I have posted the University Faculty Senate and Senior level administrative responses to criticisms of Penn State's new Wellness Program. These will be presented publicly at the September 10, 2013 University Faculty Senate meeting to be held on the Penn State University Park campus. (e.g.,The Faculty Senate and Penn State Administrators Respond to Criticisms of the Penn State Wellness Program With My Analysis of Responses).
The newly formed Penn State Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) also has issued a Statement that I have posted below. For those interested, the Penn State Chapter of AAUP has also announced that it will host a forum, September 6, 2013 to discuss how to respond to the new wellness initiative at Penn State. This forum is open to everyone--not just AAUP members. The announcement is also set out below.
Statement of the Pennsylvania State University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors Regarding the “Take Care of Your Health” Initiative and Related Employee Benefits Issues.
If there is anything that is clear regarding Penn State’s launch of the "Take Care of Your Health" initiative, it is that the plan as announced so far has been designed and implemented without the benefit of a full, open, and honest discussion with Penn State employees and their representative bodies. In light of this situation, and in the spirit of mutual respect and collegiality that all members of the university have come to expect and deserve, we, the members of the Penn State Chapter of the American Association of University Professors strongly urge the administration to take the following actions:
1. Put an immediate stop to the implementation of the “Wellness Initiative” in its entirety, including all mandated tests, all information transfers to third parties (including WebMD and Integrated Corporate Health), and all of the projected surcharges.
2. Permanently delete all health records collected by Penn State, Highmark, WebMD, Integrated Corporate Health, and other contractors during the “Take Care of Your Health" initiative, and previously, if relevant. We also urge the university to provide a full public accounting of this process, including evidence for the deletion of these records by these parties.
3. Roll back all benefits changes for the 2013-2014 year to the levels in place during the 2013 calendar year.
4. Restore equity in the health benefits that retired members of the University Community (and their families) are entitled to on the basis of their years of service.
5. Commit itself to a complete overhaul of the processes through which changes in health benefits are designed and implemented, in favor of a truly transparent and collaborative model of shared governance involving the entire university community and its representatives, including the full University Faculty Senate, the University Staff Advisory Council, and the Penn State Chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
6. Commit itself, more broadly, to a robust, university-wide policy of shared governance in all matters relevant to the mission of the university, in free and open consultation with the aforementioned representative bodies, and in conformance with “best practice” standards as developed by the national American Association of University Professors.
Issued on behalf of the Penn State Chapter of American Association of University Professors by its Executive Committee, Friday, August 30, 2013.
Brian A. Curran, President
Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Vice President
Lee Samuel Finn, Secretary-Treasurer
Take Back Our Health Care
Idea Forum with the AAUP
Friday September 6, 12:00-2:30pm
Osmond sub-basement S5
For many of us who work at the 24 campuses at Penn State, the latest healthcare initiative that administration has instituted was "the last straw." We think it's wrong to force people to choose between privacy-breaking biometric screening and a $1,200 fine. There is so much that is wrong with this plan, including the fact that it might cost more money than it saves. There are so many smart people across Penn State, why is it that the process doesn’t give us a real voice?
In response to the healthcare initiative, the Penn State chapter of AAUP (American Association of University Professors) is holding an idea forum. We invite faculty, staff, retirees, students, and families from all campuses to share ideas about how to respond to this initiative. With 24 campuses, we have a lot of work to do and many places to do it in! Please join us to discuss how we might “take back our healthcare.”
The Take Back Our Health Care idea forum will take place Friday, September 6th from 12:00-2:30pm at Osmond S5, in the sub-basement of the Osmond building (southeast corner) at University Park. Osmond is located near the HUB parking structure, where you can pay by the hour. You can ask the attendant at the parking kiosk for directions to Osmond.
AAUP represents faculty, graduate students and academic professionals with comprehensive policies that address a variety of work-related issues including discrimination, ethics, academic freedom, and contingent faculty (see: http://www.aaup.org).
The time to speak is now. We hope to see you September 6!
Bring a friend. Share widely.