Illinois employment contracts: Healthcare cost may lead to strike

The rising cost of healthcare is a concern for nearly everyone in the United States, including employers and employees in Illinois. Even employers who are able to provide their employees with healthcare plans are seeing an increase in premiums. Unfortunately, employers have to pass those increases on to their employees. It is this increase in healthcare costs that appears to be at the center of negotiations regarding one company's employment contracts.

DynCorp International is a defense contractor that employs many aircraft mechanics. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers recently picketed outside the gates of Patuxent River Naval Air Station in an attempt to rally the community behind their cause. The contract between the union and DynCorp International has an expiration date of Aug. 30, and negotiations aren't going well. The union says that if it is unable to come to an agreement with DynCorp by that date, it will decide on Aug. 31 whether a strike would be appropriate.

Reports indicate that some employees were paying as much as $1,500 per month to have healthcare coverage for their families. Some employees have had to opt out of the company's health insurance and purchase private insurance. DynCorp has said that it is doing everything it can to keep health insurance premiums affordable for its employees.

Many businesses in Illinois may be able to empathize with DynCorp's position. As healthcare costs and healthcare insurance premiums continue to rise, it may become increasingly difficult for employers to provide affordable health insurance. This issue is sure to become a significant point of negotiation in employment contracts in the future.

Source: somdnews.com, Union takes contract dispute with DynCorp to the street, Nicole Clark, Aug. 23, 2013

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