September 4, 2014 | CUNY Matters, The University
New, Improved Adjunct Health Insurance
When it comes to health insurance, there is very good news for adjuncts: A new, long-awaited – and much better – plan. As of Oct. 1, 2014, eligible teaching and nonteaching adjuncts will be offered the same health care coverage – including hospitalization-offered to full-time employees through the NYC Office of Labor Relations Employee Health Benefits Program. These adjuncts will also now be eligible for prescription drug benefits through the PSC-CUNY Welfare fund. This continues to be individual-only coverage. There will be no payroll deductions for these benefits, although some of the available plan options and family coverage do require premium payments that will be collected electronically from employees’ designated bank accounts. “This is a major change that will enhance benefits for all eligible adjuncts in the University,” says Leslie Williams, University executive director of Shared Services. “The union and CUNY have been working to achieve this goal … adjuncts will have the ability to choose among eight city health plans and also be eligible for prescription drug benefits and other benefits.” As with all policies there are many details regarding enrollment dates, specific benefits and eligibility. For example, all forms and supporting documents must be submitted to College Benefits Officers no later than Sept. 19, 2014. For more information please see http://www.cuny.edu/benefits. For additional questions there is a dedicated adjunct insurance health line at 646-664-3401. Or email UniversityBenefitsAdjuncts@cuny.edu
Bequeathing Unused Time Off
A death in the family is, of course, devastating. And sometimes grieving can become even more difficult because of the work involved in settling a loved one’s business and employment affairs. CUNY recently made this a bit easier in regard to a deceased employee’s “unused accrued annual leave” – or, more simply, the amount of time off owed. This unused accrued annual leave is part of a deceased employee’s estate and should be distributed according to a will. Current CUNY employees no longer need to specifically designate beneficiaries for this distribution. They only need to ensure that they have a will so that their assets can be distributed among their loved ones according to their wishes. For those who die without a will, unused accrued annual leave becomes part of the probate procedure.
Latino Faculty Initiative
Promoting diversity at CUNY takes many forms. In addition to the Faculty Fellowship Publications Program, featured above – there is also the Chancellor’s Latino Faculty Initiative. Its goals are to recruit, increase and retain Latino/Latina candidates for University faculty positions. The initiative establishes relationships with universities nationwide, arranges for mentoring of junior faculty, works to develop a world-class group of scholars who specialize in Latino and Latin American studies and promotes collaborative programming with colleges throughout the University. Last spring, Hunter College associate professor Arlene Torres, an anthropologist, was honored by CUNY for her work as director of the initiative, which began in 2006. While reaching out to others, she also works to expand her own work on multiethnicity. In collaboration with the National Parks Service, Torres has a grant to study the ethnography of the Great Falls National Historic Park to document the experiences of the migrant and immigrant ethnic community in Paterson, N.J. Torres understands the isolation of ethnicity from a personal level as well. When honored, she spoke about a time “40 years ago when I was the first and only Puerto Rican girl to attend a Holy Child School in New Jersey.” Among CUNY faculty now, this type of isolation is fading. A three-year comparison of CUNY workforce statistics indicates that the number of Latino faculty increased by 40, from 615 to 655, from 2011 to 2013. The combined percentage of Latino faculty across CUNY is now 8.7 percent. Nationwide, in higher education, it’s about 4 percent, according to the National Education Association.