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January & February 2021

Volume V, Issue VII

“But out of limitations comes creativity.”

-- Debbie Allen
New York State and CUNY
Phased Distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine

While we are waiting for further details from the State about ways to facilitate the vaccination process for CUNY's eligible staff and any potential next steps, please note the following important information:
  1. Eligible Employees & General Information - the list of the categories that are covered by NYS Department of Health and additional vaccination information is available. Please click here to find the list, which will continue to change as federal and state guidance changes and more vaccines become available.
  2. Eligibility Confirmation - In order to confirm your eligibility, register into the system and then schedule vaccination appointments, you can Get Started here.
  3. Proof of Eligibility - employees who obtain vaccination appointments will be asked to bring proof of eligibility. For example, if your eligibility is due to your employment, the proof may be your employee ID card, a pay stub, etc. 

In addition, other eligible New Yorkers can find vaccination sites, schedule appointments and more information at the following sites:

NYC COVID-19 Vaccine Finder
COVID-19 Vaccine Hubs - Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment

COVID-19 vaccine sites in neighboring states:

New Jersey:

We will continue to share information about the vaccination process as it becomes available. If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to the Guttman HR inbox at
A few years ago we came across the One Word concept . Not familiar with it? Simply put, the One Word is a more viable alternative to New Year’s Resolutions. According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's Resolutions is said to be about 80%, and most lose their resolve by mid-February. Instead of a to-do list, whether in our personal or professional lives, the One Word concept affirms that choosing one word to guide one’s actions is simpler and much more powerful:

“One Word creates clarity, power, passion and life-change. Each year, resolutions are rarely kept and goals are often easily forgotten. But One Word sticks. There is a word meant for you and when you find it, live it, and share it, your life will become more rewarding and exciting than ever.”

In the Office of Human Resources, we identified our word for Academic Year 2020-2021: Human. The questions driving that choice are: at its core, how do we continue to maintain  the "Human" in Human Resources as the college scales up? How do we keep the "Human" touch and close connections with employees as we necessarily rely more on technology and systems to better serve our employees? Today, as we continue working remotely, our One Word - Human - is ever more relevant.

Along with SAGE, our word, Human, is another way to keep connected, and focused on our main goals, which is to effectively serve you.
Unchanged: IRS Pre-Tax Limits for 2021

The Internal Revenue Services have not changed the maximum limits for the following pre-tax programs offered by CUNY:
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - the maximum annual contribution limit for these accounts are as follows:
    • Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) - $2,750
    • Dependent Care Assistance Program (DeCAP) - $5,000
  • Voluntary Savings Program - the annual goal amounts for the supplemental retirement annuities are as follows:
    • Employees under Age 50 - $19,500
    • Employees Age 50 and over - $26,000
  • Edenred Commuter Benefits Program maximum contribution limit remains at $270 monthly
Please join HR for our virtual Home-Buying Experience, brought by Municipal Credit Union, MCU. Please see event's details below:

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
11AM - 1PM
via Zoom

If you have any questions about the event, please contact Nicole Paige at or ext. 38863.
We are delighted to announce a special collaboration between the Offices of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer for the upcoming Performance Management Workshops for HEO Series Staff via Zoom.

Jaclyn Helms, CDO will be joining Michelle Nunez-Leonardo and Nila Bhaumik as a guest speaker for the Performance Management for HEO Series Employees on January 21st or January 26th, 2021. We hope that you will be able to join one of the two sessions. We look forward to seeing a great turnout!


