Faculty Benefits Committee AY 2005-2006
Committee Members: Dale Atkins (CoE), Bill Ballard (GT Exec. Board & GTRI), Michael Chang (Chair, EAS), Michael Elliot (CP), Jean Hudgins (LIB), Chuck Donbaugh (OHR), and Eric Southard (Student)
Faculty Development Program: After several years of study and consideration, the Committee elected to recommend that the General Faculty / Academic Senate consider creating an ad-hoc committee for the purpose of developing a professional leave policy in the context of a Faculty Development Program. The committee will present the recommendation after drafting a summary report that gathers all information and discussion collected or conducted by the Benefits Committee over the last three years.
Post-Doc Eligibility for the Optional Retirement Program: Currently Post Doctoral Fellows are classified as staff employees and required to participate in the Teachers Retirement System. Employees in the TRS contribute 5% of their annual salary and, in 2005, the Institute contributed an additional 9.66%. Employees terminating before 10 years of service are not vested in TRS and must forfeit the employer contributions (which remain in TRS). Because of the ephemeral nature of the postdoc position, few if any postdocs are ever vested. The Committee therefore recommends that postdocs be granted General Faculty status. Faculty status would allow postdocs to be eligible to participate in the Optional Retirement Program for which vesting is immediate.
Optional Voluntary Benefits Program: The Committee heard presentations from MetLife about potential additional voluntary benefits that they could provide (e.g. car and home owners insurance). Overall, there was agreement that this is a good idea and OHR is encouraged to continue negotiating with the vendors (MetLife or otherwise) while demanding the highest standards (there was some concern expressed that the vendors were not as willing to work with the Institute despite initial assurances that they could accommodate our unique needs and desires).
Supplementary Life Insurance: In March, Tech employees could choose to obtain supplemental life insurance through MetLife. Despite some employees’ confusion about the information supplied by MetLife (and for which MetLife subsequently has been informed about this poor perception of their service), a significant number of employees took out a policy for themselves, their spouse, or their child(ren).
Classified Employees Compensation Review: For FY2003-2006 annual merit allocation for classified employees has averaged 1.8%. A sample of 1087 classified employees showed that 405 (37%) were compensated at rates considered 10% or more below market, 549 (51%) were compensated at rates within ±10% of the market, and 133 (12%) were compensated at rates considered 10% or more above market. Based on these findings, OHR is recommending “that to the extent possible, particular attention be paid to those low market rates in the allocation of increases in the FY2007 merit allocation. Additionally, as any additional funds become available, they should be directed at the same conditions.”