Impact on benefits
THIS PAGE IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THIS FAQ DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE, AND EACH READER IS ENCOURAGED TO MAKE HIS/HER OWN DILIGENT INQUIRY WITH RESPECT TO HIS/HER OWN CIRCUMSTANCES.
1. If I terminate my union membership, will I lose valuable drug, dental and vision / hearing and insurance benefits I now receive from the PSC-CUNY Welfare Fund?
No. Termination of union membership does not affect a CUNY faculty member’s entitlement to the benefits obtained from collective bargaining agreements, such as: Prescription Drug, Dental, and Vision / Hearing benefits. All members of the bargaining unit are eligible. Resignation from the union affects neither eligibility for benefits nor the amount of these benefits granted in collective bargaining. Union dues do not support these programs; they are paid for by the State/City, and administered by the Welfare Fund for the benefit of all members of the collective bargaining unit.
If you purchased catastrophic medical insurance through NYSUT within the last few years, you may have to convert the policy. However, the Welfare Fund does not subsidize or pay any part of the premiums for these policies. Please see attached clarifications. We will update as more information is received. See letter to Steve London and below summary.
2. If I terminate my union membership, will it affect my eligibility for the catastrophic medical insurance policy, the group life policy, or the long-term care policies?
It depends. The Welfare Fund does not subsidize or pay any part of the premiums for these policies. The Welfare Fund merely acts as a “facilitator” of insurance coverage. The terms of and eligibility for these “facilitated” policies depends on the insurance policy, the carrier, and the time the policy was first purchased. Faculty members who have these policies can write to the Welfare Fund to determine the effect of union resignation on your particular polic(ies). The e-mail address is Communications@PSCCunywf.org. You can also ask the carrier for a copy of the policy, and ask the carrier about similar policies it offers to the non-union public.
These kinds of insurance policies are widely available in the marketplace at low prices. Union dues are 1.05% of a full-time employee’s salaries (not tax deductible).
For more on catastrophic insurance, see below.
3. Specifically regarding catastrophic insurance, if I terminate my union membership, do I lose my catastrophic medical insurance policy?
There have been several iterations of catastrophic coverage over the years. All of them constitute coverage which is paid IN FULL by the members; that is, neither the union nor any of its affiliates purchases catastrophic coverage for the members, rather the members pay the entire cost on their own -- the PSC has merely facilitated the purchase.
State Law provides you with the option of continuing to pay insurance premiums and retain your catastrophic major medical insurance policy even after resigning from the union. Please see the clause below and check your policy for this language, which states that you have 60 days to notify PSC-CUNY that you intend to continue paying premiums on the policy. Be sure to follow the instructions specified here.
Also see the following explanation in a letter from Steve London to Prof. Seth Lipner