Changes in benefits at Davison Township remain in limbo

DAVISON TWP. — After two meetings with employees and retirees and having the insurance plans available for board review now for almost two months, the Davison Township Board of Trustees were still unable to move ahead Monday with a vote on changing insurance plans that total could save an estimated $182,000 a year.

Supervisor Jim Slezak decided to pull the vote on changes in township employee and retiree insurance for dental, vision, long-term disability, short-term disability, life and accidental death and dismemberment at the Sept. 13 meeting.

The decision came after trustees Lori Tallman and Matt Karr expressed reservations about moving ahead with a vote without first receiving a written legal opinion from the township attorney about the changes and without giving proper notification to the employees.

“I’m all for saving money and the dental is a significant savings ($80,000), but I’m not comfortable with current employees receiving no notice to determine if there are issues with their providers,” said Tallman. “Until there is a written opinion from our labor attorney it can cause a lot of issues and problems. I think some of the plans are promising and maybe better, but we need to make this right.”

Treasurer Tim Green, who has worked since taking office last year with Slezak to put together a new benefits package for township employees and retirees that would offer nearly the same coverage, or in some cases better coverage, while reducing the cost to the township, said he wanted the board to vote.

“You’ve had ample opportunity to look it over,” said Green. “This seems like another stall tactic.”

Slezak agreed the board has had the information on the proposed insurance changes for two months, adding any board member is capable of reaching out to the insurance representatives to ask questions at any time.

With a motion already made and seconded to approve the dental plan changes, Green pushed for a vote and it was defeated 2-2. Tallman and Karr were the dissenting votes.

Slezak then removed the other insurance changes from the Sept. 13 agenda and instead scheduled another workshop for the employees and board members on Sept. 28 at noon.