The City of Dayton, like every other business in the United States has been getting hit with increasing health insurance premiums to cover their employees. In fact, the major sticking point in most negotiations with the unions involves the costs of health insurance.
Facing declining revenues, the City Manager has been working at decreasing the workforce, with the latest round including taking people from full-time to part-time and cutting health insurance benefits:
Overall, city revenue in 2008 fell 2.9 percent from 2007, more than a $5 million drop in a year.
• Income tax revenues declined 2.1 percent or $2.3 million, reflecting a decline in the local job base.
• Property tax revenues fell 2.9 percent or $331,761.
• Investment earning declined by 31.2 percent or $1.8 million in 2008, compared to 2007.
• Local government funds from the state dropped $806,600 for 2009….
His solution: Maintenance employees won’t lose their jobs. They will work fewer hours, have their pay drastically cut and they will pay more for health insurance.
A possible partial solution is to turn the tables on the health care industry. No more tax abatement for Premier Health Partners or Kettering Health Network. You can’t keep doing business the same way it’s always been done in times like these, and if these “not-for-profit” organizations can pay their exec’s millions of dollars a year and continue to build and grow at astonishing rates, it’s time that they started paying their way.
The moment they try to make the argument that they provide a vital public service, remind them that police, firefighters, sewer workers, water department workers do too. How about in exchange for tax abatements, they provide free health care to their fellow “vital public service” providers (police, firefighters, sewer workers, water department workers, etc.) and remove a major point of cost and contention in contracts between the city and its workers? Also remind them that 3 stitches for a taxpayer shouldn’t cost $1,400.