The evaluation period for HEO Series employees is January 1 - December 31, 2020. Please begin to schedule your evaluation conferences. The final evaluations are due by Friday, February 26, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact Michelle at or Nila at
ESPARC and Workplace Violence Prevention Trainings for 2021

As you know, all employees are required to complete the following trainings annually:
Workplace Violence Prevention Online Training
Sexual Harassment Prevention Online Training

In accordance with New York State Law, employees have been pre-registered for these two trainings. Due understand, both full-time and part-time staff, both trainings must be completed by Friday, July 31st, 2021.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Elie Yoesoep at or Cheri Randall at
CUNY Professional Development
During the Pandemic

Due to the recent pandemic, all in-person professional development courses have been cancelled until further notice. To continue to meet the needs of CUNY employees, the University is temporarily offering courses through LinkedIn Learning for those that would like to continue their professional development remotely. Employees that would like to request training must complete an application on the CUNY's PDLM website and an account will be assigned to them at the earliest convenience, after receiving supervisor approval.

After submitting the application, the CUNY Professional Development team will contact your supervisor and HR office for final approval. If you have any questions regarding the process of enrolling into a LinkedIn Professional Development course, please send an email to our HR inbox at
CIS Trainings Now Available

CIS Training has made available the Winter and Spring 2021 technology training webinar schedule. You can view the CIS Training Calendar for upcoming webinars such as Microsoft Office Bootcamp, Dropbox for beginners, MS Planner and Working Remotely with OneDrive and Teams. Please use your CUNYfirst Login information to view and register for the training sessions.

You can also view the Stream channels with curated video clips from previously recorded webinars, designed to help walk you through the most common tasks and actions within various CUNY-provided systems.

For more information, please refer to the email sent from John Stroud to the Guttman Community on January 5th.
Virtual Fitness Classes
The City of New York's WorkWell Program continues to offer  Virtual Fitness Classes in Zoom for January, February and March for city and CUNY employees. They range from a relaxing Yoga and Meditation workout to an energizing Kickboxing, Soca Fitness, 90's Dance or Martial Arts Cardio class - there's something for everyone!  Please click here to view WorkWell's calendar and register. Under "Agency," if CUNY is not listed, please select "Other Agency." 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nicole at
WW Private Virtual Workshops
This is your year for wellness success!

WorkWell NYC and Weight Watchers Reimagined (WW) have launched Private Virtual Workshops just for City of New York and CUNY employees. With these Virtual Workshops, you will be connected with other WW colleagues and receive weekly weight loss guidance and support from a WW coach. 
Led by a WW Coach, these Private Virtual Workshops are available exclusively to WW members with an Unlimited Workshops + Digital memberships.

To gain access to Private Virtual Workshops, upgrade to an Unlimited Workshop + Digital membership today.

Having trouble enrolling? Call the Helpdesk at (866) 797-2836.
Click here for more information and to join the City of New York Connect Group.

Let's do this!
How to Access the Guttman Campus

The Fall 2020 Welcome message from Chancellor Matos Rodriguez, listed the guidelines for all members of the CUNY community who need to visit  a CUNY campus or office. The steps are outlined on our Guttman HR website, which includes completing the Blackboard NYS COVID-19 Response Return to Work training before returning on site.

Please visit our webpage on
Guidance to Campus Access for further details. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Guttman HR email inbox at
We Need Your Timesheets!
Prompt and timely submission of your bi-weekly timesheets allow us to be on the same page with you.
Why? Your timesheet allows us to determine your bi-weekly pay, as well as your accurate annual, sick and unscheduled holiday leave balances. To make it easier for you to remember, we sent you a calendar notification, as well as regular email reminders.

It is important that you contact HR if you are unwell and have been out of work for 5 days or more. You may be eligible for CUNY's Family Medical Leave (FMLA) for a serious health condition. Please check with HR if your title requires you to submit medical documentation for absences due to illness for fewer than 5 days. Finally, HR is required by CUNY policy and City & State regulations to maintain accurate time and leave balances for all employees. Timely submission of leave usage also applies to employees who use the Monthly Exception Reports (Faculty, ECP and Classified Managerial). 

Please make sure you submit your timesheets/monthly exception reports on time by using our simple 
Forms system.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa at
All-College Meeting

When: Friday, January 29, 2021

More details to follow
Updating Your Personal Information

W2s are printed in the first weeks of the new year and mailed to your home address by the end of January. To ensure that you receive your W2 in a timely manner, please log into the Self-Service site in CUNYfirst and review your home and mailing address. You can update it as needed. Please review all of your information, including marital status and highest degree. If there are any updates, please make sure you enter them in a timely manner, as well as notify HR to submit any supporting documentation.

