Patrick partially closes deficit at higher ed members’ expense

Governor Deval Patrick has announced that he is including in his proposed FY09 state budget a plan to shift more than $51 million in costs to state employees by increasing the premiums they pay for their health insurance coverage. He intends to create three tiers of state employees and charge them different premium levels based on income:

  • Employees earning less than $35,000 would continue to pay 15 percent.
  • Employees earning from $35,000 to $50,000 would pay 20 percent.
  • Employees earning over $50,000 would pay 25 percent.

The MTA is urging members to contact the governor's office immediately and ask him NOT to include this plan in his budget proposal to the Legislature. Raising insurance premiums from 15 percent to 20 percent or 25 percent will mean cost increases of more than one-third for many employees. This level of increase unfairly burdens state employees when, instead, all taxpayers should pay their fair share to balance the state budget.

"The MTA will strongly oppose this proposal, which is very unfair to our higher education members," said MTA President Anne Wass. "We are urging members to call or e-mail the governor as soon as possible to make their feelings known about this unjust cost-shifting plan."