Mayor Villaraigosa is crowing about the recently approved proposal offered by the city to the EAA.
I think it’s more like eating crow.
Let’s see, the EAA members will now cover 5% of their health premiums; the contribution was zero.
The co-pay will go from $10 to $20 per visit.
What’s there to cheer about unless you are a union member or a politician who depends on the unions for support?
Here are some facts: A 2008 survey of the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that employees contributed an average of 19% for single coverage and 29% for family coverage in the private sector. In the public sector, it was 10% and 27%, respectively. I don’t believe the rates have changed significantly; if anything, they have probably increased.
Regardless of which sector you compare the EAA to, its members got one hell of a deal.
Just imagine – the mayor wants to use the EAA agreement as a model for negotiations with the Coalition of City Unions.
Such sacrifice. To paraphrase Winston Churchill: never in the field of labor negotiations has so little been sacrificed by so few to the detriment of so many.
This concession is what Mayor Villaraigosa had the gall to hail as “unprecedented.”
Using the mayor’s own numbers, the annual cost of employee health care is supposed to increase by $153 million over the next five years. Assuming all unions agree to a 5% contribution, it still means the taxpayers will bear $145 million of the increase. That’s not much to cheer about.
Maybe the mayor and CAO Santana should have looked to the State of Washington before negotiating the softball contract with the EAA.
The negotiations will be brutal, but at least Washington is driving a hard bargain and not rolling over as Villaraigosa is. In any event, Washington state employees will be paying considerably more than Los Angeles city employees.
It makes you wonder why City Hall bothers to negotiate.