If you have any questions about the information you see, feel free to contact Guttman HR at ext. 38177 and
The New Tuition Waiver Form

As some of you may be aware, CUNY has implemented a new process for the tuition waiver, as well as a brand new form. Please visit the HR website and check out the new Tuition Waiver Form and procedures.

Below is a copy of the criteria to use the tuition waiver, based on the employee's classification. 

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the Guttman HR inbox at
HR Comes to You Day!

This HR initiative will bring Human Resources to your remote office! We visit the different units throughout the campus and answer any burning questions you and your colleagues may have. If you would like to have HR come to your department during your next virtual staff meeting, please contact Nicole at or extension 38863.
Accessing Your Pay Stubs Online

We announced recenlty that the NYC Office of Payroll Administration (“OPA”) is providing access to NYCAPS Employee Self-Service (“ESS”) to CUNY’s Community College employees. The NYCAPS ESS feature senable employees to view fully-detailed pay stubs online. Full pay stubs are available in NYCAPS ESS for the previous 12-month period. 

To view your pay stubs online:
  • Visit the NYC.Gov page and navigate to My Paycheck Page
  • You will need your City Employee ID # which appears on your pay stub as your Reference #. Your Reference # is your NYCAPS ESS login
  • Initial password –
    • last two digits of your SSN
    • an (_) underscore
    • the first three letters of your birth month (must be all upper case)
    • your birth day including the leading zero, and your birth year (i.e., the password for an employee with an SSN of XXX-XX-XX99 and a birth date of January 01, 1910 would be 99_JAN011910)

If you have questions, please email
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
As you know, Congress approved the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), an economic stimulus plan aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Americans. The FFCRA provides paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave to all employees - full and part-time - for specific reasons related to COVID-19. The FFCRA provisions have been extended through March 31, 2021. To access the FFCRA procedures and forms, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact HR at


"For a Healthier 2021, Keep the Best Habits of a Very Bad Year"

by Tara Parker-Pope

"Our 7-Day Well Challenge will show you how to build on the healthy habits you learned during pandemic life.

Here's a better way to start the new year: Skip the traditional January resolutions and make time for some New Year's reflection instead. Take a moment to look back on the past 365 days of your life. Years from now, when you talk about 2020, what stories will you tell? Will it be clapping for health care workers every night at 7 p.m.? Or perhaps it will be a memory from the months spent mostly at home with family members - or the pandemic 'bubbles' you formed that helped friendships grow stronger. Maybe you will tell the story of losing someone you loved or remember finding strength and resilience you didn't know you had."

Click here to read more.
In October 2020, Courtney Stevenson from the Office of Wellness shared that the CUNY's Office of Academic Affairs has launched multiple courses in Blackboard to help faculty and staff members navigate through the ongoing challenges of dealing with grief and bereavement, managing self-care and building resilience. Please visit the Blackboard website and view the courses and videos made available to the community.
Headspace in New York

New York has been hit hard by the current global crisis. In partnership with Governor Cuomo, Headspace is here for you - to help you find some time and space as you weather the storm. This special New York collection of meditation, sleep and movement exercises are here to support you through stressful and challenging times. Helping you - and your fellow New Yorkers - stay strong and be kind to yourselves, with a New York state of mind.

First launched in 2010 as an events company, Headspace became a place where one could experience the benefits of guided meditation, anytime and anywhere. Headspace's mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world. With millions of users in more than 190 countries, they are well on their way. Offered on their websites are recorded audio and video messages for sleep meditation, meditation for kids, mindful eating and cooking and articles on how to sleep better, power napping, running meditation, how to relax and much more.

Feel free to take advantage of this resources at
Free to join, free month, free Kickstart Kit!

