Press-Republican

Education

May 12, 2013

City School constituents discuss health insurance

(Continued)

”It seems the fiscally responsible action for the Plattsburgh City School District would be to move to Plan B for all active and retired employees, with a buyout option for Plan A,” she said. “This would allow employees and retirees to choose to stay on Plan A as long as they pay the difference.”

Allen added that Plan B, like Plan A, is a “Cadillac” plan. 

“Most taxpayers have plans that are nowhere near as rich as Plan B,” she said.  “Taxpayers are frustrated, and they’re looking for some common-sense solution, and they’re realizing they’re footing the bill of extremely rich benefits that have been around 30 years for a very select group.”

NEGOTIATIONS NEEDED?

Chmura also advocated for the switch to be made; however, he urged the board to do it unilaterally. 

”It can be done without collective bargaining, which means it can be done expeditiously,” he said. 

City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short told the Press-Republican in a separate interview that according to both the Plattsburgh Teachers Association and Plattsburgh Civil Service Employees Association contacts, their health-insurance plan must be at least the equivalent of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Statewide Plan. 

”This brings the question forward (of whether) the School Board can or has interest in unilaterally switching plan options absent contract negotiations,” Short said.

When asked by a forum attendee if Plan B is at least equivalent to the state’s plan, Locey responded that it is, and that, in his opinion, Plan B is better. 

NEED CITED

Retired City School teacher Arnie Burdo also spoke at the forum, saying Plan A coverage allowed him to receive quality care through open heart-surgery and treatment of prostate cancer. 

”I’m asking for a situation which allows senior citizens like myself to be grandfathered into a good insurance like the one we have right now,” he said. “I know there are some people who would like to cut down their taxes, but I pay taxes, too, and so do all of my relatives, and they don’t mind chipping in to keep me alive.”

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