BEA Home Page
Top of Page
FOR HEALTH INSURANCE AT RISK
During consideration of the House and Senate budget this month, amendments were offered that would allow employers in joint purchasing groups (JPGs) to make changes in health insurance benefits without bargaining over them. There are 307 government entities that purchase health insurance through JPGs. Amendments offered by Rep. Dan Bosley (D-N. Adams) and Sen. Andrew Nucifero (D-Pittsfield) would eliminate bargaining over any decision by JPGs to “change, alter or eliminate any benefit or benefits”.
The House did not act on the Bosley amendment and the Nucifero amendment was defeated by voice vote in the Senate.
Both these amendments seek to overturn an April 2002 Labor Relations Commission (LRC) decision – Dennis Firefighters vs. Town of Dennis. The LRC said that local employers who participate in a JPG must bargain over any change that employers seek to make including increasing deductibles and co-pays.
As early as next week, the House and Senate will consider a “Municipal Relief Bill”. It is likely that amendments to limit collective bargaining rights in negotiating health insurance will be offered. If successful, not only more than half of the MTA locals in JPG arrangements will be unable to bargain over health insurance benefits, but also all remaining locals who bargain separately will be the next target.
What Can You Do To Prevent the Erosion of Collective Bargaining Rights?
Call your representative and senator at 617-722-2000 or e-mail them ASAP and urge them to vote against any attempts to rollback the rights of employees to negotiate over health insurance.
If you do not know who your representative or senator are or want to e-mail them, go to www.massteacher.org
Message to Your Legislator
- Educators are concerned about the rising cost of health care but the solution is not to hastily re-write current law (Chapter 150E or Chapter 32B) and take away our rights to bargain over health insurance benefits.
- When considering the “Municipal Relief Bill”, please vote against any attempt to rollback employees’ rights to negotiate health insurance benefits.