Click here to sign up for "a membership that fits your lifestyle.".

Featured Weight Watchers Recipe!

Turkey breast roulade with Apple, Cornbeard and Sausage

1 tablespoon, divided
1 fresh medium Gala variety apple, peeled, finely chopped
1 rib of uncooked celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup yellow uncooked onion, finely chopped
7/8 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
5 ounces Sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
3 1/2 ounces prepared/store bought cornbread, crumbled (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons high quality maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds uncooked boneless skinless turkey breast, butterflied and flattened to 1/2-inch thickness

1) In a large skillet with lid, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat. Add apple, celery, onion and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, stirring once or twice, until mixture is tender, 8-10 minutes. Add sausage and rosemary; continue cooking (uncovered), stirring occasionally and breaking up sausage into small bits with a wooden spoon, until sausage is cooked through, 5-7 minutes more. Remove pan from heat; stir in corn bread, parsley, maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and generous pinch pepper. Transfer to a large plate to cool.
2) Lay turkey breast flat and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and generous pinch pepper. Spread corn bread filling on top, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Starting at one long side, roll up turkey jelly-role style and secure with kitchen twine if necessary; place in a baking dish. (Roulade can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with rack in middle. Drizzle remaining 2 teaspoon oil over roulade; roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit, 40-45 minutes.
4) Remove roulade from oven; transfer to a cutting board and let rest at least 15 minutes. Slice crosswire into 8 thick or 16 thin pieces. Serve.

6 SmartPoints value per serving; Serves 8

*Benefits & Financial Corner*

Benefits Orientations

HR will hold benefit orientations to review benefits programs available to part time faculty and staff members, including eligibility for health insurance, the different health plans available, union benefits coverage, pension systems and voluntary pre-tax programs.

Calendar invites to attend the orientations will be sent to employees, based on their titles.

Adjuncts (Teaching and Non-Teaching)
College Assistants and Disability Accommodation Specialists

All sessions will be held remotely and dates are to be determined
TIAA’s one-on-one financial counseling sessions are still available by phone or virtual meetings. To connect with a TIAA financial consultant, please sign up online at or call (800) 732-8353. For more information, please view the TIAA Financial Counseling through WebEx Flyer.
Teachers' Retirement System Educational Seminars - TRS holds monthly seminars for the purpose of educating its members on the benefits and services of TRS membership. Some of the most featured seminars are the following: "Getting Ready for Retirement" for Tier 3 and 4 members, "Tier VI - Planning for Tomorrow," and "Introduction to the TDA Program." To register, please log into your account on and select Educational Programs.
New York State Deferred Compensation Plan - Our new campus representative, Ms. Arlene Werner is available to respond to your questions and concerns about the 457b program. She is available for scheduled phone consultations can be reached at In addition, employees can register here for the following webinars: Enrollment, Asset Allocation and Pre-Retirement. 
New York's 529 College Savings Program -  As we continue to work remotely, the NY529 College Savings Program will host webinars the first Tuesday of every month at 1PM for the remaining of the year. The webinars will discuss the following:
  • What is a 529?
  • Who can open a 529?
  • What are the advantages?
You must register in advance for each webinar. To do so, please click here to be sent to the registration screen. After registering, you will receive an email confirmation containing information about joining the webinar in Zoom. If you have any questions, you can contact our CUNY representative, Ms. Lissette Ramos-Johnson, Institutional Relationship Manager at
Have questions? Want to make changes to your benefits?
Please contact Nicole Paige at Ext. 38863
Please check out our Featured News section for the upcoming events! 

