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Article 9 — Health and Retirement Benefits

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  1. Health Benefits

    Effective February 1, 2013, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable, the Registered Nurses covered by this Agreement, as provided herein, are participants in and covered by the Health Care Chapter United Federation of Teachers Benefit Fund (“Fund”).  The Employer shall make monthly contributions to the Fund at the following annualized rates (or pro rata portion) for each Regular Full-Time Registered Nurse.  The Employer will make contributions on behalf of new Registered Nurses hired before the fifteenth (15th) day of a month on the first (1st) day of the following month and will make contributions on behalf of new Registered Nurses hired on or after the fifteenth day of the month on the first (1st) day of the second (2nd) month.

    The Employer’s contribution rate per Full-Time Registered Nurse effective January 1, 2017 shall be the lesser of $22,463 per year, or the amount necessary to cover the actual cost of Fund benefits then in effect, as actuarially certified by the Fund Actuaries as of such date.  Contributions shall be paid to the Fund based on the actuarially equivalent individual, employee-plus-one and family rates.  These contribution rates will be increased effective January 1, 2018 through January 31, 2019, to the lesser of 113% of the rate in effect on December 31, 2017, or the amount necessary to cover the actual cost of Fund benefits then in effect, as actuarially certified by the Fund Actuaries as of such date.  Employer contributions to the Fund for the month of January 2019, pursuant to the preceding sentence, shall be retroactively adjusted, upward or downward as the case may be, based on the agreed-upon rate of contribution to the Fund for 2019, contained in any successor agreement between LGI and UFT effective on or after February 1, 2019.

    During the term of this Agreement, Regular Full-Time Registered Nurses and Regular Part-Time Registered Nurses, but not Temporary Registered Nurses (“Eligible Registered Nurses”), may voluntarily opt out of coverage by the  Fund once a year, during the month of open enrollment, or upon hire, for new nurses.  Regular Full-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of coverage shall receive an annual payment of $2,000 for individual coverage, $4000 for employee-plus-one coverage, or $5000 for family coverage to be paid out in equal monthly installments over the course of the 12-month period following the Regular Full-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage. Regular Part-Time Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of coverage shall receive a pro-rata annual payment (based on the ratio of the regular Part-Time Registered Nurse’s regularly scheduled hours of work to a Full-Time work week) to be paid out in equal monthly installments over the course of the 12-month period following the Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse’s election to opt out of coverage.  To be eligible for this benefit, Registered Nurses must demonstrate that they have generally comparable health insurance.  Employees opting out of coverage shall not be deemed automatically to have opted out in future years.  Each year, during open enrollment, an Eligible Registered Nurse who desires this benefit must affirmatively opt out and provide evidence of other generally comparable health insurance.  An Eligible Registered Nurse who fails to affirmatively opt out and/or fails to provide evidence of other generally comparable health insurance shall be covered by the Fund. 

    An Eligible Registered Nurse who has opted out of coverage may enroll in the Fund during the Plan year if the Registered Nurse loses the other health insurance coverage for any reason except failure to pay premiums or voluntary withdrawal from the other coverage for which the Registered Nurse is still eligible.   

    An Eligible Registered Nurse who has opted out of Fund coverage may enroll during the Plan year only if coverage is requested within thirty (30) days after the other coverage has terminated, unless an unforeseeable circumstance prevented the request for enrollment from being made within the thirty (30) day period.

    No Employer contributions will be made by the Employer to the Fund shall be required on behalf of Registered Nurses who elect to opt out of coverage by the Fund.  The Employer will provide the Union with a list of Registered Nurses who have elected to opt out of coverage by the Fund.  Upon enrollment in the Fund, the Employer shall commence contributions to the Fund on the first (1st) day of the following month after enrollment.

    For each Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse, except those who have opted out of coverage, the Employer will contribute a pro rata share of the above-stated contribution rate for Full-Time Registered Nurses (based on the ratio of the regular Part-Time Registered Nurse’s regularly scheduled hours of work to a Full-Time work week). The Fund offers a reduced (compared to the fulltime benefit) benefit for Regular Part-Time Registered Nurses at no cost to the Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse.

