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Council moves to make health contributions equal

December 20, 2012

Last week city leaders approved a resolution that will have the Bishop City Council pay the same (10 percent) for its healthcare benefits as other city employees. File photo

Monday, Dec. 10’s Bishop City Council Meeting provided a first for one council member and a last for another.
In her first act as a Bishop City Council member, Pat Gardner asked that city leaders discuss and approve a resolution that would make members of the City Council pay the same contributions to medical benefits as other city employees.
Second District Supervisor-elect Jeff Griffiths, in his final act as a City Council member, made a unanimously supported motion to approve the resolution.
Per this month’s resolution, any difference between medical plans offered to the city’s legislative body that are different from plans offered to other employees are no longer permissible.
City Administrator Keith Caldwell said that, under the agreement, the City Council members will be paying 10 percent of their medical costs.
Before last week’s resolution, City Council members had no monthly charge for individual benefits and a $40 a month fee for family plans.
Under the new agreement, the council will be paying $61 for individuals, $123 for two people and $159 for families.
Caldwell said it is possible that those costs will see annual increases as healthcare costs continue to rise, but the council’s contribution will always remain the same as other city employees.
Caldwell also said that the new rates will also be applied to retired City Council members.
In addition to adjusting the City Council’s benefit rates, city leaders last week also approved a new agreement with the Bishop Police Officers’ Association, adjusting the members’ contributions to healthcare.
The council approved a rate scale for the PD that is exactly the same as the one they adopted for themselves. Both changes are scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, however, CalPERS, the health benefits provider for city employees, must approve the change to the PD’s benefits.
According to Caldwell, before the council approved the resolution last week, Bishop police officers were paying $50 a month for individuals and $100 a month for families.
“As of January, they will be paying 10 percent of the total cost the city pays for benefits” if the agreement is approved by CalPERS, Caldwell said.

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