Who pays for an insurance increase?

When Ed Hurley returned to work following a bout with pneumonia which had hospitalized him for six days, he complained to his boss he had been shortchanged on the amount of compensation received under the company's contributory health plan.
By Raymond Dreyfack December 1, 1998

When Ed Hurley returned to work following a bout with pneumonia which had hospitalized him for six days, he complained to his boss he had been shortchanged on the amount of compensation received under the company’s contributory health plan.

Checking into the matter, Maintenance Foreman Cliff Davenport explained to Hurley that the payment was less than expected because of the insurance company’s rate increase.

“Why should I have to pay the increase?” Hurley protested.

Davenport shrugged. “That’s the way it goes, I guess.”

Hurley refused to be brushed off. He took up the issue with Shop Steward Frank Castelli, who interceded in his behalf.

“According to the labor agreement, the employee is responsible for a fixed amount of the cost with the company paying the difference. Hurley was shortchanged.”

Davenport promised to check it out and get back to him.

Question : Do you agree with Castelli that the employee was shortchanged?

Jolson’s verdict: “Castelli is correct that the employee is required to pay a fixed amount of the cost,” Plant Engineer Tom Jolson told Davenport. “If the contract provision specified that the employee’s and company’s share be calculated on a percentage basis, it would be a different story. Hurley is entitled to the difference.”