Should non-union city employees see one, large increase in what they pay toward health insurance premiums in 2019, or continue to edge upward, paying a little more each year?

   Of all the considerations the Ripon Common Council will have as it seeks to finalize its 2019 budget, that’s the one that could have the greatest impact on the bottom line.

   Other ideas floated during last week Thursday’s initial budget meeting ranged from a wage freeze to altering the hours at the Ripon Public Library to eliminating a proposal to make the public works department secretary a full-time position.

   But the health-care premium idea garnered the most discussion, and would have the biggest financial impact if enacted — both on the city and the individual employees.

   Currently, city employees pay $30 per month toward their health-insurance premiums.

   City staff proposed doubling that to $60 for 2019, and offsetting that with an average of a 2-percent wage increase

   Ald. John Splitt, however, advocated for a change that he felt would put the city more in line with the private sector in Ripon.

   “I just feel that $60 is an outdated cost,” he said. “I’ve done some research on area factories, and most factories go to a percent of the premiums that employees pay.”

   He cited multiple Ripon employers who pass along 20 percent of those premiums onto employees, with some that pass along as much as 40 percent for a family plan.

Read the full story in the Oct. 11, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.