The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 10, 2013

Council: Danville employee health insurance contracts locked until 2016

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Borough officials voted not to pursue changing health care packages of employees because three union contracts are in effect.

Property owner and businessman Mike Kuziak asked Danville Borough Council members Tuesday night if they planned to seek bids for health insurance and if they have looked at GHP rates.

He said Riverside pays $9,000 a month for its seven employees for health care and that includes a zero deductible through GHP.

Under that plan, he said Danville borough could save $28,000 a month on health care costs.

Councilman Wes Walters said the borough has contracts with unions and the borough can’t change them until the contracts are up.

Max VonBlohn, council member, said health care costs in 2014 will increase 2.5 percent under the union contracts.

Two contracts with employees expire in 2016 and the police contract expires in 2015.

VonBlohn made a motion not to solicit quotes until the contracts are up.

Council member Bill Hause said he couldn’t understand, at this stage in government health insurance, why the borough would make a decision when it doesn’t know whether health care costs will go up or down.

Council members voted 7-to-1, with Hause dissenting, not to seek quotes for health care until the union contracts expire.

“In my 30-some years, I have never seen a contract opened up once. If you open it up, you open up everything,” councilman Collins Stump said.