May 21, 2013

President Easter Meeting with APAC Representatives:
Discussion Post

Please provide feedback and suggestions by posting a "comment" below.

AP REPRESENTATIVES from Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana Champaign will be meeting with President Easter on Tuesday, June 11th. This post is an opportunity for AP readers to provide feedback and suggestions on what we should discuss.

THE FOLLOWING items are already on the agenda:

  • Pension Reform Legislation
  • FY14 Salary Plan
  • Health Insurance Premium Costs

Is there anything missing from this agenda that you would like us to discuss? Please let us know. If you chose, your response can be anonymous.

Click the word "comment" below to add your feedback or suggestions.

May 2013 APAC News Vol. 6, No. 5

Employees’ Monthly Insurance Payments to Rise

By Monica M. Walk

DRAMATICALLY INCREASED monthly insurance payments may be a dose of bitter medicine for University of Illinois employees trying to watch both their budget and their health.

STILL, STATE of Illinois health plan costs for employees remain below the national average.

ACCORDING TO an Aon Hewitt report, the 2012 national employee-only monthly premium was $183 and is expected to rise to $198 in 2013. Monthly healthcare premiums for all State employees will remain well below that mark, except for employees earning over $100,000 annually; these highest earners will pay premiums in line with the national average. (See the NESSIE website for charts showing FY2014 employee and dependent monthly premiums for both managed care and quality care programs.)

A SERIES of unique issues over the last several years have insulated State employees in Illinois employees from the rising costs of healthcare.

“THE LAST two years, due to contracting issues the State had in procurement of managed care plans, emergency contracts were in place and rates essentially held flat,” said Human Resources Administration Director Katie Ross, University Human Resources. “Now we see the aggregated impact: The new rates reflect what we would have seen incrementally. All at once, it’s hard to swallow.”

THE TOTAL monthly premium increase from July 2007 to July 2012 was only $12 for both plans; they increased $6 per month in Fiscal Year 2009 and again in Fiscal Year 2010, but remained the same in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Click image for larger picture.
“REALLY, WHAT we are seeing now is primarily what we see nationwide: the rising cost of healthcare,” Ross said.

EMPLOYEE MONTHLY premium rates are determined through State-wide bargaining by the Illinois AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) and extend to all State employees on the State Employee Group Insurance Plan. Monthly premium rates, published May 1, are priced by a series of six salary bands, with employee premiums increasing with salary income. For example, an employee earning up to $30,200 will pay $68 for managed care or $93 for quality care each month; an employee earning between $75,901 and $100,000 will pay $137 for managed care or $162 for quality care each month.

EMPLOYEES CAN also choose to provide health insurance for dependents.  Choices again include managed or quality care, and monthly costs depend on the number of dependents being insured. Employees insuring dependents pay both the employee premium and the dependent premium each month.

THE STATE also pays a portion of health care costs for each employee; generally the amount is considerably larger than the monthly premium paid by employees. The State has not yet published these amounts for the upcoming fiscal year, but Ross expects to receive this information soon.

THE BENEFITS choice period concludes May 31; plan and fee changes are effective July 1.

DEDUCTIBLES, CO-PAYMENTS and out-of-pocket maximums for all healthcare plans also will increase July 1.

“THIS YEAR, more than ever, employees need to read the material from CMS and the Benefit Choice Options booklet,” said Ross. “Especially if they traditionally don’t make a change. They need to look at premium rates, the plan changes, and the “What You Should Know” notes in the Benefits Choice Options booklet. I encourage everyone to look at this information, even if they haven’t in the past.

“SELECTION OF health insurance is a very personal issue,” Ross continued. “CMS has benefit fairs around the city and in the suburbs. The University is putting on employee information sessions on each campus. I encourage employees to attend and make the best decision for themselves and their families.”

FOR DETAILS about employee benefits information sessions see NESSIE:

SEND AN email to or contact UPB Benefits Services at Chicago (312) 996-6471 with additional benefits questions.

UNIVERSITY RETIREES also are experiencing a health-care cost increase. Retirees, or those planning to retire this year, should contact SURS directly.

Dental, Vision Plans Also Affected

By Monica M. Walk

STATE DENTAL and vision plans, like medical plans (see article above), also will have associated cost changes.

