March 26, 2013

March 2013 APAC News Vol. 6, No. 3

AFSCME Negotiators Reduce Amount State Wanted Retirees to Pay for Health Care

FOR 15 months, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has negotiated with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) over the amount of money retirees under the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) were to pay toward their health care benefits.

“LEGISLATORS OF both parties railed against ‘free’ health care for retirees, and last year—despite vigorous opposition from AFSCME—the General Assembly passed SB1313, which requires that retirees contribute toward the cost of their health care premiums,” said Henry Bayer, executive director, AFSCME Council 31.

“CONTRARY TO some erroneous media reports, the AFSCME Bargaining Committee did not ‘agree that retirees would contribute toward their premium costs,'” Bayer said, noting that the law passed by the General Assembly requires retirees to make premium contributions. “What the Bargaining Committee has done is to dramatically reduce the amount that retirees otherwise would have to pay,” Bayer said.

THE PROPOSALS that CMS wanted to impose would have required retirees to pay as much as 20% of their pension toward their health insurance. Under the CMS proposal, retiree premiums would have been set at $625 per month—more than $7,500 per year–for retirees with a covered spouse and a pension in the range of $35,000. Retirees in that range on Medicare would have had to pay $403 per month toward their State Health care premium. Individual coverage for a retiree in that pension range would have been set at $228 per month for those under 65 and $100 per month for those on Medicare.

UNDER THE agreement negotiated by AFSCME, a non-Medicare retiree with a pension annuity of $35,000 would pay $58 per month toward premiums beginning on July 1, 2013, then $117 per month beginning July 1, 2014. A Medicare-eligible retiree in that pension range would pay $29 per month in the first year and $58 per month in the second year of the contract. The premium for a Medicare-eligible dependent would be $89 per month in Managed Care and $142 per month in the Quality Care Health Plan--the same amount paid today.

THE NEW contract also includes increases in co-pays and deductibles for both active employees and retirees at well below the level that the CMS was seeking.

“I KNOW very well that any increase in health care costs will be burdensome to retirees living on fixed incomes, especially those with smaller pensions,” Bayer said. “That’s why the union fought so hard against efforts to drastically increase retiree health care costs. And thanks to the long, tough battle waged by the AFSCME Bargaining Committee, those costs will now be dramatically lower than the amounts that the State was planning to impose.”

FOR MORE information, call (312) 641-6060.

APAC Elections Coming

THE DEADLINE for petitions to run for a seat on the Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC) has been extended to Friday, April 5.

APAC REPRESENTS close to 4,000 Academic Professionals on campus and advises University Administration, reviews policy, represents APs on search committees, voices concerns regarding APs to the Chancellor, and plays an active role in professional development efforts at UIC. APAC is comprised of 15-to-18 APs, elected for a three-year term. Approximately one-third of the APAC seats are up for election this year.

NOMINATION MATERIALS for APAC seats can be obtained by e-mailing Ahlam Al-Kodmany at Complete the nomination petition, including a personal statement and the name and signature of ten endorsers who are APs. Fully completed petitions must be received by noon on Friday, April 5. Send your completed packet for APAC to Ahlam Al-Kodmany, Institute for Health Research and Policy, MC 275. For information, e-mail

ELECTION BALLOTS will be available on the APAC website

THE ELECTION for one of the three AP University Senate seats has been held. Incumbent Senator William S. Bike, Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs Communications for the College of Dentistry, won a fourth term and will continue to represent APs in the University Senate for another three years.

IGPA Examines State’s Fiscal Health

A NEW report released by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) analyzes the future of the State's deficit, and examines several outcomes for different policy options.

PUBLISHED EVERY year, The Illinois Report presents nonpartisan analysis of public policy issues facing Illinois.

“I THINK you will be particularly interested in our chapter on the fiscal health of the State,” said Kelsey McCoy, Communication Specialist, IGPA. “The authors found that the combination of increased income taxes, large cuts in spending, and the effect of a gradually improving economy will decrease the deficit to an estimated $4.9 billion in FY2013 and a projected $1.6 billion in 2014. They also demonstrate that:
  • Holding Medicaid expenditures to the rate of inflation would decrease spending by $3 billion by 2020.
  • Avoiding getting farther behind on pension liabilities would cost an extra $1 billion to $2 billion for each of the next 10 years.
SEE For more information, call (312) 995-8854.

