Merit employees will be phased in to ISU (benefits) Plan
Employee benefits are one item impacted by changes to the Iowa Code governing collective bargaining that were approved by the 2017 Iowa Legislature and signed by former Gov. Terry Branstad in February.
An overview of changes to the ISU merit system due to Iowa Code modifications
Current merit employees, as well as those hired through June 30, will remain on the state health and dental plans offered under the current collective bargaining agreement between the State of Iowa and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61 through this calendar year. On Jan. 1, 2018, merit employees will be offered the ISU Plan health and dental benefits, the same plans with the same employee premium contributions used by faculty, professional and scientific staff and supervisory/confidential staff. Coverage selections will be made during the annual benefits open enrollment period in November.
New merit employees who start at Iowa State on July 1 or later will be offered ISU Plan medical and dental benefits.
One plan for all
Ed Holland, director of benefits in university human resources (UHR), said he believes the change brings a higher level of fairness to the benefit offerings provided to ISU employees. It also is a boost to efficiency.
“We believe the decision by the university to provide the same benefits to all of our employees by Jan. 1 will allow us to streamline and improve our benefit services and tools, as well as strengthen our communications to campus about the benefits ISU offers," he said.
Holland also noted that the decision allows UHR to inform the entire campus that the plans and employee costs in place right now under the ISU Plan will be the same for all employees starting Jan. 1 for the 2018 plan year. There will be no plan design changes or plan increases on Jan. 1, he said.
Holland said the benefits team will schedule meetings on campus starting in mid-June to explain the ISU Plan benefits in greater detail to merit employees. The meetings will focus on the choices merit employees will have and the value of these choices, as well as differences between the ISU Plan and the current plans through the state of Iowa. In the meantime, more information is available online.