City Of Greenville Workers Concerned About Retirement Benefits

Some city workers in the east are concerned about their post-employment retirement benefits that could result in less insurance coverage by the time they're eligible to retire.

The City of Greenville is looking at ways to change the current benefit package. They call it the Other Post Employment Benefits or OPEB. Greenville has allowed workers who have put in 20 years of employment to receive medical and vision benefit coverage of up to 95 percent until they reach medicare age. After that, the city provides 65% of coverage along with medicare benefits.

With 767 city employees and 423 Greenville Ulitity workers who also fall under this current plan, the city says they can not cover the costs in the long term.

At this time, the city has more than $38.8 million dollars in unfunded liability, for retiree health insurance, active employees and past retirees. If changes are not made, the city says that number would grow to $181.1 million dollars in the next 30 years.

"The numbers are very large, that's why the accounting standard board planned for each government to look at future impact. The impact is a lot of money in the future," said Greenville City Manager Wayne Bowers.

"I hope that the city staff, upper management, as well as city council are doing everything they can within their powers to help city employees as much as possible, because we can. Our hearts are in our jobs, everyday," said Greenville city employee Sylvia Brown

The council is expected to consider several options. We're told those options would not affect current retired workers or those who have put in 15 years or more.

The council will hear public comment Monday night during their council meeting. A second meeting is scheduled with the Greenville Utilities board Tuesday.

