Health insurance, retirement and education were
some of the hot topics discussed during a town hall
meeting with Chancellor Marye Anne Fox Tuesday at
the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.
The goal of the meeting was to talk about providing
a great environment for employees, medical school
students and nursing students and to discuss improving
patient care, Fox told the audience. “You
area a key part of UCSD,” she said. Fox answered
employee’s questions and addressed their concerns.
Chancellor Marye Anne Fox answers
questions during the Hillcrest town hall meeting.
to view the video on September
Marinel Weaver, a clinical social worker, said she has been faced with rising co-pays and is worried about benefit costs in the future.
Health care costs are increasing everywhere, Fox replied. UC is currently trying to find health care providers that will offer similar or better services at lower rates and hopes to stop or even reverse cost increases, Fox added.
Employees also asked about the future of the UC
Retirement Plan. UC employees haven’t contributed
to the plan since the early 1990s. At that time,
UCRP had more than enough money to support itself,
according to the UC Office of the President. But
the university was still paying retirees. Without
contributions, it was only a matter of time before
that surplus went away. That tipping point would
be reached in a few years, Fox said. But waiting
until then would mean much higher contributions.
Employees will start contributing a low percentage
of their income in July 2007, the chancellor said.
The current mandatory contribution to the Defined
Contribution retirement plan will be redirected
to UCRP, so employees won’t see a reduction
in take-home pay, said Deputy Vice Chancellor David
Meanwhile, Roger Caddell, a hospital assistant, asked whether the university could offer staff education programs at discounted prices. Career development funds are available to help pay for classes, Chancellor Fox said. Money is available in a campuswide fund, overseen by Equal Opportunity Director Paula Doss, said Vice Chancellor Steven Relyea. Opportunities include mentoring and internships. Additional information is available at:
The staff association also offers scholarships, Fox said.
Richard Ford, the director of respiratory care,
asked whether there are any plans to provide tuition
discounts for employees’ children. He added
he has two children who are UCSD students. “Personally,
I think that would be a fabulous thing to do,”
the chancellor replied. But so far, the Regents
have not been convinced that employees should be
treated differently than other taxpayers, she said.
The state already is pitching in at least $10,000
to $15,000 for each UC student, she pointed out.
She also said the university can work with employees
to design a financial aid plan for their children.