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June 2019


Spring is a time of change
Dante Morelli


  new buds signify changes in the spring

A lot has happened during the spring semester, especially with regard to our contract negotiations and with our health insurance plan.

Contract Update

The contract will expire at the end of summer. As of now, contract negotiations are ongoing. We are currently in dialogue with the college and are hopeful that a contract can be settled at some point during the fall semester.

Although our current contract will expire on August 31, 2019, the good news is the Triborough Amendment of the New York State Taylor Law, passed in 1982, allows for our existing contract to stay in place until a new contract is finalized. There are a few good signs as two of the county unions, the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and Suffolk County Association of Municipal Employees (AME), settled their contracts with the county as a result of the concessions on EMHP.

EMHP Update

Major changes are coming to the Employee Medical Health Plan (EMHP). Starting later this summer, members will contribute 2% of their base salary toward the plan: EMHP deductions will take place starting July 29 and will be reflected for the first time in our paychecks on August 15.

It will go up .1% for five years until the contract expires at the end of 2025. This extension put all of the public sector unions in Suffolk County in a good position considering the the current EMHP contract was expected to expire in 2020. All members who will be contributing will be automatically enrolled in a pre-tax savings program to help offset some of the cost.

The new contract also calls for increase in some co-pays. A few those co-pays include $100 for emergency room visits if the patient is not hospitalized; $50 for urgent care walk-in health clinics; and $50 for in-network MRI, CT scans and other radiological exams.

Additionally, changes include an increase to prescription drug co-pays. They include an increase to $10 for generic drugs, $25 for preferred drugs and $45 for non-preferred drugs. For prescriptions picked up in retail, the co-pays increase to $10 for generic drugs, $50 for preferred and $90 for non-preferred.

These changes to EMHP come at a time when the union leaders of Suffolk County had to make some important decisions. In short, the plan has become astronomically expensive. Like the rest of the country, these changes come when healthcare has become a central debate. Our expenses for the plan have been increasing for several years and negotiating these changes now will allow us to have the existing plan and benefits untilĀ 2025.

The college sent an official memo, No. 103, dated May 22, 2019, with specifics of the changes. If you need a copy, please contact me at I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have.