Colleagues: you will have received an email from Human Resources regarding an impending “Employee Benefits Preference Survey.” Conducted by the private Mercer Consulting at the cost of $300,000 to the UW System, this survey purports to be “aligning” employee benefits.
However, UWM AAUP observers who participated in an October “Teleconference about Employee Benefits” convey the sense that this survey may well be an attempt to obtain employee buy-in on another round of benefit cuts. While retirement and health care are currently off the table, other benefits may be affected.
From Mercer’s “Preliminary Total Compensation Philosophy Guiding Principles”: “Recognition that the UW can no longer rely on benefits as a primary driver of attraction and retention.”
We are currently working with others on campus to gather further information about this survey. If you receive it before receiving further information from us, we suggest that you hold off on responding to it. We will follow up as soon as possible with specific suggestions about what issues to consider about how and whether to respond.
As always, we are happy to hear from all faculty, staff and students. Join us to become informed and take action!