Unprecedented Coalition Of Unions, Local Gov Management & Elected Officials Come Together To Propose Solution To Devastating Impending Healthcare Premium Hikes
CWA members in New Jersey have been fighting back against proposed increases to their healthcare premiums that would have a devastating impact on workers and on New Jersey property taxpayers. On December 12th, CWA D1 New Jersey Area Director Fran Ehret joined an unprecedented coalition of government unions, elected officials, the NJ League of Municipalities, NJ Association of Counties, NJ Urban Mayors Association and NJ Conference of Mayors for a press conference to advocate for a solution to the dramatic increases poised to hit January 1st, 2023.
For months, the union side of the Plan Design Committee (PDC) has been publicly promoting several significant cost-savings measures that do not involve cost-shifting to the workers. Local governments are now faced with a difficult fiscal challenge mere weeks away – having to pay an additional 20% insurance increase, compounded by an 18% pension increase on top of that. These dual factors will cause property taxes to spike and also pass along significant increases to local and county government workers.
Time is ticking to find a solution to this impending problem, so CWA and other unions and local government management in New Jersey are joining together to call for support of a legislative policy proposal consisting of a one-time appropriation to offset increases in the State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) in 2023. This plan would also guarantee $100 million annually in true cost savings – not cost-shifting onto employees – which would directly result in benefiting taxpayers. If the $100 million does not materialize via the PDC, then the proposal empowers the State Treasurer to implement savings unilaterally. It also provides a brief enrollment period, so union members can accurately assess the impact of their current plan and make informed decisions concerning their health insurance coverage going forward.