Green Bay city council approves benefits extension

The city council in Green Bay, Wisconsin, reached an agreement with public employees to extend their current benefits package, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports. While the bill does not guarantee pay increases, it does eliminate obligatory furloughs and sets standards for increased health insurance and pension contributions.

According to the Gazette, the city currently has 15 contracts with city employees, but were set to expire on December 31, 2011. The agreement comes at a time when the bill signed by Governor Scott Walker, which strips collective bargaining rights, has been held up in Dane County courts.

"I think overall, it's a win-win situation for the city and the employees," T.J. Parins, an attorney representing public works and parks employees, told the paper in an interview.

Starting July 1, public employees will be required to pay more into the health and dental insurance. WBAY-TV reports that the agreement, which passed through the city council by an 11-0 vote, is projected to save Green Bay $600,000 in 2011 and as much as $1 million in 2012 and 2013.  

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