Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

September 14, 1995

Cafeteria benefits package remains under study

Plans are still underway to develop a cafeteria benefits program for University employees, according to Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Darlene Lewis.

Work on the program was slowed by the resignation of Chancellor J. Dennis O'Connor and summer vacation schedules, Lewis said.

"Given the change in administration, we need to flesh things out some more and put cafeteria benefits in perspective with all of the other things we are doing," Lewis said. "We've gotten quotes from vendors and some other things, but what part of that will be implemented and how it will be part of the University's whole strategy, I don't know yet." According to Ronald Frisch, director of Compensation and Benefits in the Office of Human Resources, the earliest a cafeteria benefits program could be activated would by July 1, 1996.

"If we're going to introduce that in July, we're going to have to get some firm commitments by mid winter in order to get it off and running, and get all the publicity done and everything for an open enrollment in late March before the faculty leaves," Frisch said.

A cafeteria plan allows employees to select among a range of benefits. One employee may want vision or dental care; another may want more flexible working hours or additional life insurance.

A benefits survey conducted by the Office of Human Resources last winter showed that faculty and staff would like to have more choices when it comes to benefits.

Of the 7,979 surveys mailed to University employees, 4,724 were returned – a 61 percent response rate. Among the survey's findings:

* Both faculty and staff reported being satisfied with working at Pitt.

* Many expressed dissatisfaction with their pay; this dissatisfaction was higher among staff than faculty.

* A majority felt they would not like to see benefits coverage reduced to lower costs, but believe Pitt should offer more benefits choices.

* Most faculty and staff believe that the University has a good benefits program, are satisfied with the medical care they receive, and feel their current coverage is worth the cost.

* Some benefits that respondents want to see added or increased include a dental plan, flex-time, a vision plan, job sharing and trading time off for benefits.

* Some of the benefits that respondents do not want changed include: holidays, paid time off, life insurance, retirement plans, disability, tuition benefits and flexible spending accounts.

–Mike Sajna

Filed under: Feature,Volume 28 Issue 2

Leave a Reply