On the Eve of Sharp Increases to Healthcare Premiums, Contra Costa County Workers Have Had Enough.



Join Your Fellow Union Members in the Campaign for Affordable Healthcare!


"I'll be at the rally on September 18 because affordable healthcare is a critical issue for me and my co-workers. The County has put a system in place that makes families struggle to afford healthcare, and that's unacceptable. And it's about to get worse! It will take all of us to stand up and make our voices heard on this campaign. Join me in letting the Board of Supervisors know that we are ready for a change!"

- Vickie Kaplan Wetzel, Administrative Services Assistant III, EHSD




"I am all in on September 18 so that county workers like us will be able to voice our support for affordable healthcare.  Everything seems to be going up yearly such as rent, gas, and other expenses, but the biggest concern is the healthcare. I am married with two kids and am currently on one income and I have to budget my salary allowance to fit all our daily expenses. Health insurance is an important necessity for everyone with or without a family. So having affordable healthcare will definitely help all of us and many others."

- Aaron Cabrera, System Analyst II, Health Services




"The County has created a situation where healthcare costs are out of control and not equal for all employees. So it’s up to us to demand a change. Plus rates are set to go up again in January 2019- as much as 14.74%! Enough is enough. I’m in for the September 18 Rally before the Board of Supervisors Meeting and I plan on attending the meeting to show solidarity, are you?"

- Lisa Santini, Administrative Services Assistant III, Health Services






"For many of us, healthcare premiums are the second biggest item on our budget after our mortgage or rent. And the costs keep rising, as much as 14% next year even though inflation is expected to only rise 2.44%. Any wage increases are often consumed by rising healthcare costs. We need to fix the broken system now! And that won’t happen unless we stand up and are counted."

- Bryan Thomas, IT Project Manager, Health Services




"I really care about improving healthcare coverage for all my county co-workers. I signed the petition, and will attend the rally on September 18th. Nine county unions are standing together to bring about change for everyone. Join us!"

- Terri Night, Rehabilitation Therapy Services Supervisor, Health Services













Insurance premiums for Contra Costa County workers are set to go up by as much as 14.74% in January 2019. The news has triggered a wave of action by County workers, and nine County unions have come together to form a Healthcare Coalition to say enough is enough.

Contra Costa County workers already pay significantly more than their counterparts around the Bay - for example, a whopping $806 per month for family coverage on the Kaiser plan. Our coverage on this plan would rise to $941 per month in January if nothing is done.

Action by members of the participating unions, including a campaign of calling County Board members and speaking out at a County Board meeting, have gotten the County to agree to sit down with the unions to talk about healthcare. This agreement comes despite the fact that most of the participating unions are working under closed contracts, with negotiations not set to begin until next year.

However, getting the County to fix the healthcare system in Contra Costa is not going to happen without a much larger effort. The Coalition unions will be asking for the County to agree to mitigate the healthcare premium hikes for 2019, but also to negotiate in 2019 for a larger system fix that will bring healthcare costs in Contra Costa under control for the future. After years of divisive tactics by the County, the current healthcare situation is a mess. Some plans are subsidized at a much higher rate than others, leaving some plan providers without incentive to compete in the market. And the plan contributions for each union are different, so numbers of members in the various plans are inconsistent union to union, preventing more robust negotiations for competitive premiums across the board.

The County will not change its approach to healthcare in Contra Costa without sustained actions by members. We have to make sure that it is harder for the County NOT to make a change, than to continue with the status quo. That will mean we will have to show up and participate in actions for as long as it takes to make sure that healthcare is affordable for all of us.

On September 18th union members from nine unions will be rallying at a Board of Supervisors meeting starting at 8 am. The Coalition is asking members to take a few hours off work to come to the rally and make sure that Board knows that this is a priority of County workers. There will be speakers, coffee and pastries, and at the start of the Board meeting we will pack the room to support our advocates as they address the Board.




Also, don’t forget to sign the petition insisting that the Board take our demands seriously! We will be presenting signatures at the Board meeting, so let’s make all our co-workers sign too!