By Steve Hall
We have learned that the District’s claims of increases in faculty benefits costs have been overstated? It was reported by our Insurance Benefits Consultant (Burnham) at the Thursday, February 7 Health Benefits Committee that lower claims rates from faculty were pooled with higher rates from ASCC group for at least this year and last year. AFT Local 1828 is now questioning the validity of the cost of FT faculty health benefits that has been reported by district management. If true, this shocking revelation is of extreme importance to every faculty member as increased insurance costs was used by management during the last negotiations cycle to justify no raises for 3 years for FT faculty and minimal raises for part-time faculty. This has the potential to be a major issue in our upcoming negotiations.
Health Benefits Committee Restarts Study of Joining CALPERS
After claiming it was not feasible for our district to join a school-based insurance pool due to major data errors and issues with retiree eligibility, Burnham informed the Health Benefits group (AFT, SEIU, Management, and retiree reps) on February 7, 2019 that it is now feasible to join CALPERS but not SISQ or CVT or others. When comparing the health benefit coverage between our existing Anthem PPO and CALPERS Anthem PPO, there are major reductions in coverage. Higher out of pocket costs for faculty could be offset by district funded Health Reimbursement Accounts but that would need to be negotiated. Preliminary estimates indicated that faculty might save a considerable amount of money and AFT Local 1828 is advocating that all costs savings should be given to faculty in the form of salary increases or other compensation.
The Health Benefits committee is currently in a “fact finding” stage and there have been no negotiations to join CALPERS.