Flu Shot Clinics Open to all State Employees

Each year, the Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) hosts flu shot clinics open to all state employees and their families at various agencies throughout the state. Community Nursing Services (CNS) will administer the clinics this year through November. Flu Mist nasal spray will not be available, only the trivalent flu vaccine.

There is no co-payment if you have PEHP health insurance. If you have a different provider, please bring your health insurance card and a photo ID. CNS will bill all insurance providers that it accepts. State employees will only have to pay $25 if CNS does not accept their insurance provider.

Please contact UPEA at 801-264-8732 ext. 200 if you have any questions.

Click here to view the 2016 flu shot clinic schedule.

UPEA Highlights Ogden Valley District

Great things are happening in the Ogden Valley District.

Over the past year, the Ogden district has dramatically improved members’ participation.

District meetings have been held at the Ogden Regional Center as well as the Clearfield Department of Workforce Services and have included guest speakers and updates on issues important to UPEA.

A Public Employee Appreciation Day (PEAD) Barbecue was held July 19 at the Ogden Regional Center.  Several members and non-members attended and had a great time.

UPEA staff visited several worksites where employees were working and unable to attend the barbecue to deliver ice cream sandwiches and visit with staff to show appreciation for what they do as public employees.

The district offered an additional incentive for new members who joined in the months of June, July, and August.  New members’ names were placed in a drawing and the winners received $25 gift cards.

Ogden district leaders have done a great job planning meetings and events.  The leadership consists of:

Chair:  Nique Frasier

Vice Chair: Andrea Torres

Secretary/Treasurer: Rochele Jackson

Past Chair: Linda Barrow

Advisory: Alene Stringham

“The Ogden Valley District leadership would like to extend a big thank you to all our members for supporting and attending the Public Employee Appreciation Days through this past summer.” Torres said. “We love seeing you and greatly appreciate those who bring their non-member co-workers.” If you have not attended a meeting yet, October is a great month to start.  The district meeting will be at the Ogden Regional Center on Oct. 20 from noon to 1 p.m..  A representative of the Ogden Police Department will be the guest speaker.

The district also will have its annual holiday party.  Additional information will be available at a later date.

 

 

 

 

Start Planning Now for District Leadership Elections

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) is operated entirely by its member.  Therefore, it is essential that members gather in their districts to elect district leaders to help carry out UPEA’s mission throughout the year.

As the weather starts to turn cold, UPEA members should start planning district elections for early 2017.  District members should discuss how they are going to hold leadership elections.  Elections can occur at a district meeting or by electronic survey.  Please plan sufficient time to receive nominations, campaign, and make members aware that elections will take place on a certain date.  Please contact your UPEA staff representative to learn about options for conducting district elections.

Typically, districts hold their elections in January, February, or March of each year before the annual General Council meeting.  Some districts may have Advisory Council seats with terms expiring or Advisory Council members who have served three consecutive terms.  Elections for Advisory Council members should also be held.

While districts should be planning their elections, UPEA stresses the importance of helping all interested members get involved with their district leadership.  Succession planning is important to keep UPEA viable.  UPEA encourages district boards to promote rank-and-file members to leadership positions and mentor them.  Succession planning will ensure that UPEA maintains fresh ideas to advocate for public employees and help them advance in their careers.

Below are the leadership positions available to members within their districts.  UPEA encourages current district board members to share these job descriptions and help mentor members to become involved.

District Secretary: serves a one-year term.  The secretary takes minutes at district and/or chapter meetings, maintains district records, and compiles past meetings minutes.

District Treasurer: (may be combined with secretary): serves a one-year term.  The treasurer maintains the district financials, provides quarterly reports to the UPEA office, and reports the district’s financial standing at regularly scheduled meetings.

District Vice Chair: serves a one-year term unless the district allows the vice chair to succeed to chair.  The vice chair assists the district chair in conducting meetings, assembling agendas, and attending district functions.

District Chair: serves a one-year term.  Assists staff in scheduling district meetings and planning meeting agendas.  Conducts district meetings to ensure that meetings follow an agenda, members are recognized during discussions, and members’ votes are counted during regularly scheduled meetings.

