Until 2006, Port Authority union employees didn’t pay anything for health insurance for themselves or their families. That changed in the last contract.  Transit union members agreed to pay 1% of their base wage for health insurance, or less than $10 per week.

That means the average bus driver has paid less than $1,300 over the past three years for health insurance for himself and his family.

And when he retires, he and his wife will have healthcare coverage for life as long as he keeps paying 1% of his final base wage (currently less than $500 per year).

Philadelphia’s transit workers don’t get that kind of deal.  Allegheny County workers don’t either.  Neither do state workers. 

Do you? 

The cost of healthcare benefits is driving the Port Authority deeper into a financial hole.  That’s why it told managers last year that they had to triple their contribution for the healthcare coverage now and they won’t get any coverage when they retire later.  But the union members who make up 90% of the Port Authority workforce aren’t budging.

The transit union president says a strike is “a real possibility” if the Port Authority tries to eliminate healthcare for future retirees and pushes for other concessions.

What do you think?

Posted by: Ken Zapinski

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