Milwaukee Schools Health Care Coverage Changes

Alan J. Borsuk and Sarah Carr:

Milwaukee Public Schools teachers will begin shouldering a larger share of the costs of their health care under an arbitrator’s ruling issued Tuesday.
The decision ended 2 1/2 years of work on a two-year contract for more than 6,000 teachers with a victory for the School Board and the administration of Superintendent William Andrekopoulos.
After management and the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association deadlocked – almost entirely over health insurance issues – the dispute went to the arbitrator, Marquette University Law School Professor Jay Grenig, who was required to pick between the final offers of each side without making any changes.
Under the MPS plan, teachers would begin paying portions of the cost of their health care, including deductibles and co-pays on many services. Administrators say the district pays more than 60 cents in fringe benefits for every dollar it pays in salaries.