NYU’s Fall 2012 unilateral cuts to our health benefits highlighted the cost of the administration’s ongoing denial of RA/TA/GA collective bargaining rights and was also one of the many reasons more than 1,250 graduate employees signed our open letter urging NYU to respect our democratic union rights. If our benefits were secured in a collective bargaining agreement, NYU could not make these types of cuts without our consent. The administration made these cuts even as it predicted major cost savings to NYU for student insurance plans in the coming years, choosing instead to impose dramatic healthcare cost increases onto us, the graduate employees who help make NYU a world-class university, including:
- 150% increase in maximum out-of-pocket expenses, up to as much as $10,000 per year;
- 33% increase in the annual cost for a grad employee to insure dependents, to $4,460 for a child and $10,029 for a spouse/partner; and
- New or increased co-pays for prescription drugs, physical therapy and other services.
While NYU did incorporate plan improvements mandated by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA “) this year, such as better access to free contraception and free preventive care, the administration used these improvements to justify cutting other benefits in Fall 2012. They also lobbied successfully at the state and federal levels for policy that could allow NYU and other wealthy universities to avoid complying with ACA in the future. Getting around ACA could jeopardize one of its key principles, access to affordable child and spouse/partner coverage, a benefit that has gotten more and more prohibitively expensive for most NYU graduate employees.
Your colleagues in GSOC/UAW