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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FY14 Staff Compensation Increase Update - Memo from President Gamble and Request for Staff Feedback

To All Non-Represented Staff,

On November 1 Staff Alliance members received a memorandum from UA President Pat Gamble regarding the staff compensation increase for the FY14 budget. He has included a 3.25% compensation increase in the operating budget being brought before the Board of Regents Wednesday Nov. 7 for their approval.

Please go the Staff Alliance blog at: to read President Gamble's explanation and to tell us what you think of this compensation increase. To submit your feedback, click on the words ‘Leave a Comment’ located on the grey bar immediately below the message.  We will report back on how the Regents vote.

Alliance has also started a conversation on with President Gamble on other ways to meaningfully compensate and reward staff. Please use the blog to provide us with your thoughts and ideas.  You can post your feedback on the blog using the blue 'Leave a Comment' link located below the message.   

UA Staff Alliance


Anonymous said...

I called about a dental claim this morning and was informed that I went to a out-of-network dentist. When I asked who was in-network, I was told that the only two dentist were in North Pole. Both are 49 miles away. Why do we only have two dentist in-network and why aren't there any in Fairbanks? Not only does this cost more for us to go to appointments but it also causes us to be away from work an additional amount of time. I can go to my current dentist and only be gone 1 hour. If I have to go to North Pole, I will be gone from work about 3 hours. Since the distance is less than 50 miles away, it does not meet the conditions for a waiver. Now, I am paying a higher price for my dentist and higher premiums each pay period. I can't afford to go to the doctor except for preventative care that is covered by our benefit plan. Now, it looks like I'm not going to be able to afford to go to the dentist either.

I am just concerned about our insurance coverage and how this affect all of us. Plus, UA needs to think about how insurance costs affect the University and hiring quality employees.

Anonymous said...

From Erika Van Flein,

Unfortunately, this is a case of almost "too much" information being given at an inappropriate time. We do not require the use of in-network dentists. We never have. We do not have a different benefit percent for in-network vs. out-of-network dentists, such as we do with the medical plan. Dentists in Alaska are typically not "network joiners," and most will not ever join. This does NOT change your benefit level. The dental network is starting to develop here in Alaska, but it's extremely limited. Most of these dentists who do join are involved with the federal Blue Cross plan, which does use a network for their dental benefit. Again, ours does not and never has.

We have never paid over the allowable charge. Most dentists in Alaska will charge more than allowable, with the amount over the allowable being the patient's responsibility. This has always been the case. The fact that there's a dental network note on the EOB now is because of the fact that there is a network in Alaska, albeit very limited. Blue Cross is working diligently to increase the network, but they can't force dentists to sign. I think part of the reason they have the note on the EOB and have customer service refer to the network is because they want some "patient pressure" from members to ask their dentists to join. Perhaps this will help.

But, let me reiterate, there has been no change to your benefit, and none is planned.
Erika Van Flein
Director of Benefits