UPEA Blog

PEP Squad: UPEA Endorsements & Elections

Join the PEP Squad as they discuss the upcoming elections and how the Citizen Action by Public Employees Committee makes endorsements for UPEA. The CAPE Committee is made up UPEA members who volunteer their time to interview and endorse public employee-friendly candidates. CAPE Committee members ensure that public employees have a voice and are represented in the political process.

Click here to see the full 2020 endorsement tracker.

Flu Shot Clinics Will Proceed with Pandemic-Related Precautions

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) will once again host flu shot clinics in partnership with Community Nursing Services (CNS). If you are insured by PEHP, there will be no cost or co-pay required. If you have a different provider, please bring your health insurance card and photo identification. CNS will bill any of its accepted insurance providers. The health and safety of employees and their families is our priority; therefore, certain precautions must be taken for you to attend:

  • All employees must reserve a five-minute time slot in advance in order to get a shot. If you’re bringing family members, each individual needs a time slot.
    • If you arrive early, please wait outside or in your car until your reserved time.
  • Everyone in attendance must wear a mask and maintain social distance.
  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, have a fever of 100.3 or above, or have been in contact with anyone testing positive for COVID-19, we ask that you follow CDC guidelines and cancel your appointment.

To reserve a 5-minute time slot for any of the following clinics, please call Kendle at 801-264-8732 ext. 209.

Date & Time

Clinic Location & Address

Mon. October 5
11:00am – 2:00pm

UPEA – Corporate Office
1000 W. Bellwood Lane, Murray – Conference Room

Tues. October 6
11:00am-3:00pm

Olene Walker Building
140 E. 300 S., SLC – North & South Conference Rooms

Weds. October 7
9:00am-12:00pm

Dept. of Natural Resources
1594 W. North Temple St., SLC – Room 1005

Thurs. October 8
10:00am-1:00pm

Tax Commission
210 N. 1950 W., Salt Lake City – Room 1026

Thurs. October 8
8:00-10:00am

Ogden Regional Center
2540 Washington Blvd., Ogden – 1st Floor Conference Rm

Tues. October 13
10:00am-1:00pm

Cannon Health Department
288 N. 1460 W., Salt Lake City – Room 125

Weds. October 14
10:00am-12:00pm

DOC – Fred House Academy
14727 S. Minuteman Drive, Draper – Conference room

Thurs. October 15
9:00am-12:00pm

Highland Health
3760 S. Highland Dr., Salt Lake City – Auditorium

Thurs. October 15
5:00-7:30pm

UPEA – Corporate Office
1000 W. Bellwood Lane, Murray – Conference room

Tues. October 20
11:00am-1:00pm

Public Health Lab
4431 S. 2700 W., Taylorsville – 1st Floor Conference Rm

Weds. October 21
9:00am-12:00pm

Provo Regional Center
150 E. Center Street, Provo – Room 1800

Thurs. October 22
1:00-3:00pm

UDOT Region 4 – Richfield
210 W. 800 S., Richfield – Conference room

Tues. October 27
11:00am-1:00pm

Dept. of Workforce Services – Logan
180 N. 100 W., Logan – Conference Room

Tues. October 27
11:00am-1:00pm

Dept. of Workforce Services – Cedar City
176 E. 200 N., Cedar City – Conference room C

Weds. October 28
9:00-11:00am

Dept. of Child & Family Services – St. George
178 N. 200 E., St. George – Conference Room C

Thurs. October 29
3:00-6:00pm

Central Utah Correctional Facility
255 E. 300 N., Gunnison – Computer Lab

 

Salt Lake County Commissioners Prepare for Upcoming Budget Discussion

The 2021 Salt Lake County (SLCo) budget process will begin in October. The Salt Lake County Council will hear from SLCo agencies to determine where funding adjustments are most crucial. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue is tight, which may limit the availability of funds.

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) will continue to advocate for fair compensation for county employees. Throughout the pandemic, SLCo employees have taken on added responsibilities and their roles have expanded. Because of this, employees deserve a pay increase if funds are available. Compression is a persistent problem within the county, and UPEA will ensure that the County Council and the Mayor’s Office are aware of this issue, and UPEA expects to hear how they plan to address it. Additionally, UPEA believes that retirement and healthcare benefits should remain stable for SLCo employees, especially during a pandemic.

If you have questions or concerns about the budget process, please reach out to the UPEA representative for Salt Lake County, Christy Berk, at 801-264-8732 ext. 212 or at cberk@upea.net.

Rules Corner – Secondary Employment

As a Utah public employee, you are held to a high standard of conduct representing the state of Utah and its citizens. Understanding your rights as stated in DHRM Rule and State Code is important to prevent disciplinary action when participating in outside employment.

