Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 10, 2014

De Blasio Looks For Health Care Concessions From Unions

Here it is:

The city is kicking off negotiations with municipal labor unions this week to find potential savings in health care costs, officials confirmed to the Daily News.

“The city will commence discussions about health benefits with the unions that represent the workforce,” said Marti Adams, a spokeswoman for Mayor de Blasio.

The discussions are a key part of overall labor talks with the unions representing the 300,000 city employees who have been working under expired labor contracts, some for more than five years.

The unions are seeking more than $7 billion in retroactive pay hikes.

Harry Nespoli, chairman of the Municipal Labor Committee, said the city and the unions might look for other health care vendors to save the city money. Currently the city works with GHI, Emblem Health and Aetna, among others.

“We feel health care is costing the city of New York too much money,” said Nespoli. “We can make adjustments.

The city may press the unions to accept worker contributions to health care costs.

But from the union perspective, bargaining about givebacks cannot be separated from settling the expired contracts.

“The city has a desire to discuss possible changes in benefits that might be cost-saving, and I don’t think the unions are willing to do that unless that’s linked to resolving some of the (contract) issues,” said Joshua Freeman, a professor at Queens College.

You're going to get a raise in one hand and they're going to take that money right back for health care.

And bet that the UFT leadership will tell you that the deal scrapes the skies.

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