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State moving to paperless pay system

Standard e-mail addressees being assigned to all WSU employees

1:50:00 PM CDT - Tuesday, December 09, 2003

By Amy Geiszler-Jones

Sometime next year, WSU employees will no longer receive paper pay statements as the state of Kansas converts to more paperless communication to save money. The state may also go paperless with paychecks, as well.
As a first step in that direction, all faculty and staff will be assigned a consistent, standard e-mail address by Jan. 1, according to Mike Turner, director of human resources.

The move to official e-mail addresses is being mandated by the state of Kansas, according to Turner.
"If we want our employees to have communications from the state, we need to do this," he says.

Most employees currently use the first name.last name@wichita.edu e-mail address format, but there are a significant number of employees, mainly Physical Plant workers, who don't have assigned e-mail address. Also, some departments are using their own servers for e-mail delivery so they use a different e-mail address format.
Employees will have the option to forward e-mail from their official WSU e-mail address to a different address, Turner says. The wichita.edu address can also be accessed through the Internet.

WSU officials are also working to make more computers available to employees who currently don't have a computer in their work areas to help employees access their e-mails, Turner says.

The state of Kansas has already gone paperless for other employee functions, such as open enrollment for health insurance, "and is clearly moving in this direction for other purposes," says Turner. "These initiatives are meant to take advantage of technology to reduce the cost of printing, supplies and postal charges, which for the state is significant."

While the state is making official e-mail addresses mandatory, the move is also a "good business practice for WSU," Turner says, as this will help the university communicate more consistently with its employees. For example, the Office of University Communications distributes a weekly news digest, along with last-minute announcements, by e-mail, but not all employees are receiving the messages.

Pay information won't be transmitted by e-mails. Employees would receive an e-mail message letting them know they can review their earnings statement on WSU's secure Web site, called Shocker One Stop, or SOS, Turner explains. WSU plans to offer training for those who've not used SOS, he says.

All other state agencies, except for Board of Regents institutions, went to paperless pay statements this past July 1, according to Caleb Asher, a Department of Administration spokesperson.

Because regents institutions have their own computer system infrastructures, the state universities didn't convert at the same time.

The state is still issuing paper paychecks at this time, Asher says, but only about 10 percent of state employees don't use direct deposit or a new paycard system for employees who don't have a bank account. Eventually the state may no longer issue paper paychecks, he says.

The paycard program, run by the company Skylight Financial, allows employees to open an account into which their pay would be deposited. Employees would pay a one-time charge of $3.50 to open the account. For more on the paycard system, employees can go online to http://da.state.ks.us/ar/payroll/Paycard-Intro-Access.htm.



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