by Zaidee Martin, Attorney At Law
As you know, MMA’s Tentative Agreement (“TA”) was recently ratified by members. The next step is to present it to the State Legislative Subcommittee (SER) for approval. However, the State has many bargaining units and for efficiencies sake MMB will continue to bargain with other units and add other TAs to ours prior to presenting it to the subcommittee. So ours will not be presented right away.
In addition, although our TA has not yet been presented to the committee, AFSCME and MAPE TAs were. On October 5, the subcommittee voted to reject those contracts. This has direct effects for our members, particularly re: insurance, because of the timing of open enrollment and because the State has one health insurance plan.
At this point, the following Insurance changes WILL NOT GO INTO EFFECT on January 1, 2018:
-Convenience clinics co-pay reduction.
-Dental benefit increases.
-Dental premium increases to pay for the benefit increases above (instead premiums will have a very small natural increase based on current plan
benefits and market).
Some changes that WILL OCCUR regardless of Contract approval:
-Short term disability open enrollment (without requiring evidence of insurability)
-Life insurance open enrollment (without requiring evidence of insurability)
-Inequity increases to specific classifications agreed on during bargaining.
-Value based insurance pilot program: gives some cost savings to employees to encourage diseases management for particular conditions, where it helps
employee health and plan costs, starting in 2018 with diabetes.
Check the SEGIP link here for updated information on insurance since the legislative action.
All other changes from MMA’s TA, including the phased retirement option, WILL NOT GO INTO EFEECT until the Contract is approved* by the legislature.
A reminder, although our current Contract is technically expired, it continues by Statute with current terms (unless there is a sunset date for a particular benefit in the language-for example: team achievement awards) until there is a new agreement.
Please continue to watch the MMA website for updates.
*or not rejected within 30 days of it being sent to the SER committee.