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Glen Cove City Council puts off vote on retiree health insurance

Glen Cove City Hall is shown.

Glen Cove City Hall is shown. Credit: T.C. McCarthy

The Glen Cove City Council has tabled a vote on raising the standards for employees to receive retirement health insurance coverage.

Mayor Reginald Spinello opposed delaying the vote on two resolutions he sponsored, saying "government moves too slow."

But the other members voted Tuesday night for the tabling motion made by Councilman Timothy Tenke, who said "there are issues that warrant additional discussion."

One resolution would require nonunion employees, effective in January, to work for 10 years instead of the current five to receive coverage. It also would require five of the 10 years to be employment with the city, with the other five for another government entity.

The second resolution would require nonunion employees retiring after Jan. 1, 2015, to pay 10 percent of their insurance premium. Any nonunion employee or elected official hired after 2012 is already paying 10 percent of his or her retirement health care costs. Before 2012, employees paid nothing.

The changes would not affect retiree medical benefits spelled out in union contracts. The CSEA contract already includes a 10-year requirement while the PBA contract requires 20 years of service. Several residents supported the changes as proposed.

But resident Grace Slezak said that while "we want to applaud you" on toughening the qualifications, the city should require all 10 years of service be in Glen Cove. "If you're going to make a change, make the change 100 percent, not 50 percent," she said.

Spinello said not giving credit for five years of government work elsewhere would limit the pool of talent for city jobs. He said other municipalities, including North Hempstead and Nassau County, "have five and five."

He said three or four nonunion city employees or elected officials, including himself, would be covered by the changes.

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