Advisory Council Member: serves a 3-year term.  The Advisory Council serves a very important role within UPEA by attending 4-5 Advisory Council meetings annually and voting on important UPEA issues. Only members who have participated as a district leader for a minimum of 1 year are eligible to run for the Advisory Council.  UPEA Bylaws state:

All district elections should conclude before the start of the 2017 UPEA General Council, which will be held at the University Park Marriott Hotel on March 23 and 24, 2017.

UPEA Standing Committee Updates

Membership Services and Public Relations Committee

The Utah Public Employees’ Association (UPEA) Membership Services and Public Relations Committee will meet Oct. 27 to randomly draw the winner for the first quarter’s Recruiter Giveaway Program.  UPEA members who recruited one or more new members between June and September 2016 will be entered in the drawing.  Members will receive one entry for each new member recruited.

The committee will randomly draw the second-quarter recruiter in January 2017.  If you would like to participate in the program, encourage your co-workers to join UPEA online at https://upea.net/join-today/ and to list you as the recruiter.  Both of you also will be eligible for the $20 recruiter and $20 new member incentive.

If you’re interested in attending the next Membership Services and Public Relations Committee meeting, please contact Christy Cushing at (801) 264-8732 ext. 218 or christy@upea.net.

Grievance Committee

The Grievance Committee met in August to discuss how members can grieve an annual or quarterly performance evaluation.  For there to be grounds to file a grievance, some type of adverse employment action or harm has to occur.  Without harm, there is no grievance.  An example of harm related to your performance evaluation would be receiving a failed or unsuccessful performance rating.

If you feel an aspect or aspects of your performance evaluation criteria is not related to your job requirements, you can provide comments within the Utah Performance Management (UPM) system.  However, you will not be able to grieve the performance criteria until after you have failed that particular section of your job expectations, or your overall performance evaluation.

The Grievance Committee’s next meeting will be on Oct. 2020 at 6 p.m. at the UPEA office.  The committee plans to discuss the Salt Lake County grievance procedure.  If you’re interested in attending, please contact Christy Cushing at (801) 264-8732 ext. 218 or christy@upea.net.

If you have questions related to the grievance process, please contact your UPEA staff representative.

 

 

 

Governor Herbert’s Visit and Interview

The UPEA State Board of Directors and CAPE Committee met with Governor Gary Herbert on July 11, 2016, at the UPEA offices.  UPEA’s leadership asked the Governor a variety of questions about public employee issues and his views for the future of Utah’s public employee workforce.

The Governor opened the meeting by stating that, “Utah is the envy of most states.  Our economy is doing very well.  People decide to stay and live in Utah because of the high quality of life.  Our public employees do a great job making Utah do remarkable things.”

The Governor also indicated that, “Utah is the 5th fastest growing state in the nation with one of the youngest populations.  The successes Utah is having is because of the hard work and dedication of our state employees.  I want to make sure employees are compensated fairly.”

Governor Herbert replied to the following questions:

  1. What is the most important issue facing Utah’s public employees?

Answer – The most important thing is for employees to know they are appreciated and this is shown in many ways, including through fair compensation. During my time as governor,  I have consistently supported increases in compensation for pubic employees. In order to retain our great public employees, we need to make certain they are fairly compensated. We have asked state agencies to improve their efficiency by 25 percent and they have risen to meet that challenge. They deserve our appreciation.

  1. There has been a recent effort to abolish the state merit system for employees, what is your position on this matter?

Answer – There is no upside to abolishing the state merit system.  It will cause anxiety among the employees.  I am not looking to change anything.  The state merit system is a balanced program and there is no need to change anything.

  1. What is your position on the privatization of state services?

Answer – There is no need to privatize services.  At the end of the day, government needs to keep doing what it does best, and the private sector needs to keep doing what it does best.  We work for the same people.

  1. Do you support public employees being involved in the political process?

Answer – I would be disappointed if public employees were not involved.  The citizens of Utah are not as involved as they should be in the political process.  If you don’t show up and vote, then you don’t get to complain.  We all have a responsibility as citizens to vote, and people need to let their voices be heard.

  1. Should state employees have the opportunity to become active in UPEA?

Answer – I believe in the importance of associations and have led associations myself.  Voices are stronger together than alone.  There should not be any intimidation from supervisors or managers and employees should not be discouraged from joining UPEA. My deputy chief of staff and others in my office have been UPEA members for a very long time. I appreciate the perspective they and many other UPEA members bring to our administration when we discuss issues facing our public employees.

