Leaders of the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) issued this response to Gov. Lamont’s proposal to reduce future pension benefits:
“State budgets now and into the future include nearly $2 billion a year in savings provided by state employee union members through three savings agreements negotiated over the past decade. By agreeing to hard wage freezes, reduced pension and healthcare benefits, higher employee contributions and higher premium share costs, our members have done far more than their fair share to improve Connecticut’s fiscal health.
“Our latest agreement in 2017 will save taxpayers $25 billion over the next 20 years. That’s an average of $17,500 per state employees to help close chronic budget deficits that imperil vital public services.
“Meanwhile, our union members, like all working and middle-class families, pay an effective local tax rate nearly double what Connecticut’s richest few get away with paying.
“To be clear; we will not be part of asking for still more sacrifices from state employees, who have already given so much for the people they serve.”
“We will, however, continue working with the Lamont Administration and the General Assembly on “win-win” solutions for achieving efficiency and that will benefit everyone. Additionally, we will continue fighting for a fair budget that empowers all to thrive together here in Connecticut.”
ebenson February 20th, 2019
Posted In: SEBAC
If you were a participant in the Alternate Retirement Program (ARP) as of September 2010, you should have received a letter from the Retirement Division with regard to the SEBAC ARP Grievance Award. All employees who received the letter will need to complete the SEBAC ARP Grievance Award transfer form (CO-994a), regardless of electing to transfer or not. Other helpful information, links and FAQs can be found here.
ebenson October 9th, 2018
Posted In: Retirement, SEBAC
Through your Connecticut healthcare benefits, you can now compare costs for medical services and earn cash rewards for being a “smart shopper.”
Register by visiting VitalsSmartShopper.com or call 1.844.328.1579. When your doctor recommends a medical procedure (i.e., colonoscopy, mammogram, surgery), visit the website or call to search for a high quality, lower cost option in your area. You can verify the amount of the cash reward and 4-6 weeks after the procedure, you will receive a check in the mail.
This program allows you to be informed about the costs of your procedures and you benefit from the savings if you make a more cost-effective choice.
ebenson September 20th, 2018
Posted In: Healthcare, SEBAC
Seven years after the Retirement Service Division asked the IRS for a private letter ruling on the SEBAC ARP Grievance Award (SAG Award), the IRS is in the process of agreeing that the implementation of the SAG Award will not adversely affect the tax-qualified status of the affected plans.
What is this about?
Allegations were made by some higher education employees that they were “steered” by their employer into participating in the Alternate Retirement Plan (ARP). SEBAC filed a grievance which progressed to arbitration and on September 22, 2010, an award was issued. The SAG Award provided that “all ARP members shall be given the one time opportunity to make their irrevocable choice to either remain in ARP or transfer to the State Employee Retirement System (SERS).”
As mentioned, the implementation was delayed because of the IRS involvement.
Who does this apply to?
All ARP member in higher education who were on active payroll on September 22, 2010 including individuals who have since retired. It does not apply to anyone who has already elected to transfer from ARP to the Hybrid Retirement Plan.
I qualify; what are my choices?
ARP member choices under the SAG Award will be:
- Remain in ARP; or
- Transfer from ARP to Hybrid per the 2011 SEBAC Agreement as of the implementation date; or
- Participate in SERS on a prospective basis as of the implementation dates; or
- Participate in SERS on a prospective basis as of the implementation date and purchase service credit for past service in ARP.
Please note that transfer into SERS may be only for Tier II or Tier IIA.
What dates are important for this process?
- August 1, 2018 is the deadline to submit a request for a salary anomaly determination.
- All salary anomaly determinations must be resolved no later than September 1, 2018.
- The 90 day window to elect your choice will be from September 14, 2018-December 14, 2018.
- January 18, 2019 will be the date of implementation.
How do I find out more information?
The Retirement Division will be holding several informational presentations at campus locations in April and May. Please review the information provided by the OSC here
The 4Cs will continue to share information about the SAG Award implementation. There is also more information available on the Comptroller’s page here.
ebenson April 5th, 2018
Posted In: SAG Award, SEBAC
You may have already been notified, but we wanted to make sure that you heard that the pension deduction increases will be seen in the February 2nd paycheck. The increase was effective on October 1, 2017 but the Comptroller’s Office was not able to implement the change until now.
SEBAC provided the following question and answer about this increase:
Question: What additional percentage will be taken out of my paycheck this fiscal year to make up for 6 pay-period delay in the 1.5% pension deduction increase?
Answer: With a caveat, we can give the percentage. The caveat is that the money is computed individually, so that people who receive different amounts each week (based on part-time schedule, overtime, etc…) owe 1.5% of what they actually got paid during those 6 check dates. Since there will be 12 pay periods to collect that 1.5%, the Plan will collect 6/12ths of that or .75% every week, but that will match up to exactly .75% of current earnings only for people who make the same amount bi-weekly every weekly check. For each employee, what will actually be deducted each pay period is 1/12th of what they owe for the 6 pay periods where the 1.5% deduction was missed. The deduction will return to its current amount at the end of this fiscal year.
ebenson January 18th, 2018
Posted In: Retirement, SEBAC
While we certainly want to share our warmest wishes for a prosperous 2018 for you and your family, we’re also reaching out today with an important heads-up. Late in December, Republican legislative leaders began circulating false claims about the labor cost savings produced by the agreements you and your colleagues ratified last summer.
To be clear, our agreements are legal and binding, and any such call to “re-open” talks would be little more than a deceptive political stunt. As union leaders, we have no intention of renegotiating the master agreement covering pensions and health benefits through 2027 or individual contracts covering wages and working conditions for five years.
