August 19, 2004

SIUC expands its same-sex benefit plan

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Wednesday, August 18, amended its 11-year-old domestic partnership policy to cover partial costs of health and dental care premiums purchased privately by employees to cover their same-sex domestic partners and their partners' children.

Benefits provided by the State of Illinois or any third party are not included in the program.

Changes will also extend tuition-waiver policies within the SIU system to benefit an employee's partner's children. SIUC and SIUE policies become consistent with today's changes.

SIUE adopted its new policies this week. SIUC's established policy already covered areas of sick leave, bereavement leave, family medical leave, and use of campus facilities such as Morris Library and the Student Recreation Center.

Under the plan, employees will be reimbursed for a portion of health care and dental coverage they purchase privately. Reimbursement rates will mirror contributions for married employees. Costs will be covered by University funds.

Those employees who file a domestic partnership affidavit with SIUC's Office of Human Resources will be required to have a relationship that has existed for at least six months.

SIUC will implement the changes effective Sept. 1. More details will be available at Human Resources.