Manchester city workers paying more than school workers for health coverage
The city and school insurance plans each covered fewer employees. There were 4.9 percent fewer school workers covered compared to the previous year and 4 percent fewer covered employees in city departments.
“If we’re showing 12 percent (cuts) on the city side, I don’t know why that reduction could not be the same on the school side,” Mayor Ted Gatsas said. “Our employees are contributing more and our numbers are reflecting those changes.”
If the school district had also cut its health coverage cost by 12 percent, it would have saved $3.3 million.
Teachers have been reluctant to pay more for their health coverage without getting something in return.
Over the past 18 months, however, city-side unions agreed to pay higher deductibles, co-payments and fees, while teachers rejected a tentative deal that would have seen them paying more.
School employees currently pay about 3.4 percent of the cost of their health coverage.
Dick said teachers are reluctant to agree to the health insurance concessions, partly due to concerns that the school district’s wage proposals would limit pay hikes for teachers at the top of the wage scale to less than 1 percent.
The Board of School Committee is expected to receive an update on the progress of negotiations next week.
“Somebody needs to sit down and put something on paper that makes sense for both sides,” Gatsas said. “If people come forward with an agreement and both sides are unhappy, you have a pretty good deal.”
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