August 30, 2007
Rosh Hashanah with Dennis Prager, deuling Dems, adios Kaiser Permanente
(Page 2 - Previous Page)Authorities also advised that institutions sharpen their security, whether with better lighting, video surveillance or a more visible presence, to discourage would-be attackers. And they said to report any suspicious behavior to (877) 284-7328, unless it posed an immediate threat, in which case people should call 911.
"Today in the city of Los Angeles, and for that matter this region, there is no specific threat concerning the High Holidays," Deputy Chief Michel Moore said. "Now, is there always a threat? Yes, we know that, and that is why we have to remain vigilant."
Jewish Communal Workers Lose Kaiser Healthcare
Employees of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and some of its agencies are negotiating a new contract after the previous one expired July 1, and one benefit has already been lost: Kaiser Permanente healthcare.
Under the previous three-year contract, The Federation was required to pay for the complete cost of an employee's HMO, whether Kaiser or Blue Shield. But in July Kaiser announced rate increases of 29.9 percent, which would increase individual premiums from $341 a month to $468. For the past month, Federation employees who didn't want to switch to the less-expensive Blue Shield, where rates also increased about $50 per month, were able to cover the increase out of their paychecks. But as of Aug. 31, Kaiser won't be available as part of a group plan.
"They require we offer the same portion of payment, so that employees don't pay any more," Federation spokeswoman Deborah Dragon said. "That would be insurmountable for all the employers, not just the federation but all the agencies. We just can't meet that requirement."
The other agencies involved in the 500-employee collective-bargaining agreement were Jewish Family Service (JFS), Jewish Vocational Service (JVS), Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters and Jewish Community Centers Association. But this year, JFS and JVS have asked to negotiate separately. Talks just began, but union officials said healthcare already has arisen as a sticking point.
"For those who take care of the aged and infirmed and housebound, these employers should take care of their own," said Mark Siegel, spokesman for the local council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
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