Councillor Derek Shogren feels he has the support of his peers and thus stalled a potential vote on approving increases for group benefits for City employees.
Shogren says he wants more information about moving forward with 6.4 per cent in annual premium hikes for the employee group benefits program, an increase of $191,964 annually for three years.
No reason has been given for the increases listed in the report on behalf of the insurance company, nor from staff.
The benefits package covers basic life, long-term disability and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. Extended health care and dental coverage are provided on an “administrative services only,” basis.
After Tuesday’s council meeting, Shogren clarified his position, saying that a big increase such as the one proposed by Manulife Financial would spark some investigation in his own private life, perhaps leading him to shop around for a better deal.
Shogren says that the move gives the head of human resources, Lea Janisse, time to gather facts and present to Council before moving forward. He wonders why insurance rates continue to climb at each renewal period.
Janisse says premiums can fluctuate based on many factors and the increments of the increases over the years have varied as well.
According to the report to Council, the City did use Mosey and Mosey for analysis and negotiations with the carrier, dropping the renewal rate to the 6.4 per cent level from an initial quote of 19.1 per cent or $572,309.64 annually.
The matter will not be discussed again until the October 3 meeting. The benefits program is slated for a renewal October 1 and will continue on a month-to-month basis until a new agreement is reached.