JACKSON, Mich. — Support staff in Northwest Community
Schools will switch health insurance plans and pay 10 percent of their own premiums
as part of an agreement that also will protect their jobs, according to The
Jackson Citizen Patriot.
The Northwest Education Support Personnel Association agreed
to concessions that, combined with retirements, will amount to an approximate
$850,000 reduction in labor costs, The Citizen Patriot reported. The district
is no longer considering outsourcing its support services.
The district learned it could save $400,000 in
transportation costs and $500,000 in custodial costs by contracting with
private companies, according to The Citizen Patriot.
Union President Lindy Loughlin told The Citizen Patriot that
union members approved the concessions overwhelmingly rather than face losing
"Our main priority was to keep our people — whatever it
took," Loughlin said.
The support staff now will enroll in health care plans
through Priority Health, rather than the Michigan Education Special Services
Association, an insurance administrator affiliated with the Michigan Education
Association. The new plan will include health savings accounts. The change is
expected to reduce costs by $400,000.
Retirements among the support are expected to save an
additional $450,000, The Citizen Patriot reported.
The Jackson Citizen Patriot, "Union members of Northwest
Community Schools' support staff accept enough concessions to avoid
privatization," June 16, 2010
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Health Savings Accounts
Can Save Michigan Money," June 30, 2009