Today GAU, along with the Faculty Association, the Non-Tenure Faculty Association, and the Association of Civil Service Employees, protested outside Anthony Hall today for better health care for graduate assistants (and students more generally). The current health care plan excludes coverage for preexisting conditions for the first year, does not offer coverage for dependents, has a $1000 maximum out of pocket, no vision, no dental, or no prescription drug coverage. This is a plan that is not comparable with other student health plans across the state or even SIU-Edwardsville:
Illinois Universities Health Insurance Plans [Excel Spreadsheet]
The GAU bargaining team moved into a bargaining session with the administration’s team at 2pm following the protest. There was a frank and open discussion about the quality of health care at SIUC and potential options we could explore, including the removal of preexisting condition exclusions, coverage for partners and dependents, as well as potential university compliance with with federal regulations under the Federal Affordable Care Act.
Unions picket for grad assistants’ health care [The Southern]
Students push for health care overhaul [WPSD Local Six]
GAU Health Care Picket at SIUC [Youtube – The Southern]
GA Health Care [Deo volente]
GAU is not the only group fighting health care and insurance battles in Illinois right now:
Lawmakers OK 90-day health insurance plans for state workers [State Journal-Register]
Confusion grows for state retirees, workers [Pantagraph]
Health insurance vote impacts TRIP, higher education members [IEA]
I’ll update with more information about the state employee health care changes as I have it.