Section VI: Benefits
The College offers educational benefits to support the growth of employees both academically and professionally. The College also provides additional educational benefits to dependents of eligible employees. Employees whose position is not covered by a collective bargaining unit are eligible.
Applicable to All Educational Benefits
- A regular full-time employee may use tuition waiver and tuition reimbursement options for a maximum of 18 credit hours per calendar year.
- Waivers are not granted for costs or fees for courses offered as part of special CNM programs including, but not limited to, the Workforce Training Center.
- CNM will not pay for any class taken more than once.
- Should an employee hold more than one position at CNM, the primary position, as designated by Human Resources, will determine eligibility and level of educational benefits.
- Course fees not specified below must be paid by the student.
Central New Mexico Community College Release Time
- With supervisor approval, a regular full-time employee may use up to three hours per work week to take CNM courses.
- A request for CNM release time may be approved or denied based on department needs and the effect of the employee's absence on department operations.
- An employee with unsatisfactory performance may be denied release time.
Central New Mexico Community College Tuition & Fee Waivers
- Employees are eligible for waivers of tuition, registration fees, technology fees, and distance learning fees for courses included in CNM's programs of study as detailed in the CNM Catalog.
- A regular full-time employee enrolled in a degree or certificate program is eligible for waivers for up to 18 credit hours per calendar year. If not in a degree or certificate program, the employee is eligible for waivers for up to 3 credit hours per term.
- A regular part-time employee enrolled in a degree or certificate program is eligible for waivers for up to 9 credit hours per calendar year.
Dependents must be registered in Human Resources in order to be covered for this benefit, including a spouse, domestic partner, and children. Dependent children include step-children, children of a domestic partner, and legal guardianship. They are eligible through the term in which they turn 24-years of age.
- CNM will waive tuition, registration fees, and technology fees for CNM courses for dependents of a regular full-time employee for up to 18 credit hours per term if the dependent is enrolled in a degree or certificate program. If they are not in a degree or certificate program, the dependent is eligible for waivers for up to 3 credit hours per term.
- The dependents of a regular part-time employee are eligible for waivers for up to 9 credit hours per term if they are enrolled in a degree or certificate program.
- With supervisor approval, a regular full-time employee is eligible for tuition reimbursement for institutions other than CNM for up to 18 credit hours per calendar year if they are enrolled in a degree or certificate program. Tuition costs are reimbursed at the actual cost or at the current University of New Mexico tuition rates, whichever is less. Other fees - such as registration, graduate student associations, books, labs, and supplies - are not reimbursable.
- Courses must be taken on the employee's own time and no release time is allowed; however, flex scheduling may be allowed at the supervisor's determination based on department needs and the effect of the employee's absence on department operations.
Taxability on Educational Benefits
Under IRS regulation, the value of tuition benefits may be considered taxable income to the employee. The value of the tuition benefit, if applicable, will be included as compensation on the employee's W-2 form filed with the IRS and subject to withholding. For more information, visit irs.gov.
The College supports continued development of employee competencies through the Professional Development Program (PDP). PDP guidelines are approved by the president with input from faculty and staff representatives.
This policy provides guidelines for direct payment by CNM and employee reimbursement of reasonable and allowable costs incurred by members of the Governing Board, employees, students and advisory board members traveling and attending conferences/meetings that are considered official College business. It is incumbent upon all individuals using College funds for these purposes to make the most reasonable economical arrangements possible. All travel and conference/meeting attendance must be approved in accordance with established procedures and must be coordinated through the College's main travel management system.
- Methods of Payment
- Per Diem
- Governing Board members, the public member of the Governing Board Audit Committee, members of the CNM Labor Relations Board and such other members of CNM's advisory boards as may be designated by the President (hereafter referred to as "non-salaried public officers") shall receive either reimbursement pursuant to Section A.2. of this policy or $95 per diem expenses for each board or committee meeting attended or for each day spent in discharge of official duties for travel within New Mexico but away from his/her home.
- A CNM employee traveling within New Mexico away from his/her home and away from his/her designated post of duty on official CNM business shall receive either reimbursement pursuant to Section A.2. of this Policy or $85 per diem expenses per 24-hour period spent in discharge of official duties. For special in-state municipalities (Cloudcroft, Santa Fe), this amount may be increased to $135 per 24-hour period.
- Non-salaried public officers and employees shall receive reimbursement pursuant to Section A.2. of this Policy or $115 per diem expense for each 24-hour period out-of-state for travel on official business, or $215 per 24-hour period for out-of-state travel to areas that exceed the $85 maximum lodging amount as listed in the current federal government CONUS list, and to areas outside the continental United States.
