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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – March 2020 – Issue 319

Eugene Education Association - EEA

Prepared by Jamie Myers • 541-790-7682 • myers_j@4j.lane.edu • March 13, 2020 • Issue Number 319


The Wellness Clinic will be open regular hours during the school closure due to Coronavirus, as well as during 4J’s regular spring break, March 23-27. The Clinic would like to pass along the following information:

  • Well patients will be scheduled for morning appointments.
  • Sick patients will be scheduled for afternoon appointments.
  • Patients who are ill will be phone screened prior to scheduling an appointment to determine if they need to come to the Clinic.
  • If you have scheduled a well-check appointment and become ill, please call the Clinic to arrange for an afternoon appointment.
  • Call your pharmacy if you need medications refilled, even if there are no refills remaining.
  • The Clinic is working on telemedicine availability.
  • It is not too late to get a flu shot, and the Clinic has flu vaccines available.
  • Please wait to schedule routine care visits, and if you already have a physical scheduled, consider postposing.
  • Behavioral health appointments will be scheduled at the Cascade Health office, located in Eugene at 2650 Suzanne Way, Suite 120.
  • 4J Wellness Clinic: 541-686-1427


COVID-19 is cause for concern and care, but there is no reason to panic. We all need to know how to take preventative measures, to recognize possible symptoms, and how to get treatment.


Coughing and sneezing can spread the virus, which then lands on objects or surfaces, so:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if you haven’t washed your hands.
  • Stay away (at least 6 feet) from sick people.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the garbage.
  • Frequently disinfect and wipe down surfaces.


The main symptoms are fever, cough, and respiratory difficulty. These may manifest from two (2) to fourteen (14) days after exposure to the virus. Call your doctor or the Wellness Clinic if you have these symptoms.


Stay home. Most people who contract coronavirus will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking over the counter medications for pain and fever as needed. If you need to have a doctor visit, consider scheduling a Virtual Visit.


4J Licensed Bargaining Unit Members receive sick and personal leave days each contract year. Many people have questions about what accumulates from year to year, as well as parameters around what your sick leave can and cannot be used for.

Sick Leave:

  • 96 hours (12 days) of sick leave are earned each year (pro-rated for FTE).
  • An unlimited amount of sick leave hours may be accumulated.
  • Up to 40 hours of sick leave may be used to care for an ill family member.
  • You may take sick leave to go to medical appointments.
  • You do not have to take sick leave in increments of 4 or 8 hours. If you only need 2 hours for an appointment, enter only the time you need into Absence Management.

Personal Leave:

  • 16 hours (2 days) of personal leave are granted each year (pro-rated for FTE).
  • Personal leave days may be accumulated up to a total of three days.

More detailed information about sick and personal leave provisions can be found in Article 8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between EEA and 4J.


You still have time to become an active member of the Sick Leave Bank. Our second enrollment period of 2019-20 remains open through April 3, 2020. If you aren’t sure of your status, shoot me an email at myers_j@4j.lane.edu, and I will tell you if action is needed to maintain or reactivate your membership.

To maintain active membership, you must donate at least one day (prorated to your FTE) every two years. You may donate up to 16 hours per year, so if you’re feeling generous, go ahead and donate an extra day.


There were nine brave individuals who donated blood last week at our Bloodworks Blood Drive. Of those nine, eight of them were first time donors! As one of the first-timers, I can honestly say that it was no big deal. The staff was pleasant and efficient, and the cookies were delicious!

Each pint of whole blood that was donated will be separated into three parts: red cells, platelets, and plasma. So, by donating nine pints of whole blood, 4J employees helped to save 27 lives. Go Team Eugene!


Understanding how your PERS pension works can be challenging, to say the least. In order to help you sort it out, 4J will be hosting another PERS education presentation called, “Understanding Your PERS Pension.”

Whether you are just beginning your career, within a few months of retirement, or anywhere in between, this session is for you.  Kris Kartub* of Valic will be presenting, and snacks will be provided.

Topics will include:

  • Understanding the differences between Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP
  • Pension benefit calculation methods
  • Understanding your IAP account
  • Retirement option choices

The presentation is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28, 2020. It will take place in the Ed Center Auditorium, starting at 4:30 p.m. It will last approximately one hour and 15 minutes.  Kris will stay and answer individual questions at the end of the formal presentation.

*This is a repeat of a previous presentation by Kris Kartub.


Springing our clocks forward may reward us with an extra hour of daylight, but for some it wreaks havoc on our sleep. If you’re struggling to get enough rest, here are some sleep hygiene tips to try.

Keep to a sleep schedule. A consistent bedtime and wake time will help train your brain to sleep.

Limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in the 3-4 hours before bedtime. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine are well-known, but it might surprise you to learn that alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns as well.

Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, free of light-emitting screens.

Try not to nap. If you really need a snooze, limit it to 30 minutes in the late morning or early afternoon.

Be physically active during the day, but not too close to bedtime.

Get outside during the daylight hours. Your body craves the natural light, and it helps to set your circadian rhythm.

Dim the lights in your home after dark. As diurnal beings, our bodies are wired to prepare for sleep after sundown. Artificial light can inhibit this instinct.

Take a warm bath or shower a couple of hours before bedtime to raise your body temperature. As you cool down, this will trigger a sleep response in your body.

Finally, try to turn off your screens an hour or two before you go to bed.


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