Working for the state of Utah does not mean you can’t participate in outside employment. DHRM Rule R477-9-2 explains that if employees engage in outside employment, they must notify their agencies in writing. Participation in outside employment can’t interfere with performance or conflict with the interests of the agency or state. If the requested outside employment has potential to create conflicts of interest, the agency has the right to deny participation. State Code 67-25-302 reiterates DHRM Rule, and expands on it, stating outside employment cannot interfere with contracted work hours, unless personal leave is authorized. It also asserts that state employees cannot provide services to someone that the employee could provide during their primary employment.  Failure to comply with these guidelines can result in discipline.

If you have questions about participating in outside employment, please contact your employee representative.

UPEA Recognizes Excellent Employees with the Public Employee Salute

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is proud to participate in the Public Employee Salute Program.  The idea for the program began in 1999, when a past UPEA executive director noticed that KSL Radio had a special segment to recognize Utah teachers.  The segment is commonly known as the “Teacher Feature.”  However, there was no feature recognizing Utah’s public employees.  The following year, the UPEA and Mountain America Credit Union Public Employee Salute program began.

The following individuals have been nominated and recognized with the Public Employee Salute for their hard work for the state of Utah.

June 2020

Rod Montoya
Rod Montoya is an employee with the Utah Department of Technology Services (DTS) and is recognized for helping Utah State Office of Rehabilitation counselors transition to telework. He installed new software, verified laptops, and set up phone systems while searching for needed, high-demand equipment. Rod trained counselors on using the new setup, exhibiting patience answering questions, and dedication by being readily available. Thank you, Rod!

Shane R. Bekkemellom
Shane Bekkemellom, a respected administrative legal secretary with the State Attorney General’s Office, is recognized for his kind heart and jovial personality. His positivity encourages everyone around him, making others feel appreciated. He played a huge role in implementing Legal Files software for the division, helping make the integration seamless.

Aaron Johnson
Aaron Johnson is a dedicated Juvenile Justice Services employee at the Southwest Youth Center. He is always willing to take shifts, work overtime, and support other staff members and supervisors when needed. He is a hard worker and a valuable employee. Aaron upholds principles of the agency while maintaining good social relations with everyone he serves.

Tracy Barkley
As the constituent services specialist for the Division of Medicaid and Financing, Tracy Barkley carries out the difficult job of helping customers with their questions and problems. She is always calm and patient, listening carefully to concerns, and works diligently to assure correct decisions on eligibility. Tracy exhibits kindness and empathy, relentlessly pursuing the best possible outcomes.

July 2020

Kennith “Dayne” Johnson
Dayne Johnson has provided facilities maintenance for the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) for more than 20 years. He works hard to ensure the buildings within his region are kept in tip-top condition for UDOT employees to perform their jobs efficiently. His commitment to excellence, knowledge of his job, and passion for serving do not go unnoticed.

Gena Nielson
Gena Nielson, a motor vehicle carrier specialist for UDOT, is recognized for her dedication to her coworkers. She is a caring individual, often bringing goodies for everyone and decorations for the office. During this public health crisis, she takes it upon herself to disinfect the work environment to help keep everyone safe and healthy. She is a great friend and coworker

Diana Beard
Diana Beard works with the Unemployment Insurance Department for the Division of Workforce Services (DWS) reviewing resumés, discussing interview tactics, and finding job leads for clients. She handles difficult situations with professionalism and is known for her spunk and knowledge of resources. Diana volunteers at the facility food drop, and is always up to date on community events to help clients.

Kevin Burt
Utah Unemployment Director Kevin Burt, with DWS, is known for thinking out of the box and coming up with creative solutions. He is appreciated for his leadership and work skills, diligently working to help Utah citizens get unemployment benefits as soon as possible. Kevin has been instrumental in implementing workable solutions during current times. He prioritizes Utah citizens.

Ben Reeves
Santaquin City Manager Ben Reeves is a leader. He assists the mayor and city council, serves as the public-relations representative, and attends countless meetings, all to serve the residents of Santaquin. He recognizes staff for their extra efforts and is always willing to do any given task. Ben is a true professional and peacemaker, dedicated to serving the public.

Russell Hadley
Russel Hadley is a senior engineer for the Utah Division of Water Resources (DWR). He has been dedicated to public service for more than 20 years. Russell is thanked by coworkers for being a fantastic UPEA representative for DWR, making sure everyone is up to date on benefits and current events. Russell is an excellent spokesman, and is committed to seeing projects through.

August 2020

Mark Hansen
Officer Mark Hansen is a member of the Critical Incident Response Team for the Utah Department of Corrections. He is the embodiment of professionalism, and excels at all he strives to do. Officer Hansen is the oldest member of the team to complete a SWAT School, and is by far one of the most valuable assets the team has. He has progressed at a fast rate, and it is a privilege and honor to work with him.

