September 23, 2014

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Unions get no ‘Cadillac Plan’
Written by Sgt. Terrence M. Lowry, Dawn Marlowe and Lt. Ronnie Getz   
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:34 PM

On behalf of the majority of City of Harrison union employees, please allow me to respond to “Insurance Agreement Reached; Belt-Tightening Ahead” dated Nov. 14, 2012.

While union members agree it was a lengthy process and that concessions were made on both sides, we oppose Mayor McGuire’s misleading assertion that the City supplies – and primarily pays for – a “Cadillac (Insurance) Plan” for its employees.

First, your readers might be interested to learn that the term “Cadillac Plan” (in this context) originated from contract negotiations beginning in 1995.

Since that time and to date, the contract between the City and Unions requires the city to provide its employees comparable insurance coverage as to what was being offered then (i.e. Cadillac Plan).

Clearly, in the economic times we are facing, such a plan would neither be affordable for the City nor its employees, which is exactly why the Unions have consistently compromised on coverage and premiums over the course of the years.

However, for the Mayor to call current insurance benefits “a Cadillac Plan” is, at best, misleading.  In reality, the insurance plan agreed upon falls significantly short of what is contractually required of the City to provide.

Secondly, with the comment “council members and administration officials now are cutting budgets over 2012 amounts to ensure cash is there,” the article seems to imply that the City is scrambling to cover shortfalls due to the insurance agreement.  However, the article doesn’t mention that in spite of city-wide budget cuts, the city directors continue to receive annual salary increases and paid pension while Union employees willingly agreed to wage freezes for three years.

Finally, like most Americans, Union members have seen an exponential increase in their insurance premiums since the onset of the current recession.

So, while the mayor may want to believe (and perhaps influence his constituents to also believe) that the City of Harrison is heroically and singlehandedly footing the insurance bill for a “Cadillac” insurance plan - it simply is not true.

As always, the unions look forward to mutual cooperation and negotiation in June 2013.  However, we felt it necessary to provide Harrison Press readers the pertinent, yet omitted, facts regarding this issue. 

Sgt. Terrence M. Lowry
Associate Representative

Dawn Marlowe
United Steel Workers

Lt. Ronnie Getz



0 #1 0004091 2013-01-24 15:39
Since unions by and large threw their collect bargaining hats behind Obama maybe Obamacare is the plan they should be using. Harrison has become well known among fire and police workers as a place that does not lay off workers and is not in finacial chaos. Nationally union workers are at 21% of the work force, the lowest level since 1911. Mostly because they are pricing themselves out of work. That isn't the case in Harrison. Due to smart money management our services have not been cut. Property tax revenues are down due to the bad real estate market, income tax revenues are down because less are working and still no layoffs. Great job city leaders. There are a bunch of unemployed Harrison residents, none of them are former union City of Harrison workers. Be thankful for your check every week.