Compensation and Staffing News
July 2019

In some email readers, you may need to click on continuation dots to read the entirety of each article.
Professional Interim Training Registration
Is your congregation welcoming an interim minister? Or do you have another staff member whose portfolio includes intentional developmental work? Twice a year the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances hosts a seven-week online interim training to help congregational staff understand, support, and/or lead transitions (of people, programs, etc.) in their congregations. This is a great training for staff to take as a team!

Staff will find this training useful if:
  • they are, or will be, working with an interim minister.
  • they are serving, or preparing to serve, in an interim capacity.
  • they want to look at their current work and context with fresh eyes, especially during times of change.

Professional Interim Training:
  • introduces a variety of leadership and change models.
  • equips staff in the essential areas of congregational systems and staff relations.
  • grounds staff in the tasks of the interim process.
  • provide practical tools and resources for interim work.

For more information, testimonials from recent participants, and the application form, see our Professional Interim Training course page. Applications are due August 15, and the Opening Webinar takes place on Monday evening, September 16 (7:00 ET).
UUA Health Plan Annual Audit
The UUA Health Plan is audited according to Department of Labor standards by RSM, LLP, an outside auditing firm. Results are reported annually to the UUA Audit Committee and to the Trustees of the Heath Plan. Each year, the participation records of about 10% of participating congregations are selected for review. Letters go out to selected congregations about August 1; responding is simple and uncomplicated, and we urge selected congregations to respond promptly.
Important Benefits Reminders
  • Retirement Contributions Required: Employees eligible for employer contributions to the UUA Retirement Plan are not allowed to opt out. Any staff member of a participating organization who meets the eligibility criteria must receive the contributions they are due. This is a requirement of our Plan. The Retirement Plan section of the Benefits Tune-up Workbook can help you confirm who is eligible for employer contributions.
  • Report Employee Changes: Please make use of our Employee/Benefits Changes Form to notify us of employee changes, including termination/retirement, transitions, salary updates, address changes, drop of coverage, and death. (For transitioning to another congregation, the employee also completes the Benefits Transition Form.)
About State and Local Laws
We do our best to provide congregational leaders with information on federal labor laws, particularly those with payroll and/or tax implications. In order to confidently offer general information on personnel-related laws, we check in with our legal counsel as appropriate.

As time goes on, more states and localities are enacting workplace-related laws that go beyond federal requirements. According to the Summer 2019 issue of HR Magazine (from SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management):
  • 29 states, Washington, D.C., and at least 40 local jurisdictions have established a minimum wage that's higher than the federal minimum.
  • 11 states and over 20 municipalities require paid sick leave, with varying rules about accrual, carryover, and more.
  • Seven states have passed pay equity legislation that transcends federal equal pay mandates.

And the list goes on.

It is beyond the scope of the Office of Church Staff Finances or Congregational Life (regional) staff to research and educate congregations about state and local laws. Not only are there simply too many to track, but some of them include exceptions for religious organizations and/or different rules for small employers. We have neither the person-power nor the expertise to provide solid guidance.

We strongly recommend that every congregation develop a relationship with an employment lawyer who can keep you abreast of laws in your area and help you interpret and apply them. Perhaps this can be arranged as a partnership with area congregations – UU or other?

When you ask us about legal and tax matters relating to personnel, we'll continue to give you (or point you toward) the best information we have. In responding to inquiries, we consistently remind leaders that we are not certified tax or legal professionals. More and more often, we're also advising people to find out whether state law comes into play. Thank you for understanding!
UUA Office of Church Staff Finances
24 Farnsworth Street | Boston, MA 02210