The Word - 2006/05/17



The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of May 17, 2006


In response to input from members at recent meetings, CSEA's Communications Committee today rolls out a renamed Association newsletter as the first of several upcoming initiatives for the entire Association. You'll be hearing more about these new directions in upcoming issues of The Word and next week at the.


There will be a CSEA member meeting next Thursday, May 25, at 11 a.m. in a location to be confirmed.

The agenda for this 60-minute meeting will include a discussion of Work to the Rule, updates on the implications of the no-confidence vote, and a wrap-up on our Race for the Cure activity. If you would like any other item to be on the agenda, please convey that information to President Steve Abbott.

Some members have questions about and issues with Work to the Rule, so discussion of these issues will take most of the meeting. We hope you will attend and offer your insights and opinions about future directions on this issue. If you are unable to attend, please forward your views to any member of the Executive Committee or directly to the CSEA President.

In an effort to create greater opportunities for member participation and input, the Executive Committee is scheduling meetings at differing times on different days of the week. We hope that you will make an effort to attend and express your views about the directions your Association should go.


The College Health Care Committee is completing its review of health care plans for the coming year. The committee, made up of representatives of Human Resources, nonunion staff, CSEA, the Teamsters (Physical Plant) and the Fraternal Order of Police (Public Safety), is recommending that the College continue with United Health Care.

The following table shows monthly contribution by the employee and by coverage. The prices are approximate but make clear that the administration intends allow health care costs for those in Alternate Plan 2 (comparable to our coverage under our first contract) to rise to the point that employees will be forced into the Core Plan or an HSA.

Each employee will have to determine whether the additional deductibles, co-pays and risks of the Core Plan are worth absorbing. (Out-of-network treatment-if you need medical care or hospitalization while traveling, for example-could subject an employee to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.)

The fundamental issue of fairness and concern for employee welfare remains unaddressed. Leadership demands that a leader care as much about those s/he leads as about the goal s/he seeks to achieve. The administration's willingness to force employees to absorb ALL health care cost increases while also holding down employee raises, increasing student tuition and piling up millions of dollars in additional cash reserves raises important questions about maintaining and building real, meaningful human capacity within CSCC.

Proposed Medical Premiums
  July 2005 Monthy Contribution July 2005 Monthy Contribution
Alternate Plan 2
Core Plan
Alternate Plan 1 (Health Savings Account)

The committee is also recommending that the College continue with Delta Dental. There has been a change from offering two choices (Preferred or Premier) to just one - Preferred. Only 7% of the insured used Premier and it would be administratively easier (less expensive) for Delta Dental to have one program. Those in the Premier plan will experience an increase this year, but will have a higher benefit level. As part of the offer, Delta Dental is giving a 2-year rate guarantee.

Proposed Dental Premiums
  July 2005 Monthy Contribution July 2005 Monthy Contribution
Preferred becomes Preferred
Premier becomes Preferred


OEA-endorsed candidates Conni Ramser and Mark Meuser have been declared winners in the STRS Board election. Both candidates posted impressive victories winning by a large margin over the others in the race. This would not have been possible without the hard work of the candidates, local leaders and staff to inform members about the election and why Conni and Mark were the best choices to represent active teachers on the STRS Board. Thank you all!

Below are the final vote totals:

  Connie Ramser 29,043
  Mark Meuser
  Thomas Hall
  Mark Fredrick
  John Brackett

This was a key victory for OEA members and an important election during a crucial time for STRS. The two candidates have pledged to safeguard teacher retirement benefits, address the need for a dedicated revenue stream to fund retiree health care, and underscore the STRS commitment to integrity and fiscal responsibility. Meuser's and Ramser's terms of office will run from September 1, 2006, to August 31, 2010.


Results of the no-confidence vote are being tabulated this week by Marino and Associates CPA, the independent accounting firm hired to mail and collect the ballots.

We anticipate that the outcome will be final by the beginning of next week. CSEA will report the results of the faculty vote as soon as it is available. Other results will be forwarded to the appropriate leadership.

The Word is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Steve Abbott, President / x5096
Karl Rieppel, Vice President / x2500
Amy Brubaker, Secretary and Association Representative / x5068
Greg Goodhart, Treasurer / x5431
Darrell Minor, Parliamentarian / x5310
Bill Mundy, Association Representative / x5176
Dr. Jane McDowell, Association Representative / x2656 
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Dr. Wendy McCullen-Vermillion, Association Representative / x2693
Lisa Schneider, Association Representative / x5124

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