- Reimbursement for meals for a partial day following a twenty-four hour (24) hour period involving an overnight stay shall be reimbursed as follows:
- Fewer than six (6) hours beyond the last twenty-four hour period; no reimbursement
- Six (6) or more but fewer than twelve (12) hours: $10 in-state; $15 out-of-state
- Twelve (12) or more but fewer than eighteen (18) hours: $20 in-state; $30 out-of-state
- Eighteen (18) or more but fewer than twenty-four (24) hours: $30 in-state; $45 out-of-state
- Travelers requesting per diem reimbursement must submit appropriate documentation of expenses.
- A portion of a traveler's per diem payment will be considered taxable income if (1) the per diem payment exceeds the standard federal rate approved by the Internal Revenue Service and (2) the employee does not provide the College with expense receipts to substantiate that the actual travel expenses matched or exceeded the per diem payment.
- Actual Expenses.
- The President or the President's designee(s) may authorize reimbursement of actual travel expenses for salaried employees, students and non-salaried public officers of the College. Actual expenses for lodging and meals may not exceed the following:
- Lodging: may not exceed $250 per day for a single room
- Meals: may not exceed $30 in-state; $45 out-of-state per day
Appropriate documentation of each expense must be submitted.
- Cases in which expenses will exceed per diem are considered "extraordinary circumstances" by the Governing Board or its designee(s) and may be reimbursed as actual expenses not to exceed the amounts listed in 2.a. (1) and (2) above.
- Stipend. To facilitate professional development, arrangements may be made for partial subsidy of travel (stipend). Travelers may be reimbursed a flat rate, a percentage of actual costs or a combination thereof that shall be agreed to in advance by the traveler and the appropriate dean or supervisor, as well as the appropriate vice president. Stipend amounts may not exceed the limits provided for actual expenses.
- Prohibited Expense. Reimbursement for alcoholic beverages shall not be allowed.
- Conference/Meeting Costs.
- The cost of all functions and events - including receptions and meals - that are part of an official conference agenda will be processed as part of the conference cost. These costs will be billed to the appropriate department account and not to the General Activity Account.
- Preconference workshops are considered part of the official conference agenda.
- Payment will not be allowed for activities not directly related to the conference agenda, e.g., sightseeing tours and guest activities.
- Mileage. Travel by personal vehicle shall be reimbursed at the rate of $.32 per mile. The number of miles to be reimbursed shall be determined in accordance with an official road map mileage chart, by established distances between CNM campuses and/or sites, or by odometer reading if map mileage chart is not available for localities involved. The amount reimbursed shall not exceed the total lowest reasonable commercial air fare to the same destination.
- Air Fare. Air transportation shall be reimbursed at the lowest reasonable air fare available at the time tickets are purchased.
- Vehicle Rental. Vehicles may be rented for official College business subject to the following conditions:
- The need for vehicle rental shall be justified and documented on the travel request.
- Rental of a vehicle for use within 150 miles of the CNM Main Campus shall normally be prohibited. Exceptions must be justified in writing and approved by the vice president for administration.
- A rented passenger vehicle should be of the type, size and cost range which represents a reasonable expenditure for CNM without sacrificing safety and reasonable comfort.
- Normally a vehicle in the mid-sized price range should be used.
- Written justification must be provided when the size or cost of a rental vehicle exceeds the normal usage provisions.
- The College has adequate liability, collision and comprehensive insurance coverage for vehicles rented by or on behalf of CNM. Renters shall waive any optional coverage.
- Other Expenses.
- Taxi or other ground transportation, tips other than in conjunction with meals, parking fees and/or other incidental expenses incurred in connection with approved travel may be reimbursed at the rate of $8 per day with a $40-per-trip maximum.
- Reasonable actual costs which exceed $40 per trip may be reimbursed if adequate documentation is provided.
- Items such as entertainment and telephone calls unrelated to business shall not be reimbursed.
- Registration fees for educational programs or conferences may be reimbursed provided, if the fee includes lodging or meals, then no per diem rates shall be paid and only actual expenses paid by the officer or employee and not included in the fee shall be reimbursed within the limits of Section A.2. of this policy.
- Travel Time. Travel time shall normally include time required to reach an approved destination via commercial air transportation and attend the approved function. Additional travel time may be allowed if a cost savings for the College can be documented.
- Travel Advances. Employees are expected to pay reimbursable travel expenditures with personal credit cards or personal funds.
- Travel advances may be granted under unusual circumstances with appropriate justification and documentation and the approval of the President or President's designee(s).
- Travel advances shall not exceed 80% of estimated out-of-pocket expenses.
- The traveler is required to return all advances in excess of travel per diem or actual expenses.
