Peabody Mayor Edward Bettencourt announced on Tuesday that the city has reached a 4-year agreement with the Peabody Public Employee Coalition (PEC) to transfer all active municipal employees and retirees who are subscribers to the city's health plan into the state's GIC Health Plan.
The new agreement will take effect January 1, 2013 or July 1, 2013, depending on what is allowed by law, and is expected to save Peabody taxpayers between $10 and $15 million over the four-year period, while helping to "stabilize a key area of the city budget in both the short- and long-term."
"As I spoke about during my campaign for mayor, the increased costs of our current health insurance program were not sustainable, and the burden of these increases was falling on our taxpayers," Bettencourt said at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. "A change needed to be made. Accordingly, these negotiations in this critical area were one of my first priorities upon taking office.
"I would like to thank the PEC for their professionalism during the course of these negotiations and their willingness to work with my administration in a fair and open manner. The good faith negotiations of the past few months show that both sides can work together to reach an agreement that respects both the needs of Peabody taxpayers and the needs of our employees, retirees, and their families."