Retirees Urge Thruway Authority to Reconsider Vote on Health Insurance
ALBANY, NY (11/17/2015) Edward C. Farrell, Executive Director of the Retired Public Employees Association, today called upon the members of the New York State Thruway Board of Directors to amend the recently adopted budget so that the increase in retiree health insurance would be applied prospectively, and not apply to current retirees.
Farrell noted, “The Board passed its budget on the ‘consent calendar’, without any debate. Retirees were not allowed to speak until after the budget was already adopted, a very odd way of treating the public. Retirees had signed up to speak in advance, and the Board certainly knew that there were budget concerns.”
He continued, “As stated during the budget discussion, the Thruway is doing quite well, and within the magnitude of its budget, we are talking about a tiny amount. For retirees however, the individual cost could be significant, as they are now on fixed incomes. We raised a compelling point regarding applying the increase prospectively, but this did not receive consideration at the Board meeting, as the Board has already voted. We are asking for another vote and that the budget be amended at a future meeting.”
Farrell concluded, “The Thruway rationalized that retirees now make up half of their health insurance obligations. That ratio is certainly not the fault of the retiree, and retirees do not apologize for being alive.”