States Continue To Wrestle With Public Employee Health Benefits
Reports from Connecticut and Oregon detail ongoing negotiations between the state and unionized state employees. Proposed changes to health benefits play major roles in both situations.
The Connecticut Mirror: Malloy Edges Toward Renewed Concession Talks
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy took a small step Wednesday toward renewed talks about concessions with unionized state employees when he said he likely would send an aide to inquire how labor leaders hope to revise their contract amendment ratification rules. ... After a tentative concession package projected to save $1.6 billion over two years failed in a union vote last month, Malloy said he wouldn't negotiate a new deal, but did add that he was willing to discuss language to clarify the deal. Supporters of the package, both in union leadership and in the administration, have said they believe one factor behind its rejection was rank-and-file misunderstanding over proposed health care changes (Phaneuf, 7/6).
(Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal: Kitzhaber Holds The Line With Unions On Health Care Payments
Gov. John Kitzhaber is standing by his demand in union contract talks that state employees begin paying a portion of their health insurance premiums. "I believe that everybody ought to make a contribution to their own health care," Kitzhaber told the Statesman Journal editorial board Wednesday. "Just about everybody does, across the country. This was something I was very clear about during my campaign. This is not a surprise." Health care is a major sticking point in contract talks, which are lurching toward impasse and a possible strike (Thompson, 7/7).