2012 Online Bargaining Survey

Hello fellow GEO members,

Please take a moment to complete our 2012 Online Bargaining Survey. We want to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard! We have been out in members’ work sites speaking with members about the upcoming contract, and so far GEO members have sent a clear message to the bargaining committee that protecting and improving health care should be GEO’s #1 priority.

This is the same paper survey that you may have seen in your mailbox or given to you by a steward, bargaining committee member, or GEO staff member. If you already filled out a paper survey in the last month, you do not need to complete this online survey.

Thank you,
The GEO Bargaining Committee

Kathleen Baldwin, Writing Program
Zane Farr, Public Policy and Administration
Matthew Ferrari, Communication
Jianing Gao, School of Management
Elva Orozco-Mendoza, Political Science
Roberto Garcia-Ceballos, Social Justice Education
Thomas Herndon, Economics
Jeffrey Robinson, History
Jonathan Cooper, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
Derek Doughty, GEO President
Jocelyn Silverlight, GEO Vice-President
David Wemhoener, GEO Secretary-Treasurer
Ryan Quinn, UAW Local 2322 Servicing Rep.

Chancellor’s Update on UHS Steering Committee

To the Campus Community:

I am writing today to provide an update on the university’s Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). At my request, a special committee is exploring possible modifications to SHIP as it develops competitive bid specifications for coverage in fiscal 2013.

Associate Chancellor Susan Pearson is chairing this broad-based panel, which will review the current coverage and discuss different mixes of policy benefits and corresponding costs, including premiums, co-pays and co-insurance. It will analyze bids submitted by vendors and recommend a vendor in April.

Insurance changes implemented this year were driven by the need to treat students equitably, regardless of their choice of insurance, and to develop a financial plan that puts University Health Services (UHS) on a sound financial footing, enabling the planning of a new health services facility for patients that meets 21st century needs. Eliminating the subsidy for SHIP subscribers that resulted from differing billing practices for different insurance plans is a fair and financially sound practice, and the committee will evaluate options with that policy in place. As the committee proceeds with its work, the administration will be mindful of its bargaining obligations and will consult with the Graduate Employee Organization when appropriate.

Members of the committee are:

  • Susan Pearson, chair, associate chancellor
  • Bernette Daly, executive director of UHS
  • Donna Yezierski, associate director, UHS
  • Phil Marquis, associate treasurer, UMass president’s office
  • Andrew Russell, director of risk management, UMass president’s office
  • Matthew Wamback, senior insurance analyst, UMass president’s office
  • Andrew Mangels, budget director
  • Yevin Roh, Student Government Association president
  • Thomas Herndon, Graduate Student Senate

Providing assistance to the committee will be HBC consultants Steve Beckley and Doreen Hodgkins.

The university and individual members of our community are grappling with surging healthcare costs. This committee is representative of the campus and includes experts in healthcare and finance. We face another year of difficult choices, and we will benefit from broad input as we identify and weigh our options.

The committee will shortly announce a vehicle for input from SHIP subscribers.

Robert C. Holub Chancellor

FY2012 GEO Raises and Retro Due this Month

We are very pleased to announce that GEO/UAW 2322 has achieved one of the goals we took on 20 years ago, when we began fighting for our first contract: we have created a campus-wide minimum stipend.  Effective from the start of Fall contracts on September 4, 2011, all schools/colleges/executive areas will have a minimum hourly rate of $21.25.  In the November 11, 2011 paycheck, all eligible GEO employees will be brought to this new minimum.  In the November 25, 2011 paycheck, the retro portion will be paid out.

This new minimum represents a 4.6% increase for the majority of our members, who earn the $20.32 department minimum, and a 3% increase for those earning the College of Natural Sciences minimum rate.