Georgia college workers push for lower health care costs

Thursday, October 03, 2019 @ 7:30 AM
By Eric Stirgus

Employees at five University System of Georgia schools hit the streets on their campuses Wednesday and called colleagues to seek support for their demands that the system rescind its plan to increase worker health care costs next year.

The state’s Board of Regents, which oversees University System operations, voted in September to raise employee health care costs. The board also approved a monthly $100 surcharge on working spouses of system employees who choose not to use their own employer’s health care plan. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on the surcharge last month.

System officials have said they need to increase costs to cover a 6% increase, about $47 million, in the health care budget this fiscal year, which began July 1. 

The group, the United Campus Workers of Georgia, said in a press release the health care cost increases surpass employee merit increases approved earlier this year. 

 “University System of Georgia says it is responding to climbing costs,” the group said in its press release. “However, passing those costs along to employees was a choice. Employees are being asked to shoulder a disproportionate burden of these costs.”