Bad health care proposals

Higher Ed members face squeeze

Separate proposals threaten health insurance for PreK-12 members and higher education members.Lawmakers threaten increased health care costs for higher education members. Higher education faculty and staff could be facing drastic increases in their health insurance premiums, which are set by the Legislature and the governor. House Speaker Sal DiMasi has announced plans to support Governor Deval Patrick's proposal to hike their premiums by as much as 67 percent, or $120 per month for a family.

PreK-12 teachers and ESPs face an attack on collective bargaining.

PreK-12 educators could lose their right to collectively bargain for health insurance. Working with public employee unions and others, we found a way that may help keep health care costs down in your community while preserving employees' right to bargain over health insurance. Municipal employees now have the option to join the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the state employees' health insurance plan.

It's already working. Despite a tight deadline last fall, nine municipalities have joined, saving millions of dollars. Many more are considering signing up. Now, some legislators want to pull the plug. Before communities and municipal employees have a chance to see if joining the GIC will provide savings while maintaining health benefits, some legislators want to undermine this process. They are suggesting that municipalities should be able to ORDER educators and other employees to join the GIC -- without bargaining.

It is critical that MTA members contact their own legislators and the speaker of the house today.