In his president’s report to the regents yesterday, President Gamble made a couple of comments that should be clarified to staff at the University of Alaska.
President Gamble gave a “shout out to the JHCC” for their difficult work on our health care benefit that “affects all employees at UA.” We certainly agree theirs is a difficult job and hope that respectfully disagreeing with their decisions is seen as just that. He went on to point out that often the “cynical thinking on blogs” is a result of not having all the information. As this is the only blog communicating out to UA staff across the state, we are concerned that he is referring to this one. We would like to point out that most of the content here either came from his administration or was in fact approved by him. What should be most important to him is that your comments are genuine. That the impacts on your morale and income are real. That the real impact of his actions are not in the numbers but on his employees.
President Gamble also stated that the Joint Health Care Committee (JHCC) represents all staff at UA. A more accurate statement would be that all parties are represented just not equally. According to their website the JHCC has 16 members and 2 of them represent staff (non-union represented, non-executive). The last official numbers given to Staff Alliance on the number of non-represented staff it represents was over 2,700. Staff Alliance represents over 2,700 employees of approximately 4,400 and has 2 votes on a committee of 16. The reason given for this is that JHCC is a union or collectively bargained committee and staff are non – union. This is also why the JHCC meetings are closed to the public.
We urge you to visit this blog regularly, spread what you read and make comments. We also encourage you to give us specific data for example, whether or not you are faculty or staff or actual costs to you that proposed changes would have.