On health insurance, all Boston city unions reached a tentative agreement with the city on a 4-year health insurance proposal. The agreement was unanimously approved by the BTU membership on April 13, and has also been approved by the rest of the city’s bargaining units which have taken up the vote so far. The settlement goes to the city council shortly, where approval is expected. The BTU will formally sign off on the agreement on Thursday, May 5. The proposed agreement expires July 2015.
How will the proposed changes affect us? In the immediate future, there will be a 1.25% across the board premium increase for all city employees for coverage to begin July 2011. And Master Medical for retirees will cease to exist effective January 2012. The BTU will sponsor informational workshop(s) in the fall as we get closer to the January 2012 deadline.
There is a chance that about-to-be-contemplated changes in state law might trump our agreement, so it is important that we gear up to maintain collective bargaining in the new health care law being proposed by Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo. Even if the new law allows our proposal to stay in place through July 2015, we will (presumably) fall under any new law in four years, so it is important that the law contain adequate collective bargaining provisions.
In the section directly below is a list of AFL-CIO-generated activities (lobbying, phone calls, emails) that we ask you participate in this week and going forward as we seek to maintain collective bargaining protections in the area of health care.
WRITE, CALL AND VISIT YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVES
Call (617) 722-2000 to reach your state representativer or email them and ask each to maintain collective bargaining over health insurance.
Tell your elected officials that unions are willing to negotiate the same amount of savings for municipalities over health insurance as the current budget language seeks, but that municipal unions must NOT lose the right to collectively bargain over health insurance. Urge your state representative to co-sponsor and vote for Rep. Marty Walsh’s Amendment #749 to save collective bargaining while also delivering savings. Get more information.
About 51 state representatives have signed onto his legislation, and they can be found here. So if your rep is one of the ‘good guys,’ please thank him or her and, and let him or her know that you appreciate the support.
If your rep. has not yet expressed support for this legislation(*), please give him or her a call immediately.
(*) The Boston reps. not co-sponsoring the Walsh amendment are: Dorcena Forry, Holmes, Honan, Malia, Michelwitz, Moran, Rushing, Sanchez, Scaccia, Walz.
COME TO THE STATE HOUSE AND ATTEND THE BUDGET HEARINGS AND LOBBY
In addition to calling and writing your state representatives, we urge all workers and retirees from all unions to come to the State House to defend collective bargaining during the entire week of the budget debate from Monday, April 25th to Friday, April 29th. When coming to the State House stop first on the 5th floor of the Massachusetts Teachers Association building at 20 Ashburton Place on Beacon Hill.
Massachusetts House of Representatives Budget Week Lobby Days
- Monday (4/25): All Unions Day – Public, Building Trades, Private Sector, CLCs, Union E-boards, Officers & Staff; ad campaign begins.
- Tuesday (4/26): AFSCME and all non-education, non-public safety workers
- Wednesday (4/27): Public Safety Day
- Thursday (4/28): Education Day
- Friday (4/29): Everyone.