Penn State employees protest health care policy

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Aug 14, 2013 11:47 AM

Matthew Woessner, an associate professor at Penn State's Harrisburg campus, speaking on Radio Smart Talk.

(Harrisburg) -- Penn State employees angry with a university policy on health care are taking their fight to the internet, while one midstate professor is asking his fellow workers to participate in civil disobedience.

Matthew Woessner is an associate professor of political science and public policy at Penn State Harrisburg.

He's behind an open letter to PSU employees, asking them to fill out a university-mandated wellness survey with nonsense -- to protest what he calls an invasion of privacy.

Speaking on witf's Radio Smart Talk, Woessner says the policy of fining workers who don't adhere to the plan guidelines could set a precedent for employer-offered health insurance.

"Many of us have tenure, so we have the ability to speak out and to criticize the plan without fear of getting fired," Woessner says. "If this type of thing can happen in a university, then in any corporate environment they'll think they have a green light. It's very important that this plan is defeated on this battleground because people in other venues are going to be much more vulnerable."

An art history professor in State College has started an online petition opposing the move.

It has more than 2,000 signatures.

In a statement, Penn State says similar plans are in place in the corporate world, and the school faces serious health care funding challenges.

Administrators say the school will not have access to individual employee health records, nor will it charge employees additional fees based on their health status.

Published in Harrisburg, News

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