Massachusetts House votes to limit public employee unions’ bargaining rights on health insurance plans . Union officials vowed to fight “to the bitter end.”
BOSTON — The Massachusetts House voted Tuesday to dramatically strengthen the power of city and town leaders to change health insurance plans for municipal employees over the objections of unions.
The 111-42 vote late Tuesday came after House leaders agreed to modify their original plan in the hopes of heading off labor opposition.
The modified plan would add a 30-day negotiating window between city and town leaders and unions to work out disagreements.
If no agreement is reached, municipalities would be allowed to impose changes in co-payments, deductibles and other aspects of health care plans.
In that case, however, municipalities would have to return 20 percent of savings to employees in the first year, instead of the 10 percent in the original plan.
Union officials vowed to continue to fight the plan, which was included in the House version of the state budget. The Senate has yet to release its budget plan. Read Story>>