The city and employee unions have created a self-funded insurance program. The good news for city employees is that their costs will remain the same through 2013. The city's estimated growth of health care costs is 7.5 percent. Under the three-year agreement, the city's contribution will be capped at half that amount. That means the new Labor Management Health Care Committee will have to determine how to fund the other half.
"We've said to the unions okay in turn for taking some of the risk and responsibility here. You have the right to decide jointly with us what we do," Mayor Tom Richards said.
Right now, officials cannot say for sure if employee health care contributions will remain the same after 2013.