The [New Haven] mayor said the city’s health care and pension plans are “far more generous” than the private sector.
Workers in AFSCME have a Bluecare preferred provider plan where they pay 10 percent of the premiums, according to Kevin Murphy, the labor advocate from AFSCME on the binding arbitration panel for the custodians union.
Workers contribute about 8 percent of their salaries toward pensions, he said. The amount the city pays fluctuates each year. After meeting the rule of 80 (the number of years worked plus the worker’s age must equal 80), workers can retire with a pension for the rest of their lives. ...
[New Haven mayor John DeStefano] accused Local 287 of “unwillingness to engage” in discussions about changing medical and pension plans. He said the city needs to change custodians’ work rules, too.
On a given day, DeStefano said, a quarter of the [New Haven] school custodians are absent. On Tuesday, a third were missing on the job, he said. That meant there was no one to clean the Barnard magnet school, and because of work rules, he can’t switch workers from another school to fill in.
“I’m not asking for pay cuts. I’m not asking for layoffs. I’m asking them to show up for work, for God’s sake,” DeStefano said. “The point of privatization is to show them that if they don’t show up for work, someone will.”
--Melissa Bailey, New Haven Independent, on explicit and implicit benefits of working for New Haven