The GWU Faculty Association is pleased that the Faculty Senate, at least partly in response to the petition that we organized this fall, has taken up the issue of the alarming increases in health insurance costs to GW employees. We are encouraged by the thrust of a resolution proposed for the next senate meeting, but we are also concerned that, as it currently stands, it allows for a decrease in the salary merit pool to cover some of these rising costs.
Our petition characterized the 52% increase in the amount GW faculty pay for health care under our insurance plans over the past two years (from $9,800,000 in 2012 to $14,900,000 this year) as a hidden salary cut. We were not, of course, demanding that this hidden salary cut be replaced with an open salary cut.
The GWU Faculty Association will not normally take positions on specific senate resolutions. However, because a resolution on health insurance that will come up at Friday’s meeting is at least in part a response to our petition, we want to make clear that any resolution that reduces employees’ salary merit pool in exchange for an increase in university contributions to our health insurance is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of our petition.
We hope that, at the Senate Meeting on Friday, May 9, the resolution will be amended so that it does not offer any cuts to our salary merit pool.