State Employees Health And Recreation Committee
SEHARC (State Employee Health and Recreation Committee) has not changed its purpose from the time it was started in the early ’70s – to provide and promote healthy activities (athletic, non-sports activities, health awareness and discounts) and friendly competition for State of Iowa employees.
SEHARC is not affiliated with any state agency nor is it supported financially by any money from State Government. It is not affiliated with the “labor union”. It is independent, it is volunteer, it is non-profit. It has the blessing and support of the Governor’s Office and has one committee member from that office.
All committee members are volunteers who meet every other month to plan activities and benefits for State Employees. These volunteers work in smaller groups, on their own time, to organize activities. Committee members come from: Administrative Services, Agriculture, Attorney General, Commerce, Corrections, Cultural Affairs, Ethics, Governor’s Office, Human Services, ICN, Economic Development, Education, Emergency Management, Law Enforcement Academy, Natural Resources, Public Defense, Public Employment Relations, Public Health, Public Safety, Revenue and Finance, Transportation, Treasurer, Voc Rehab, and Workforce Development.
Often at our meetings we have representatives from the private sector who wish to offer discounts to State Employees. Generally we endorse only those discounts that have something to do with health, recreation, well being or physical activity. SEHARC does not endorse products or services. For example, if Jenny Craig wanted to approach us and compete with Weight Watchers at Work Program, we would welcome that.
Most activities are self supporting. SEHARC makes some money from most sports activities, but most of the money goes to pay for use of facilities. Some activities are underwritten by SEHARC to encourage non-athletes to participate in non-athletic activities.
SEHARC has a system of “Liaisons’, one in each department or agency that can distribute information in the form of coupons or flyers. SEHARC is unique in that it is the only non-state agency that is allowed to use the LOCAL mail system and use employee bulletin boards.
SEHARC has been called before the legislature and questioned about activities (one Senator was upset that we promoted out-of-state activities like Worlds of Fun and wanted to pull our funding, thinking we were a state agency). The legislature determined they had no jurisdiction, since we had no funding and we were all volunteers. The legislature has always been offered the same information as all state employees and many of the Legislators take advantage of SEHARC discounts and activities. For the purposes of accessing SEHARC discounts and activities, a loose interpretation of “state employee” is used.
SEHARC members, since they are state employees first, consider themselves subject to the Gift Law and follow all the rules of conduct and ethics in their SEHARC volunteer work.
Once each year SEHARC tries to schedule a time with the Governor to brief him on our activities and cultivate his support. The Governor encourages department heads to permit employees, liaisons and committee members to participate in SEHARC activities and to permit the availability of distribution systems and bulletin boards. There are no formal or written agreements. SEHARC is not in the Code of Iowa or in the Administrative Rules. Although SEHARC does not answer to the Governors Office, they realize that things are easier if they have his support. Surely the Governor in turn realizes the benefits of happy, healthy employee and that SEHARC is a bargain for state government.
If any of you would like to attend a SEHARC committee meeting to see what actually goes on, you are invited to join us. Generally it is on the second Thursday of every other month at 11 am.
Some of the activities SEHARC sponsors, promotes or participates in:
- Adventureland discounts
- Bike to Work
- Blood Drives
- Books Are Fun
- Bowling League
- Bowling Tournament
- Carmike Cinemas Discount Tickets
- Des Moines Buccaneers Discount Tickets
- Des Moines Performing Arts Center discounts
- Des Moines Playhouse discounts
- Disney Club
- Fridley Theatres Discount Tickets
- Golf League
- Golf Tournament
- Iowa Barnstormers Discount Tickets
- Iowa Cubs Discount Tickets
- Iowa Energy Discount Tickets
- Iowa Events Center Discount Tickets
- ISU and U of I Athletic Discount Tickets
- Lost Island Discount Tickets
- Schlitterbahn Discount Tickets
- SEHARC Day Events
- The Tunnel Bulletin Board (Lucas Building)
- Weight Watcher at Work Program
- Wellness Committee
- Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun