The Dearborn Federation of Teachers will be the first teachers' union in the nation to take over health insurance plans from a school district.
The union will provide two plans, an HMO, and a PPO, to its members. Both are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plans.
Chris Sipperley is president of the union.
She says Dearborn Public Schools demanded that teachers go from paying $0 a month to insure their families, to $625.
That’s when the union decided it could do better.
The union got its own bids for insurance. Now, the most that teachers will pay is $218 a month. That's for family coverage for the PPO. The HMO will charge no monthly premium.
Sipperley says she expects other teachers unions may follow her union's example, with more cuts to state education funding expected in this year's budget.
The district will still pay into the union trust fund to the tune of nearly a thousand dollars a year per teacher. In time that will probably be a point of contention (to the Republicans), but for now, like the UAW before them, it sounds like they might have hit on an answer to a very sticky problem.
Good luck teachers. Let us know how it goes.