INDIANA STATE UNIVERSITY FACULTY SENATE
FEBC met 7 times this past year officially. (We had to cancel 3 meetings due to lack of a quorum.) Attendance at the meetings was as follows:
Noble R. Corey, Sect. 3 4
Kathleen Gaul 7
Denise Gravitt, Chair 7
Trevor Hall 5 2
Marcia Ann Miller 6 1
Steven Pontius 5 2
Marilyn Sample 6 1
Amit Sinha 7
Ethan Strigas 3 4
FEBC actions and charges addressed during the 2005-2006 academic year are as follows.
Senate Charge 1:
Follow up on the work of the Benefits Review Committee of 2004-2005. FEBC determined that recommendations of the Benefits Review Committee had not been acted on as of the beginning of the term, but many suggestions were in the recommended changes to the benefits package submitted to FEBC by Candy Barton for January 2006 implementation. These were approved and forwarded to the Senate. Of these committee recommendations, the top three recommendations (among others) were approved for action, or have been incorporated into the ISU benefits as follows:
1. Create/Institute a Chronic Disease Management program. This suggestion was studied by the FEBC and consensus was for the creation of a program and committee with appropriate representative persons. They forwarded the suggestion to the Senate where the formation of an ISU committee to investigate the appropriate components for ISU and possible staged implementation was approved.
2. Flexible spending accounts. This benefit has been incorporated into ISU benefits package and is now in effect.
3. Investigate a new program management company to get deeper discounts for services and prescriptions. This was done, and while the switch never occurred to a new company, our current provider did increase our discounts with local providers.
4. Other issues or complaints noted by the committee were also incorporated into the recommended benefits changes approved by FEBC and the Senate this year including: birth control coverage under the Flexible Spending Account, raising the Wellness benefit to $600 from $200, and removal of the Pre-existing Conditions clause. These changes with others were approved along with the 7% rate increase for the benefit rates.
5. Requiring Medicare Part D was one of the recommendations not accepted since it would have had negative impacts on our retirees and ISU was paid to not require it as of yet.
Senate Charges 2 & 3:
For the 2005-06 budget, it was intended that $500,000 be made available for base market corrections, and approximately $100,000 be committed to a bonus compensation pool to be used for a one time monetary awards for employees with superior performance. FEBC was to have made recommendations concerning the advisability of awarding the money- since this money was no longer available due to budgetary revisions the charge was not considered.
Senate Charge 4:
Bi-Annual Pay for Performance Process- FEBC draft compensation plan. This charge was tabled based upon current economic standing of the university and budgetary constraints foreseeable for the next few years. We understood the importance of the charge, but felt our time should be used to address other issues of more immediate concern (such as the next item to be discussed). We do recommend that future FEBC committees address this issue when enrollment trends indicate that money will become available for rewarding higher than average performance in faculty activities.
FEBC Added Charge:
Improving the Dependent Children Fee Waiver from the flat fee of $1200. FEBC felt this charge, in light of ISU’s current economic situation, was most important to faculty and staff and so was addressed first on the meeting calendar. We coordinated our activities with SEBC in terms of consulting their members for desired benefit coverage. The resulting policy change to 80%, 10 semesters of availability, and also including summer eligibility was greater that FEBC had hoped for. We are very appreciative of all the efforts of the Staff Benefits office especially Candy Barton and Mindy Greenwell, also including (but not limited to) the support of President Benjamin, Vice President Floyd, Past Vice President Schafer, and Dominic Nepote.
FEBC Recommendations for next year charges:
1. Evaluate potential pools of faculty per age group and years of service to see if creation of targeted retirement packages will facilitate turnover and reorganization/prioritization activities. (See attached summary reports from Staff Benefits.) This action may become very important for providing options for faculty other than termination in the event that programs are banked or eliminated. We suggest a survey be sent out to faculty asking what items should be included in a retirement package that would appeal to them or encourage them to take early retirement. Suggested ideas for early retirement packages include:
· Part time teaching assignments for certain number of years pre- 100% retirement with full benefits.
· 100% service assignment with full benefits for a certain number of years pre- 100% retirement
· Creating multiple variations of retirement packages based upon either/or age and years of service in ranges up to 65 and 20 years service.
· Research other institutions such as Purdue, IU, Ball State and others to see options in retirement package language and variations.
2. Work with the University committee for Chronic Disease Management for content appropriate for ISU employees.
3. Investigate supplemental Disability Insurance coverage for those employees that would like to pay for it to increase their compensation (after taxes) to 75% of their pre-disability income (limit is 75% per law). This would require at least 10% participation of our employees in order for us to get the coverage, but the Benefits office could research possible programs available. Additional supplemental insurance policies may need to be considered for cancer or other very expensive treatment programs, especially for employees with family histories or increased risk factors. This may be especially important since ISU has no maximum out-of-pocket limits for some health care such as cancer treatments.
4. Address other items deemed important that are listed in the University Benefits Committee report of 2004-2005 that have not been incorporated into the benefits package.
5. It is suggested by FEBC that ISU offer “transitional counseling and support groups/services” to employees suffering from stress and anxiety caused by the Program Prioritization process and changes that will be instituted.