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Tri-council Airs Concerns With Vice President of Finance and Administration

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
November 12, 2008

Representatives of the PAT, OS and EE councils met with Dick Cannon, vice president of finance and administration, on Nov. 5 to discuss health insurance costs and the disparity between premiums paid by faculty and staff.

Cannon told council members he wanted to see what he could do to close what he referred to as the fairness gap and that he is prepared to be their advocate.

He also noted that, given what it costs USNH to provide health insurance, there is no reason employees should not be getting the best care in New England. He added that he would like to build a database to show how USNH's $40 million contribution is spent.

Councilors told Cannon they have received numerous communications from constituents who are angry that the employee cost of health insurance is not equal among all UNH workers.

Several council representatives referred to unionizing as a last resort in solving the problem and asked what an alternative next step could be, saying a message from the administration that measures are being explored would buoy morale.

Cannon noted the idea of cost shifting is the least desirable strategy he would like to see used.

A $500 health reimbursement account that goes into effect in January is one step that has been taken to help mitigate the escalating cost of health insurance. Eligible employees who are not under a collective bargaining agreement will have the money available to them as of Jan. 1, 2009. 

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