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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – February 2021 – Issue 324

Eugene Education Association - EEA

Prepared by Jamie Myers • 541-790-7682 • myers_j@4j.lane.edu •           February 24, 2021 • Issue Number 324


The second Sick Leave Bank enrollment window of 2020-21 is open, and will remain open until April 2, 2021. If you can’t remember the last time you donated, shoot me an email, and I will let you know the date of your last donation, whether or not you are an active member, and when you will need to donate another day to keep your membership current.

To maintain active membership, members must donate at least one day (prorated to your FTE) every two years. You may donate up to 16 hours per year even if you don’t need to renew your membership. So if you have days to spare, feel free to send one or two to the Sick Leave Bank.


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) is a membership program available to adults age 50 and up. Its mission is to support lifelong learning through an intellectual and social community of engaged adult learners. Through OLLI-UO, members have unlimited access to lectures, courses, study groups and more, covering a multitude of topics.

OLLI is hosting a free event the week of March 15 – 19, 2021 called “Discover OLLI.” This is a great opportunity to check out what OLLI has to offer, and see if it might meet your needs and interests. You can find more information about Discover OLLI – UO at https://osher.uoregon.edu/index.php.


❤︎ 150 minutes of exercise each week ❤︎ Eat lots of fruits and veggies every day ❤ ︎Get an annual well check ❤︎ Sleep for eight hours each night ❤︎ Decrease stress ❤︎ Brush and floss your teeth regularly ❤︎ Know your family’s heart health history ❤︎ Stop smoking


The 4J Joint Benefits Committee, in partnership with Reliant Behavioral Health, is offering a series of free seminars to 4J employees & retirees throughout the 2020-21 school year.

Our next seminar is Empathy on Empty: Compassion Fatigue. Even the most empathic person can become so overwhelmed by the chronic stress associated with caregiving that negative attitudes start to take over. This concept, known as compassion fatigue, is particularly common among those in helping professions. During this session, we’ll explore the root causes and symptoms of compassion fatigue as well as provide strategies for overcoming it.

The class will take place:

  • Wednesday, March 10, 2021
  • 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Via Zoom Meeting

To register, please contact Jamie Myers by Tuesday, March 9th: myers_j@4j.lane.edu or 541-790-7682.

Looking ahead, April’s seminar will be Calm Down: Meditation and Relaxation Guide.

April 20, 2021 • 5:00 p.m.


Who can use the Clinic? Insurance-eligible 4J employees and their dependents, as well as OEBB insurance-enrolled retirees and their OEBB enrolled dependents (age 4 and above) may receive care at the 4J Wellness Clinic.

What to Expect:

  • COVID safety protocols are in place, including:
    • Temperature checks at the door.
    • Outdoor space for symptomatic patients and COVID testing
  • When you call, Clinic Staff will assess whether to schedule an in-person or telehealth visit.
  • Behavioral health patients are all being seen virtually.
  • Be prepared to present your medical insurance card. Although you will not receive a bill for services, the Clinic will bill your insurance for the visit.
  • 4J Wellness Clinic: 541-686-1427
  • Clinic Hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., except holidays. The clinic is closed for lunch from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Okay, you received your first dose of the Moderna vaccine, and breezed through the sore arm phase. Maybe you had a headache, or felt a bit fatigued for a few days. No big deal. Then, about a week after you were vaccinated, your arm starts to itch where you got your shot. You check it out, and it’s a little red, and feels warm to touch. You have COVID Arm.

It is actually called delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity, which means your skin had a delayed reaction to the injection. Other than mild discomfort, however, COVID Arm is nothing to worry about. 4J Wellness Clinic practitioner Shannon Micheel recommends treating it with cortisone cream or an antihistamine for the itching, and ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain. The reaction should subside after a day or two. If you’re concerned, then give the Wellness Clinic a call and schedule a telehealth appointment. I actually had COVID Arm, and a quick telehealth visit was convenient and very reassuring.

Experiencing this unusual side effect from the Moderna vaccine does NOT mean you should skip your second dose. You should, however, register at https://vsafe.cdc.gov/, so you can report your symptoms. And when you do get your second dose…you might want to ask for it in your other arm.


PERS retirement benefits are made up of two parts: a member’s lifetime, monthly pension and the Individual Account Program (IAP). Each month, 4J has been contributing 6% of members’ salaries to their IAP. This is not a deduction. It is in addition to the monthly salary.

Effective July 1, 2020, a portion of most members’ 6%-of-salary contribution to their IAP is being redirected to an Employee Pension Stability Account (EPSA). Each member’s EPSA will help fund their defined benefits provided under Tier One/Tier Two and OPSRP. The redirect applies to all active members who earn at least $2535 per month in salary.

Tier One/Two members:

  • 5% of your salary goes into your EPSA.
  • 5% of your salary goes into your IAP.

OPSRP members:

  • 75% of your salary goes into your ESPA.
  • 25% of your salary goes into you IAP.

All active PERS members have the option of making a voluntary, after-tax contribution to their IAP if they wish to keep their monthly contribution at 6%. Log onto your Online Member Services (OMS) account through PERS if you wish to make this voluntary contribution.

  • Tier One/Two members may contribute 2.5%.
  • OPSRP members may contribute 0.75%.

Resources: PERS – 888-320-7377

PERS IAP Voluntary Contribution FAQs:


Oregon PERS Website:



Sick Leave:

  • 96 hours (12 days) of sick leave are earned each year (pro-rated for FTE).
  • An unlimited number 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 use sick leave in increments of 4 or 8 hours.

 Personal Leave:

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