Goal to Maintain Benefits Prompts Discussion

by Kenneth E. Grabowski

Do you want to maintain your health care? Or how about your pension benefits, or even your JOB for that matter. Well that’s what many in this state are facing. The dire economic realities in this state have to be addressed and considered by all public employees. The worst yet has not even hit this state. Michigan is balancing its budget with monopoly money from Washington, D.C. This will not last long and is very unhealthy for the state’s economy. The state is and will continue to cut funding to our local units of government. We, at the local level, have to think of ways for local units of government to survive and continue to provide police protection.

It is POAM’s goal to maintain our benefits and preserve an equitable amount of wages and benefits for those on the job.

This is why POAM has decided to work with Speaker Andy Dillon’s plan to change how health care is delivered to public employees. To just say NO, and bury your head in the sand hoping nothing will change will accomplish nothing but a loss in your benefits. Speaker Dillon’s plan is a work in progress. He is listening to the concerns of law enforcement while trying to provide these benefits at a savings to the state and local units of government. POAM supports this concept, and we are willing to make changes to protect the health care benefits we now receive. POAM has made it clear that retirees promises need to be protected, active employees need to continue their ability to negotiate and even arbitrate changes if necessary. Now let’s see if this can work and actually save costs.