Judge: District can impose insurance cap

WOODHAVEN, Mich. - A Wayne County Circuit Court judge ruled Friday that the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District has the right to deduct money from employee paychecks for health insurance premiums, The (Southgate) News Herald reported.

The Woodhaven-Brownstown Education Association had sought to block the move, alleging that the school district improperly imposed the $186 biweekly deduction because the district and teachers union had not reached impasse during contract negotiations, according to The News Herald.

The deductions apply to about 260 of the district's 313 teachers who receive Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance administered through the Michigan Education Special Services Association, according to The News Herald. Previously, the district paid the full annual MESSA premium of $15,235; now, the district has capped its share at $13,000, with employees paying the difference.

The cap is expected to save the district about $150,000 this year, according to The News Herald.

Superintendent Barbara Lott told The News Herald that the district needs to make long-term structural changes in operations in view of declining revenue. Union officials did not return requests for comment, The News Herald reported.

The (Southgate) News Herald, "Woodhaven: Judge says school district can impose insurance cap on teachers," Feb. 9, 2010

Michigan Education Report, "Splitting the bill for health insurance," Aug. 19, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Michigan School District Health Insurance, 2008-2009 (Database)