Stefany Richards
Stefany Richards is a DTS technical support specialist who provides state employees assistance remotely via the Technical Helpdesk. She demonstrates professionalism and kindness, while being compassionate and supportive. Stefany honors the efforts of those who call her, and handles each case with knowledge, expertise, and grace. Stefany is thanked for her excellence in providing excellent work and quality service.

Moment in History: UARPE Merges with UPEA

On June 24, 2002, final documents were signed to complete the merger between the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) and the Utah Association of Retired Public Employees (UARPE). The merger, which was several years in the making, added about 3,000 members to UPEA, bolstering and diversifying membership. UPEA’s executive director at the time, Frederick Van Der Veur, welcomed the retirees and noted that the Legislative Committee would immediately work to include legislative agenda items that address retiree issues and concerns.

Retiree involvement has been influential to UPEA’s lobbying packages since then, resulting in successful campaigns to expand retirement benefits for state employees. Current Executive Director Todd Losser wants actively employed and retired members to know that “it’s important to continue to have your voice heard after retirement. UPEA monitors all legislation for public employees, including bills that affect retirement. A few years ago, a local municipality wanted to take away retirement benefits due to budget constraints. Only UPEA fought for those retirees, protecting their benefits.”

Retirees are also a valuable resource for recruitment and passing on UPEA expertise to future generations of members and staff. UPEA membership will continue after your retirement but dues drop to $5 a month, automatically deducted from your monthly URS payment. If you have questions about your UPEA membership post-retirement, give your representative a call at 801-264-8732.

Thank you to all of our retirees who continue to support the Association!

UPEA Hosts Public Employee Appreciation Events Throughout Utah

UPEA Holds First-Ever Drive-Through Appreciation Event
The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) held its first drive-through lunch on July 14 to show appreciation for the hard work of Utah’s public employees. State and local government employees stopped by the UPEA offices for lunch and staff had the opportunity to thank members for their continued support for the Association. More Than 100 employees from many different agencies were able to stop by the first socially distanced luncheon. This event was a great way to kick off the 2020 Public Employee Appreciation Days.

Ogden Valley District Hosts Drive-Through Lunch at Clearfield DWS
On Aug. 11, UPEA hosted a drive-through Public Employee Appreciation Day at the Clearfield Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Employees from the Law Enforcement District were also invited to participate in this event. All attendees were given sign-up information in the hopes that they will join UPEA and spread the word about the Association to their coworkers. It was a successful event with more than 60 employees attending.


Upcoming Public Employee Appreciation Events

Salt Lake Valley Districts
There will be three Wasatch Front appreciation events for all public employees in the area. UPEA districts included in these events are North Temple, Downtown, SL Southeast, SL Southwest, Law Enforcement, and Salt Lake Valley Local Government. The events are being held where most members reside because so many employees are working remotely. Please RSVP to Sam@upea.net with the specific event you plan to attend.

  • Thursday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Cannon Department of Health, 288 N. 1460 West, Main Parking Lot.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. -1 p.m,: Salt Lake County Government Center, 2001 S. State St., South Parking Lot.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Veteran’s Memorial Park, 1985 W. 7800 South, West Jordan.

All public employees (state, city, or county) are invited to attend any of the four events.

Transportation District
The Transportation District will hold Public Employee Appreciation Breakfasts for employees in Region 1, Region 2, and Region 3. Members and nonmembers are welcome to come by to grab a breakfast burrito. Please contact Hannah@upea.net for more information.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 16, 7:30-8:30 a.m.: UDOT Region 1 Office, 166 Southwell St., Ogden
  • Thursday, Sept. 17, 7:30-8:30a.m.: UDOT Region 2 Office, 2010 S. 2760 West, Salt Lake City
  • Monday, Sept. 21, 7:30-8:30 a.m.: UDOT Region 3 Office, 658 N. 1500 West, Orem

Mountainlands District
The Mountainlands District will hold a drive-through appreciation lunch at the Riverside Park in Provo. All public employees in the area are welcome to attend! We ask that everyone stays in their car and UPEA staff will bring a boxed lunch and UPEA information safely to the car window. Signs will be posted to direct traffic through the parking lot.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Riverside Park, 1260 W. 600 N., Provo

Bear River District
The Bear River District will host a Public Employee Appreciation Day in Brigham City and Logan on Sept. 1. All members and nonmembers are welcome to drive through and pick up lunch. Please see the information for times and locations of the events. If you plan to attend either event, please contact Hannah@upea.net.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 1, 11 a.m.-noon: Logan Department of Workforce Services, 180 N. 100 West.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 1, 1-2 p.m.: Lindsey Park, 301-349 Fishburn Drive, Brigham City

Uintah Basin District
The Uintah Basin district will host two appreciation events in September. UPEA is serving boxed lunches for public employees in Vernal. The following day, members and nonmembers in the district are also invited to attend a social at the Echo Drive-in with tickets provided by the district for those who RSVP.  Please contact Sam@upea.net for more information or to RSVP.

