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Employment – CBA — prohibited subjects — design and selection of health insurance

Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Civil

Employment – CBA — prohibited subjects — design and selection of health insurance

Municipalities need not bargain with public-safety employees’ unions about the “direct results” of the city’s health-care plan because the plain language of Sec. 111.70(4)(mc)6 lists the “design and selection” of health care plans for public safety employees, as well as the plan’s impact on wages, hours and conditions of employment, as prohibited subjects of bargaining.

“The Association argues that the ‘impact’ ban clause applies only to the ‘indirect’ consequences of the design and selection of health-care-coverage plans. The examples it gives concern the ability to find convenient health-care provider services within the plans’ networks. It says, though, that the ‘direct’ impact of the plans must still be bargained: ‘In the context of §111.70(4)(mc)6, Stats., the “direct result” of a municipality’s “design and selection” decision includes such things as 1) the deductible amount; 2) maximum-out-of-pocket expense; 3) co-pays, and; 4) prescription costs, etc.”  This contention ignores not only the clear language of WIS. STAT. § 111.70(4)(mc)6, but also the Association’s concession that the ‘design and selection’ structural components may be fashioned by the City, to use its word, ‘unilaterally.’ It would make no sense for the legislature to have granted to the City and other municipal employers the unilateral right to design and select health-care-coverage plans irrespective of the ‘impact’ the ‘design and selection’ has ‘on the wages, hours, and conditions of employment of the public safety employee,’ but require bargaining on what the Association calls the ‘direct result’ on the public-safety employee’s finances.”

Reversed and remanded. Publication in the official reports is recommended.

2012AP1928 Milwaukee Police Association, Local 21, IUPA, AFL-CIO and Crivello v. City of Milwaukee

Dist I, Milwaukee County, Amato, J., Fine, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Beamish, Thomas J., Milwaukee; For Respondent: Cermele, Jonathan, Milwaukee


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