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Health Benefits for Part-Time Faculty (October 27, 2007)

From an email sent by Kye Carbone to the membership on October 27, 2007:

Dear UFCT Members:

The Office of Human Resources is making a genuine effort of notifying all Pratt employees of the ‘Open Enrollment' period which runs from: October 22nd to November 9th. The Open Enrollment period was announced on the web-mail system and notices were sent to individual homes. Moreover, HR has notified the UFCT directly, the following communiqué from Lisa Frankel who is the Benefits Administrator for HR: "Please encourage your membership to read and act on this benefits change-up/renewalperiod, which is running through November 9th. If someone is unable to get all the materials taken care of before that date, they can still reach out to me or Kisha Henry, Benefits Coordinator, and we will work with the deadline. Thanks for your assistance in this matter."

On the specific matter of health benefits for the part-time faculty, the UFCT has not surprisingly, been receiving a number of inquiries. As most agree, this issue is of critical importance to the faculty and to this Union. We have been in direct discussion with the Pratt Administration for over two years, and the issue is front and center in our current contract negotiations. With his permission, I am copying here, a response Tom Greene (HR Director) gave to a ‘benefits eligible' part-timer who was inquiring about the availability of health insurance for the part-time faculty:

"We are currently in negotiations with the faculty union and are hoping to resolve medical coverage for PT faculty among many other issues. At the moment however there is no change that has been agreed to. Assuming we reach agreement on it eventually, PT faculty will then be notified of the benefit and the opportunity to enroll. So you won't miss anything during Open Enrollment."

Stay tuned!

For now though, please read the attached document carefully, there is something here for everyone.



Here is the attachment to which Kye refers:


From the Office of Human Resources…

This year's Open Enrollment season will be held from

October 22 through November 9, 2007.

What is Open Enrollment?

Open Enrollment is a period during which eligible subscribers may enroll in (or in some cases, transfer between) various benefit programs provided by Pratt Institute.

Who is eligible?

Benefits-eligible employees (i.e., your appointment at Pratt comes with a benefits package) can sign up and/or make changes to their benefits options while part-time faculty and staff can sign up for a supplemental retirement plan.

What choices are available?

The plans that are available are:

medical (except for members of 32B-J),

transportation reimbursement (TRIP),

flexible-spending accounts for dependent care (DCFSA), and

tax-deferred retirement savings programs with TIAA-CREF.

Employee participation in any of these programs is on a pre-tax basis.

Employees already participating in the Pratt Institute Retirement Plan also may sign up to temporarily opt out of making their contributions until they earn $8,000 in salary for 2008, $12,000 for clerical and technical members of local 153(the $8K / $12K Exemption), or to make additional non-matched contributions to their account.

Do I have to do anything?

Yes, if you:


– want to enroll in a medical plan or change the medical plan you are enrolled in

-want to add dependents to, or remove dependents from, your medical coverage


-want to sign up for the $8K / $12K exemption

-are making additional contributions to your retirement savings (Supplemental or

Additional Regular Annuity) and want to continue without interruption into 2008

-want to sign up for, or resume contributions to, a Supplemental Retirement Annuity

-want to sign up for, or resume additional contributions to, your Pratt Retirement Annuity

commuter and/or dependent care benefits

-are enrolled in the TRIP and/or DCFSA plan(s) and want to continue without interruption into 2008

-want to enroll in the TRIP and/or DCFSA plan(s)

No, if you are not making any changes to your benefits.

What happens if I don't sign up?

For some benefit offerings, you will not be able to enroll until next year's open enrollment season. There may be exceptions during the plan year (Jan 1 – Dec 31) if there is a change in status (e.g., loss of other medical coverage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.).

How do I get more information?

Information will be made available upon request. You may make your request for open enrollment materials by e-mail to or via phone at (718) 636-3787. Of course, walk-ins are always welcomed.

Who will be available to help me?

The benefits staff of Pratt Institute will be available to assist you during this time. Staff members will be at the Pratt Manhattan location on the following dates and times:

-October 30th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the SILS conference room (room 610)

-November 8th from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the SILS conference room (room 610) to coincide with TIAA-CREF (see below)

A representative from TIAA-CREF will be available to provide information and answer questions:

-Brooklyn: October 29th from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Pi Shop (Pizza Gallery)

-Manhattan: November 8th from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 702


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