Board Vice President Eric Anderson said that while he was initially in favor of moving retirees to Plan B with a Reimbursement Agreement and prescription cap, “that was basically under the premise that the district needed a lot of money.”
However, he continued, thanks to Mannix finding creative ways to cut costs, BCSD’s financial outlook now seems to have improved.
Instead of making a unilateral switch, Anderson noted, he’d like to take more time to work with retirees and determine what health-insurance options would best benefit both the former employees and the district.
“Let’s say, ‘We’re done; we’re not making the (unilateral) switch,’” Anderson said.
His fellow board members ultimately agreed, eliciting applause from the audience.
Passno said she hopes the BCSD community will continue to be as involved in future district matters as they have been in this one.
Late last year, the school’s active teachers and support staff negotiated a switch to Plan B with a reimbursement agreement, giving the district a window of time in which it could legally switch retiree health insurance unilaterally.
Mannix explained that, in the opinion of the district’s attorney, that opportunity ends on March 1.
“This is basically closing the window for any unilateral move,” Mannix said. “Any other moves going forward ... would just be options.”
During the public comment session following the decision, BCSD retirees and community members thanked the board for discussing the matter in public.
“I think you are the most intelligent people I’ve ever seen on a school board,” district resident Ken Mauer Sr. said. “You always open everything up.”
“Thank you for considering us,” added BCSD retiree Sydney “Sue” Garrant, who also thanked Mannix for meeting with retirees to discuss the issue.
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