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  • by Anonymous on May 9, 2011 at 01:06 PM
    City/County/Town workers constantly get screwed over in benefits, this isn't anything new. Soon there won't be any benefits to working a government job, unless it's higher managment or federal.
  • by Career Greenville Employee Location: Ayden on May 6, 2011 at 05:19 AM
    I have worked nearly 11 years for the City of Greenville, and I have all intentions of working 19 more years to fulfill the commitment I made to the City when I was hired at the age of 22. Now I'm being informed that I may not be receiving one of the benefits I was told I would receive upon retiring. Under the proposed changes, factoring in my age and tenure, I would have to work just shy of 40 years to receive the OPEB I am currently eligible for after 30 years of service. I'll be 60 years old, which means I'll receive the insurance for 5 years until I start receiving MediCaid and Social Security benefits....but, I'm only 33, so they probably won't be around by the time I reach that age. Without going into detail, by fulfilling the requirements of our position my co-workers and I ensure the safety of EVERY citizen of and visitor to our great city. To add to the comments submitted by "Career Fireman", here are a few of my own. Would you want the responsibility of discarding your own trash? Would you want to install solar panels on your roof or a windmill in your backyard if not for the services of GUC? Would you be willing to organize your own baseball league so your son would be able to participate in the sport? I admit that we make a good living working for the City, but we are not making a killing. When you criticize the benefits that City employees receive, first think about all the services that we provide to each of you.
    • reply
      by frank on May 6, 2011 at 08:02 AM in reply to Career Greenville Employee
      One comment Find another job or stop whining you will never find an easier job than you have now maybe you would like to be laid off instead?
      • reply
        by me on May 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM in reply to frank
        EASY? Obviously, you don't work for the City. We put our LIVES on the line for this City and we will continue to do so because we took an oath to do so. I can assure you a job with the City isn't "cushy"...we WORK HERE. We only ask for what we were promised
      • reply
        by Career Greenville Employee on May 6, 2011 at 01:48 PM in reply to frank
        If you only knew how "easy" my job is, Frank, you might change your tune. If you ever sat for any of the state exams I have to take in order to obtain the certification required for my position, you might not assume our jobs are so easy. If you ever had to go into environments that reach 140 degrees during the summer season to ensure the safety of the citizens of Greenville, you might truly understand how "easy" my job is. If you had to ride on the back of a garbage truck in the heat of summer or the frigid temps of winter, somehow withstanding the stench of all the garbage discarded by the citizens of Greenville, you might be fighting for the things we were promised when we were hired just as we are doing. Until you have walked in our shoes, please refrain from telling us how "easy" our jobs are.
        • reply
          by me on May 6, 2011 at 02:30 PM in reply to Career Greenville Employee
          RIGHT ON CAREER!!
        • reply
          by Lavon on May 10, 2011 at 07:55 AM in reply to Career Greenville Employee
          Sounds to me that you need to find a better job.
      • reply
        by Career Greenville Employee on May 6, 2011 at 05:44 PM in reply to frank
        And, one more thing, Frank.....don't even throw unemployment into the wife was laid off from her company over a year ago, so I DO know all about that, but at least she has decided to go back to school to better herself for a possible higher paying job instead of throwing barbs in the direction of those who are fortunate enough to still have their jobs.
  • by T Maxx Location: G-vegas on May 5, 2011 at 09:24 PM
    Well, whats up with that hope and chaneg crowd,there is enough blame to go around. I believe Obama alot of promise as well. He have fullfill them by rising taxes and not wanting to make cuts across the board. I love it when liberals blame the everyone but themselves.
  • by Anonymous Location: Greenville on May 5, 2011 at 05:43 PM
    You are correct in your statement about the government not producing anything,BUT, as a police officer I'm not supposed to create anything except results. I do that on a regular basis, daily. I also pay taxes. How would you feel if you went to work for a company which agreed at your hiring to provide certain benefits, only to have most of those benefits decreased over your career. All the while you are expected to go perform more and more duties that you were not expected to do in years past. It is true that some, and I repeat some, municipal, county, state, and federal department heads and managers get great retirement packages, but don't look at them and throw us all into that category. I don't work for the city of Greenville or Pitt county, but I do work for a city police dept nearby. Our insurance coverage is getting ready to increase to $2,600.00 a year for each employee. After checking with the same provider I learned that I could get my own policy with a lot better coverage for $3,200.00 a year. So basically we are going to pay for all of our insurance. If you don't work for yourself, do you pay that???????
    • reply
      by Chuck on May 5, 2011 at 07:43 PM in reply to
      I Fully understand what you are going thru. I have to pay "$1242.00" Per Month(This Is Not A Typo) for my wife's BCBS insurance Because She Has Health Issues. This Came about sfter i retired.Like A Huge Suprise. I Am on Medicare now & My Medicare Premium is $96.00 Per Mont 175.00 Per Month for BCBS Suppliment for me only(Total $3252.00 per year for me.. Looks like the $266.00 per month for a family plan is a decent deal. Health Insurance premiums are raging out of control. All these retired City & State folks better face reality in that the state & city goverments cannot pays 100% of the retires health insurance.
    • reply
      by frank on May 6, 2011 at 08:03 AM in reply to
      produce results than so far not too good
  • by Charles Location: Greenville on May 5, 2011 at 05:28 PM
