Tuesday, August 21, 2012

South Carolina teachers union sues to avoid sharing insurance costs with taxpayers

In todays economy the people in the private sector are having to pay part of their premiums. They accept and understand that it is needed to keep their joba and pay. But in the public sector they feel they are exempt from the effects of the poor economy. Teachers and other public employees have the idea that the tax payers have endless pockets and should give them everything they want.  Hell no I say. Get your hands out of MY pocket and start to suffer like the rest of us. This economy is the creation of massive and stupid spending and it is time We The People take back our wallets and country.  We don't work for them.  They work for us.

South Carolina teachers union sues to avoid sharing insurance costs with taxpayers - EAGnews.org :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary:

By Ben Velderman
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina state employees will have to absorb some of the costs whenever their health insurance premiums increase.

So ruled the South Carolina Budget and Control Board in a recent 3-2 decision. Gov. Nikki Haley supports the move and says it will save taxpayers approximately $5.8 million a year.
But the South Carolina Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, says asking state employees to split the extra health insurance costs with taxpayers violates the new state budget, in which lawmakers intentionally decided “to fully cover the premium hikes as part of a larger compromise on worker pay,” reports CBS News.
The teachers union is joining the South Carolina State Employees Association and a University of South Carolina professor in a lawsuit against Gov. Haley to stop the insurance split. They’re asking the state Supreme Court to hear the case immediately, in hopes of getting a final verdict before the policy takes effect on January 1, 2013, reports WSAV.com.
“We … believe that the Budget and Control Board was without the constitutional authority to change the budget as passed by the General Assembly,” said Michael Medlock, an attorney involved in the lawsuit.
Rob Godfrey, the governor’s spokesman, said that while legislators appropriated the money for higher insurance costs, it doesn’t mean the government is required to spend it all, reports CBS News.
“That mentality is exactly what’s wrong with government,” Godfrey told the news outlet.
But even some of Gov. Haley’s fellow Republicans are upset with the new policy, and have asked the board to change its vote.
We’re unqualified to say whether the health insurance split passes constitutional muster or not.
What we do know is that similar policy scuffles are being played out across the nation. Teachers and other state employees are having difficulty accepting the fact that the salad days of annual pay raises and cushy benefit packages are over, perhaps forever.
Teacher union officials blame the new policy on Gov. Haley’s attempt to curry favor with Tea Party activists.
“The governor seems determined to aggressively climb the political ladder at the expense of teachers and school employees,” said SCEA President Jackie Hicks, according to CBS News.
While Hicks’ comments make for a clever sound bite, they don’t ring true.
Many school district budgets are hemorrhaging red ink – thanks in large part to generous union contracts – and officials are looking for ways to cut their losses without shortchanging students. One way is to make employees cover some of their own staggering health care costs, a practice quite common in the private sector and a growing number of school districts around the nation.
Teacher unions can fight this in the courts or at the ballot box, but they cannot change the new financial reality. The louder they protest, the pettier they appear, which further erodes their favorability rating with the public.
Side note: The health insurance split is expected to cost South Carolina teachers and employees $7 a month, which is hardly the mean-spirited demand that union leaders are portraying it to be.
If the unions aren’t careful, they could win these individual policy battles and lose the public relations war.

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