  • Thursday, Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Vernal Department of Workforce Services, 1050 Market Drive.
  • Friday, Sept. 25, time TBA: Echo Drive-in, 250 W. Highway 40, Roosevelt

Southeastern District
The Southeastern District has scheduled a Public Employee Appreciation Day in Price. Come drive through the parking lot of the Price Department of Workforce Services to pick up lunch and meet your employee representative and district leadership. All members and nonmembers are welcome. Please contact Hannah@upea.net for more information or to RSVP. The district will also host drive-through events in Moab and Blanding with dates and locations TBA.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Price Department of Workforce Services, 475 W. Price River Drive.

Panoramaland District
District leadership has decided the best way to gather safely and to appreciate public employees for their hard work and dedication during the pandemic is to offer free admittance to the Richfield Drive-In and the Mt. Pleasant Drive-In Theaters. Public employees and their families will receive free admittance to the drive-in for one car. Exact dates and times TBA. Please contact Christy Berk at cberk@upea.net for more information.

Color Country District
The Color Country District will hold two appreciation events in October, one in St. George in the parking lot of the Division of Child & Family Services building and another in Cedar City. Both of these will be drive-through lunches with exact dates and locations TBA. Please contact Kendle Zdunich at Kendle@upea.net for more information.

UPEA Members Eligible for Significant Savings

The Utah Public Employees’ Association’s (UPEA’s) most popular discount is available for members again this season. UPEA is offering Single Day Passports to Lagoon for $55 – that’s $18 off. These tickets include admission to all of the Lagoon attractions including Lagoon-A-Beach, Pioneer Village, and live entertainment. Click here for more information.

Open enrollment for Colonial Life may be over, but members can still sign up for the supplemental accident coverage. This is the only plan available for members outside of open enrollment. However, new UPEA members can enroll in any of the Colonial Life supplemental insurance plans when they sign up for UPEA. Click here to learn more or email Audry at AWood@upea.net to speak to a benefits counselor.

Click here for the full list of discounts available to UPEA members. If you have any questions, please contact Kendle at kendle@upea.net.

UPEA Urges Members to Complete Annual Legislative Survey

Each year, the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) conducts a legislative survey to discover the priorities, concerns, or questions members have regarding the legislative session. From the results of this survey, UPEA compiles its legislative package for the upcoming year.

With the numerous changes that have occurred this year, Association members’ response to the legislative survey is crucial. The 2021 legislative survey was sent to all UPEA members on Aug. 20 and will remain open until Sept. 3 at 5 p.m. If you don’t see it in your inbox, be sure to check your junk folder.

If you’ve ever unsubscribed from Survey Monkey, you will not be able to complete the survey – you can opt back in visiting this link. If you haven’t received the survey invitation and link via email, please contact Kendle@upea.net.

UPEA Offers Assistance to Members Facing Disciplinary Action

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is a valuable resource when an employee encounters any workplace issues. UPEA staffers hope that their members never experience disciplinary action; however, representatives are available for our members if workplace issues arise. From written warnings to terminations, UPEA can represent its members throughout the grievance process and use UPEA resources to help employees navigate the procedure. UPEA staff is knowledgeable about DHRM policy and can help employees understand their grievance rights, prepare statements and responses, provide physical representation at hearings, and coordinate with our employment attorney at Kirton & McConkie to address legal questions that may arise. All of these services are included in membership in UPEA, no further costs are associated.

Here is what members say about their experience with UPEA during the grievance process:

“I am so grateful for getting the opportunity to work with [my UPEA representative]. She was patient and understanding. She helped me look at my situation from different angles and make it better. UPEA is here to help; take the chance, even if you don’t feel like it will help, it’s so worth it!”
Salt Lake County employee

“I know I can call [my UPEA representative] and ask questions, or just ask for her opinion and it is provided without judgment or hesitation.  I mentor new employees and always encourage them to join; I provide firsthand testimony of how UPEA helps us to grow personally and professionally. I am UPEA’s biggest supporter. Thank you to the UPEA team for all you do.”
— Department of Workforce Services employee

All UPEA members have access to grievance representation after six months of membership. If you have any questions or concerns about your employment or you’ve been given a disciplinary action, please don’t hesitate to contact your UPEA representative.