Top of PageSkip to main content

2018 Town Hall Employee FAQ

Will there me an assessment done on the insurance plans available to employees? Currently, with the preferred plan with, using a doctor within the network it costs close to $6,000 ($2000 deductible, plus 20% coinsurance, plus 20% to hospital for stay) out of pocket from the employee for maternity visits and delivery. For employees who do not have higher salaries this is a large amount of money to pay out of pocket and hardly seems equitable to our salary.

There is an annual evaluation of the insurance plans for cost and features, and the finding is that NSU is competitive with health insurance offerings in comparison to other private, not-for-profit universities in Florida. Through the ICUBA relationship, NSU is able to offer two medical plans that are equivalent to a marketplace gold level plan. The ICUBA plans provide access to the best provider network in the State of Florida as well as exceptional value through its emphasis on free wellness benefits that cover many screenings, tests, procedures, and supplies (http://www.nova.edu/hr/wellness/forms/free-preventive-screening.pdf). On the ICUBA Benefits portal (icubabenefits.org), one can also find a tool called Ask Emma. When an employee tells Emma what kind of services they and/or their family use throughout the year, Emma estimates the out-of-pocket expenses for all of the medical plans offered and compares costs for each plan. This allows employees to evaluate the plans and make enrollment decisions that meet their specific personal and financial needs during open enrollment and when life changes occur. In the example of a maternity claim, the out-of-pocket expense for the Preferred PPO plan is estimated to be $3,500 and when the NSU funded Health Reimbursement Account is used, the out-of-pocket expense could be even lower. Ask Emma and other materials detailing benefit coverages are available both on the ICUBA Benefits portal (icubabenefits.org) and the NSU Benefits website (http://www.nova.edu/hr/benefits/index.html) to help employees make informed choices. During the 2018 open enrollment period commencing on February 12th, a new plan with a higher deductible and less costly employee premium will be introduced. Using the available information and Ask Emma, employees will be able to evaluate all three options and make a choice that best fits their personal needs. Please watch your email and the OHR Benefits homepage http://www.nova.edu/hr/benefits/index.html for upcoming Open Enrollment 2018 information.

NSU health insurance for family coverage is nearly $800/month. The premiums at other institutions of higher education are much lower. It is an incentive to take a pay decrease at another institution for the cost savings to insure a family. Can NSU find a way to offer lower family health insurance premiums? This will help to retain employees.

The importance of affordable and comprehensive health insurance to our NSU family remains a priority at NSU. For the last 5 years premium increases for the NSU plan have averaged less 5% annually. Nationally, employers on average have raised their premium rates by 10% or more each year over the same period. In addition, NSU provides a monthly HRA contribution for each enrolled employee. NSU’s contribution provides employees with an additional $300 to $1,200 every year to utilize for their health care needs. In order to provide the NSU community with affordable options for health insurance, a new Florida Blue plan with lower premiums and higher deductibles will be offered beginning April 1, 2018. Look for more information about this option during our annual enrollment in February. *Source: Willis Towers Watson 2017 Health Care Financial Benchmarks Survey which contains data on over 2,200 companies and organizations in 18 industry groups and for 17 million covered lives.

Why does the vacation policy require us to use the days by our anniversary date rather than by the end of calendar year like other Universities? Other institutions require vacation to be used by end of year, and roll 5 days into new year. All employees are then treated the same. Thank you.

When vacation accruals culminate on the anniversary dates the use of vacation time is spread more evenly throughout the calendar year. This results in an even staffing load and supports operational efficiency year-round. It is therefore not anticipated that there will be a change in policy. The NSU vacation policy applies equally to all employees in positions that accrue in the same manner, accruing from the hire/anniversary date and the requirement to use time by the anniversary date. All vacation eligible employees have an automatic roll over of up to 5 days of unused vacation time. *Society for Human Resource Management

Our vacation policy is generous. Can we re-visit expiration of vacation days? The current policy requires all accrued days to be used by the hire date. This means some people do not have days to use during the summer if they were hired at the start of summer. We watch our co-workers who were hired in October take 2 week summer vacations while we have to take all our time before summer begins or we lose the days. Other schools, cities and businesses have a policy that applies to ALL employees the same - Use your time by the end of the year and roll over 5 days into new year. This would give everyone a chance to use the accrued days over the summer.

Thank you for your question and it is gratifying to hear that NSU’s vacation policy is appreciated. NSU exceeds the national average for the amount of vacation time awarded to employees and also in the average length of service it takes to accrue more days. When vacation accruals culminate on the anniversary dates the use of vacation time is spread more evenly throughout the calendar year. This results in an even staffing load and supports operational efficiency year-round. It is therefore not anticipated that there will be a change in policy. The NSU vacation policy applies equally to all employees in positions that accrue in the same manner, accruing from the hire/anniversary date and the requirement to use time by the anniversary date. All vacation eligible employees have an automatic roll over of up to 5 days of unused vacation time. *Society for Human Resource Management

I am just a regular employee that works for OIIT who has been loyalty working for NSU for many years, but we feel that OIIT is not of importance or significance to NSU. Specifically with building accommodations. We have been placed all over campuses including very old and unsuitable buildings and now we are been told that we will not be moving to Miramar. Me and my colleagues feel like senior executives do not take OIIT seriously and with respect as a key and strategic key service organization to NSU.