    Contributions shall be paid monthly by the Employer for enrolled Registered Nurses on a paid status, no later than the third (3rd) week following the month for which they are computed.  Part-Time Registered Nurses, except those who have opted out of coverage, may elect to contribute, by payroll deduction, the difference between the Employer’s pro rata share and the monthly contribution payable on behalf of the Full-Time Registered Nurses in order to be eligible to receive Full-Time benefits.

    1. Contributions to the Fund shall be used to provide health and welfare and related benefits for the Registered Nurses on whose behalf contributions are made.
    2. The Fund shall be held and administered under the terms and provisions of the Trust Agreement and any amendments thereof. (copies of which shall be provided to the Employer).
    3. An independent audit of the Fund shall be made annually and a statement of results thereof shall be furnished to the Employer.
    4. The Fund shall secure and retain any necessary approval of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service as a qualified benefit fund as well as any other governmental or other approval.
    5. The Employer will continue Workers' Compensation Coverage and Short-Term Disability Coverage in accordance with law.
    6. The foregoing are express conditions of the contributions under this Section and any obligation to make contributions shall cease and any amount contributed shall be returned on failure of any of the foregoing conditions.
    7. The Employer shall have the option of determining, prior to the beginning of each year, whether to pay the overall composite rate for each covered Registered Nurse or to pay the appropriate componentized rate.  These contribution rates, on a per participating Registered Nurse basis, shall be adjusted each January 1st during the term of this agreement by the amount determined by the Fund’s actuaries to be necessary to cover cost of Fund benefits.  The employer shall pay the full contribution rate for Full-Time Registered Nurses enrolled in the Fund, and the appropriate pro-rate share of the appropriate rate for Part-Time enrolled Registered Nurses.

       

    Domestic Partners of Eligible Registered Nurses who are participants in the Fund under this Agreement shall be covered by the Fund if the Registered Nurse elects such coverage on a form provided by the Employer.  The Employer will pay the composite rate or the single rate for such Registered Nurse. Domestic Partners as used in this Section 9.1 (Health Benefits) refers to an individual who meets the standards set forth in Mayoral Executive Order 48 of 1993 and Section 2, Chapter 2 of Title 3 of the Administrative Code set forth below, and who have registered as domestic partners or executed an equivalent affidavit if ineligible to register because neither are residents of the City of New York, and have not terminated the domestic partnership.

    1. Both persons are eighteen (18) years of age or older.
    2. Neither person is married.
    3. Neither person is a party to another domestic partnership, or had been a party to another domestic partnership within the six months prior to registration.
    4. The persons are not related to each other by blood in a manner that would bar their marriage in the state of New York.
    5. The persons have a close and committed personal relationship, live together, and have been living together on a continuous basis.

    Proof of Registration, or the equivalent affidavit if applicable, shall be provided to the Fund together with the form for election of domestic partner coverage.  The Fund shall advise the Employer of a Registered Nurse’s election of domestic partner coverage for tax purposes.

  2. Retirement Benefits

    The Employer shall continue in effect the current 403(b) plan (the “Plan”).  The terms of the Plan control with respect to eligibility and conditions of participation therein, as well as any other terms not inconsistent with the express provisions of this section. Full-Time Registered Nurses and Regular Part-Time Registered Nurses shall be eligible to participate in the Plan.  The Plan shall allow Registered Nurses to make the maximum voluntary contribution as determined each year by the IRS.  Each year of this Agreement, in accordance with the terms of the Plan, the Employer shall make an annual non-matching contribution to the Plan, on behalf of each Full-Time and Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse who is a member of the Plan at the rate of three (3) percent of the Registered Nurse’s qualifying compensation as defined in the Plan for the year (“Non-Matching Contribution”).  The Employer Non-Matching Contribution applies to Registered Nurses who have completed at least three (3) months of employment and worked at least one-thousand (1,000) hours during the calendar year; and are on payroll as of December 31 of a given year. In addition to the Non-Matching Contribution, the Employer shall make an annual matching contribution to the Plan, in accordance with the terms of the Plan, on behalf of each Full-Time and Regular Part-Time Registered Nurse in an amount equal to the contribution made by the Registered Nurse, not to exceed 3.925% of the Registered Nurse’s qualifying  compensation in 2016.