By Tim Hunt
Clarifying and expanding Tuesday's postUploaded: Nov 4, 2021
I need to update and clarify Tuesday’s piece concerning contract negotiations between the Pleasanton school district and its teachers’ union.
Part of my reporting included the maximum salaries for the four local school districts and noted that the other three included health benefits. Checking further with Dublin, I learned that the health benefit was new in the current contract signed earlier this year.
Like Pleasanton, Dublin teachers had rolled their benefits onto the salary schedule years ago so teachers were responsible for paying for their own benefits or using a spouse’s plan.
In the current contract, the district agreed to pay up to $7,300 toward health insurance, covering 75% of the cost of a Kaiser plan for one person. If a teacher does not need health coverage, they will receive $2,000 in salary. The in-lieu payment is tied to the Kaiser plan so it will increase as Kaiser costs increase over the years.
Teachers also received a 2% pay increase.
In Pleasanton, the superintendent’s cabinet of five senior managers were given health, dental and vision benefits this year. The other units—teachers, classified staff and other managers such as principals—pay their own benefits if they need them or are covered on a spouse or partner’s plan. The classified union receives cash in lieu of benefits coverage.
Speaking of health insurance, I had a minor procedure in September that left me with a catheter that wasn’t draining. I ended up going to the emergency room at San Ramon Regional for about an hour to have the problem dealt with and it was. I saw two nurses, the on-duty physician and a person who drew blood.
My family has had Kaiser insurance for 12 years so the bulk of the bill was paid by the health plan.
I received a copy of the bill asking me for my co-pay of $50. The rest was mind-blowing. The total billed was $4,741 that included $1,069 of lab work. Presumably Kaiser has a contract with San Ramon Regional given the number of Kaiser members in the Tri-Valley area and the closest Kaiser emergency facility is in Walnut Creek.
The total that Kaiser paid San Ramon Regional-- $283.43.
Hard to imagine that even covered hard personnel costs in a 24-7 facility, let alone the overhead.