  1. How do you plan to promote a strong public workforce?

Answer – We need a good environment for public employees.  We need more appreciation for their service.  Promoting a strong public workforce can be achieved by making sure employees are compensated and treated fairly.  We all recognize that things are not perfect, and will never be perfect, but we should strive for perfection. I’m proud of the work our public employees do to serve the people of our community.

  1. Do you believe public employees should continue to have voluntary labor association membership dues deducted from their paychecks by their government employer?

Answer – Certainly. UPEA is a voluntary membership organization.  Technology allows us to provide payroll deduction at little to no cost to the taxpayers.

  1. Are you satisfied with the performance of the Utah Retirement System (URS)? What would you do to improve the performance of this entity?

Answer – The URS is doing better now than it has in the past.  I know the system is not fully funded, but it is actuarially sound.  Only one state is fully funded and that is Wisconsin.  Our investment growth has improved and is performing really well.

Governor Herbert concluded the meeting by thanking the UPEA State Board and CAPE Committee.  “I want to thank you.  I appreciate what you do.  You are respected throughout the state.  UPEA has been kind to me and I do not take that for granted.  I hope you continue to support me.  We can continue to work together on what needs to be improved.  I realize that every state employee is not a member of UPEA, but I appreciate the support and dedication of your membership.

Public Employee Salute Winners

PES

UPEA is Looking for 5-Star Public Employees

Please consider nominating a co-worker for the Public Employee Salute.  Utah taxpayers need to know about the people who do great things behind the scenes.  You can let them know by nominating an outstanding public employee.  Along with public recognition, winners are honored at a quarterly Salute Recognition Luncheon.

 

Click here to nominate someone.

You may know someone who meets the following criteria,

Extraordinary competence in performing functions
Creativity in identifying problems and devising workable, cost-effective solutions
Excellent relationships with the public and other employees
Commitment to serving the public as the client
A commitment to economy and efficiency in government
Volunteers his or her time in an effort to give back to the community

 

 May

Lindy Varney, DWR

Lindy Varney is a licensing specialist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.  In her position, Lindy is asked to handle some very difficult situations including complaints from hunters and anglers regarding their permits.  She assists in allocating special permits and addresses public safety and agriculture conflicts caused by wildlife.  Lindy always handles these calls in an appropriate and professional manner, even when the caller is upset or angry.  As an avid hunter, Lindy puts herself in the clients’ position and uses her personal experience to resolve difficult situations.  She always does her best to represent the interests of DWS and the public.  Lindy is a tireless worker and is very deserving of the Public Employee Salute.

Dan Trujillo, SLCC

Dan Trujillo is a Program Development Director with Salt Lake Community College.  Part of his job is providing training for students, staff, and corporations.  Whenever Dan makes a presentation or conducts a training session, everyone in attendance agrees that he makes it fun, educational, and well worth their time.  He recently conducted a workshop for SLCC employees and would not accept payment for his services, even though it was considered one of the best training sessions of the year.  Dan is a fun, personable trainer, and has a wealth of knowledge regarding computers and software.  He shines in his job and is appreciated by his coworkers, students, and staff at Salt Lake Community College.

LeeAnn Herndon, DWS

LeeAnn Herndon is a Disability Specialist with the Department of Workforce Services.  LeeAnn is a physically active person who wants to share her desire for a longer healthier life with everyone around her.  She serves on numerous committees within DWS including the Wellness Committee.  LeAnn uses her positive attitude and encouragement to spear-head healthy activities such as lunchtime workout sessions, a snack shack of healthy snacks, and an hourly plank session throughout the day.  LeeAnn has encountered obstacles in the process of creating these activities, but she uses her engaging personality and optimistic view to gently encourage those she works with.  She is an example of how little changes can make a big impact.

 

 June

Wendy Rallison and Julie Steed, DOC

Wendy Rallison and Julie Steed are Volunteer Specialists with the Utah Department of Corrections.  Julie has been with the department for 24 years and Wendy has been with the department for 3 years.  They are part of a three member team that manages over 1,500 volunteers.  In order to successfully work with volunteers Wendy and Julie are involved in extensive training in order to document staff files and process daily clearances for group who provide activities to the offender population.  They interact with guests including LDS General Authorities, U.S. Senators and Representatives, and Native American representatives.

