Tell legislators: Stop cost shifting, attacking benefits

Posted Mar. 7, 2018 by

Despite our greatest efforts to fight worker benefit attacks and income disintegration at the bargaining table, leaders in the Ohio Legislature are hell bent on pushing legislation that shifts costs to workers. Bills that shrink Ohio benefits for non-covered dental and vision continue to crawl through the Ohio General Assembly. But, with worker attacks at an all time high right now, they could build pick up steam before we know it. To make sure these bills don't build momentum, all OCSEA members are urged to contact their state legislator today.

Call your state legislator at 800-282-0253 and say: LEAVE MY BENEFITS ALONE!

Dental bill

Ohio House Bill 367, introduced by Republican Rep. Anthony DeVitis (Dist. 36), would increase the cost of non-covered dental services for OCSEA members.

HB 367 would prevent benefit administrators, such as Delta Dental, from offering savings to enrollees, including OCSEA members, on non-covered services. The Dental Bill would have a direct impact on OCSEA members who get their dental benefits through the Union Benefits Trust.

In addition to negotiating fees for covered benefits, like fillings and cleanings, insurance companies currently have the right to negotiate lower prices on non-covered services, like laughing gas for children, for example. If passed, those agreements would not be permitted and insurance providers would no longer be allowed to negotiate cost-savings for services they don't cover (and allowing dentists to charge unlimited fees for non-covered services). Read House Bill 367.

Vision bill

Ohio House Bill 156, introduced by Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring (Dist. 48), would increase the cost of non-covered vision services for OCSEA members.The bill would prevent vision benefit administrators, like VSP for example, from offering savings to enrollees on non-covered services. This includes OCSEA members who get their vision benefits through the Union Benefits Trust.

By law, health care providers currently have the right to negotiate lower prices on non-covered vision services. This includes costly non-covered services like anti-reflective coating, ultraviolet protection and oversized lenses, just to name a few. If this bill passes, it would be eye doctors who would be calling the shots by charging unlimited fees for non-covered services whenever they felt like it. Read House Bill 156.

Other benefit attacks

Sick Leave

Ohio House Bill 298 would reduce the allowable sick leave days for public employees to no more than 10 days per year. This would have severe impact on OCSEA local government union members who often bargain additional sick leave days as a perk when wage increases or other benefits are not available to them.

"Merrick calls 10 days a 'standard,' we call it an attack on collective bargaining! Putting a cap on sick leave is no more than putting a cap on collective bargaining," said OCSEA President Chris Mabe. Sign the petition to protect sick leave.

Dental, vision and life

Ohio House Bill 169 would require a premium payment for dental, vision and life insurance for exempt state employees. The bill also requires the state to negotiate the same increase for those that fall under state collective bargaining agreements, including OCSEA bargaining unit members.