L.A. Unions Agree To Set Aside 4% of Salaries for Retiree Health Benefits
Los Angeles city workers recently voted to contribute 4% of their salaries toward retiree health benefits starting in July, Bloomberg reports (Palmeri, Bloomberg, 4/27).
City workers currently do not contribute to their retiree health benefits. Under the agreement, workers would contribute 2% of their wages toward retiree health benefits starting in April and would increase their contribution to 4% in July (AP/Wall Street Journal, 4/27).
Miguel Santana, the city's administrative officer, said the city will cover any increases in retiree health care costs as part of its agreement with the unions.
The Coalition of Los Angeles City Unions said that about 19,000 employees were eligible to cast votes and that 80% of the city's bargaining units approved the plan. Many workers voted in favor of the deal to avoid job cuts and furloughs, according to Bloomberg (Bloomberg, 4/27).
In addition to the health care payments, Los Angeles workers agreed to increase their pension contributions from 6% to 11% of their salaries (Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News, 4/27).
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) said the agreement will reduce city spending by $396 million over the next four years. The city currently faces a $457 million deficit in its $4.4 billion general fund budget for fiscal year 2012 (Bloomberg, 4/27).
No Deal for Some Unions
Meanwhile, four labor groups representing more than 6,300 full-time city workers voted against the labor agreement.On Wednesday, Villaraigosa called for those employees to face 42 furlough days between now and June 2012 (Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 4/28). 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.