University of Vermont

STAFF COUNCIL - Serving as a voice and advocate for all staff at UVM since 1971

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STAFF COUNCIL

Review of Cost Share Formulas For Employee Benefits

FINAL REPORTS ON BENEFITS COST SHARE

  • Read all the comments Staff Council collected from staff about the Benefits Cost Share Review Feedback here.

  • Read the full UBAC Report on Benefits Cost Share here.
Share Your Opinions/Concerns on Potential Changes to Cost Share Formulas for Employee Benefits

All comments received by February 28, 2014 were incorporated into the reports submitted to the President and Provost. If you still have thoughts you would like to share, please send them through any of the methods outlined below.

  • Email Staff Council via Staff.Council@uvm.edu or fill out a Staff Connect Online Form

    There is also a paper Contact Sheet that you can print out and send to the Staff Council Office to maintain complete anonymity

    All personal information will be kept confidential and only your unedited* thought and opinions will be sent to the University Benefits Advisory Council (UBAC) to be included in their report to the President and Provost.

  • Email the UBAC via costshare@uvm.edu

  • Contact the UBAC via Web Form
Important Links

* Staff Council reserves the right to edit out language perceived as offensive.

In December, President Sullivan and Provost Rosowsky charged the University Benefits Advisory Council (UBAC) with reviewing the cost share formulas for the following UVM employee benefits:

  • Healthcare Coverage
  • Dependent Tuition Remission
  • Retirement Savings Plan

IN RESPONSE TO INPUT FROM STAFF AND FACULTY, UNIVERSITY LEADERS HAVE DECIDED NOT TO CONSIDER MAKING ANY CHANGES TO DEPENDENT TUITION REMISSION OR RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLANS. THESE TOPICS ARE NO LONGER PART OF THE DISCUSSION.

The UBAC has established guiding principles to assist in this review process and was given a deadline of early March 2014 to deliver a report to the President and Provost.

This review is to understand if adjusting the cost share formulas for these benefits could create a cost savings to the University.

Important to note here is that there is no intention to change the benefits themselves, only potentially the cost share formulas. In other words, benefits will remain the same, but how much an employee pays for those benefits could be adjusted. (Right now the University pays on average 86% of the healthcare premium for employees who on average pay just 14%, but would adjusting those average percentages to 84% and 16% respectively impact the University’s overall budget? )

No decisions have been made and employees will have an active role in impacting the direction of the decisions on this issue by sharing their concerns with the UBAC via email or an online web form and at open forums as well as through Staff Council at Staff.Council@uvm.edu. All personal information will be kept confidential and only your thoughts and opinions shared, whether you express them directly to the UBAC, or to the UBAC through Staff Council.

UBAC Membership

The UBAC is comprised of students, staff, faculty, representatives from collective bargaining units, and retirees. The Staff Council appointed members to the UBAC are Kelly Circe and Debbie Stern. (Find out the entire UBAC membership here).

UBAC Role in the Past

As some may recall, the UBAC took on a similar role in reviewing and generating a report in 2010 when discussions occurred at UVM around changes to Post-Retirement Medical Benefits (PRMB) that would respond to the new federal accounting rules known as GASB45. Initially those discussions were not open and transparent, but the advocacy of the Staff Council led to open forums and online tools where employee opinions were gathered and impacted the ultimate outcome of those changes which were more equitable and created a grandfather clause. (Read the Staff Council’s PRMB Request here) (Read the outcome of the PRMB discussion here)

Who Will Be Impacted by Potential Changes to Cost Share Formulas?

Whatever the outcome of these new discussions on the Cost Share Formulas for Benefits, it will impact all employees, both Faculty and Staff. Although contract negotiations are occurring this year for those employees who are members of collective bargaining units, the University has worked to keep benefit packages the same across represented and non-represented Faculty and Staff in the past and it is Staff Council’s understanding that this will remain the goal of the University moving forward. Although any changes to cost share of benefits would be brought to the bargaining table for those employees represented by a union.

Any changes that are made would potentially go into effect on July 1, 2014.

Benefits Cost Share Review Process

The timeline for review of the Cost Share Formulas for Benefits is fast and that has many concerned, but as occurred with the PRMB review, the UBAC has established opportunities for input from UVM employees that will impact the direction of the discussions and the report given to the President and Provost in early March 2014.

Upcoming Meetings
  • UBAC Full Council meeting on Thursday, February 20 from 8:00 to 10:00 AM in Davis Center, Sugar Maple Ballroom

You can also email Staff Council via Staff.Council@uvm.edu or fill out a Contact Sheet Online Form with your thoughts and opinions or email the UBAC via costshare@uvm.edu or use the UBAC's Web Form. These thought and opinions will all be gathered and ultimately submitted with the final report delivered to the President and Provost in early March 2014.

There were two Town Halls that took place on February 10 and 13.

Staff Council Role and Voice of Staff*

During the PRMB discussion, Staff Council generated over 20 pages of feedback from staff and we hope you will help us do so again.

We need to hear your voice! We need to know what you think to advocate for you!

Staff Council is working with the UBAC to gather as much staff input as possible to impact the direction of the report so that the President and Provost know exactly how the University community feels about these potential changes to the cost share formulas for benefits and can make decisions that respect those voices.

Staff Council will also use this feedback to present the staff perspective and advocate for the needs of staff. We will be attending all the UBAC meetings and open forum!

Email Staff Council via Staff.Council@uvm.edu or fill out a Contact Sheet Online Form make your voice heard.

*Although the Staff Council serves as the voice and advocate for all staff, it does not have the same function as Collective Bargaining Units to which some members of the UVM staff belong. Those staff  who belong to UE Local 267are not permitted to participate in Staff Council  at the request of  their union. 

Last modified July 07 2014 02:29 PM