Domestic partners benefits will arrive sometime in February

USF employees and their’unmarried partners should see new health care packages next month, said Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Dwayne Smith.

The Board of Trustees agreed Friday morning to allow domestic partners benefits to be offered to ‘in-unit’ faculty, meaning those represented by the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), a statewide’faculty union.

Human Resources will begin to compile the packages, Smith said.

‘I am pretty confident we will have it out by next month,’he said.

Employees receiving these’packages include all levels of’university professors, librarians, curators, program directors and instructional specialists, according to the Human Resources’Web site.

Of USF’s 13,000 faculty members, 6,000 will be eligible to receive the benefits, which include a monthly stipend in employees’ paychecks, University Spokesman Michael Hoad said.

UFF’s members voted last week to support in-unit faculty participation in the package offering. Sherman Dorn, president of USF’s chapter of UFF said 95 percent of members voted to support the benefits.

All who are represented by the union, including faculty in every college, except the College of Medicine and library faculty were able to vote, Dorn said.

Since Florida law prohibits the use of state funds to support domestic partners benefits, ‘coke money’ from campus vending machines will fund the benefits’ projected cost of $500,000 annually, Smith said.

The plan will provide a’stipend up to $500, which pays the difference between the’University-offered family and’single insurance plans.

‘There’s really been a lot of people involved and a lot of support. I really applaud this community for stepping into this. My passion is quite simply creating strong benefit offers to this community, period,’ said Sandy Lovins, associate vice president for the Office of Human Resources.

‘Whether it’s this, or whether it’s another type of offering, I’m always grateful that we can add something else to the list,’Lovins said.