September 30, 2014

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Unions get ‘Cadillac Plan’
Written by Joel McGuire   
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 9:35 PM

Editor:
The city’s health care plan is indeed a “Cadillac Plan” and a primary reason for next year’s budget cuts. 
“Cadillac Plan” actually is an industry term for a health care policy that costs more than $8,500 a year per employee and provides benefits that most don’t receive.

The city pays the first $797 of each employee’s monthly health insurance premiums and half of any amount beyond that, which exceeds $8,500 per employee.

Before July 2012, 29, city employees paid $85.79 per month and 45 employees paid nothing.

After July 2012, 54 employees pay $12.16 - $293.14 per month and 20 employees pay nothing.

Until February 2013 the City pays the first $1,000 of the $2,000 deductible and has a contractual duty to pay the remaining $1,000.  After February 2013, union employees pay the first $1,000 of a $5,000 deductible and the City pays the remaining $4,000.

If my “constituents” are those that pay around $1,000 a month for premiums and pay all of their $5,000 - $10,000 deductible, I have an awful lot of constituents and I doubt they’re sympathetic.

It’s fine to argue the city health care plan is what everyone should have, or that it’s the fault of city elected officials for agreeing to pay so much, but it’s ridiculous to argue that it’s not a Cadillac Plan that greatly exceeds what private sector employees receive.

City directors got a raise because they deserve it. The directors are top-notch professionals whose efforts are the reason the City has done well in a recession.

I challenge anyone to find another set of directors who achieved the results ours have, which makes them the only ones associated with City government that are not easily replaceable.

The unions didn’t get a raise because union leaders asked the city not to give them one.  Fearing that Senate Bill 5 would cause their wages and benefits to go down, union leaders asked the city to extend their current contracts with a wage freeze. It had nothing to do with city finances.

The 2009 – 2012 city budgets didn’t have cuts but had small increases. We have budget cuts next year, though, and a primary cause is the 44.5 percent increase in health insurance costs last summer that is likely to happen again next summer since we can’t get competing quotes on the Cadillac Plan.

The performance audit confirmed that city salaries and benefits are higher than in similar communities and predicted that the current situation would happen if they’re not adjusted downward.


Finally, city residents should know that the vast majority of city employees are not dishonest drama queens with an entitlement complex, but instead appreciate their jobs, enjoy serving the City, and understand that reasonable adjustments in salary and benefits are necessary to ensure the health of city finances and security of their jobs.

Joel McGuire
Harrison Mayor

 

Comments  

 
0 #1 0004091 2013-01-01 16:54
I applaud the city leaders and directors. It shows just how well our city is run. When you look at our state and federal governments and any other local government and consider we are in a surplus it is amazing. Conservative spending in government works. Our city leaders, directors and employees are doing an excellent job.