EASTHAMPTON EYES INSURANCE REFORMS

NOVEMBER 7, 2012: Easthampton – The nine-member Easthampton City Council will meet tonight, November 7, and vote on a proposal by Mayor Michael Tautznik to accept Sections 21-23 of Chapter 32B for purposes of negotiating a new health insurance agreement with the city’s employees and retirees.

It is reported that 2 members of the Council’s 3-member Subcommittee on Insurance are opposed to accepting Sections 21-23, while the chairman is in favor of acceptance. Sections 21-23 were a major component of Chapter 69, the Municipal Healthcare Reform law passed in 2011.

The city currently has an Insurance Advisory Committee (IAC). Retired firefighter Jim Dunham, a member of the IAC is opposed to accepting Sections 21-23. His wife Kathy represents the teachers on the IAC, which is opposed to Sec. 21-23.

Jason Dunham, a firefighter and Jim’s son, represents the firefighters who are also opposed. The city has never accepted Sec. 19, coalition bargaining, Jim Dunham is a longtime member and chairman of the Easthampton Retirement Board. Mayor Tautznik is also on the Retirement Board, having appointed himself as a Board member.

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