September 2013 Member Update

Thanks to everyone who was able to come to the general membership meetings on Wednesday and Thursday last week. About 85 people came to the meetings and gave valuable input. Topics from the meeting as well as other items for your information are below:

HEALTH BENEFITS UPDATE

Over the last two months of bargaining, the administration presented three proposals for health benefit changes (see attached PDF). The proposals have become less draconian, thanks in part to the bargaining team’s insistence that the proposed cost increases were not acceptable, as shown by the large number of member responses (YOUR responses) to the union’s health benefits survey.

In the latest proposal from the administration, costs remain the same for the next year and then increase by 20% for each of the next five years. This is still a proposal, and nothing has been agreed to yet. The bargaining team has reminded the college that excellent benefits have often been a trade-off for less-than-market pay rates, and that it is not possible to discuss increased benefit costs without discussing pay increases. Please look through the details of the latest proposal and let us know your questions and concerns.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT KIM

Members of the USofCC Executive Committee met with President Kim on Friday 9/20/13. Topics included the impact of the hiring freeze on USofCC members; USofCC’s role in the job classification study; the historic importance of good benefits in a situation of low salaries; what cost-cutting measures Dr. Kim plans to make; and the impact of the PFAC contract on full-time staff who teach as adjunct faculty.

STILL TIME TO REGISTER FOR IEA HIGHER ED CONFERENCE

There is still time to sign up for the upcoming IEA Higher Ed conference on October 4th (evening) and October 5th (Saturday). The conference will be held at the Sheraton Hotel near Elk Grove Village, and costs will be subsidized by the union. If you are interested in attending, contact Joan McGrath at jmcgrath@colum.edu.

PART-TIMERS HEALTHCARE ALERT

Sign-ups for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act will begin on October 1, 2013. Tax credits or subsidies are available for many part-timers, depending on your family income.  For more information, go to www2.illinois.gov/healthcarereform or contact USofCC at usofcc@yahoo.com.

USOFCC TREASURER

Nina Campbell will be stepping down from the Treasurer position. We want to give her a big THANK YOU for her years of service on the executive committee. We welcome Rachel Bailey of the Center for Community Arts Partnerships, who will be stepping in for the remainder of Nina’s term.

FAQs

Some questions came up during the membership meetings, such as:

  • The contract expired on August 31 – what does this mean for bargaining and benefits?
  • I heard the College plans to move from Cigna to Blue Cross Blue Shield; can they do this without a signed contract?
  • Why can’t part-timers use the on-site clinic?
  • We are losing positions right and left… There is a hiring freeze but some people are still being hired… We were interviewing people to fill an open position over the summer and now we can’t hire anyone…  What’s going on?

For answers to these and other questions, see our website www.usofcc.org.

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

The Executive Committee is trying to make some changes and promote more participation. We have identified several areas where we need members to help out – see attached PDF. These include department/area representatives, membership committee, and joint college/union job study committee.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered during the membership meetings. Many hands make light work, and a union is only as effective as its active membership, so please sign up if you are interested!

As always – if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know at USofCC@yahoo.com. And check out our website www.usofcc.org – there’s a lot of information on it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s