Shafting The Older City Workers - And Response (2)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

City officials argued two years ago they could not afford retirement health insurance benefits for older employees.

 

In July 2010, City Council members voted unanimously to pull the rug out from under older city workers with up to 25 years of service, and voted to discontinue retirement health insurance benefits.

 

 

Interestingly enough, the health insurance benefits taken from older workers are now proposed to expand to non-employees.  

 

What about the rights of the older workers just two years ago?

 

Imagine, working 24 years for a benefit promised to you, and bam your employer takes it.  That is precisely what the City Council did to older city workers just two years ago.

 

Prior to the city’s vote to strip retirement health insurance benefits from older workers, the retirement health insurance benefits would convert to a Medicare supplement for older retirees at age 65. This was a defined worker benefit to supplement Medicare.  

 

As a former caregiver of elderly parents, I can tell you that Medicare has gaps larger than the Grand Canyon. Filling that gap is very costly. Ok that was two years ago, the city argued they could not afford to continue the retirement health insurance promised to them for 24 years. 

 

I would like to know what has changed in the city’s financial condition where they can now expand the same health insurance benefits they voted to take from older workers.

 

Chattanooga government presented the following data to City Council earlier this year.

 

Medical Cost History:  City of Chattanooga

Year                                       Taxpayer Cost

2008                                       $24,855,880

2009                                       26,162,286

2010                                        28,426,310

2011                                        27,771,824

2012                                        33,133,799

Projected 2013                   37,902,224

 

The  city Finance Department reported that the city had increased health insurance benefits of over $10 million in just six years. 

 

What has changed in the health care costs?

 

If anyone is being shafted here, it is the older workers of the city of Chattanooga. They are actual employees that worked for the benefit.

 

1)      Why is the city of Chattanooga expanding health insurance benefits to non-employees, when just two years ago, two of the same council members voted to strip retirement health care benefits from older workers. Did the city have a financial windfall, what changed? 

2)      What about the actual employees that lost the retirement health insurance?  Is this fair to them? 

3)      Proponents of the health care benefits expansion claim that the the actuary of the health insurance is actually lowered by their enrollment.  Can the public see these calculations? 

Are we just supposed to ignore what the city did to older workers just 24 months ago, or the $10 million in increased costs? 

 

April Eidson   

* * * 

I strongly agree with the opinion regarding Chattanooga city employees - they were promised for years and years regarding insurance benefits at a most difficult transition period in their lives. Twenty years plus persons, some within days of the benefit, were told by the Littlefield regime that they were no longer entitled to the promised benefit. This is a shame.   

Take care of these people first. Restore what was promised to them and then consider benefits to others. How can the city abandon what is right for the deserving employees and turn around and consider this benefit for non-employees?  If you can afford both then do so. If you can't ...do what is right for those employees that put in the time, put in the work, and put in the years.   

How can you have trust when you can see it can so easily turn into a lie? 

Larry Turner

* * * 

Let's face it.  The city is pushing an agenda regardless of whether or not it makes sense financially or in any other way.  They want to promote homosexual, transgender, lesbian, etc. rights.  This administration has made that very clear in some of their other policies, so this should not be a surprise.  

People can argue against this policy of expanding health care benefits from all different angles but it will go unheeded because they are going to push this agenda no matter what. 

They are on a mission.  

Joyce Hague


My Memorial Day Story

We talk about the sacrifice our service people make defending our freedom, and are sincere in doing so, but for most of us it does not really come home. I had an experience many years ago that brought it home forcibly to me. I don’t tell it often because it really tears me up to remember.   It was in the Philippines shortly after World War II. The Huk insurrection ... (click for more)

David Carroll: Best Class Night Ever - Meet Mr. And Ms. Dade County High

Graduation season is filled with great moments, and here's my favorite of the year: Dade County High School's Class Night. Media specialist Carissa Henry just finished her 15th year at Dade, and was filled with pride as she told me the story. Each year, seniors nominate five girls and five boys to be candidates for Mr. and Ms. Dade. A school-wide election is then held, and the ... (click for more)

Unexpected Amount East Ridge Owes On Fire Hall Property Rises To $603,000; City To Apply For Reimbursement

The unexpected amount the city of East Ridge will owe the state on the fire hall property in connection with the Bass Pro development has risen to $603,000. Earlier, East Ridge officials said the payment would be $428,000. City Manager Andrew Hyatt said Monday, "The Tennessee Department of Transportation notified the city of East Ridge that an appraisal of the city’s former ... (click for more)

Fire Breaks Out At House Off Highway 58

A fire broke out on Memorial Day afternoon at a house off Highway 58. A 911 call was made at 12:10 p.m. reporting a house fire at 6019 Hillcrest Dr. The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and found fire showing on an addition to the house. Firefighters worked quickly entering the addition to extinguish the fire from spreading to the main level of the house. ... (click for more)

Gilpin, Stocks Victorious In Chattanooga Chase 8K

John Gilpin has done plenty of training in North Chattanooga and is very familiar with the Chattanooga Chase and the series of hills the oldest race in Chattanooga is known for. Jennifer Stocks has done more than her share of workouts on those roads, so she was fully aware of the challenge she faced when the starting horn sounded. Both were overall winners in this unique 8K ... (click for more)

Golf and Chattanooga Have Lost Another Oehmig

  It was a classic Father’ Day golf picture. No, not Jack and Arnie and their kids relaxing at Augusta National with the Dogwoods blooming. But the Oehmig men – Lew, the family patriarch, with his youngest son, King, and his then two grade school age sons Henry and John, all crowded into, what else, a golf cart and donning that Oehmig glasses look – round, turtle shell-colored ... (click for more)