Public Employees May Have To Pay More For Health Care

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
A measure to do this was passed by a Senate subcommittee today.

The Michigan Capitol is shown at twilight Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009, in Lansing, Mich. Lawmakers continue work on budget bills that deal with a $2.8 billion shortfall before an Oct. 1 deadline. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

LANSING -- Proposals to require public employees in Michigan to pay at least 20 percent of their health insurance costs are advancing in the state Legislature.
A Republican-led Senate committee approved the measures Wednesday on party-line votes. Republican Sen. Mark Jansen of Kent County's Gaines Township says the measures could come up for votes on the Senate floor later this month.
The legislation would affect employees with the state, local governments, public school districts, public universities and other public employers.
Republicans say the measures are needed to help public employers control costs. Democrats say health care costs should be bargained in contracts.
Local units of government could exempt themselves from the act by a two-thirds vote of its governing body.

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  • by Roger Location: Dowling on Apr 23, 2011 at 07:50 PM
    I work for a public school and feel a contract which includes health benefits should be honored. I don't have a problem with being asked to help in some way to curb expenditures. I do not believe we should be forced to try and pay for poor financial planning by our schools. Schools are not able to save up a big pile of money to help when times are tough. The school mentality is to spend it this year because we might not get it next year. I feel schools would be better served to be allowed to carry over funds from one financial year to the next. This would be a better option to help curb over spending problems. Another option to pursue is allowing employees to change their insurance coverage to help with expenses. My vision plan my employer pays for is horrible and I might as well not have any insurance for vision. We should explore other options rather than force public school employees to pay the 20 percent.
  • by Trina Location: East Lansing on Apr 14, 2011 at 06:15 AM
    Left out of these discussions is the fact that, whether in the public or private sector, wage/benefit agreements are negotiatiated as a package. It's not just bargaining over wages and then, oh yeah, here's your health plan, too. Everything comes from one pool of money. So, making an issue out of someone's compensation package is only being done so the legislators can tell their constituents they're doing something about these terrible state workers. This stuff should all be discussed as part of contract negotiations.
  • by Rain67 on Apr 13, 2011 at 04:44 PM
    Why not make them pay a little more for insurance. I pay each week around $85.00 for medical/dental/vision. I know they make a whole lot more then me so I think they could afford to pay something.
    • reply
      by Krista on Apr 17, 2011 at 06:44 PM in reply to Rain67
      Not everyone makes as much as they do in lansing. Please do not forget about those of us who make less than $37,000 a year. It is all public/government employee jobs right down to the paper pushers in the file room.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2011 at 02:46 PM
    They gave the option to the local governing units a chance to keep their own contracts and pay for the insurance. It gives more leverage when bargaining.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2011 at 01:24 PM
    Maybe some will end up with none.Why work at a job just to pay insurance,& gas prices.Leaves very little for anything else.
    • reply
      by Anonymous too on Apr 14, 2011 at 12:37 PM in reply to
      That's what the rest of us do!!
  • by State Worker on Apr 13, 2011 at 12:37 PM
    I'm not represented so it's just going to happen to me. However, I agree with the Democrats that this needs to be bargained for employees that are represented. They have a contract and that's a legal document. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when a contract means nothing. Next thing the state will not respect contracts they have with contractors either. NOT a good thing.
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