Supervisors express gratitude; approve new health care premium split UPDATED

At least two Plumas County Supervisors were in a thankful mood Nov. 29 during their first meeting following the Thanksgiving holiday.

District 4 Supervisor Greg Hagwood publicly recognized Meadow Valley Cemetery District directors who are retiring from the board.  “I want to publicly recognize their service to that district,” Hagwood said. The three individuals who are leaving after many years of service are: John Schmidt, Jerry Fillippini and Thelma Olson. Hagwood will need to fill those vacancies with new appointments.

District 5 Supervisor Jeff Engel praised Clerk/Recorder Marcy DeMartile and her staff for their election work. “The whole time I have been here, I never had a doubt about how our elections are run with integrity,” he said.

Then all of the supervisors gave county employees something to be thankful for when they unanimously approved a new split for health care premiums. The county will pay 85 percent, with the employees picking up 15 percent.

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“We have been working on this for some time,” Human Resources Director Nancy Selvage said in her presentation to the board. “Once we found out how much the premiums had gone up, we began an analysis.”

Selvage said her department had tried various calculations, but ultimately chose the recommended split. The new split will cost the county approximately $1 million, according to her calculations. The supervisors accepted her recommendation, but not all of the employee bargaining units did. The mid management and general units did not, which represents about 200 county employees.

“The fact that there won’t be relief for some of these workers is a big deal,” District Attorney David Hollister said.

Selvage said the employees should talk to their union representative. “We’d like to see everybody have it across the board,” she said.

Supervisor Hagwood said he would like everyone to be included and if there is a specific reason why the unions are not accepting the offer, he would like to know what it is.

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Over the past few months, county employees had filed before the supervisors and talked during public comment and talked about the need for the county to pay a greater portion of their health insurance premiums.

Editor’s note: After this article was published, some county employees who are members of the unions that did not approve the new healthcare premium split, contacted Plumas News to explain why they did not. According to the employees, the healthcare premiums were part of a proposal that also referenced salary increases. By signing the new proposal, they would be agreeing to NO increase in pay. The employee unions are still in negotiation with the county for salary increases and did not want to abandon that opportunity.