MONTHLY DENTAL premiums (not changing this year) for employees are $11; the addition of one dependent increases the monthly premium to $17, while an employee with two or more dependents pays $19.50.

THE ANNUAL dental deductible increases from $125 to $150. The maximum annual in-network benefit remains at $2,500 and the annual maximum for in-network orthodontia remains $2,000. Benefits for out-of-network services have decreased by $500.

EMPLOYEE COSTS for vision eye exams, lenses, and standard frames have doubled from $10 to $20.

FOR COMPLETE details see

University Finalizes Human Capital Strategy

By Neal Lorenzi

THE UNIVERSITY of Illinois recently finalized a Human Capital Strategy (HCS) document, which is designed to address some of the issues impacting University employees. Wayne Stahl, Director of Organizational Effectiveness, University of Illinois, facilitated a cross-campus team to create the document.

THE HCS team defines a Human Capital Strategy as: the determination of the right mix of human capital for the short-term and projected needs of the organization based on workforce planning data and talent management systems and programs. “In our strategy, we defined human capital as what people know, how people interact, how committed people are to the organization, and the work people do that drives an organization toward achieving its strategic objectives,” Stahl said.

In the Beginning
ON JUNE 8, 2010, the University’s Administrative Review and Restructuring Human Resources Management (ARR-HR) Subcommittee issued a Final Report, which recommended that a supportive human capital strategy be developed. Such a strategy should be grounded in job analysis so that the content of the position, the title of the position, and the required qualifications and competencies are well understood.

A SECOND recommendation called for a Human Capital Strategy for Academic Professionals (APs). Areas that need to be reviewed include the total compensation for Academic Professionals, professional development, and career advancement.

WITH RESPECT to Academic Professionals, the report stated: “APs are critical to the everyday functions performed at the University and to the future success of a transformed University. They are described as ‘a workforce that breaks through traditional barriers that is flexible, self-directed, multidisciplinary, and able to adapt to the changing needs of the University.’”

Details of the Strategy
THE HCS team followed those recommendations to create the recently released Human Capital Strategy document. According to Stahl:

FOR THE purposes of our report, human capital is: what people know, how people interact, how committed people are to the organization, and the work people do that drives an organization toward achieving its strategic objectives. The guiding principles for the creation of our human capital model are:
  • Human Capital Management is a fundamental component of strategic business management. It is guided by and directed toward fulfillment of the university’s and each campus’s strategic mission, vision and values. Human capital considerations are reflected when designing and implementing operational policies and practices.
  • People are viewed at the University of Illinois as assets whose value to the university can be enhanced through investment. As with any investment, the University’s goal is to maximize the value of its people to increase operational effectiveness and efficiency, and add greater value to students, parents and other stakeholders.
  • A University-wide competency model provides a common base to implement a human capital strategy. Competencies are a guide for employees to support the University in achieving its goals. As an operational tool, the competency model is used to build and sustain the university’s pool of leaders through recruiting, hiring, development, retention, and succession policies and practices targeted for leaders with identified characteristics and work experiences.
  • Performance management systems, including pay and other incentives, link performance to results.
  • Individuals interact, support and learn from each other as a means of contributing to the high performance of their peers, colleges, units and the University as a whole.
  • The organizational structure should support high performance in the workplace.
  • Talent management only “works” if all leaders, managers and employees are responsible for hiring, engaging, developing and retaining top talent. HR enables these efforts by developing and providing tools, templates, processes, systems, analyses and training to help leaders, managers and employees be more effective in their talent management responsibilities. However, ownership rests with line management.
Potential Impact of the Document
THE IMPACT to University employees by campus and across the three campuses is potentially significant. The size and complexity of the recommendations range from developing a policy on bullying and developing processes for more opportunities for internal promotions to the modernization of the State Universities Civil Service System and changing our culture to drive continuous improvement in everything we do.

WE NOW have a strategy for human resources to integrate into the campus strategies, and UIC HR has been a leader in this area. The Chicago campus HR office has developed a robust strategy that integrates some of the elements found in the University’s human capital strategy.

THE OTHER campuses and the hospital are looking at opportunities where they can make changes and improvements to their respective organizations and collectively where the University as a whole can benefit. The challenge is to keep the momentum going while we all face financial and resource shortfalls.

