Work-Life Services Home Page
Work–Life Services (WLS) are six negotiated benefits programs for Executive Branch employees resulting from a collaboration between NYS and the public employee unions. These programs are designed to increase employee productivity and morale by improving the quality of work and life for employees and include: Employee Assistance Program, NYS–Balance, Worksite Child Care Centers, Flex Spending Account, NYS–Ride, and Pre–Retirement Planning. To view a short video about WLS benefits click here. 12:11
To view or print the Work-Life Services Brochure click here.
EAP: Ease into Exercise with the WellNYS Everyday Monthly Challenge
New Year’s resolutions are very popular in January. When it comes to resolutions to get healthier, instead of resolving to lose weight, or start a strict diet, start simple. Make an effort to do one healthy behavior each day.
The WellNYS Everyday Monthly Challenge for January 2015 is to participate in twenty minutes of physical activity with a friend or family member for at least fifteen days during the month. Three advantages of doing the Monthly Challenge with someone else are 1) when you establish a schedule (and agree that cancelling is not an option), you are more likely to be successful; 2) you can motivate each other, especially when your resolve to exercise is wavering; and 3) it is more fun to exercise with someone else. Ideas for doing the Monthly Challenge with a friend or family member include: go to the health club and partner up on the cardio or other equipment, walk around the indoor mall together before the stores open, sign up for an exercise, dance, or yoga class together and alternate picking each other up; take turns choosing a different activity each of the fifteen days. Set a goal of getting together fifteen times this month, which is every other day. Celebrate when you accomplish your goal!
To register for the WellNYS Everyday Challenge, please visit: WellNYS Everyday Challenge
For more information, contact your EAP Coordinator.
The Flex Spending Account – Change in Status and New Employees
The 2015 open enrollment period ended on November 7, 2014. New state employees hired on or after October 6, 2014 who were unable to enroll by the November 7 deadline because they had not been assigned a NYS EMPLID may enroll for the 2015 plan year by submitting a Change in Status application within 60 days of their hire date. Current employees who experience a valid change in status on or after November 8, 2014 or during the 2015 plan year may be eligible to enroll by submitting a Change in Status application within 60 days of their qualifying event. Visit www.flexspend.ny.gov to review the 2015 Change in Status information to determine is your situation qualifies you to enroll during the plan year. Change in Status requests will be accepted until November 8, 2015.
For tools to help address stressful situations, go to the NYS-Balance website, at www.nysbalance.ny.gov. There you will find numerous articles, resources, free educational materials, audio resources, and online seminars dealing with the topic of stress management. Click on the Educational Materials tab on the right side of the homepage to order a free relaxing CD called, Moods of Nature. Click here for a single page document that lists information on stress management, available on the NYS-Balance website.
The NYS Work-Life Services Employee Assistance Program recently launched a wellness initiative called WellNYS Everyday. The initiative is dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering New York State employees and their families by encouraging participation in healthy behaviors, particularly the Monthly Challenges. In addition to the Monthly Challenges, the WellNYS Everyday website features a portal titled Eating for Your Health. Click here to find monthly food themes with recipes, and general tips for healthy eating.
How Are We Doing?
We would like your feedback on the NYS-Balance program. There are three feedback tabs on the NYS-Balance homepage where you can complete a short five-question survey. The three feedback locations are: at the top of the homepage, under the NYS-Balance logo; the Feedback tab; and on the bottom right side of the homepage under Employee Resources.
NYS-Ride allows eligible state employees to pay up to $130 per month for certain work-related transportation expenses on a pre-tax basis. More than 8,000 participants who use public transportation to get to work currently enjoy the savings this program provides, while contributing to a greener environment by reducing carbon emissions, greenhouse gasses, and dependence on foreign oil.
The NYS-Ride website provides employees with quick and easy access to all the information they would need to learn about the program, calculate their savings and impact on the environment, enroll in NYS-Ride, make changes to their elections, or view their accounts. Please visit the website at www.nysride.com.
Retirement Planning Videos
A series of short videos — the Planning Your Successful Retirement Video Guide — highlighting key information from the popular DIRECTIONS: Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars is now available. Designed for executive branch employees, the 23 videos were created in partnership with the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department of Civil Service, the NYS Deferred Compensation Plan, and the Social Security Administration. Employees can view the videos along with other pre-retirement planning information on this Work-Life Services website and also on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/GOERWebServices. More
Free NYS–Balance Resource Materials
We are very pleased to offer a wide variety of new, free, resource materials available through the NYS–Balance program. To order materials, go to: http://www.nysbalance.ny.gov. After logging in, on the right side of the home page, in the Employee Resources section, click on the Educational Materials tab, complete the form and submit. The materials will be mailed directly to your home.
Retirement Planning Resources Workshops
The Retirement Planning Resources Workshop is a free, one-hour training, available to state agencies for their employees, regardless of years of state service. The training will not cover specific retirement information, and is not a substitute for the full-day DIRECTIONS seminars. Instead, the goal of this training program is to educate executive branch employees about the resources available so they can begin planning their retirement.
If you would like to schedule this one-hour training, you may contact Beth Brumaghim, Seminar Program Manager, at Beth.Brumaghim@goer.ny.gov or 518.473.4018.
Welcome to the Family Packet
Work-Life Services introduces the "Welcome to the Family Packet". Parenting is an exciting and challenging experience. Today's parents often face unique circumstances balancing their work and family responsibilities. As a New York State Executive Branch employee parent, you are entitled to several negotiated benefits designed to assist you with balancing work and life. The "Welcome to the Family Packet" will outline these benefits programs as well as provide educational child care and parenting brochures. We invite you to request a "Welcome to the Family Packet" if you are expecting or recently added to your family through the birth or adoption of a child. Email your request along with your name and home address to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Parenthood, it's not a job. It's an adventure" – –author unknown
NYS-Balance makes life less complicated by providing referrals for Child Care and Parenting, Elder Care/Adults with Disabilities, Education, Health and Wellness, Daily Life, and Legal/Financial. Many NYS executive branch employees have used the service and here's what they have to say…
“I was very surprised and impressed by the info provided and have recommended NYS-Balance to others. I was impressed with the amount of detail in the information I requested.”
“I learned a lot following the various webinar/seminars that NYS-Balance gave.”
“I am very surprised by the helpfulness of the staff and the information they provided. I don’t think other state workers know how helpful this benefit is!”
Funding is provided by the negotiated agreements between the State of New York and CSEA, PEF, UUP, GSEU, DC-37, Council 82, and NYSCOPBA, and by the NYS Governor's Office of Employee Relations for employees designated M/C.