Pasco nears deal on employee health insurance benefits
It's not done yet, but representatives from the Pasco school district and the United School Employees of Pasco have reached agreement in principle on recommended health benefits for employees.
The recommendation would allow employees to buy dental insurance as a pretax benefit, but it would not be covered by the district. It also includes an HMO option that would fully cover employees (but not their family members), with added choices of PPO plans that would cost $30 or $65 monthly. Dependent insurance costs are expected to go up 6 percent to 9 percent.
"While there are increased co-pays with some of the plans, much of an employee’s cost can be minimized by utilizing the three health centers the District will have up and running by January," USEP president Lynne Webb wrote in an update to members. "Each center will be staffed by physicians, have extended operating hours, require no co-payment, and be able to dispense over 200 types of prepackaged generic medications at no cost to the employees."
Several other key issues that also impact the budget and negotiations remain unresolved, including an early retirement plan and furlough days. The use of Race to the Top and stimulus funds also are unsettled. The School Board is scheduled to give its final blessing Tuesday to a .25 mill tax rate increase, which is projected to generate $5.6 million for "critical operating needs." The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the district headquarters in Land O'Lakes.