Subsidizing Vienna’s employees

It is unconscionable for the Vienna administration to continue to provide the massive subsidies for the city employees. From zero a month premiums for the employees with no dependents, to less than $200 for a family plan while the city is paying almost $800 for the single employee, to about $1,750 for a family plan.

In this time of people losing their policies, having huge increases in premiums/co-pays and deductibles this needs to end. Each city employee needs to pay at least 25 percent of the monthly insurance premium just like those who are massively overtaxed to provide the benefit to them.

Yes, many in this state are now eligible for Medicaid, but for those who are not, they are the ones that are going to get higher charges for their coverage if it even continues as this year progresses and the delayed mandates kick in next fall. And next year will also be another year of ever higher costs to those not blessed by government coverage like Vienna’s.

My premiums have gone up 14 percent this year and where last year I paid $730 for a prescription, this year it was $850. This was because of my yearly deductible that must be paid before the insurance kicks in. I have no problem with paying what I must, but am becoming tired of paying so much for the city staff.

They have received from 4.3 percent to 13.4 percent in pay increases over the past year and the one starting on 1 July. The 4.3 based on incomes of $50,000-plus and the 13.4 on a base of about $20,000 per year and in between based on each employee’s pay level.

I received, as did many on retirement, benefits in the same period 3.2 percent. I am fully in favor of them having the benefit; but I also feel that those who are suffering so much harder should not have to shoulder the high costs of their coverage and excessive pay increases. I would also suggest that instead of a 9 percent retirement contribution by the city each year that this be limited to 3 percent matching for each employee, with the employee putting up to 9 percent of their wages in a retirement account if they choose. It is long past time for those who receive to contribute to what they will get upon retiring.

Lawrence Wilson