Waymon Hudson

University of South Florida to offer Domestic Partner Benefits

Filed By Waymon Hudson | September 10, 2009 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: domestic partner benefits, Judy Genshaft, Tampa, University of South Florida, USF

USF President Judy Genshaft said the Tampa-based school plans to start offering full domestic partner benefits to employees. The benefits would cover both heterosexual and same-sex couples, although the university is still hammering out the final details and eligibility requirements.

USF Logo.jpgThe University of South Florida has budgeted around $500,000 to provide the benefits, all of which comes from concessions or other budget sources, not money allocated by the state, paid in tuition or received from the USF Foundation. Obviously the school is expecting push back from ultra-conservative groups, which is why they are carefully finding funding sources. Genshaft is clear that she is ready to move forward, however hard she is fought:

We believe it's the right thing to do, and we'll work to make it happen this year.

USF spokesman Michael Hoad said that based on national averages of employers who provide partnership benefits, the school could expect about 1 percent of the university's 6,000 eligible employees to participate. That's around 60 people out of the university's 13,000 employees.

In recent years, the city of Tampa and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office have announced plans to offer domestic partnership benefits, both of which was met with right-wing opposition. The University of South Florida says it is prepared for the inevitable push back, but will move forward to assure that the university can compete for faculty members with schools that already offer domestic partner benefits.

Good work, USF!

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