Dear NCRSP Leaders & Members,
We made one big mistake in our legislative Advisory of earlier this week, but it had nothing to do with our proposed 1% COLA. That appears to be safe.
We said the budget wouldn’t affect State Health Plan coverage. Unfortunately, the state budget does include an obscure provision that would deny State Health Plan coverage to state employees hired on or after January 1, 2021. The provision was hidden about 400 pages into the budget, and in an inverted way, it mandates the elimination of the health coverage benefit beginning in 2021.
This is bad news because:
- It will make it just a bit harder to recruit and retain good state employees, including teachers.
- It will inevitably reduce the size of the risk pool (the number of insured people) who support the State Health Plan.
- It chips another piece off the edifice of the teaching profession—as a profession, rather than a job—and
- In so doing, it will ultimately harm those who depend on state services, especially school children.
The only cure for backward steps like this one is to elect a new legislature with new members and new attitudes toward state service, teachers and public education.