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Published: Thursday, 4/28/2005

Insurance premium cut for UT students

With tuition costs scheduled to climb this fall for both undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Toledo, one fee - that for health insurance - will decrease.

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees yesterday unanimously approved a new student health insurance contract with the Maskin Group that reduces premiums by $328, to $893 a year. That decrease marks a 27 percent drop from last year's high.

Ronald Speier, dean of students, said he's already received positive feedback about the new plan, namely from international students. Some students contacted Mr. Speier previously and complained that the past premium was too high. Others don't like the idea of mandatory health insurance at all.

In other action, the trustees approved new tuition and fees for next year involving graduate programs, the law school, and housing, among other areas. They voted in February to increase undergraduate tuition in the fall.

They also approved contracts with three labor unions, including the tenured and tenure-track faculty and lecturers who are members of the American Association of University Professors. The third labor union with a new contract is the University of Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

In all, the contracts over three fiscal years for AAUP members call for salary increases that will cost the university nearly $7 million more over the period. Increases for police over four fiscal years are slated to cost more than $280,000.

The university has not yet reached contract agreements with the same unions regarding future health insurance plans. In addition, the administration is still negotiating a contract with a remaining union, the Communication Workers of America, Local 4530.

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