Affordable health care is crucial for working families.
- Our union negotiates to keep our premium share to 15% – holding our monthly premium costs down. Some legislators want to see this portion increase.
- Our union stopped efforts to cut coverage of spouses off our health insurance.
- Our union fights rising out-of-pocket costs.
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation wants to get our union out of the way because they want you to pay more.
So what does the ‘Freedom’ Foundation have to say about our health insurance benefits?
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation wants state employees to pay MORE for our health insurance.
“We say it’s about time state worker health insurance premiums were on the table. The Freedom Foundation has long recommended that state workers pay a bigger share of their health insurance premiums as a way to save money… It’s not unreasonable to ask that public employees pay an increased share of health insurance premiums, especially given that taxpayers are subsidizing a majority of those costs.” Official Blog of the Freedom Foundation, August 17, 2010
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation thinks state employees should pay 20% for our healthcare premiums. The union has STOPPED the state from raising our premiums.
“If state workers had to pay only 20 percent of their health insurance premiums, the state could save $50 million over six months, which translates into $200 million in savings over the course of a biennium.” – http://archive.myfreedomfoundation.com/blog/liberty-live/detail/finally-state-employee-health-insurance-premium-costs-on-the-table.html
The ‘Freedom Foundation’ believes state employees are a burden to the taxpayer.
“The question for policymakers is whether taxpayers should be forced to continue to subsidize such a generous employee benefits package at the expense of taxpayers.”
- They think we have Cadillac health care benefits.
- They say it’s time to make sure public employee stop “pilfering the public purse.”
Our bargaining power matters!
- Our union has stopped repeated attempts to increase our premium share to 25%. In recent bargaining sessions, the state proposed to increase our healthcare premiums to 25%. This would amount to a huge pay cut to state employees. We came together and flooded the governor’s office with calls and stories about how further healthcare cost increases would devastate our families.
- At bargaining in 2014, the state proposed a wellness program that would have surcharges for those who did not participate. Our union fought back and instead won decreased premiums for those who did participate. Those who participate in the wellness program have their deductible cut from $250 to $125
Our power matters in the halls of government
- Our union stopped efforts to cut spouses off our health insurance. In 2015, the Senate majority – who is closely aligned with the ‘Freedom Foundation – proposed an initial budget that would have had cut 20,000 spouses off state employee healthcare. Under this proposal, spouses of state employees who could get health coverage through their employer would be forced out of the state employee healthcare plan, even if their employer’s plan was too costly. Together we stopped this plan that would have devastated the economic stability of state employees and their families.
- Our union beat back a bill sponsored by Freedom Foundation-supported legislators in 2013 that would have cut all public employees who work less than 30 hours a week off of healthcare. This bill would also have cut dental, vision, life and long-term disability coverage.
- We defeated SSB 5811 (2013), which would have taken away bargaining rights over healthcare so that the state could impose a wellness plan that would have increased state employee healthcare costs.