Councilwoman questions using health insurance money for bonuses

2013-10-10T20:45:00Z 2013-10-10T23:33:12Z Councilwoman questions using health insurance money for bonusesChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
October 10, 2013 8:45 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | An ordinance needed to provide bonuses to town employees received unanimous support from the Town Council this week.

But one council member doesn't agree with the manner in which the situation is being handled.

The council approved the first reading of a measure that would use $80,000 in extra funding from the town's health insurance fund to provide each full-time employee with a $500 bonus and each part-time employee with a $250 bonus. The ordinance could be adopted Oct. 22.

Town Councilwoman Chrissy Barron said the matter wasn't discussed in a council workshop before it was initially brought up during the Sept. 24 council meeting.

Although she voted for the measure, Barron said she isn't comfortable using the health insurance funding to provide bonuses to part-time employees.

She said part-time employees don't qualify for benefits, such as health insurance, and they don't contribute to the health insurance fund.

Barron doesn't oppose bonuses for part-time employees, but she said different funding should be used.

She also said the extra health insurance fund money should be transferred to Merrillville's 2014 budget, possibly to provide a better health insurance package to full-time employees.

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