Category Archives: Benefits

Part-Time Health Benefits Initiative

A group of union members has initiated a much-needed awareness campaign to draw attention to the following:

  • 75-80% of Pratt faculty are currently deemed ineligible for any form of health insurance benefits through the Institute
  • Of Pratt’s yearly operating budget of 170 million, less than 20% is spent on faculty (that’s including all part-time and full-time faculty benefits).
  • The Pratt administration has agreed to provide healthcare benefits for part-timers in the past 2 contracts, but has yet to honor these agreements in practice.
  • Every other college of Pratt’s prestige and caliber in NYC provides healthcare benefits to both full and part-time faculty (including The New School, Cooper Union, School of Visual Arts, CUNY, NYU, and Columbia).
  • UFCT’s current demand is that Pratt grant all part-timers (who teach a 50% workload for at least two semesters) access to healthcare benefits with a 25% contribution by the employee.
  • This is just the beginning of  a multi-pronged campaign.  Check out the website, or download the Healthcare FactSheet to find out how to support this endeavor.

AETNA and Continuum Reach 3 Year Agreement

2 days after our petition was sent, the two parties had reached a 3-year agreement.  Here is the news release from AETNA.  The petition may not have directly done any good, but I still think it is worthwhile for consumers to speak up and protest when corporations decide they can charge the same amount for a much-degraded commodity (and unfortunately, health care is primarily seen by both Democrats and Republicans as a profit-generating commodity in the USA).

–Suzanne Verderber

Final AETNA petition

The following was sent to 39 parties (see the “CC” list at bottom).  We can only keep our fingers crossed that speaking up ultimately does some good.

Ronald A. Williams

Chairman and Chief Executive, Aetna Inc.

Hartford, CT 06156

July 23, 2010

Dear Mr. Williams,

We the undersigned are faculty members and administrators at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. The Pratt administration has chosen to subscribe to Aetna for health coverage, a situation over which we have minimal control.

We were shocked and dismayed to receive notification from our Human Resources office on June 16, 2010 that Aetna and Continuum failed to renew their contract over the issue of reimbursement rates, directly affecting most of us who have, over the years, established relationships with physicians at the various major hospitals in our area that are now “out of network”: Beth Israel, Long Island College Hospital, Saint Luke’s, and New York Ear and Eye Infirmary. As medical consumers, we have been told time and time again that the most effective medical care can be achieved by establishing relationships with our doctors so that valuable time and money is not wasted bringing new doctors up to speed on our conditions, and so that our doctors gain, over time, a more accurate overview of our health. Unfortunately, this event seems to be a culmination of a long-term trend wherein doctor after doctor finds that it is no longer “worth it” to be part of Aetna’s network because the Aetna’s reimbursement rates are so low.

We find it callous and irresponsible that Aetna has chosen to destroy these relationships between doctor and patient due to its refusal to meet the reimbursement demands of the medical practitioners who are part of Continuum, disrupting the medical care of thousands in the New York area. Aetna’s own website states that its 2009 revenue was a shocking 39.679 billion dollars. Surely Aetna does not stand to suffer too much from reimbursing doctors at a reasonable level, as other insurance companies who deal with Continuum have managed to do.   We find it surprising that Aetna, a company that claims in its mission statement to be dedicated to helping people achieve “health and financial security” would cause us to lose access to our doctors, or to simply pay more by going out of network. Do you, Mr. Williams, have to go “out of network” to see the doctors of your choice? We wonder whether you are affected personally by this event.

As it stands, in the eyes of many of your customers who have little direct say over their patronage of Aetna, your company appears callous, unreasonable, and unconcerned with the health care of its customers. We will be sure to express these views to the decision-makers at our institution and make them public to our Congressional representatives and to the media.

