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Posted on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

Saline employees agree to health-care concessions

By Lisa Allmendinger

Saline's two police unions, members of Teamsters Local 214 and its nonunion employees recently agreed to concessions that will save the city about $190,000 in health care costs in 2011.

An estimated $238,000 increase in health care costs for 2011 was reduced to about $48,000. The City Council recently unanimously approved the changes to the health care plans.

All employees will pay a higher deductible, more of their prescription costs and a higher out-of-pocket maximum for their health benefits. Originally, the city’s employee renewal rates for medical, dental and optical coverage for both retirees and active employees “reflect(ed) an increase of 33 percent or approximately $238,000,” said Todd Campbell, city manager, in a memo to the City Council.

But with the concessions, the total health care costs increased by only about 8.96 percent from $535,121 to $583,069.

When faced with overwhelming increases in the cost of Blue Cross/Blue Shield health care coverage, Campbell recommended that the city change its plan.

The Saline Police Officer’s Association unanimously rejected the city’s request for a switch to the city's proposed plan option and offered a counter proposal for the 10-member police department as well as the two sergeants, who are in the Police Officer’s Labor Council union.

The proposal included accepting a higher deductible and having employees pay 30 percent of it while the city pays 70 percent. The change saved the city $32,440 over the existing policy ratified in the union contract, according to a letter from Theo Helms of the Saline Police Officer’ Association.

Members of Teamster’s Local 214 agreed to the city’s original request for a change in health care plans. Union members will pay 15 percent of the deductible for that policy.

The switch will result in "reducing the city’s increased costs for health care benefits for Teamsters members from 22 percent to a much more manageable 7.5 percent,” a letter from Allen A. Lewis of Teamsters Local 214 said.

The Teamsters also agreed to a one-year contract extension that expires June 30, 2012, but which includes a wage freeze for 2011-2012. Members would still be eligible for annual step increases and longevity payments.

The city has an operating budget of about $11.8 million and has had three consecutive years of declining tax revenues.

According to Campbell’s memo, a fourth year of tax revenue declines is projected.

Lisa Allmendinger is a reporter for She can be reached at For more Saline stories, visit our Saline page.



Sun, Jan 2, 2011 : 10:12 a.m.

What appears to be happening is that government "costs" continue to increase, just not in the amount they would prefer, while the "tax pool" they depend upon to pay for those increases, continues to decrease because they have "actually" lost ALL or part of their income and assets. This leaves a significantly reduced tax pool to pay a significantly increased portion of their income to support the increased cost of these service providers in a disproportionate manner. What is happening as a result of this phenomenon is that we have 80% of the work force with inferior salaries and benefits paying a greater percentage of their income to sustain the superior salaries, benefits, and "continued employment" of a 20% minority. This 20% minority is also responsible for the majority of unfunded government debt in the form of pensions and associated benefits. This unfunded debt is creating havoc in states (Illinois) (Michigan) cities (Mount Clemens, Hamtramick) Locally and most recent, Sylvan Township, and in general, all across the country. The facts are that the money is running out and we still have government entities whose operating costs continue to "increase" while they are calling it "saving". These entities, no matter how difficult, must begin to actually reduce their cost of operation, not just minimize the increases. If government continues to fail in its fiscal responsibility, it may actually fail entirely.


Fri, Dec 31, 2010 : 11:34 p.m.

Oops, I made a mistake. The City of Saline's increased costs for the union will be 8.96%, not the 7.5% stated by Mr. Lewis at local 214, the cops union. Why on earth are cops in unions anyway, that is very disturbing to me?

Go Blue

Fri, Dec 31, 2010 : 9:12 a.m.

And do you think anyone will not grumble and be cranky over this? Surely not less than usual. Ought to be glad they even have a job and health insurance unlike many others that have lost their home, job and carry zero insurance. Be thankful you still have what you have and start to give something back instead of always taking, taking and taking more. Oh, but wait, this is Saline after all, land of entitlement. Home values are in the tank but taxes continue to do nothing but increase. Huge reality check sure is needed.


Fri, Dec 31, 2010 : 7:16 a.m.

Wait until Obamacare kicks in, that will seem like a bargain.? So our most esteemed police officers feel they need a union do they? Not so sure Jimmy Hoffa would be proud or not. Mr Campbell when negotiating with the union thugs, one piece of advice, " do not give them anymore than they ask for". Police officers with unions, fire departments with unions, congressmen make the laws they need not unions. When does it all end, I know when, it will end when this country is owned by China. Borrow, tax, and spend. Has anyone ever heard of "fiscal responsibility"?


Thu, Dec 30, 2010 : 10:30 p.m.

whoop dee doo! A 7.5% increase in health care costs in one year is reasonable Mr. Lewis, you gotta be kidding the taxpayers dude.