Employees want 5% back from health insurance

Carlos Gimenez says concessions only made with layoffs, service reductions

MIAMI - Six county unions told the Miami-Dade County Commission Thursday that they need and deserve the five percent of their pay that goes toward health insurance.

County employees asked the commission to override Mayor Carlos Gimenez's decision to continue deductions for healthcare.

"We don't believe the mayor has made a valid case for why you should allow him to continue to take five percent of the money we earn," said Martha Baker with SEIU Local 1992.

"Your employees are not asking for you to give them anything," said Terry Murphy, a union consultant. "We're not here today asking for you to put anything in our pockets. Your employees are simply -- they want the county to quit taking money out of their pockets."

"You should be proud of this government," said union attorney Mark Richard. "Let's stop apologizing for government. It's the hallmark of civility."

Gimenez and the commissioners pointed out that county employees receive fair pay and good benefits. On average, county employees make about $40,000 a year.

"Now, we don't have the money to pay for the restorations of these concessions or the five percent without layoffs and without service reductions," said Gimenez.

The county commission restored pay for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3292, but kept the five percent deduction for the other unions.

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