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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Strengthens Military Leave Policy

PITTSBURGH, January 2, 2002 — University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has further strengthened its military leave-of-absence policy to enhance the compensation package provided to staff members who may be called to active duty in the U.S. armed forces.

"In light of recent world events, senior leadership at UPMC felt it was extremely important to review our military leave policy at this time. The changes reaffirm UPMC's desire to provide meaningful support to those staff members who may be called to service in defense of our nation," said Gregory Peaslee, senior vice president of Human Resources.

"UPMC is proud of our employees who serve as reservists or in the National Guard, as well as others who may be called to active-duty status. This revised policy provides a higher level of assurance that their needs and the needs of their families will be met while they fulfill their military commitments."

The revised policy significantly enhances the level of compensation a staff member can receive while on active duty. UPMC also will pay its portion of premium costs for medical and other important benefits for an extended period while a staff member is on military leave.

According to the revised policy, eligible staff members will receive an enhanced benefit equal to the difference between their military pay and their UPMC base wages, up to a maximum payment of $5,000 per month, for the full period of active duty.

UPMC also will continue coverage for medical (including prescription drugs and vision) and dental services to the end of the sixth month following the last day the staff member worked.

Staff members on military leave will be responsible for paying their share of the costs of these benefits during that period. After six months, staff on military leave have the option of continuing their benefits through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA).

All staff members (other than casual, students and temporary employees) with a minimum of six months of service with UPMC are eligible for the enhanced benefits and compensation for military leave.

Other highlights of the revised policy are:

  • Staff members on military leaves of absence who satisfactorily complete their active-duty service are entitled to a position with UPMC when they return.
  • A staff member returning from active duty retains his or her original service date. The staff member is reinstated to his or her former position whenever possible, and his or her salary is adjusted to include any general wage increases granted during the military leave of absence.
  • Vesting service in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center basic retirement plan continues during the period of the military leave based on the hours the staff member was scheduled to work.
  • Short- and long-term disability coverage and basic life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance will continue for up to six months from the starting date of the military leave.
  • UPMC's tuition assistance benefit will continue to be available to the spouses and eligible dependents of staff members on military leave who are receiving the enhanced pay benefit.

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