- Cancelled Travel. If travel is cancelled, the employee will be required to repay any travel advances and nonrefundable conference fees. The President may waive repayment requirement of nonrefundable items under extraordinary circumstances such as, but not limited to, employee illness or death in the employee's family.
- Tax Status of Reimbursements. Payments made pursuant to this policy shall be considered as reimbursed expenses under a qualified, accountable reimbursement arrangement for federal income tax purposes. However, if the per diem payment exceeds the standard federal rate approved by the IRS and the employee does not provide the College with expense receipts to substantiate that the actual travel expenses matched or exceeded the per diem payment, the portion of the per diem payment that is (1) in excess of the standard federal rate and (2) not properly substantiated will be included in the traveler's W-2 or 1099 form. Travelers who choose to deduct travel expenses must comply with provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
Eligible employees may purchase health, life, dental, vision and disability insurance coverage through CNM's group insurance plan. A portion of the medical and disability insurance costs as provided by law and approved by the Governing Board is paid by the College; the remaining cost is paid by the employee. The College pays 100 percent of the basic life premium. Also available is an Internal Revenue Service Section 125 Plan which allows employees to obtain certain benefits on a pretax basis.
- Non-instructional and instructional support personnel who are on regular full- or part-time status and work 20 or more hours per week (as stated on the recommendation for employment form) are eligible for benefits. Employees who work at least 15 hours per week are eligible for basic life insurance.
- All regular full-time instructors, as defined in the applicable collective bargaining agreement between the College and the New Mexico Federation of Educational Employees, are eligible for insurance benefits
- Regular part-time instructors, as defined in the applicable collective bargaining agreement between the College and the New Mexico Federation of Educational Employees, are eligible for insurance benefits in accordance with the requirements set forth in that collective bargaining agreement.
- Insurance benefits are not available to casual, substitute or work-study employees, or temporary employees hired for six months or fewer.
- To participate in any of the insurance plans, an employee must enroll within 31 days of becoming eligible. Coverage will begin on the first day of the following month.
- An employee wishing to apply for insurance after the 31 days have elapsed must qualify for the plan based on the insurance provider requirements.
- Premiums. Current rates and benefit schedules are available from the Human Resources Department.
- Continued Coverage
- Persons who leave employment or lose eligibility may apply for continued private medical and life insurance coverage, paying the entire cost of the premiums. Details are available from the Human Resources Department.
- Retirees are eligible to apply for benefits under the New Mexico Retiree Health Care Authority. Details are available from the Human Resources Department.
- Employees on leave without pay, except those on leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, shall pay 100 percent of the insurance premium. (See also Section 8.16.)
- All employees except student workers enrolled at CNM, substitute instructors and employees working less than one-quarter time are required to join the Educational Retirement Act (ERA) and retiree healthcare systems.
- Employees contribute a portion of their total earnings as provided by law. The amount is deducted from each paycheck. The College contributes a portion of total salaries to the fund. The rates are subject to change by legislative action.
- Employees may withdraw their ERA contributions when they terminate employment in New Mexico schools; retiree healthcare contributions may not be withdrawn. The amount contributed by the College remains in the retirement funds.
- Pamphlets published by the Educational Retirement Board are available in the Human Resources Department. Please consult these pamphlets for a full explanation of the benefits and the various retirement options available to the members.
Most employees of the College are required to participate in the federal Social Security program (FICA). Employees contribute a portion of their total earnings as provided by federal law. The amount is deducted from each paycheck. The College contributes to the fund an amount equal to the deduction. The rates are subject to change by congressional action.
- Workers' compensation statutes for the state of New Mexico require that an employee who has suffered a work-related injury or illness notify the employer within 15 calendar days. Notification is necessary to ensure proper medical attention and accurate processing of compensation claims.
- The College has designated the Human Resources Department to administer workers' compensation issues.
- Employees should report injuries to the Human Resources Department immediately and no later than 15 calendar days after the injury has occurred.
- The Human Resources Department provides notice of accident report forms and will report an injury to the Workers' Compensation Administration and the appropriate third party (insurance) administrator.
- Employees who are injured at work should seek medical attention at an Occupational Healthcare Management Services (OHMS) approved facility. The list of such facilities is available at the Human Resources Department.
- Employees who suffer a work-related injury or illness may choose one of the following payment options:
- Sick leave in lieu of workers' compensation
- Workers' compensation coverage
- Payment for lost wages shall be made by the current workers' compensation insurance carrier at the rates determined by state law.
- Sick leave may not be used.
- During the duration of workers' compensation coverage, the College will continue to pay the employer's share of insurance premiums.
- Employees may switch payment options by submitting a written request to the appropriate vice president.
- Employees are assessed a workers' compensation fee each quarter. The College matches such fee.