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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Employee Forum reviews pay raises and health benefits

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Employee Forum delegates received a primer on what changes to expect this year in their pay and health benefits, along with important reminders about health care cost savings tools and tuition reimbursement deadlines during the Forum’s Aug. 3 meeting.

Gena Carter, senior director for Employee and Management Relations, gave the good news first: All University employees will see the 1.5 percent pay raise approved as part of 2016-17 state budget reflected in their Aug. 5 paychecks. Each person’s raise, she added, would be retroactive to July 1. EHRA employees will receive their pay raises in their Aug. 31 paychecks.

The budget included reserves for a 0.5 percent one-time bonus for all state employees, along with reserves equaling 1 percent of salaries for merit-based bonuses for both SHRA and EHRA employees.

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EMPLOYEE FORUM

The Office of Human Resources is still waiting for instructions from the state and General Administration on how – and when – to distribute these bonuses, Carter said.

Benefits manager Shauna Stackhouse, meanwhile, called attention to planning tools available to employees as they prepare for Open Enrollment, which is set for Oct. 1 to 31. The tools, which include a health benefits estimator and rate calculator, are available on the North Carolina State Health Plan’s homepage.

The most important thing to remember, Stackhouse said, is that all members will be placed into the Traditional 70/30 Plan at the start of Open Enrollment and must take action during Open Enrollment to select a different plan. The other options in addition to the 70/30 Plan are the Enhanced 80/20 Health Plan and Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP).

Employees with single coverage who elect to stay in the Traditional 70/30 Plan for active members can reduce their employee premium to zero if they complete the tobacco attestation premium credit activity.

Information about Open Enrollment will be sent to all University employees later this summer.

With the start of a new academic year comes another chance to take advantage of the tuition waiver program that allows University employees to take a credit course for free each semester, to include fall, spring or one of the two summer semesters. Employees can take up to three courses each year. The deadline for the tuition waiver program for the fall semester is Aug. 29. To learn more, call 919-962-3071.

For more information about employee benefits, visit hr.unc.edu.