(This Q&A is part of a continuing series that we introduced with the “Taking a Hard Look at Our Future Starts with Asking the Hard Questions” article)
AFT offers numerous exclusive member benefits. UHPA has offered a range of member benefits, and as an affiliate of AFT, UHPA will be able to offer more extensive and comprehensive member benefits to our membership. UHPA believes that this is especially important to meet the growing needs of our diverse membership base.
Benefits for Our Age Groups
UHPA membership has changed over the years. Today, 59% of our faculty members are between the ages of 40 and 60; 25% are age 60 or more; and the remaining 16% are under 40. AFT offers benefits that take into consideration the needs of our members throughout their career and lifetime.
Leveraging the Buying Power of 1.7 million members
“AFT recognizes that their membership needs change over time and by partnering with AFT, UHPA can access greater exclusive membership benefits by leveraging the negotiating and purchasing power of AFT’s 1.7 million members,” said Christian Fern, UHPA Executive Director. “These are benefits that we would not be able to access on our own or be able to offer at the same discount levels as an independent, stand-alone union. The benefits that our members could receive as an AFT affiliate more than offset the $10 dues increase per pay period.”
Here’s a small sample at what’s ahead for you if UHPA becomes an AFT affiliate:
Long-Term Care Insurance
Beginning January 1, 2024, members and family members will be able to find long-term care insurance solutions at discounted rates that are not available to the public. AFT has partnered with Back Nine Planning to provide members with a dedicated long-term care specialist, who can provide a complimentary, no-cost consultation.
This benefit is especially important for UH faculty members who have been caregivers for their aging parents and know firsthand the importance of planning ahead to manage the cost of care when they may need additional care. Proactive planning is key to establishing the kind of care you want for yourself and your loved ones.
AFT affiliate members can also receive exclusive discounts to LifeStation’s suite of medical alert technology devices. These are ideal for those who are caregivers for aging loved ones, and want to make sure their loved ones have quick access to emergency help at the push of a button.
Travel and Entertainment
For younger UHPA members and those with young children, AFT, in partnership with SWABIZ®, opens the door to travel throughout the world. It starts with discounts on Southwest Airlines, which offers a number of routes from Hawaii at competitive rates.
AFT affiliate members can also enjoy discounts when staying at Hilton and Wyndham properties, car rentals, vacation packages, including discounts at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND, and other theme parks through AFT’s partnership with Abenity. Plus, you and your family can receive big, exclusive discounts for shopping, restaurants, movies, concerts, and more!
Student Loan Forgiveness Program
AFT, in collaboration with Summer, helps student borrowers navigate the student loan repayment landscape and obtain access to accurate, quality information. Summer, which started as a group of student loan borrowers who wanted to help others, is an online platform that harnesses public policy experts to optimize borrower options, and uses technology to make the process simple and secure. This is a free benefit for AFT affiliate members.
AFT was a leader in addressing student debt and proactively reached out to UHPA to offer free clinics to help faculty access student loan repayment information. Dr. Camonia Graham-Tutt, CHES, University of Hawaii-West Oahu Associate Professor of Community Health, signed up for the AFT-sponsored clinic and the information and advice she gained changed her life: her $272,000 in student loans were completely forgiven and she can now use the extra funds to invest in her daughter! Altogether, UHPA members have saved a total of $850,000 in student loans, thanks to AFT.
UHPA members who have pets know how veterinary bills can be shocking and can create a financial setback. AFT offers pet insurance to reimburse you for your veterinary bills when your dog or cat is sick or injured. You can be confident about providing the best care and treatment that your pet deserves instead of basing your decisions on your budget. Through AFT’s partnership with Pets Best, a leading U.S. pet insurance provider, you can receive up to 10% off your veterinary bills from a veterinarian of your choice and other benefits.
New Benefits Always Being Added
In the last few years, AFT has added new benefits such as trauma counseling to support recovery from personal and workplace challenges, and LifeBrand subscriptions that help protect members’ online reputations. You can expect new AFT benefits to be added in the future.
Learn more about these and other AFT+ Member Benefits and explore the rich array of discounts, services and benefits. Many of these services are available to family members, too.
More than Just a Benefits Program: Financial Support for Maui Faculty
It is also important to note that AFT reached out to UHPA after the Maui wildfires and without hesitation provided $10,000 to support faculty who were impacted or displaced from their homes. UHPA was able to support faculty and the generous unexpected gift from AFT was used to replenish our UHPA relief fund that was established after Hurricane Iwa to provide support for faculty affected by natural disasters.
Feedback is Always Welcomed
As always, we’re open to feedback from our members, so please don’t hesitate to email those suggestions to email@example.com.