The mayor spoke about the ongoing battle against the city’s employee health insurance

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – It’s been a confusing week for what health insurance plans will look like for city employees and retirees in 2023. The mayor of Shreveport weighed in on Friday morning regarding the ongoing debate.

A special meeting of the Health Care Trust Fund’s board was held on Wednesday afternoon (September 7) and members approved the three-phase plan by a 4-3 vote.

More>>>> Dozens of people will gather for a special meeting about Shreveport health care insurance for 2023

Mayor Adrian Perkins opened the meeting by thanking city workers for continuing to work through rain, snow, ice, flu and more. The mayor said that they should not worry about how to pay for treatment when they are sick.

It has been repeatedly reported that no one’s benefits will be cut and that workers who opt into the plan’s early phase will have minimal health care costs. The mayor said employees who choose to see Willis-Knitton Health System providers will not see any additional costs.

He said the Standard Option Plan is designed to give workers and retirees a choice in health care.

City employees/retirees currently pay about $200 a month for health insurance, the mayor said. He said it would roughly double the city’s current ordinance.

Year after year, Mayor Perkins continues to charge the city more to avoid passing on rising health care costs to its employees and retirees, but that is simply not sustainable.

At a news conference Friday morning, the mayor said the Health Care Trust Fund Board voted 4-3 (with one abstention) to reject the three-tier plan. He said the board must now find the best option. The mayor’s statements contradicted the vote Wednesday afternoon.

The issue now heads to the City Council, where a 3-3 vote would likely tie if Councilman Jerry Bowman abstained. The mayor said he hopes city council members have the best interests of city workers at heart.

The mayor also addressed two photos circulating on social media that appeared to show him sleeping during the Wednesday afternoon meeting. The mayor vehemently denied sleeping around and called the allegations “ridiculous”. “Show me a video of me sleeping,” he repeated several times.

“We will continue to play games and continue to do our work,” said the mayor.

The city’s fire and police chiefs, Clarence Reese and Wayne Smith, echoed the mayor’s statement when asked if they had anything to add.

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