The Lysander Town Board will soon negotiate with the Teamsters Local Union 317 for a new health insurance contract; the old one expires in June. A committee comprised of councilors Robert Geraci and Andrew Reeves as well as Supervisor John Salisbury was recently created to handle union negotiations.
Prior to new talks, however, the town has had to deal with some costly issues that arose during an audit completed by the Teamsters last year. The audit, which covered January 2006 to June 2013, concluded that the town owes the union approximately $25,000, consisting largely of contributions the union is owed plus about $4,000 in fees.
According to the audit, there had been oversights with the insurance plans of six employees. Nearly $5,000 was for an employee whose insurance application was not processed by the Teamsters until 13 months after it had been submitted. Her coverage was backdated and the town was charged.
Two other employees applied for coverage a month or two after they were hired because they were still covered by their previous employers. The Teamsters, however, added them into their system as of their hire date. Together, the total charge came to about $935.
Miscommunication was also a factor. An agreement signed by former supervisor Barry Bullis stated that certain town officials were required to belong to the Teamsters insurance fund. Whether those individuals used the coverage or not, the town would still have to pay the premium of that individual.
Town comptroller David Rahrle maintains that a Teamsters health employee had told the town that non-bargaining members of the agreement could opt-out of coverage (non-bargaining positions are not subject to collective bargaining agreements). Consequently, three non-bargaining employees opted out because they already had coverage through previous employment arrangements or their spouses. The audit shows the town owed approximately $15,500 in back premiums for these three employees (one year for one employee and six months for the other two).