During the Fall 2 2021 semester, adjuncts are paid on the following four pay dates:
Featured Topics:

Workload Forms and Access to Email and Systems in Between Semesters
  • Workload Forms -  Adjuncts are required to submit Workload Forms to the Office of Academic Affairs at the beginning of each semester. Timely submission is critical as OAA and HR review those forms to confirm that Adjuncts overall workload across the University is within the contractual limits.
  • Systems and Platforms Access - A reminder that currently employees who are not in active status in a given semester may not have access to their Guttman email account, CUNYfirst and other college's systems and platforms, as such access is linked to employees' active status in CUNYfirst. For those who lose access in-between semesters, access is restored once they return to active status.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Elie at or Travis at

Click here to read the
CUNY Adjunct Rights and Benefits Brochure.

As an adjunct, there are a number of benefits made available to you:
Health Insurance and Supplemental Benefits (prescription drugs, optical, dental, etc.)
Pension Membership - NYC Teachers' Retirement System
Supplemental Retirement Annuities
Pre-Tax Transit Benefit Program - Edenred Commuter Benefits
Employee Assistance Program (free and confidential) - CCA@YourService
College Savings Program - NY529 College Savings Plan
CUNY's Tuition Fee Waiver
Please email Nicole at to ask any questions regarding benefits available to the adjuncts.
As a reminder:
  • The first day of classes was January 4, 2021.
  • For training in ePortfolio and Starfish, please contact Chris Roth at
  • Fall 2 grades are due in CUNYfirst no later than 3PM on Thursday, February 25, 2021
  • Click here to view the full Academic Calendar for 2020-21
  • The last day of classes is Wednesday, February 17th and the end of the semester is Wednesday, February 24th. 
  • If you have any questions or concerns about submitting grades or your teaching schedule for the next semester, please contact Jazmin Lopez at in the Office of Academic Affairs.

K.E.Y. -
Keep Educating (and taking care of) Yourself

The new CUNY Employee Assistance Program, CCA, offers a wealth of online seminars on a variety of topics: 
  • Parenting:
    • Adoption
    • Kids' Well-Being
    • Education
  • Aging:
    • Adults with Disabilities
    • Planning the Future
    • Home Care
  • Mental Health:
    • Personal Health
    • Grief and Loss
    • Relationships
  • Working:
    • Career Development
    • Accomplished Employee
    • Workplace Productivity
....and much more! To access, please visit the CCA@YourService website, using the credentials below.

CUNY Work/Life Program - CCA@YourService!!

January's Online Seminar discusses:
**Reframing Your World**

Discover the practical ways to reframe your perspective to live a more present and positive life.

Online Seminar available on-demand, starting January 19th at noon

February's Online Seminar discusses:
**Setting Goals for Your Future**

Learn how to strategically set short-term and long-term goals to help you succeed in all areas of your life.

Online Seminar available on-demand, starting February 16th at noon
Company Code: CUNY

3 Ideas, 2 Quotes, 1 Question
(December 30, 2020)

by James Clear

"On systems vs. goals, endings, and the importance of leverage


I. If you genuinely care about the goal, you'll focus on the system. 

II. We often avoid taking action because we think 'I need to learn more,' but the best way to learn is often by taking action.

III. A final thought from Atomic Habits as we start the new year:
       - Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are.
       - The goal is not to read a book, the goal is to become a reader.
       - The goal is not tot run a marathon, the goal is to become a runner.
       - The goal is not to learn an instrument, the goal is to become a musician.
       - This year, focus on the identity you want to build."

Click here to read the quotes and question for you to think about for the next year.

A piece of NYC history: In January 2017, Harlem's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture was officially declared a National Historic Landmark, but this public library has been preserving and protecting narratives from the Black Experience for almost a century.

Founded in 1925, this iconic institution is one of the world's most leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora and African experiences. In 1926, the collections of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, containing more than 5,000 books, 3,000 manuscripts and 2,000 etchings and paintings.

This division won international acclaim and in 1972, the Schomburg Collection was designated as of the Research Libraries of The New York Public Library and became the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 1991, the center was expanded and created spaces for exhibition galleries, the American Negro Theatre and the 340-seat Langston Hughes Auditorium.

The center is temporarily closed now due to the pandemic, but they are working on a gradual reopening, as soon as possible.

--found on Click here to read more. 

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