Employees focus on salary, benefits in UM System survey

Friday, April 16, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Pay increases, along with medical premiums and retirement plans, were the top priorities for 7,000 or so employees in the University of Missouri System who completed a pay and benefits survey.

A mass e-mail sent out by Betsy Rodriguez, vice president of human resources, stated the responding employees highly value medical and retirement plans and would be willing to make trade-offs to better the programs.

The Missourian previously reported that the UM System now spends $300 million annually on employee benefits. The most expensive programs are medical, retirement and retiree medical benefits.

About 37 percent of employees responded. Most of those indicated they were satisfied with the monthly medical premium. However, younger and lower-paid employees preferred a decrease in out-of-pocket expenses for medical services. They would rather pay more for the monthly premium and get less of a benefit in another area to save on out-of-pocket costs.

More than 200 pages of employee comments were submitted along with the survey. Most comments focused on the cost of co-pays and prescriptions, along with early retirement options, according to the survey results.

Town hall meetings will be held in May and June to share results among the four campuses in the system, according to survey documents. Over the summer, focus groups will look more closely at the results. The soonest any recommendations will be implemented is January 2011.

It has been 10 years since the UM System has done a survey of this kind. 

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