Wendy and Julie also generate safety and security clearances for performance groups.  These clearances require extensive work on a daily basis to provide background checks, staffing allocations, policy review, and communication within the department.

These two amazing individuals support the department’s vision and mission in promoting a culture of accountability and integrity.  In addition, they provide the opportunity for life changing experiences for both volunteers and offenders.

Nancy Lucero, SLCo: Food Protection

Nancy Lucero is the Office Support for the Food Protection Division of Salt Lake County’s Health Department.  For the past 14 years, Nancy Lucero has been the smiling face that greets customers when they enter the Food Protection’s office, and more often than not they leave the office with a smile on their face.  Not only can Nancy solve customers’ problems, but she can do this all the while answering telephone calls and emails.  Along with being a multi-tasker, Nancy’s high degree of integrity and responsibility keeps the Food Protection’s office running so smoothly.  Her hard work and dedication to the Salt Lake County Health Department allows the food inspectors to be successful and do their job to protect public health.

Courtney Dickinson, DOC

Courtney Dickinson is an officer for the Department of Corrections and has worked for the state of Utah for 3 years.  In this short amount of time, Officer Dickinson has continually shown her fellow coworkers that she will give 100%, no matter what the task is.  She is a team player and a great example for any officer.  She is able to look at a situation and come up with several alternative solutions to the problem.  Not only does Officer Dickinson help train staff at the in-service and pre-service academies, she has rewritten the trainings for the Hostage Taking & Negotiation, Property Processing & Institutional Security classes, and helped rewriting the “On the Job” training manual for new officers starting at the prison.  Along with performing regularly required duties, Officer Dickinson actively recruits potential officers, and volunteers at the Draper Days parade and Autism Speaks events.

Jennifer Storie, Office of Lt. Governor

Jennifer Storie is the Special Assistant to Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox.  Jennifer has worked in the public sector for many years and began her career in public service as a United States Postal carrier.  She then worked with the Utah Courts system, which led her to her current position as Special Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor.  Jennifer has assisted in creating bills that have been presented before the Utah House and Senate and has also served as the “keeper of the Great Seal of the state of Utah” for all legal documents that bare Utah’s seal.  Jennifer’s tireless work ethic and professional demeanor has gained the respect of her coworkers, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and countless Utah State officials.  Jennifer’s commitment to public service does not stop at the end of her work day.  In her free time, she volunteers with the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, the local LGBTQ community, and local Human Rights Campaign events.

Jake Brown, UDOT: Cottonwood shed

Jake Brown is a Highway Operations Manager for the Utah Department of Transportation, and manages the Cottonwood shed, which services both Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons.  Jake, and his crew at the Cottonwood shed, ensure the community and the traveling public who use the two canyons are safe.  Under his leadership, the crew has installed flexible delineation and hazard panels to improve visibility and problems on the side of the road.  Not only does Jake make sure the roads are clear of snow for the local (and out of town) skiers, but he also makes sure that homeowners are safe from natural disasters such as mudslides that occur after large amounts of snow fall.  Jake and his crew have helped numerous homeowners dig out of the mud and have installed barriers to prevent future mudslides.  Jake is the true definition of leadership.  He always puts his family, his crew, and the public ahead of himself.

 

July

Amanda Brown, USOR

Amanda Brown is a Vocational Rehabilitation Transition Counselor for the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation.  Amanda has worked for the State of Utah for the past 9 years.  As a Transition Counselor, Amanda works with clients from the ages of 14-22 by helping them learn job skills.  She regularly meets with her clients at her office, as well as makes the extra effort to meet with them at their schools.  Amanda celebrates each of her client’s successes and works at helping them gain self-confidence and self-reliance.  Along with being a great counselor for each of her clients, Amanda is an exemplary coworker.  She will always assist and help out, no task is too small.

Daryl Christensen, UDOT

Daryl Christensen is the Materials Lab Manager for the Department of Transportation Region 4.  When a Region 4 UDOT employee is having issues with equipment or material quality Daryl is the person they go to.  He has also changed the way the state chooses a construction contractor.  Normally, the state uses a “cost plus time” method when selecting a contractor.  That all changed a year ago when Daryl introduced a “quality factor” into the selection method.  Now, when the state selects a contractor, their quality of work is also taken into consideration.  This is the first time, on a national basis, that the quality of a contractor’s previous work is considered during the selection process.

 

 

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