UTD Healthcare Negotiations
Healthcare negotiations for the 2012 calendar year have begun. During our last full bargaining session, MDCPS presented a status report of the current year and a projection for 2012. Based on the current plan usage and industry trends, maintaining the current plan design will require an additional investment of $65 Million or a 19.1% increase.
Given the year over year cuts to the school district budget that have been made by the Florida Legislature, we find ourselves in a precarious situation. Karen Aronowitz has therefore appointed a bargaining sub-committee to meet more regularly than the full bargaining team in order to investigate all options related to health insurance. This team is comprised of five members of the UTD Bargaining Team and a UTD staff member.
Paying for a $65 Million increase requires some combination of:
• Contribution by the employer
• Cost-shifting to the employee
• Cost containment
Typically in bargaining, UTD would be pushing for an increased contribution by the employer to cover any increases. We will continue that push this year, but given the district's budget limitations we must consider all options.
A typical board strategy would be to maximize the cost-shift to the employees by increasing premiums and co-pays to absorb the $65 Million increase. It has been made clear to the district's bargaining team that this would be unacceptable to UTD.
The sub-committee has therefore spent multiple days investigating cost containment options. As a self-insured entity, the school district has more flexibility in plan design and provider selection. With roughly 50,000 insured lives, the district has some leverage when negotiating with healthcare providers.
UTD is committed to providing the highest quality health insurance to our members at the lowest cost possible. We will investigate any and all options that allow us to maximize the value of our health insurance benefits. We welcome all suggestions and will be surveying members about various options in the near future.
There is a bargaining session on Tuesday, November 15th and UTD Stewards will be receiving an update at the November 17th Council of Stewards meeting.