Educators from across Morris County plan Morristown rally over health costs, Oct. 10

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Educators from across Morris County plan to demonstrate Wednesday in Morristown to change a state law they say is eroding their paychecks.

The law, called Chapter 78, ties public employees’ benefits contributions to a percentage of benefits costs.  Since the measure’s adoption in 2011, rising costs of health insurance–and employees’ contributions toward those costs–have outpaced raises, union members say.

They are backing pending legislation, S-2606 /A-4352, which instead would peg employees’ contributions to a percentage of their salaries– not to a percentage of the overall insurance hikes.

“I think it’s one of the most important bills to help better the lives of public workers in years,” said Bill Cole, legislative chair for The Educational Association of Morris (TEAM), the union representing teachers in the Morris School District, serving Morristown, Morris Township and Morris Plains (for high school).

The change would save some District teachers $5,000 a year, Cole estimated.

It also probably would require waivers of the state’s 2 percent cap on school- and municipal budgets, he acknowledged.

The rally is scheduled for 4 pm to 6 pm outside Morristown town hall, at 200 South St.

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