Dearborn teachers union will manage own health care

DEARBORN, Mich. — Control of teacher health care would shift from the school district to the teachers union in Dearborn pending final approval of a tentative agreement that teachers OK’d this week, according to The Detroit News.

Dearborn Public Schools would pay a fixed amount annually to a health care trust that would be managed by the Michigan State AFL-CIO Public Employee Trust, The News reported.  This year the contribution would be about $12,000 per employee, with fixed increases in the next two years. Future levels would be subject to collective bargaining.

School board trustees are expected to vote on the contract Monday, according to The News. Chris Sipperley, president of the Dearborn Federation of Teachers, said the new health care plan would be “union-managed and union-owned,” The News reported, while the district said it is saving money by capping its contribution.

The tentative contract also includes pay cuts of 3 percent for top-scale teachers and 3.5 percent for all others, according to The News. Teachers will still get seniority step increases, but not retroactively, and it will take more years of service to teach the top step, The News reported.

The Detroit News, “Dearborn teachers union votes to own, operate health plan,” May 4, 2011

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Benefits in Balance