Employee Benefits

The following outline highlights the benefits offered Whatcom Community College. More detailed information is available through the College's Human Resources Office, Laidlaw Center, Room 235.

Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, and Disability Insurance Plans

As a State employer, Whatcom Community College offers eligible employees and their families a wide selection of comprehensive medical (including vision) and dental insurance options through the State Health Care Authority at a low, monthly contribution. Plans provide eligible family members coverage at an additional monthly contribution. In addition to office visits, hospital care and preventive care, the medical plans include coverage for prescription drugs, vision care, mental health, substance abuse and smoking cessation, etc.

The College also provides basic life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability plans at no cost to the employee. Employees may take advantage of opportunities to purchase additional enhanced coverage at low rates.

Medical/dental benefits are extended to same-sex domestic partners.

New Benefit Available: FSA (Medical Flexible Spending Account)

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is an IRS-approved, tax-free account that saves you money on eligible medical expenses. You authorized per-pay-period deposits to your FSA from your before-tax salary. Then, as you incur eligible expenses, you request tax-free withdrawals from your account to reimburse yourself. Establishing a Medical Expense FSA will save valuable tax dollars on eligible medical expenses. This plan is available to full-time or part-time permanent employees, employed on a 9-month, 10-month, 11-month, or 12-month basis. Part-time, seasonal employees, and persons employed by an institution on a less than 9-month basis are not eligible employees. Please see the Human Resources Office for more details on this program.

Retirement Plans

  • TRS - Washington State Teacher's Retirement
  • PERS - Public Employees Retirement Plan
  • TIAA/CREF - Teacher's Insurance Annuity Association/College Retirement Equities Fund
  • TSA (Tax Deferred Annuity) - voluntary
  • SRA (Supplementary Retirement Account) - voluntary
  • Deferred Compensation--The State of Washington offers a supplemental retirement benefit program for state employees. Contact the Deferred Compensation office at (360) 664-7111 or 1-800-423-1524 for additional information.- voluntary

Retirement plans are provided for eligible employees. Employee status determines in which plan(s) the employee is eligible to participate. The SRA,TSA and Deferred Compensation plans are available to all employees.

Sick and Annual (Vacation) Leave

Sick Leave 
All eligible full-time faculty, classified and exempt employees accrue one (1) day of sick leave credit for each full month of completed service. Those employees who work less that full time accrue sick leave at a rate that is equal to the percent of full time.

Adjunct faculty employed on quarterly contracts shall earn sick leave based on their contracted FTEF multiplied by seven (7) hours for each month they are in active teaching status. At no time shall the total hours of sick leave earned per month exceed seven (7) hours. After the initial quarter of employment, adjunct faculty shall accumulate such leave at a rate of one (1) day (prorated) for each calendar month during which they are employed for a contractual day provided the total does not include more than twelve (12) days during any given twelve 
month period.

(a) Leave will be posted after the first quarter and may be taken only after it has been earned. For the purposes of establishing and maintaining eligibility, spring and fall quarters are considered to be consecutive periods of employment. Leave deductions will be based on the employee's prorated FTEF during the quarter the leave is requested. Sick leave may only be used while under contract as an adjunct faculty member, unless other eligible positions apply.

(b) Accrued sick leave may be used for absences caused by illness, injury, bereavement, disability, maternity, paternity, adoption, or to care for a family member with a health condition that requires treatment or supervision.

(c) Adjunct faculty who must be absent shall communicate that fact to the appropriate person as soon as possible.

(d) Once the adjunct faculty member becomes eligible and is not renewed for any given quarter, the faculty member shall be granted unused sick leave when he or she returns to employment. Sick leave will be accumulated and may be transferred between state agencies as defined in RCW 28B.10.016. Leave accumulated but not used shall be compensable only as provided by the Board of Trustees' policy 4030 and applicable statutes.

(e) Absences resulting from illness or accident compensated by the State Workers' Compensation Program shall be handled in a manner consistent with applicable state and federal law, including the FMLA and the ADA.

(f) This Section of the contract (Article VIII, Section B.2) may be reopened for negotiating as necessary and with the mutual consent of both parties for the life of this contract.

Annual (Vacation) Leave 
All eligible administrative and exempt employees accrue annual (vacation) leave at a rate of 1.83 days per contracted month, prorated equivalent for those whose contracts are less than full time.

Other leaves such as bereavement, child care, parental, FMLA, and civil duty are available to eligible employees.

Holidays

Eligible classified support and exempt employees receive ten (10) paid holidays per year including: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and Christmas Day. In addition, eligible classified and exempt employees receive one (1) day of paid personal leave per calendar year, prorated to the percent of full time.

Workers Compensation

Employees are automatically insured under the Workers' Compensation Act for injuries sustained during the course of employment. An injured employee is responsible for filing a claim with the Department of Labor and Industries within one year following the date of the injury. Pension benefits are provided for surviving spouse and other dependents in those cases where death results from the injury.

Dependent Care Assistance Program

The Dependent Care Assistance program allows employees to pay for dependent care expenses in a way that will reduce taxable income. New employees may enroll within thirty days of employment. Contact the Deferred Compensation office at (360) 664-7111 or 1-800-423-1524 for additional information.

Education

WCC supports and encourages staff development for all college employees. Eligible employees (50 percent of full-time or above) receive waivers with an adminstration fee for most credit courses offered by the College. The employees are, however, responsible for books, supplies and any applicable fees. Flexibility as to employee availability for class times is at the discretion of the employee's immediate supervisor. Non-credit classes are available through the Community Education program at an employee 50 percent reduced rate.

The College also offers on-campus Skills Training and Professional Development workshops throughout the academic year. These presentations are free of charge and are held during the workday.

In addition, payment and/or cost sharing for other professional development activities is available through the College's Professional Development Committee.

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