Faculty Benefits Committee
Minutes/Meeting of February 23, 2000
Members Present: Marc Goetschalckx (ISyE); James Higgins (GTRI-ATAS); Jackie McGill (GTRI-ITTL); Rajiv Wanasundera (Grad Stu); Marilyn Williamson (Library)
Ex-Officio Members: Chuck Donbaugh (OHR); John Grovenstein (OHR); Nile Hartman (GTRI-EOEML)
Advisor: W. Blair Funderburk
Minutes: Judy Parks (GTRI-ATAS)
Jim Higgins called the meeting to order at 10:10 AM. He then went over the minutes from the last meeting held on November 8, 1999. The issue of parking as a pre-tax expense was discussed. Due to recent changes, parking costs will be offered as a pre-tax deduction starting in the fall. The minutes from the November 8th meeting erroneously stated that parking expenses were not an allowable pretax deduction. To eliminate future confusion, the erroneous reference will be struck from the previous minutes.
- The following issues were identified and discussed by all:
a). Potential merger with the State Merit System health insurance
- Chuck Donbaugh thinks that we should get all the information on the merger so that we are not surprised.
- There will potentially be increases in premiums on the current Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) indemnity plan of about 50%. This would make it cost prohibitive for most employees.
- A new Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) will be offered in April There will be an open enrollment period probably in April with an effective date of July 1, 2000. (They tried to put off the open enrollment until the usual month of November, but the Board of Regents would not be able to compensate the cost difference for that many months)
- Governor Barnes has mandated most of this and not much can be done to stop it.
- PPO plans were discussed as a possible alternative for some people.
- This could also change the premiums for people using HMO plans due to changes in the employer match contribution. (Employer now pays approximately 75% of cost)
- A letter from President Clough was sent out early to warn people of the expected cost increases of the BC/BS indemnity plan
b). Academic 9 Month vs. 12 Month Contracts
- Charles Liotta's earlier report reviewed. This report was previously submitted, and then just dropped. (Check with past committee members to see where it stands)
- Currently there is not a well-defined policy of who gets which type of contract. The procedures employed differ greatly between various schools and departments
- Some type of standard should be established, publicized, and implemented
- The committee decided to consider suggesting solution #5 from Charles Liotta's report be adopted as the new policy. (The 15 March date should be changed as the deadline date in the report to coincide with the semester system.)
- This could have an economic impact because there is no money pool set aside for the compensation of unused vacation for terminating academic employees.
- GT will be offering a pre-tax parking option in the fall. The Parking Office will be offering online enrollment. A signature will be required to confirm the decision.
- The parking rates are expected to increase by about 7%
- Marta should be looked into as part of the parking solution
- Check into inviting Roz Myer or Rod Weis to a future meeting to discuss parking
- The GT Foundation is helping the Home Park Facility make the following changes:
– Helped update the heating system with an emergency allocation of funds
– Sign a long term lease for their facility
– Funding an architectural study to refurbish the exterior of the facility
– Is looked into a management company to take over the facility
– Would like to bring the capacity up to 120 children
– The Foundation signed another one year agreement with the emergency childcare services downtown
e). Voluntary Insurance Benefits
- GT employees can currently use CFN for auto and home insurance
- Additional insurance options for policies such as cancer and critical illness should be considered. (AFLAC or a number of other companies would be glad to present their options to the committee)
- These policies can now be offered as a payroll deduction
- Most of these policies are transportable upon retirement
- Committee members might survey different groups or colleagues to see what type of benefits should be offered
f). Retirement Plans
- Andrew Harris might be invited to a future meeting since he is very knowledgeable about what is going on and the likelihood of an issues success
g). Benefits for Domestic Partners
- A SAC membership card was requested for an employee’s same-sex domestic partner and the request was declined. This benefit is offered to GT employees’ spouses
h). Tax Deferred Annuities
- GT needs to limit the number of tax deferred accounts offered due to the potential liability and audit expense
- The IRS has announced a planned audit of a major university, but has not identified which university
- A provider agreement needs to be implemented with TDA vendors. (In 1992 the Faculty Benefits Committee came up with a weak-provider agreement plan)
- Motion set to look into a new provider agreement
2. A motion to adjourn was made a seconded. The motion was passed and the meeting adjourned at approximately 12:05 p.m.