Six L.A. City Unions Avert Health Cost Hike, While Another Concedes
Six Los Angeles unionsÂ have blocked Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's (D) effort to increase health care contributions for city workers, while the Engineers and Architects Association agreed to the higher health care payments as part of a new contract, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Blocking Health Care Hikes
The unions working against Villaraigosa are members of the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which represents around 22,000 members.
The group persuaded the city's employee relations board to refrain from declaring an impasse during the current round of contract talks, which would have allowed budget negotiators to unilaterally increase city workers' costs for:
- Doctor visits;
- Hospital stays; and
- Prescription drugs.
Agreeing to Contract Changes
On Monday, the Engineers and Architects Association announced that it had ratified a one-year contract stipulating that workers would pay a minimum of 5% toward their health care premiums. EAA previously did not contribute to their premium costs.
The union also agreed to raise their copayments for visits to physician offices and emergency departments. In exchange, budget negotiators scaled back EAA members' furlough days from 26 to 10 this year.
Villaraigosa praised EAA's new contract agreement and promised to ratchet up his efforts to require other unions to pay 10% of the cost of their premiums (Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 8/25).
On Tuesday, KPCC's "KPCC News" reported on the contract negotiations. The segment includes comments from Villaraigosa and Michael Davies, interim executive director of the Engineers and Architects Association (Kandel, "KPCC News," KPCC, 8/24).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.