Pips Veazey, Staff Council President, explained the most pressing issues for the Staff Council for the 2011 fall semester:
- Staff Compensation - The Alaska Staff Alliance Compensation Working Group is proposing a minimum of a 3.5% increase for FY13 given inflation, recent increases in employee health care contributions and the loss of step increases. Juella Sparks will be representing Staff Alliance at the Board of Regents meeting in Juneau this week to address this issue.
- Health Care - Another major focus for the first semester will be on proposed changes to our health care benefits, that are still in discussion. One change going into effect July 1, 2012, is the tobacco surcharge. The tobacco surcharge will add $600 a year to an employee's annual cost for health care if the employee or a dependent enrolled in UA’s health plan uses a tobacco product or has used tobacco products within the past six months and has not demonstrated eligibility for a waiver from the surcharge.
- Employee Tuition Waiver - The employee tuition waiver is being reviewed and changes have been proposed for the upcoming year. Input is currently being solicited about the proposed changes; the Staff Affairs Committee is drafting a resolution stating staff does not support changes to the employee tuition waiver benefit. Problems with the proposed changes include negative tax ramifications, the punitive approach to paying for failed classes, and details about the connection with the benefit to “satisfactory academic progress”.
Your feedback is always wanted. If you have concerns, comments or questions that you would like us to address at the next Staff Council meeting please contact one of your representatives so your voice can be heard. If you would like to remain anonymous let us know and we will respect your wishes.