May 12, 2013

City School constituents discuss health insurance



Another speaker, taxpayer and  Plattsburgh Teachers Association President Mary Lou LaRocque-Megarr, stated that switching plans is a complex decision and should not be made without research and discussion. 

“No board member, no negotiating team wants the responsibility of someone losing their home because we’ve switched to Plan B,” she said. 

Both LaRocque-Megarr and Rod Sherman, a retired teacher and former Teachers Association president, also noted that the union and district have a long history of collaborating and achieving compromise.  

“I don’t see this issue as being any different,” LaRocque-Megarr said. “It’s another issue that we will put on the table and talk about together, but retirees, we’re not going to sell you out.”


City School teacher and taxpayer Tim Mulligan also spoke, questioning why consortium members can choose only between Plan A and Plan B. 

“Neither plan is working for both the district and its members ... Why can’t the consortium and the board work to put together a package that meets more in the middle?” he asked. 

Two days after the forum, the health-insurance discussion continued at a City School Board meeting, where board member Steve Krieg said he would support a unilateral insurance switch.

“We’re not taking away a good plan and leaving them with no plan,” he said. “We’re taking away a good plan and leaving them with a good plan.”

He and fellow board member Fred Wachtmeister urged the public to share their thoughts on the topic with the board. 

Wachtmeister added he would appreciate hearing from local workers, such as employees of the county, city, Georgia Pacific, SUNY Plattsburgh and CVPH Medical Center about the health-insurance plans offered by their employers.

During the public-comment portion of the meeting, Scott Waite, Plattsburgh Teachers Association negotiations chair, noted that while it was Locey’s opinion that Plan B is equivalent to the state’s plan, “something like that would have to be settled by a judge.”

In addition, LaRocque-Megarr spoke at the meeting, echoing Mulligan’s sentiments that the consortium should offer more plan options. 

“I would urge the board to put some pressure on the consortium,” she said. 

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More information about health-insurance plans A and B, including a plan comparison, is available on the Plattsburgh School District's website:

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