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Local News in Brief : Orange : School Workers Win Health Care Agreement

A strike was averted in the Orange Unified School District after district officials agreed to union-suggested changes in paying for health insurance, a union official said Monday.

“We got what we wanted,” said Becky Mayers, president of California School Employees Assn., Orange Chapter 67. The union represents about 750 non-teaching employees in the district.

At issue was a 30% increase in district costs for health care insurance for employees who choose their own doctors. The union feared the district was going to increase the amount employees would have to pay and eliminate prescription discount cards.

District officials had contended that costs for employees who chose their own doctors exceeded a $3,916-per-employee ceiling for health insurance set in a three-year contract signed last month by the union. Meanwhile, costs for the 25% of non-teaching union employees subscribing to health maintenance organizations were below the ceiling.

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At an emergency meeting last week, school district officials and union negotiators reached agreement on the union’s proposal to solve the money problem by pooling all funds allotted for employee health insurance costs.


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