On Monday evening, the SEA announced that Executive Branch members had ratified a new contract with the state. With the new contract comes changes, and many of you are undoubtedly wondering “what comes next?”
Before we begin, the informational page we built regarding the contract is still available here. If you have general questions about the contract, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the SEA Office at 271-3411 or 800-852-3737. If you have a health benefit-related question, you can contact Chris Porter directly at email@example.com or 271-3411, ext. 134.
When do raises go into effect?
The contract includes a total raise of 6.12 percent, which will come in three increments over the next 19 months. Also included here is a $300 payment in lieu of retroactive pay. Here’s how the raises break down, and when they will become effective.
You should receive the $300 payment in lieu of retroactive pay in the Dec. 13 paycheck.
You should see the 1.5 percent raise beginning in the Dec. 27 paycheck.
2.25 percent raise effective July 11, 2014, which you’ll first see in the Aug. 8, 2014 paycheck.
2.25 percent raise effective Jan. 9, 2015, which you’ll first see in the Feb. 6, 2015 paycheck.
When do we get our health benefit savings incentives?
The contract includes two health benefit savings incentive payments of $300 (one per calendar year of the contract) to help mitigate the impact of deductibles. You will receive the first incentive payment in your first paycheck in January 2014; the second payment will come in your first paycheck in January 2015.
When do health care changes go into effect?
All health care changes are effective Jan. 1. You can find a summary of health care changes here.
When is open enrollment?
Soon! Open enrollment begins this Friday, Nov. 22, and runs through Dec. 6. This is the time you can change or waive health benefits, add or remove dependents to your plan, and arrange contributions to a flexible spending account. You can find out more about open enrollment (and access forms) here.
Are we switching prescription drug providers?
Yes, as of Jan. 1, Express Scripts will provide pharmacy benefits instead of CVS/Caremark. Most of your pharmacy information will transfer automatically, but some may need to take action. For that reason, the state has provided a checklist that will help you keep on top of the transition. You can learn more about Express Scripts in this related story.
Do we still get $200 for taking Anthem’s Health Assessment Tool (HAT)?
Yes, that benefit is still in place. Upon yearly completion of the Health Assessment Tool on Anthem.com, $200 will be placed in a health reimbursement account for you to use to pay deductibles and other medical expenses. This money must be used in that calendar year, though – it does not roll over.
Are there other ways we can earn money to cover health expenses?
Yes, the contract gives you the ability to earn up to $300 each year if you participate in the new health promotion program and do things like get a physical or a flu shot, or have your blood pressure taken. This money will be placed in a health reimbursement account, though we are not sure if it will be the same account used for the HAT. When we have that level of detail, we will update you. Unlike the money from the HAT, anything you earn in 2014 through these new health promotions can be rolled over and used until the end of 2015.
What is happening with sub-unit bargaining?
Sub-unit bargaining was put on hold while the state and master bargaining team worked on the master contract, but sub-unit bargaining teams are preparing to head back to the table. That could happen as soon as the week of Dec. 8, so if you have concerns that should be dealt with in sub-unit bargaining, be sure to speak with your field representative.