Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Monday, October 31, 2011 8:25 – 9:55 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran, Debbie Lee, Dave Millard, Stella Richardson, Barry Sharp, Teresa Snow, Darlene Wright (Dir. Benefits) & Amy Laviers (student rep).

Absent:  Wayne Book (retiree rep), Richard Dagenhart, Amy Heron & Tommy Little.


Administration: Minutes from 9/19/11 were reviewed and approved.


Dave Millard:  Update on FBC Annual Report

FBC annual report was presented to the General Faculty Assembly by Dave Millard on Oct 4th.  Report was well received.  Several comments were made on a second Childcare Center, highlighting its continued need and administration’s intent to back it.

Darlene Wright commented that she will be serving on a new committee looking at childcare issues.

Dave Millard said that there was a lot of discussion about HMO’s demise.  Darlene Wright said that at this point, it is not known what will happen.  It seems that a number of individuals in the university system have made comments to the BOR.  Perhaps they will look at this issue again.

Darlene Wright:  2011 Open Enrollment Benefits Changes

Update Open Enrollment--

Open enrollment began on 10/24 and ends 11/18.  The benefits fair will be held on Nov. 2 from 11-2.  Thirty-two vendors will be present.


Eighteen information meetings at departmental/ unit level were held on campus last week.  For the most part, meetings are going smoothly, although there are concerns regarding HMO as well as the benefit cut (e.g. health insurance) to part-timers. 


Bettina Cothran stressed the HMO’s importance especially to hourly employees.

OHR is putting together a cost comparison to help guide decisions.  Dave Millard stated that it would be helpful if OHR had a calculator on its website so that employees could determine quickly which plan might be the most beneficial for their specific situation.


Teresa Snow pointed out that employees close to retirement would probably not benefit as much from HSA because after retirement they can no longer contribute.  PPO or HMO would probably be a better option for them.


Bettina Cothran suggested we may want to focus our next meeting on retiree healthcare options.


Dave Millard asked about potential for using the Health Services facility on campus for some faculty services. Darlene Wright stated that faculty may be able to use their dental office.  Health Services wants to reopen it and they are currently looking at options.


In the future, the medical facility might be open to faculty/ staff.  Teresa Snow pointed out that if that were the case, under the current healthcare provision, it would have to be made open to anyone who wanted to go there (not just GT employees).  This could create a number of problems.  Also, filing of insurance would be an issue requiring more staff.


Update:  Part time benefits eligibility—

Changed from 20 hrs/wk to 30 hrs/wk for all benefits except vacation/sick and retirement plan participation.  Out of 150 employees impacted, 125 are current participants in GT benefits.

At the present about half are being increased to 75% time.  The other half cannot for various reasons. OHR will look for other individual plan options that they can refer these individuals to.

Update:  Hearing Aids—

Darlene Wright reached out to broker.  On TechWorks the category is described as “Vision and Hearing.”  However, we do not offer a hearing plan.

The current vendor doesn’t have a separate plan available for hearing.  However, you can get discounts through BC/BS of Ga.  There are links on their website to access hearing aid discounts.

Action Item—Darlene Wright will check with Kaiser and provide an update at next meeting.

Teresa Snow—Worksite Wellness Update

GoTECH will have a table at the Benefits Fair.  The committee has put together a list of health related campus services available for Faculty/Staff and will be passing out flyers to try to make everyone aware of these services.  In addition, the committee is currently starting a benchmarking study.  They will be looking at the structure and functions of organizations at other campuses to determine how this committee can increase their presence on campus and better meet the needs of the community.

Bettina Cothran:  Faculty/Staff Recognition

There is unfinished discussion regarding faculty/staff recognition.  Currently employees are recognized at 10 and 25 years.  Maybe this structure could be improved.  Official recognition is important.

Dave Millard stated that GTRI has developed guidelines and does a really good job of recognizing its employees.

Action Item—Dave Millard will give an overview at the next FBC meeting and provide GTRI contact for follow-up information.

Donated Leave

There were hours left over from last year.  OHR had seven requests, six of which were approved.  Since open enrollment is still going on, we do not have an up-to-date count of the number of hours donated.  OHR is letting people in TRS know that they can keep hours and count them towards retirement. They want to be sure employees realize this before they donate.

Action Item—Darlene Wright will give an update next month regarding hours donated following open enrollment.

New Business:  Security—Concerns regarding increased incidences on/near campus

Thursday there was an attack on campus at 9 AM. Amy Laviers stated that there is a welfare and safety committee that would be meeting in November.  The FBC may be able to get more information at that time regarding steps being taken to make the campus safer.

FBC meetings for Fall 2011 Semester


The final FBC meeting for fall semester is scheduled for Monday, December 5th

Meetings will occur in the OHR Conference Rm (220) unless otherwise noted.