Sincerely,

The following faculty members and administrators at Pratt Institute, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11222:

1. Suzanne Verderber, Coordinator of the petition and Associate Professor Humanities and Media Studies, V.P. UFCT 1460

2. Ric Brown, Associate Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies, UFCT 1460 Grievance Team member

3. Gerson Sparer, professor, Math and Science, Grievance Team member

4. Holly Wilson, Assistant Professor, Library and UFCT 1460 Grievance Team member

5. Kye Carbone, Adjunct Professor, Foundation Art and UFCT 1460 President

6. Patrick Webb, Professor, Foundation Art

7. Aileen Wilson, Associate Professor, Art and Design Education

8. Iona Fromboluti, Associate Professor, Foundation Art

9. Douglas Wirls, Associate Professor, Foundation Art

10. Agnes Mocsy, Assistant Professor, Math and Science

11. Sarah Van Ouwerkerk, Professor, Media Arts

12. Joyce Polistena, Associate Professor, Art History

13. Cheryl Gross, Professor, Communications Design

14. Theodora Skipitares, Associate Professor, Art and Design Education

15. Joanne McIntyre, Assistant Professor, Library

16. Ira Livingston, Chair, Humanities and Media Studies

17. Jenny Lee, Adjunct Professor, Fine Arts

18. Karen Miletsky, Associate Director, Continuing and Professional Studies

19. Paul Schlotthauer, Associate Professor, Library

20. Harribir Singh Khalsa, Assistant to Chair, Graduate Fine Arts

21. Leslie Roberts, Associate professor, Foundation Art

22. Cecilia Muhlstein, Visiting Instructor, Humanities and Media Studies

23. Ellen Kozak, Adjunct Professor, Foundation Art

24. Ayse Yonder, Professor, Architecture

25. Rebecca Welz, Adjunct Professor, Foundation Art and Industrial Design

26. Reeva Potoff, Adjunct Professor, Foundation Art

27. Chris Arabadjis, Director, Multi-Media Services

28. Bill O’Brecht, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

29. Dan Bucsescu, Adjunct Professor, Architecture

30. Rosemary Palms, Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

31. Mary McBride, Chair, Design Management

32. Theo David, Professor, Architecture

33. Uzma Rizvi, Assistant Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

34. Kathryn Filla, Adjunct Professor, Industrial Design

35. David Goodman, Assistant Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

36. Amy Brook Snider, Chair, Art and Design Education

37. Philip Ayers, Assistant Professor, Foundation Art

38. Jeffrey Hogrefe, Adjunct Associate Professor, Humanities and Media Studies, Architecture

39. Charles Rubenstein, Professor, Information and Library Science

40. Kevin Gatta, Professor, Graduate Communications Design

41. Rick Barry, Professor, Digital Arts

42. Debbie Rabina, Assistant Professor, Information and Library Science

43. Yorke Flynne, Media Lab Manager, Foundation Art

44. Bill Sayler, professor, Foundation Art

45. David Walczyk, Assistant Professor, Information and Library Science

46. Nada Gordon, CEP Coordinator

47. Jon Beller, Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

48. Rose Fabricant Pettavina, Professor, Fashion Design

49. Marianna Ellenberg, Visiting Instructor, Digital Arts

50. Maria Sieira, Adjunct Instructor, Architecture

51. Cindie Kehlet, Assistant Professor, Math and Science

52. Ann Holder, Associate Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

53. Thomas La Padula, Adjunct Professor, Communications Design

54. William Menking, Professor, Architecture

55. Sameetah Agha, Associate professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

56. Jean Hines, Coordinator, Library Services

57. James Costanzo

58. Lisa Bateman, Adjunct Associate professor, Fine Arts

59. Bill Fasolino, Chair. Foundation Arts

60. Rosie De Pasquale, Professor, Fashion Design

61. Donna Gorsline, Assistant to the Dean, Art and Design

62. Mary McBride, Chair, Design Management

63. Adele Rossetti Morosoni, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Math and Science

64. Sam Bryan, Adjunct Professor, History of Art and Design

65. Mara McGinnis, Executive Director of Communications, Institutional Advancement

66. Jenny Lynn McNutt, Adjunct Associate Professor, Foundation Art

67. Daniel Wright, Assistant Professor, Math and Science

68. Joseph A. Smith, Professor, Fine Art

69. J. Roger Guilfoyle, Adjunct Professor, Graduate Communications?Package Design

70. Peggy Cyphers, Adjunct Professor, Fine Arts

71. Berti Jones, Director, Enterprise Systems

72. Jeffrey Surovell, Visiting Assistant Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

73. Eleonora Del Federico, Associate Professor, Math and Science

74. Licio Isolani, Professor, Fine Arts

75. Sean Sullivan, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Foundation Art

76. Carole Rosenthal, Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

