(Memphis) When Memphis and Shelby County schools officially merge in less than a month, MCS employees will have to pay more for their insurance coverage.
The Memphis Education Association says the average MCS employee will pay about $100 more every month for health insurance.
This impacts more than 16,000 people.
“We’ve lost in this situation, and I feel as if we’ve been damaged,” said Memphis Education Association President Keith Williams.
Williams says people will be out of a job because of the insurance premium rate, “We are simply paying more because the district is paying less of their percentage.”
This saves the district millions.
The Transition Planning Commission recommended the unified district make cuts when it comes to health insurance.
So the district cutback on the amount of health insurance it covers.
Last year Shelby County employees paid 37 percent of their premiums while MCS employees paid just 30 percent.
This coming year, they will both pay 37 percent, with the district covering 63 percent.
The district will still stick with Cigna Healthcare, but Williams feels there could have been savings without cutting benefits and employer contributions.
“We could have phased it in gradually. We could have bided it out to another company. There are a number of things that could have been done, but this was just a quick fix way,” said Williams.
Tonya Williams thinks it’s only fair, “As long as everyone is paying the same thing. It’s not like they’re going up and the county is going down. That would be terrible awful.”
Juanita Brooks thinks everyone should be treated the same, but she believes the problem is bigger than insurance, “The school system has a lot of problems with a lot of leaders is one thing wrong. They say one thing and they do another.”
On top of that, the school district says insurance premiums could go up all together.
They say premiums change every year and so far they have not finalized the rate for next year.