City won’t up employee health costs

The city of Ripon will not increase health insurance premiums on its non-union employees. Not now, and not without considering other changes to employees’ total compensation packages to offset the added cost at the same time.

That became clear Monday evening, when the Ripon Common Council voted 6-2 against a motion to increase health insurance premiums charged to non-union employees.

The issue came before the council Monday as part of an ongoing push since last fall by Alds. Aaron Becker and John Splitt to increase health-care premiums charged to city employees.

The concern was that city employees are paying lower premiums than their contemporaries at other communities.

A study given to the council earlier this month demonstrated this to be true — but also showed that most city employees are paid far less than their peers. In many cases, such positions were last, or close to last, among those peers in terms of wages earned.

As such, the council spoke against raising health insurance premiums earlier this month.

Several again spoke out passionately against the idea Monday evening, when the issue returned at Becker’s request so that the council could receive data on how much money could be collected by charging employees more.

But even after Becker’s motion failed Monday night to go ahead with a higher premium, he pushed again for some kind of increased cost to city employees.

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