The university recently sent an email to employees that included below:
Per CMS – The premium levels listed in the benefits flyer are for FY 2016. Employees should be aware that these premiums may be subject to an increase, pending the outcome of an ongoing legal dispute between the State and AFSCME and that this premium increase <may be applied retroactively to July 1, 2016. See the Special Notice on Page 5 of the CMS flyer.

What this is referring to is the current fight between Governor Rauner and AFSCME to double state employees contributions to health insurance. If the Governor is successful, this could be applied retroactively to July 2016 (even if the court decision comes later in 2016 or in 2017).  Currently, state employees pay 19% and Rauner wants to increase that to 40%. The State of Illinois currently pays pension, health care and other benefits for state employees. The rate for this is ~44% of your annual salary. These are often referred to as “Payments on behalf of” the University and are separate from the state aid to the University. So, for example, the 600 million approved recently by the legislature, doesn’t cover this (and is only about 30% of last year’s state funding).

Basically, take the amount on your earnings statement withheld for health insurance and double it.  Depending on what insurance you have (and whether you have dependants enrolled), effectively this means a 3-10% pay cut applied retroactively to July 2016.

Our union, along with other labor groups, are carefully monitoring this situation.


Through the Office of Governmental Relations, the University has asked that the State reconsider its position to collect retroactive premiums and instead only begin charging any new premiums after a second Benefit Choice period. This would be after employees could consider the full range of new plans and any associated new costs.