I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, September 19, 2011

School Board Takes No Action on Employee Insurance

The special school board meeting for the resolution of employee benefits ended in anticlimactic fashion as the school board recessed and took no action on either proposal (District or Union) to address a projected benefits trust fund shortage.

The motion was on the table to send the issue back to the benefits committee unresolved for their further action--however sending the issue back to the benefits committee without guidance from the board did not seem to make sense.  Before that motion could be voted on, another motion was made and seconded to recess the meeting until tomorrow night (9-20).  That motion passed 3-2.

The board listened patiently to the presentations of the union and the superintendent, as well as 16 members of the public--but all board members expressed frustration with the way the process has worked and also with the idea of having to make a rushed decision on this issue. 

So nothing has been resolved and we'll discuss this again tomorrow night.


Anonymous said...

It was clear the board was not informed of how bad it is. Why do we use united when every other local gov is using BCBS. No health care clinic when county has saved hundreds of thousands in claims. What is the consultant doing but collecting a check? Rebid healthcare and consultant contracts asap.

J.B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Bergosh said...

We were informed and briefed before the isolation period--but since then we have been on our own--literally--tasked with making this huge financial decision with significant consequences for the employees while isolated in a vacuum. I'm disappointed that I found no support for the idea of getting an un-biased, third party consultant to give board members an executive summary comparing our plan to what other districts around the state are doing--I'm surprised that idea met with resistance, frankly. But I'll go after it again tonight as I do believe, in this instance, the board needs a second opinion and more information before we vote this issue.

Anonymous said...

I wish you the best in a bad position. I hope the board can fix this mess. I think you have been done a disservice by staff on this one.

Jeff Bergosh said...

The Staff did their best--the union did what they could, and the board ultimately made a tough decision that nobody will be happy with. The silver lining--next plan year will be different and better and new possibilities will be explored, I am confident of this. I also believe that a district walk-in clinic will become a reality and this will greatly assist all of the district's employees, especially our lowest paid employees who have no choice but to manage their health care expenditures closely.