Status of the Initiative
THE PROPOSED strategy was presented to the Human Resource Leadership Team on March 27, 2013, for review and approval. Members of the team are collecting input from their respective campus and University administration leadership groups, at which point they will discuss the next steps for the human capital strategy and make recommendations.

For More Information
The strategy is posted on the APAC website. “As new teams are formed to carry out these recommendations, Academic Professionals will be asked to participate directly,” Stahl concluded. “As a stakeholder group, they will be asked for input through organizations such as APAC. Our project team has had a great relationship with APAC during the development of the Human Capital Strategy document. I expect that relationship to continue to be nurtured and grow.”

IGPA Report Details Retirement Contribution Changes Across US

THE UNIVERSITY of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) has released a report that provides a compilation of data on the changes to current employees' retirement contribution rates and post-retirement cost of living adjustments (COLAs) that have been enacted in the United States since 2009. Click here to read the report: The National Picture of Public Pension Changes: What benefit reductions have otherstates enacted?

“ILLINOIS’ STATE pension system has the lowest funding ratio of any state, with roughly $100 billion in unfunded liabilities,” said James R. Paul, Assistant Director, IGPA. “That means that the State has promised to make these payments to workers when they retire, but does not have the resources set aside to do so. IGPA has conducted many analyses of this situation.” You can read all of IGPA's work on public pensions here.

SINCE 2009, changes have been made to public employee pension systems in about half of all states, but the details vary widely. Post-retirement COLAs have been reduced, adjusted, and tied to inflation and pension funding ratios. Employee contribution rates have been increased in numerous states, but these increases are not always permanent and some states have also mandated larger employer contributions. 

TO SEE which states have made changes, and brief summaries of each change, as well as links to resources, readthe report here (PDF)For more information, call (217) 333-3340.

Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence Award Nominations Due in June

Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.
THE CHANCELLOR’S Academic Professional Excellence Award (CAPE) acknowledges the demonstrated excellence of Academic Professional employees (APs). The CAPE Award, sponsored by Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, honors the contributions of individual staff members and encourages the professional growth and achievement of APs at UIC. Each winner of the CAPE Award receives a $1,000 permanent salary increase, a certificate and a pin. The names of the winners are added to the CAPE plaque on the first floor of University Hall. In addition, a $2,000 one-time cash award is given to each recipient.

THE DEADLINE for receipt of nominations and all supporting credentials is noon on Friday, June 28, 2013. The CAPE awards will be presented in November at a reception as part of the UIC Employee Recognition Week.  2013 Nomination forms are available at the APAC website page about CAPE. If you have any questions, please contact Ahlam Al-Kodmany, Chair of the 2013 CAPE Selection Committee, at or at (312) 996-7458.

APAC Meetings Scheduled

ALL APs are invited to the monthly APAC meeting at 12:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month.. Next meeting is June 12 in a special location: College of Medicine West, 1853 W. Polk St., Room 119A. For information, call (312) 996-0306.


Hotel and Motel Discounts Available
EMPLOYEES ARE eligible for a number of discounts via online shopping.
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
HOTEL AND MOTEL deals are available from Best Western,, discount code 01026040, Big Ten rate; Club Quarters,, call for discount; Hilton Hotels,, call for discount; Howard Johnson’s,, discount code 160617; Holiday Inn,, discount code 176095; Quality Inn,, discount code 026678; Radisson Hotels,, discount code WP1602, Big Ten rate; Ramada Inn,, discount code 901597, government employee rate; Red Roof Inn,, discount code CP514137; and Starwood Hotels,, discount code 6674-CO.


Rep. Lou Lang.
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.

UIC UNITED, the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association, held its Spring membership meeting on April 25 at the UIC Student Center West. Dr. Nicole Kazee, Director of Health Policy and Programs at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, spoke on The Affordable Care Act: What Does Health Reform Mean for You and Your Families? Her presentation may be viewed here
IT’S TIME the Chicago Tribune stops treating the Illinois Constitution like yesterday’s newspaper when it comes to State pensions, says Rep. Lou Lang. See Chicago Tribune, May 12, 2013:,0,544832.story

Vol. 6, No. 5 May 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