Gilmer Free Press
PEIA Proposal Could Put WV Public Employees At Risk
The president of the WV Troopers Association says public safety is at stake when it comes to PEIA’s proposal to eliminate healthcare coverage for retired workers hired after January of 2010.
PEIA is holding a public hearing in Charleston Monday evening at 6:00 PM at the Charleston Civic Center to allow comment on the controversial plan. John Smith hopes troopers will turn out in full force to voice their concerns about the proposal. “You just can’t make a decision from a board that’s responsible for finances of the PEIA be making decisions for what’s best for the public and citizens of the state. That absolutely makes no sense.“
Smith says Troopers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of West Virginia deserve to have insurance coverage once they retire. “Who plans to work their entire career…and then not be able to have the basic necessities of healthcare coverage upon retirement?“
Even the possibility of no healthcare coverage for future employees has already impacted the State Police according to Smith. He says a current marine preparing to get out of the military was seriously considering applying to the State Police for a job. But after hearing about the healthcare proposal, he was no longer interested. “He wouldn’t be able to have affordable healthcare coverage after retirement. He’s already decided this is not the place he’s going to be looking for employment.“
The State Police already have trouble attracting minorities and females. The PEIA proposal, according to Smith, will make it even more difficult when they could go somewhere else where healthcare is guaranteed.