WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Lee County Wants Health Insurance Changes

Oct 2, 2013

Lee County is looking for some significant changes in employee benefits in its next contract with the union representing employees in the Sheriff's Office.

The county's initial contract offer to the union is a two-year deal that would run from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2016.

It calls for employees in the Sheriff's Office to pay 25% of the cost of a single health insurance policy.

The current contract provides employees with a free single policy.

The cost of a family plan would also jump as employees would pay 25% of the monthly premium.  They currently pay 15% of the difference between a single and family plan.

Lee County also wants to have the final say on any changes to the insurance programs and to have language that blocks the union from filing a grievance in relation to any change.

The proposal also calls for changes to how dental and vision care is paid for and how much prescription drugs cost.

These are significant changes to what the union is looking for as its one-year offer to the county calls for no new language on health insurance.

The union is also seeking a 7% wage hike during the one year contract.

The county has countered with 1% annually for two years. 

It has also requested language changes in areas such as lockouts, work stoppages, stand-by pay, vacation time, overtime, and probationary personal days.

Negotiations have begun between the two sides.  The current contract expires June 30, 2014.