyone who applied.


Salt Lake County Welcomes New Leadership

Salt Lake County’s new mayor, Jenny Wilson, took office in January, and Shireen Ghorbani took Wilson’s former seat on the Salt Lake County Council.  Ghorbani will serve until 2020 as the at-large representative.

One of Wilson’s priorities was to hire a new human resources director for the county. Nilsa Carter had served as interim director since Michael Ongkiko left in October 2018.

Kathleen Johnson was hired for the position, and Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA )representatives were invited to meet her.

Johnson previously worked in the private sector at many service companies from ski resorts, to telecom. Most recently, she worked at Netflix. She is well versed in the grievance process and hopes that she can help create an open dialogue between human resources and county employees that fosters an environment where employees feel comfortable and safe expressing their concerns.

If you have any questions or concerns considering Salt Lake County, please reach out to Christy Berk at 801-264-8732 ext. 212.




Rule’s Corner—Grievance Timeline Extended to 30 Working Days

Utah law entitles career-service employees to seek a remedy for an agency action or any other concern through the state’s grievance and appeal procedure. The law also conveys certain rights to the employee during the process, including the right to obtain assistance from a representative such as the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA); to request a reasonable amount of time during work hours to prepare a grievance; and to call other employees as witnesses at a grievance hearing.

During the 2018 legislative session, House Bill 383, Work Environment and Grievance Procedure Amendments, sponsored by Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, clarified and amended the grievance procedure for executive branch employees. This piece of legislation defined abusive conduct and added the state’s policy to statute.

The statute requires biennial training for employees and annual reports to a legislative committee concerning grievances and abusive conduct. It adds abusive conduct to the actions for which an employee may file a grievance or complaint. It allows an employee to appeal administrative findings of abusive conduct to the Career Service Review Office.

HB 383 focused on details of abusive conduct, and also extended the timeline for executive branch employees to file any grievance from 20 working days to 30 working days. Utah code now states that employees may file a grievance “within 30 working days of the most recent event giving rise to the grievance” or “the employee has knowledge of the most recent event giving rise to the grievance.

Remember that as an employee, you will not be the person determining when the timeline started, so if you have any doubts, contact your UPEA representative for advice.

Do you have questions regarding the grievance process? Call your UPEA employee representative at 801-264-8732.




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