Minutes from Union Executive Committee Meeting

Present – Rick Applin, Charles Cassara, Peter Cokkinias, Marti Epstein, Rich Grudzinski, Danny Harrington, Michael Heyman, Jeff Perry, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, Mike Scott, Will Silvio,

Guests - John Eldert, Phil Lima, and Judy Heaton

  1. Rich made a motion to accept the minutes from the previous meeting as amended and update the website. Peter seconded and the vote was unanimous to accept the minutes.
  2. John Eldert, Phil Lima, and Judy Heaton are here to share information on benefits. John spoke about his experience and health care. The Boston consortium is 15 schools in the Boston area that are working together to address many similar issues. Managing healthcare takes a collaboration of efforts. With our 1600 insured members at Berklee it is very difficult to negotiate with BCBS or Harvard Pilgrim, we are too small. The consortium schools are looking at binding together to have group insurance, to shape and design a program that works for our institution. We could save 4-6% in our premiums. Health costs are escalating each year, we need to find a way to manage it. Investing in our health is a better way to save, this takes education, it may take more time, but it will pay off in the long run.
  3. Mike: what are the numbers that would impress BCBS? 1600 isn’t enough, what is enough. John: the consortium is around 60,000 now, with changes in student health insurance, we could grow to 100, 000 to 350,000 very quickly. Phil: the power of the numbers is in the expense, our annual cost is around 8 million; the aggregated cost of the consortium members is around 500 million. John: other possible changes, BU has its own medical facility, if we get them involved we could change the health care model, i.e.: our local people may have access to their facilities. 
  4. Phil: there is a long-term care program study currently going on, we will be sharing this information and options to Berklee in the fall. John: downstream, we could make those costs cheaper as the consortium model is explored. Long-term care products are drying up, if we have our own model to offer, it will be a very good thing.
  5. Managing our health, the bottom line of health care costs is health! It is all about education, sharing information, and increasing awareness. Of our 1600 members, approximately 800 get annual physicals, we need to know more about our health if we are going to stay healthy. What can we do for faculty and staff like the “Live Well” program for students? We have started “Healthy You.” We need to get the word out and share tools with faculty to get and stay healthy!