Judge Orders County To Reduce Premiums For Police Retirees November 13th, 2013 BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD – A court has ordered Baltimore County to reduce the health insurance premiums it charges hundreds of retired police officers. Baltimore County Circuit Judge Michael … Continue reading
Mason City Schools will abandon the controversial TrueCost health plan after several grievances by teachers. The union representing teachers has filed a grievance over the plan, which the district imposed starting Jan. 1. It pays Medicare rates plus 40 percent. … Continue reading
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The federal government is conducting a review of the state Department of Human Services to determine whether Minnesota properly set payment rates in certain public health insurance programs.
The review will focus on the period from Jan. 1, 2008, to Dec. 31, 2009, according to a Nov. 20 letter from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. read more…
With a standing-room-only crowd as an audience, Stillwater employees told the City Council Tuesday night that the city has dragged its feet long enough in settling its union contracts. As the council prepared to approve its tax levy for 2013, members and supporters of AFSCME Local 517 lined the steps outside City Hall for more than an hour, then lined the walls of the packed council chambers to make their point. “It’s impossible to have an accurate budget without knowing your labor costs,” Brad Junker, a police community service officer, told the council. “But today, all of the city’s union contracts remain open.” The contract for Local 517 expired a year ago. City negotiators continue to insist that workers must swallow a fourth straight year without a pay raise, but must also pay all increases in health insurance costs.
More than a fifth of Minnesotans will sit down at a computer, or talk to someone using a computer, a year from now to answer a series of questions about health insurance. (2007 file / News Tribune)
United Steelworkers Local 11-63 members voted Tuesday to authorize a strike at Cloquet’s Sappi Fine Paper mill.
The vote doesn’t mean that workers will strike, but authorizes union leaders to call a strike if they believe one is needed as the union and company try to reach a contract agreement.
The company said it is offering a very competitive package.
“At a time of so much industry uncertainty, including bankruptcies, mill closures and layoffs, we are disappointed that our employees would risk a potential strike over the highly competitive, total compensation and benefits package offered by Sappi,” the company said in a news release.
“We are hopeful that our Cloquet employees represented by the USW, on reflection, will ratify the contract,” the release said. “However, in the event the Steelworkers strike, we will fully pursue our legally protected right to operate the mill, and supply our customers and are prepared to do so.”
The USW represents roughly 400 of about 715 employees at the mill, Joanna Rieke, Sappi’s manager of corporate communications, said.
Union leaders could not be immediately reached for comment.
Last year Sappi announced plans to convert the existing kraft pulp mill from making pulp to production of chemical cellulose, a purer form of cellulose that can be made into a fabric for clothing, wet wipes and other consumer products. In June, ground was broken on the $170 million project.
The project is the largest investment Sappi has made in North America in some time, and the largest investment at the mill since the $500 million former Potlatch mill expansion in the 1990s.
The conversion project is expected to be completed in June.