Union Members Join in Opposition of Proposed City Healthcare Changes

This comes on the heels of the city's proposed "Safer Duluth For All" budget plan. 

DULUTH, Minn. — Union members stood in solidarity outside of Duluth City Hall this afternoon in support of each other.

This comes on the heels of the city’s proposed “Safer Duluth For All” budget plan.

In that plan, a section could potentially change the city’s healthcare.

Union members are not happy about this possible change.

“To show that we are united. And that having open negotiations in front of the public is not the way to negotiate in good faith,” Local 101 Duluth Professional Firefighters President, Adam Casillas says.

Members of Duluth’s labor union stood outside of city hall in an effort to spread awareness about the city’s newest budget proposal.

“We would like to see honesty, transparency, and negotiation in good faith. We have a strong health fund and we would like to keep it that way. And we don’t feel like this quick fix or this attack on it is necessary or needed,” Casillas says.

Coming together in an effort to get more involved in city administrations’ strategies without the reduction of their healthcare.

“We have just about every city worker position in the city here. Along with our retirees. Something we are really concerned about protecting them because they have lived and worked in the city their entire lives so we want to make sure we do well by them,” Local 101 Secretary,” Spencer Gebhardt says.

The city has not publicly released any specifics about the proposed health insurance change but these workers are hoping to start a negotiation with all the employees and union groups throughout the city.

“It’s great to see all of the labor groups out here to support us today. We all contribute in our own way to the health and liveliness of the city of Duluth. We are here for this community. We care about this community and we are dedicated to it,” Casillas says

The City of Duluth also issued a statement saying: “The City of Duluth will outline a specific plan in the coming days to establish a sustainable financial path into our future to provide health coverage that is both market competitive and mindful of future budgets and tax levies. The City will not provide additional comment on any ongoing labor negotiations, though we do look forward to discussions with all of the City’s bargaining units.”

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