Benefits Professional Development

Free Career Planning Courses Through the Empire Knowledge Bank

Please see the attached flyer for information on a series of online courses available through the Empire Knowledge Bank (EKB). EKB is provided through our negotiated Joint Labor/Management Committees, and this is a great example of how EKB courses can be grouped together.

Download the flyer.

Benefits General

PEP Payroll Processing Error

The NYS Office of Employee Relations has notified all the State unions, including UUP, about a payroll processing error related to the 2023 Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) credit. As a result of this error, employees who had a PEP credit for 2023 did not have a deduction for their health coverage taken from their December 20, 2023 paycheck. We understand this was an error that impacted only one check and there will be no interruption in health coverage as a result.

The State has informed us that normal health insurance deductions will resume with the January 3, 2024 paycheck. In addition, a special deduction of up to $100 per paycheck will be taken to recover the amount of the missed Dec. 20, 2023 deduction. This special deduction will continue until the total amount of the missed deduction has been recovered.  Please remember that what the amount of the recovery is and how many pay checks it will take to recover it will vary from employee to employee and depend on whether the employee is enrolled in individual or family coverage, which plan the employee is enrolled in, and what the employee’s (income sensitive) premium share is.  

We understand that the Department of Civil Service is sending out letters to all impacted employees with details regarding the recovery process.  Please work with your LRS to address any questions/concerns your impacted members may have that are not answered by the DCS letter.


Voluntary Insurance Benefits for UUP Members

UUP members have access optional insurance from the following providers:

Benefits General

Psych Hub: UUP’s newest member benefit

Psych Hub is a comprehensive online platform offering evidence-based education and resources on mental health, substance use and suicide prevention topics. It provides information and solutions for individuals, mental health providers and support professionals, including a free library of over 100 short, animated videos on mental health, substance use and suicide prevention.  More information about this benefit can be found by clicking this link: Psych Hub

UUP has a second connection to Psych Hub. Former Rhode Island Sen. Patrick Kennedy, who sat for a lengthy interview with UUP President Fred Kowal on the latest episode of UUP’s The Voice Podcast, is a co-founder of Psych Hub.

Benefits General

Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP)

The time is now! Open enrollment for the Productivity Enhancement Program (PEP) starts November 1 and continues through December 12!  The PEP program provides a means by which eligible employees – generally, NYSHIP enrollees who earn vacation and currently make less than $103,433 a year – may cash in previously accrued vacation days for a bi-weekly credit to reduce the cost of their health insurance premiums. The number of days that may be forfeited to receive this credit varies based on income.

  • Full-time employees with an annual salary at or below $72,366 who enroll in PEP for 2023 will forfeit either three days or six days of annual leave in return for a credit of up to $600 or $1,200 that will be used to reduce the employee share of NYSHIP premiums deducted from paychecks in 2023.
  • Full-time employees with an annual salary above $72,366 and below $103,413 who enroll in PEP for 2023 will forfeit either two days or four days of annual leave in return for a credit of up to $600 or $1,200 that will be used to reduce the employee share of NYSHIP premiums deducted from paychecks in 2023.

Benefits-eligible part-time employees with annualized salaries within the above ranges, who earn vacation and who choose to enroll in PEP will forfeit prorated days of annual leave and receive a prorated credit toward their health insurance premiums based on their payroll percentage.

An email was sent to all employees by Laura Decker on Oct. 28, with ESC-specific information on PEP. Please also see the announcements on the HR website in MyESC for more details and the correct form to submit.

Benefits Webinar

UUP Voluntary Benefits: AFLAC & Colonial

Join us on August 1, 2022 at Noon, to hear our representatives from AFLAC and Colonial explain the insurance benefits they can offer to our members as part of the voluntary benefits program they have arranged with the UUP Benefits Department.

This event will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams. Contact our chapter office at for a link to the meeting.

AFLAC Supplemental Insurance
Colonial Voluntary Benefits
Benefits General Webinar

UUP Member Service Trust Virtual Benefits Webinar Series

On behalf of Doreen Bango, UUP Fund Administrator, we would like to announce that we will be holding webinars that highlight the different vendors that are part of the UUP Member Services Trust voluntary benefits program.

We would like to invite you to attend a UUP Member Benefits Trust Virtual Webinar.  These webinars will last between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Please note that these UUP Member Services Trust voluntary benefits are only available to UUP Members.

Visit to view the Vendor that is presenting and to register for a webinar calendar of events.

Please email Lisa McNeil, Member Services Trust Administrative Assistant at for any questions.