We are always striving to better serve you—our members—and we recently updated our Plan Benefits to reflect that. We encourage you to read through the book detailing the Plan Benefits. We also have a shorter Benefits Overview that summarizes our services and programs. This post summarizes the notable changes for professional development and what they mean for you.
One significant change is that we have made an adjustment to make our system more equitable and accessible to more Professional-Technical members who want to attend conferences. The Conference Travel Funding program gives Professional-Technical members funding assistance to attend regional or national conferences related to their occupation. Members can access up to $1,500 per year for conference and travel-related costs.
We are instilling a new rotating system of awards to the conference travel funding for Professional-Technical workers so that more members can access this opportunity. This means that members who apply for conference travel funding who did not receive it the previous year will be considered before those who did receive conference travel funding the previous year. As always, your chances of receiving funding depends on how many members apply and on the seniority of members who apply. But this rotating system of awards makes this benefit more equitable and will allow more members to receive funding.
Another update that affects members who receive conference travel funding is that we will now be able to cover reasonable costs for AirBnB and similar accommodations, not just hotels. This is something many of our members have been asking for, so we’re happy our Board of Directors approved this change. As a labor-management partnership, our board is made up of employers and union representatives who are working together with us to help you advance your careers and improve patient care.
Two other changes should improve our processes and make things easier for you. We will now even be able to pay for professional development certificates and courses required by your employer and reimburse your request without your manager’s signature. This includes ACLS, PALs, CPR, etc. For membership with organizations that offer Continuing Education units (CEUs), you no longer need to show CEUs as part of the proof of completion. Instead, just show us that the CEUs are highlighted on the organizational website by sending a screenshot.