14 March 2016

Dental Benefits Update


3. Dental Insurance
Previously, there was no contribution for our bargaining-unit members for dental insurance. Beginning this year, there will be a 5% contribution to dental insurance, increasing to 20% in 2016. The 5% ANNUAL contribution amounts are as follows: single coverage -- $19.80; two- person -- $38.54; and family -- $70.07. 

Download the PDF of the Preliminary Outline of the Terms of the Tentative Agreement.

Message from President Charles Parrish:

Dear Colleagues:

The increase in the contributions for dental coverage has surprised everyone, except for those few who consulted the Collective Bargaining Agreement that we negotiated in 2013.  Under Article XII, Compensation, the following language was adopted:

E. Dental Insurance

"The University shall provide dental care coverage as presently described in the University’s dental care contract with Delta Dental of Michigan to eligible enrolled members of the bargaining unit. Members of the bargaining unit who participate in this plan shall be required to make a contribution equal to five percent (5%) of the premium rate for the coverage selected effective immediately upon ratification. Effective March 20, 2016, members of the bargaining unit who participate in this plan shall be required to make a contribution equal to twenty percent (20%) of the premium rate for the coverage selected. Beginning January 1, 2000, the annual cap on benefits will be one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500)."

This was negotiated by our team and the University's team as part of the Final Settlement (2/26/13), which included the 2.5% salary increase for each year of the Agreement through 2021.  The Final Settlement Summary, which was distributed prior to the contract vote, is attached for your convenience, and also on the website .

The increase is not insignificant, but in the context of the overall settlement, the leadership of the Union thought it to be a reasonable compromise in view of the favorable overall settlement.

A comparison to costs of dental coverage at our sibling institutions is enlightening, if not much of a justification for a surprise increase.  For example, at UMich, the monthly contribution for their highest level of dental coverage is 50% of the total premium rate, which for a 2-adult family with children comes to $71.98 monthly/$35.99 twice monthly.

We apologize for not better preparing the members of the bargaining unit for the increase that takes place on 3/20/2016.

In Solidarity,


Charles J. Parrish
President, AAUP-AFT, Local 6075, WSU Chapter
Vice President-at-Large, AFT Michigan
President, AAUP Michigan Conference
Member-at-Large, National Council, AAUP
5057 Woodward Avenue, Suite 3301
Detroit, MI  48202