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300 Words

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Over the next few months a number of wage and benefits items will be rolled out that will likely affect each of you. Please read this carefully (and the inevitable other emails, mailings etc.).  We’re going to start early talking about the potential changes and the steps you need to take – don’t glaze over (:

At the top of the list…as you know there was no pay increase for 2016 – 17, yet. That will change in early December.  Unless we have another unpredictable event like no payment from the State, full-time and part-time staff will receive a 2% increase. In addition, we will be implementing new federal requirements from FLSA – Fair Labor Standards Act.  The FLSA is the national law that tells employers who must get overtime pay and how much an employee needs to make to be exempt from overtime.  There are about 85 people affected and if you are one of them, you will be or have been contacted individually by your supervisor.  Wage and any FLSA increase will be reflected in your December 1, 2016 paycheck.

Next, the yearly health insurance discussion…as you know, wages, employee benefits and participation all work together when it comes to budgeting for this agency. Health insurance is often the wild card because we don’t know the increase until about this time every year.  We spend more than $4 million for health care and any increase is a lot of money.  It takes so long to negotiate the increase because a large part of the discussion surrounds the vendor experience and usage by Adelphoi employees.  We are looking at the numbers and are noting that our health care expenditures are going up, not down.  This year, the premium will reflect an 8% increase.  Our insurance is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do; pay for health care services for those enrolled.  But it would be far better if we were healthier and needed fewer of them.  Open enrollment is set for early November, so please stand by for additional information.

So two things; on January 1 we will be minimally increasing the amount that employees pay for health insurance and also will begin the process of requiring employees who use tobacco products to pay more for their insurance or participate in a tobacco cessation program. In the future we are likely to look at other areas where incentives or disincentives can be directed that would impact our experience.  We don’t plan on doing anything right away and we’ll continue with our wellness activities, but these insurance increases clearly impact the amount of funds available for wage increases (part of the reason for the delay to December this year).

Finally, we are very excited to report that the number of people who are saving for retirement is climbing. Two years ago our participation rate was 69% and this year it is at 89%. In July, 2017, we are going to implement an auto-escalation factor of 1% more each year to a maximum of 8%.  We all struggle with planning for retirement; fortunately, the 403B plan will do some of it for us.  Of course, you can make changes if you choose to at any time.

Whew, a few more than 300 words and probably more to come. Feedback is welcomed.

Nancy Kukovich

CEO

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