UPDATE FROM HR!
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Friday regarding same-sex marriage, all benefits eligible UT Austin employees and retired employees will be able to enroll their same-sex spouses, as well as dependent children of these spouses, in health and dental coverages and services that are currently available to, and at the same cost as, opposite-sex spouses.
The plan amendment will take effect on Wednesday, July 1, 2015. That day, under policies related to mid-year enrollments due to a status change, UT Austin will begin enrolling same-sex spouses of benefits eligible employees and retired employees who submit the required application and presentation of a valid marriage certificate. Employees will have 31 days to enroll from this status change event. Benefits eligible employees and retirees who submit the required application and a marriage certificate after July 1 may enroll within 31 days of the marriage.
The UT System Office of Employee Benefits is working on similar changes with vendors who offer employees certain benefits such as HMO dental, vision, and life and accident insurance. UT System hopes to confirm by Wednesday, July 1, that these policies have been amended and are available to same-sex spouses on that date. If vendors have not made the necessary changes by July 1, the university will offer affected individuals a separate, special opportunity to enroll as soon as possible.
To access Change of Status insurance forms and instructions, please visit http://www.utexas.edu/hr/current/insurance/change_of_status.html
For questions, please call the Human Resource Service Center at 512-471-4772 or toll-free at 800-687-4178, or contact your Benefits Specialist for individual guidance. To identify your Benefits Specialist, use the Find a Rep search option at http://www.utexas.edu/hr/hrpro/lookup/
What YOU can do to help get Competitive Insurance Benefits at UT:
Thanks to everyone who joined us at our Valentine's Day Rally in support of competitive benefits at UT!
You can now sign our petition!
Print out our CIB Checklist flyer and help us spread the word.
Get informed and inform others: read our report on Domestic Partner Benefits at UT.
Tell us about what the absence of CIB means to you by contributing to our blog.
You can also join our facebook group Domestic Partner Benefits for UT Now!
|Benefits we have:|
|FMLA (Federal Family Medical Leave) for the birth or adoption of a partner's child|
|Library privileges for partners|
|Rec Sports privileges for partners|
|Employee Assistance Program counseling for couples and partners|
|Life insurance beneficiary|
|Texas Exes LGBTQ Network|
|Benefits we are currently working on:|
|Comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental, vision)|
|Housing employee on-campus cohabitation|
|Graduate student housing cohabitation|
We are proud to announce the release of the Domestic Partner Benefits Report, compiled by the PEFSA Domestic Partner Benefits Committee. Below is the Report Summary, however we encourage all UT community members to read the full report for further details.
Questions and Answers about Domestic Partner Benefits
In 2006 the Pride and Equity Faculty/Staff Association (PEFSA) was established as a University Resource Group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees at The University of Texas at Austin. As a result of concerns regarding workplace equity for GLBT faculty and staff, a PEFSA subcommittee was formed. The committee conducted research, benchmarked peer institutions, and interviewed faculty and staff on campus. After this yearlong study, the committee produced a 70 page report containing questions and answers regarding domestic partner benefits (DPB). The following summarizes the major findings of the report and the recommendations by PEFSA to the President of UT Austin.
UT Austin does not provide benefits to partners of faculty and staff members unless the relationship qualifies as a “marriage” according to Texas law. The consequences are an inequity in compensation and an inherent message that domestic partners are ‘less than.’ As a result, UT Austin is losing faculty and staff.
• Recruitment and retention: Tenured faculty and seasoned staff are leaving the University and potential hires are declining offers from UT due to the lack of benefits for Domestic Partners.
• Equity: Research indicates that a married employee enjoys significantly greater overall compensation than their non-married counterpart even though both perform identical work. › The estimated difference in compensation for a faculty member earning $80,000 per year is $8,108.
• Diversity: Because UT Austin does not offer DBP it undermines both its own non-discrimination policy and its ability to create and foster a diverse workforce.
The estimated cost to UT Austin to add DPB is .0058 of the current budget amount for health insurance expenditures.
Although Texas has a constitutional amendment limiting the definition of marriage to one man and one woman, other universities with similar state laws offer DPB to their faculty and staff.
The Board of Regents is not prohibited from providing DPB and is obligated under the Texas Education Code and Texas Insurance Code to provide benefits competitive with those offered by peer institutions and businesses with whom UT competes for employees.
•8 out of 10 peer institutions provide DPB
•304 universities including all Ivy League schools offer DPB
•9,374 employers in the United States offer DPB
PEFSA recommends that President Powers lead the effort to offer DPB at UT Austin by working with the Office of General Counsel and consulting with other university administrators, PEFSA, and Texas advocacy groups to:
Develop a plan to implement domestic partner health benefits
Immediately offer benefits not covered by the State Insurance Code (soft benefits)
Supplement faculty and staff salaries to compensate for inequity until DPB are achieved
1 July 2015