October 21, 2014

Au Gres City Council approves changes to personnel policy

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Au GRES — Changes to retiree health care and benefits for the city’s park manager were approved by the Au Gres City Council during its June 3 meeting.

Starting July 1, Au Gres city employees who retire will be eligible for single-person health care coverage from the city for five years after retirement unless they are eligible for Medicare. Previously, retirees as well as their spouses or dependents were eligible, and the five years could come at any time after retirement, even if the former employee was drawing Medicare.

“Going forward, instead of family and or dependent coverage, it’s single subscriber only, and it’s for a five-year period, and it starts the day after retirement,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Borushko.

Interim City Manager LaVonne Pritchard said the changes to the personnel policy will not affect people who retired prior to July 1.

“It’s just going to really affect us current employees, not anyone that’s already retired,” she said.

Borushko said he projects the city will save about $8,000 a year now that it will no longer pay for spouse’s and dependent’s health care. He said the change brings the city more in line with other entities in Arenac County.

“Arenac County doesn’t provide any retirement health care,” he said. “The road commission, I think they do the same five-year period.”

The policy change to the city park manager benefits is not so much about savings, but about removing an issue that could arise in the future, Borushko said. According to Borushko, the city’s park manager was not receiving health care or retirement benefits prior to the change being approved.

However, the employee could have, Borushko said.

“There was language in there that said very clearly that the park manager was entitled to health care and retirement,” he said.

“All we’ve done is clean up language to reflect the current understanding,” he said.

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