We have some good news to report out of Olympia. Teamsters 117, along with a coalition of state-employee unions, has reached a tentative agreement over your health care coverage.
The tentative agreement accomplishes 5 important goals. The proposal:
- Preserves your current 85/15 premium share through June 2015;
- Protects you against increases to your Uniform Medical Plan co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums;
- Requires the State to implement an out-of-pocket maximum that applies to prescriptions in alignment with the Affordable Care Act;
- Requires the State to collaborate with the coalition of unions to develop wellness initiatives for implementation beginning January 1, 2014;
- Permits the State only to reduce UMP co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket maximums as incentives for participation in wellness programs, but prevents the State from increasing your costs for not participating in the programs.
This agreement applies to your 2013-2015 contract term. The agreement meets the October 1 deadline to have a deal in place to forward to the Governor’s budget office for inclusion in his 2014 supplemental budget request.
Your Union could not have accomplished this agreement without your phone calls flooding the Governor’s office demanding that the State maintain protections for you and your family against the skyrocketing cost of health care. The Governor heard your message loud and clear. Local 117 Secretary-Thompson also played a critical role in the challenging negotiations by making a strong case for preserving cost protections for state employees.
Thank you for making your voices heard. And as always, remember to be safe.