Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Suit Challenges Lid on City Workers' Healthcare Costs
Last month, attorney Michael Conger filed a suit challenging the city council's 2009 placing of a cap on retiree health care benefits. The suit says that in 1982, the City decided to withdraw from Social Security. To induce employees to approve the deal, the City offered employees lifetime retiree health insurance, with the City paying the premiums. In July of last year, city council voted to put a cap of $8,800 a year on those benefits for police and blue collar workers. Conger says the workers should have had the right to vote on the matter; the City claims otherwise. Conger says that an ordinance amending the retirement system cannot be adopted without a vote of the employees affected. In effect, the cap only applies to active employees' future benefits. Current retirees' benefits aren't affected. In 2004 and 2006, Conger got big settlements after suing the City to force it to pay the right amounts into the pension system.