Edgerton could ask city workers to chip in on insurance

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Saturday, October 15, 2011
— The Edgerton City Council on Monday could act on a plan calling for most city workers to contribute to their health insurance.

Under a recommendation forwarded to the council this week by the city’s personnel committee, most represented and non-represented city employees would have to pay 5 percent of premiums on the city’s lowest-cost health insurance policy.

The change would not apply to sworn officers in the police department.

The committee also pushed forward a recommendation to give a 1 percent pay increase to some city department heads and an administrative assistant.

The council will act on the recommendations Monday as part a larger discussion on the city’s 2012 budget.

Alderman Ken Westby, also a member of Edgerton’s personnel committee, is one official who pushed the health insurance recommendation this week. He estimated the insurance change would generate $10,000 in savings for the city.

Westby said the savings would help the city plan its 2012 budget at a time when state-imposed rules limit how much the city can increase its levy, and amid unavoidable expenses that are mounting.

Westby pointed to about $50,000 the city will have to spend on federally mandated narrow-band radios for the city’s police, emergency and city services.

“Ten-thousand dollars in savings doesn’t sound like much, but when you have to put it against something like that, it’s tremendous,” Westby said.

In recent years, city employees have not paid toward their health insurance, said City Administrator Ramona Flanigan.

Flanigan said some employees with different healthcare packages could have to pay “significantly” more than 5 percent of their premiums, although she wouldn’t say how many and which employees would be affected.

Flanigan said estimated costs for insurance packages offered to city workers fall below expense thresholds created by Gov. Scott Walker’s budget bill. She said that means if employees continued to pay nothing for insurance, the city actually would be in compliance with state law.

Regardless, Westby says he and others on the council for months have had constituents tell them they want city workers to pay toward their benefits.

Westby, Ron Webb and Andrea Egerstaffer, the three alderpersons on the personnel committee, all voted in favor of the insurance recommendation.

In the past, Alderman Matt McIntyre has pushed for employees to pay some of their benefits. Alderman Mark Wellnitz said in a phone interview this week he’d also support asking some city employees to pay some of their health care costs.

If you go

What: The Edgerton City Council will discuss and act on a recommendation calling for most city employees to pay 5 percent of their health insurance premiums.

When: 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 17.

Where: Edgerton City Hall, 12 Albion St., Edgerton.

Last updated: 6:43 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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