Shared Governance

Larry R. Faulkner, President Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin, will discuss effective governance.
THE UIC Senate and Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares will co-sponsor a talk on the concept of shared governance for the University.

“WISE AND Effective Governance in an Age of Challenge” will be presented by Larry R. Faulkner, President Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin. The talk will be held Wednesday, April 17, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Student Center West in the Thompson Room. There will be a reception to follow. RSVP to Stacy Jeffries at For more information, log on to

APAC Meetings Scheduled

ALL APs are invited to the monthly APAC meeting at 12:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. Meetings are held either in Room 5175 of the College of Medicine Research Building, 909 S. Wolcott, or Room 2750 of University Hall on the East Campus. Next meeting is April 10 in Room 5175 of the College of Medicine Research Building. For information, call (312) 996-0306.


SURS Offers Seminars and Webinars

THE STATE Universities Retirement System (SURS) is offering a variety of seminars and webinars in upcoming months. To view the description and dates for each seminar/webinar go to Registration is required.

  • For new hires: Plan Choice Webinar Tier II--Looking Down The Road: Choosing Your Retirement Path.
  • For new or current self-managed plan (SMP) members: Self-Managed Plan Webinars--Navigating The Self-Managed Plan (SMP).
  • For pre-retirement personnel: Understanding Your SURS Benefits – Webinar Tier I. 
THE WEBINARS listed above are approved for Academic Professionals and are events under Civil Service Policy and Rules, Rule 11.12. Employees may be released from work to attend, University operations permitting, and subject to prior supervisor approval.

THE FULL-DAY pre-retirement seminars/webinars listed below are not approved events for excused time; therefore, employees who attend during scheduled work hours must obtain prior approval from theirs supervisor and use leave time in accordance with University policy: 
  • Retirement Education Seminars for Traditional and Portable Plans in Champaign.
  • Retirement Education Seminars for Traditional and Portable Plans in Naperville.
  • Self-Managed Plan Pre-Retirement Seminars/Webinars.
FOR MORE information, contact SURS at (217) 378-8800, or toll free at (800) 275-7877.


Auto Discounts Available
EMPLOYEES ARE eligible for a number of discounts on auto purchases and auto rental.
SOME BUSINESSES provide a discount code that you can use on their website, or provide over the phone.  Other businesses require you to contact them directly for the discount - in order for them to identify the discount you qualify for, you may need to let them know:
  • You are a University of Illinois at Chicago employee
  • You are a State of Illinois employee
  • You are a government employee
  • You are employed at "Big Ten" University
  • You are staff/student/faculty at the University
AUTO PURCHASE deals are available from Ford,, Discount Code UNVIL, through the Ford X Plan, and from GM,, discount code 822262, through the GM supplier discount.

AUTO RENTAL deals are available through Avis,, discount code A/B 124900; Budget,, discount code U009100; and Hertz,, discount code 215471, under the Big Ten discount program.

FOR MORE information, see


INFORMATION ABOUT the impacts of sequestration on UIC can be found at

INFORMATION ABOUT contacting State legislators can be found at the APAC site at


Editor’s Note: “The Continuing Crisis” is a section of APAC News which links to news pertinent to the State budget crisis and other financial matters as they affect the University and Academic Professionals. These news outlets are not affiliated with or endorsed by APAC.

JUDGE RULES retirees can be required to pay for health insurance benefits. See State Journal-Register, March 19:

DECLINE IN State support likely to continue. See UIC News, March 20:
HOUSE PASSES bill that would raise the retirement age to 67 for those hired after January 1, 2011.  The bill would also change how cost-of-living adjustments are handled for pensioners. See Progress Illinois, March 21:

Vol. 6, No.3 March 2013

ISSN 1946-1860
Editor: William S. Bike
Staff: Lucia Gonzalez, Gail Mansfield, Monica M. Walk
Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany
Chair: Michael Moss
Secretary: Mary Berta
Treasurer: Virginia Buglio
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar