Republican legislators reviewing details of the collective bargaining agreement reached between the state and the largest union for state workers are raising a red flag about one expense. House Speaker Christopher Rants of Sioux City says two percent pay raises in each of the next two years seems “reasonable,” but he’s worried by the state’s pledge to pay a greater share of health insurance premiums.The State soon will pay 85 percent of health care premiums for its employees, and Rants says the average employer pays about 72 percent. Rants says that may not be sustainable for the state, given dramatically increasing health care costs. The contract also calls for letting employees pay to get their “domestic partner” covered under their insurance plan. In addition, the union got language inserted in the deal that bars the state from forcing workers to take unpaid furloughs rather than layoffs. Rants says that means the union has chosen layoffs as opposed to letting folks keep their jobs and take a few days of unpaid leave. Rants says by doing that, the union’s almost guaranteeing that some form of layoffs will occur.
You are here: / Republicans say insurance cost raises concern for AFSCME contract