Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Rochester

City Hall and Unions Applaud New Health Care Agreement

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Rochester: City Hall and Unions Applaud New Health Care Agreement
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A groundbreaking health care agreement between the City of Rochester and the leaders of the unions representing city workers is expected to save tens of millions of dollars.

This is a big deal for the city of Rochester and its employees. The three-year agreement between City Hall of the four unions representing city workers could save the city more than $13 million.

Mayor Tom Richards announced the new deal Tuesday afternoon.

This health care plan means the city will take on a self-insurance funding mechanism beginning January 1st. It will be managed by a health care committee comprised of labor and management.

"The city will make a contribution; a contribution to the health care program is essentially what our contribution is today. Those costs are substantial. They're close to $52 million," Richards said. "While it's a large number and it's going to increase, we know what it is and we can work to figure out how we're going to pay it."

Union leaders believe it's a model that should be adopted by other municipalities across New York State.

"This governance that we established really makes us equal in determining health care," said Mike Mazzeo, president of the Rochester Police Locust Club. "And I think it's innovative, it keeps us focused and in touch and there needed to be a change. We saw the ever increasing inflationary costs of health care and there was no way to sustain it, we understood that."

The city will cap its contribution at 3.75 percent. That may mean that some measures may have to be adopted to keep the plan affordable. Those measures will be determined by the Labor-Management Health Care Committee.

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