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March 2015 HR Update

Happy Birthday President Madison!

Check out the Madison Week website or Facebook page, JMU Madison Week.


Bonus Announcement

JMU is providing a 3.5% bonus to all eligible full-time classified, wage and A&P faculty employees which will be reflected in pay advice dated April 16, 2015. See more information at

The Office of Risk Management wishes all JMU employees a safe winter holiday break. December Safety Tips

Open Enrollment 2015

Open enrollment for health insurance, flexible spending accounts, and AFLAC will occur May 1-May 22. Changes become effective July 1.

The Office of Risk Management wishes all JMU employees a safe winter holiday break. December Safety Tips

New Roth 457 Option

Effective July 1, a Roth (after-tax) option will be available to participants in the 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. Employees will be able to set up this new after-tax deferral option on or after July 1 by logging into their Account Access at or by calling Investor Services at 1-877-327-5261.


Financial Counseling at Your Fingertips

Do you participate in a 403(b) or the 457 Deferred Compensation plan? Are you aware that our financial consultants are available to meet with you on a one-on-one, confidential basis to discuss your personal financial situation? The consultants are available to discuss how to help you meet your financial goals with products, such as mutual funds and annuities, or other financial matters. Visit the 2015 schedule at If you do not see your company listed, simply contact your financial consultant directly.


New Virginia Sickness & Disability Vendor

Virginia Retirement System has announced that Reed Group will be the new third-party administrator for the Virginia Sickness & Disability Program effective May 1, transitioning from UNUM.

Benefit provisions for both short-term and long-term disability will remain the same.  Any short-term disability claims incurred before May 1, 2015 will remain with UNUM until the claim moves to long-term disability. At that time, the claim will transition to Reed Group.


Mental Health Resources

Mental health issues can occur anytime without warning. When experiencing a mental health situation, you can quickly become overwhelmed and struggle to quickly identify resources for assistance. If you or a family member experience a mental health issue and need support in managing the situation, resources for assistance may be found at


Classified Performance Ratings

With classified performance evaluations just five months away, Human Resources would like to share some changes to the performance ratings that were approved in the revised Salary Administration Plan (SAP) and are currently being revised in Policy 1305-Performance Evaluation for Classified Employees.

Since July 1, 2000, JMU has been using the three ratings provided by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) which are Below Contributor, Contributor, and Extraordinary Contributor. Beginning this July, JMU has added two additional ratings: “Moderate Contributor” and “High Contributor” for supervisors to use when evaluating employee performance. As outlined in the SAP, the revisions to the performance evaluation were adopted last fall by JMU administration as a direct result of feedback from supervisors and managers. The additional ratings will allow supervisors more flexibility in assigning performance ratings that can more accurately reflect their direct reports' contributions. The newly established list of all five ratings are detailed below:

Below Contributor: This rating recognizes job performance that fails to meet the minimum criteria of the job function. To receive an overall Below Contributor rating, an employee must have received at least one documented Notice of Improvement Needed or Written Notice within the performance cycle.

Moderate Contributor: This rating recognizes work that meets the minimum standards required of the position. While employees at this level are achieving a majority of the core responsibilities and measures, the employee is still developing competency or did not consistently achieve expectations and may require further development.

Contributor: This rating recognizes work that is at or occasionally above the performance standards by achieving the criteria of the job’s core responsibilities and measures throughout the performance cycle. Employees at this level are achieving the core responsibilities and performance measure - and are occasionally going beyond - as outlined by the supervisor.

High Contributor: This rating recognizes work that is characterized by a consistently higher level of accomplishment; meeting and often exceeding performance targets of core responsibilities; providing significant support that contributes to achieving the mission of the organization. On a regular basis, the employee demonstrates high proficiency in their knowledge; skills and abilities; required work; and behavioral competencies.

Extraordinary Contributor: This rating recognizes work that is characterized by exemplary accomplishments throughout the performance cycle and performance that considerably and consistently exceeds the criteria of the job function. An Extraordinary Contributor is observed regularly taking increased initiative and going above and beyond the requirements of the position. To receive an overall Extraordinary Contributor rating, an employee must have received at least one documented Acknowledgement of Extraordinary Contribution within the performance cycle.

While the university's Performance Management Program for non-probationary classified employees now includes five performance rating levels, the Commonwealth of Virginia still specifies only three performance categories (Extraordinary Contributor, Contributor and Below Contributor). Therefore, the university's "high” and “moderate" contributor ratings described above will equate to the Commonwealth’s "Contributor” level for conversion and compensation practices.

Please take time to review the updated Salary Administration Plan in its entirety and be on the lookout for revised forms, web updates and upcoming Training and Development workshops to become more familiar with the changes.


Employee Mediation Services

Human Resources would like to remind you about JMU Employee Mediation Services available to all full-time and part-time (non-student) employees of the university.  To effectively handle conflict, an appropriate course of action must be taken to produce the change that leads to a positive work experience. With certified mediators to help guide the process, HR Consulting Services can assist employees from all across campus with resolving workplace conflict.  

Through mediation, participants are encouraged to engage in open conversation and have honest dialogue, allowing them to address issues in a safe environment. Solutions are reached at the base level, instead of moving up the chain of command. Mediation sessions are free of charge and available for both individuals and groups. Common issues discussed during mediation include:

  • Work style differences
  • Supervisory style differences
  • Issues surrounding a grievance
  • Conflict affecting a working relationship between co-workers that cannot be resolved on their own or with a supervisor

We encourage you to review the information on the Human Resources website and become familiar with Mediation Services available to JMU employees.  As always, you may contact your HR Consultant with any questions you may have or call the HR Consulting Services Team at 540-568-7247.


Summer Job Opportunities

Applicants may now apply for the following summer jobs in Facilities Management through JobLink at

  • Temporary Summer Painter (posting #0406502) Pay range is $7.50 - $12.00/hour depending upon experience. Minimum age requirement is 18.
  • Temporary Summer Landscape Worker (posting #0406503) Pay is $7.50/hour. Minimum age requirement is 16.
  • Temporary Summer Maintenance Workers (posting #0406504) Pay is $7.50/hour. Minimum age requirement is 18.

Most summer jobs begin Monday, May 11 and end Friday, August 28, 2014.

Please contact Deanna Glass at 540-568-6422, or, for additional information.


University Events Wants You!

You have worked with these JMU seniors for four years…now give them just a few hours of your time to make their final day at JMU the best yet! Help make May Commencement 2015 memorable by volunteering to assist during Commencement Ceremonies on Friday, May 8 OR Saturday, May 9. All volunteers will receive incentives! Please sign up today at Volunteers are needed for any and all jobs!!! Questions? Call Tammy Steele in University Events at 540-568-5180.


March is Eye Safety Month

JMU’s Office of Risk Management invites you to read more about eye safety at


A Snapshot of Upcoming Workshops Offered by JMU Training and Development

Hiring @ JMU
Phase Two New Employee Orientation
Understanding the Virginia Sickness & Disability Program
What to Expect When You Retire

For additional information or to arrange customized sessions for your department, please contact Suzanne Vance, Training Coordinator at, or 540-568-4101.


Discounts for State Employees


The University Policy Committee website is a resource to research policies that have a broad impact on the university's people and processes.


Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter @JMUJobs and HR’s LinkedIn group at

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