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PAT Council Continues Vacation Cash Out Discussion

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At its March meeting, the PAT Council continued a discussion it had begun in 2011 on a recently invoked benefit for operating staff that allowed them to cash out up to five days of earned time. During its December 2011 meeting, council representatives asked a visiting President Huddleston why the option wasn’t extended to PAT employees.

According to Joan Tambling, USNH director of Human Resources, unlike earned time for OS staff, if there was an annual cash-out of vacation time program for PAT staff, it would entail new costs.

Accounting rules require the university to set aside enough money to pay all employees their accrued earned time and vacation balances, says Sari Bennett, UNH interim associate vice president for HR.

According to Bennett, while the USNH board of trustees voted to increase the number of vacation days that PAT employees can accrue from 35 to 45, no budget exists that would allow the added days to be cashed out.

In other news, Kevin Charles, director of Health Services, gave an overview of the new staff health clinic. Services are available to all UNH employees regardless of whether they work full or part time although how they pay may differ.

During the academic year the clinic is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. For radiology, pharmacy, and lab hours visit the employee clinic site. The clinic is not a replacement for primary care, but is more like an urgent care facility. Care for acute infections (ear and sinus infections, pneumonia and conjunctivitis), injuries (lower back pain, sprains, and strains) and other problems like rashes, insect bites and headaches are available.

The pharmacy offers many frequently used generic prescription drugs for $5, less than the co-pay for many prescription drugs using the Caremark plan. In addition, over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, cough and cold medicines, vitamins, eye drops and nasal spray sold at the pharmacy often cost less than comparable retail prices.

Laboratory tests also are less costly; a comprehensive workup performed in an independent lab like Lab Corp or Quest averages $15. The same test averages from $92 to $146 at local hospitals.

The clinic is staffed by three doctors and five nurse practitioners. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 2-HLTH, e-mail healthservices@unh.edu or visit http://www.unh.edu/health-services/employee-clinic/.