As the university continues to grow and expand and in support of Vision 2020, we’ve been challenged with allocating suitable space in UPP for the OIIT organization especially with the new HCA hospital coming up. Although our Miramar Regional Campus will not be a viable location for some of the OIIT team, we’ve begun to look for alternative options including having the OIIT team centrally located within the Rolling Hills suites; which ultimately should help the entire organization from a collaboration and productivity perspective. This is something that we are actively looking into and as always, we will be communicating this to everyone as it unfolds.

Nova prides itself to be a non-smoking campus, but in recent times smoking has been becoming a nuisance especially with E-smoking. Is there an active enforcement going on with this policy, if not, what is going to be done to ensure that the campus(s) remain smoke free?

Our institutions policy outlines that smoking and tobacco use are prohibited in all campus facilities and on all university property and other property owned or leased by the University with no exception; this includes the use of an electronic cigarette or any other device intended to simulate smoking. Public Safety has been designated as the reporting agent for all violations of the smoking and tobacco free policy. As such, this team establishes contact with violators of this policy to determine their organization affiliation, to communicate the policy, to document the incident and to share these findings with the appropriate University office for compliance management. Enforcement procedures and corrective actions will be in line with any other violation of student or employee policy. If a tobacco/smoke free policy violation is observed by a member of our campus community, please report it immediately by calling Public Safety at (954) 262-8999.

Can we switch to using a per diem rate for travel reimbursements as opposed to receipt based reimbursements? The manpower required for receipt based reimbursements is astounding. For the traveler, they have to individually organize and tape receipts to pieces of paper, fill out an Ariba TR line item by line item, and then scan the receipts and turn in the originals. For each level of approver, they have to review each line item and cross check it with the receipt to make sure it is acceptable and calculated correctly. If the calculation is off by even a penny, then the process starts all over again. Faculty and staff could be using this time more productively and bringing in more money as opposed to wasting valuable time on such a task.

NSU operates under an accountable plan for employee business expense reimbursements in accordance with IRS regulations whereby reimbursements are not taxable income to the employee. In order to be considered an accountable plan, each business expense must be substantiated with adequate records within a reasonable time. Detailed information must be provided, including the date, place, amount, and business purpose. NSU currently reimburses based on actual expenses incurred (as set forth in the Travel Policy) and meets the substantiation and adequacy of documentation requirements by collecting itemized receipts. Administration has previously evaluated the various pros and cons of reimbursement based on actual expenses incurred compared to a per diem method for permissible travel expenses including meals. The evaluation included a survey of other private universities, a detailed cost-benefit analysis, as well as other factors such as system-related considerations. The results supported continued use of the actual expense method. However, periodic review is warranted and administration is planning to analyze again for the upcoming fiscal year to determine if any changes should be made to the current travel policy.

I have a deep concern as to why there are not AUTO/ADA doors at the entrance of the HPD building? Now would be a good time to put them in since there is already so much construction already going on in the building.

The Health Professions Division has the following automatic door operators currently installed throughout the facility:

  1. Terry North sliding doors – set on always open.
  2. Dental
  3. Pharmacy
  4. Ziff
  5. Assembly II North Doors.
  6. HPD Library Main Doors.

 

In addition, our architects are working on proposing additional/future automatic doors as part of new construction projects for the following areas:

  1. Breezeway between Assembly I and HPD Library/Lab East and West Doors to assist with HPD Library Night Owl.
  2. HPD Library/Lab Main Doors near Juice Blends.

 

This is something that we look at during any renovation/new construction to ensure we meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff.  We are always open to suggestions from our NSU community.

Why can't the regional campuses have Winter Closure?

As part of a customer service approach to possible incoming students at NSU, the regional campuses have opened during the holiday breaks to assist the incoming and potential students with important information they might need during the holiday break. The regional campus administration offices will be open from 9am to 3pm on Dec 27, 28 and 29 this year. Also, as previous years there will be a skeleton crew at each campus to service students who contact our campuses.

Good Day Pres.Hanbury Sir, I am the surgical coordinator-Sanford Ziff Building,2yrs ago I developed a bad bronchial infection required a hospital stay of 2wks treated 2wks of IV steroids. Needless to say my size 5 became a figure resembling a bowling ball,steroids saved my life,but induced Diabetes Type 2. I decided I needed help and started seeing Dr. Fenton. She is a an Internal Med. MD/ Nutritionist....I have lost approx. 50 lbs, reversing diabetes.My labs are fantastic. 25 more lbs to meet my goal.I frequently have salad from the HPD/Terry Building cafeteria,very healthy, but expensive. On behalf of my colleagues and myself I was hoping the University in promoting health, may consider offering 50% salads for employees, instead of Wendys

Thank you for reaching out with your comments and question.  Congratulations on your impressive journey and commitment toward wellness.  While the salad bar is priced by the ounce, there is a cap that limits the total cost to $8.49 regardless of the actual weight purchased.  In addition, pre-packed salads are also available that are priced considerably under this cap amount.  There are no plans at this time to subsidize salad offerings on campus.

Return to top of page