Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Avoid Solving a Problem

What you've heard from many of our politicians lately, regarding the health care takeover bill:

"Pity the poor classified employees! Why, Doug from the PSE told us about a bus driver in Auburn who has to spend their entire salary on their health insurance! That's awful! Now, we're not going to raise the amount of money that we put in for health coverage for classified staff, and we're not going to try to lower the cost of health insurance.....no, we're going to add 30+ more state employees over at the Health Care Authority. For the Classified!"

What reality actually tells us, on page 37 of the amendment that Senator Keiser passed out of the committee today:

"School district bargaining may include the classification-specific definitions of how many hours an employee must work to be eligible for plan participation and proration of part-time employee contribution."

The reason your bus driver has to put their whole salary into health insurance is because the pay for bus drivers stinks, and because they're usually not full time employees. SB6442 does nothing to solve the proration problem--a .4 employee is still only going to get .4 of the benefit.

Please remember that in three years when you hear the Public School Employees union going on about how their members still can't afford insurance. Their idea of bargaining something better was to bargain something worse for certificated staff instead.

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