77. Martin Lennon, Visiting professor, Film, Video, and Photography

78. Mandy Morrison, Visiting Assistant Professor, Foundation Art

79. Donald S. Owings, Envision programmer, Enterprise Systems

80. Esther Palmer, Assistant to the Chair, History of Art and Design

81. Laena McCarthy, Assistant professor, Library

82. Joyce Finno, Admissions

83. Molly McNamara, SEVIS Coordinator

84. Katie Hale, Associate Director, Residential Life and Housing

85. Ashley Berger, Senior Alumni Outreach Representative

86. Gregory Singer, Academic Advisor, Art & Design

87. Carolyn MacLaury, Assistant to V.P. for Institutional Advancement

88. Pamela Gill, Assistant to the Dean, Architecture

89. Jessica Lee Hochman, Assistant Professor and LMS Coordinator

90. Thierry Gourjon, Visiting Professor, Film and Photography

91. Peggy West-Barton, Coordinator, America Reads/Counts Pratt

92. Kim Sloane, Assistant Chair, Foundation

93. John Monti, Professor, Fine Arts and Sculpture Coordinator

94. Timothy McMahon, Visiting Instructor and Jewelry Technician

95. Tom Dolle, Adjunct Professor, Graduate Communications/Package Design

96. Saul Bonilla, Financial Aid Counselor

97. Chris Jensen, Assistant Professor, Math and Science

98. Laurel Voss, Acting Assistant Chair, Industrial Design

99. Cynthia Wolff, Copy Cataloging/Processing Administrator

100. William Hochhausen, Professor, Foundation Art

101. Haresh Lalvani, professor, Architecture

102. Kumru Toktamis, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

103. John Shapiro, Chair, Center for Planning and the Environment

104. Christina Pattuelli, Assistant Professor, Information and Library Science

105. Eric Rosenblum, Visiting Instructor, Humanities and Media Studies

106. Jason Rodgers, Access Support Services Coordinator

107. Eliott Maltby, Adjunct Associate Professor, Graduate Art and Design

108. Alicia M. Luhrssen, Assistant Director of Admissions

109. Paul M. McDonough, Adjunct Associate Professor, Photography

110. Mike Farnham, Director of Academic Advising, Art and Design

111. Wendy Fleischer, Director, Sustainability Services, Pratt Center for Community Development

112. Irina Danilova, Visiting Assistant professor, Foundation Art

113. Robert O’Neill, Acting Director, Digital Arts Lab

114. Peggy Cyphers, Professor, Fine Arts

115. Cam Lorendo, Visiting Assistant Professor, Interior Design

116. Rich Leslie, Visiting Associate Professor, History of Art and Design

117. Bryanna Tucker, Associate Director, Career Services

118. Mitzi Bryan, Assistant Director, Administrative Support Services

119. Diana Gisolfi, Professor, History of Art and Design

120. Anthony Morin, Pratt student

121. Monica Shay, Associate Professor, Design Management

122. Gayle Kurtz, Assistant Chair, History of Art and Design

123. Natalie Moore, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Foundation Art

124. Aaron White, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Architecture

125. Deborah Johnson, Visiting Professor, Foundation Art

126. Chris Sanderson, Professor, Foundation Art

127. Ivan Zatz, Associate Professor, Social Science and Cultural Studies

128. Patricia Madeja, Adjunct Associate Professor, Fine Art

129. Ronald Shiffman, Professor, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment

130. Chava Ben-Amos, Professor, Graduate Communications and Package Design

131. Jane Haimes, Adjunct Associate Professor, Foundation Art

132. Kia Carbone, Pratt Graduate, Graduate Student of Education, Long island University

133. William Jeffrey Tolbert, Adjunct Associate Professor, Industrial Design

134. Lisa Bank-Humann, Assistant to the Chair, Fine Arts

135. Donna Moran, Chair, Fine Arts

136. Jonathan Thayer, Associate professor, Industrial Design

137. Nick Battis, Director of Exhibitions

138. Gerald Siciliano, Associate Professor, Fine Arts

139. Cyrilla Mozenter, Adjunct Professor, Fine Arts

140. Meta Brunzema, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Architecture

141. Thad Ziolkoski, Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

142. Ann Schoenfeld, Adjunct Associate Professor, Fine Art

143. Frank Lind, professor, Fine Arts

144. Kathryn-Cullen Dupont, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

145. Howard Buchwald, Professor, Fine Arts

146. Perry Han, Director, Enrollment Management, Center for Continuing and Professional Studies

147. Lee Stout

148. Judith Nylen, Visiting Assistant Professor, Industrial Design

149. Allan Chochinov, Associate Professor, Industrial Design

150. Luis Alonso, Adjunct professor, Foundation Art

151. Luba Lukova, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Communications Design

152. Laurel Thompson, Professor, Creative Arts Therapy

153. Brian Brooks, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Foundation Art

