October 15, 2013

No action on PCSD health-insurance

Superintendent encourages board, public to stay informed

PLATTSBURGH — The Plattsburgh City School Board continued its discussion on health insurance at its most recent meeting, but no action was taken on the matter.

Board member Ronald Marino told meeting attendees he felt the board was taking a healthy look at the notion of switching the district’s New York State United Teachers and Civil Service Employees Association members from Plan A to Plan B without negotiations.

He noted that City School Associate Superintendent Jay Lebrun had been working hard to gather data relevant to the topic.

It’s imperative, he said, that the public is made aware that the move is under consideration, Marino told meeting attendees. 

“It hasn’t been just sitting around.”

Last month, several board members indicated that before weighing in on whether to make a unilateral change in plans, they wished for more information on the legality and implications of such a move, as well as an analysis of how Plan B compares to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Statewide Plan.

Contracts for both Plattsburgh’s NYSUT and CSEA members state their health-insurance coverage must be at least equivalent to the statewide plan.


Information has been sought from the district’s legal council, along with Locey and Cahill LLC, consultant to the Clinton-Essex-Warren-Washington Schools Health Insurance Consortium, to which the district belongs.

“We’re going to just keep working on that, so this will be an ongoing contemplation for the board, at this point,” City School Superintendent James “Jake” Short said at the meeting.

He also passed on to meeting attendees information from a presentation given by Locey and Cahill at a recent gathering of the consortium’s Board of Directors that addressed the key mandated benefit changes initiated by the federal Affordable Care Act.

“There’re a number of additional fees, mandates, requirements and, in some cases, depending on the cost of the plan a few years from now, there may be additional taxation on our health-insurance plan,” Short said.

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