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Monday, May 17, 2010

Retirees' lawsuit and negotiated change in health insurance

Questions: 1) What is the status of the retirees' lawsuit against the district triggered by the small copays they are required to pay now? Since a decision in their favor would create an increase in the benefits expenses for the district, was this possible increase considered in the budget process? 2) Knowing that state aid would be 11+% less, why would the board come up with a budget 3.98% higher than last year. Seems to me, if you know you are getting less, you spend less. Yes, the cost of things increase, but operational costs were cut in your proposed budget with salaries and benefits increasing. I thought the switch in insurance plans created a savings, not an increase in expenses. What happened to the savings generated from said switch?

Answers: (1) The lawsuit you're referring to has not yet been decided. If the decision goes against the district, the resulting cost to the district would be about $40,000 next year. Although this cost is not built into the proposed budget as a line item, the district is obligated to keep enough money in its fund balance to cover this expense, should it arise -- just as it is obligated to keep $249,560 in its fund balance to cover the potential loss of 2009-10 school tax revenue from the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District (HRBRRD).

(2) Last year, the Broadalbin-Perth Teachers Association renegotiated the health care portion of its contract in order to help save the jobs of five colleagues who otherwise would have been laid off. This was a stipulation of negotiation: All savings generated from the change would go toward saving teacher jobs.
Click here to read the answer to a similar question.
- answered by Stephen Tomlinson, District Superintendent

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