Highway Patrol Union To Pre-Fund Retiree Health Benefits With Pay Hikes
On Thursday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced that the California Association of Highway Patrolmen agreed to amend a negotiated contract to redirect scheduled wage increases to prepay officers' retiree health benefits, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The union, which represents California Highway Patrol officers, amended its contract with the Department of Personnel Administration and agreed to forgo the 0.5% pay hike scheduled to take effect last month.
Under the new contract, officers would not receive raises this year or next year. Instead, scheduled pay increases and an additional 0.5% payroll deduction would go toward officers' retiree health care costs.
The state plans to match the workers' 2009 and 2010 contributions but will not make payments until July 2012.
The plan will take effect after union members ratify the amended contract.
Schwarzenegger praised the union's actions, noting that California has billions of dollars in unfunded obligations for state worker retiree health benefits (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 8/28).
No More Furloughs for CHP 911 Dispatchers
Also on Thursday, Schwarzenegger called off state-mandated furloughs for CHP's 911 response system.
The move follows recent reports of sluggish response times for CHP dispatchers.
The dispatchers will be exempt from furloughs starting Sept. 1, a spokesperson for the governor said (Furillo, Sacramento Bee, 8/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.