Local News

County Proposes Dropping Retiree Health Care for New Hires

Posted June 11, 2007
Updated June 12, 2007

— Wake County Manager David Cooke is floating a proposal in his Fiscal 2008 budget that county employees coming onto the payroll after next Jan. 1 would not get health benefits when they retired.

It would be a major change from the current plan in which the county covers all health benefits for 20-year retirees.

"We're moving to where the future employees would not be provided with … health insurance upon retirement from the county,” Cooke said Monday.

"That's a significant change," County Commissioner Joe Bryan said.

The county's currentl liability for health-care coverage for vested employees is $100 million, and the figure is expected to increase.

Bryan sees Cooke's plan as a way to keep that number in check.

"I think we're on the leading edge of recognizing trying to balance the limited resource of the taxpayers’ monies that are entrusted to us and how to use those monies," Bryan said.

Cooke’s administration says that changing the health-care options for employees hired after Jan. 1 can save taxpayers a minimum of $13 million.

Some other managers see problems, however.

"I think it's going to hurt us really bad down the road,” Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. He predicted that the change would keep prospective employees from coming to Wake County.

"You're going to lose good employees,” Harrison said. He sympathized with the managers’ need to cut expenses, but added, “I think it's going to cut down on the quality of people that we get."

Commissioners are expect to vote on the 2008 budget at next Monday's meeting.


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  • Another Perspective Jun 13, 2007

    Governments need to run more and more like the private sector. Cut costs where you can and still provide great services while keeping your bottom line in check. The bottom line here represents our tax dollars and whether or not taxes need to be increased. Fewer and fewer people stay with organizations 20 plus years anyway. How long have you been at your job? Ask around. How many companies right now offer full benefits to people that retire with their organization? You won’t find too many. And those numbers shrink every day because of the cost. So why should the County be any different?

  • lornadoone Jun 13, 2007

    1WakeCitizen... I totally agree. It's really frustrating to have someone come in and not have a clue how anything works, only to try and run things on his agenda. Good idea on writing the commissioners; although, from the looks of the proposal on the health care benefits, they're just as crooked as he is.

    I think as time goes on, if he doesn't change, more and more employees are going to voice concern. Hopefully WCHS won't fall in on itself.

  • 1WakeCitizen Jun 12, 2007

    yes indeed, sneetchypeep! I am hoping and praying that the commissioners and the N&O will investigate his business dealings. He claims to be a Doctor. He says he "decided" not to get his license in the states. He says he was a dr. on columbia. This man promised to not make sudden changes..but learn the agency. He has been here 2 months and is making messes all around him. He will ruin the agency unless someone stops him. The man cannot even communicate with his staff in proper english and grammar! PLEASE WRITE COMMISSIONERS FOR HELP!~!

  • lornadoone Jun 12, 2007

    I completely agree about Ramon Rojano, the new HS director. He's already making waves in Human Services, and if he keeps it up, he won't have ANY friends there.

  • 1WakeCitizen Jun 12, 2007

    this is a very critical issue. This will definitely keep good employees from wanting to work for the county. If this does not keep them away - the new Human Services Director surely will. That man is off the chain! If someone does not stop him, he will run that agency in the ground and ruin all of the hard work of the last 10 years! He pretends to be nice - but he is a liar and does not know what he is doing. He needs to go back to his "mom and pop" agency up north.

  • regularguy_nc-at-yahoo.com Jun 12, 2007

    ooops... it's "COLD-BLOODED"

  • regularguy_nc-at-yahoo.com Jun 12, 2007

    Oh goooooooood! he's an elected official... anyone with any moral character at all would never vote for that cold bloded SOB.

  • applesmith Jun 12, 2007

    David Crooook Election times coming. Will see on Monday who votes for your budget. Just remeber what goes around comes around Mr. County Manager!!!! New motto for WAKE COUNTY EMPLOYEES. LOW PAY, NO BENEFITS , MORAL SUCKS !!!!!!!!

  • regularguy_nc-at-yahoo.com Jun 12, 2007

    I think the first thing we need to do is take away the benefits for David Cooke FIRST then lets see how long he can live after retirement and with only "Social Security" to medical treatment for whatever gets him in his old age. It would be great if he got some sort of very painful cancer and we could have like a daily TV show where we can view his suffering until he finally dies. You're gettin' kind of gray around the edges there David.. think about how much fun it could be to die, slowly, in the street, with no medicine and doctors.

  • regularguy_nc-at-yahoo.com Jun 12, 2007

    Hey.. a new, popular way for us to treat each other: Be as greedy as possible and make sure that working people get as little compensation a possible for devoting their lives to a job and employer. Corporations and the government --all the same thing-- should now make it a popular trend for old and retired people to just go out in the woods a die --now that they are useless-- and quit being a burden on the rest of the world. It should catch on real fast. Just think… people could remain alive for their own funeral then go commit suicide… after all, it would be for a good cause!