May 30, 2017

GIC Victory in Senate Budget Debate

Working together, NAGE members secured a substantial GIC victory during the Senate Budget debate this week. 

While the senate did not adopt the out of pocket cap proposal that we offered through Senator Mike Brady, NAGE’s legislative team, with the support of NAGE leaders and members across the state, was able to secure a compromise amendment that will provide labor with two additional seats on the Group Insurance Commission.  Currently, there are 5 labor side seats and one retiree seat, which gives us 6 voices out of 17.  The amendment, which was adopted by the Senate gives us 8 seats at the table, which would see a much more balanced Commission.

Additionally, the amendment passed by the Senate will require the GIC to conduct two public hearings annually prior to any vote taken to change plan designs or increase costs on employees and their members.  You may recall that NAGE’s GIC Commissioners Bobbi Kaplan and Margaret Thompson led the charge back in January to prevent the GIC from voting on plan design changes.  Although their motion was not successful at the time, it laid the foundation for the hearing requirement approved by the Senate.

Through this process, Senator Mike Brady deserves our thanks and respect for his unfaltering efforts in the face of great pressure.  As the amendments sponsor, Senator Brady committed himself to our fight and did not stop until the amendment was won.

The budget process will now move to conference committee where the differences between the two bills will be reconciled.  Please check back frequently, as we will be asking you to make calls again soon! We cannot stress enough how important these calls are at each step of the legislative process.  

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
NAGE HEADQUARTERS 159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617)984-5695
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