Has CSEA sought out a legal opinion or advice or done a thorough analysis to determine whether the District is currently in compliance with PEMHCA?

ANSWER

Yes. Please reference slides 11 & 12 of the PowerPoint issued to the membership on April 11, 2019 for more details (shown below):

What is PEMHCA and does it safeguard your lifetime medical benefits for retirees?

PEMCHA is the Public Employee Health Care Act and it does not provide protection regarding lifetime benefits. PEMHCA simply sets the minimum amount the employer must contribute to H&W benefits for employees. This number is below $300.00 for active employees. The minimum contribution for retirees is even less. All of our contracts provide significantly better rates (thousands of dollars better). PEMHCA does nothing to provide or protect “lifetime benefits.” Our benefits are a component of the CBA and subject to negotiations. Recently the CA supreme court ruled, (CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS) an employer cannot retroactively reduce a benefit for retirement. Our protection, is the CBA. If the parties negotiate to reduce retiree benefits, this can only apply to workers hired after the new terms are negotiated. Workers hired prior to the new terms cannot have their benefits reduced through negotiations.

If a chapter moves from CalPERS to an alternate third-party provider like SISC or VEBA, could that chapter lose their lifetime medical benefit for retirees? If so, under what conditions?

All benefits we currently have would be provided with another 3rd party vendor unless the negotiations team made an agreement otherwise.

If a chapter were to remain in CalPERS are you guaranteed a lifetime medical benefit for retirees? If so, what is the benefit contribution? Does that contribution go up or down and if so how or why?

Subject to negotiations.

Would CSEA allow a chapter to negotiate out an existing lifetime medical benefit for retirees from their contract? How would that get through the 610 process?

The 610 process does not stop a chapter from changing, reducing or modifying a benefit so long as it does not harm current members, create waivers and does not violate any current policies or law. If a chapter can justify the change it is likely to pass 610.

If a chapter moves to a new third-party administrator like SISC or VEBA, what contract language would need to be included to ensure an existing lifetime medical benefit for retirees is preserved?

The same language we currently have, we’re only changing vendors not benefits or coverage our IBB process protects the intent and has captured the intent of “equal or better.”

 

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