- Texas Public Universities do not provide benefits to partners of faculty and staff members unless the relationship qualifies as a “marriage” according to Texas law. The consequences are an inequity in compensation and an inherent message that non-married partners are ‘less than.’ As a result, Texas Public Universities are losing faculty and staff.
• Recruitment and retention: Tenured faculty and seasoned staff are leaving Universities and potential hires are declining offers due to the lack of benefits for Non-married Partners.
• Equity: Research indicates that a married employee enjoys significantly greater overall compensation than their non-married counterpart even though both perform identical work.› The estimated difference in compensation for a faculty member earning $80,000 per year is $8,108.
• Diversity: Because Texas Public Universities do not offer CIB it undermines both their own non-discrimination policies and their ability to create and foster a diverse workforce.
- Although Texas has a constitutional amendment limiting the definition of marriage to one man and one woman, other universities with similar state laws offer CIB to their faculty and staff.
- The Universities Board of Regents are not prohibited from providing CIB and are obligated under the Texas Education Code and Texas Insurance Code to provide benefits competitive with those offered by peer institutions and businesses with whom Texas Public Universities compete for employees.
• 8 out of 10 peer institutions to UT Austin provide CIB
• 304 universities including all Ivy League schools offer CIB
• 9,374 employers in the United States offer CIB
At UT Austin, their President Powers should lead the effort to offer CIB at UT Austin by working with the Office of General Counsel and consulting with other university administrators, PEFSA, and Texas advocacy groups to:
- Pass HB 1492
- Immediately offer benefits not covered by the State Insurance Code (soft benefits)
- Supplement faculty and staff salaries to compensate for inequity until CIB are achieved
This plan can be adapted for all other Public Universities in Texas. We are making Texas Public Universities less competitive on a national level by not offering CIB.