WAMU 88.5 : News

MoCo Council Rejects Proposal To Cut Union Benefits

Play associated audio
Union members, in yellow shirts, pack Montgomery County Council chambers ahead of a vote on union contracts.
Matt Bush
Union members, in yellow shirts, pack Montgomery County Council chambers ahead of a vote on union contracts.

The County Council voted down County Executive Isiah Leggett's proposals to cut costs by cutting health care and benefit packages for unionized employees.

It was sweet music to the ears of Gino Renne, the president of the local Municipal and County Government Employees Organization.

"Well what this means is that we're still alive," Renne says.

Cuts are still coming, but the council wanted school employees to also share the burden. Leggett's proposals did not include them. The council's plan does, and Council President Valerie Ervin says that helped sway the other unions to their side.

"The county executive may have gone a little too far on the health insurance. We want to make that more equitable, but at the same time, make sure we see structural change from this year forward," she says.

Leggett says because school employees are involuntarily being forced into cuts, it will be difficult to achieve long-term savings because the cuts can't be specific.

"...You can't literally line-item precisely and say, 'Take it out of x, or take it out of y'. You can take it out of broad categories, and they still have some flexibility left," he says.

All three sides must come to agreement by next week.


Historic Art, Luxury Apartments Battle Over Berlin's Famous Wall

A stretch of the old Berlin Wall has stood for decades as an open-air gallery, covered in fine art and graffiti. Bids for luxury developments in the area have artists hitting the streets in protest.

Mark Bittman Is Stepping Down, But He Still Has More To Say About Food

One of the most influential food writers in recent years is leaving his job at The New York Times — to join a California food startup. "This is a calling, in a way," he says.

The Week In Politics: Bush, Trump And Rubio Trade Jabs

With just four months until the Iowa caucuses, the rhetoric among three GOP candidates has turned sharper. This week, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio honed attacks on each other.

#MemeOfTheWeek: That Article From The Onion About Mass Shootings

The article reveals what the writers really feel about mass shootings in America, something mainstream media couldn't do.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.