154. Todd Ayoung, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Foundation Art

155. Katarina Posch, Associate Professor, History of Art and Design

156. Christian Hawkey, Associate Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

157. Linda Lauro-Lazin, Adjunct Associate professor, Digital Arts

158. Michael L. Kelly, Adjunct Associate Professor, Communications Design

159. Karen D’Angelo, Director of Marketing, Center for Contiuing and Professional Studies

160. Ethan Spigland, Associate Professor, Humanities and Media Studies

161. Judith Reiss, Professor Emeritus, Fine Arts

162. Robert Zakarian, Professor, Fine Arts

163. Kelly Horrigan, Adjunct Associate Professor, Fashion Design

CC:

AETNA Board of Directors

Congressman Gary Ackerman

Congressman Tim Bishop

Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congressman Jospeh Crowley

Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

Congressman Eliot Engel

Senator Kristin Gillibrand

Tom Greene, Director of Human Resources, Pratt Institute

Ruth Levin, Senior Vice President for Managed Care, Continuum Health Partners

Congressman Michael McMahon

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

Congressman Gregory Meeks

Congressman Jerrold Nadler

Congressman Charles Rangel

Senator Charles E, Schumer

Thomas Schutte, President, Pratt Institute

Congressman José Serrano

Congressman Edolphus Towns

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez

Congressman Anthony Weiner

The Daily News

The New York Post

The New York Times

Chronicle of Higher Education

Inside Higher Ed

Pratt Faculty Potentially Lose Hundreds of Doctors and Several Major Hospitals

Dear Pratt colleagues,

The UFCT would like to submit the following letter, inclusive of all faculty and administrators covered by AETNA, to AETNA expressing our displeasure at their failed negotiations with Continuum.  If you would like to have your name added to the letter, please reply with your full name and title to Suzanne Verderber, UFCT 1460 Vice President, at sverderb@pratt.edu, by July 14, 2010.

Sincerely,

The UFCT 1460 Executive Committee and Grievance Team.

Ronald A. Williams

Chairman and Chief Executive, Aetna Inc.

Hartford, CT 06156

June 26, 2010

Dear Mr. Williams,

We the undersigned are faculty members and administrators at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. The Pratt administration has chosen to subscribe to Aetna for health coverage, a situation over which we, the undersigned, have minimal control.

We were shocked and dismayed to receive notification from our Human Resources office on June 16, 2010 that Aetna and Continuum failed to renew their contract over the issue of reimbursement rates, directly affecting most of us who have, over the years, established relationships with physicians at the various major hospitals in our area that are now “out of network”: Beth Israel, Long Island College Hospital, Saint Luke’s, and New York Ear and Eye Infirmary. As medical consumers, we have been told time and time again that the most effective medical care can be achieved by establishing relationships with our doctors so that valuable time and money is not wasted bringing new doctors up to speed on our conditions,and so that our doctors gain, over time, a more accurate overview of our health. Unfortunately, this event seems to be a culmination of a long-term trend wherein doctor after doctor finds that it is no longer “worth it” to be part of Aetna’s network because Aetna’s reimbursement rates are so low.

We find it callous and irresponsible that Aetna has chosen to destroy these relationships between doctor and patient due to its refusal to meet the reimbursement demands of the medical practitioners who are part of Continuum, disrupting the medical care of thousands in the New York area. Aetna’s own website states that its 2009 revenue was a shocking 39.679 billion dollars. Surely Aetna does not stand to suffer too much from reimbursing doctors at a reasonable level, as other insurance companies who deal with Continuum have managed to do.   We find it surprising that Aetna, a company that claims in its mission statement to be dedicated to helping people achieve “health and financial security” would cause us to lose access to our doctors, or to simply pay more by going out of network. Do you, Mr. Williams, have to go “out of network” to see the doctors of your choice? We wonder whether you are affected personally by this event.

As it stands, in the eyes of many of your customers who have little direct say over their patronage of Aetna, your company appears callous, unreasonable, and unconcerned with the health care of its customers. We will be sure to express these views to the decision-makers at our institution and make them public to the media.

Sincerely,