Monday, March 1, 2010

Unions protect Heath Care benifits

From the Globe, we learn that the one major contributor to our budget woes here in Framingham and around the State, is the refusal of Unions to enroll in the States Group Insurance Commission. According to Mass Tax Payers Foundation and Boston Municipal Research Bureau, if all the towns and cities were to be consolidated into the Group Insurance, 1 billion dollars a year could be saved by 2018.

The GIC saves taxpayers money in two ways, requiring employees, retires and elected officials to pay more out of pocket dispenses. It also allows changes in health care plans without union barging.

The Bill that was passed in 2007 allowing communities to adopt the GIC program had one catch, it required a 70% vote by the union representatives before a community could join, giving the biggest unions, veto power.

Since it's inception, 10 communities, school districts and charter schools have joined, the second year 15 more and as of July 1, Hopedale and Brookline have joined.

Two bills pending allowing Towns to adopt the GIC without Union approval are still in committee and have been labeled as "too controversial".

While the majority of average citizens have had major increases in their health care cost and premium increases, Unions have shown little understanding of how their benefits are causing communities to look for ways to rein in the cost to the taxpayers. This is the price we pay now, for allowing powerful self interest to dictate policy in our community and resist money saving measures in health care costs. Town leaders must show the tax payers, that they feel our pain and negotiate in collective bargaining, a common sense plan to drive down health care costs.


At March 2, 2010 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Frustrated in Framingham said...

Do Framingham town employees belong to this plan Jim? If not, how do we get that to happen?

At March 2, 2010 at 1:47 PM , Blogger Abra said...

Hey, don’t blame the unions for doing a better job at taking care of their members than employers do. That is the reason unions exist. And the union guys pay union dues to get these types of benefits. I would rather pay my union rep money to protect my health insurance than pay some elected official to do it. Look at the mess with health care reform in DC right now as evidence of that.

At March 2, 2010 at 1:55 PM , Blogger Angry Voter said...

If it costs us money to keep them in the plan they are now covered by, then why isn’t cutting that plan an option that comes up in budget discussions? We are cutting everything else, why isn’t this on the cutting board also?

At March 2, 2010 at 3:25 PM , Blogger Jamie said...

This is far too confusing to me. Health care reform is an issue that we are all thinking about, and holding health care costs down for the average citizen is what the goal is. So the unions are doing that exact thing for their members. Why are we against that? We should be complaing that no on is doing that for those of us who are not union members.

At March 2, 2010 at 4:13 PM , Blogger Just wondering said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At March 2, 2010 at 4:14 PM , Blogger Just wondering said...

Pillsbury as a TM member would raise this issue on the floor of town meeting or do you think we let sleeping dogs lie?

At March 2, 2010 at 5:59 PM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

This subject must be broached, if it hasn't already. I'm not sure when collective bargaining begins, but will know soon.

So the cops are suing over the overtime thing and asking the Town to pick up the loss of Quinn Bill funding and still not using flag man at work sites. Demanding the unions to enroll in the states health care program will be one hell of a fight.

At March 3, 2010 at 4:12 PM , Blogger 6th Middlesex constituent said...

Never known you to back down from a fight Jim, so counting on you to do just that when it comes to budget issues in this town. We can not keep dipping into the residents pockets. At some point, we have to start dipping into the pockets of the town employees.

At March 3, 2010 at 4:56 PM , Blogger Eric said...

I would be willing to support paying for the cops Quinn Bill classes out of my pocket as soon as the cops are willing to contribute to my sons tuition out of their pockets. I can not beleive this is even something they are willing to publically go after. They seem to think they are untouchable. I hope they find out real soon that they are not, at least not here in Framingham.


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