Can school districts/municipal governments require the same level of contribution to its healthcare plan that New York State requires of its employees?
The answer is no. Health insurance coverage is collectively bargained between the local government and the union but the existing laws make it difficult to negotiate health insurance packages that take into account economic realities by requiring higher employee contribution rates.
If healthcare contributions are considered a benefit and therefore a mandatory subject of collective bargaining, both parties would need to reach an agreement related to healthcare contribution rates in order to make any changes to the agreement. As previous “DYK” posts have illustrated, any renegotiated terms are difficult to accomplish due to the power and unfair advantage guaranteed to unions by the Taylor Law.