CITY HALL — The City Council tonight is expected to approve spending $1.2 million to cover the cost of rising employee health-care costs — a trend that is weighing heavily in contract negotiations as the city continues to grapple with its own budget woes.
Each year, the council approves amendments to employee contracts to cover insurance rate adjustments, which have continued to grow.
"We've been hitting close to double-digit increases every year for several years now," said City Manager Jim Starbird.
The spiking health-care costs come as the city continues to tackle reduced revenues and multimillion-dollar budget deficits, pushing city officials to ask employees to pick up a greater share of the costs.
Negotiations with the city's four employee unions remain ongoing.
"We have put on the table with our various employee groups picking up a bigger share of the health-care costs," Starbird said. "Whether we are able to accomplish something there immediately remains to be seen."