I'm Still Confused About the GIC
This has been bugging me. According to a quote in The Transcript, Mayor Barrett is claiming that the North Adams Teachers Association and Mass Teachers Association is not telling its members that a raise
was on the table:
"(Polinsky) needs to stop grandstanding and should start working on behalf of the union members, who are deserving of the pay raise that was offered by the School Committee," he said. "It seems she doesn't want to tell them about that."
After chatting with a couple of teachers, they say this is patently untrue. All the information from school committee negotiating table was disseminated to the rank and file.
It also gives the impression that the raise is an "either/or" choice regarding the switch to the GIC. This is puzzling because the switch to the GIC is decision that is before city hall, not the school committee. By definition the raise and GIC are not linked. The premium sharing ratio described by Mr. Hockridge below might be part of the school committee/NATA negotiations but the actual switch is up to the Mayor and the Council to allow all the city unions bargain on healthcare as a single unit.
Of course the whole picture must be taken into consideration and the Mayor is, indeed, the chair of the School Committee. But as I said in the comments below, unless my very basic math is wrong, the GIC, with the city paying 85% the premium (rather than the current 70%), still saves the city over a quarter million dollars and gives the union members a raise at the same time
I appreciate that some folks don't trust that the GIC will be healthy in a decade, but I've seen nothing that backs that projection up. I was also told that the city claims the GIC had 17% rate hike, but with a tiny bit of research, I can find no evidence of this rate hike in the past or near future. (Does anybody know where that number came from?)
There is definitely a piece or two of the puzzle missing and I am perplexed.