Milliken to discuss employee benefits Friday

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By Michael Wunder, News Editor

University of Nebraska President James Milliken and David Lechner, NU vice president for business and finance, will give a presentation about Employee Plus One Benefits prior to the Board of Regents meeting Friday, said Melissa Lee, NU communications director.

The presentation will not be an action item, meaning Regents won’t be voting on whether to approve a policy.

“Faculty, staff and students have asked the university to expand its benefits plan to address inequities and increase competitiveness,” Lee said.  “The university administration will review with the Board national and peer comparisons and other information related to the university’s benefits plan.”

An effort to encourage the Regents to approve a policy—which would extend affordable healthcare benefits to unmarried university employee’s partners—has been a collaboration between students and faculty across three campuses to align the NU system with Big 10 colleagues.

“With NU and UNO moving conferences, it really changes our national standing,” said UNO Arts and Sciences Sen. Terrence Batiste in a previous interview with the Gateway.  “More specifically, we are the only institution in our current conference—the Summit League—that does not offer full benefits to the partners of employees. By adopting this measure, we illustrate to potential scholars that we are a place of understanding.”

Inclusive benefits programs are in use not only in universities across the country, but also in many of successful businesses.  As of 2009, at least 83 percent of Fortune 100 companies and at least 59 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer some form of Employee Plus One Benefits, according to research done by the Human Rights Campaign.

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