Instead, we’re demanding elected leaders make better choices to close budget shortfalls than shifting more of the burden to working families or cutting vital public services. One such way would be to ask the beneficiaries of recently passed federal tax cuts to do their part for Connecticut in 2018.
Regardless of what politicians may attempt, we’re ready to fight forward in 2018. To defend our past gains and secure a better life for all working people, that means demanding an end to the politics as usual that has repeatedly failed our state.
ebenson January 10th, 2018
Posted In: Political Action, SEBAC
For those on Medicare, the transition to Medicare Advantage will take place on January 1, 2018. To answer questions, United Healthcare has prepared information, which can be viewed here. If you are a retiree and are unable to attend an informational session, please make sure to review their Powerpoint Presentation.
ebenson December 6th, 2017
Posted In: SEBAC
As part of the 2017 SEBAC Agreement, some changes were made to healthcare to save money for the State while continuing to provide a high level of care for our members.
What were the changes?
- Tiered Provider Networks (Preferred Providers) waive the current $15 co-pay for primary care providers and specialists who have been found to provide high quality, cost-effective care.
- For the Smart Shopper Program, there are currently 9 medical procedures (Colonoscopy, Hip Replacement, Knee Surgery, Spinal Surgery (spinal fusion anterior/posterior), Shoulder Surgery (arthroscopy), Sigmoidoscopy,
Hysterectomy/Hysteroscopy, and Upper GI) for which rebates will be made available to members based on data showing these procedures are provided in a way that is cost-effective and reduces secondary risks like hospital readmission, hospital-acquired infection, etc.
- Site of Service is the name for the new network structure for outpatient laboratory services and diagnostic imaging (blood work, urine tests, stool tests, x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, etc.). Plan data has shown tremendous variation in the amount the Plan is charged for outpatient diagnostic tests such as blood tests, MRI, and CAT scans, even though the reading of those results is by the same doctors. To encourage the use of the reasonably priced labs, about 60% of labs and imaging centers will be designated preferred labs and will continue to be 100% covered by the Plan.
These changes are starting to be implemented, so below please find links to Preferred Providers, Site of Service, & Smart Shopper for your insurance:
(there is also a link to a provider lookup tool within this link as well as a listing of all tier 1 providers and preferred site of service facilities)
- United (Look for a “Preferred”/Tier 1 provider by clicking the Local (Tri-State) Network Provider Search link, and then click on “Find a Physician or Facility.” In your search results, look for 2 full blue hearts.)
- Site of Service
ebenson October 26th, 2017
Posted In: Healthcare, SEBAC
As part of the SEBAC Agreement, as of Oct. 1, 2017, some changes have been implemented to the state’s available health plans.
- Avoid costs for lab work and imaging services in Connecticut: Pay nothing when you see an in-network preferred provider for outpatient lab work, diagnostic x-rays and/or high-cost imaging services like MRIs, CT and PET scans. For tests performed at Non-Preferred in-network labs or imaging centers, you’ll pay 20% of the cost. If you are in the POS Plan, you’ll pay 40% of the cost for out-of-network tests. To find a Preferred provider, visit www.Athem.com/statect or www.welcometouhc.com/stateofct.
- Avoid costs for primary care physicians and certain specialists in Connecticut. Pay nothing when you see an in-network preferred primary care physician (PCP) or specialist for one or more of ten medical specialties (including OB/GYN, cardiology, gastroenterology). The current $15 copay will be waived when you see a State of Connecticut “preferred provider.” To find a Preferred Provider, visit www.Anthem.com/statect or www.oxhp.com/stateofct.
- The list of covered drugs – or “formulary” – for the prescription drug plan will change. If one or more of your current prescriptions will be affected by this change, you should have received a letter from CVS/Caremark in September with information on how to switch to a therapeutically equivalent drug.
- Prescription drug tiers for non-HEP drugs. The current generic drug copay will be split into two tiers: Preferred generic and Non-Preferred generic. New copays: Preferred generic: $5; Non-Preferred generic: $10; Preferred brand name: $25; Non-Preferred brand name: $40; no change to HEP copays.
- Emergency Room Copay for non-emergencies will cost $250. In certain circumstances, including actual emergencies or you’re admitted to the hospital, your copay will be waived. Find the ER Copay Waiver Form here.
ebenson October 12th, 2017
Posted In: Healthcare, SEBAC
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The 4Cs has heard from many people through our above poll, chapter meetings, and individual emails, and furlough days remains the top question about our contract implementation for full-timers (note: part-time employees are not required to take furlough days).
Taking furlough days is similar to taking a personal leave day. You can take them whenever you want with the prior approval of your supervisor. Also, like a personal leave day, there is nothing preventing someone from taking a half furlough day.
For faculty, it is encouraged that the furlough day does not interrupt the students’ scheduled classes; however, if you are able to obtain class coverage (without costs to the college) or schedule another activity for the students, AND you have the prior approval of your supervisor, there is nothing preventing you from taking that as a furlough day. For example, if you assigned a take home examination in lieu of class and your department chair approved, it would be acceptable to take a furlough day.
Colleges cannot mandate a furlough day. For staff, that means they cannot require you to take the day after Thanksgiving if the college is normally open. For faculty, it means that the college cannot mandate that one of the eight “college days” is a faculty furlough day.
Because the furlough days are being charged to the 4Cs grievance/equity contract account, you will not see a reduction in pay.
ebenson September 15th, 2017
Posted In: Contract, SEBAC