Los Angeles County MTA Should Contribute Additional $4 Million for Employee Health Insurance Costs, Panel Says
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority should contribute an additional $4 million toward health insurance costs for members of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277, which represents mechanics employed by MTA, a three-member arbitration panel on Wednesday said in a nonbinding recommendation, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports (Mascaro, Long Beach Press Telegram, 6/2). Union members in November voted to approve a negotiated contract and return to work as the panel settled the health care issues that resulted in a 35-day strike (California Healthline, 11/20/2003). MTA members represented by ATU pay no premiums for health insurance for themselves and pay $6 per month for family health coverage, the Press Telegram reports. Retirees ages 65 and older pay $21 per month for health coverage. ATU President Neil Silver said that MTA member contributions likely would increase under the recommendation of the panel.
Silver said, "I think the award is a mixed bag, but we won. If you take a look at their last, best and final offer, we beat it. Isn't that the idea?" County Supervisor and MTA board Chair Zev Yaroslavsky said he would recommend that the MTA board approve the recommendation of the panel at a meeting on Monday. "I think it's a fair result, a fair ruling," Yaroslavsky said, adding, "We can easily live with this." ATU members will vote on the recommendation on Monday, Silver said (Long Beach Press Telegram, 6/2).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.