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IRVINE : Benefit Extension Studied in Gulf Crisis

Military reservists working for the city might have their health benefits extended if called up for active duty during the Persian Gulf crisis.

On Tuesday, the City Council will consider such a plan, which would affect two or three reservists working for the city. Two city employees are on “phone alert” and could be called up at any time, said Rebecca Ross Iacobucci, Irvine’s human resources manager.

In recent weeks, Brea, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana have taken similar actions for their employees. Brea and Santa Ana also agreed to pay workers the difference between their civilian pay and military pay should they be called to active duty.

Although no Irvine employees have been called to active duty since the gulf crisis began, Iacobucci said city administrators wanted to recommend a policy to the council just in case.

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“Dollar-wise, it’s not a lot of money,” she said, but money spent on health benefits would help family members of employees covered under city health insurance policies.

The maximum cost to the city to continue health benefits would be $500 a month for each employee, she said.

If the City Council approves the plan, it will remain in place until June 30, the end of the city’s budget year. If any employee is still on active duty or might still be called up after that date, the council could extend the benefits policy, Iacobucci said.


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