Romulus city employees pack City Hall to fight rising health care costs

Romulus struggles with $57 million in unfunded health care liabilities

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

ROMULUS, Mich. - Both current and former city workers fearing their insurance premiums would skyrocket packed Romulus City Hall Monday night.

According to Mayor LeRoy Burcroff there are $57 million in unfunded health care liabilities. Burcroff wanted the city to opt in on Public Act 152, which would put a hard cap on what the city has to pay out for health care for current workers and retirees. Employees over 65 years old would be exempt.

According to his numbers Romulus is paying, in some cases, between $20,000-$50,000 a year per employee for coverage. “If I don’t get council’s help to do this what’s going to happen to their families is there won’t be any funding for them,” Burcroff said.

Both retirees and current workers told the mayor and council upping their health care contributions would jack them up to nearly $800 a month. The numbers the city has says the max for a family plan would be $4,500 a year.

The council’s vote was ultimately a mixed bag. Retirees under 65 will not see a change, for now. Current employees will have a hard cap.

Councilwoman Virginia Williams was furious, “I am totally upset, it’s just not fair.”

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