Nurse’s union upset about Patrick’s retiree health insurance plan
Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 5:02 PM EST
By Christine Lee, 22News State House Correspondent
BOSTON (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Nurses Association is lashing out against Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to reform retiree health insurance benefits.
The Governor plans to file legislation that the union says will force retired public workers to pay more for their health care.
Patrick announced that his legislation increases the minimum years of service public workers must perform from 10 to 20 years to qualify for retiree health benefits. It also increases the minimum age of eligibility to 60 years old for most employees.
Patrick said the reforms will save as much as $20 billion over the next 30 years for the commonwealth.
“We have asked, I think, the perfectly reasonable question whether we should assure a lifetime benefit based on relatively short term contributions. Not that those contributions are invaluable in the short term, but it’s a question of balance, and I think this report has struck the right balance,” Patrick said.
In a statement, an MNA spokesperson said “How dare the governor penalize the public sector when we are all suffering from an economic climate that was put in distress by corporate interests and Wall Street banks who destroyed our economy.”
It continues to say that nurses often stay in low-paying jobs because of the benefits that the state provides them.