    They need to be worried. They make good saleries and get health care and pension benefits for life paid for by their neighbors. What a deal. One clown that is living high off the public trough is our own former airport manager, who is recieving $14,000.00 month of our tax dollars in pension benefits. His job was worth no more than 60,000.00-80,000.00 per year in pay. He screwed us all. Plus the clown gets health care for the rest of his life. Take that tax payers.
    • reply
      by chuck on May 5, 2011 at 07:46 PM in reply to Charles
      Turcotte is a nice guy. Don't blame him if the city & County gave him all this stuff. We Need to find out who the "Duffis" was who approved this.
      • reply
        by frank on May 6, 2011 at 08:01 AM in reply to chuck
        Turcotte is a crook and gamed the system plain and simple just wait for the recently completed audit report
    • reply
      by Career Fireman on May 5, 2011 at 07:53 PM in reply to Charles
      Charles, just to make you clear on some things. I am a career fireman, in one year I make less than the cost of a minivan. I do make a living but I also work over 100 hours per week at two different jobs. My neighbors do pay my salary and for that I am thankful. At the same time it is my neighbor (that I probably do not know) that I am willing to risk not ever seeing my family again to save from a burning building. It is my neighbor that I respond to at 4:00am (after I have already been working for 20hours straight) to work on when they are not breathing. It is my neighbor that I respond to at any time of day because they do not know who else to call for a problem other than 911. Yes we do have good health benefits. BUT, by the time I am 50, I will probably have back problems from lifting 300 lbs patients during the span of my career. I am very likely to have some sort of lung disease from the smoke and other harmful things I have been exposed to. I ask that you keep these in mind SHOULD you ever have to dial those three numbers on your phone.
  • by Anonymous on May 5, 2011 at 05:20 PM
    They may be retiring sooner than they expect, thanks to he GOP cutting middle class jobs and giving support to the wealthy. Where are all the jobs thay promised in November to get the economy going??
    • reply
      by Get Real on May 5, 2011 at 06:20 PM in reply to
      All the jobs you asked about are still be blocked by Obama and his far-left band of socialists. Don't forget, the GOP only controls the House.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on May 9, 2011 at 12:53 PM in reply to Get Real
        What exact policies are blocking the private sector from creating jobs? Oh let me guess? The rich are over-taxed and shouldn't pay taxes, then they'd create jobs, right?
      • reply
        by To ?Get Read on May 13, 2011 at 08:39 AM in reply to Get Real
        You are right-they control the House-where bills are started!!!Not one jobs bill has been blocked by the Dem. The GOP has not written a single job bill! Your post is a lie!!
      • reply
        by To Get Real on May 13, 2011 at 08:40 AM in reply to Get Real
        Who do you think is breaking unions and trying to take away the benefits this article is about? It is the Republicans! While they give tax cuts to the wealthiest people in this country, they say we can't "afford" teacher and firemen wages! That is a fact-your post shows a total lack of information!
      • reply
        by To Get Readl on May 13, 2011 at 08:41 AM in reply to Get Real
        They control the House, where they PASSED a bill that would dismantle Medicare-then you tell me why they can't pass a jobs bill?
  • by US-First Location: Greenville on May 5, 2011 at 04:51 PM
    Join the club. I think every government sector from city, county and state to federal are concerned about this issue. In fact, at the NC state level all benefits including retirement have steadily degraded over the last 15 years except for high political positions of course which have actually become more attractive over the last 15 years. Go figure. I once thought I would be with the UNC system for life. Now it is apparent they can't afford me.
  • by Sick and Tired Location: Greenville on May 5, 2011 at 04:49 PM
    20 years and given retirement benefits. This is ridiculous. I'm sorry but the "government" is actually those who pay taxes. Public service workers should be respected but not revered and given perks that simply cannot be afforded. The government produces nothing, but rather consumes from those who do. If people would keep that in mind then we might not have such a huge fiscal crisis in this country.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on May 5, 2011 at 04:42 PM
    Well, some of the voters wanted hope and change in this country....well, enjoy, gas is almost $4 a gallon, food it up almost wealth distribution in now in, can you say; "We believe"?
    • reply
      by anon rapper on May 5, 2011 at 07:20 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
      Yes and watch for the more of the changes the Repubs have lined up; first and foremost that all public hourly public employees will be working for minimum wage. The managers , supervisors and all political appointees of course will get whatever they can quietly give themselves in the way of salaries and benefits. They will reward themselves for winning political office ! This is going to be the real change they are working on. In other words the Repubs will be redistributing to themselves the taxes that the public has been paying instead of funding schools, roads, and health care. And you thought Bernie Madoff was a slick operator? Not nearly as slick as these Repubs who convinced the majority of voting citizens to elect them. So continue to watch for these changes coming to your city, town or district and remember all your favorite Repub politicians you voted for in the least election.
      • reply
        by James on May 5, 2011 at 09:27 PM in reply to anon rapper
        You mean the same way the dems have voted theirselves raises each year for the past 6 years ? Don't forget the dems controlled EVERYTHING the past 2 years. Did they vote for a pay cut ? Nope and never will.
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil Co on May 6, 2011 at 05:44 AM in reply to James
          James, clarification; Dems have had both houses for 100 years, until recently. They made the terd, republicans must now live with....

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